Like many authors, Harry Turtledove and Laura Frankos often reference the broad impact film, television, broadcast radio, live theater and their creators (or have had) on society. Sometimes, these references can give a reader insight into how a particular timeline differs from OTL. Other times, they are more incidental and designed to invoke a specific era or culture. What follows is a list of such references which can be found in Turtledove's body of work, organized by the name of the performer, or in cases where a group effort is involved, the title of the work.
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.
- 1 The $64 Question
- 2 Douglas Adams
- 3 Amos 'n' Andy
- 4 Apollo 13
- 5 Aristophanes
- 6 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
- 7 Josephine Baker
- 8 Phil Baker
- 9 Lucille Ball
- 10 Brigitte Bardot
- 11 P.T. Barnum
- 12 J.M. Barrie
- 13 John Tucker Battle
- 14 Samuel Beckett
- 15 Edgar Bergen
- 16 Ingrid Bergman
- 17 Milton Berle
- 18 Sarah Bernhardt
- 19 Humphrey Bogart
- 20 Mel Brooks
- 21 Sid Caesar
- 22 James Cameron
- 23 Carmageddon
- 24 Johnny Carson
- 25 Chris Carter
- 26 Casablanca
- 27 Charlie Chaplin
- 28 Cheech and Chong
- 29 Buffalo Bill Cody
- 30 Gary Cooper
- 31 Michael Crawford
- 32 Beverley Cross
- 33 Gerard Damiano
- 34 Dancing with the Stars
- 35 Doris Day
- 36 Walt Disney
- 37 Dungeons & Dragons
- 38 Geraldine Farrar
- 39 W.C. Fields
- 40 John Fletcher
- 41 Peter Fonda
- 42 Christopher Fry
- 43 Clark Gable
- 44 David Gerrold
- 45 Gilda Live
- 46 Kelsey Grammer
- 47 Cary Grant
- 48 Matt Groening
- 49 Groundhog Day
- 50 Christopher Guest
- 51 Alec Guinness
- 52 Rita Hayworth
- 53 Jim Henson
- 54 Katharine Hepburn
- 55 Charlton Heston
- 56 Bob Hope
- 57 Harry Houdini
- 58 Indiana Jones
- 59 Jurassic Park
- 60 Boris Karloff
- 61 Danny Kaye
- 62 King Kong
- 63 Ernie Kovacs
- 64 L.A. Law
- 65 John Lasseter
- 66 Laugh-In
- 67 Laurel and Hardy
- 68 Gypsy Rose Lee
- 69 David Letterman
- 70 Richard Levinson and William Link
- 71 The Lone Ranger
- 72 Looney Tunes
- 73 Bela Lugosi
- 74 Mad Max
- 75 The Marx Brothers
- 76 Victor Mature
- 77 Phil McGraw
- 78 Shigeru Miyamoto
- 79 Marilyn Monroe
- 80 Monty Python
- 81 Myth (video game)
- 82 Ted Neeley
- 83 Netflix
- 84 Anne Nichols
- 85 Dudley Nichols
- 86 David Niven
- 87 Laurence Olivier
- 88 Gwyneth Paltrow
- 89 Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- 90 Mandy Patinkin
- 91 Gregory Peck
- 92 Rambo movies
- 93 Dan Rather
- 94 Reefer Madness
- 95 Leni Riefenstahl
- 96 Pat Robertson
- 97 Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons
- 98 Robert Rodat
- 99 Gene Roddenberry
- 100 Will Rogers
- 101 Jane Russell
- 102 Friedrich Schiller
- 103 The Shadow (radio show)
- 104 William Shakespeare
- 105 Sophocles
- 106 Tom Stoppard
- 107 The Three Stooges
- 108 Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
- 109 Lana Turner
- 110 The Universal Monsters
- 111 Peter Ustinov
- 112 Lope de Vega
- 113 Harry von Zell
- 114 Maurine Dallas Watkins
- 115 Matthew Weiner
- 116 Orson Welles
- 117 Oscar Wilde
- 118 References
The $64 Question
Take It or Leave It, formally renamed in 1950 as The $64 Question (for its iconic challenger round) was a quiz show which ran on CBS radio from 1940-1947, and NBC radio from 1947-1952. "The $64 dollar question" has become an iconic phrase.
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 a 2005 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 Adams' work.
Amos 'n' Andy
Amos 'n' Andy is an American radio and television sitcom set in Harlem, Manhattan's historic black community. The original radio show, which was popular from 1928 until 1960, was created, written and voiced by two white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, who played a number of different characters, including the titular Amos Jones (Gosden) and Andrew Hogg Brown (Correll).
When the show moved to television from 1951 to 1953, black actors took over the majority of the roles; white characters were infrequent. The show is considered a groundbreaking landmark in the history of broadcast performance art, but is also controversial as cultural appropriation, because the white radio actors affected heavy "black" accents to play absurd caricatures.
In "The Last Reunion", Amos 'n' Andy is very popular among the last surviving Confederate veterans in 1932. During an important conference in Richmond, time is taken off for this purpose. John Houston Thorpe and Jed Ledbetter are among the audience.
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American space adventure docudrama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The film dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 mission to the moon, and contains the iconic line "Houston, we have a problem."
In "Topanga and the Chatsworth Lancers", Jared Tillman thinks of the iconic line when anticipating a possible Chatsworth Lancers breach of his Topangan barricade. He was born after men stopped landing on the moon, but remembers seeing the movie in 1995 with a girl named Gail. He realizes that there will be no more lunar expeditions, or movies for that matter, unless the Change is somehow undone.
Aristophanes (Ἀριστοφάνης, ca. 446 – ca. 386 BC) was a prolific and much acclaimed comic playwright of ancient Athens. Of his 40 plays, 11, including The Clouds and Lysistrata, have come down to us virtually complete. These, as well as fragments of some of his other plays, provide us with the only real example we have of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy and they are in fact used to define the genre. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries, Plato among them.
In "The Daimon", Sokrates acknowledges The Clouds as a satire on him. When a fellow hoplite inquires about a rumor that Sokrates had been on the comic stage during a performance, Sokrates denies it. He does acknowledge that the actor's mask so resembled him that he, Sokrates, stood up in the audience to show people.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Fred Astaire (1899-1987) and Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), American actors, dancers, and singers, were iconic dance partners in nine motion pictures made in the 1930s: Flying Down to Rio (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta (1935), Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), Swing Time (1936), Shall We Dance (1937), Carefree (1938), and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939). They reunited in 1949 for The Barkleys of Broadway, their only color picture. The expression "Fred and Ginger" has become shorthand for an ideal dancing couple. A popular aphorism is that everything Fred Astaire did, Ginger Rogers did backwards and in high heels.
In The House of Daniel, members of the title organization often go to movie houses on their days off. On one occasion they watched a "Fred and Ginger" picture. Given the fantasy analogs which populate the novel, the "Fred" and "Ginger" referenced are probably not Astaire and Rogers.
Josephine Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald, 3 June 1906 – 12 April 1975) was an American-born French entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent. She was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in Paris. Her costume, consisting of only a girdle of artificial bananas, became her most iconic image and a symbol of the Jazz Age and the 1920s. For her service to Free France in World War II, she was awarded the Croix de guerre and was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.
Phil Baker (August 26, 1896 – November 30, 1963) was a popular American comedian and emcee on radio, where he hosted a number of shows. Arguably, his most famous hosting gig was Take It or Leave It, a quiz show that eventually became The $64,000 Question. Baker was also a vaudeville actor who appeared on Broadway a number of times, a songwriter who composed a number of songs, and author. He appeared in a small number films, usually as himself.
Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American actress, comedienne, model, film-studio executive, and producer. She was best known as the star of the self-produced sitcom I Love Lucy in the 1950s.
In the world of Joe Steele, the drastic changes to the timeline of American history did not prevent Ball from achieving television stardom by 1953. How her show's content differs from OTL is not explored.
Brigitte Bardot (born 28 September 1934) is a French actress, former fashion model, singer and animal welfare/rights activist. In 2007, she was named among Empire's 100 Sexiest Film Stars. In recent years, she has become controversial for her stances on animal rights, immigration, and the place of Islam within France.
In Colonization: Down to Earth, a "French chippie who kept trying to fall out of her clothes all the time" stars opposite James Dean in the movie The Battle of Chicago (1964). She played a pretty blonde nurse with an improbably tight and skimpy uniform. While this character fits Bardot's description, her identification is not conclusive.
Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum (July 4, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum was also an author, publisher, philanthropist, and at one point mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Nevertheless, he insisted, "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me", and his personal aim was "to put money in his own coffers". Barnum is widely credited, perhaps apocryphally, with coining the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute."
In How Few Remain, Lt. Col. Henry Welton, seeing but not believing Theodore Roosevelt's efficient organization of the Unauthorized Regiment, wonders if the then-living P.T. Barnum is Roosevelt's adjutant.
The "sucker" catch-phrase is referenced in numerous works. In The War That Came Early: Coup d'Etat, Peggy Druce notes that similar statements are attributed to H.L. Mencken, who also went by initials rather than full first names.
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright. While he produced a plethora of "serious" works, he is best remembered for his children's fantasy play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (1904), whose title character is one of the most well-known archetypical characters in all fiction.
In The War That Came Early: Last Orders, Chaim Weinberg's wounded hand is narrowly saved from amputation through the brilliant surgery of Dr. Diego Alvarez. Chaim says that for a while he thought he would have to join a touring company of Peter Pan, playing the iconic villain Captain Hook.
John Tucker Battle
John Tucker Battle wrote the screenplay of Invaders from Mars, a 1953 b-movie about the invasion of a California town by aliens with obvious zippers in their anatomy, which can only be thwarted by the cleverness of a small boy.
Samuel 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 time-displaced troupe's performance of Waiting for Godot, wondering who Godot is and who might be waiting for him.
Edgar John Bergen (born Edgar John Berggren, February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an American actor, comedian and radio performer, best known for his ventriloquist-dummy characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, who debuted in the 1930s.
Ingrid Bergman (29 August 1915 – 29 August 1982) was a Swedish three-time Academy Award-winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress. She also won the first ever Tony Award for Best Actress in 1947. Her most famous film is Casablanca costarring Humphrey Bogart.
In The Man With the Iron Heart, the McGraw family sees the film The Bells of St. Mary's in 1946 the night before Diana McGraw goes to Washington, DC. Diana knows that her husband, Ed will be staring at the alluring Bergman the entire film.
Milton Berle, born Mendel Berlinger, also known as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television" (July 12, 1908 – March 27, 2002) was a comic actor whose career spanned show business from vaudeville, silent films, radio, television, to Broadway and Las Vegas.
Berle's career began at the age of 5 on the streets of upper Manhattan, where he did Charlie Chaplin imitations to entertain other kids. An agent saw him and found work for him as the Buster Brown boy, selling shoes. Chaplin heard about him and sent for him, and he appeared in several silent films with the great Charlie Chaplin. He began in Broadway in 1920 on a musical called "Floradora," then worked vaudeville for awhile. His mother, Sandra, was a great influence on him, and guided him in his early days of show business.
Berle's first credited film was The Perils of Pauline (1914) when he was 6, but he was in over 70 films over the course of his lifetime. He successfully made the transition to television in 1948, with The Milton Berle Show, which ran for nearly ten years. (In 1928 he had become one of the first people ever to appear in television by taking part in an experimental broadcast in New York City.) He last acted in 1994, but still made cameo appearances for the last several years. As the New York Times once observed "Television didn't make Milton Berle, Milton Berle made television."
Sarah Bernhardt (born Henriette-Rosine Bernard, 22 or 23 October 1844 – 26 March 1923) was a French stage actress who starred in some of the most popular French plays of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She also played male roles, including the title role of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. She made several theatrical tours around the world, and was one of the first prominent actresses to make sound recordings and to act in motion pictures. Several early American film stars were fawningly described as "the Bernhardt of the screen" during the silent film era.
In The Great War: American Front, Herman Bruck, in one of his rebuffed attempts to date Flora Hamburger, offers to take her to the Orpheum in New York in 1915, where a new Sarah Bernhardt silent film is playing. In the next novel Walk in Hell, a barrel prototype is named for the actress.
Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American actor and cultural icon. After entering film in the 1930s, Bogart's breakthrough came in the 1940s. He starred opposite Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. That film's supporting actors Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre had previously starred with Bogart in The Maltese Falcon.
Mel Brooks (born 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. The Producers is a musical adapted by Brooks from his 1968 film of the same name. The story concerns two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by overselling shares in a Broadway flop called Springtime for Hitler. In In the Presence of Mine Enemies where Hitler's Germany won World War II, there is a similar musical about a theater owner who books a terrible play about Churchill and Stalin becoming a smash hit.
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar (September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014) was an American comic actor and writer, best known for two pioneering 1950s live television series, Your Show of Shows and its successor Caesar's Hour, both of which influenced later generations of comedians. Caesar also acted in movies including It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) and Grease 2 (1982).
James Francis Cameron (b. 1954) is a Canadian filmmaker and submariner, known for films of speculative fiction, but also for the Oscar-winning historical drama Titanic (1997), based on the 1912 shipping tragedy.
Carmageddon (1997) is a vehicular combat video game released for personal computers. It was later ported to other platforms, and spawned a series of follow up titles. The game was produced by Stainless Games and published by Interplay Productions and Sales Curve Interactive.
In "Twenty-One, Counting Up," Justin Kloster puts on his Carmageddon CD-ROM and happily runs down little old ladies in walkers until 11 PM, when he has to go to bed for his CompUSA job in the morning.
John William Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is best known as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Television Academy's 1980 Governor's Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993. Co-host Ed McMahon introduced Carson on most of the show's episodes with the catchphrase "And now - here's Johnny!"
Christopher Carl Carter (born October 13, 1956) is an American television and film producer, director and writer, best known as the primary screenwriter of science fiction and/or fantasy shows. The most successful Carter show is the "paranormal conspiracy theory" series The X-Files, which was first produced from 1993-2002, and then revived for sporadic reunion film and miniseries events in the 2000s and 2010s. Carter's other shows Millennium, Harsh Realm, and The Lone Gunmen, some of which are set in a shared universe with The X-Files, never met with the same level of viewer approval. Most X-Files episodes feature a title card reading THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE at the end of each opening credits session.
In "Forty, Counting Down" and "Twenty-One, Counting Up," young Justin Kloster thinks he's wandered into an X-Files episode when he receives a message from his time-traveling older self. When the older Justin declares "Nobody has all the answers," the younger one disagrees, and thinks of the show's doctrine that the truth is out there, if only he can find it. Turtledove's 1999 prediction, that the earliest X-Files episodes will remain popular in 2018, proved correct, as the television series resumed production, with its original actors, for 16 episodes between 2016 and 2018.
Casablanca (1942) is an American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz, from a screenplay which went through several revisions by various writers. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, and features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. It is set in the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca, Morocco during World War II, and focuses on a man's conflict between (in the words of one character) "love and virtue": He must choose between his love for a woman and doing the right thing, helping her and her husband, a Czechoslovakian Resistance leader, to escape from Casablanca to Portugal to continue his fight against the Nazis.
The films is full of frequently quoted and misquoted lines, which have permeated pop culture. Perhaps the most famous is "Play it again, Sam," most often attributed to Bogart. In fact, Bergman speaks the line and it is simply "Play it, Sam." The inaccuracy of the quote has often been used as comedy fodder.
In The Two Georges, Colonel Thomas Bushell walks into the lounge of the Empire Builder and hears his adjutant Samuel Stanley playing "I Remember Your Name" on the piano. Stanley abruptly stops when he sees Bushell since it was his and Irene's (his ex-wife) song but Bushell tells him to "... play it, Sam". Later in the novel, another character makes an allusion to another Bogart picture.
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work in the United States during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I. Chaplin used mime, slapstick and other visual comedy routines, and continued well into the era of the talkies, though his films decreased in frequency from the end of the 1920s. His most famous role was that of The Tramp, which he first played in the Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914. Capitalizing on his startling resemblance to the then-incumbent German dictator Adolf Hitler, Chaplin played "Adenoid Hynkel" of "Tomainia" in The Great Dictator (1940).
Chaplin is referenced several times throughout Turtledove's work. In The War That Came Early: West and East, for example, Theo Hossbach returns to his encampment in an uproar, and watches two Panzer crewmen bounce off each other as though they were doing slapstick in a Chaplin film. In the same series' Two Fronts, Peggy Druce reflects that Chaplin, in contrast to Hitler, grew his toothbrush mustache for comic effect.
Cheech and Chong
Cheech & Chong are a Grammy Award–winning comedy duo consisting of Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong who found a wide audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis.
One of their most famous routines is called "Dave", in which Dave (Cheech) tries to gain entrance into an apartment after having purchased marijuana. However, the occupant (Chong) is implicitly under the influence already, and repeatedly answers that "Dave's not here", completely misinterpreting Dave's requests to be let in.
Buffalo Bill Cody
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, hunter, and showman. During the American Civil War, he served as a rider for the Pony Express in 1861 at age 15, then as a United States Army scout in 1863-1865. Cody had a contract to supply Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with "buffalo" (i.e., bison) meat, reportedly killing 4,282 buffalo in 18 months in 1867-1868, resulting in his nickname. He served as a civilian scout for the Army during the Indian Wars, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1872. He is best known in popular culture as the owner and star performer of the Wild West circus, which began touring America in 1883 and Europe in 1887, performing in one form or another until 1908.
In the State of Jefferson story "Something Fishy," Bill Williamson is worried that speargun-toting merfolk are ravaging the Pacific Ocean's mackerel population as thoroughly as Buffalo Bill exterminated bison.
Frank James "Gary" Cooper (May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, individualistic, emotionally restrained, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited for the many Westerns he made.
In Days of Infamy, Cooper's films are among those available in Hawaii after the Empire of Japan conquered the territory in 1942, including many of his Westerns. Despite the fact that Cooper usually played the quintessential American hero, the Japanese soldiers enthusiastically cheer him on as he battles "savage" Amerindians.
Michael Patrick Smith, CBE (born 19 January 1942), known professionally as Michael Crawford, is a Tony Award-winning English actor, singer and comedian. Among his better known stage roles is the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's version of The Phantom of the Opera (1986).
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.
Gerardo Rocco "Gerard" Damiano (August 4, 1928 – October 25, 2008) was an American director of adult films. He wrote and directed the 1972 cult classic Deep Throat and the 1973 the smash hit The Devil in Miss Jones (whose title was taken from the 1940 romantic comedy The Devil and Miss Jones). These films are considered to have elevated pornographic films to a form of art, and Damiano is one of the seminal directors of what is known as The Golden Age of Porn.
In the Atlantis Series story "The Scarlet Band," Athelstan Helms, while investigating murder suspect Samuel Jones, recites the truism "the devil is in the details." Dr. James Walton replies "Do you suppose the devil is in Mr. Jones?"
Dancing with the Stars
Since 2004, Dancing with the Stars is the name of various international television series based on the format of the BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing. The show pairs a number of well known celebrities with professional ballroom dancers, who each week compete by performing one or more choreographed routines that follow the prearranged theme for that particular week.
Doris Day (born Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff; April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist, best known for her romantic leading roles in comedy films. She was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures (1989). the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2004). the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), a Legend Award from the Society of Singers (2008,) and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Career Achievement Award (2011).
In "Notes from the General Secretariat," U.N. petty bureaucrat Beals Becker writes to Minister Karamat that Bangladesh is overpopulated, and really needs to import parcheesi sets, backgammon gear, and Doris Day movies as alternatives to the people's preferred source of amusement.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American cartoonist, movie producer and businessman who revolutionized the animated film and the theme park industry. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are some of his more famous mascots.
In Colonization, two Lizards raised by humans are named Mickey and Donald, which causes some characters in the series to chuckle. In an unrelated incident in Down to Earth, Dr. Reuven Russie watches a Donald Duck cartoon in a Jerusalem cinema, and thinks it's just about the funniest thing he's ever seen.
In The Disunited States of America, Beckie Royer is a fan of The Breeze in the Birches, the novel which inspired Mr. Frog's Crazy Ride at Mortimer's World. This is a play on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disney's theme parks, based on Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Mortimer Mouse was Disney's working name for the character that became Mickey; he decided that sounded too highbrow and changed it to a more "street" name, later reassigning the name Mortimer Mouse to an uppity bully who bothers Mickey in the short cartoon "Mickey's Rival" (1936).
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons (commonly abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR), and has had several ownership changes. D&D allows each player to create their own character to play instead of a military formation. These characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting, with a Dungeon Master (DM) serving as the game's referee and storyteller.
In Alpha and Omega, Gabriela Sandoval first learned of competitiveness and corporate control from D&D parties hosted by Elias Valencia, but is afraid to mention this to her co-host Lester Stark, fearing he would think D&D came from Satan.
Turtledove has said that the plot of "Blue Fox and Werewolf" was based on a move he improvised while playing D&D with Laura Frankos. The town of Thrsk in "The Yorkshire Mammoth" is based on another private D&D joke between those two.
Geraldine Farrar (February 28, 1882 - March 11, 1967) was an American soprano opera singer and film actress, noted for her beauty, acting ability, and "the intimate timbre of her voice." She had a large following among young women, who were nicknamed "Gerry-flappers". In 1915, she starred in a silent film of the French opera Carmen.
W.C. Fields was the stage name of William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields' comic persona was a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist, who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs and children. His catchphrase, which varied in its precise wording, is usually remembered as "All in all, I'd rather be in Philadelphia," referring to his birth city.
John Fletcher (1579–1625) 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 Queen Boudicca of the Iceni. In Ruled Britannia, most of the lines found in the fictional Shakespearean play Boudicca are taken from Bonduca; however, Fletcher's play bears only a distant resemblance to the play Turtledove invented for the novel.
Also, lines are lifted from Shakespeare's Henry VIII to pad out both Boudicca and King Philip, which is apt, given Fletcher's suspected hand in Henry VIII.
Peter Henry Fonda (February 23, 1940 – August 16, 2019) was an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He wrote and starred in the award winning Easy Rider (1969), one of several films which depict him riding a motorcycle.
Christopher Fry (18 December 1907 – 30 June 2005) was an English poet and playwright. He is best known for his verse dramas, notably The Lady's Not for Burning (1948), a romantic comedy about accused witch Jennet Jourdemayne.
William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood". He had roles in more than 60 motion pictures in multiple genres during a career that lasted 37 years, three decades of which was as a leading man. Arguably his best known role was Rhett Butler in 1939's Gone with the Wind.
Turtledove has used Gable's physical description, and Butler's signature line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," as the defining characteristics of certain minor characters in a few stories.
In The War Between the Provinces: Marching Through Peachtree, Thert the Butler, on the run from the burned-out plantation of Traa, begins to say "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a---," but is interrupted by a punch from his unnamed female companion, a Scarlett O'Hara analog.
In Settling Accounts: In at the Death, an Atlanta politician named Clark Butler, after expressing horror to General Irving Morrell over the idea that interracial marriage might become common, receives a curt reply: "Frankly, Butler, I don't give a damn."
- Clark Gable at the Gone With the Wind wiki.
David Gerrold (born January 24, 1944) is an American author of science fiction novels and teleplays, arguably best known for the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" (1967), and the Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella "The Martian Child" (1994). His other works include short alternate history stories written for the anthologies of Mike Resnick.
In "Manuscript Tradition," Feyrouz Hanafusa speculates about life on the planet Faraday, which must be much older than Earth, and credits Gerrold with a statement that extra gigayears of evolution could mean corresponding extra sophistication.
Gilda Live is a 1980 American comedy documentary film starring Gilda Radner, directed by Mike Nichols and produced by Lorne Michaels. Radner and Michaels and all of the writers involved with the production were alumni from the television program Saturday Night Live. The movie is basically a rehash of Radner's most popular SNL characters and sketches.
In State of Jefferson Stories "Typecasting", Bill Williamson sees Gilda Live paired with Mad Max on the marquee of an Ashland movie house, and reflects that it's one of the odder pairings he's come across lately.
Allen Kelsey Grammer (born February 21, 1955) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning American actor, producer, director and writer, best known for playing Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers and Frasier, and the voice of Robert "Sideshow Bob" Terwilliger in The Simpsons. His stage work includes a 1999-2000 run as the title character in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
Cary Grant (born Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904, died November 29, 1986) was a British-born American film actor active from 1932 through 1966. He was twice nominated for Oscars for Best Actor (in 1942 for Penny Serenade and 1945 for None But the Lonely Heart), and for five Golden Globes. However, he was frequently passed over at awards shows. His only major honor was a Lifetime Achievement Award, given at the 1970 Academy Awards.
In The War That Came Early: Coup d'Etat, when Joe Orsatti fails to charm a cocktail waitress at the Hibiscus Blossom in Honolulu, Pete McGill reflects that his comrade-in-arms did not compare favorably with Grant in terms of sex appeal.
Grant is referenced for several trivial points throughout the Worldwar Franchise. In Tilting the Balance, Sam Yeager compares his bizarre triangle with Barbara and Jens Larssen to a typical Cary Grant screwball comedy plot. In Second Contact, Barbara is disappointed that Grant is not in attendance at a fundraising event which John Wayne attended. In Homeward Bound, we learn that Grant's leading-man image is often compared and contrasted with that of James Dean's middle age.
Matt Groening (b. 1954) 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.
In Supervolcano: Eruption, Rob Ferguson thumped his forehead and said "D'oh" when he realized the cat he saw at the Trebor Mansion Inn was a Maine Coon. He reflected he was acting as though he had escaped from a Simpsons episode.
In Laura Frankos' "One Touch of Hippolyta," the briefly referenced founders of the Rowbotham-Finch dynasty are named Ned and Maud. While nothing explicitly connects them to Homer Simpson's neighbors Ned and Maud Flanders, it is almost a certainty that Frankos chose this name combination deliberately.
Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Ramis and Danny Rubin. It stars Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott. Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who becomes trapped in a time loop forcing him to relive February 2nd repeatedly.
In the story "Character", when self-aware fictional character Steve finds himself dueling Minamoto Yoshitsune a second time, he initially thinks he's in Groundhog Day. Then he realizes his author was rewriting the scene after completing additional research.
Christopher Guest (b. 1948) 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 a full eruption would feel like and thought "goes up to eleven, man" in a direct reference to Spinal Tap.
Sir Alec Guinness (2 April 1914 – 5 August 2000) was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, he was featured in the Ealing Comedies series which included The Ladykillers (1955). He is also known for his roles in six period dramas directed by Sir David Lean, including Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. But in popular culture he is best known as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983), receiving a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In "Hindsight," set in 1953, central character Pete Lundquist watches a time-displaced copy of Star Wars: A New Hope, which was filmed in 1976 and released in 1977. Although Lundquist is awed by the vast improvement in film visuals from the 1950s to the 1970s, the biggest impression left on him is of how the years took their toll on Alec Guinness, which makes him contemplate his own mortality.
Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino; October 17, 1918 – May 14, 1987) was an American actress and dancer. She achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era's top stars, appearing in a total of 61 films over 37 years. The press coined the term "The Love Goddess" to describe Hayworth after she had become the most glamorous screen idol of the 1940s. She was the top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II.
Worldwar's fictional version of historical soldier Leslie Groves seems to be obsessed with Rita Hayworth. In Tilting the Balance, he tells a joke that if duty required him to repudiate his wife and marry Rita Hayworth, he would do it willingly, but Rita might not be pleased with him. Then in Upsetting the Balance, Groves says that the curves of the Fat Lady (the bomb which will be a turning point in the Race Invasion of Tosev 3) are as beautiful as Rita Hayworth's.
Jim Henson (1936-1990) was an American cartoonist and filmmaker, best known for his innovation of combining marionettes and puppets into "Muppets," designed to be especially flexible and full of emotion. Henson's signature character was Kermit the Frog, who appeared in the television programs Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, as well as feature motion pictures.
In Turtledove's The War Between the Provinces series, a posthumously referenced character based on Napoleon I of France is named Kermit, an allusion to the insulting English custom of referring to the French as the Frogs.
"The Mammyth"'s main character, Tundra Dawn, is referred to as a "Muppetoid" and is apparently based on Prairie Dawn. Her two companions (Cleveland and Tremendous Ptarmigan) on a quest for the possibly mythical "mammyth" are inspired by Big Bird and Grover, while the mammyth itself is based on Aloysius P. Snuffleupagus. All are Henson (or associates') creations.
Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress. Known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received four Academy Awards for Best Actress — a record for any performer. In 1999, Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest female star of Classic Hollywood Cinema.
In The Hot War: Bombs Away, Aaron Finch and Jim Summers deliver a refrigerator to a Mrs. O'Byrnne in Torrance, and Summers comments on the customer's resemblance to Katharine Hepburn. A few months later, while improbably watching The African Queen, Finch does see the resemblance Summers had noticed.
Charlton "Chuck" Heston (born John Charles Carter, October 4, 1923 – April 5, 2008) was an American actor and political activist. As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played Moses in the epic film The Ten Commandments (1956), for which he received his first nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. He also starred in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Secret of the Incas (1954), Touch of Evil (1958) with Orson Welles, The Big Country (1958), Ben-Hur (1959), for which he won the Oscar for Best Actor, El Cid (1961), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Omega Man (1971), and Soylent Green (1973).
Inn Household Gods, time-traveler Nicole Gunther is shocked to learn that her adopted persona of Umma is active in the 2nd-century Roman slave trade, and immediately thinks of a rush of images which include Charlton Heston. This presumably refers to Ben-Hur, where Heston's titular 1st-century Jewish nobleman is pressed at one point into a particularly harrowing (and not wholly historically accurate) version of Roman slavery.
In addition to his mildly significant reference in "News From the Front", Bob Hope is referenced throughout Turtledove's work. For example, in Colonization: Second Contact, American astronaut Glen Johnson hears some of the transmissions between the Race's Colonization Fleet (which had expected a fully conquered planet) and Race bases on Earth, and concludes that Bob Hope couldn't be half as funny as those transmissions if he tried for a year.
Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz or Ehrich Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. His repertoire included escapes from prison cells, chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and a sealed milk can with water in it. Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts.
In American Empire: The Victorious Opposition, Sylvia Enos thinks in 1934 that avoiding Joe Kennedy's advances makes her feel like Houdini getting out of the handcuffs in a straitjacket in a tub of water. No clue is given regarding Houdini's whereabouts during the Great War, nor his final fate in the Southern Victory timeline.
Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. is the title character and protagonist of the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas created the character in homage to the action heroes of 1930s film serials. The character first appeared in the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, to be followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles from 1992 to 1996, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. Jones is characterized by his iconic accoutrements (bullwhip, fedora, satchel, and leather jacket), wry, witty and sarcastic sense of humor, deep knowledge of ancient civilizations and languages, and fear of snakes.
In Alpha and Omega, when Dr. Eric Katz sees a reconstruction of the Ark of the Covenant in a museum, he is reminded of Indiana Jones. He pictures himself in a fedora brandishing a bullwhip but the image of a bald, bearded, fortyish, Jewish archaeologist in that getup looked silly. Katz comforted himself by thinking Harrison Ford would look equally ridiculous in his outfit at a real dig.
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen. It is the first installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. The film is about dinosaurs being resurrected by modern science.
In "Before the Beginning", we learn that time-viewer videos of Utahraptor dinosaurs were even more exciting than Spielberg's film. The film prominently featured Utahraptor's smaller cousin Deinonychus, referred to half-accurately as Velociraptor.
In The Hot War: Fallout, a shortage of modern tanks has caused the Soviet Union to throw weak, obsolete models into combat. POV character Konstantin Morozov sees a gathering of these antiquated machines and thinks of them as a "Jurassic tank park."
In "None So Blind," the main characters encounter a small theropod-like creature that spits exceedingly caustic venom. This appears to be based on Jurassic Park's iconic but entirely speculative portrayal of Dilophosaurus.
William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor, who starred as Frankenstein's monster (aka Frankenstein) in the horror film Frankenstein (1931), which established him as a horror icon. He reprised the role in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). Karloff also appeared as Imhotep in The Mummy (1932), and voiced the Grinch and the Narrator in television's Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), which won him a Grammy Award. Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960.
In The War That Came Early: Last Orders, wounded solider Chaim Weinberg compares his appearance after reconstructive hand surgery to two Karloff characters, mentioning the actor by name each time: Frankenstein and the Mummy.
- The Universal Monsters, for further references Frankenstein and related monsters.
- Boris Karloff at the Frankenstein wiki.
Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky, January 18, 1911 – March 3, 1987), was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.
King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an idea conceived by Cooper and Edgar Wallace. The film tells of a gigantic, prehistoric, island-dwelling ape called Kong who is taken to New York City and dies in an attempt to possess a beautiful young woman while atop the Empire State Building. Kong is distinguished for its stop-motion animation by Willis O'Brien and its musical score by Max Steiner. Remakes, which closely follow the plot of the original, appeared in 1976 and in 2005. There have been other King Kong spinoffs that do not follow the same plot.
Many sources cite King Kong as one of Adolf Hitler's two favorite films (the other being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).
In The War That Came Early: Last Orders, Aristide Demange and Louis Mirouze discuss King Kong. Mirouze mentions how the biplane fighters in the film had been as good as anybody's in 1933 but wouldn't last ten minutes against modern aircraft.
Ernest Edward "Ernie" Kovacs (January 23, 1919 – January 13, 1962) was an American comedian, actor, and writer. Kovacs' visually experimental and often spontaneous comedic style influenced numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident. Some of Kovacs' unusual behaviors include having pet marmosets and wrestling a jaguar in his TV studio in Philadelphia. Kovacs was posthumously awarded the 1962 Emmy for outstanding electronic camera work and the Directors' Guild award. In the 1980s, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Kovacs also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television.
In The Hot War: Armistice, the linguistic matter of Kovacs/Kovach/Kovax is one of the many culture shocks which Hungarian soldier Istvan Szolovits learns in his education about America. When hearing that Kovacs is called Kovax by everyone in America, Szolovits thinks of his encounter with American soldier Imre Kovacs, who uses the Hungarian pronunciation.
L.A. Law is an American television legal drama series that ran for eight seasons on NBC, from September 15, 1986, to May 19, 1994. Created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, it contained many of Bochco's trademark features including an ensemble cast, large numbers of parallel storylines, social drama, and off-the-wall humor. It reflected the social and cultural ideologies of the 1980s and early 1990s, and many of the cases featured on the show dealt with hot-topic issues such as capital punishment, abortion, racism, homosexual rights, homophobia, sexual harassment, AIDS, and domestic violence. The series often also reflected social tensions between the wealthy senior lawyer protagonists and their less well-paid junior staff. The show won 15 Emmy Awards throughout its run, four of which were for Outstanding Drama Series.
In Household Gods, Nicole Gunther began working for Rosenthal, Gallagher, Kaplan, Jeter, Gonzalez, & Feng in Los Angeles in 1993, dreaming that her life would be glamorous and exciting like the L.A. Law characters lived. Six years later, she was disappointed by the reality.
John Alan Lasseter (born January 12, 1957) is an American animator and film director, who is the chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios. He is also the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. Among other works, Lasseter wrote the basic storyline of Toy Story, a 1995 fantasy comedy adventure film about sentient toys, which he also directed.
In Household Gods, Kimberley Perrin watches a videotape of Toy Story while ailing from an unidentified virus. The ailing Kimberley is barely conscious of the humorous antics of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the screen, which would have her roaring with laughter at a better time.
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (often simply referred to as Laugh-In) is an American sketch comedy television program that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to March 12, 1973, on the NBC television network, hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. It originally aired as a one-time special on September 9, 1967, and was such a success that it was brought back as a series, replacing The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on Mondays at 8 pm (ET). It quickly became the most popular television show in the United States.
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy duos of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Composed of thin English immigrant Stan Laurel (born Arthur Jefferson, 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) and fat American Oliver Hardy (January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957), they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy film shorts. Hardy often said to Laurel, "Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into!"
In The War That Came Early: West and East, Sgt. Albert Dieselhorst tells his superior, Hans-Ulrich Rudel: "Well, sir, here's another fine mess you got me into". Rudel recognizes the line's source and responds "As long as we keep getting out of them."
Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee (born Rose Louise Hovick, January 8, 1911 – April 26, 1970) was an American actress and burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act. She was also an author of fiction, non-fiction, and plays. She is also the subject of the play Gypsy.
In Joe Steele, on observing the unenthusiastic crowd at President Joe Steele's second inauguration on the cold, miserable afternoon of January 20, 1937, Charlie Sullivan muses that "nobody except perhaps Gypsy Rose Lee would be able to excite this crowd, and Gypsy Rose Lee would freeze to death if she came out in what she usually almost wore."
In "The Great White Way," the play Gyspy is declared ineligible for inclusion in the Sondheim-Webber battlegame, for reasons similar to the ones regarding West Side Story. Trina Hutchinson briefly laments this, thinking of how funny it would be for the ranks of virtual combatants to include Gypsy and members of her family, particularly the tyrannical Mama Rose.
In addition to his largely uncatalogued role in the obscure piece "A Different Vein," David Letterman has an existential reference in "Deconstruction Gang." The main character forgoes watching Letterman's late-night show, to prepare for his early-morning debut with Gang 4.
Richard Levinson and William Link
Richard 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, played by Peter Falk (1927-2011). 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".
The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger is a fictional crimefighting vigilante who roams the American Old West with his Native American (possibly Apache) friend, Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of American culture. First appearing in 1933 in a radio show, the character spun out into books, film, and television. Arguably the best known version is the television show that ran from 1949 to 1957.
In Days of Infamy, Oscar van der Kirk listened to The Lone Ranger on the radio in California before moving to Hawaii where the program is not broadcast. During the invasion of Hawaii, Susie Higgins is terrified that "we" are in a lot of danger. Oscar is tempted to reply with Tonto's alleged line "What do you mean we, Kemo Sabe?" but then realizes that by bedding Susie, he has become responsible for her. Oscar's use of this line appears to be an anachronism.
Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies are related American series of animated comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation. The two series, which are remembered interchangeably, are known for introducing several definitive cartoon characters, who are marked by their predilection for gently violent slapstick as well as numerous individual character quirks. These characters continue to appear in other media. Porky Pig, an anthropomorphic swine, made his debut in I Haven't Got a Hat (1935), becoming known for his everyman personality and his (briefly controversial) stuttering speech. An unnamed rabbit, who appeared alongside Porky in Porky's Hare Hunt (1938) and a few subsequent shorts, was reinvented in A Wild Hare (1940) as Bugs Bunny, defined by his wise-guy mannerisms and his ability to defy gun-toting humans. Due to his more dynamic personality, Bugs soon superseded Porky in the Looney hierarchy, although just barely. Another Looney anti-hero is the incompetent demolitions expert Wile E. Coyote, who first appeared in Fast and Furry-ous (1949).
The Looney Tunes characters remain popular in the Worldwar Franchise long past the POD. In Down to Earth, Jonathan Yeager and Karen Culpepper go to a Los Angeles drive-in theater. They watch a cartoon where a "rascally rabbit" evades both human and Lizard hunters, just before the main feature The Battle of Chicago begins. While the rabbit is unnamed, his brief description is clearly meant to evoke Bugs Bunny. In Homeward Bound, Glen Johnson, when doing a maneuver in weightlessness on the Admiral Peary, thinks of Wile E. Coyote by name.
The short piece "Donner Summit" uses Porky Pig as a central metaphor, stating that the alien Fofogo closely resemble him with a feather crest and no hair. The Fofogo's resemblance to pigs (of the natural kind) is crucial to the story's punchline.
Béla Lugosi (born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, 20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956) was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen. He is most remembered for his various roles in American horror films. His name is virtually synonymous with the vampire Dracula (created by Bram Stoker), whom Lugosi played first on Broadway, and then on film in Dracula (1931) and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Arguably, his second-most famous role is Ygor, the obsessed, deformed laboratory assistant from Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Ghost of Frankenstein (1942).
In The War That Came Early: Hitler's War, Chaim Weinberg, an American volunteer with the Lincoln Brigade in Spain, frequently comes into contact with Hungarian volunteers whose accents remind him of Lugosi's. While stationed in Siberia in 1939, Sgt. Hideki Fujita calls the mosquitoes that plagues his unit "Draculas" in reference to Lugosi's film.
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action thriller film directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy, and starring Mel Gibson (as "Mad" Max Rockatansky), Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, and Roger Ward. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by Miller and Kennedy. Set in a future Australia, the film presents a saga of societal collapse, murder, and revenge in which an unhinged policeman becomes embroiled in a violent feud with a savage motorcycle gang. Filmed on a budget of A$400,000, it earned more than US$100 million worldwide in gross revenue and held the Guinness record for most profitable film. The film became the first in the Mad Max series, giving rise to three sequels.
In State of Jefferson Stories "Typecasting", Bill Williamson sees Mad Max paired with Gilda Live on the marquee of an Ashland movie house, and reflects that it's one of the odder pairings he's come across lately.
The Marx Brothers
In Supervolcano: All Fall Down, when the salvage crew which includes Vanessa Ferguson arrives in Fredonia, Kansas, she begins to sing "Hail, Hail, Freedonia" from the Marxes' Duck Soup, much to the annoyance of her teammates.
In numerous volumes of Southern Victory, a popular vaudeville troupe called The Engels Brothers make occasional brief appearances. Their name is a metatextual in-joke, as Friedrich Engels was the writing partner of Karl Marx.
Victor John Mature (January 29, 1913 – August 4, 1999) was an American stage, film, and television actor who starred most notably in several movies during the 1950s, and was known for his dark hair and smile. His best known film roles include One Million B.C. (1940), My Darling Clementine (1946), Kiss of Death (1947), Samson and Delilah (1949), and The Robe (1953). He also appeared in many musicals opposite such stars as Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable.
In Household Gods, the time-displaced Nicole Gunther, on examining her Roman surroundings, imagines "Victor Mature standing up to Peter Ustinov in a purple gown, while the choir's voices swelled in the background". There does not appear to be such a scene in any movie that exists in reality.
Phillip Calvin McGraw (born September 1, 1950) is an American television personality and author who is the host of the television show Dr. Phil. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, but is not licensed to practice. McGraw first gained celebrity status with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s.
Shigeru Miyamoto (b. 1952) is a Japanese video game designer. Among his more famous creations are Mario & Luigi, small mustached twin brothers who work as plumbers. As a side job, they frequently rescue hostages from evil creatures in the colorful fantasy world of Mushroom Kingdom. These characters have transitioned from video games to other media.
In The Gladiator, Crosstime employees plant a cover story in Gianfranco Mazzilli's mind so he can explain his long absence to the Security Police. Part of it involves hitching a ride with two truckers named Mario and Luigi, who were hauling mushrooms.
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortensen, later called Norma Jean Baker, June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and model. She has become an icon of 1950s Hollywood. She was married three times, including one marriage to baseball player Joe DiMaggio. Persistent rumor also has it that Monroe engaged in affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his younger brother Robert.
In her last years, Monroe earned a reputation as a being temperamental and difficult. There is also evidence of physical and mental health problems. She died on August 5, 1962 of a fatal drug overdose. Officially ruled a "probable suicide", speculation persists that it was either accidental, or an act of murder.
In "A Massachusetts Yankee in King Arthur's Court", a time-displaced JFK mentally likens his quick dalliance with Queen Guinevere to his relationship to Marilyn Monroe. Both women were icons of sexuality, and the opportunity to have sex with each was too good to pass up.
Monty Python (also collectively known as the Pythons) are a British surreal comedy group who created the sketch comedy television show Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-1974) for the BBC. The TV series was followed by touring stage shows, films (including Monty Python and the Holy Grail), numerous albums, several books, and musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music. Regarded as enduring icons of 1970s pop culture, their sketch show has been referred to as being “an important moment in the evolution of television comedy".
In Alpha and Omega, Eric Katz is amused by a sign by a reconstruction of the Ark of the Covenant indicating it was only a model, immediately thinking of Monty Python. This is a reference to a line in the Holy Grail where King Arthur's valet Patsy declares the castle of Camelot to be "only a model". Later on, Chaim Avigad realizes that just as no one expects the Spanish Inquisition (a sketch which he has seen a dozen times with Hebrew subtitles), no one expected the Second Coming either.
In Colonization: Down to Earth, Group Captain Burton Paston's face begins to look even unhappier than usual upon seeing Flight Lieutenant David Goldfarb, "as if he'd been expecting someone else - perhaps the Spanish Inquisition - instead."
In the Supervolcano trilogy references are made to Monty Python and a number of their routines by various characters. This includes a reference to the Holy Grail film and the Dead Parrot sketch.
Myth (video game)
Myth is a series of real-time tactics video games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. The three main games in the series are Myth: The Fallen Lords (1997), Myth II: Soulblighter (1998), and Myth III: The Wolf Age (2001).
Teddie Joe Neeley (born September 20, 1943) is an Golden Globe-winning American singer, actor, musician, composer, and record producer. He is best known for portraying the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar in several stage engagements spanning a number of decades, and in the 1973 film adaptation.
In "The Great White Way," Brent Birley designs a Jesus character for the Sondheim-Webber battle. Neeley is the primary inspiration for the character's likeness, which also includes details of several Italian Renaissance depictions of the messiah.
Netflix, Inc. is an American over-the-top content platform and production company headquartered in Los Gatos, California. Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is a subscription-based streaming service offering online streaming from a library of films and television series, including those produced in-house. As of July 2021, Netflix had 209 million subscribers, including 72 million in the United States and Canada.
Anne Nichols (November 26, 1891 – September 15, 1966) was an American playwright. Among her most famous works was the farce Abie's Irish Rose (1922), which centers on the marriage of a Jewish man to an Irish woman. In Joe Steele, Jewish-American Esther Sullivan muses to her Irish-American husband Charlie that they are right out of Abie's Irish Rose, except with the genders reversed.
James David Graham Niven (1 March 1910 – 29 July 1983) was a British "leading man" film actor, known for his versatility in playing a wide range of dramatic and comedic roles.
In the Earthgrip story "The Great Unknown," David Niven is one of the few 20th-century legends which space explorer Bernard Greenberg has heard of. He is momentarily confused when Professor Jennifer Logan uses a metaphor from a Larry Niven novel to describe the interplanetary crisis facing them. They then look up an illustrated on-line database which shows that the two Nivens look nothing alike.
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with a handful of other others, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles. For his on-screen work he received four Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, and he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre.
In State of Jefferson Stories "Typecasting," Governor Bill Williamson uses Olivier's blackface Othello (1965) as an illustration of trans-racial casting, showing theatre director Reggie Pesky that the sasquatch Nicole Williamson can play the little person Miranda in a production of The Tempest. Pesky finds Olivier's old-fashioned acting to be scenery-chewing, and Olivier to look less like a Moor and more like Olivier with shoe polish on his face, but concedes that it was a good performance.
Gwyneth Paltrow (born September 27, 1972) is an Academy Award-winning American film actress who has played roles including Thomas Jefferson's daughter, and a fictitious lover of William Shakespeare in a role written by Tom Stoppard.
In In High Places, set in 2096, Annette Klein uses the name of long-ago film actress Gwyneth Paltrow as an alias in order to escape from the offices of an illegal Crosstime Traffic station in Madrid. Subsequently passing a monument to a terrorist attack which happened in 2004, she muses that that was during Paltrow's movie career.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Trey Parker (b. 1969) and Matt Stone (b. 1971) are Colorado cartoonists and comic actors in television and cinema, and also writers of theatrical plays. They are best known for their animated series South Park, first aired in 1997. Justin Kloster, hero of two Turtledove stories, is by his own admission a South Park fan.
Mandel Bruce Patinkin (born November 30, 1952) is an American actor and singer. His screen credits include playing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride (1987), and his stage roles include originating the role of Georges Seurat in Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George (1983).
Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 - June 12, 2003) was an American stage and film actor. He is best remembered for playing the role of Atticus Finch in the film adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. For this role he won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Actor. Peck, a Democrat, was active in a number of left-leaning political and social causes, but declined to run for office himself.
In The War That Came Early: Coup d'Etat, when Joe Orsatti attempts to charm a cocktail waitress at the Hibiscus Blossom in Honolulu, Pete McGill reflects that his comrade-in-arms did not compare favorably with Gregory Peck in terms of sex appeal.
Rambo is a series of five films (1982, 1986, 1988, 2008, 2019) about an American soldier named John James Rambo (born July 6, 1947) who fights in the Vietnam War, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, and other conflicts where he protects the downtrodden and destroys evil in an over-the-top, larger-than-life manner. The first movie was loosely based on the 1972 novel First Blood by David Morrell, and the later films all used original stories. The slang term "Rambo" has entered the language to describe a person who is reckless, disregards orders, uses violence to solve problems, enters dangerous situations alone, and is exceptionally tough and aggressive.
In "Black Tulip", Vladimir, a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan (the setting of Rambo III in 1988), says "You see Rambo out there? I sure don't," to which his comrade Sergei replies "We've got our own Ramboviki right here." Incidentally, the collection Redshift which features this story, and the follow-up collection, Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy which features "Coming Across", also contain new stories by Rambo's creator David Morrell.
Daniel Irvin "Dan" Rather, Jr. (born October 31, 1931) is an American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from March 9, 1981, to March 9, 2005.
Reefer Madness (originally made as Tell Your Children and sometimes titled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, or Love Madness) is a 1936 American propaganda film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana - from a hit and run accident, to manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, hallucinations, and descent into madness due to marijuana addiction. The film was directed by Louis J. Gasnier and featured a cast of mainly little-known actors. Critics panned it as one of the worst films ever made. In the 1970s, it gained new life as an unintentional satire among advocates of cannabis policy reform, becoming the basis for stage musical comedies in the 1980s and 1990s.
In Homeward Bound, Jonathan Yeager views several hilariously maudlin anti-ginger films made by the Race, and finds them to be remarkably similar to this ancient schlock film, which his father Sam introduced him to.
In addition to her more relevant roles in Turtledove's work, Leni Riefenstahl and her (in)famous propaganda film, Triumph of the Will, are referenced throughout his Nazi-related work. In The Man With the Iron Heart, her work is described as having made a substantial impression on the Americans who occupy Germany after World War II, but Tom Schmidt can't remember her name.
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson (born March 22, 1930) is an American media mogul, televangelist, political commentator, former Republican presidential candidate, and former Southern Baptist minister. Robertson advocates a conservative Christian ideology and is known for his past activities in Republican party politics. He is associated with the Charismatic Movement within Protestant evangelicalism. He serves as chancellor and CEO of Regent University and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). He appears daily on The 700 Club, CBN’s flagship television program.
In Alpha and Omega, as God begins to manifest in world affairs, Eric Katz momentarily worries that Robertson's harshly exclusivist version of Christianity might turn out to be the one true religion. Later, television producer Saul Buchbinder considers bringing Robertson to Israel to help narrate a report on recent Biblical discoveries. Since Robertson's reputation in Israel is very bad, Buchbinder chooses Lester Stark instead.
Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons
Rocky and his Friends, with the title changed in later seasons and syndication reruns to The Bullwinkle Show, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, and a number of other permutations, was a syndicated television cartoon series whose original incarnation aired 1959-1963. Rocket "Rocky" Jay Squirrel and Bullwinkle Jay Moose are two anthropomorphic animal everymen who repeatedly went on exotic adventures, faced off against two bumbling enemy spies, made insightful jokes about current events, and broke the fourth wall.
In Supervolcano: All Fall Down, Rob Ferguson was out hunting for moose and reflected on some of the stranger things he had eaten since the Yellowstone Supervolcano had erupted, such as squirrels and robins. He then thought about the DayGlo orange vest he was wearing to warn other hunters that he wasn't a moose or squirrel or any other refugee from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The other members of Squirt Frog and the Evolving Tadpoles also liked Rocky and Bullwinkle and referred to any fan mail they received as "flounders" from a line from the show: "Fan mail ... from a flounder".
Frankos' Broadway history column "The Great White Wayback Machine" is named for the WABAC (Wayback) Machine, an absurd time travel device which was the plot staple of Peabody's Improbable History, a spin-off of The Bullwinkle Show.
Robert 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.
Incidentally, Homeward Bound also features a cameo appearance by Matt Damon, who played the title character in Saving Private Ryan.
Gene Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 - October 24, 1991) 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 Nichols from 1966 to 1969 (the Original Series), and again from 1979 to 1991 (the motion pictures). In the Worldwar Franchise's final novel Homeward Bound, a character matching Uhura's description is given the name Nicole Nichols. A possible additional reference comes in the series' first novel In the Balance, when Jens Larssen's first scene includes the statement "He was a physicist, damn it, not a carpenter." This sentence bears a strong resemblance to a repeated line of Dr. Leonard McCoy, which never had the same wording twice: "I'm a doctor, damn it, not a---" bricklayer, engineer, magician, or some other alternative.
The short work "Half the Battle" was first published in Stardate, a magazine that served as a resource for science fiction role playing games, with an emphasis on the Star Trek RPG. "Half the Battle" incorporates a few references to Star Trek, as a post apocalyptic society sets about reclaiming technology. At the end, the society has built a starship based, implicitly, on designs from a Star Trek guidebook. On the ship's maiden voyage, the commander orders Warp 3, a common Trek measurement unit. The Captain rewords Star Trek's motto "to boldly go where no man has gone before," by musing that the ship won't "go so boldly" yet - in the process robbing grammarians of one more opportunity to pointlessly pontificate about split infinitives.
In "Breakups" within Isaac's Universe, Lt. Cmdr. Rupert Smith is disappointed by his first view of a starship from the little-known Samian race, finding it to be less impressive, visually, than even the primitive special effects of the original Star Trek.
The 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."
In the novel Joe Steele, Rogers' quote that "I am not a member of any organized political party, I am a Democrat" is recalled by reporter Charlie Sullivan while covering the Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. Sullivan was reflecting on the chaotic mass of delegates and reporters at the convention. Shortly after, Sullivan also thought that the two-thirds rule added to the disorder by making it difficult to choose the Party's Presidential nominee.
Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell (June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011) was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s.
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (10 November 1759 – 9 May 1805) was a German poet, philosopher, physician, historian, and playwright, whose better-known works include the plays Don Carlos, Maria Stuart, and The Maid of Orleans, and the poem Ode to Joy (basis of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony).
Turtledove has made sporadic use of Schiller's line "Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain" (The Maid of Orleans, Act III, Scene VI). In The War Between the Provinces: Sentry Peak, Thraxton the Braggart remembers that someone wrote this line, and concludes that the author was describing Leonidas the Priest.
The Shadow (radio show)
The Shadow, aka Kent Allard, Lamont Cranston, or Henry Arnaud (among other aliases) is a masked detective (with supernatural powers in some versions) from American pulp fiction, created in 1930 as a faceless narrator for the radio program Detective Story Hour. The popularity of the narration quickly grew to the point that The Shadow was developed into a character in his own right, for radio, print, and film. Most versions of The Shadow include the narration "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! HA HA HA HA!" Another tagline is, "He has the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." The Shadow's development was a haphazard collaborative effort, so that he was not created by any one author, but his definitive writer in the early years was Walter B. Gibson (1897-1985).
In "The Star and the Rockets," Joe Bauman watches Milton Berle on television, doing a spoof of The Shadow, whose radio program still runs in New Mexico in 1954. Berle declares “I am Lamont Creampuff! I have the power to crowd men’s minds!” While he normally would find the skit uproariously funny, Joe is still reeling from his otherworldly encounter.
Sophocles or Sophokles (circa. 496 BC - 406 BC), Σοφοκλῆς in Greek, was one of three great Ancient Greek tragedians. He was preceded by Aeschylus, and was followed by or contemporary to Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th century AD Byzantine encyclopedia, he wrote 123 or more plays during the course of his life. Of those, only seven of his tragedies have survived into modern times with their text completely known. Arguably, the most famous of these are the plays concerning the Theban royalty Oedipus and Antigone.
In addition to their "starring role" in "We Haven't Got There Yet", Tom Stoppard and his William Shakespeare tribute play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead are referenced in Alpha and Omega. When Yitzhak Avigad's world is thrown upside-down by a series of bizarre supernatural events, he remembers watching a performance in Hebrew translation, and concludes that he must be in a similarly absurd play, with God as the unseen capricious playwright.
Stoppard's other bardolatrous work is the tongue-in-cheek secret history Shakespeare in Love (1998). A humorous subplot of this screenplay shows a writer's-blocked Shakespeare working on a play tentatively titled Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. This is cleverly referenced in Opening Atlantis, where the story of "Avalon" features a prominent character named Ethel, who just happens to be a pirate's daughter.
The Three Stooges
The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the 1920s through 1960s, best known for their numerous short subject films. Their hallmark was physical farce and extreme slapstick. The titular trio came from a rotating cast which included Shemp Howard, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Joe Besser, and Curly Joe DeRita. They were commonly known by their first names: "Moe, Larry, and Curly" and "Moe, Larry, and Shemp," among other configurations.
In The War That Came Early: Hitler's War, while fleeing the Balmoral-Osborne Hotel de Luxe in Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia during a German bombardment of the town in September 1938, Peggy Druce observes a Czech and a German near the front desk punching and kicking and poking one another in the eye, and is reminded of a Three Stooges two-reeler.
In The Man With the Iron Heart, the narration tells us that Lou Weissberg has a vocal tic of pronouncing the word "certainly" as "soitainly," and points out that this was a habit of Curly Howard of the Three Stooges.
Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
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.
Lana Turner (born Julia Jean Turner; February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an American actress who worked in film, television, theater and radio. Over the course of her nearly 50-year career, she achieved fame as both a pin-up model and a dramatic actress, as well as for her highly publicized personal life. In the mid-1940s, she was one of the highest-paid women in the United States, and one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (MGM) biggest stars, with her films earning the studio more than $50 million during her 18-year contract with them. She is frequently cited as a popular culture icon of Hollywood glamour.
In Homeward Bound, the bulk of Turner's career would have happened after the Lizards arrived. "Rip Van Winkle" space explorers Charles Healey and Glen Johnson are some of the only men left alive who would make an off-the-cuff rhetorical Lana Turner joke, in an age when the franchise of beauty has been all but monopolized by Lovely Rita.
The Universal Monsters
Turtledove has directly or indirectly invoked several of the monster movies produced by Universal Studios. While many of these films were based on novels, Turtledove's characters appear far more familiar with the film versions.
Boris Karloff's version of the Frankenstein Monster is referenced in "Shtetl Days" (see Frankenstein (Shtetl Days)). The same character is also used as a metaphor of a ragged, patched-up piece of equipment in other stories. Examples are found in the Days of Infamy Series when Saburo Shindo puts together an airworthy Zero from several wrecks along with parts from wrecked Oscars. In The War That Came Early, the same metaphor is used in Hitler's War when Luc Harcourt wears a torn and stitched-up uniform, and in Last Orders when Chaim Weinberg looks at his surgically reconstructed hand (which before the bandages were removed, had looked like another Karloff role, Imhotep the Mummy).
Bela Lugosi and his famous alter ego Dracula (from the 1931 adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel) are referenced several times throughout Worldwar, The War That Came Early and The Hot War, in connection with someone's foreign name or accent, or an encounter with blood-sucking insects. Another Lugosi role, Ygor, is the basis for the character Igor in "Father of the Groom".
Lon Chaney's turn in The Phantom of the Opera is referenced directly in The Man With the Iron Heart and is "butterflied" in Settling Accounts: The Grapple as "The Phantom of the Catacombs" (see also Gaston Leroux).
Sir Peter Alexander von Ustinov (16 April 1921 – 28 March 2004) was a British actor, writer, and filmmaker. Ustinov was the winner of numerous awards during his life, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, and BAFTA Awards for acting, and a Grammy Award for best recording for children. An intellectual and diplomat, he held various academic posts and served as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and president of the World Federalist Movement.
In Household Gods, the time-displaced Nicole Gunther, on examining her Roman surroundings, imagines "Victor Mature standing up to Peter Ustinov in a purple gown, while the choir's voices swelled in the background". There does not appear to be such a scene in any movie that exists in reality.
Lope de Vega
Lope de Vega is one of two alternating POV characters in Ruled Britannia, along with William Shakespeare. During the course of the novel, Vega is seen working on two plays, La Dama Boba and El Mejor Mozo de España, which is performed live at one point in the book. Both plays were written by Vega in OTL, although years later than in the novel. The first one is a romantic comedy and the second a nationalist historical piece that, despite being named after King Ferdinand II of Aragon, actually lionises Queen Isabella I of Castile. In a way, both reflect on aspects of Vega's role in the novel. The first because Lope pursues selfish romantic interests and has to deal with a useless servant, like many characters in the play's genre. The second because he is a member of the Spanish occupation army in England who keeps the country under another Queen Isabella, and oversees Shakespeare's crafting of a similarly lionising play for a Spanish king, King Philip, only to discover later that Shakespeare has been secretly writing another lionising, nationalistic play about a queen from his own country's past, Boudicca.
At one point, Vega, who is a fluent though not a native speaker of English, contributes four iambs to Shakespeare's King Philip, and Shakespeare is inspired to create the fifth and add the line to the existing script.
Harry von Zell
Harry Rudolph von Zell (July 11, 1906 – November 21, 1981) was an American announcer of radio programs, and an actor in films and television shows. He is best remembered for his work on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, and for a 1931 incident when he mispronounced President Herbert Hoover's name on the air as "Hoobert Heever". While no recording of the blooper survives, the slip was exaggerated on numerous comedy record albums performed by mimics (using a variety of different contexts and wordings), many of which are believed by popular culture to be the real broadcast.
in American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold, Hoover becomes President-elect in January 1933 under circumstances vastly different than in OTL. At a memorial service for his benefactor Calvin Coolidge at the Massachusetts State House, Hoover is introduced by the master of ceremonies with the declaration "Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States, Hoobert Heever." This causes momentary giggles from members of the audience, including Mary Jane Enos. Hoover shows no sign of noticing the butchery of his name, and gives a solemn speech, followed by remarks from the incumbent Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The MC is able to pronounce the names (unrevealed to the reader) of these latter two individuals without trouble. No physical description or biographical information about the MC is ever revealed.
Maurine Dallas Watkins
Maurine Dallas Watkins (1896-1969) was a journalist with the Chicago Tribune in the 1920s. During that time, she covered the murder trials of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Sheriff Annan. Both women were convicted. Watkins used these trials as inspiration for her play, Chicago (also known as Roxie Hart), which was adapted into a musical in the 1970s. In Joe Steele, Turtledove directly references the Gaertner trial by making future Attorney General Andy Wyszynski one of the prosecutors in the matter. He also notes that one of the reporters, implicitly Watkins, wrote a play based on the trial.
In "Leg Irons, the Bitch and the Wardrobe," Polsiee is said to have starred in a "tawdry women's dungeon drama," probably a reference to Watkins' play and/or its musical adaptation. Later in the story, Polsiee shouts "He had it coming! He had it coming!", a refrain from one of the numbers in the musical.
Matthew Weiner (born 1965) is the creator of the cable series Mad Men, about the employees of an advertising agency in the 1960s. In "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging", Anne Berkowitz notes that in a black-and-white photograph, her late husband looks Mad Men-y in a suit.
George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 - October 10, 1985) was an American actor known for his cinema films including Citizen Kane (1941) and Falstaff (1965). In Citizen Kane, the first spoken line is "Rosebud" which turns out to be the protagonist's childhood sled. "Rosebud", in turn, has spawned many pop culture references including in the works of Turtledove.
Prior to Citizen Kane, he broadcast an adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds over the radio in October 1938. So realistic was the acting in this play about Martians attacking the United States, that audiences tuning in and catching snippets out of context, believed that a real invasion was occurring on a news program. The legends surrounding this broadcast have likely been exaggerated in the degree of how many people listened and what they believed; it is more probable that they took the enemy as very real Nazis rather than make-believe space monsters.
In The Valley-Westside War, Crosstimer George Stoyadinovich initially uses the verbal command "Rosebud" for his safehouse in Speedro, on the theory that most natives of the alternate did not have access to movies. However, subsequent events convince him to change it to "Shaquille".
The characters in "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy," a "reptilian" retelling of Moby-Dick, includes a mariner named Captain Kain of the Flowerbud. The analogous character in the novel was Captain Gardiner of the Rosebud.
In Worldwar: In the Balance, an actual alien invasion occurs just four years after Welles' broadcast. Sam Yeager references Welles' play and tells Mutt Daniels that "The Martians have landed, for real this time."
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright best remembered for the supernatural thriller novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), the comedy-of-manors play The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), and his conviction and imprisonment under a rarely enforced British law against homosexual acts.
In "One Touch of Hippolyta," one of the more bizarre exhibits of the Hiram U. Rowbotham-Finch Museum is a collection of taxidermized guinea pigs, arranged into a tableau of Wilde directing a production of Earnest. When Elena Jimenez shows him the exhibit, Ian Sherwood says he's going to have nightmares.
The aphorism "No good deed goes unpunished," long attributed to Wilde but appearing nowhere in his writings, is recited by numerous characters through Turtledove's oeuvre.
- Diplomacy Guild, pg. 253.
- Departures, p. 167.
- The House of Daniel, pg. 8, ebook; pgs. 16-17, HC.
- See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 165-166, HC.
- In the Balance, p. 103, HC.
- Joe Steele, pg. 316, HC.
- Joe Steele, p. 427, HC.
- Down to Earth, pg. 162 and 403, HC.
- Coup d'Etat, p. 208.
- Homeward Bound, p. 66, HC.
- American Front, p. 205, mmp.
- Last Orders, p. 103-104.
- In the Presence of Mine Enemies, pg. 139.
- Joe Steele, p. 427, HC.
- Futureshocks, p. 93.
- Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 360, purple edition.
- Thessalonica, p. 238.
- Homeward Bound, p. 465, HC.
- Counting Up, Counting Down, pgs. 15-16, 369-370, purple edition.
- Ibid., p. 397.
- The Two Georges, pgs. 164-165, MPB.
- West and East, pg. 84, HC.
- Two Fronts, Chapter 10.
- Days of Infamy, pgs. 376-7.
- Atlantis and Other Places, p. 423.
- Kaleidoscope, pg. 75, MPB; 3xT, pg. 279, HC.
- The Disunited States of America, p. 228
- A World of Difference, p. 209.
- And the Last Trump Shall Sound, pg. 63.
- Alpha and Omega, p. 373.
- And the Last Trump Shall Sound, pg. 9.
- Walk in Hell, pg. 46.
- Kaleidoscope, pg. 75, MPB; 3xT, pg. 279, HC.
- St. Oswald's Niche, p. 80.
- Coup d'Etat ch 12
- Second Contact, pg. 360.
- Homeward Bound, p. 237, HC.
- Eruption, pg. 335, HC.
- Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2021
- Eruption, pg. 145.
- Kaleidoscope, pg. 125, MPB.
- Bombs Away, pg. 267, HC.
- Ibid., pgs. 309-310.
- Second Contact, pg. 78.
- The Victorious Opposition, p. 30, HC.
- Alpha and Omega, pgs. 39-40, hc.
- Futureshocks, pg. 94.
- Fallout, p. 350
- The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 185.
- Last Orders, pgs. 152-153, HC.
- E.g., 3xT, p. 521, HC.
- West and East, pg. 202, HC.
- Joe Steele, p. 140
- See e.g. Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 125.
- Days of Infamy, p. 140.
- Down to Earth, p. 206 PB, 163 HC.
- Homeward Bound, p. 45, HC.
- Hitler's War, pg. 73, 204.
- West and East, pg. 246.
- All Fall Down, pg. 204, HC.
- The Big Switch, p. 168.
- The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 185.
- Tilting the Balance, p. 124, HC.
- Household Gods, p. 77.
- See Inconsistencies (Household Gods)
- The Gladiator, p. 276.
- Alpha and Omega, pgs 39, hc.
- Ibid., p. 444.
- Down to Earth, p. 94, HC.
- All Fall Down, pg. 315, hc.
- Things Fall Apart, pg. 30, hc.
- Ibid., pg. 374.
- Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 360, purple edition.
- Joe Steele, pg. 186.
- Coup d'Etat ch 12
- Redshift, p. 208.
- Departures, p. 182.
- Homeward Bound, p. 386, HC.
- The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 20.
- Ibid., pg. 44, HC.
- Alpha and Omega, p. 134.
- Ibid., p. 232.
- The Valley-Westside War, pgs. 167-168, hc.
- All Fall Down, pg. 316, HC.
- Things Fall Apart, pg. 321, HC.
- All Fall Down, pgs. 34-37, HC.
- Joe Steele, pgs. 5-6, HC.
- Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 92.
- Sentry Peak, p. 112.
- See, e.g., Departures, pg. 32.
- Alpha and Omega, p. 351.
- Hitler's War, pg. 31.
- The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 302.
- We Install and Other Stories, p. 131.
- Joe Steele, pg. 388, HC.
- Homeward Bound, pgs. 522-523.
- Hitler's War, p. 295, HC.
- Household Gods, p. 77.
- See Inconsistencies (Household Gods)
- The Center Cannot Hold, pgs. 396-398, HC.
- Joe Steele.
- The Valley-Westside War, pgs. 282-283.
- Drive to the East, pg. 550, hc.
- In the Balance, pg. 47-8.
- Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 2, TPB.