Is Harry Turtledove's TL-191 worth it?

The fact that Hapsburgs put one of them on Mexican throne means nothing.
Romania had an Hoenzollern king, but sided with Entet.
 
We all know that Turtledove really wanted the aligned Entent-Confederacy and Central Powers-US respectively.

We - as readers - do have the benefit of hindsight though.

For better or worse, how we look at it would probbaly be something like this:
With Habsburg monarchy in Mexico, sponsored by the French, we most likely have a France/Austria-Hungary alliance, which would most likely set off warning bells in GB/UK. THis means that the UK/GB will send more men to Canada upon Confederation to properly secure it, and quite possibly they will try and repair their relationship with the US - probably play the neutral party to both the US and CS respectively - I mean the entire commerce trade through New England alone has to be thousand time more valuable than a lot of the Confederacy trade of Cotton. Nevermind the mid-western food basket states.
I think with a more neutrally-inclined GB, France is going to support the Confederacy in order to secure Mexico so there would be some concessions and most likely means we can keep Nappy III on his throne (whether or not this stops the Franco-Prussian war is debatable, but that will always be up to interpretation). So we would have a CS/France/Austria-Hungary alliance in the latter half of the 19th Century.
Now this makes both Germany/Prussia and also Russia wary. Russia was incredibly pro-Union during the Civil War and I don't see too much reason why that would change, but because of the CS/F/AH alliance, Prussia and Russia are most likely going to form some alliance themselves. Russia wants Galicia, and Prussia wants all of Germany. a French-AH alliance pretty much disrupts all of that. I would like to think that the whole German Unification will see some similarities with the Union, at least to some degree, most likley they will both have close relations to the Union.
This also goes back to where the UK goes though. Trade with North America is essential as is keeping Canada. But at the same time, it has to wary of the European Powers. France could be just as likely to build a strong navy in this ATL like Germany did in OTL - or that could still be the same with the German-UK naval arms race. Ukraine does provide a lot of food so it may be essential to keep on good terms with Russia at the same time. And then you also have to consider that GB/Prussia/Russia all have intertwined royal families. And that alone is subject to change because come 1900 Frederick III could still be alive and could have tried to liberalize his country a bit. Queen Victoria also have two assassination attemts after the POD, 1872 and 1882 respectively. ALso Franz Josepf and Wilhelm I also had attempts on their life.

Butterflies are boundless really, yet I digress a bit ...........so I would think that if we have an alt-WW1 it would be:

France
Confederacy
Austria-Hungary

vs

Prussia/Germany
Russia
United States

Great Britain/UK is the neutral and its weight of power would determine the outcome if it chose a side.
That's two major industrial powers plus Mother Russia on Germany's flank as a bulwark versus two under-developed messes and France where everything important is within easy striking range of Germany.

Even if the UK joins the Franco-Austrian-Confederate entente, I think the balance is slightly in the *Central Powers' favor.
 
Not necessarily. It’d be a long, hard struggle for sure, involving a lot of loyally dubious activity, but if they held the course I’d say it could be done. And the TL-191 US had fought four wars with the CSA - seriously doubt they’d ever let the South go free after that...
Just to add onto that, I think the Population Reduction also played a part in the US's decision to erase the Confederate States from the map. If the Confederate States were willing to exterminate their own people, then what else could they have been capable of, had they retained their independence?
 
With Habsburg monarchy in Mexico, sponsored by the French, we most likely have a France/Austria-Hungary alliance, which would most likely set off warning bells in GB/UK. THis means that the UK/GB will send more men to Canada upon Confederation to properly secure it,
not quite seeing this one... how does a France/AH alliance threaten Canada?
 
It's a decent series that got me involved with alternate history. Still, it does have several flaws that have already been pointed out. Give it a read, but definitely be prepared for some head scratching moments.
 
If anything it is a very dark conversation on race, which as a person of color, that points out the ASB nature of the suggestion that "Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy would eventually free the slaves, and that there will be peaceful reunification by World War I", but assumes that the price in technological development wouldn't be paid by the CSA...
 
Yes, it is well worth it. While it does have it's clichés and faults, I have yet to read a novel these days that doesn't. The direction in which the story progresses is actually quite original, even though it would seem obvious in hindsight. Well worth the read.
 
I tried reading How Few Remain and found the storytelling and prose lacking.
I liked most of the book, it felt more organic for want of a better word than the later TL-191 stuff, thanks to the lack of parallelism.

Harry Turtledove, however, should be made to sign a legally-binding document wherein he agrees never to write sex scenes ever again.
 
I liked most of the book, it felt more organic for want of a better word than the later TL-191 stuff, thanks to the lack of parallelism.

Harry Turtledove, however, should be made to sign a legally-binding document wherein he agrees never to write sex scenes ever again.
Hear, Hear!
 
I liked most of the book, it felt more organic for want of a better word than the later TL-191 stuff, thanks to the lack of parallelism.

Harry Turtledove, however, should be made to sign a legally-binding document wherein he agrees never to write sex scenes ever again.
I'll drink to that.
 
One thing I find insulting is Turtledove's portrayal of Mormons where throughout the entire series they become Utah ISIS with seemingly every Mormon dedicated to independence from America to preserve their sacred right to polygamy. No matter how many times America crushes down the rebellions, despite the fact that American occupation gets worse over time, and even when they are treated leniently, the Mormons still try to kill as many Americans as possible with no good or moderate Mormon characters making an appearance. The highlight of "Mormon Terrorism" is how Mormons in 191 are credited with the invention of suicide bombs.

As someone who has a quarter of his family as Mormons, Turtledove's depiction of them is just disgusting and highly antithetical to Mormon teachings. Turtledove was so intent on having Al-Qaeda expys that he turned one of the peaceful denominations into nothing but terrorists.
 
One thing I find insulting is Turtledove's portrayal of Mormons where throughout the entire series they become Utah ISIS with seemingly every Mormon dedicated to independence from America to preserve their sacred right to polygamy. No matter how many times America crushes down the rebellions, despite the fact that American occupation gets worse over time, and even when they are treated leniently, the Mormons still try to kill as many Americans as possible with no good or moderate Mormon characters making an appearance. The highlight of "Mormon Terrorism" is how Mormons in 191 are credited with the invention of suicide bombs.

As someone who has a quarter of his family as Mormons, Turtledove's depiction of them is just disgusting and highly antithetical to Mormon teachings. Turtledove was so intent on having Al-Qaeda expys that he turned one of the peaceful denominations into nothing but terrorists.
I'm not Mormon (I'm not even American) and yet, I find it confusing that Turtledove has the Mormons be a mainstay of the series, like, what's the point? The Mormons were a troublesome religious sect, sure, but I don't think they ever wanted to leave the United States. Deseret was supposed to be a state within the Union. A independent Desert doesn't even make sense. So the Mormons wanted to have their own independent country? A country that is entirely surrounded by the continental United States? At least the CSA has access to a coastline, so them being a nation somewhat makes sense.

I heard that the Mormon rebellions were supposed to be the equivalent of the Troubles in Ireland.
 
Perhaps setting the POD as an earlier Civil War around 1852 or 1856 would have been more believable? The Union's advantage wasn't as large then, IIRC, and the CSA could conceivably end up with more border states and western territories.
 
One thing I find insulting is Turtledove's portrayal of Mormons where throughout the entire series they become Utah ISIS with seemingly every Mormon dedicated to independence from America to preserve their sacred right to polygamy. No matter how many times America crushes down the rebellions, despite the fact that American occupation gets worse over time, and even when they are treated leniently, the Mormons still try to kill as many Americans as possible with no good or moderate Mormon characters making an appearance. The highlight of "Mormon Terrorism" is how Mormons in 191 are credited with the invention of suicide bombs.

As someone who has a quarter of his family as Mormons, Turtledove's depiction of them is just disgusting and highly antithetical to Mormon teachings. Turtledove was so intent on having Al-Qaeda expys that he turned one of the peaceful denominations into nothing but terrorists.
I'm glad someone else is calling out Dr. Turtledove on this. I got so annoyed at how I was supposed to take that part of the story seriously.

Given that most of the Mormon Troubles in TL-191 were written during the early years of the War against Al-Qaeda in real-life, I think he took too much inspiration from them to the point that he didn't consider the inherent contradictions of being a Mormon terrorist with a death wish. Maybe a few can be like that, but a vast majority of Mormons? Highly unlikely.

Perhaps setting the POD as an earlier Civil War around 1852 or 1856 would have been more believable? The Union's advantage wasn't as large then, IIRC, and the CSA could conceivably end up with more border states and western territories.
It's plausible that a successful secession of the CSA from the USA could have inspired the Mormon community to attempt to create their own nation. Yeah, maybe there would have been hard feelings for a while, but eventually they would have realized that it was just unrealistic to gain independence from the USA. It would have been less of a hassle for everyone involved, Mormon and non-Mormon, to stay in the union.

By the end of the series, I got the impression that the Mormons just rebelled for the sake of rebelling. Real people don't successfully function like that.
 
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Turtledove makes the series, starting with the Great War, too analogous to OTL history. Granted it's not a carbon copy, and there are some interesting points that deviate from OTL. But I wish he had put a lot more thought into being a bit more original with the development of events.
 
Turtledove makes the series, starting with the Great War, too analogous to OTL history. Granted it's not a carbon copy, and there are some interesting points that deviate from OTL. But I wish he had put a lot more thought into being a bit more original with the development of events.
I'll tell you something that never made sense to me as I read the Great War books. The series establishes that the steel helmet was created, not by Germany, but by the United States. What's the point of changing that? Was it just to give Irving Morrel something to do?

Also, the United States is depicted as being the ones to invent barrels. But for some reason, Turtledove decided that the first barrel in this timeline's history should resemble the A7V. The A7V was a notoriously imperfect machine which had poor off-road capability and a centre of gravity that made it liable to tip over and yet, Turtledove depicts these barrels as being the lynchpin to US victory in the Great War. It would've made more sense for the US to construct the A7V-U, which was a OTL planned German attempt to copy the all-terrain capability of the British tanks.
 
Turtledove makes the series, starting with the Great War, too analogous to OTL history.
I think part of it is the "I have to write something a non-enthusiast target audience would get" factor, and part of it could be rushing out a lot of books for the money, but I also don't think Turtledove is really that good at worldbuilding.
 
One thing I find insulting is Turtledove's portrayal of Mormons where throughout the entire series
while there was a very brief time that the US and Mormons seemed likely to clash in OTL (which basically ended when the Feds decided to just not bother with them), HT certainly carried it to an extreme. It was yet another thing that was set up in HFR... IIRC, Custer treated them rather badly when he moved through UT on his way to confront the Brits further north, setting up the future animosity... kind of a parallel to setting up the hatred for further US/CSA conflict...
 
I'm glad someone else is calling out Dr. Turtledove on this. I got so annoyed at how I was supposed to take that part of the story seriously.

Given that most of the Mormon Troubles in TL-191 were written during the early years of the War against Al-Qaeda in real-life, I think he took too much inspiration from them to the point that he didn't consider the inherent contradictions of being a Mormon terrorist with a death wish. Maybe a few can be like that, but a vast majority of Mormons? Highly unlikely.



It's plausible that a successful secession of the CSA from the USA could have inspired the Mormon community to attempt to create their own nation. Yeah, maybe there would have been hard feelings for a while, but eventually they would have realized that it was just unrealistic to gain independence from the USA. It would have been less of a hassle for everyone involved, Mormon and non-Mormon, to stay in the union.

By the end of the series, I got the impression that the Mormons just rebelled for the sake of rebelling. Real people don't successfully function like that.
Actually, I was thinking of setting secession several years earlier, so a larger CSA could be a more plausibly fight on for three years against the United States.

Definitely drop the Mormon revolt thing, it's just, well, a weird distraction at best.
 
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