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by Eric Flint
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From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In Flint's novel of time travel and alternate history, a six-mile square of West Virginia is tossed back in time and space to Germany in 1632, at the height of the barbaric and devastating Thirty Years' War. Repelling marauding mercenaries and housing German refugees are only the first of many problems the citizens of the tiny new U.S. face, problems including determining who shall be a citizen. In between action scenes and descriptions of technological military hardware, Flint handles that problem and other serious ethical questions seriously and offers a double handful of memorable characters: a Sephardic Jewish family that establishes commercial and marital ties with the Americans, a cheerleader captain turned lethal master sniper, a schoolteacher and an African American doctor who provide indispensable common sense and skill, a German refugee who is her family's sole protector, and, not least, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Not, perhaps, as elegant as some time-traveling alternate histories, Flint's is an intelligent page-turner nevertheless. Roland Green
From Kirkus Reviews
From the co-author (with David Drake) of Destiny's Shield (p. 760) and a solo yarn, Mother of Demons (1997, not reviewed), a neat what-if that Flint barely troubles to justify: What if a six-mile-diameter chunk of 1999 West Virginia, complete with people, structures, and technology, were suddenly and instantaneously ripped away and inserted into East Germany in 1632? Well, Flints brawny cast of miners, union organizers, high-school footballers, ex-Marine physicians, etc. (along with their womenfolk), immediately set about promoting American-style law and order in the late-medieval hodgepodge of belligerent, barbaric, warring fiefs they find themselves surrounded by. What else did you expect? Tough UMWA boss Mike Stearns begins by rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress, Rebecca Abrabanel, and her ailing fatherboth Sephardic Jews fleeing persecution. Later, after bashing hordes of local thugs, Mike will have to accommodate an invasion force led by the pious and relatively benevolent Gustav II Adolf of Swedenafter everyone convinces the monarch that their womenfolk, though highly talented, arent witches. Not to mention persuading Adolf that democracy isnt such a bad idea after all. Sinewy shoot-em-up, with pikes and muzzle-loaders squared off against modern automatics and 20th-century tactics: a rollicking, good-natured, fact-based flight of fancy that should appeal to alternate-history buffs as well as military-fantasy fans. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
1632 is an alternate history written by Eric Flint, the author of Mother of Demons, which was selected by Science Fiction Chronicle as one of the best novels of 1997. Flint is also the co-author, with David Drake, of the acclaimed Belisarius series: An Oblique Approach, In the Heart of Darkness, Destiny's Shield and Fortune's Stroke (forthcoming in June, 2000). The bestselling SF author David Weber says of Destiny's Shield: "It isn't often you come across a book or series you recommend to everyone. This one is an exception. But all three books. Read them. Now!"
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