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Old 04-26-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
leebase
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1634: The Gallileo Affair - Eric Flint

Another book in the "1632" Universe by Eric Flint. The basic premise of the series is that an alien (the Assiti) "shard" (whatever that is) broke off and struck a West Virginian mining town in 1990. The result is that a 6 mile diameter of the town was transported to 1630's Germany in the middle of the 30 Year's War.

Other than that "sci fi" setup, the rest of the books explore the "what if" without any further sci-fi. So, this town goes back with whatever such a town in 1990 is likely to have, and there are no further trips back and forth in time.

The series is not a traditional series. There is no arching goal or theme. There will be no resolution. It's just a very well down romp in the past via "alternate history". A whole online community has formed around the series with some serious geeks (are folks interested in ancient metal working "geeks"?) working out very real "what could happen".

In this book, Gallileo is on trial. And yet, all the powers that be, including the Pope have read the history books the Grantville (the town that went back) folks had. So they KNOW Gallileo was right. Some EXCELLENT musings on church politics that neither bash Catholicism nor promote it. It's just darn good "what if". There's fun characters in the form of three teenage boys from "up time" who get involved in a caper with "down time" Italian revolutionaries who decide to break Gallileo out of "prison" (he was under house arrest, actually).

I love these books and will definitely continue reading in the series. The first couple of books (1632, 1633) can be had for free from the Baen Free Library (www.baen.com/library). All but the last book can be had for free from the Baen CD's hosted at The Fifth Imperium (all above board and legit): http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/2...EasternFrontCD


Lee
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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I really liked the first books but for some reason couldn't get though the Gallileo book. I guess I like the 'action' parts better then the political/church stuff.

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richvalle View Post
I really liked the first books but for some reason couldn't get though the Gallileo book. I guess I like the 'action' parts better then the political/church stuff.

rv
For sure this wasn't much of an action book. I really enjoyed the teenage love angle complete with crazy in-laws. I also enjoyed the story line with the Catillian and the up-time nurse. And yes, I loved the political intrigue.

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Old 04-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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Oh dear......

I'm afraid I read the first and found it pretty dire.

A very clever, original concept idea, with bags of promise, but fell down badly thereafter in the quality of the writing and structure.
And the assumptions and stereotypes put forward for "Average America" in a crisis weren't, I thought , terribly flattering, to say the least.

But, each to their own..............
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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I enjoyed 1632 and the followup 1633 a lot. I didn't care for 1634 all that much, but there are lots of short stories and other works set in the same universe that are pretty good.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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I also think the Grantville Gazette stories are often better than the main novels. Do I care about the details of yet another boring battle? No. But I do find a story about getting rich selling Barbie dolls, or setting up a sewing machine company, or building a dirigible interesting. Though I do think the cast of hundreds in the stories is often overkill. I'm sorry, I couldn't tell you who my second cousins are, so I don't care diddly about whose uncle married whose sister-in-law's niece. I handle that part the way I do most stories with large casts: I ignore all names, and just track events.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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I've had trouble staying interested in the series. . .

The first couple of books were great, but there seems to be so many books by so many authors (at least it seems that way to me), that I think the series sort of drifts. I'm not sure what the point is.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:26 AM   #8
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Nice to read I am not alone in finding the series sort of odd. I actually have only enjoyed the first half of 1632. After that point I found it too involved in the political intrigue side of things whereas the first half was, to me, about survival in an "alien" world with only the tools you had on you at the time things went sideway to try and save yourselves.

I never even made it through half of the second book. I did finish 1632 with some hope for the next novel or two. But it never really recovered for me after the whole "imprisoned" in the Tower of London in the 2nd half of 1632. It was OK but never got me back into the story.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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The 1632 novels can probably be ignored if one's into the social and tech stuff. That's easier found in the Grantville Gazette stories. Since they can't change the course of the main storyline, they have to write smaller stories around it, so it's in those that you read about paper factories in Norway or rubber expeditions to South America. Granted, not all the stories have good stuff – the musical stories bore me, as do the wedding ones, and so on – but about half do have what I'm looking for in paratime/timedrop tales.

In a similar way, I don't like how John F. Car continued the Lord Kalvan tales, since he upped the military aspects and downplayed the socio-tech ones. Better are the extensions by Gina Marie Wylie, where she deals with more our-time-ish folk dropping into Kalvan's timeline, and you get stuff about railroads and micro-loan coöps and so on.
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