Cover to Cover #223: Harry Turtledove

The Grapple: Settling AccountsThis week, Michael and Evo talk with Harry Turtledove, the "Master of Alternative History", about his latest novel, The Grapple, third book in the Settling Accounts series, and about alternate history, young adult fiction, and future projects.

Also on the Show:

  • Hugo Awards: Steve Eley of Escape Pod is playing the nominated short stories, and stay tuned to "Cover to Cover" for interviews with the authors of the nominated novels and novellas.
  • Michael has read a story that will appear on Escape Pod later this week.


  1. I wake up every day trying to be evil. Its what gets me through the day.

    Ive seen these books on Amazon from time to time and ive alwasy wondered about them. Thanks for the interview guys. Now I need to get money to buy them.

    But first I gotta finish reading the Temeraire series. Thanks for finally get me back into reading. Ive been slacking, I blame Scott Sigler and Podiobooks. hehehe

  2. I enjoyed Harry Turtledove's books for years. The last ones I enjoyed wholeheartedly were the Videssos series, though. I read the In the Balance series and enjoyed that up until the end. I started feeling fatigued.

    Initially, it was interesting seeing all the figures from the 1930's and 40's come to life. But after a couple of books, I started feeling as though I wasn't in an alternate history so much as a completely different world that just happened to resemble our own. Things had departed too much from our own history. The series was about one book too long. The series taught me a lesson about alternate histories.

    Alternate histories diverge from our own because of different outcomes of some crucial event or two. But if you follow the alternate history far enough, it's no longer exactly alternate. Divergent event piled on divergent event has created a completely different universe. Characters who are famous in our history end up being different people who just happen to share the same name, especially if they weren't even born before the divergent event.

    It is very similar to the divergence that happens when two initially similar populations become separated and allowed to evolve isolated from each other. You end up with different species. Oh, you might be able to tell that they shared a common ancestor, but they're not the same thing any longer.

    Since the subject matter of "What if the South won the Civil War" didn't interest me that much, I never have picked up his subsequent series. As I see book after book released in what seems to be a never-ending progression of titles and reading the blurbs of each book, I realize that the same thing seems to have happened with these subsequent series.

    Hah, I realize that I have just written a book review for a series that I have not even read. Okay, just ignore it. 🙂

  3. Michael Mennega says

    Wow! Dr. Evil listens to our show. 😉

    Waking up wanting to do evil, huh? Well I know that the current administration could use your help.

  4. *raises pinky finger to mouth*


  5. How dare we Americans think we can impose Freedom and Liberty on others! Oppressive Totalitarian Dictatorship is just as valid a model for government.

    Damn Yankees!

  6. Trying to bring freedom at the barrel of a gun is like trying to get pregnant by NOT having sex. Ain't gonna work.