1632 (1632 Series)

( 29 )

Overview

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE -- AMERICAN STYLE

1632 And in northern Germany things couldn't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religous war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.
2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the ...

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1632 (1632 Series)

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Overview

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE -- AMERICAN STYLE

1632 And in northern Germany things couldn't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religous war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.
2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the entire local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time.
THEN, EVERYTHING CHANGED....
When the dust settles, Mike leads a group of armed miners to find out what happened and finds the road into town is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell: a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter attacked by men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don't have to ask who to shoot. At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of the Thirty Years' War.

Comprehensive Teacher's Guide available.

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Editorial Reviews

Starlog
...convincing historical detail...entertaining...it's hard not to cheer.
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Mike Stearns is speaking to his new brother-in-law, Tom Simpson, when a blinding flash and thunder bring the wedding reception to a standstill. The "Ring of Fire," as it came to be known afterwards, neatly cuts out Grantville, West Virginia, transporting it back in time and place to 1632 Germany. To complicate matters further, Europe is in the middle of the Thirty Years' War, and armed men are ravaging the adjacent farms, killing and raping residents. The balance of power is about to shift. Mike and the United Mine Workers organize an impromptu army, establish an independent republic, make provisions for maintaining industry and manufacturing, and secure the safety and well-being of the people. At first glance, readers might easily dismiss this book as the Dukes of Hazzard meet Tilly, Wallenstein, and Cardinal Richelieu. It is loaded with phrases such as "It's just a flesh wound," "One road kill coming up," and "So to hell with reading these guys their rights. We're just going to kill them." There is a wealth of historical information included, however, as well as a description of the fascinating political evolution of a tiny American republic developing within the boundaries of seventeenth-century Europe. The characters might be self-proclaimed rednecks, but they also represent the innate goodness of the American common people. Women are represented as beautiful, intelligent, and capable. The nonstop action will attract readers looking for an old-fashioned "shoot 'em up," but they will get a history lesson along with the fun. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and YoungAdult). 2000, Baen, Ages 16 to Adult, 504p, $24. Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
KLIATT
A small town of West Virginians is accidentally and irrevocably sent back in time to 1632. At first, nobody can figure out what happened. Then they come across a group of mercenaries torturing peasants and begin putting things together. Knowing that they have no hope of ever getting back home, they decide that they need to make their borders safe for democracy. They begin gathering allies and slowly changing the medieval outlook of their neighbors. This is a feel-good story, despite the fact that the Americans probably kill about 6000 people during the course of the book. (As readers, we can feel OK about this, because the dead guys were heartless mercenaries who were basically asking for it anyway.) The author has some real insight into the American psyche and how we as a people differ from our European forebears in attitude and perception. I enjoyed reading this book so much that I read it twice. Good characters, interesting historical perspectives, and a whole lot of good, old-fashioned redneck butt kicking. Plenty of violence, rape and mayhem, so younger YA readers might not be a good audience. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Baen, 597p., $7.99. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Susan Cromby; Acquisitions Dept., Mesa P.L., Mesa, AZ , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
Library Journal
When a cosmic accident transports a West Virginia community back in time and space to 17th-century Thuringia, the citizens of Grantville find themselves thrust into the midst of the bloody and savage conflict that history books would call the Thirty Years War. Surrounded by warring armies and burdened by the prospect of diminishing resources, Grantville residents, under the leadership of a council that includes a union leader, a doctor, and a teacher, proceed to turn their new world upside down, beginning the American Revolution a century and a half before its time. Flint (Mother of Demons) convincingly re-creates the military and political tenor of the times in this imaginative and unabashedly positive approach to alternative history. A solid choice for fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Charles de Lint
The history is well-researched, the ramifications of the situation are wonderfully thought through…at the heart of the book is just a fine, thoroughly engaging story about real people in an extraordinary situation.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671319724
  • Publisher: Baen
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: 1632 Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 190,305
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


"I'm sorry about my parents, Mike." Tom gave the two people in question a look of resentment. "I'd hoped—" He broke off, sighing faintly. "I'm sorry, I really am. You spent a lot of money on all this."

    Mike Stearns followed his gaze. Tom Simpson's mother and father were standing near the far wall of the cafeteria, some fifty feet away. Their postures were stiff; their faces, sour. Their very expensive clothing was worn like suits of armor. They were holding the cups of punch in their hands by thumb and forefinger, as if determined to make as little contact with the surrounding festivities as possible.

    Mike repressed a smile. Ah, yes. The dignitaries from civilization, maintaining their savoir faire among the cannibals. They'll hold a cup of blood, but damned if they'll drink it.

    "Don't worry about it, Tom," he said softly. Mike's eyes moved away from the haughty couple against the wall and surveyed the crowd. The gaze was filled with satisfaction.

    The cafeteria was a very large room. The utilitarian gray and cream walls had been festooned with an abundance of decorations, which made up in cheerfulness and festive abandon whatever they lacked in subdued good taste. Many of the cafeteria's plastic chairs had been moved against the walls, providing a bright orange contrast—those few of them that were not holding someone. Long tables ranged near the kitchen were laden with food and drink.

    There was no caviar, and no champagne. But the crowd which packed the room wouldn't have enjoyed thefirst—fish eggs, yuk!—and the second was prohibited by high-school regulations. Mike was not concerned. He knew his folk. They would enjoy the simple fare which was piled on the tables, thank you, even if it was beneath the contempt of wealthy urban sophisticates. That was true of the adults, even, much less the horde of children swarming all over the place.

    Mike gave the younger man standing at his side a little pat on the shoulder. It was like patting a slab of beef. Tom was the first-string nose guard for West Virginia University's varsity squad, and looked the part. "My sister married you, not your parents."

    Tom scowled. "Doesn't matter. They could at least—Why did they even bother to show up at my wedding, if they were going to act like this?"

    Mike glanced at him. For all Tom's immense size, Mike didn't have to look up. Tom was barely over six feet tall, about Mike's own height, even if he outweighed him by a good hundred pounds.

    Tom was back to glaring at his parents. His own face was as stiff as theirs. Unobserved, Mike studied his new brother-in-law.

    Very new brother-in-law. The wedding had been held not two hours earlier, in a small church less than a mile away from the high school. Tom's parents had been just as haughtily rude at the church as they were being now at the reception. Their son should have been married in a properly discreet ceremony in a proper Episcopalian cathedral, not—not—

    This yahoo preacher! In this yahoo—shack!

    Mike and his sister had abandoned the stark faith of their ancestors in favor of quiet agnosticism. Years ago, in Mike's case. But neither of them had even once considered having Rita married anywhere else. The pastor was a friend of the family, as his father and grandfather had been before him. The Calvinist fundamentalism of the ceremony had bothered them not in the least. Mike choked down a laugh. If nothing else, it had been worth it just to see the way the pastor's fire and brimstone had caused obvious constipation in Tom's sophisticated parents.

    His humor faded quickly. Mike could sense the pain lurking within Tom's eyes. An old pain, he thought. The dull, never-ending ache of a man whose father had disapproved of him since he was a smallboy.

    Tom had been born into one of the wealthiest families in Pittsburgh. His mother was old Eastern money. His father, John Chandler Simpson, was the chief executive officer of a large petrochemical corporation. John Simpson liked to brag about having worked his way up from the ranks. The boast was typical of the man. Yes, he had spent a total of six months on the shop floor, as a foreman, after he retired from the Navy's officer corps. The fact that his father owned the company, however, is what accounted for his later advancement. John Chandler Simpson had fully expected his own son to follow in those well-worn footsteps.

    But Tom had never fit his family's mold and expectations. Not when he had been a boy, and not now when he was of age. Mike knew that John Chandler had been furious when his son chose WVU over Carnegie-Mellon—especially given the reason. Football? You're not even a quarterback! And both his parents had been well-nigh apoplectic at their son's choice for a wife.

    Mike's eyes scanned the room, until they fell on a figure in a wedding dress, laughing at something being said by the young woman at her side. His sister, Rita, sharing quips with one of her bridesmaids.

    The contrast between the two girls was striking. The bridesmaid, Sharon, was attractive in a slightly heavy and buxom sort of way. She was very dark complected, even for a black woman. Tom's sister was also pretty, but so slender that she bordered on being downright skinny. And her complexion—very pale skin, freckles, blue eyes, hair almost as black as her brother's—betrayed her own ethnic origins. Typical Appalachian mongrel. The daughter and sister of coal miners.

    Poor white trash. Yup. That's what we are, all right.

    There was no anger in Mike's thought. Only contempt for Tom's parents, and pity for Tom himself. Mike's father had a high school education. Jack Stearns had worked in a coal mine since he was eighteen, and had never been able to afford more than a modest house. He had hoped to help his children through college. But the mine roof-fall which crippled him and eventually caused his death had put paid to those plans.

    The quintessential nobody. On the day he finally died, Mike had been like a stunned ox. Years later, he could still feel the aching place in his heart where a giant had once lived.

    "Let it go, Tom," he said softly. "Just let it go. If it's worth anything, your brother-in-law approves of you."

    Tom puffed out his cheeks, and slowly blew out the breath. "It is. Quite a bit."

    Abruptly, he shook his head, as if to clear his mind for other concerns. He turned to face Mike squarely.

    "Give it to me straight, Mike. I'm graduating in a few months. I've got to make a decision. Do you think I'm good enough to make it in the pros?"

    Mike's reply came instant and firm. "Nope." He shook his head ruefully. "Take it from me, buddy. You'll be right where I was—the worst possible place. Almost good enough. Good enough to keep hoping, but ..."

    Tom frowned, still hoping. "You made it. In a way. Hell, you retired undefeated."

    Mike chuckled. "Sure did. After all of eight professional fights as a light heavy." He reached up and stroked the little scar on his left eyebrow. "My last fight I even made it to the second card at the Olympic Auditorium. Pretty big time."

    The chuckle came again—more of an outright laugh. "Too big! I won—barely—on points. The kid demanded a rematch. And that's when I finally had enough sense to quit. A man's got to know his limitations."

    Tom was still frowning. Still hoping. Mike placed a hand on his thick arm. "Tom, face it. You'll get no farther than I did. Realizing that you only beat the kid in front of you because you were a little more experienced, a little savvier, a little luckier." He winced, remembering a young Mexican boxer whose speed and power had been well-nigh terrifying. "But that kid'll learn, soon enough. And the fact is that he's a lot better than you'll ever be. So I quit, before my brains got scrambled. You should do the same, while you've still got healthy knees."

    Again, Tom puffed out his cheeks and, again, blew out a slow breath. He seemed on the verge of saying something, but a motion caught his eye. His brand-new wife was approaching, with people in tow.

    Tom was suddenly beaming like a child. Watching that glowing smile, Mike felt his own heart warming.

    Hell of a sweet kid, to come from such cruddy parents.

    Rita arrived with her usual thermonuclear energy. She started by embracing her new husband in a manner that was wildly inappropriate in a high-school cafeteria—springing onto him and wrapping both legs around his thighs. Wedding dress be damned. A fierce and decidedly unvirginal kiss accompanied the semi-lascivious embrace. Then, bouncing off, she gave Mike a hug which, though it lacked the sexual overtones, was almost as vigorous.

    The preliminaries done, Rita spun around and waved forward the two people lagging behind her. Outside of the accompanying grin, the gesture resembled an empress summoning her lackeys.

    Sharon was grinning herself. The man next to her wore a more subdued smile. He was a black man somewhere in his fifties, dressed in a very expensive looking suit. The conservative, hand-tailored clothing fit the man perfectly, but seemed at odds with the smile on his face. There was something a bit rakish about that smile, Mike thought. And he suspected, from the man's poised stance, that the body beneath the suit was far more athletic than its sober cut would suggest.

    "Mike, this is Sharon's father. I want to introduce you." She reached back, more or less hauled the parent in question to the fore, and moved her hand back and forth vigorously. "My brother, Mike Stearns. Doctor James Nichols. Be very polite, brother of mine. He's a surgeon. Probably got four or five scalpels tucked away somewhere."

    An instant later she was charging off, hauling Tom and Sharon toward a cluster of people chattering away in a corner of the cafeteria. Mike and Dr. Nichols were left alone.

    Mike eyed the stranger, unsure of how to open a conversation. He opted for low humor. "My new brother-in-law's in for a long night" he said dryly. "If I know my sister."

    The doctor's smile widened. The hint of rakishness deepened. "I would say so," he drawled. "Is she always this energetic?"

    Mike shook his head fondly. "Since she was a toddler."

    Having broken the ice, Mike took the time to examine the man next to him more carefully. Within a few seconds, he decided his initial impression was correct. Sharon's father was a study in contradictions. His skin was very dark, almost pure black. His hair was gray, kinky, cut very short. His features were blunt and rough-looking—the kind of face associated more with a longshoreman than a doctor. Yet he wore his fine clothing with ease, and the two rings on his fingers were simple in design and very tasteful. One was a plain wedding band, the other a subdued pinky ring. His diction was cultured, but the accent came from city streets. Then—

    James Nichols was not a big man. No more than five feet, eight inches tall and not particularly stocky. Yet he seemed to exude a certain physical presence. A quick glance at the doctor's hands confirmed Mike's guess. The faint scars on those outsized hands had not come from working in the medical profession.

    Nichols was returning Mike's examination with one of his own. There seemed to be a little twinkle in his eyes. Mike guessed that he would like the man, and decided to probe the possibility.

    "So, Doc. Did the judge give you a choice? Between the Army and the Marines, I mean."

    Nichols snorted. There was a twinkle in his eyes. "Not hardly! `Marines for you, Nichols.'"

    Mike shook his head. "You poor bastard. He let me pick. Since I wasn't crazy, I took the Army. I wanted no part of Parris Island."

    Nichols grinned. "Well ... You were probably just up for assault and battery, I imagine. One brawl too many." He took Mike's smile for an answer. His own headshake was rueful. "They couldn't prove it, since I fumbled the thing like a Laurel and Hardy routine, but the authorities had their dark suspicions. So the judge was hard as stone. `Marines, Nichols. I'm sick and tired o' you. Either that or six years downstate.'"

    The doctor shrugged. "I admit, that judge probably saved my life." His expression became filled with mock outrage. The accent thickened. "But I still say it ain't armed robbery when the dumb kid drops the gun on the way into the liquor store and gets caught running five blocks away. Hell, who knows? Maybe he was just looking for its rightful owner. Not realizing, the poor cherub, that it was a stolen piece."

    Mike burst into laughter. When his eyes met those of Nichols again, the silent exchange between them was warm and approving. The way two men, meeting for the first time, occasionally take an instant liking to each other.

    Mike glanced toward his new in-laws. He was not surprised to see that his riotous gaiety had drawn their disapproving eyes. He met their stern frowns with a smile whose politeness barely covered the underlying mockery.

    Yeah, that's right, you rich farts. Two scapegraces, right before your eyes. As close to outright ex-cons as you can get. Heavens!

    Nichols' voice broke into Mike's silent test of wills with the Simpsons.

    "So you're the famous brother," the doctor murmured.

    Startled, Mike's eyes left the Simpsons. "I wasn't aware that I was famous," he protested.

    Nichols shrugged, smiling. "Depends on the circle, I imagine. From what I can tell, listening to them gabble over the last couple of days, every one of your sister's college friends has a crush on you. You're quite a romantic figure, you know"

    Again, Mike was startled. And, again, it must have showed on his face.

    "Oh, come on, Mike!" snorted Nichols. "You're still in your mid-thirties, and look younger than that. Tall, handsome—well, handsome enough. But, most of all, you've got that glamorous history."

    "Glamorous?" choked Mike. "Are you nuts?"

    Nichols was grinning, now. "Give me a break. You can't fool me." He made a little sweeping gesture with his hands, indicating himself. "What do you see here? A very prosperous-looking black man in his mid-fifties, right?" His dark eyes glinted with humor and knowledge. "And what else?"

    Mike eyed him. "A—let's call it a history. You weren't always a proper doctor."

    "Certainly wasn't! And don't think, when I was your age, that I didn't take full advantage of it." Nichols' wide grin changed to a gentle smile. "You're a classic, Mike. It's that old tale which always tugs at sentiment. The reckless and dashing black sheep of the family, leaving town before the law could nail him. An adventurous lad. Soldier, longshoreman, truck driver, professional boxer. Disreputable roustabout, even if he did manage to tuck away three years in college. Then—"

    The smile faded away completely. "And then, when your father was crippled, you came back to take care of your family. And did as good a job of that as you'd done scaring them to death earlier. Quite respectable, now. Even managed to get yourself elected president of your local miners' union a couple of years back."

    Mike snorted. "I can see Rita's been telling tales." He started looking for his sister, ready to glare at her, when his eyes fell on the Simpsons. They were still frowning at him, so he bestowed the glare on them.

    "See?" he demanded. "My new in-laws don't seem to feel any `romantic attraction' Me—respectable? Ha!"

    Nichols' own gaze followed Mike's. "Well ... `Respectable' in an Appalachian sort of way. Don't think Mr. Blueblood over there is mollified that his new daughter-in-law's brother is a stone-hard union man as well as a damned hillbilly. Not hardly."

    The Simpsons were still maintaining the stare. Mike was matching it, and adding a grin to the bargain. The grin was purely feral. A sheer, brazen, unyielding challenge.


    Nichols would remember that savage grin, in the years to come. Remember it, and be thankful.

    The Ring of Fire came, and they entered a new and very savage world.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 26, 2009

    Pay Attention to Your Waitress

    Little did I know that a visit to IHOP would lead me to the most entertaining book I've read in a long time. My waitress commented on the book I was reading that day and we exchanged favorite authors. She highly recommended this book. The premise of an entire modern day town being mysteriously transported through time to 1632 Germany is brilliant because, right off the bat, you have the anticipation of more books to come. Not being well-versed in European history, I was able to sit back and enjoy the story without being aware of possible inaccuracies. The romantic hook-ups between characters are pretty obvious, but add to the story rather than distract. The book is fast-paced, but has several good stopping points, which worked out well for my one-hour lunchtime reading breaks. The idea of starting up a new United States with a local United Mine Workers group in charge was an unexpected stroke of genius. Having average U.S. citizens forming a new country based on our Constitution will make you proud of American history and wonder if it's possible to make government work better this time around. The author handled the integrating of modern technology into a Dark Ages society very adeptly. Don't assume, like I did, that 21st century folks are immensely smarter than those of 400 years ago. The book has a "green" element as Flint takes advantage of the scarcity of resources in his time-transported New U.S. to passively advocate for a planned scaling back (or de-evolving) of technology. He makes back to the basics seem like the only way to survive. The book ended far too soon, but I am looking forward to "1633!" Even if you're not a sci-fi fan, take a chance on this book. It doesn't have any alien technology or scientific principles that confuse, but it does offer a unique way of co-mingling past and present.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Good Fun

    Really enjoyed this book. Good story and learned a little history along the way. I found the authors commentsin theback of the book were also worth the read. The first book I have read in the series, butlikely not the last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Awesome book!

    A great alternate reality series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful romp. I can't fully express just how much I enjoyed

    A wonderful romp. I can't fully express just how much I enjoyed this book. It's not going to go down as a classic masterpiece, but it is extremely fun and informative. The premise wonderful. The characters are pretty well developed. The book was pretty fast paced. The historical aspect was exciting to read about. I can't wait until I read the next book. Thanks to Baen and the author for offering this as part of Baen's F r e e Library.

    The eBook was formatted well, with only one noticeable spelling error.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    one of the worst books i've ever read!

    furiously disappouinted. i bought *three* of this series while on vacation because the bookstore person said it was time travel. it is NOT time travel! people read time travel books to feel some sort of affinity with the time travelled to, that's what it's all about! this book takes a whole town filled with the worst examples of american yahoos, and transports IT to the 17th century, where they "fix" things by importing television, ice cream and all the reasons the rest of the world hates americans to begin with. even the few supposed 17th century characters they meet are virtually indistinguishable from the 20th century ones. Horrible! try a real historical series approach, like the one below, and forget about time travel please! learn something.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    1632: In my own words

    I have always been a big fan of alternate-reality type shows and fiction, so when I first saw 1632 in the sci-fi aisle, I quickly scooped it up and bought it. When I got it home, however, was another story to begin with. I sat it down to read, and found myself after the first few pages, asking myself, "What is this that I have bought? This is not like the cover described." But, never being one to give up on a book, no matter how dry a read, I pushed on, and after the Ring of Fire was introduced, I quickly found myself immersed in a world where I was wondering what would happen next. I am currently ¼ of the way through 1633, and am looking forward to each new page, wondering what unexpected turn would await me.
    So, if you are looking for something with action, romance, and adventure, 1632 is definitely a book to read. Just give it about 40 pages, and you won't be able to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Wow

    Great book. The detail to Grantville was amazing. The detail in general was amazing and the plot didn't suffer because of it. I grew up a couple of hours away from "Grantville" and was able to identify many of the landmarks that the author presented. Overall, a very fun and easy read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2002

    great book

    I really enjoyed 1632. I read it in less than two days, because it was very easy to read and was so entertaining it was hard to put down. It was like reading a newer and larger Connetticut Yankee in King Aurthers Court. I then had to order my own copy, since I was reading someone else's book. It starts with a 3 mile radius hemisphere from present day West Virginia (as if picked up with an icecream scoop) replacing a similar section of land in Germany in 1632 during some bad war, aligning the river and most of the terrain. I liked that the author only states it was done as an item of art by some quirky advanced extraterrestial beings viewed as a 'Ring of Fire' by story characters instead of wasting pages on trying to explain something unexplainable nor does he waste lots of pages on the diseases that would cause nor does he waste a most of the book on history lessons. He just goes into a well written story of the 'future' common Americans adapting and interfacing with the Europeans of the 1600's. Both plot and character developement is well done and it is an upbeat book a real joy to read. I really am looking forward to a sequal, as I am sure times will get harder as more and more machines, equipment and modern things fail or are used up. Plus I would like to see more about his interesting characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2002

    Grantville to the rescue

    A small West Virginia town is transported to 17th century Germany from causes humorously described in a 2-page preface; there are no long treatises on quantum physics here. The Americans quickly have a dramatic impact on both the high politics and everyday life of Europe in the Thirty Years War. This is unabashed American triumphalism, and I loved it. While 20th century technology provides initial superiority against marauding mercenaries, the core values of American democracy are what initially astonish but then win the allegiance of local populations oppressed by aristocratic exploitation, religious persecution and endless war. Author Flint is a populist: ordinary Americans possess the courage, competence, compassion and good judgement to survive and ultimately prosper in a strange and hostile environment. At the same time, Flint's protagonists understand that everything could turn sour - a la Little Big Horn and Vietnam, if the wrong lessons are drawn from early victories. <p>Although the treatment of physics is cavalier, the history is carefully integrated, at both the levels of leadership and popular culture. The plot moves swiftly, but gives us time to know and care about the characters, from mine workers and schoolteachers to the Swedish King. As an activist, I especially enjoyed the savvy grassroots politicking of emerging community leader Mike Stearns. The book is a great page-turner, full of military heroics and daring rescues. At the same time, no less than four romances - three involving characters from the different historical eras - have time to unfold. My wife, not usually a fan of this fictional genre, enjoyed the book as much as I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2002

    As Good a Read as You'll Ever Experience

    Not since Black Light by Stephen Hunter or The Charm School by Nelson DeMille have I so totally enjoyed such inspired writing. This book is no mere sci-fi throwaway but rather a carefully-considered, beautifully crafted exploration of American values superimposed on and contrasted with one of the darker chapters in European history. Flint's scholarship is clearly evident after the beginning chapters segue into considerably more serious issues and situations which comprise the remainder of the narrative. I positively envy the reader who has just begun to read this wonderful novel. You will no doubt remember it for the rest of your life, as I know I will.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2002

    One of the very best I have read and reread

    This book makes you love the protagonists and continue to think about the ongoing saga after the end of the book. To make someone like myself - well to the right of Ronald Reagan - to be so sympathetic to hard-rock unionists and show their worldview is amazing. The characters are exemplary, as is this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    BEST BOOK I'VE READ IN YEARS

    I read over 150 books a years and spend most of my money at BN and This book was so good that my husband who hates science fiction, fantasty etc and thinks I'm crazy,also read this book and couldn't put it down and was sorry for it to end. The characters are people that can be identfied with and as american it just brings out the patriotism you forgot you had. I haven't laughed out loud at a book in years. I got my degree in history and I got a lot out of it, my husband is an outdoors good old boy and what can I say the book reads on so many different levels its enjoyable by all. We just LOVED IT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2001

    Great Time Survival Story

    Devouring this fun tale made me realize that I'd enjoyed many other stories of small groups cut off from their own times or places: Costigan's Needle, by Jerry Sohl; Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky; perhaps even Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson. In other ways, 1632 reminds me of the alternate world stories of Randall Garret and L. Neil Smith. But there may be a scary aspect: Could my enjoyment of these stories reveal a psychological desire to be part of such an adventure myself?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2001

    SIMPLY OUTSTANDING

    This book was one of the best I have read in thepast few years. I finished it in three days because I was so attached to the characters. I will be looking for a possible sequel to this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2000

    1632 - fast food on paper

    Reading 1632 was fun but extremely light. The feeling that I was reading a 'John Carter of Mars' novel wouldn't go away. Too many 'the ____est in the world' characters for my taste. Every character is either the most noble or depraved, handsome, strong, tall, muscular etc. Overall, I enjoyed the book but it won't stay in my mind for very long.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2000

    A Must Read

    This is the first book I have read by Eric Flint, but it will not be the last. I am from West Virginia, actually I work in Mannington where this book is based. The character definition and the detail of the surroundings made me look at North Marion High School and our small town in a different light. If by some great chance of nature this event would actually take place, I would like to think that we as a culture would be as brave and bold as Mike and the people of Grantville. History, romance, honor, and good old West Virginia hopitality, this book has it all. A must read! Go Captain Gars!!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Tremendous time travel tale

    In 2000 Grantville, West Virginia, every card-carrying member of the local United Mine Workers of America chapter is attending the wedding of Sharon Stearns and Tom Simpson. Sharon¿s brother Mike is the local union president and very popular with the rank and file. The groom, the son of wealthy parents who object to this wedding, plays football at West Virginia. In spite of the elitist, scornful behavior of Tom¿s parents, the ceremony appears to be a success until a Ring of Fire erupts. <P>When the air clears, Mike, the other guests, and much of the townsfolk realize they are no longer in West Virginia. They soon learn that somehow the Ring of Fire transported them to 1632 in the Northern Germanic States. The new world that Mike and his cohorts have entered is a devastated place filled with famine and the death of peasants caused by the unending religious wars. Yet, for the aristocrat, the world remains untouched until Mike and company form the local chapter of the UMWA. <P>1632 is a clever time travel tale that should provide much acclaim to author Eric Flint for his imaginative and speculative story line. The entertaining tale is crisp and fun to read as the twentieth century union members clash with a class system outside anything they ever imagined. Science Fiction readers who enjoy novels like Crichton¿s Timeline and Hoyle¿s Professor Q books will fully relish the impact of this wild displacement book. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2000

    Outstanding Alternate History!!!

    Outstanding is the word to describe this book. Very good plot, great character development, believeable events, and Mr Flint handles the technology very well. A couple of small errors in the weapons world, but nothing that really impacts on the story. I'll be buying more of his stuff, for sure! A worthy addition to any science fiction fan's library!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    Excellent

    I have read all of Mr Flint's Prior work, and I have to say his writing gets stronger and stronger. This book has everything, primarily a damn good author behind it, but an excellent setting, good historical accuracy, battles, technical and political challenges, humor, and the best wedding night I have ever read all add up to make a book which will be re read many times. Definite must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2000

    Wonderful book from start to finish

    I purchased the electronic version of this book so that I could get it early, and have the hardcover pre-ordered. This is one of the best books I have read in several years, and it will appeal to more than just SF readers. The characters are well drawn and the plot is excellent. 1632 focuses on the way ordinary people react in extraordinary circumstances. It shows us just how much things have changed culturally since the 1600's. Eric Flint is now on my 'Purchase everything he writes' list.

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