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In this extraordinary World War II alternate history, master storyteller Harry Turtledove begins with a big switch: what if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. They dont. Three years later, his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler has barely survived a coup, while Jews cling to survival. But England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile. Weaving together a cast of characters that ranges from a brawling American fighter in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitlers evil face-to-face, Harry Turtledove takes us into a world shaping up very differently in 1941. The Germans and their Polish allies have slammed into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, while Japan pummels away in the east. In trench warfare in France, French and Czech fighters are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England, Winston Churchill dies in an apparent accident, and the gray men who walk behind his funeral cortege wonder who their real enemy is. The USSR, fighting for its life, makes peace with Japanmdash;and Japans war with America is about to begin. A sweeping saga of human passions, foolishness, and courage, of families and lovers and soldiers by choice and by chance, The Big Switch is a provocative, gripping, and utterly convincing work of alternate history at its best. For history buffs and fans of big, blood-and-guts fiction, Harry Turtledove delivers a panoramic clash of ideals as powerful as armies themselves.
About the Author
Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, California, he grew up in nearby Gardena, his parents, Romanian immigrants, first settled in Winnipeg, Canada, before making their permanent home on the US West Coast. After dropping out during his freshman year at Caltech, he attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. His dissertation was entitled The Immediate Successors of Justinian: A Study of the Persian Problem and of Continuity and Change in Internal Secular Affairs in the Later Roman Empire During the Reigns of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine (AD 565–582).
In 1979, Turtledove published his first two novels, Wereblood and Werenight, under the pseudonym "Eric G. Iverson." Turtledove later explained that his editor at Belmont Tower did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and came up with something more Nordic. He continued to use the "Iverson" name until 1985, when he published his "Herbig-Haro" and "And So to Bed" under his real name. Another early pseudonym was "Mark Gordian." Turtledove has recently begun publishing historical novels under the pseudonym "H.N. Turteltaub" (Turteltaube means turtle dove in German). He published three books as Dan Chernenko (the Scepter of Mercy series).
Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Turtledove worked as a technical writer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In 1991, he left the LACOE and turned to writing full time. From 1986 to 1987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of America.
He has written several works in collaboration, including The Two Georges with Richard Dreyfuss, "Death in Vesunna" with his first wife Elaine O'Byrne, Household Gods with Judith Tarr, and others with Susan Shwartz, S.M. Stirling and Kevin R. Sandes.
Turtledove won the Homer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter," the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for The Guns of the South, the Hugo Award for Novella in 1994 for "Down in the Bottomlands." "Must and Shall" was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, the 1996 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Two Georges also received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Worldwar series received a Sidewise Award for Alternate History Honorable Mention in 1996. In 1998, the novel How Few Remain won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He won his second Sidewise Award in 2003 for the novel Ruled Britannia. On August 1, 1998, Turtledove was named honorary Kentucky Colonel while Guest of Honor at Rivercon XXIII in Louisville, Kentucky. The Gladiator was the co-winner of the 2008 Prometheus Award.
Turtledove served as the toastmaster for Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention.
He is married to mystery and SF writer Laura Frankos. His brother-in-law is fantasy author Steven Frankos. He has three daughters: Alison, Rachel and Rebecca.