|Harry Turtledove has made a career out of postulating different versions of the past and, in the process, has become perhaps the premier figure in the steadily growing sub-genre of science fiction known as "alternate history." After failing out the electrical engineering program at the California Institute of Technology, Turtledove attended UCLA, eventually receiving, in 1977, a Ph.D. in Byzantine history. Working as a technical writer for the Los Angeles Office of Education, Turtledove wrote fiction part-time until 1991, when he became a full-time writer. His first two novels, written in the late 1970s, were originally published under a pseudonym, in part because his editor didn't think that anyone would believe that "Turtledove" was a real name. Much of his earliest work was in the fantasy vein--including three series set in an elaborate, largely imagined world--though partly based on ancient history. After turning to full-time writing, Turtledove began to focus on more recent history. In 1992 he wrote the highly regarded stand-alone novel, THE GUNS OF THE SOUTH, dealing with the U.S. Civil War, and in 1994, he began the massive Worldwar series, an alternate version of World War II. As the millennium approaches, Turtledove is involved in writing no less than three huge series--the above-mentioned Worldwar, The Great War, and Darkness--all of which are scheduled to wrap up around the year 2001. In addition to these projects, he has written numerous short stories and scholarly works--including a translation of an early ninth-century Byzantine text--as well as articles on everything from alternate history fiction to a piece called "The Pros and Cons of Being a Writer Couple", co-written with his wife, mystery novelist Laura Frankos.