Turtledove's "Through Darkest Europe" is breezy read, but not a good one

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Greg Grant, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. ETGalaxy Long live the King of America!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Equatorial Commonwealth
    To be fair, the people on this site wrote for and within a community built around alternate history. When Harry Turtledove wrote TL-191 he was creating an entire alternate scenario for a causual reader and didn't have an AlternateHistory.com (or much internet at all, for that matter, considering that this was the 1990s we are speaking of) that has already spent years determining what is and isn't plausible in alternate history scenarios to conduct research on. Simply put, Harry Turtledove was a pioneer of a small genre, while many of the writers on this website, while undoubtedly talented, were surrounded by experts on alternate history from the very start.
     
  2. Filo Count of Santa Lucia

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Regno di Longobardia, Margraviato di Toscana.
    Ok, but a little bit more of imagination is asking for too much?

    TL-191 is only WWII with name changed.
    In presence of my enemy is the Soviet collapse of '90.
    Dick's the man in the high castle is more imaginative.

    I don't ask for plausibility (I'm prone to suspension of disbelieve), i ask for originality.
    And if you let me add much of his works are boring, you can skip many chapters of TL-191 without lost the sense of book...
    I'm sorry to not like him, but i cannot feel empathy for his works.
     
    Whachamacallit likes this.
  3. Odinson The Thunderer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2018
    Location:
    The Constitutional Monarchy of Virginia
    I thought his Hot War series was relatively original
     
  4. Goldenarchangel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    It seems like another interesting idea wasted on a terrible work . Though this intrigues me I wonder what a plausible version for this would like ?
     
  5. ETGalaxy Long live the King of America!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Equatorial Commonwealth
    I can see where you're coming from, but a timeline does not necessarily have to be original to be intriguing (I mean, a very large quantity of @rvbomally's scenarios are parellism timelines, and, at least in my opinion, they are great). For example, Confederate Nazis isn't necessarily original, however, it sure is an interesting idea. And once again, you have to keep in mind that Harry Turtledove was not writing for an alternate history community and didn't have an already existing community that had rooted out cliches. The casual reader can pick up on references to OTL and would probably be more attracted to something along the lines of TL-191 than a scenario where the CSA fractures into warlords (although I would totally read that :p).

    I do agree that the work of Harry Turtledove may not live up to the standards of this site, but it was not only written to appeal to a completely different audience, but was also written before there really was even an alternate history community to begin with. That's like saying Alexander Graham Bell wasn't that great of an inventor because he didn't make the smartphone on his first try.
     
    Odinson likes this.
  6. ETGalaxy Long live the King of America!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Equatorial Commonwealth
    Is his "The War That Came Early" series good? I recently stumbled across a copy of two of the novels in the saga and the brief description sounded pretty interesting, however, I do not know what the general consensus on this website is.
     
  7. Odinson The Thunderer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2018
    Location:
    The Constitutional Monarchy of Virginia
    I hear the first book is, and the series does seem to be, but I heard it is very improbable. The final book, last orders is actually very good in my opinion.
     
    ETGalaxy likes this.
  8. FanOfHistory Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2018
    It's eh. Not great, but not bad either
     
    ETGalaxy likes this.
  9. Filo Count of Santa Lucia

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Regno di Longobardia, Margraviato di Toscana.
    Ok, but is so necessary follow German Nazi step by step? Pratically he simply switched names ...

    Also if very based on our history, and in some moment absolutely implausible, Videssos cycle, at least try to mix byzantine events with fiction and all the characters are useful for the story.
    I cannot said the same for World War or TL191.

    Meucci invented the telephone ;)
     
  10. ETGalaxy Long live the King of America!

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Location:
    Equatorial Commonwealth
    Once again, that describes plenty of good timelines on this site. To be fair though, whether or not parallelism scenarios are necessarily good is definitely subjective. I don't really mind them, but other people could dislike them.

    Poor character development doesn't really have anything to do with world-building. Harry Turtledove isn't regarded as one of the pioneers of the alternate history genre because of his character development, he is regarded as a pioneer because he was among the first alternate history writers, at least when it comes to the more recent history of the genre.

    That's really not the point.
     
  11. Filo Count of Santa Lucia

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    Regno di Longobardia, Margraviato di Toscana.
    I'm not belittling his role as "pioneer" of alternative history. I'm saying that he is a bad writer or that at least he is too overrated one
    My personal opinion, not the gospel.

    The last sentence of mine was a joke.