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Interviewing the AH Community: Harry Turtledove

Thande

Bündnis für Freizeit, Garagetigkeit und Nachmittag
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Once again major props to Gary for pulling off this coup!

This was worth it just for that nugget about his wife encouraging him to have the Race attack in TL191!
That was amazing, because as a young and silly reader, I genuinely thought that would happen myself at one point, to the point that thinking the mention of an unexpected attack in the blurb of "The Centre Cannot Hold" (actually about Japan) would be about the Race.

Interesting to hear about Vietnam as a parallel for Worldwar (if not perhaps a conscious one), the First Gulf War parallels seemed clear to me but that shows you how much is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Gary Oswald

It was Vampire Unions that got us Vampire Weekend
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Once again major props to Gary for pulling off this coup!
As ever when there's a coup, my main role is to announce it rather than actually do anything.

My role was limited to sending two emails.

@Meadow was the one who took the lead on making decisions about using the forum to get questions and which questions we would use. Most of the credit for how it turned out goes to him.

And like I'm genuinely pleased with how it turned out. I thought the answer about how much his life turned out for the better for having picked up his first AH book was stupidly endearing.
 

Gary Oswald

It was Vampire Unions that got us Vampire Weekend
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Apart from getting an interview with Turtledove himself in the first place, I liked how he said his biggest inspiration was Lest Darkness Fall.
Given all the other writers who cite Turtledove it is very 'for want of a nail' isn't it. Sprague as the grandfather of the genre without which it would be unrecognisable.
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
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Given all the other writers who cite Turtledove it is very 'for want of a nail' isn't it. Sprague as the grandfather of the genre without which it would be unrecognisable.
I know from my own experience how various individual works can serve as excellent "gateways" into entire genres.
 

Thande

Bündnis für Freizeit, Garagetigkeit und Nachmittag
Published by SLP
I should read more Sprague, The Wheels of If was excellent (and I came across it because of Turtledove having it reprinted along with two novellas of his own, one of which was a fan sequel).

Come to think of it, our recent publication The Legacy of St Brendan does a backstory similar to Wheels of If in more detail - but Sprague's work, of course, is a fun adventure story as well as an exercise in AH.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
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Interesting to hear about Vietnam as a parallel for Worldwar (if not perhaps a conscious one), the First Gulf War parallels seemed clear to me but that shows you how much is in the eye of the beholder.
I think that's just the way how some of the broad themes are applicable across different events- like the MCU updating Tony Stark's military contacts and kidnapping to being contemporary Afghanistan rather than the original Vietnam
 

Nofix

Scalawag
Historical and present-day political discourse around Confederate figures like Robert E. Lee has changed in the decades since you wrote the popular Guns of the South. Were you writing the book today, would you change anything about your depiction of Lee or other Confederate characters? Would you revisit any charged topics you have presented in your work so far?

You do what you do when you do it. You are a part of history, too. Perspectives and opinions change, which doesn't necessarily mean that those held now will continue to be held 100 years from now. I have no idea what I'd do if I were writing from that idea today rather than 30 years ago. It was a different time, and I was a different person.
Makes sense. While I haven't written nearly as much, or to as wide an audience, as Turtledove, there is some stuff I wouldn't necessarily put in my writings if I did them today.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
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France
And L Sprague de Camp was in turn inspired by reading Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court... I think I can hear one of @Thande 's chain of consequences articles coming on.
I guess the next question is where Mark Twain got the idea from.
 
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