The Two Georges

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The Two Georges
TheTwoGeorges.jpg
First edition (UK)
Author Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Alternate History
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton (UK)
Tor Books (US)
Publication date
1995 (UK)
March 1996 (US)
Media type Print Paperback
Pages 608
ISBN 0-340-62825-1

The Two Georges is an alternate history novel co-written by science fiction author Harry Turtledove and Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss. It was originally published in 1995 by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom, and in 1996 by Tor Books in the United States, and was nominated for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History.[1]

Plot[edit]

The flag used in the world of "The Two Georges" is like the U.S. "Grand Union Flag". In the world of The Two Georges, it was retained permanently as the "Jack and Stripes", flag of the North American Union inside the British Empire
Map of the world in The Two Georges. The British Empire, its protectorates and dominions are denoted in red; pink is the territory of the Franco-Spanish "Holy Alliance"; orange is Portuguese territory; purple is the Austrian Empire; green is Sweden; light blue is the Danish Empire and dark blue is the Russian Empire. Ownership and political organization of grey areas is unclear.

For more than two centuries, what would have become the United States and Canada has been the North American Union, a territory encompassing the northern portion of the continent except Alaska, retained under the rule of Russia. The Two Georges, a Gainsborough painting, commemorates the agreement between George Washington and King George III that created this part of the British Empire. The painting itself has become a symbol of national unity.

While being displayed in the city of New Liverpool (occupying the same territory as the real-world Los Angeles), the painting is stolen while a crowd is distracted by the murder of "Honest" Dick (a.k.a. "Tricky" Dick), the Steamer King, a nationally-known used car salesman. Colonel Thomas Bushell of the Royal American Mounted Police leads the search for the painting, accompanied by its former curator Dr. Kathleen Flannery and Captain Samuel Stanley. Some days later, a ransom note is received from the Sons of Liberty, a terrorist organization that wants to see America become independent from the British Empire.

The Governor-General of the North American Union, Sir Martin Luther King, informs Bushell in confidence that the painting must be recovered before King Charles III's state visit, or the government will have to pay the Sons' ransom demand of fifty million pounds.

The search takes Bushell, Flannery, and Stanley across the country via airship (an advanced form of dirigible), train, and steamer. They also meet many members of the Sons of Liberty, including Boston newspaper editor John F. Kennedy.

After chasing many false leads and the wrong suspects, Bushell and his associates arrive at Victoria (the nation's capital, on the south side of the Potomac River across from Georgestown, Maryland), and find The Two Georges an hour before the King arrives. They also uncover the true culprits: the Holy Alliance, a union of France and Spain controlling almost everything from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn, and Bushell's superior officer and covert fanatic Sons of Liberty sympathizer, Lieutenant General Horace Bragg. Bushnell then thwarts Bragg's two tries to assassinate the King. Bragg is sent to the gallows, while Bushell and Stanley are both knighted by the King for their accomplishments.

Provinces of the North American Union[edit]

The North American Union is made up of several provinces.

Province name OTL Equivalents Notes
Albertus OTL Alberta and west-central Montana
Baffin OTL North West Territories (minus the southeastern section) and northwestern Nunavut as well as the Victoria and King William Islands
Banksia OTL Yukon
Canada OTL Ontario
Cherokee Nation OTL northern Mississippi, northwestern Alabama, a northeastern part of Louisiana, and part of southeastern Arkansas
Connecticut OTL Connecticut
Cranmer OTL Texas (minus the eastern section) and Oklahoma (minus the southeastern section) Named after Thomas Cranmer.
Delaware OTL Delaware
Disraeli OTL southeastern Idaho, eastern Nevada, all of Utah, and western Colorado Named after Benjamin Disraeli.
Florida OTL Florida, Alabama and Mississippi bordering the Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Parishes of Louisiana
Franklin OTL Kentucky Named after Benjamin Franklin.
Georgia OTL Georgia and most of Alabama
Hanover OTL eastern Montana, southwestern South Dakota, all of Wyoming, and eastern Colorado and Nebraska north of the Platte River
Hudsonia OTL Nunavut (minus the northwestern section and the Victoria and King William Islands) and the southeastern section of the Northwest Territories
Illinois OTL Illinois
Louisiana OTL Louisiana (minus the Florida Parishes and the northeastern part), central Mississippi, eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas
Lower California The OTL Baja California peninsula
Maryland OTL Maryland
Massachusetts OTL Massachusetts and Maine
Miami OTL Ohio
Mississippi OTL Iowa, western Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, southeastern North Dakota, South Dakota east of the Missouri River, and Missouri north of the Missouri River
Missouri OTL Missouri south of the Missouri River, northern Arkansas, all of Kansas, and Nebraska south of the Platte River
New Brunswick OTL New Brunswick
Newfoundland OTL Newfoundland and Labrador
New Guernsey OTL Wisconsin, Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
New Hampshire OTL New Hampshire
New Jersey OTL New Jersey
New Scotland OTL Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
New York OTL New York (minus the western section), but includes all of Vermont
North Carolina OTL North Carolina
Ontario OTL Manitoba, northeastern North Dakota, and northwestern Minnesota
Oregon OTL Oregon and Washington, most of Idaho, and northwestern Montana
Pennsylvania OTL Pennsylvania
Phoenix OTL Arizona and New Mexico
Quebec OTL Quebec
Rhode Island OTL Rhode Island
South Carolina OTL South Carolina
Tennessee OTL Tennessee
The Six Nations OTL western New York
Tippecanoe OTL Indiana
Upper California OTL California and western Nevada
Vancouver OTL British Columbia
Virginia OTL Virginia and West Virginia
Washington OTL Saskatchewan, eastern Montana, western North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota Named after George Washington
Wilberforce OTL Michigan (minus the Upper peninsula)

Reception[edit]

The Houston Chronicle listed The Two Georges as one of many pieces of fiction that have pictured blacks as the head of the executive branch, in this case Sir Martin Luther King, Governor General of North America.[2] Publishers Weekly praises the novel's "recognizable yet delightfully distorted" world where "engaging characters play out a suspenseful and satisfying story".[3] School Library Journal described the novel as "a fast-paced and gripping story."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sidewise Awards for Alternate History". Uchronia. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Amy Biancolli (2008). "Fiction has long pictured blacks, women in White House". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 29 October 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "The Two Georges on Amazon.com". Amazon. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 

External links[edit]