|First Appearance||Tales of Riverworld|
|Editor||Philip José Farmer|
|Illustrator||Don Ivan Punchatz|
|Preceded by||"Blandings on Riverworld" by Phillip C. Jennings|
|Followed by||"Fool's Paradise" by Ed Gorman|
POV Alexios Komnenos, ruler of New Constantinople, enters into an alliance with Mayor Richard J. Daley of Shytown against the community of Bornu, ruled by Muslim Musa ar-Rahman. Both rulers fear that they will turn on each other once Bornu is defeated. As set forth by Farmer's works, all of the characters are people who lived and died on Earth, but were resurrected with a physical age of 25 on Riverworld. This gives Turtledove the chance to introduce a Byzantine character, making use of his considerable knowledge of and affinity for that historical setting.
The title directly refers to Alexios and Daley; Daley declares that one horse thief (himself) can spot another (Alexios). In the end, Alexios proves the craftier thief.
Connections to other Riverworld works[edit | edit source]
In Phillip C. Jennings' "Blandings on Riverworld," which directly precedes Turtledove's story in Tales of Riverworld, the character P.G. Wodehouse includes "Emperor Alexius" in a list of currently active rulers on the planet. Later in the same volume, John Gregory Betancourt's "The Merry Men of Riverworld" takes place in New Chicago, ruled by the iron fist of Al Capone. Despite the shared themes of 20th-century Chicago, there is no character overlap with "Two Thieves".
References[edit | edit source]
- Tales of Riverworld, p. 145.