Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1632 (or The Ring of Fire) (Flint)

1632 (or The Ring of Fire), by Eric Flint, 2000

In the year 2000, a freak occurrence, referred to as The Ring of Fire, sent the town of Grantsville, Virginia back through time and space, swapping places with a plot of land in central Germany in 1632, in the middle of the Thirty Years War. The small mining town quickly realizes the unlikeliness of a second cataclysm putting right what had been torn apart and sets out to acclimate to their way of life. And, of course, survive. Their weapons and technology give them a great advantage, but they no longer have the industry to produce that technology. Nor do the have the industry to produce the industry ...

An alternate timeline is born as the United States of America is founded 144 years early (and on a different continent). History plays on around them.

The book divides its time between brutal battles fought across Germany, building a new society and some overlong passages on just how well the Americans are getting along with their new neighbors and each other. Putting a new government together has its growing pains. By the end of the book, you get a sense that things will go well even though there's much more to do and more dangers to face, but you'll be satisfied that you weren't left hanging until the next book.

1632 is the first of a series, but is a fine standalone read. It has launched a shared world of sorts, with other established authors writing stories. The first sequel will be on my "To Read" list before I decide how much farther I'll go with the series.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting, have fun. Several of my friends, whom you may have met - or will if you get to other conventions - are on this shared-world project now. It's a very coordinated "shared world"; I've had inter-author coordination breakout around me.
    Not sure i want to wade in, though, as to get to Walter, Chuck, and Jack's books/stories, i'll need to read quite a few others first, as i doubt the later ones stand alone as well as 1632:ROF itself.
    But with them doing this, there's less of their own books coming out ...
    Then there's the controversial question of what *order* to read all the 1632 books in; the author's blog even hedges.

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  2. I did look into it shortly after finishing the first book. I knew that there were more books by Flint, co-written by David Weber (which I figured was to speed up the next book). Flint set up something interesting but I could see where the series could become a little daunting with the research into history, the new timeline and figuring out how a new society would evolve in that environment.

    I'd likely go in order of publication if no other ordered presented itself. That's how the first fans did it, right?

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  3. I did look into it shortly after finishing the first book. I knew that there were more books by Flint, co-written by David Weber (which I figured was to speed up the next book). Flint set up something interesting but I could see where the series could become a little daunting with the research into history, the new timeline and figuring out how a new society would evolve in that environment.

    I'd likely go in order of publication if no other ordered presented itself. That's how the first fans did it, right?

    ReplyDelete