rayvyn2k: cute icon (Books)
Well, I managed to post all but eight days in May. Since that's WAY above my normal monthly average, I'm calling it a win.

I also managed to turn in my [livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptfest entry with 3 hours to spare before the deadline. Go me!

Now...the books I've read in May!

It's been all Eric Flint's 1632 series this month. I finished "1632".

I'm reading the series in the order suggested by the author.

So, next up was The Ring of Fire.

This is an anthology, the first of several. The description on B&N.com: Readers who enjoyed editor Flint's novels (1632; 1633) of a West Virginia town transported by a black hole back in time to Germany during the Thirty Years War will appreciate how neatly the other authors' tales in this strong anthology dovetail with Flint's series. For instance, the aging hippie of Mercedes Lackey's "To Dye For" has already played an important role in 1633. Other stories lead into Flint's forthcoming novel, The Galileo Affair, while still others provide major plot threads for this volume's concluding novella, Flint's "The Wallenstein Gambit." Following their editor's lead, individual contributors concentrate less on the impact that the displaced Americans' technology makes than on how their ideas-and ideals-inspire those newly exposed to them. Thus we see a young priest embracing the ideas of a Vatican Council over 300 years in his future as a solution to the sectarian violence of his era (Andrew Dennis's "Between the Armies"), while young Germans take to baseball as a means of pushing themselves beyond themselves (Deann Allen and Mike Turner's "American Past Time"). Flint and his followers never forget that history is more than just kings and heroes. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I'm not a big fan of anthologies, but the different authors make this one work, and the last story by Mr. Flint is more of a novella. These are small stories about ordinary people, both up and down timers and how the Ring of Fire affects them all.

Summary from B&N.com: The new government in central Europe, called the Confederated Principalities of Europe, was formed by an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians led by Mike Stearns who were transplanted into 17th-century Germany by a mysterious cosmic accident. The new regime is shaky. Outside its borders, the Thirty Years War continues to rage. Within, it is beset by financial crisis as well as the political and social tensions between the democratic ideals of the 20th-century Americans and the aristocracy which continues to rule the roost in the CPE as everywhere in Europe.

I enjoyed this one, too. Not as much as the first, but close. I have a feeling I'm going to be buying all of these books just because I really like the world-building that's going on and seeing how the author (and his collaborators) deal with the history that will never be in that world.

Next up was: 1634: The Baltic War.

Summary from B&N again: Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden and Emperor of the United States of Europe, prepares a counter-attack on the combined forces of France, Spain, England, and Denmark—former enemies which have allied in the League of Ostend to destroy the threat to their power that the Americans represent—which are besieging the German city of Luebeck.

Elsewhere in war-torn Europe, several American plans are approaching fruition. Admiral Simpson of Grantville frantically races against time to finish the USE Navy’s ironclad ships—desperately needed to break the Ostender blockade of the Baltic ports. A commando unit sent by Mike Stearns to England prepares the rescue the Americans being held in the Tower of London. In Amsterdam, Rebecca Stearns continues three-way negotiations with the Prince of Orange and the Spanish Cardinal-Infante who has conquered most of the Netherlands.

This book was sometimes confusing for me...trying to keep the names of the enemy straight. But I really enjoyed all the machinations from both sides and how things came to a head in the end.

Right now, I'm reading 1634: The Ram Rebellion which is another anthology, but has a continuing theme throughout of the story of an under-appreciated ram called "Brillo". The author says 1634: The Ram Rebellion is an oddball volume, which has some of the characteristics of an anthology and some of the characteristics of a novel. It’s perhaps a more challenging book to read than the Galileo volume, but it also has the virtue of being more closely tied to the main line books. Ram Rebellion is the first of several volumes which basically run parallel with the main line volumes but on what you might call a lower level of narrative. A more positive way of putting that is that these volumes depict the changes produced by the major developments in the main line novels, as those changes are seen by people who are much closer to the ground than the statesmen and generals who figure so prominently in books like 1632, 1633, and 1634: The Baltic War.

I'm nearly finished with that one and then it's on to 1634: The Galileo Affair.

I have a feeling that next month will be more of the same, I'm afraid since there's at least ten more volumes in the series, some of which are anthologies. I like the anthologies because they show how the Ring of Fire affects the "ordinary" people in that world.

If you like science fiction or time travel books, I can't recommend these highly enough. And again, it is apparent that they are written with the male of the species in mind--mostly due to the lovingly described weaponry. But I haven't noticed any sexism (other than what might be expected from the "down-timers" in the books, who are rapidly disabused of those notions by the "up-timers" most of the time).

And again, trigger warning for the first book which does include a fairly graphic rape scene that the up-timers come upon very early in the first book.

So, 4 finished for May.


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