Flint, Eric. 1635: The Eastern Front. Riverdale, NY: Baen, 2011. 400 Pages. Kindle e-book. http://www.baen.com/ (N)
(The books above are available in digital and paper formats.)
Grantville Gazette, Volumes 26-41. Moore, OK: 1632, Inc., 2010-12. Digital downloadable file (various formats). Subscription rates vary. http://www.grantvillegazette.com/ (N)
I began reading Eric Flint's 1632 series in the Spring of 2002. We had a District Pastoral Conference in Riverton, WY and I found an odd little paperback in a used bookstore.
The basic plot? Grantville, a city from West Virginia (present-day) got scooped up along with all of its people, technology, books, and ideas, and was dropped in the middle of Germany back during the 30 Years War. After that, there has been no other "outside intervention" or time travel.
The very presence of the Americans changed what we know as history. Oh, and did I mention that there are Lutherans all over the place. Imagine: Johann Gerhard as a sci-fi character; Gustavus Adolphus lives!
The most recent volumes in the series we've seen begin with 1635: The Eastern Front, by Eric Flint.
Religious and political themes dominate the series. One of the other strengths is something that makes good drama good and what made Star Trek in particular appealing to those who don't like all sci-fi: characterization.
Eric Flint oversees an entire "universe" of characters and events. He has to keep track of everything, working with other others and fan-authors. The "butterfly effect" is in full swing. History has unfolded differently. The Americans are at the core of a new United States of Europe. Its Emperor is none other than Gustavus Adolphus.
the story continues in 1636: The Saxon Uprising by Eric Flint.
Those who love political intrigue, the idea of adapted and re-invented technology (guns, etc.), and the impact of more modern religious groups and their ideas (Mormons, Methodists, ELCA Lutherans, et al) on 17th Century Germany, you'll enjoy reading this series.
Early in the series was a unique volume called Ring of Fire after the phenomenon that transported 2000 A.D. Grantville, WV to 1632 Germany. What makes it unique is that the main author, Flint, delegated writing duties to others to help round out the series, sometimes with unpredictable results. This helps make the 1632 series more readable, and realistic. The latest volume like this, edited by Flint, is Ring of Fire III.
Flint also contributes to these volumes to keep everything tied together as much as possible. His novella, "Four Days on the Danube" provides the necessary backstory to better comprehend the aforementioned 1636: The Saxon Uprising. Readers are also treated to short tales by Chuck Gannon, Mercedes Lackey, Walter Hunt, Panteleimon Roberts, Kim Mackey, Garrett Vance, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett, David Carrico, and Tim Roesch.
Volume 42 is the latest volume available.
After going through a peer-reviewed "pitching" and refining process, the GG editors select various stories (and non-fiction articles to inform future stories) for official publication. And the writers get paid! You could be published in this series.
Grantville Gazette can be read by purchasing individual volumes or as a paid subscription. I've downloaded and printed (2 pages/side) all the issues to date. I'm a little behind on my reading because there are so many interesting stories and continuing serials.
The very, very best of the GG digital issues were also printed in paperback. Numbering for the paperback volumes uses Roman numerals.
We thank the publisher for their generosity in continuing to provide us review copies of these novels and Grantville Gazette. If you like a little theology with your science fiction, consider the 1632 series.
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.