1632

3.4
The Ultimate Y2K Glitch ....

1632 In the year 1632 in northern Germany a reasonable person might conclude that things could n't get much worse. There was no food. Disease was rampant. For over a decade religious war had ravaged the land and the people. Catholic and Protestant armies marched and countermarched across the northern plains, laying waste the cities and slaughtering everywhere. In many rural areas population plummeted toward zero. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasan, death was a mercy.

2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia. The mines are working, the buck are plentiful ( it 's deer season) and everybody attending the edding of Mike Stearn 's sister ( including the entire membership of the local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a ba time.

THEN, EVERYTHING CHANGED ....

When the dust settles, Mike leads a small group of armed miners to find out what 's going on. Out past the edge of town Grantville 's asphalt road is cut, as with a dagge. On the other side, a scene out of Hell; a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his aunt and daughter Iying screaming in muck at the centr of a ring of attentive men in steel vests. Faced with this, Michae and his friends do n't have to ask who to shoot.

At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of The Hundred Years War.
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Year of the Publication
Authors
Publication Date
Published February 1st 2000 by Baen Books
Original Title of the Book
1632
Number of Pages
533

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gave it

Or the handsome, capable and good-natured coal-miner running things fairly and evenly since the eginning of the books, who thinks everyone deserves a fair shake if they 're hesitan to work hard? It 's one thing to avoid arroganc, as the author states in his prefac, but this book takes its weird mix of modernit and American propaganda to an optimistic place that 's a little nauseating in its sweetness.

gave it

( In fact, I suspect the book may have been written in the secon place because the author loves this historical figure and wanted him to have a better ending than his actual death.) Everyone falls in love in the first quarter of the ook, mostly improbably, and everyone immediately has a happy marriage with no culture shock, despite differences in time period, religion, and language spoken.

Bo meets guy, both fall in love in the first 30 seconds, and all barriers are blown down as soon as they come up.The author has an fterword in which he rather defensively explains that he wanted to write a " sunny " book featuring decent, working class heroes.

But I think that he took it too far -- happy endings do not require everything to turn out well for the character at every single stage with no setbacks, and not every attraction turns into a stable marriage.

These people have been ripped from their time period never to return, many losing family in the rocess.

And you can have decent characters and happy endings without demanding that they be so.

gave it

When their small town is transported, through a super-advanced alien race 's meddling with the fabric of space time, to Germany during the Te Years War, the local of Grantville, WV are willing to fight for these rinciples, in the idst of a maelstrom of rampant evil and oppression; and the reader is soon caught up in cheering them on! As one might expect, there 's a lot of graphic violence here -- the real Thirty Years War was no Sunday school picnic either -- but Flint 's good characters employ violence only as an instrument of moral order, not in opposition to it.

gave it

Little details, like the act that the Americans win most skirmishes mostly due to sheer rate of fire, that 17th century men have bad teeth, and that visual details about a modern person would " read " differently to a 17th century person are just awesome.

For example, take this scene from the middle of the books in which the resident of Grantville have just made an alliance with the en of a nearby German town against the invading Catholic army, where Brad, a slightly overweight nerdy D& D enthusiast who is acting as a scout and messenger, is just leaving on his motorbike: " A moment later, eff was roaring off.

They get down to business, and follow their ( American) ideals, which include things like equality for women and freedom of religion.

For example, early in the book some men from the United Mine Workers of America ( the local union, AKA the UMWA) go off to investigate some smoke, before they really realize what has happened to their own, and run across some mercenaries having their way with a farmer and his stepfather.

The seventeenth century characters are awesome too.

There 's an educated " jewess " who is one of the fifth to be rescued ( and remains an awesome member of the American 's elected assembly), an unwilling camp follower who was rescued by the mericans and becomes almost a spy/agent for them as an ardent supporter of 21st century women 's rights, a young Scottish mercenary officer who visits a 21st century dentist before he starts wooing one of the Grantville cheerleaders because he feels self-conscious about his eeth, and, of course, there is King Gustavus Adolfus II, the Swedish King and head of the " ood " guys' army, who is blustery and at first disbelieving but awesome.

Amongst the 21st century characters are that cheerleader mentioned above who becomes a crack sharpshooter ( not as plausibl as it seems), and the school 's history teacher, a former Civil Rights activist who was only working in this tiny West Virginian town because she was too radical to be hired in the big city where she used to live ( although the townspeople did n't really learn this until they were writing up their new constitution.) Maybe I just like badass historians.

gave it

As one reviewer at Amazon said, " 17th century battlehardened mercenaries, haughty nobility and ignorant peasants alike renounce their entire belief system in days once introduced to ice-cream, cute cheerleaders and American politics --- that part rings so seriously untrue it completely destroyed my enjoyment of this trilogy. " One of the most tediou aspects of the novell was the act that it focussed very much on the political discussio of the time travellers, who discuss endlessly the various facets of their production facilities etc.

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