See Alternate History Sci-Fi Master Feb. 18 and 19 in Rare Visit.

Two free events feature prolific author Harry Turtledove and include a lecture, Q & A session, book signing and panel discussion.

By Elizabeth Bird

     Special to USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2014) – What might have happened if the Confederacy had won the Civil War? Or if aliens had invaded the earth during World War II? Speculation about such possibilities is the stuff of the science fiction genre known as “alternate history;” and the USF Humanities Institute welcomes a writer hailed as the master of the genre – Harry Turtledove – for two events.

In alternate history, authors have the freedom to play with notions of truth, reality, and imagination; inTurtledove’s dozens of novels, stories, and collections, he does just that – ranging from Atlantis to the Byzantine Empire to Shakespearean and American colonial times and beyond.

After earning his Ph.D. in Byzantine history from UCLA, Turtledove began as an academic historian, but soon turned to writing full-time; since the 1990s, he has established himself as one of the most prolific and accomplished authors in the genre.

His numerous recognitions include the Homer Award for Short Story, the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and the Hugo Award for Novella.

Turtledove will speak and read from his work, Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. in the College of Education’s TECO Room followed by a wine and cheese reception and book signing.

On Wednesday, Feb.19, at 2 p.m. in Marshall Student Center Room 3705 he will be joined by USF faculty members for an interdisciplinary discussion of alternate history. The panel will include History Department Associate Professor Michael Decker, Brogan Sullivan, who teaches fiction writing and English composition, and USF’s own nationally-known author and School of Mass Communications Instructor Rick Wilber who in 2013 won the most prestigious award for the genre – the Sidewise Award for Best Short-Form Alternate History - for his story “Something Real.” Both events are free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include the School of Mass Communication and the USF Library.

For more information, and parking details, contact Liz Kicak at (813) 974-3657/, or visit the Humanities Institute webpage: