It's a world where George Washington and George III came to an agreement in the 1760's and the American Revolution never happened

Thomas Bushell is a Colonel in the Royal American Mounted Police, based in New Liverpool (formerly Los Angeles), when the painting commemorating the agreement - "The Two Georges" - is stolen while on a tour of the Commonwealth by radical separationists. The Two Georges

Bushell has to recover the painting before Charles III arrives in the capital Victoria and much political embarrassment ensues. He tracks it from California to the Queen Charlotte Islands to the Six Nations to Pennsylvania and finally to Victoria itself, accompanied by his assistant Sam Stanley and the woman who was in charge of the painting, Kathleen Flannery.

Time is running out as Charles nears, the body count is rising, and Bushell is hitting one dead-end after another...

...oh, and it seems there's a bomb...

And, yes, it is that Richard Dreyfuss

Well, it was fun, but a serious AH it isn't. Remember my rant about people from this world showing up on others barely changed in spite of POD's dating back centuries? Well this book has characters named Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon (used car dealer), Sir Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, etc...

And it's more of a tour of an Altered America than anything else - the mystery isn't a biggy and the suspense level is minimal.

It's worth a read, but don't expect High Art.

Addendum (8/6/98): I asked Harry recently why all these people from our world kept showing up in the Two Georges world, and his answer was because The Two Georges is "Alternate-History-Lite."

So now you know...

Addendum (9/19/01): Many people have complained that - apart from its "AH-Liteness" - the world shown in The Two Georges is just too utopian. A typical "The British Empire Rules All And All is Right With the World" AH.

Well, having just reread the book (what can I say, I was bored), I've noted that while it does suffer from the "eternal empire" syndrome (where empires once started seem to just keep on running - admittedly, something TrolleyWorld is slightly guilty of too), the world is far from utopian.

Technology has been retarded at least fifty years worth. And while this doesn't affect our main - middle-class - characters too much (apart from long, long waits every time they want to make a long-distance phone call), when you're poor in TG-World, you're pretty much living at a Third-World level, even in the "Greatest and Richest Empire Ever." It's no surprise (and even the characters notice this) that the main source of "rebels" in North America is from the poorer regions.

Regions, I might add, which are in serious need of some sort of EPA-like organization.

And for all their talk about how most people support the King & Empire, they do have what amounts to a low-level and permanent rebellion going on in North America - and, I wouldn't be surprised, in other areas of the Empire. This is as if all the OTL right-wing loonies living in shacks actually did make up a noticeable percentage of the U.S. population - and were actually organized!

Speaking of "low-level" - there's been a low-level border conflict going on with France/Spain since, well, apparently forever. And it's sufficiently "hot" that military people having been shot at - or just plain shot - is not all that unusual. It also appears that the government is doing its best to keep this all rather quiet.

And the government does lots of other things that aren't "quite cricket" as well. Our Hero gets a handful of "fill in the blanks" warrants which - while incredibly convenient for the plot - are at best of iffy legality. And "rubber-hose" confessions are apparently commonplace, if not "officially" encouraged.

Now, while race relations seem better than on OTL, looking deeper, I doubt it. Oh, Blacks and Whites and Indians (both kinds) are all equal before the law (though interestingly, even in "New Liverpool" we don't see any Asian population), but they all seem to be nestled into narrow areas of what's "proper" for them to be doing (mind, I may be reading lots more into this than actually exists). And I saw no indications that anyone would even think of marrying outside their "race."

And of course the Irish remain the "scum of the Earth" to most of the proper British citizens of any color in this ATL...

Yes, hardly a utopian world and - in many ways - it may be worse than this one!