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Hardcover Ring of Fire Book

ISBN: 074347175X

ISBN13: 9780743471756

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

The battle between democracy and tyranny is joined, and the American Revolution has begun over a century ahead of schedule. A cosmic accident has shifted a modern West Virginia town back through time... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Brilliant idea

A brilliant idea: both this book and the new series of which it is a part. All red-blooded Americans will like these stories, and probably many Germans, too. This is a better reading book than Flint's "1632" or "1633." Those are the novels that introduced the idea, of a bunch of small-town West Virginians mysteriously transported back to 1632 in south German lands in the middle of the misery of the Thirty Years War, into a series. This volume is the first to consist of a number of short stories and a novela, each one focused on a single topic or set of characters that are much simpler to understand than the novels. The argumentation or plots are short and tight here. Each story is an entire capsule, rather than open-ended threads (as in the novels), within a saga that is gradually spreading to encompass (and rewrite the "history" of) all of Europe, and equally difficult to integrate. The "main line" of novels sprawls a good bit, each juggling numerous parallel threads--like real history-- which will all, hopefully, link up some day. In this collection we get entire stories of how some line of innovation got started after the Americans arrived down-time, such as naval ships, the dye industry, religious rapprochements, telegraphy, infiltration, and the propagation of the American way, seen as the only route to survival. The idea is a bit like Twain's The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, but now for an entire town of 3500 facing and adapting to the brutal challenges of a strife-torn Europe. The brilliant innovation of the series is its structure. Besides the novels, written by the creator Eric Flint and picked collaborators, Ring of Fire begins a line of anthologies that fill out the big picture developed in those huge novels. This anthology is not the usual passel of authors riffing on someone's created world, each in their own inimitable but clashing styles. It includes stories set in the world of "1632" submitted by unknown authors over email, taking advantage of an intense online community that has grown for the further development of this world. They produce a coherent collection of disparate stories, but linked by style and consistent background events, thanks to Flint's strong editorial hand and the cooperation of the writers. Significantly, some stories provide the backstory of major characters seen in the novels, while others show the contributions of minor characters to the fight for survival. Most remarkably, new characters are also introduced who will be allowed to become leading actors in the future main line novels. This series is a truly collaborative enterprise; the many authors of this anthology are not merely guest writers. Their stories spin in to, not spin out from, Flint's world of "1632." This structure is very generous, excitingly productive, and is unique in my reading experience. While the novels contain major military actions, as one might expect from Flint's other books, this volume concentrates mostly on a g

Ring of Fire on fire

I actually enjoyed this more than the main stream books. The more focused vinettes showed how the events effected not just the main characters, the the subcharacters and showed that each person would have their own point of view. While it is mostly positive, here and there the darker side of human nature comes through.

A Solid Anthology

"Ring of Fire" is a collection of short stories set in the universe created by Eric Flint in his 2000 novel "1632." In "1632," the town of Grantville is ripped from modern day West Virginia and dropped in the middle of Germany, in the middle of the Thirty Years' War, by a cosmic accident (commonly considered an Act of God) which is eventually dubbed the 'Ring of Fire.'The fifteen stories in this anthology seem to have been written after the publication of "1632," but before that of its sequel "1633." They take place concurrently with the action in those two novels: "Power to the People" by Loren K. Jones goes all the way back to the Ring of Fire that kicked off 1632, while Eric Flint's "The Wallenstein Gambit" is set in the middle of the year 1633. As with all anthologies, the styles and qualities of the stories varied from author to author, from the 16-page "To Dye For" by Mercedes Lackey to Flint's 120-page novella. However, although I enjoyed some stories in "Ring of Fire" more than others, I can honestly say there were none I actively disliked, which is pretty much as good as it gets for anthologies.What makes "Ring of Fire" so interesting is the fact that it is not your typical anthology. Most 'spin-off' anthologies like this one feature stories peripheral to the main plot of the series, involve minor characters and don't play a significant role in the grand scheme of things. Some stories such as "Power to the People" and "When the Chips Are Down" by Jonathan Cresswell and Scott Washburn seem to follow that model. However, most of them actually play important roles shaping both the plots and the characters of the later books in the series. For example, David Weber (who coauthored "1633") writes a story about the founding of the new American navy that plays a prominent role in "1633" and Andrew Dennis's story sets up "1634: The Galileo Affair" (which he coauthored) and develops some of its main characters. Meanwhile, "The Wallenstein Gambit" incorporates other stories in "Ring of Fire," redraws the map of Europe, and lays the basis for forthcoming "1634: ..." novels.The point is that this anthology plays an important role in the series, and needs to be read by anyone who wants to enjoy future 163x books. This is a part of Eric Flint's interesting approach to the whole series, which tries to make the '1632 universe' a full-bodied and realistically complex place. To do this Flint writes the main books of the series with a number of different coauthors (David Weber, Andrew Dennis, Mike Spehar, Virginia DeMarce), while at the same time allowing all of the authors who contributed to "Ring of Fire" to make their own mark on the developing series. Flint has even begun publishing fan fiction in an online magazine (the "Grantville Gazette") and incorporating it into 163x novels. It is (to my knowledge) a unique approach, and so far seems to be producing excellent results.So not only is "Ring of Fire" a solid anthology in its own right, it is required

An exception to the rule...

It's usually the rule that multi-author books of stories are invariably not as good as single-author novels, but "Ring of Fire" strikes a near-perfect balance between retaining different scopes, tones, and styles, and using those diverse storylines as part of a more direct narrative. If you liked 1632, you will like this, and it definitely helps, in fact, to clear up some of the backstory for 1633. Dave Freer's "A Lineman for the Country" and Flint's novella, "The Wallenstein Gambit", are particular highlights. An excellent read.

Great Book of Stories

This is an absolutely must-read book for those who enjoy the 1632-ish universe created by Eric Flint. Anyone who likes great alternative history, or for that matter, likes history at all, will enjoy the stories of a group of Americans tossed back to 17th Century Europe and stranded there.The complexity and texture of the universe has been remarkable. In the first book, 1632, Flint brought in Gustavus Adolphus and his generals as major characters along with a raft of fictional characters from two different centuries. The 1633 collaboration with David Weber expanded the field to include Richelieu in France, Cromwell in England, and Frederick Wilhelm of Holland, as all of Europe became part of the changed history. Real and fictional characters met and blended well. Coming a bit later in 2004 is the the book entitled "1634: The Galileo Gambit" that will center on Venice and include many of the Church people of the time including Giului Mazarini, generally known to history for his life a bit later as Cardinal Mazarin.This book is a collection of stories that fills in gaps, that prepare the way for other books.Some of the stories are by well-known science fiction writers, others by amateurs who participated in a contest run by Flint and his publisher (at Weber's "In the Navy" focuses on two characters who were center stage in "1633", John Simpson and Eddie Cantrell, as they create a new navy for the new nation, the United States of Europe. And it is a nice narrative tale, particularly fun for those who had previously read the book.Mercedes Lackey's "To Dye For" is a comedy focusing on a 60's "drug chemist" hippie who needs to find a way to make enough money to win over the father of the woman he loves. David Freer;s "A Lineman for the County" brings in a couple of characters who will be in other works, Dougal, Len, and Ellie who create the first "telephone" system. Andrew Dennis has a story "Between the Armies" that looks at the impact of religion as brought in by those from the 21st Century on those living in the 17th and is a key to the upcoming book. Virginia DeMarco has a cute story about getting dentures for a key character that is a lovely comedy of manners. S.L. Viehl brings in William Harvey as a character in a way that brings a thread from 1633 full circle. "The Three R's" by Jody Dorsett, "Here Comes Santa Claus" by K.D. Wentworth, and most particularly, "The Wallenstein Gambit " by Eric Flint move key components of a new major element into the whole tapestry.The first two stories combine with the third, in which the man who was the lead villain in 1632, Count Wallenstein, changes sides and is willing to work to prevent the largest porgrom in Eastern Europe that existed before the Holocaust (at Chmielnicki) if he gets support from the lead characters. The combination of fictional characters along with the historical ones (Wallenstein, Pappenheim, Comenius) is fascinating, along with a glimpse of life in East European ghettoes.
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