Jim Summers
Fictional Character
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): All volumes
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 20th century
Occupation: Delivery driver
Professional Affiliations: Blue Front

Jim[1] Summers was an employee of Blue Front, frequently working with Aaron Finch. Summers was thoroughly bigoted, disdaining communists, Jews, and African-Americans.[2] Ironically, his employer, Herschel Weissman was Jewish. So was Aaron Finch, but Finch did not tell Summers this when they first started working together.[3]

Summers survived the atomic bombing of Los Angeles on March 2, 1951, but his work hours were reduced due to the loss of business. In April, when an order for a refrigerator came by letter from one Mrs. O'Byrnne in Torrance, Weissman happily sent Summers and Finch to deliver it, despite the fact that the rubble of downtown L.A. lay between the Blue Front warehouse in Glendale and the residence in Torrance.[4] Summers wanted to do the driving because he feared Finch would want to cut close to the ruins for a look exposing them to the residual radiation but Weissman insisted otherwise.[5] Finch did drive as close as he could. Their trip, which was circuitous by necessity, brought them close to a refugee camp, a sign that promised that looters would be shot, the rubble of several city landmarks, and the corpse hanging from a lamppost with a placard with the word THIEF around his neck.[6] They arrived at Mrs. O'Byrrne's residence and successfully made their delivery. On their way back, Summers asked that Finch avoid the rubble. Finch agreed. He also commented that Mrs. O'Byrne resembled Katharine Hepburn which Finch didn't see.[7]

As summer progressed, Blue Front continued to get orders every so often, and Finch and Summers delivered, even to locations near ground zero.[8] During one such delivery, Finch and Summers noticed that a colored family down the block from their customer. Summers was disappointed that the bomb hadn't removed most of the "niggers". Their customer was equally horrified. For his part, Finch didn't really agree with them, but was not in a position to argue with them, either.[9]

By September 1951, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy had made his clear his intention to pursue the Republican nomination for President. Summers was a firm supporter, but Finch was not. One day, when Summers made anti-Semitic remarks about Herschel Weissman, and suggested McCarthy would probably do something about the Jews, Finch finally admitted his own ethnicity. Summers was somewhat chastened, and kept his distance from Finch for a time.[10]


  1. See Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in The Hot War
  2. Bombs Away, pg. 35, ebook.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid., pg. 259-260.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 261-263.
  6. Ibid, pgs. 263-264.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 263-265.
  8. Fallout, loc. 662, e-book.
  9. Ibid., loc. 708-723
  10. Ibid., loc. 2922-2959.