Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949) is an American novelist, best known for his works in several genres, including that of alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.
Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the nearby city of Gardena, California. His paternal grandparents, who were Jewish Romanian immigrants, had first settled in Winnipeg, Canada, before moving to California. He was educated in local public schools in early life.
After dropping out during his freshman year at Caltech, Turtledove attended UCLA, from completing his undergraduate degree to receiving a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. His dissertation was titled The Immediate Successors of Justinian: A Study of the Persian Problem and of Continuity and Change in Internal Secular Affairs in the Later Roman Empire During the Reigns of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine (AD 565–582).
In 1979, Turtledove published his first two novels, Wereblood and Werenight, under the pseudonym "Eric G. Iverson." Turtledove later explained that his editor at Belmont Tower did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and came up with something more Nordic.4 He continued to use the "Iverson" name until 1985. Another early pseudonym was "Mark Gordian."
That year he published Herbig-Haro and And So to Bed under his real name. Turtledove has recently begun publishing historical novels under the pseudonym "H.N. Turteltaub" (Turteltaube means turtle dove in Yiddish). He published three books as Dan Chernenko (the Scepter of Mercy series).
Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Turtledove worked as a technical writer for the Los Angeles County Office of Educationcitation needed. In 1991, he left the LACOE and turned to writing full-timecitation needed. From 1986 to 1987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of Americacitation needed.
He has written several works in collaboration, including The Two Georges with Richard Dreyfuss, "Death in Vesunna" with his first wife, Betty Turtledove (pen-name, Elaine O'Byrne); Household Gods with Judith Tarr; and others with Susan Shwartz, S.M. Stirling, and Kevin R. Sandes.
Turtledove won the Homer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter," the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for The Guns of the South, and the Hugo Award for Novella in 1994 for "Down in the Bottomlands." Must and Shall was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Novelette; it received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Two Georges also received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History.
His Worldwar series received a Sidewise Award for Alternate History Honorable Mention in 1996. In 1998, his novel, How Few Remain, won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He won his second Sidewise Award in 2003 for his novel Ruled Britannia.
On August 1, 1998, Turtledove was named honorary Kentucky Colonel while Guest of Honor at Rivercon XXIII in Louisville, Kentucky. His The Gladiator was the co-winner of the 2008 Prometheus Award.
Turtledove served as the toastmaster for Chicon 2000, the 58th World Science Fiction Convention.
He is married to mystery and science fiction writer Laura Frankos. His brother-in-law is fantasy author Steven Frankos. He and Laura have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.