I tried Turtledove a long time ago too, but, again, I wasn't really ready for that. Still stuck in the typical sci-fi/fantasy mindset of typical worlds and plot lines.

Recently, I read The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. . . sure it's a little derivative, but I ended up liking it quite a bit. I thought the characters were the shining part. That reminds me, I need to check out his Dresden Files series.
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"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose