Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949), is a historian and prolific novelist who has written historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction works. He is probably the best-known and most popular author of the genre of alternate history.
Turtledove was born in Los Angeles, California. After flunking out of his freshman year at Caltech, he attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. His dissertation was on 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 did not think people would believe the author's real name was "Turtledove" and came up with something more Nordic. He continued to use the "Iverson" name until 1985, when he published "And So To Bed" under his real name. Another early pseudonym was "Mark Gordian." Turtledove for a time published historical novels under the pseudonym "H.N. Turteltaub" (the original German version of his now Anglicized surname), as a means of distinguishing them from his alternate history and fantasy work. However, his most recent historical novels, Fort Pillow, Give Me Back My Legions! and Salamis, were published under his own name.
Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Turtledove worked as a technical writer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In 1991, he left the LACOE and turned to writing full time. From 1986-1987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of America.
He is married to mystery and SF writer Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca. Turtledove won the Homer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter," the John Esten Cook Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for The Guns of the South, the Hugo Award for Novella in 1994 for "Down in the Bottomlands." "Must and Shall" was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Novelette, the 1996 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and 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. The Worldwar series received a Sidewise Award for Alternate History Honorable Mention in 1996. In 1998, the novel How Few Remain won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. He won his second Sidewise Award in 2003 for the novel Ruled Britannia. On August 1, 1998, Turtledove was named honorary Kentucky Colonel while Guest of Honor at Rivercon XXIII in Louisville, Kentucky.