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Harry Turtledove is a prolific novelist and historian of America, having written some of the most successful historical novels. He is well known for writing many successful novels based on the historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history genres. Harry was born on June 14, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, United States. The most notable works of Harry include the Southern Victory series, Worldwar series, The Two Georges, as well as a few standalone novels. As a child, he grew up in a city near Gardena, California. Harry’s paternal grandparents were of Jewish Romanian origin and were first based in Winnipeg, Canada, before going on to settle in California. He received his primary education from local public schools. After completing his schooling he joined the college at Caltech, but got dropped out in the freshman year. Following that, he attended the UCLA and completed his undergraduate degree. Harry also received his Ph.D on the subject of Byzantine history in the year 1977. It was during the year 1979 when Harry Turtledove began his writing career by publishing his first two novels. He used the pseudonym Eric G. Iverson to write those novels because the editor of the publishing house believed that the readers will not believe his real name was Turtledove. From then onwards, he wrote all his novels under the same pseudonym until 1985. Harry began using another pen name Mark Gordian for writing his further novels. While Harry kept using a number of pseudonyms for writing novels during the initial stage of his writing career, he also wrote several books under his original name. Recently, he has started using one more pseudonym H.N. Turteltaub for writing the historical novels. Turteltaub means turtle dove in the Yiddish language. As Dan Chernenko, Harry has published three novels. This way, Harry had to use a few pseudonyms for writing his famous novels, sometimes purposely and some other times as per the requirements of the publishers.
Over the course of his writing career, Harry collaborated with several fellow authors for writing some specific novels on a few occasions. During one such instance, he joined his first wife Betty for writing the novel Death in Vesunna, who used the pen name Elaine O’Byrne. Other authors with whom Harry collaborated Include Judith Tarr, Susan Schwartz, Kevin R. Sandes, and S.M Sterling. Harry won the Homer Award in the year 1990 for his short story based on the life of Hitler. The other prestigious awards won by him include John Esten Cooke Award in 1993, Hugo Award in 1994 and 1996, Nebula Award in 1996, etc. Some of his novels have also received honorable mentions by reputed associations. In the year 1998, Harry was the Guest of Honor in Louisville, Kentucky at Rivercon XXIII where he was named as honorary Kentucky Colonel. He also served at the 58th Word Fiction Convention as the toastmaster in the year 2000. Author Harry Turtledove married for the second time with Laura Frankos, who is an author of science fiction and mystery genre. Their relationship is going on smoothly and they are blessed with three daughters, Rachel, Rebecca, and Alison. The famous fantasy author Steven Frankos is Harry’s brother-in-law. The Publisher’s Weekly has labelled Harry as The Master of Alternate History for his excellent contribution to the genre, which can be seen in most of his famous novels.
The Settling Accounts series written by Harry consists of a total of 4 books published between the years 2004 and 2007. The first novel of the series was published under the title ‘Return Engagement’, It was published by the Del Rey publishing house in the year 2004. The plot of the novel includes a magnificent cast of characters, including generals, soldiers, demagogues, lovers, and spies; and depicts a story about a continent in North America, which is separated into two parts by two rival nations. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, the time of the year 1914 is shown in which North America and the neighboring countries engage in The Great War. North America faces danger from Japan, Russia and England from three sides. But, in the middle of war, America seems to be a bomb about to explode. Jake Featherston is the leader of the Confederate States and appears to be the man who can cause the explosion. The Socialist leader Al Smith is regarded as the living symbol of the hopes of the people of America and sits in the White House situated in Philadelphia. While in the southern part, the Freedom Party led by Featherston, becomes successful in putting down the rebellion of the Negros with his bloodthirsty fist and captured them in concentration camps. Now, he seems determined to destroy the northern neighbor at all costs. Without any prior warning, Featherston’s planes begin to launch attacks on Philadelphia. The United States also hit back, but a second attack led by CSA blitzkrieg leaves it flat-footed. Soon, the gray Army takes over Lake Erie. However, the war seems to spin a vortex of mass destruction, fury, and betrayal, which is not in control of even Jake Featherston. Now, as the President Al Smith faces a difficult task ahead, his assistant secretary named Roosevelt rises in rank. The U.S.A faces some very dark days ahead as the war spreads around the globe. The novel proves to be a masterful vision of the war situation during the early 20th century. It portrays the history of the nations and human nature in an interesting way.
The second novel of the series was published in the year 2005 by the Del Rey publishing house and was titled ‘Drive to the East’. The plot of the novel continues to depict the war situation in North America during the year 1914. At the beginning of the plot of the novel, it is shown that the First World War had ignited conflict in North America, while the United States had become successful in defeating the Confederate States. Now, in 1917. The Great War had ended, but hatred started which was fueled by the sacrifice of many people. The CSA and USA again get involved in battle lines in the year 1942. Both of them have the latest machines, modern weapons, and well-planned strategies to overcome the other. The Confederate president Jake Featherston becomes shocked to witness the damage that he had done in Philadelphia, by killing U.S President Al Smith. He moves ahead with a secret plan carried out in Texas, where he has hidden the detention camps for evil purposes. The vice president of U.S takes over after the death of Smith, but faces furious threats from the Confederate army in Pennsylvania. Also, the industrial heartland gets seized, Canada faces revolt and the naval ships the Unites States fights against the Japanese forces in the Sandwich Islands. This way, the whole of North America had become a dangerous place to live.
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