John Dennison
Fictional Character
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: c. 1904
Occupation: Carpenter

Jonathan "John" Dennison[1] (Encampment Prison Number WY232) was a Wyoming carpenter who'd been convicted of "wrecking" in the 1930s after getting drunk and "telling off" President Joe Steele. He was pretty sure the person who turned him in was someone who'd wanted to buy the building Dennison owned.[2] He was arrested by the GBI, convicted, and sent to a labor camp outside Livingston, Montana.[3] He'd been there for some time when New York reporter Mike Sullivan arrived. Dennison showed Sullivan the ropes of surviving the camp.[4]

By the time the United States entered World War II, Dennison decided he'd prefer to remain in the camp. Sullivan, on the other hand, was eager to sign up for a punishment brigade and fight in the war.[5]

Dennison served his time and returned to Casper, Wyoming. The man who'd denounced him was himself subsequently denounced, and died in a labor camp. In 1952, Sullivan (who'd beaten the odds by surviving both World War II and the Japanese War) returned from South Japan with his new wife, Midori. Dennison took Sullivan on as an assistant in his carpentry business.[6]

When Joe Steele died on March 5, 1953, the people of Casper were generally shocked and publicly mourned. Sullivan and Dennison savored Steele's death in private.[7]


  1. See also Literary Allusions in Turtledove's Work
  2. Joe Steele, pg. 182.
  3. Ibid., pg. 180.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 180-182.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 265.
  6. Ibid., pg. 400-403.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 420-421.