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1632 (Assiti Shards #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  8,757 Ratings  ·  630 Reviews
The Ultimate Y2K Glitch....

1632 In the year 1632 in northern Germany a reasonable person might conclude that things couldn'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 slaughterin
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ebook, 533 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Baen Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Kirt
Jan 17, 2008 Kirt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I finished reading Eric Flint's 1632 recently. The premise of the book is a modern-day West Virginia miner town is thrown backward in time to the middle of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War.

The Good: It's established in the introduction to the book that when the town is sent back in time -- due to some aliens monkeying with space-time as a form of "art" -- another universe splits off. So it is possible for the 20th century people in the town to change the timeline. This pleas
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Werner
Mar 20, 2008 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of alternate history and action sci-fi, who don't mind violence and bad language
Flint self-identifies with the Left; but his is an old- fashioned, Jeffersonian sort of populist liberalism, which embraces democracy, human rights, religious freedom (as opposed to "freedom from religion"), personal moral responsibility, retributive justice, and widespread gun ownership. When their small town is transported, through a super-advanced alien race's meddling with the fabric of space time, to Germany during the Thirty Years War, the residents of Grantville, WV are willing to fight f ...more
Rebecca
This is a pleasant, well-researched exercise in wish fulfillment.

The author did an immense amount of research (some of which will be poured into your head via chapter long info-dumps). It's an underserved time period that is inherently interesting. The characters are heart-warming, each with their own Crowning Moment of Awesome. It's a fun, sweet romp.

There is absolutely no narrative tension whatsoever.

At no point does any character experience a real setback or any frustration more than momentar
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Marko
Jan 31, 2012 Marko rated it did not like it
I've never been much interested in these alternate history series, but when I found one set in one of my favourite periods in the setting of the 30 year war, I could not help but give it a chance. Unfortunately, to put it bluntly, I was disappointed both by the quality of the story and the depiction of the historical era.

The novel tells the story of a small US township that is automagically transported back in time and place in the middle of the Thirty Year War in Germany. The Americans take thi
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Nate
Jun 24, 2015 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wedding in the Appalachian mining town of Grantville turns weird and wild when in a flash of light the entire town is transported to 1631 Thuringia, right in the middle of the insanely destructive and deadly Thirty Years War. Some of my friends and readers may not know where the fuck Thuringia is or what the Thirty Years War is and that's totally cool! Thuringia is a province of central Germany and the Thirty Years War was...uh, well, my impression was that it was a kind of 17th-century extend ...more
Lauren
Feb 25, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot goes thusly: the small West-Virginian town of Grantville is displaced in time and place from the year 2000 to the year 1632, essentially dumping them in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire in the midst of the Thirty Years War, one of the most bloody conflicts in European history.

And it is awesome. The West Virginians don't try to pretend that they're sorcerers or anything: they're just brutally honest. And maintain their American values. They quickly take charge of their own situation
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Alytha
Mar 28, 2013 Alytha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
America, F**k yeah! In the 17th century!

This book manages to combine really deeply disturbing elements with kinda fun stuff and some surprising insight on psychology:

The good:
-There's some instances where the author really manages to get into a character's head and to present some really good insights into their psychology, for example when Gretchen's band arrives in the town, which almost saves the novel. Almost.
- The setup of the town is more or less believable in terms of being provided with
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Ron
Flint set out to write an optimistic Connecticut Yankee story and he succeeded. Things came too easy (they just happened to have an M-60 and three boxes of ammo)and the good guys always won, but he hewed to his formula. (Wonder how his Americans in Europe in 1632 would have reacted to the murderous attack on their school children had Flint written this after 9-11-2001?)

The most fun section was the appearance and exploits of Captain Gars. "A mad man. It is well known."

I may doubt that a 2000 comm
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Bjorn
Apr 24, 2013 Bjorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Sometimes, a writer will come up with a watertight plot. Sometimes... not so much.

Robert Ludlum wrote a foreword for The Road To Gandolfo where he said that he really hadn't intended for his novel (about a former US soldier kidnapping the pope and replacing him with a failed opera singer) to turn into a comedy. It was just that the more he worked at it, the more a voice at the back of his head kept screaming with laughter: "You can NOT be serious!" And so eventually, he couldn't make the plot wo
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Linda
Mar 01, 2009 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting idea! What a disappointing realization.

The idea behind the book immediately intrigued me when I read the back cover. Through some unknown phenomena, the town of Grantville, West Virginia and it's surroundings are transported back in time to 1632 in Germany.

How would the 20th century Americans cope? How would the 17th century Germans react? What sort of alternative history would result?

Unfortunately, for me, not one that was very compelling. The characters all felt one dimensi
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
This is a wonderfully fun series. I've enjoyed reading through 1634 (The Baltic Campaign) and enjoyed the characters and the history, along with the twists and turns of dystopian what if's. There is action though it tends to be more of a logic pretzel dealing with known personalities and shoving unkown's amongst them.



That said, it's fun, there is a whimsical side that is, by no means, light, but provides humor and funny characters to enjoy. There are lots of heads to be in. It's interesting tha
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Mark
Well its finished, I am very that I read this after wanting too for years.

great idea, but the characters were blah, it sounds daft but the afterword about where the idea came from, was more interesting .
Bryan Alexander
A very curious, entertaining novel. I've seen 1632 on bookstore shelves for a while, and was dimly aware that it spawned sequels and a big fan base. But I didn't read into it until my son read and recommended it.

(Meta-question: how much reading does one do for family reasons?)

The conceit of 1632 is pretty straightforward: a contemporary West Virginia town gets suddenly transported to Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. The plot follows American characters as they struggle to survive,
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Patrick
Sep 07, 2011 Patrick rated it it was ok
About a quarter of the way through this book, I got the same unpleasant, slightly dirty feeling you get when you suddenly realize you've been groovin' along to Christian rock. This story of a small West Virginian town suddenly transported to 17th century Europe is the worst kind of pro-American rhetoric, thinly disguised as science-fiction.

The author shrewdly chooses to drop his scale model of small town American values at a time and place where the natives are impressed with the ingenuity and m
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Neil
Typically I find myself fairly cynical when it comes to "alternate history" types of fiction - too often an author's personal bias is clearly reflected in their writing, and, instead of exploring potential changes to history in their alternate world, they attempt to forge a history based on the way they think things should have happened, or, decisions they would've made instead.

That said, I find myself absolutely enthralled with the 16xx/Ring of Fire/Assiti Shards series by Eric Flint. The entir
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Kevin
Jun 22, 2013 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's actually a pretty interesting concept: a rural West Virginia town is inexplicably transported to central Germany in the middle of the 30-Year War.

I mean, what a great opportunity to explore social pressures within two distinct societies, let alone the inevitable struggles between modern medicine and the plague, or differing nutrition, political values, family structure, religious difference. So much to think about!

Unfortunately, none of that is in this book. After the brief, initial shock o
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Kristi
Sep 28, 2009 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a very fun book to read! And what a great way to get someone interested in a period of history. Sure, there's the jingoistic "Americuh, **** yeah!" aspect to it, but it's often played for laughs.

The premise of the book is that about a 6 mile radius sphere of a modern day West Virginian small mining town is suddenly scooped out due to an advanced species' temporal negligance and dropped down in the middle of Germany in 1631, about 10 years into the ferociously vicious and bloody Thirty Year
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Brian
[Had a very satisfying review written, accidentally refreshed the page, and poof, all you get is a poorly recalled rehash.] This first book is easily the most interesting, propelling you into the 17th century with exciting detail. While the rest of the series offers many glimpses of the indigenous peoples encountering future-born notions, only 1632 lets the reader share the Americans' dawning realization of their new existence.

There are several sequels, which are not necessarily chronological. I
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Natalie
I want to read more Eric Flint!

All the things that recently frustrated and turned me off about George R.R. Martin are handled differently here, dare I say optimistically ? The potential of individuals to do the right thing, the capacity for people to change in the face of circumstances that demand it, ways it is possible for people to represent their cultures, these things are not just evident in the story, but drivers of the story, motivations for the characters.

Mike (the Paladin)
The premise of this book looked like fun but it turned out to be very interesting. A small American town (power station and all) set down in the middle of the 30 years war...where of course history branches off and things start to get interesting.

It's worth reading, this one. The series from here exploded and I haven't read all of it but this first one is a good read.
Eco Imp
Apr 11, 2017 Eco Imp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, historical
NPR Top 100 Consideration

This book is much better than many of the books that made the Top 100. Perhaps did not make it as the only SF concept was time travel. It would be interesting to be able to return to current time to see how text books changed based on impact of coal miners in 1632.

I typically do not include politics in civil discussion, but the influence of our current political environment did impact the reading of this book. While reading the book, I was driving through western VA, whi
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Colleen
Jan 08, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, time-travel
My brother absolutely loves this book and I've heard of little nothing else for like six months now. Well I FINALLY read it! And really, the cover made my expectations for this book rock bottom, and I've been putting it off now for a couple weeks because the star spangled 1632 above 3 conquistador looking men about to aim on a red pickup truck with an American flag and armed cowboys just didn't whet my interest enough. Then I read the book and realized I was silly: the book is basically this cov ...more
Alan
May 28, 2014 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alternate-worlds
4.5 Stars

It's been a while since I've read a book that I've enjoyed this much, it's told in a third-person point of view with many different story lines running at same times. The first and most prominent of which follows Mike Streans, a mine worker and president of the mine workers union from West Virginia. He's attending his sister's wedding when there's a flash of light and all the power goes out. When Mike goes outside to check on things everything looks normal until he spots smoke rising in
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Sharon Dodge
Jul 22, 2014 Sharon Dodge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll say right off the bat that I'm biased here. I've briefly met Eric Flint, and, curmudgeonly older gentleman that he is, I liked him a lot.

But I think there's a lot to like here, regardless. 1632 is an easy book to like. It has a U.S. town that's thrown back in time and space (by, no less, a small sliver of an alien lifeform's art) to 1632 Germany, where its inhabitants struggle to determine how they're going to survive. The optimism and fortitude shown by the people of Grantville is sometim
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Dj
Aug 12, 2013 Dj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book somewhat in the vein of Stirling's 'Nantuckt' series. Not as dark, or as detailed it is a fun romp in the messing up of history. In this particular case the history that they are messing with is the 30 years war. It is something along this lines of the Three Musketeers (Protestant Reformation) meets small town West Virginia. Some of the characters are very well done and this does include the historical figures of whom Gustavus Adalphous is one of the most fun. I don't have enough of a bac ...more
Matthew
Oct 24, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I enjoyed this much more than I expected to and am at least seriously considering continuing with the series.

There is a lot of American Exceptionalism in here. And a lot of gun-loving. Gun-obsession.

I do not feel the Americans are entirely believable, in how they behave in Medieval Germany. But it is a fun story, a fun fantasy. And perhaps less militaristic than I expected.

The worst thing about this book may be its treatment of women. Even the strong women seem to, in large part, be objects for
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Jacob Aitken
When it comes to pop fiction, this easily ranks among the best. As to style one is reminded of Louis L'Amour and David Eddings. It is not quite as raw as George RR Martin, though the reader should be warned of at least one really disturbing scene of violence and one raw sex scene (though the characters are married and it kind of fits into the plot).

The premise is far-fetched, I grant, but it does make for unique and very interesting story.

The greatness of the story lies in the greatness of one
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Karen
Dec 08, 2015 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d-n-f
Hands are up in the air. 50% into the book, I give up! I was going to use this as a serial Challenge, but I've changed my mind. The plot was (is) interesting. West Virginian land and its people are ripped out of the 21st century and plopped back 400 years, with all its problems and wars intact.

Well, what's wrong with that? I'll tell you what's wrong. It reads like a 9th grade history book. Dry as dust, page after page, chapter after chapter, of historical dry dust. There just wasn't enough fict
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Coyora Dokusho
Apr 17, 2014 Coyora Dokusho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It really helped me to read it while I was reading about the Holocaust and the sheer brutality of the over-arcing span of humanity throughout the ages. Yeah, people suck sometimes, but after I read this book, I have the the hope that people don't suck *all* the time and that there's something that even I can do to help...

Exhausted! So sleep now...
Dan
This book, and series, are one of my top 3 favorites. I reread this series often, and it never gets old.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Getting into 1632 24 149 Sep 11, 2013 03:34AM  
Best scene 1 15 Jul 22, 2013 08:52PM  
Alternate History: 1632 10 42 Nov 14, 2012 04:53AM  
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Eric Flint is a New York Times bestselling American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.
More about Eric Flint...

Other Books in the Series

Assiti Shards (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • 1633 (Assiti Shards, #2)
  • 1634: The Galileo Affair (Assiti Shards, #3)
  • 1634: The Ram Rebellion (Assiti Shards, #4)
  • 1634 The Baltic War (Assiti Shards, #5)
  • 1634 The Bavarian Crisis  (Assiti Shards, #6)
  • 1635: A Parcel of Rogues (Assiti Shards, #7)
  • 1635: Cannon Law (Assiti Shards, #8)
  • 1635: The Dreeson Incident (Assiti Shards, #9)
  • 1635: The Eastern Front (Assiti Shards, #10)
  • 1635: Papal Stakes (Assiti Shards, #11)

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“Jeff watched her come, the whole time. He never noticed her mincing, hesitant steps on treacherous heels. He was simply swept up in the ancient ceremony. And discovering, as untold millions of young men had discovered before him, that there is nothing in the world as beautiful as his bride approaching.” 1 likes
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