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 self-governing dominion 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 Alberta and west-central Montana
Baffin North West Territories (minus the southeastern section) and northwestern Nunavut as well as the Victoria and King William Islands
Banksia Yukon
Canada Ontario
Cherokee Nation Northern Mississippi, northwestern Alabama, a northeastern part of Louisiana, and part of southeastern Arkansas
Connecticut Connecticut
Cranmer Texas (minus the eastern section) and Oklahoma (minus the southeastern section) Named after Thomas Cranmer.
Delaware Delaware
Disraeli Southeastern Idaho, eastern Nevada, all of Utah, and western Colorado Named after Benjamin Disraeli.
Florida Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi bordering the Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Parishes of Louisiana
Franklin Kentucky Named after Benjamin Franklin.
Georgia Georgia and most of Alabama
Hanover eastern Montana, southwestern South Dakota, all of Wyoming, and eastern Colorado and Nebraska north of the Platte River Named after the Kingdom of Hanover, which the United Kingdom shared a Personal union with until 1837.
Hudsonia Nunavut (minus the northwestern section and the Victoria and King William Islands) and the southeastern section of the Northwest Territories
Illinois Illinois
Louisiana Louisiana (minus the Florida Parishes and the northeastern part), central Mississippi, eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas
Lower California Baja California Peninsula
Maryland Maryland
Massachusetts Massachusetts and Maine
Miami Ohio
Mississippi 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 Missouri south of the Missouri River, northern Arkansas, all of Kansas, and Nebraska south of the Platte River
New Brunswick New Brunswick
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador
New Guernsey Wisconsin, Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
New Hampshire New Hampshire
New Jersey New Jersey
New Scotland Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
New York New York (minus the western section), but includes all of Vermont
North Carolina North Carolina
Ontario Manitoba, northeastern North Dakota, and northwestern Minnesota
Oregon Oregon and Washington, most of Idaho, a small chunk of northwestern Nevada, and northwestern Montana
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
Phoenix Arizona and New Mexico
Quebec Quebec
Rhode Island Rhode Island
South Carolina South Carolina
Tennessee Tennessee
The Six Nations Western New York
Tippecanoe Indiana
Upper California California and western Nevada
Vancouver British Columbia
Virginia Virginia and West Virginia
Washington Saskatchewan, eastern Montana, western North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota Named after George Washington
Wilberforce Michigan (minus the Upper peninsula) Named after William Wilberforce

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]