Like many authors, Harry Turtledove periodically pays homage to other authors in his work. What follows is a list of such homages which can be found in Turtledove's body of work, organized by the author (or other creator of fiction) whose work is invoked.
Note: As many homages are subtle, they can easily escape the notice of any given reader. Therefore we strongly encourage anyone who has found, or believes he has found, an homage not already on this list, or by an author not represented, to add it.
Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film.
One of the continuing themes in the Hitchhiker's Guide was the number "42" which was the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything" and the different characters searching for "The Question" this was the answer to. In Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy the Omniscient Narrator first describes that there are any number of space drives and then corrects himself and says that there are forty-two, an allusion to Adam's work.
Scott AdamsEditScott Adams is the syndicated cartoonist who created the comic strip Dilbert and its eponymous character. Dilbert became something of a cultural icon starting in the mid-1990s and was heavily marketed in many ways, including on T-shirts.
Poul AndersonEditPoul Anderson was a prolific American author of science fiction and fantasy in the mid-twentieth century. He died in 2001.
In 2004, Turtledove and Noreen Doyle edited the anthology The Horse of Bronze. The final story in the anthology was an original, previously unpublished story by the late Anderson, "The Bog Sword." Turtledove wrote a short essay prefacing the piece in which he praised Anderson as "one of the great heroes of the golden age [of science fiction]."
See Also: Turtledove's Literary Influences
In addition, the style of Turtledove's The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump was influenced by Anderson's Operation Chaos. Both novels are fantasies that take place in a recognizable present-day world where magic works and is treated like technology is in our own and where social institutions are geared to regulate and control its use.
Isaac AsimovEditIsaac Asimov has long been considered one of the giants of the field of science fiction writing. Harry Turtledove has both been inspired by and contributed to the works of Asimov.
Turtledove contributed the story "Trantor Falls" to the 1989 anthology Foundation's Friends: Stories in Honor of Isaac Asimov. Today, the list of contributors to Foundation's Friends reads as something of a Who's Who of turn-of-the-millennium science fiction's most successful and influential science fiction writers. The Asimov estate considers all stories which can be integrated into the Foundation series, including "Trantor Falls," to be part of that series's canon.
Turtledove's first published novel, Wereblood, and its sequels, which make up the Elabon series, share some themes with the first half of Asimov's Foundation trilogy as well as the classic standalone novella "Nightfall." The title of the series's final novel, Fox and Empire, is a clear homage to the middle book of the original Foundation trilogy, Foundation and Empire. Foundation and Empire consists of two novellas, "The Dead Hand" (or "The General") and "The Mule." The conflict which gives rise to Fox and Empire's premise is quite close to that of "The Dead Hand."
In "Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy," most citizens of the Galactic Empire consider Earth to be "the most insignificant planet in the galaxy." In Asimov's first published novel, Pebble in the Sky, the same concept, even the same phrasing, is attached to Earth by the majority of citizens of a very different Galactic Empire.
Asimov himself wrote the forewords for the anthologies A Different Flesh and Agent of Byzantium. The latter introduction took the form of a memorable essay titled "The Ifs of History," in which he shared his musings on alternate history, which was at the time a rather novel genre.
See Also: Turtledove's Literary Influences
William Averell wrote An Exhortacion to als English Subjects, several lines of which were borrowed by Turtledove to pad out the script of the fictional Shakespearean play Boudicca in Ruled Britannia. As Exhortacion had been written in prose, Turtledove rewrote the borrowed lines in iambic pentameter himself.
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American businessman and entertainer, perhaps remembered for cofounding the largest and most successful circus (Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey). He also left a number of memorable quotes. One of them, "There's a sucker born every minute," is alluded to in The War That Came Early.
L Frank BaumEditAside from Baum himself actually appearing as a character in Walk in Hell, L. Frank Baum's children's novel Queen Zixi of the Ix is featured in The Victorious Opposition.
A screening of the film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz is the setting of the last date of Pete McGill and Vera Kuznetsova. The film is interrupted by a terror attack by the Chinese Communist Party, which kills Kuznetsova.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. The group's best-known lineup consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals).
"I'm back in the USSR / You don't know how lucky you are, boy."
and changing them to reflect the casualties the Soviet Air Force suffered to read:
"Back in the USSR. Sergei Yaroslavsky didn't realize how lucky he was ..."
Samuel BeckettEditSamuel Beckett was the author of the play Waiting for Godot. The short story "We Haven't Got There Yet" ends with its protagonist, William Shakespeare, about to attend a performance of Waiting for Godot, wondering who Godot is and who might be waiting for him.
The Devil's Dictionary's definition of Manicheism also provided the inspiration for the novel The Victorious Opposition. The definition is quoted in the novel's front matter.Bierce is also referenced in passing in "The Scarlet Band".
Edgar Rice BurroughsEditEdgar Rice Burroughs was one of the founding fathers of science fiction. Writing around the turn of the twentieth century, his most memorable creations include the stories of Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars.
Turtledove has used the latter to name characters twice. In Advance and Retreat, the historical Confederate officer John C Carter's alter ego is John of Barsoom (Barsoom having been the local name for the planet Mars in Burroughs's story). In In at the Death, the character Jack Carter is originally introduced as "Carter of Tarkas Estate, or maybe it's the other way around." Tars Tarkas was the name of one of Carter's staunchest Martian allies in the early John Carter of Mars stories.
In Days of Infamy, Jim Peterson suggests to a major that Tarzan of the Apes would have difficulty with the Hawaiian terrain. The major turns out to be a Burroughs fanatic, and pontificates upon whether Tarzan could or couldn't before invoking John Carter and Carson of Venus.
Lyon Sprague de CampEditL. Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. Turtledove's interest in writing alternate history was sparked by de Camp's novel, Lest Darkness Fall.
In 1999, Turtledove wrote "The Pugnacious Peacemaker," a sequel to de Camp's Wheels of If which was published in Down in the Bottomlands and Other Places. In 2005, Turtledove edited a volume of short stories called The Enchanter Completed, which celebrated de Camp's writing. Turtledove's own contribution was "The Haunted Bicuspid".
See Also: Turtledove's Literary Influences
John W CampbellEdit
John W Campbell was the long time editor of Astounding (later Analog) science fiction magazine. While Campbell died in 1971, before Turtledove's writing career had begun, he did base Jim McGregor, editor of the pulp magazine Astonishing in the short story "Hindsight," on Campbell.
Dale Carnegie was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of the first self-help books. The book has been in print continuously since its original publication in 1936, and has sold well over 15 million copies worldwide.
After learning of the death of Winston Churchill in The Big Switch, Samuel Goldman attempts, without much success, to calm his nerves by reading a selection from the prolific Roman historian Dio Cassius in the original Greek.
In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, we learn that the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, much like William Shakespeare, are studied in much greater detail in Germany than in Britain. Susanna Weiss teaches, debates, and studies a variety of Chaucer pieces throughout the novel.
Tom Corbett, Space CadetEdit
Tom Corbett was the main character in a series of Tom Corbett — Space Cadet stories that were depicted in television, radio, books, comic books, comic strips, coloring books, punch-out books and View-Master reels in the 1950s. Harry Turtledove attended LACon IV, the 2006 Worldcon which would have had Frankie Thomas, Jr. the actor who portrayed Corbett as a guest. This event had Mike Resnick commission a series of space cadet stories for an anthology and led Turtledove to write "Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy" as a parody of the show.
This film features in the short story "The Barbecue, the Movie, & Other Unfortunately Not So Relevant Material." In the story, the movie, which is imperfectly faithful to known details of Khan's biography, is viewed by a historian from the distant future, which presumably will lead to inaccurate knowledge of Khan's life in the historian's time.
Dante AlighieriEditDante Alighieri and his most famous work, Inferno, serve as the basis of a homework assignment in The Gladiator.
Arthur Conan DoyleEditTurtledove wrote a pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes in the short story "The Scarlet Band". Sherlock Holmes becomes Athelstan Helms, Dr. John Watson becomes James Walton, and Inspector Lestrade becomes La Strada. In an unusual move for Turtledove, this pastiche is actually part of the Atlantis timeline, rather than being a stand-alone work.
Finley Peter DunneEdit
Turtledove has frequently referenced an axiom of Finley Peter Dunne's: "Trust everybody, but always cut the cards."
Sherman EdwardsEditSherman Edwards wrote the music and lyrics for the musical comedy 1776. The book was written by Peter Stone. The play tells the story of the efforts of a small group of Founding Fathers, specifically Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and especially John Adams to convince their colleagues in the Continental Congress to declare the thirteen rebellious British colonies they represent to be an independent nation, the United States of America.
In the play's first scenes, Adams is portrayed as being engaged in a lonely battle to convince a hostile Congress of the necessity of declaring independence. In the show's opening number, Adams harrangues his colleagues to "Vote for Independency!" but they interrupt their debate over whether to open the windows of Liberty Hall just long enough to tell him repeatedly "For God's sake, John, sit down!"
The play is invoked in Advance and Retreat. Turtledove portrays a sorcerous analog of the American Civil War Battle of Franklin, at which half a dozen Confederate generals were killed in action, including a brigade commander named John Adams (no relation to President Adams). Turtledove creates a number of punnily-named characters to stand in for the unfortunate rebel leaders. Adams's analog is named For Gods' Sake John, an homage to Edwards's play.
Thomas Stearns "T. S." Eliot (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a playwright, literary critic, and an important English-language poet of the 20th century. Perhaps his most famous lines end his poem The Hollow Men:
- This is the way the world ends
- Not with a bang but a whimper.
Kelly Birnbaum thought Eliot's lines missed the mark while experiencing a series 7.0 earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park the night before the supervolcano erupted. She anticipated that would end her world with quite the bang.
William FaulknerEditIn the short story "Eyewear", Esperanza quotes William Faulkner's observation that "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past" to illustrate the fludity of time and time-travel. Esperanza initially believes that Faulkner didn't know the first thing about time travel, but then, upon reflection, allows for the possibility that Faulkner did.
John Fletcher was a younger contemporary of William Shakespeare and is widely believed, though not known, to have collaborated with the Bard on several of his final plays (namely Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Cardenio).
Fletcher wrote the play Bonduca, which tells the story of Boudicca. Most of the lines found in the fictional Shakespearean play Boudicca are taken from Bonduca; however, the play itself bears only a distant resemblance to the play Turtledove invented for Ruled Britannia.
Also, lines are lifted from Shakespeare's Henry VIII to pad out both Boudicca and King Philip; as stated above, bardolaters have long suspected that Fletcher had a hand in Henry VIII.
In In at the Death, CS Forrester appears to have been fused with Patrick O'Brian to create the fictional author CS O'Brian, whose name is obviously a portmanteau of the two historical authors' names. CS O'Brian was marked for writing novels about naval warfare in the early nineteenth century, which was also the claim to fame of both CS Forrester and Patrick O'Brian.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheEdit
German soldiers in Hitler's War reference the most famous line from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play Goetz von Berlichingen: "mich im Arsche lecken!" This translates into English as more or less "Lick my ass!"
The world depicted in The Valley-Westside War has been so devastated by nuclear war that the surviving civilizations have conflated fact and fiction rather freely. For example, the historical figure Annie Oakley is conflated with the central hero of Harold Gray's popular comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie". Further, we learn that Little Orphan Annie Oakley was an outlaw partner of Jesse James's, and escaped punishment by marrying Judge (not Daddy) Warbucks.
The fact that musicals were written about both Annies probably didn't help.
Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard lamented that "Some mute inglorious Milton" rested there. Nearly two centuries later, H.L. Mencken's answered Gray with the assertion that "There are no mute, inglorious Miltons, save in the imaginations of poets. The one sound test of a Milton is that he functions as a Milton." Gray's Elegy and Mencken's response serve as the thematic foundation of "The House That George Built".
Matt GroeningEditMatt Groening is the creator of the successful cartoon The Simpsons. Simpson was also the middle name of General Ulysses S. Grant. In the War Between the Provinces Series, a Grant analog is a major character. The character is named Bart in honor of Bart Simpson.
(Grant's first name, Ulysses, is the Latinized version of Odysseus, who was of course immortalized in Homer's Odyssey. However, Turtledove has not pursued a pun based on Homer Simpson.)
Christopher Guest is most widely known for having written, directed and starred in several improvisational "mockumentary" films that feature a repertory-like ensemble cast. The first of these, This Is Spinal Tap, had Guest playing Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of the band whose amplifier control knobs all have the highest setting of eleven. When Yellowstone National Park was hit by a series of magnitude 7.0 earthquakes just before the supervolcano erupted, Kelly Birnbaum wondered what an full eruption would feel like and thought "goes up to eleven, man" in a direct reference to Spinal Tap.
Dashiell HammettEditDashiell Hammett was the author of The Maltese Falcon, of which Turtledove's short story "The Maltese Elephant" is a pastiche.
In the Southern Victory universe, Hammett himself may have titled the work The Maltese Elephant. At any rate, a film by that name was produced in the United States some time in the late 1930s or early 1940s.
Robert A. HeinleinEditRobert A. Heinlein was an American science fiction writer in the twentieth century and is often called "the Dean of Science Fiction". As Turtledove states in his essay "Thank You" in Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master that Heinlein was his inspiration to persist in becoming a professional fiction writer.
Turtledove also had Heinlein appear or referenced in a number of his works. Heinlein was a minor character in the Worldwar series. He was referenced by Jennifer Logan in the far future science fiction novel Earthgrip and his story "The Man Who Sold the Moon" provides Logan with a solution to her difficulties in 6+. Michelle Gordian plagiarized Heinlein's "All You Zombies" in "Hindsight." Admiral Anson MacDonald is a thinly disguised Heinlein in "The Last Word" with the plot of the story taken from Heinlein's Sixth Column.
Turtledove's inclusion of Luna among the nations participating in the Sixty-sixth Winter Games in "Les Mortes d'Arthur" may or may not have been an homage to Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. That novel does end with the establishment of an independent nation-state on the Moon known as Luna, but no details are povided that would let us judge whether Turtledove's Luna resembles Heinlein's. The idea of a lunar nation by itself is quite generic in science fiction, as is the name Luna.
See Also: Turtledove's Literary Influences
Ernest HemingwayEditErnest Hemingway is featured as a character in several Southern Victory novels, though his full name is never given. Both his spoken dialogue and his written words invoke Hemingway's famous, distinctive writing style of short, clipped sentences.
Turtledove's 2013 short story "Running of the Bulls" is a pastiche of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises]]. Naturally, Turtledove's work involves more fantasy elements than Hemingway's.
Herodotus of HalicarnassusEdit
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria (modern day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (circa 484 – 425 BC). He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid narrative.
From his Histories, Harry Turtledove quoted "When Darius was king, he summoned the Greeks who were with him and asked them for what price they would eat their fathers' dead bodies. They answered that they wouldn’t do it for any amount of money. Then Darius summoned those Indians who are called Callatiae, who eat their parents, and asked them (the Greeks being present and understanding through interpreters what was said) what would make them willing to burn their fathers at death. The Indians cried aloud, that he should not speak of so horrible an act. So firmly rooted are these beliefs; and it is, I think, rightly said in Pindar's poem that custom is king of all." Turtledove used this as the title of a short story foreshadowing the twist ending and cited the quote in his introduction.
John Bell HoodEditConfederate General John Bell Hood was the author of Advance and Retreat, his memoirs, in which he sought to defend his most controversial command decisions in the American Civil War.
Turtledove's novel Advance and Retreat--the final book of the War Between the Provinces trilogy, which fantastically reimagines the Civil War--covers many of those controversial decisions by Hood's Detinan alter ego, Bell. Turtledove acknowledges the same title in the "Hysterical Note" at the end of the novel. There he insists that the identical titles are purely coincidental. However, he is very obviously being tongue-in-cheek at that point.
Anthony Hope was the author of the 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda, which tells the tale of a commoner being mistaken for a king. The book was adapted into a film in 1913--the same year that German acrobat Otto Witte popularized his fanciful tale of having briefly reigned as King of Albania. Skeptics of Witte's unconvincing if amusing story pointed out that large parts of it seemed to have been lifted from that film.
Witte's story, in turn, provides the basis for Turtledove's novel Every Inch a King.
Robert HowardEditRobert E. Howard was a prolific American writer of short stories despite dying at the age of 30. Turtledove is a known fan of Howard's work.
Conan of Venarium is a pastche of Howard's best-known creation, Conan the Cimmeranian.
"The Boring Beast" is a reverent parody of Howard's fantasy.
In The Center Cannot Hold, Jeff Pinkard reads a short story about aerial combat in the Great War from a pulp magazine. Though the author's name is not given, context clues imply that it is a Howard story.
See Also: Turtledove's Literary Influences
Victor HugoEditIn The Big Switch, Luc Harcourt is confronted with a character whom he suspects is seriously considering attempting a mutiny. Harcourt warns Boileau that mutinying, disobeying orders, and inciting his comrades-in-arms to mutiny are all capital offenses under the French code of military justice. Boileau, a communist, attempts to harrangue Harcourt, whom he judges to come from a proletarian background, to join him in mutiny if it were to come to that, ending his appeal by saying "To the barricades!" and pumping his fist in the air. Harcourt tells him to stop trying to sound like Victor Hugo, presumably in reference to his novel Les Miserables, in which several protagonists became involved in the June Rebellion of 1832.
Jerome K. JeromeEdit
In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Susanna Weiss agrees with Jerome K. Jerome's view of Richard Wagner: A lone, lorn woman stands upon a stage trying to make herself heard. One hundred forty men, all armed with powerful instruments, well-organized, and most of them looking well-fed, combine to make it impossible for a single note of that poor woman's voice to be heard above their din.
In West and East, Peggy Druce agrees with Jerome's assessment of German political culture, as laid out in Three Men on the Bummel. She is chilled by how accurately Jerome seemed to have predicted the disaster which would befall Germany upon the ascension of the Nazis and wondered if he had a crystal ball or H. G. Wells's Time Machine.
Norton JusterEditNorton Juster wrote the classic children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. Turtledove's short story "The Phantom Tolbukhin" is obviously a pun of that book. In fact, Turtledove has stated that the idea for the pun served as his inspiration for writing a story about Fedor Tolbukhin.
Ring Lardner (1885-1933) was a sports columnist and fiction writer, known for, among other things, a series of epistolary fictional works written featuring bush-league baseball player Jack Keefe between 1916 and 1925. Each work sees Keefe writing a series of letters to his friend Al back home.
Harry Turtledove's short story "Batboy" is an admitted pastiche of Lardner's works.
Gaston LerouxEditGaston Leroux was the author of Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, a French novel originally published serially in 1909 and 1910. The first English translation was published in 1911 as The Phantom of the Opera.
The Phantom of the Opera has been adapted to performances on both stage and screen many times. The first, and widely considered the best, film adaptation was a 1925 silent film starring Lon Chaney as the Phantom.
Whether the TL-191 version of Leroux has any relation to this film is unknown. However, the title clearly pays homage to the story which was originally Leroux's.
Richard Levinson and William LinkEditRichard Levinson and William Link were a pair of mid-20th century American television writers. They created, among other programs, the crime drama Columbo, and correspondingly created the title character as well. This character provided the inspiration for the character Garanpo in Homeward Bound. Also, a TV Reporter in Supervolcano: Eruption mispronounces the name of Maria Peterfalvy as "Mrs. Peterfalk" , an allusion to Peter Falk the actor who played Columbo.
Abraham LincolnEditAbraham Lincoln, who has been featured as a character in a number of Turtledove stories, is of course best remembered as the greatest President of the United States. He was also a poet. His 1846 poem "My Childhood Home I See Again," which includes the line "Where many were, how few remain of old familiar things!" provided the title for How Few Remain. Three stanzas of this poem are excerpted in the book's front matter.
Jack LondonEditJack London and his novel, The Iron Heel, are discussed in The Gladiator. One of the protagonists of the novel, Gianfranco Mazzilli, prefers London's short stories.
Thomas MalloryEditThomas Mallory wrote Le Morte d'Arthur, considered the definitive collection of the classical Arthurian legends. The title of Turtledove's short story "Les Mortes d'Arthur" is obviously inspired by Mallory's work, but beyond that the one does not resemble the other in any way.
Turtledove's story "A Massachusetts Yankee in King Arthur's Court" makes use of rather more elements of Mallory's work.
Christopher MarloweEditChristopher Marlowe is a major character in Ruled Britannia. He is seen as both a friend and rival of William Shakespeare as well as a coconspirator in the book's main plot point, the plot to restore Elizabeth I of England to the throne.
Marlowe, who lived several years longer in this timeline than in OTL, is on some level resentful of Shakespeare's having eclipsed his fame as London's greatest playwright. This theme is brought up several times throughout the novel. Marlowe is seen as particularly jealous of Hamlet, which he believed to have outclassed anything in his own canon and which set him on a mission to write a greater play still--the result being a ficticious play about the legendary doomed lovers Tristan and Isolde, of ancient British lore. He appears to have failed to have one-upped Hamlet with the play.
Marlowe's literary influence is felt in the novel. At one point a bit player unintentionally identifies Marlowe to Lope de Vega by mentioning that a fleeing man had made an unusual comment--which, on being recited verbatim, is in fact a lengthy excerpt from Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. (A line from the same excerpt is invoked by Peggy Druce under very different circumstances in West and East; however, Peggy is unable to recall the author who wrote it. Likewise Vanessa Ferguson recalls the line but not the author after the supervolcano erupts covering Denver in ash.)
Marlowe is also mentioned, posthumously, in "We Haven't Got There Yet." Shakespeare is reminded of "poor dead Kit" when a performance of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead makes him think that even Dr Faustus's situation was better than that of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Faustus chose damnation; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were predestined for it, because they were at the mercy of an author who was pleased to make them too dim and dull to avoid it.
H.L. MenckenEditH.L. Mencken is the POV character of the alternate history short story "The House That George Built". Mencken listens to George Ruth's lamentations on several hey misfortunes over the course of his life. Ruth firmly believes that, if things had gone differently, he could have been a major league baseball star. Mencken's belief that great people become great no matter what does not allow him to countinence the idea that an also-ran like Ruth could have been anything but an also-ran.
In West and East, Mike Carroll of the Lincoln Brigade is fond of Mencken despite Mencken's being politically incorrect for a Communist. Carroll quotes Mencken to Chaim Weinberg: "I detest converts almost as much as I do missionaries."
In Coup d'Etat, another quote is cited, this time by Herb Druce: "No one in the world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."
In The Two Georges, protagonist Thomas Bushell realizes that recovering the titular painting has become his "great, grey whale" in the famous novel. This is a reference to Herman Melville's eponymous white whale, Moby-dick.
John MiltonEditIn The Grapple, Ophelia Clemens quotes the final line of John Milton's Sonnet XIX for Abner Dowling's benefit:
- "They also serve who only stand and wait."
Dowling mistakes the quote for a Shakesearean line.
Thomas Gray invoked Milton in his Elegy in a Country Courtyard, claiming that "some mute, inglorious Milton" rested there. H.L. Mencken dismissed this idea, believing that anyone of Milton's native ability could not help but find artistic expression. In Turtledove's "The House That George Built," Mencken used this belief to dismiss Babe Ruth's insistence that he had the talent to make himself a giant in the game of baseball, but for certain unlucky breaks in his youth.
Margaret MitchellEditMargaret Mitchell is best known as the author of Gone with the Wind, a novel which was adapted to the most successful movie of all time. Turtledove has invoked elements of Gone with the Wind repeatedly.
In Marching Through Peachtree, he has two characters play out a scene in Marthasville which is reminiscent of Scarlett O'Hara's flight from fallen Atlanta to Tara. One of the characters is named Thert the Butler.
In In at the Death, a Confederate civilian leader named Clark Butler makes a cameo. Butler's physical description matches that of Clark Gable, who, of course, played Rhett Butler in the film. Irving Morrell, whom Butler petitions with grievances on behalf of the white population of Atlanta, dismisses Butler's concerns with the sentence "Frankly, Butler, I don't give a damn." (This is, of course, a reference to what is perhaps the most famous line in either the novel or the film, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." In Marcing Through Peachtree, Thert the Butler also begins to quote or paraphrase this line but is interrupted.)
In "The Scarlet Band", Sherlock Holmes stand-in Athelstan Helms and the ersatz Doctor John Watson, James Walton, begin a discussion about scientific discovery and its impact on theology. When Helms wonders if humanity is in a "parlous state" because of reaons or despite reason, Walton suggests Helms consult Friedrich Nietzsche, who'd written works on that question.
Dudley NicholsEditDudley Nichols wrote the screenplay of The Bells of St. Mary's, which features in The Man With the Iron Heart.
In In at the Death, Patrick O'Brian appears to have been fused with CS Forrester to create the fictional author CS O'Brian, whose name is obviously a portmanteau of the two historical authors' names. CS O'Brian was marked for writing novels about naval warfare in the early nineteenth century, which was also the claim to fame of both CS Forrester and Patrick O'Brian.
George OrwellEditGeorge Orwell, who plays a small role in the Worldwar series, was the author of the novel 1984. 1984 has been featured by Turtledove in both "Hindsight," in which it was used as a yardstick to measure the impact of Mark Gordian's Watergate, and The Gladiator, in which it is required reading in school systems throughout the Soviet Union's sphere of influence--that is to say, everywhere.
In Turtledove's The War That Came Early, Orwell may be making an anonymous appearance as a tall, pale, skinny fellow with a dark mustache and hair.
Wilfred Owen's poem "Mental Cases" provides the title for Walk in Hell. The verse of the poem which contains the phrase (in the line "Surely we have perished sleeping/And walk in hell; but who these hellish?") is excerpted in the book's front matter.
In In High Places Turtledove depicts a world where a new martyred Savior overshadows Jesus, and his followers use a "sign of the wheel". This idea may reference Pangborn's book Davy, about a theocratic movement following a nuclear war.
Edgar Allan PoeEditSeveral of the short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe are alluded to in Turtledove's short story "The Haunted Bicuspid". The primary character, William Legrand, receives a tooth implant. Legrand is named for a primary character in Poe's "The Gold Bug". The tooth is haunted, and causes Legrand nightmares, all of which are based upon one or another of Poe's works. Turtledove even broadly hints that the original owner of the haunted tooth is Poe himself, dead for several years by the time of the story's setting.
François RabelaisEditIn The United States of Atlantis, Victor Radcliff and Custis Cawthorne prove to each other how smart they each are by quoting extensively from the works of François Rabelais.
Robert RodatEditRobert Rodat was the screenwriter for the World War II film Saving Private Ryan. Homage is paid to this movie in Homeward Bound when a number of characters watch a movie about the Race Invasion of Tosev 3 called Rescuing Private Renfall.
Coincidentally, Homeward Bound also features a cameo appearance by Matt Damon, who played the title character in Saving Private Ryan.
Gene RoddenberryEditGene Roddenberry was the original creator of the successful science fiction franchise Star Trek. Among the original characters Roddenberry created for this franchise is Nyota Uhura, who was played by Nichelle Nicholls from 1966 to 1991. In Homeward Bound, a character matching Uhura's description is given the name Nicole Nicholls.
Also, the Starfleet to which most Star Trek protagonists belong has a set of protocols for establishing relations with alien species which are referred to as First Contact procedures. First Contact was even the title of a feature length Star Trek film detailing, among other things, the first visit to Earth by an extraterrestrial species. The title of the novel Second Contact may be an invocation of this.
Will RogersEditThe fate of journalist Will Rogers in the Southern Victory timeline is alluded to in The Victorious Opposition when one of his signature catchphrases is seen as a popular quotation throughout North America: "All I know is what I read in the papers."
Ron Rubin is credited as the author of the following limerick:
"'I'm glad pigs can't fly,' said young Sellers/ (He's one of those worrying fellas)/ 'For, if they could fly,/ They'd shit in the sky/ And we'd all have to carry umbrellas!'"
From time to time, Turtledove has had characters echo young Sellers's earthy concern.
Shota Rustaveli was a Georgian poet who lived during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Within the Georgian language, he is seen as a literary giant, holding a status equal to Leonid Tolstoy's in the Russian or even William Shakespeare's in the English. However, very little is known of his life; large parts of his biography come from dubious legends.
Turtledove named a Georgian character in A World of Difference after Rustaveli. Except for the name and nationality, the character shares almost no traits with the medieval writer. Turtledove's Rustaveli is certainly not a poet, though he does at one point discuss poetry with his comrade, Yuri Voroshilov, who does write original verse.
JD SalingerEditJD Salinger was the author of Catcher in the Rye. Turtledove's short story "The Catcher in the Rhine" is a pastiche of this novel, with a thinly disguised Holden Caulfield wandering into the Nibelungenlied.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote under the name Dr Seuss, is among the most loved children's authors of all time in the English-speaking world. Among his most famous works is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a Christmas story set in the whimsical town of Whoville.In The United States of Atlantis, Turtledove writes of a small town in Atlantis called Hooville. Ostensibly, it was named for Sir Thomas Hoo, though even the town's residents have forgotten this fact by the eighteenth century. Given Turtledove's penchant for puns (and the fact that United States of Atlantis was released during the holiday season) it is reasonable to suggest that this is meant to be an allusion to Dr Seuss.
Main Article: Shakespearean Allusions in Turtledove's Work
Donald Sobol is the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series, which appears to have inspired Turtledove's approach to mystery writing. See Talk:The Scarlet Band for elaboration.
In Coup d'Etat, Sarah Goldman reflects that her husband and his parents, with their relative lack of intellectual curiosity, conformed with the people Socrates referred to in the Apology when he said "The unexamined life is not worth living."
Theodore SorensonEditTheodore Sorenson was the main speechwriter in the Kennedy Administration. Sorenson wrote the President's celebrated inaugural address, including the famous line "Let the word go forth, from this time and place, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."
Turtledove paraphrased that line and the few sentences that followed for Upton Sinclair's acceptance speech on the night of the 1920 Presidential election, which he won. Kennedy was the first President of the United States in OTL to be born in the twentieth century; Sinclair was the first President in TL-191 to be born after the War of Secession, and thus had a claim comparable to Kennedy's of being the first President of a new generation. Also, both OTL Kennedy and TL-191 Sinclair broke records for being the youngest man ever elected to the office.
Steven Spielberg is a prolific and innovative director and producer of films. This includes his 1993 adaptation of the novel Jurassic Park. In "Before the Beginning", we learn that time-viewer videos of raptor behavior in Utah were more exciting than Spielberg's film.
Tom StoppardEditTom Stoppard is the author of, among other things, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. A performance of this play is the central plot device of the short story "We Haven't Got There Yet," the title of which is taken from a line of the play's dialogue.
Stoppard returned to the bardolatrous scene in 1998 when he and Marc Norman wrote the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love. One scene of that movie shows Shakespeare working on a draft of a play tentatively titled Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Turtledove's 2007 novella "Avalon" includes a memorable character who is both named Ethel and a pirate's daughter.
Harriet Beecher StoweEditHarriet Beecher Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, whose fate in the Southern Victory timeline is outlined in The Grapple.
Julius StreicherEditJulius Streicher was a Nazi journalist who founded the Nazi news organ Der Stürmer. He also wrote three children's books about the evil ways of Jews, which Nazi educators used to brainwash children into accepting Hitler's racist ideology from a very young age. Of course, these hate-filled storybooks fell out of fashion with VE Day in OTL. In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, however, the survival and victory of the Nazi Party allowed Streicher's thomes not only to survive but to attain the status of literary classics.
JRR TolkeinEditJRR Tolkein was the author of The Lord of the Rings series, which features in The Valley-Westside War.
Furthermore, Turtledove's early career as a fantasy writer was heavily influenced by Tolkein. A first draft of what would become the Videssos series was originally written as Lord of the Rings fanfic.
During the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano, Kelly Birnbaum is frequently reminded of the closing chapters of The Return of the King, particularly the descriptions of series villain Sauron and his domain, which is volcanic itself. When the rescue helicopters arrive, she thinks of the arrival of the eagles to save Frodo and Sam.
"After the Last Elf is Dead" is directly inspired by Tolkein, positing a world where an evil demonic entity defeats the forces of good.
In the Atlantis timeline, the plant which OTL knows as tobacco is referred to as "pipeweed." This is also the name by which tobacco is called in Lord of the Rings. As this trivia was widely popularized by the Lord of the Rings movies just a few years before Turtledove began work on the Atlantis series, this is very likely a direct homage.
See Also: Turtledove's Literary InfluencesSamuel Clemens, is a POV character in Turtledove's How Few Remain. Turtledove casts Clemens as a newspaper editor in San Francisco. Both Clemens's editorials and his dialogue make use of occasional cribs from Twain's body of writing, and, though he did not obtain the same level of fame and immortality that he did in OTL, he is remembered fondly decades after his death, as late as the Second Great War.
Additionally, the title of Turtledove's short story "A Massachusetts Yankee in King Arthur's Court" was inspired by Twain's classic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
The latter was perhaps the original historical novel narrated by a time traveller, a subgenre of science fiction to which Turtledove has contributed The Guns of the South and several short stories.
The Universal MonstersEdit
Turtledove has invoked directly or indirectly several of the monster movies produced by Universal Studios. Bela Lugosi and his famous alter ego Dracula are referenced several times throughout the The War That Came Early. In "Shtetl Days", Veit Harlan has an epiphany after watching Frankenstein. Lon Chaney's turn as The Phantom of the Opera is referenced directly in The Man With the Iron Heart and indirectly in Southern Victory (see Gaston Leroux, above).
While many of these films were based on novels, Turtledove's characters appear far more familiar with the film versions.
Lope de VegaEditLope de Vega is one of the main characters in Ruled Britannia. During the course of the novel, he is seen working on two plays, El Mejor Mozo de España, which is performed live at one point in the book, and La Dama Boba. Of the two, the former is a ficticious play (meaning that the historical de Vega wrote no such play, not that it is a work of fiction) and the latter is a play which the real de Vega wrote in OTL. Or at least, he wrote a play by that title; since only a few lines are quoted from it, one cannot say to what extent if any it was changed by de Vega's different circumstances in the alternate history.
At one point, de Vega, who is a fluent though not a native speaker of English, contributes one line to William Shakespeare's ficticious play King Philip. Actually, de Vega contributes four iambs in English, and Shakespeare is inspired to create the fifth and add the line to the existing script.
Voltaire is also a contemporary of the Atlantean War of Independence in The United States of Atlantis, and is quoted at one point by Custis Cawthorne. He is also held in high regard in the Nazi Germany found in "Shtetl Days".
In The Guns of the South, Andries Rhoodie asks General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate chances of victory. Lee replies that while the North outweighs the South, they have managed to outfight them and, God willing, they would continue to do so. Rhoodie replies with Voltaire's "God is on the side of the big battalions" and then proceeds with his sales pitch on the AK-47's superior rate of fire countering the North's advantage of numbers..German opera writer Richard Wagner's drew on the epic poem, the Nibelungenlied, when he composed his ownmagnum opus, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Turtledove also makes use of characters and settings of Nibelungenlied in "The Catcher in the Rhine," although whether or not he was going from the original poem or Wagner's later work is probably academic. It is also very obliquely referred to by Pete McGill in Coup d'Etat.
In the Southern Victory novel American Front, Confederate art afficionado Alfred Forbes derisively dismisses the idea that the United States could be capable of any real cultural refinement. He suggests that the only foreign art that Americans import is German opera, and proceeds to give a decidedly un-complimentary stereotype of a generic scene from Der Ring des Nibelungen.
In In the Presence of Mine Enemies, we finally encounter someone who remembers Wagner fondly: the Nazis. Wagner is held up as an example of an Aryan creative cultural force, and is celebrated in official cultural circles. Among those outside those circles, such as Susanna Weiss, Wagner is despised--though as a Jew, Weiss certainly has reason to object to the Nazis' pretense of the Aryans being the only creators of valid culture, a pretense which the Nazis used Wagner to advance. Perhaps her view of Wagner is shaded by this dynamic.
In West and East, Peggy Druce and Constantine Jenkins attend a performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser. Like non-Nazis in other Turtledove works, they are unimpressed by Wagner, but find this particular opera relatively inoffensive.
(It's probably the case that Turtledove is sharing his own opinions about Wagner in these scenes.)
Also, when Kelly Birnbaum (Jewish as well) is awaiting a desperate helicopter rescue in Yellowstone National Park before the supervolcano can erupt, she thinks of Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries" from Apocalypse Now! and is half disappointed when she didn't hear his "fierce, churning music" play in real life.
William Boyd Watterson II (born July 5, 1958), known as Bill Watterson, is an American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. His career as a syndicated cartoonist ran from 1985 to 1995; he stopped drawing Calvin and Hobbes at the end of 1995 with a short statement to newspaper editors and his readers that he felt he had achieved all he could in the comic strip medium.
When Rob Ferguson was complaining about being stuck in New England during an early winter after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, Justin Nachman reminded him that his father had warned it was going to go kablooie just like Hamster Hughie, a fictional children's book from Calvin and Hobbes.
Stanley G. WeinbaumEdit
In The Big Switch, American tourist Peggy Druce is stranded in Sweden. She thinks about how cold it is, which turns her mind to the Gulf Stream, without which, Sweden would be uninhabitably cold. She remembers reading a science fiction story posthulating a world without a Gulf Stream. While she can't remember Stanley G. Weinbaum's name, she does remember he was Jewish.
H.G. Wells's classic, The War of the Worlds, is referenced on a few occasions in the Worldwar series. In Second Contact, Glen Johnson is rereading it and reflects that Wells's Martians would have been much easier to beat than the Race.
Well's The Time Machine is referenced in Supervolcano. Rob Ferguson compares the summer people and townies in Bar Harbor, Maine to the Eloi and Morlocks from the novel. Also, in the Southern Victory series, while Clarence Potter couldn't remember Wells' name, he wished he had a Time Machine as depicted in the story.
William Butler YeatsEditThe titles of the novels The Center Cannot Hold (the sixth Southern Victory book) and Things Fall Apart (the third Supervolcano book) are each taken from a line of William Butler Yeats's poem "The Second Coming:"
- Turning and turning in the widening gyre.
- The falcon cannot hear the falconer's cry.
- Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
- Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
- The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere,
- The ceremony of innocence is drowned.
- The best lack all conviction, while the worst
- Are filled with passionate intensity.
Unlike Abraham Lincoln, Wilfred Owen, and Ambrose Bierce (see above), Yeats's work is not excerpted in the front matter of The Center Cannot Hold.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat ch 13
- ↑ The Big Switch ch 14
- ↑ Hitler's War, pg 91.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat ch 7
- ↑ The Big Switch ch 14
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 144.
- ↑ Drive to the East, pg. 584.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 145.
- ↑ West and East, pgs. 195-196, HC.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 151.
- ↑ Coup d'Etat ch 13
- ↑ See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 403.
- ↑ The Big Switch, pg. 165.
- ↑ The United States of Atlantis, pg. 39
- ↑ The Guns of the South, pg. 4
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 146.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 317.
- ↑ Eruption, pg. 213.