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by David Weber And Eric Flint
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From Publishers Weekly
In this worthy sequel to the well-received 1632 (2000), about a small West Virginia coal-mining town transported back in time to the Germany of the Thirty Years War, original author Flint and coauthor Weber resist the temptation to use modern technology to impose a Pax Americana, instead allowing their transportees just enough high tech to prevail if they can win allies like Sweden's King Gustavus Adolphus. Most of the current book deals with coalition building, as the visitors from the future attempt to remake their new world into one safe for democracy despite opposition from such as Cardinal Richelieu. History books from a now-hypothetical future and antibiotics prove to be more potent than their limited supply of modern firearms, but the most powerful weapons of the new "United States" are its ideas, which now infect the millions of Germans ground under the heels of their princes. Ordinary Germans develop a new faith in themselves and their future when the Americans show them that they can do anything, even fly. Flint, a former union organizer, is particularly skilled at showing how the new converts can make even the "old Americans" uncomfortable in their zeal to achieve the blessings of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," while Weber helps smooth out characters who were stereotypes in the first book. This is a thoughtful and exciting look at just how powerful are the ideals we sometimes take for granted, and is highly recommended as a reminder of how we can look to others when at our best. (Aug.) FYI: Weber is also the coauthor with Steve White of The Shiva Option (Forecasts, Jan. 28), while Flint is also the coauthor with David Drake of The Tyrant (Forecasts, Mar. 25).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A sequel to 1632 (Baen, 2000), this book continues the saga of a West Virginia town hurled by a mysterious time vortex into the middle of Germany during the Thirty Years' War. The residents, led by Mike Stearns and his 17th-century wife Rebecca, attempt to introduce modern American values like freedom of speech to the people. The story recounts their attempts to build an air force (with biplanes powered by automobile motors) and a navy (which includes a few speedboats that happened to have been in town) to challenge the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and the armed forces of France, Spain, and England, but the end result has as much to do with individual heroism as technology. Cleanly written, with an enormous cast of interesting characters, this novel is panoramic in scope. The contrast between the societies of Grantville and Europe allows the authors to examine the virtues of American values and show how the Bill of Rights, though closer to their time than ours, is the most revolutionary difference between the two societies. The ways in which modern knowledge is used without a technological base are fascinating and well researched, as is the real historical information that helps create the background world. Throughout, there is constant action and the hint of danger to characters readers care about.
Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
When a cosmic accident transports the city of Grantville from 20th-century West Virginia to the German province of Thuringia in 1632, the population quickly adjusted to its new surroundings and began the American Revolution more than a century before its actual time. A year later, the small but powerful country plunges into European politics with aplomb, armed with a knowledge of "history," a host of keen and imaginative minds, and a spectacular array of 20th-century weapons. Collaborators Weber (the Honor Harrington series) and Flint (1632, The Philosophical Strangler) take historic speculation to a new level in a tale that combines accurate historical research with bold leaps of the imagination. Fans of alternate history and military sf should enjoy this rousing tale of adventure and intrigue.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Veterans of Flint's 1632 (2000) will see its strengths in its sequel right from the beginning, in which Rebecca Sterns charms Cardinal Richelieu with the gift of a Siamese kitten. The same formidable historiography, wit, balance (there are few stupid bad guys--well, England's Charles I), intelligently ferocious women, and mouth-watering displays of alternate technology are again on view in the context of showing a time-displaced U.S. fighting to survive. Being a democracy trying to spread the concept when half your allies and most of your enemies are monarchies, and even the allies look askance at freedom of religion, can be ulcer-producing. Once the princely counteroffensive is well begun, though, even former crabbed elitist James Simpson's naval background can be relied on. What wonders an Annapolis grad, a German mercenary in an ultralight, and volunteers with speedboats and limpet mines can perform against opponents who have barely imagined such things! If it takes too many pages for some, others will turn every one and cry for more, which the authors intend to provide. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
American Freedom and Justice vs. The Tyrannies of the Seventeenth Century
The new government in central Europe, called the Confederated Principalities of Europe, was formed by an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians led by Mike Stearns who were transplanted into 17th-century Germany by a mysterious cosmic accident. The new regime is shaky. Outside its borders, the Thirty Years War continues to rage. Within, it is beset by financial crisis as well as the political and social tensions between the democratic ideals of the 20th-century Americans and the aristocracy which continues to rule the roost in the CPE as everywhere in Europe.
Worst of all, the CPE has aroused the implacable hostility of Cardinal Richelieu, the effective ruler of France. Richelieu has created the League of Ostend in order to strike at the weakest link in the CPE's armorits dependence on the Baltic as the lifeline between Gustav Adolf's Sweden and the rest of his realm.
The greatest naval war in European history is about to erupt. Like it or not, Gustavus Adolphus will have to rely on Mike Stearns and the technical wizardry of his obstreperous Americans to save the King of Sweden from ruin.
Caught in the conflagration are two American diplomatic missions abroad: Rebecca Stearns' mission to France and Holland, and the embassy which Mike Stearns sent to King Charles of England headed by his sister Rita and Melissa Mailey. Rebecca finds herself trapped in war-torn Amsterdam; Rita and Melissa, imprisoned in the Tower of London.
And much as Mike wants to transport 20th-century values into war-torn 17th-century Europe by Sweet Reason, still he finds comfort in the fact that Julie, who once trained to be an Olympic marksman, still has her rifle...
Eric Flint is a new master of alternate-history science fiction. His 1632, prequel to 1633, received lavish critical praise from all directions and enjoyed high sales. His first novel, Mother of Demons, was picked by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. He has also shown a powerful gift for humorous fantasy adventure with Forward the Mage and The Philosophical Strangler, which Booklist described as "Monty Python let loose in Tolkien's Middle Earth." With David Drake he has collaborated on five novels in the popular Belisarius series, the next of which will be The Dance of Time. A longtime labor union activist with a Master's Degree in history, he currently resides in Indiana with his wife Lucille.
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