These are my proposed additions to Literary Allusions in Turtledove's Work.

Alexander Afanasyev

Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev (Александр Николаевич Афанасьев) (23 July [O.S. 11 July] 1826 — 5 October [O.S. 23 September] 1871) was a Russian Slavist and ethnographer who published nearly 600 Russian fairy and folk tales, one of the largest collections of folklore in the world. The first edition of his collection was published in eight volumes from 1855–67, earning him the reputation as being the Russian counterpart to the Brothers Grimm. Most of the definitive Baba Yaga legends were first transcribed by Afanasyev. Arguably the internationally best-known example is "Vasilisa the Beautiful", wherein an indentured servant (whose biography resembles both Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel at different turns) escapes from her captivity in the izbushka with the help of small magical creatures and her own cleverness and kindness. Another character from the Yaga stories is Prince Dmitri, enchanted into the form of a hedgehog, whose story has sometimes been conflated with Vasilisa's in subsequent retellings.

A large part of Laura Frankos' "Slue-Foot Sue and the Witch in the Woods" is a retelling of "Vasilisa the Beautiful," with the American adventurer Slue-foot Sue substituting for the titular servant. Sue meets Prince Dmitri, who is confirmed to be from the House of Romanov for the purpose of rehashing a well-worn Anglo-Russian pun.

David Brin

The Postman. Great literature does not always make great film.

Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His best known works are the Uplift series, The Postman, Earth, and the non-fiction work The Transparent Society.

In Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown," Jennifer Logan's class teaches a number of Brin novels, most importantly The Postman.

Dan Brown

6-15-18-13-21-12-1-9-3, 21-14-15-18-9-7-9-14-1-12, 16-12-1-7-9-1-18-9-19-20-9-3.

Daniel Gerhard "Dan" Brown (born June 22, 1964) is an American author best known for his espionage thriller novels featuring Professor Robert Langdon, who is drawn to solve mysteries involving archaeology and clues based on ancient literature. The Da Vinci Code (2003), arguably the best known entry in the series, is controversial because of Brown's baseless statements that its depiction of secret cyphers within the pages of the Bible, and a secret history of Jesus' family life, are factually true.

In Alpha and Omega, Reverend Lester Stark regards the claims of The Da Vinci Code (among others) that vast cryptograms run throughout the Bible, as heresy. But to avoid alienating a large part of his audience, he slides around saying this directly.[1]

Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers is a fictional space opera hero created by Philip Francis Nowlan in the novella Armageddon 2419 A.D. (1928), subsequently appearing in multiple media, including radio, comic strip, and film. The character's far-reaching influence inspired the rival imitation character Flash Gordon, and created a renewed interest in the earlier John Carter of Mars novels. Buck Rogers was also a primary influence on Star Wars.

Throughout the Worldwar quartet, various characters use Buck Rogers' universe as a frame of reference when describing the technology of the Race.

Algis Budrys

Algirdas Jonas "Algis" Budrys (January 9, 1931 – June 9, 2008) was a Lithuanian-American science fiction author, editor, and critic. He was also known under the pen names Frank Mason, Alger Rome (in collaboration with Jerome Bixby), John A. Sentry, William Scarff, and Paul Janvier.

In Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown," Jennifer Logan thinks of the repeatedly dying hero of Budrys' Rogue Moon, when she sees that Nangar and Loto have apparently died and been cloned back to live again repeatedly in Imperial Foitani fortress.[2]

John Burgon

John William Burgon (21 August 1813 – 4 August 1888) was an English Anglican clergyman and poet who became the Dean of Chichester Cathedral in 1876. He is remembered, among other things, for his poem "Petra," about the historical site in Transjordan (now the Kingdom of Jordan), which contains the stanza: "The hues of youth upon a brow of woe/which Man deemed old two thousand years ago/match me such marvel save in Eastern clime/a rose-red city half as old as time."

In Homeward Bound, Jonathan Yeager thinks of the last line of this stanza and reflects that the English author has earned immortality "of a sort," because very few people, even if they remember the line, know the remainder of the poem, or even the author's name. Poems have been written in the Race's language about Preffilo, a city which is old enough to make it seem that Petra could have been built yesterday.[3]

Geoffrey Chaucer


In Noninterference, Magda Kodaly and Stavros Monemvasios are undercover among pilgrims to Helmand. When Magda compares their pilgrimage to the one to Canterbury, Stavros (whose classical education is largely limited to ancient Greece) doesn't get the reference.[4]

Richard Connell

Richard Edward Connell Jr. (October 17, 1893 – November 22, 1949) was an American author and journalist, best remembered for his short story "The Most Dangerous Game" (1924), the story of a mad nobleman who hunts humans as big game on his island hideaway.

In "The Last Word," Draka officers Benedict Arnold and Piet van Damm discuss a story whose plot matches Connell's. However, in this timeline the author was supposedly English rather than American.


Cosmopolitan (Cosmo for short) is a best-selling international fashion and entertainment magazine for women. First published in 1886 in New York City as a family magazine, it was later transformed into a literary magazine and since 1965 has become a women's magazine. It is known for articles discussing relationships, sex, health, careers, self-improvement, celebrities, fashion, horoscopes, and beauty.

In Household Gods, it is a primary character trait that Nicole Gunther, despite being in a legal profession that requires much education, is intellectually lazy. At one point it is revealed that Cosmo is the only non-work-related reading material she keeps in her West Hills home.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle wonders when Turtledove will pastiche the incredibly popular and interesting Professor Challenger.

In addition to their significant references in Earthgrip, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his creation Sherlock Holmes are frequently referenced in Turtledove's work.

Turtledove's short story "The Scarlet Band", is a pastiche of the Holmes stories. In the analog, Sherlock Holmes becomes Athelstan Helms, Dr. John Watson becomes James Walton, and Inspector Lestrade becomes La Strada. In an unusual move for Turtledove, this pastiche is actually part of the Atlantis Series, rather than being a stand-alone work.

Holmes and company are well known for their one-liners, some of which were, ironically, not created by Doyle. "Elementary, my dear Watson" originates from stage and film adaptations of Holmes, although it is a reasonable paraphrase of sentiments Holmes did express on several occasions. Within Turtledove's canon, it sets up an atrocious pun in the "Nothing in the Nighttime" section of Earthgrip,[5] and has probably been used on other occasions.

Another such statement is "No kidding, Sherlock". This sentiment probably originated from a man-on-the-street, with no definitive origin. It can be worded several dozen different ways, and Turtledove has probably incorporated all of them into his work at one point or another.

A legitimate Doyle line, originating in "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet," says that "when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." In The Valley-Westside War when Private Dan, reporting to Captain Horace his conviction that the technologically advanced Mendozas must be time travelers from the Old Time, refers to the Great Detective and his saying that "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".[6]

In "Hindsight," Katherine Lundquist playfully tells her husband Pete, "The game's afoot, Watson," paraphrasing a line from "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange", which in turn cribbed from William Shakespeare's Henry V.[7]

In The War That Came Early: West and East, Pete McGill makes an obvious observation and reflects that, if he were an investigator, he would not put Sherlock Holmes out of business.

In the world of Through Darkest Europe, there is a series of popular fictional works about a detective named Tariq, whose dim-witted sidekick is in the habit of saying things like "Astounding, Tariq. What leads you to this astonishing conclusion?"[8] This is a paraphrase of several Watsonisms aimed at Holmes.

Albert Edersheim

Alfred Edersheim (7 March 1825 – 16 March 1889) was an Austrian Jewish convert to Christianity, and a Biblical scholar known especially for his book The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (1883).

In Alpha and Omega, Lester Stark finds Edersheim's book to be an invaluable guide to the portents unfolding in Stark's lifetime.[9]

Jack Finney

Walter Braden "Jack" Finney (born John Finney; October 2, 1911 – November 14, 1995) was an American science fiction novelist. His best-known works are the alien invasion thriller The Body Snatchers (1954, later reissued as Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and the time travel adventure Time and Again (1970).

Turtledove has often stated his admiration for Finney, and included a Finney story, "I'm Scared," in The Best Time Travel Stories of the Twentieth Century.

The multiple film adaptations of Body Snatchers have become iconic in popular culture. Finney stated his wish for Time and Again to be filmed. Since the novel's debut, an adaptation has often been reported to be in development, only to be a false alarm.

In "Under Coogan's Bluff," Turtledove engages in a bit of wish-fulfillment on this matter. When traveling back to New York in 1905, and seeing how landmarks such as the Dakota are unchanged in their own 2040, Keyshawn Fredericks and Joshua Kaplan refer to Time and Again. While Fredericks is thinking of the book, Kaplan is basing his knowledge on the "Netflarx stream."[10]

Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert (12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist, whose best known works include Madame Bovary (1857), the tragic tale of a financially naive Norman country family in the 1830s-40s, and Salammbo (1862), the tale of the Mercenary Revolt in 3rd-century BC Carthage.

In The Great War: Walk in Hell, we are told that Salammbo is very popular among Confederate blacks, as the story of the revolt of dark skinned mercenaries strikes a chord in the heart of even the most peaceable black man.[11]

Brothers Grimm

Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786–1859), were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. They were among the first and best-known collectors of German and European folk tales, and popularized traditional oral tale types such as "Cinderella", "The Frog Prince", "The Goose-Girl", "Hansel and Gretel", "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin", "Sleeping Beauty", and "Snow White". Some of these tales had been written down previously, by authors such as 17th-century Frenchman Charles Perrault, but the Grimm versions differ in content from Perrault. Their definitive collection, Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in two volumes — the first in 1812 and the second in 1815.

In Thessalonica, set in 597, George the shoemaker wishes that there could be a spirit or fairy that would make shoes for him as he lay in bed.[12] This is an ironic allusion to the Grimms' "The Elves and the Shoemaker," about a poor shoemaker who receives much-needed help from three young helpful elves.

Frankos' "The Great White Way" features Grimm characters Dame Gothel and The Wolf, as filtered through Stephen Sondheim's play Into the Woods.

Hugh of Flavigny

Hugh or Hugo (c. 1064 - after 1114) was a Benedictine monk and historian who served as abbot of Flavigny, France, from 1097 to 1100.

Frankos used Hugh's chronicle as a source for St. Oswald's Niche, and has her protagonist Jennet Walker consult the same work on several occasions.

Hugh the Chanter

Hugh Sottovagina (died c. 1140), often referred to as Hugh the Chanter, was a historian for York Minster during the 12th century and was probably an archdeacon during the time of his writing. He was author of the Latin text known as the History of the Church of York.

Frankos used Hugh's chronicle as a source for St. Oswald's Niche, and has her protagonist Jennet Walker consult the same work on several occasions.

C.M. Kornbluth

Cyril M. Kornbluth (July 2, 1923 – March 21, 1958) was an American science fiction author, whose famous works include "The Marching Morons", the story of a man who wakes up in the future and finds that humanity's IQ has declined.

In Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown," Jennifer Logan shows "Marching" to an assortment of Foitani, who agree that its metaphor is much like the problem facing their species.[13]

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", "The Song of Hiawatha", and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

In The Great War: Breakthroughs, Sylvia Enos reads to her children George and Mary Jane passages from "Hiawatha."[14]


MacLife (stylized as Mac|Life) is an American monthly magazine published by Future US. It focuses on the Macintosh personal computer and related products, including the iPad and iPhone. It’s sold as a print product on newsstands, and an interactive and animated app edition through the App Store.

Between September 1996 and February 2007, the magazine was known as MacAddict (ISSN 1088-548X). In Germany, a magazine of the same name but with no association is published by Falkemedia from Kiel.

In "Forty, Counting Down", Justin Kloster, a time traveler from 2018, buys a copy of MacAddict, with a complimentary CD-ROM, to set up a computer account in the "primitive" year 1999.[15]

George Barr McCutcheon

George Barr McCutcheon (July 26, 1866 – October 23, 1928) was an American popular novelist and playwright. His best known works include the series of novels set in Graustark, a fictional Eastern European country, and the novel Brewster's Millions, which was adapted into a play and several films.

In Turtledove's The War Between the Provinces: Sentry Peak, Graustark is an author of historical romances which are popular among Detinans.[16] In Frankos' "One Touch of Hippolyta," the fictional Massachusetts town of Graustarkton is a setting.

Dean McLaughlin

Dean Benjamin McLaughlin, Jr. (born 1931) is an American science fiction writer. His best-known work is "Hawk Among the Sparrows" (1968), which was nominated for both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Novella. It concerns a late-20th century fighter plane which travels through time, and tries to contend with World War I aircraft.

In Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown," Jennifer Logan shows "Hawk" to an assortment of Foitani, who agree that its metaphor is much like the problem facing their species.[17]

Andre Norton

Andre Alice Norton (born Alice Mary Norton, February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005) was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, who also wrote works of historical fiction and contemporary fiction. She was the first woman to be Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy, first woman to be SFWA Grand Master, and first inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

In "Hindsight," Pete Lundquist and Jim McGregor have heard of Andre Norton, and thus find Michelle Gordian's masquerade as "Mark Gordian" acceptable.[18]

In Earthgrip, section "The Great Unknown," Norton's Star Man's Son is part of Jennifer Logan's class study material.[19]

Edward O'Reilly

Edward Sinnott "Tex" O'Reilly (August 15, 1880 – December 9, 1946) was an American soldier, international policeman, journalist and autobiographer. Ironically, his most enduring claim to fame may be the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek series of Pecos Bill stories (beginning in 1917), which he claimed were not his own creations, but taken from Texas folklore. No prior cultural reference for Pecos Bill and his costars has ever been found, and O'Reilly is believed by many folklorists to have created them from whole cloth as a kind of "fakelore".

Frankos' "Slue-Foot Sue and the Witch in the Woods" depicts O'Reilly's characters Pecos Bill, Slue-foot Sue, Rat the snake, and Widow Maker the horse, who are all from the earliest published Bill stories. It also depicts Bean Hole the cook, who was created either by O'Reilly or James Cloyd Bowman, who took over Pecos Bill writing duty after O'Reilly moved on to other matters. Because of the checkered, haphazard publishing protocols of the magazines in which Bill appeared, the chronology of first appearances and correct credits can sometimes be difficult to determine.

Edgar Pangborn


Davy is also referenced in the Earthgrip story "The Great Unknown" as one of the studying tools in Jennifer Logan's class.[20]

Paul Bunyan

Paul Bunyan and Babe, drawn by William B. Laughead. Crumby and stupid? You be the judge.

Paul Bunyan is a fictional lumberjack in American and Canadian folklore, often depicted as a giant. His exploits revolve around the tall tales of his superhuman labors while accompanied by Babe the Blue Ox. Although errant references to Paul Bunyan can be found in obscure publications dating back to 1893, the first widely circulated version was a promotional pamphlet written by William B. Laughead (1882–1958) for the Red River Lumber Company. Bunyan is often considered "fakelore," as most elements of his popular image have no basis in pre-1916 references. As his original publications did not have their copyrights renewed, Paul has passed into the public domain. He has been the subject of various literary compositions, musical pieces, commercial works, and theatrical productions. His likeness is displayed in several oversized statues across North America.

In "The Catcher in the Rhine," Hagen Kriemheld remembers "this book about Paul Bunyan and Babe the giant Blue Ox," probably Laughead's version, from his 1930s childhood. He describes it as "a pretty crumby book with really stupid pictures." THe wall of flame guarding the castle which the man's guide Regin Fafnirsbruder seeks to enter, appears as strong enough to reduce Babe to short ribs and steaks in nothing flat.

See also

  • Pecos Bill, a similar folkloric hero of dubious authenticity.


Pindaros (Πίνδαρος, c. 518 – 438 BC) was a lyric poet from Thebes, Greece. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian wrote, "Of the nine lyric poets, Pindar is by far the greatest, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich exuberance of his language and matter, and his rolling flood of eloquence, characteristics which, as Horace rightly held, make him inimitable." Pindar was the first Greek poet to reflect on the nature of poetry and on the poet's role. His poetry illustrates the beliefs and values of Archaic Greece at the dawn of the classical period.

In Thessalonica, Pindar's Second Pythian Ode to Hiero, which includes a story about the creation of centaurs, is regarded as an especially sacred hymn by that species.[21]

H.A. Rey

H.A. Rey (Hans Augusto Reyersbach, September 16, 1898 – August 26, 1977) was a German-born American illustrator and author of children's books, best known for the tales of a good-natured, accident-prone pet monkey named Curious George.

In Joe Steele, Charlie Sullivan reads a Curious George book to his son Patrick. Rather than simply recite the printed text, Charlie turns it into a game of mad libs.[22]

Spider Robinson

Spider Robinson (born November 24, 1948) is an American-born Canadian science fiction author. He has won a number of awards for his hard science fiction and humorous stories, including three Hugo Awards.

In the Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown," 30th-century Professor Jennifer Logan laments that Robinson's stories, written in what her people call "Middle English", are impossible to translate into modern Spanglish without losing the flavor, due to all the puns. While Robinson is not given a first name, it is fairly obvious that the reference is to Spider, not any other Robinson.

Erwin Schrodinger

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), sometimes written as Schrodinger or Schroedinger, was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian-Irish physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in quantum theory: the Schrödinger equation provides a way to calculate the wave function of a system and how it changes dynamically in time. He was an author of copious non-fiction pieces, and is most famous in popular culture for Schrodinger's cat, an essay first published in 1935. In the proposed scenario, a cat is in a locked steel chamber, and its life or death depended on the state of a radioactive atom, whether it had decayed and emitted radiation or not. According to Schrödinger, the cat remains both alive and dead until the state has been observed. Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea as a serious possibility; on the contrary, he intended the example to illustrate the absurdity of the existing view of quantum mechanics. However, since Schrödinger's time, other interpretations of the mathematics of quantum mechanics have been advanced by physicists, some of which regard the "alive and dead" cat superposition as quite real. Physicists often use the way each interpretation deals with Schrödinger's cat as a way of illustrating and comparing the particular features, strengths, and weaknesses of each interpretation.

In The War That Came Early: Last Orders, Anastas Mouradian explains to Isa Mogamedov about the nature of the war's sheer unpredictability, by describing a feline scenario which is clearly Schrodinger's thesis, but omits the name. Mouradian becomes known around the squad for "Mouradian's cat," causing him to come to blows with Vladimir Ostrogorsky over "Mouradian's pussy".[23]

Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Quentin Durward, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Scott's knowledge of history, and his facility with literary technique, made him a seminal figure in the establishment of the historical novel genre, as well as an exemplar of European literary Romanticism.

In The Guns of the South, Robert E. Lee purchases a copy of Quentin Durward, which he never gets around to finishing. Scott's work is referenced by a number of characters in Southern Victory, including Arthur McGregor who is seen reading the same novel at one point.[24]

William Sherman

In addition to his direct appearances and historical references in Turtledove's work, General William Sherman's way with words is acknowledged in The War Between the Provinces: Marching Through Peachtree. Passages from Sherman's 1864 letter, which dictated the terms of total war to the Mayor of Atlanta, are used verbatim in General Hesmucet's declaration to the Burgomaster of Marthasville, in a fantasy analog of this historical event.[25]



In Agent of Byzantium "Unholy Trinity", Basil Argyros' encounter with Hilda causes him to think of Tacitus' writings about German women's fierceness on the battlefield and their defense of their chastity.

JRR Tolkien


In State of Jefferson Stories "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," it is related that the indigenous people of Flores Island were dubbed "hobbits" due to the popularity of Tolkien's works. Although this term has been applied to the aboriginal Floresians in OTL, the circumstances behind the moniker's origin are very different.[26]

Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Лев Николаевич Толстой, 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910) was a Russian philosopher, journalist, and pacifist, best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). The earlier novel, set around the Napoleonic Wars, is often called one of the greatest novels ever written, and is the subject of frequent pop cultural references to its excessive length.

In the fantasy world depicted in "Of Mice and Chicks," there is a similarly weighty novel called War and Pieces. The narrator laments that the people most qualified to know about war and pieces - i.e., people who were casualties of war and are now in pieces - are in no condition to write about it.[27]

William of Malmesbury

William of Malmesbury (Willelmus Malmesbiriensis, c. 1095 – c. 1143) was the foremost of the 12th-century England, ranked among the most talented English historians since Bede. Modern historian C. Warren Hollister described him as "a gifted historical scholar and an omnivorous reader, impressively well versed in the literature of classical, patristic, and earlier medieval times as well as in the writings of his own contemporaries. Indeed William may well have been the most learned man in 12th-century Western Europe."

Frankos used William's chronicle as a source for St. Oswald's Niche, and has her protagonist Jennet Walker consult the same work on several occasions.

William Butler Yeats


In Alpha and Omega, where the literal Second Coming is at hand, Lester Stark wonders "What rough beast slouched toward Bethlehem to be born now?," paraphrasing a key line of the same poem. Stark reflects that Yeats' poem is full of very bad theology, but also of effectively hair-raising imagery that haunts his thoughts.[28]


  1. Alpha and Omega, p. 70.
  2. E.g., 3xT, p. 677, HC.
  3. Homeward Bound, p. 270, HC.
  4. E.g., 3xT, p. 159, HC.
  5. 3xT, p. 538, HC.
  6. The Valley-Westside War, pg. 247, hc.
  7. E.g., 3xT, p. 305, HC.
  8. Through Darkest Europe, p. 79.
  9. Alpha and Omega, pgs. 147-148.
  10. <https://sabr.org/journal/article/under-coogans-bluff/>
  11. Walk in Hell, pgs. 357-358, HC.
  12. Thessalonica, p. 27.
  13. E.g., 3xT, pgs. 682-684, HC.
  14. Breakthroughs, p. 138, HC.
  15. Counting Up, Counting Down, p. 13, purple edition.
  16. Sentry Peak, p. 204.
  17. E.g., 3xT, pgs. 682-684, HC.
  18. E.g., 3xT, p. 314, HC.
  19. Ibid., p. 557.
  20. 3xT, p. 557, HC.
  21. Ibid., p. 287.
  22. Joe Steele, p. 292.
  23. Last Orders, pgs. 322-324, HC.
  24. Blood and Iron, p. 239, HC.
  25. Marching Through Peachtree, pgs. 324-326.
  26. Tor.com.
  27. Turn the Other Chick, p. 281.
  28. Alpha and Omega, p. 149, HC.