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SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

HArry Turtledove

Harry Turtledive (born 1949) is a US author and academic who has made use of his field of scholarship (his PhD was in Byzantine history) to create all his best-known work, including several associational historical novels as by H N Turteltaub. The fantasy Videssos Cycle – beginning with The Misplaced Legion (1987) – follows the exploits of a Roman legion translated to the empire of Videssos, situated in a world where Magic works and Byzantine history is recapitulated. The Basil Argyros stories (1985-1987), set in an Alternate History in which Mahomet became a Christian saint – assembled as Agent of Byzantium (coll of linked stories 1987) – follows the exploits of a medieval secret agent who tends to cause scientific innovations against both his brief and his intentions. Though these books focus on their various charismatic and canny protagonists, Turtledove's thorough understanding of his source material gracefully infiltrates the fun and fantastication.

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