George V. Reilly

Review: Grantville Gazette III

Grantville Gazette III
Title: Grantville Gazette III
Author: Eric Flint (ed.)
Rating: ★ ★
Publisher: Baen
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 314
Keywords: alternate history, spec­u­la­tive fiction
Reading period: 4th-9th February, 2007

The popular 1632 series is a shared universe of alternate history, where the small town of Grantville, West Virginia has somehow been trans­port­ed in a Ring of Fire to central Germany in 1631, during the middle of the Thirty Years’ War. The towns­peo­ple adapt fairly suc­cess­ful­ly and im­me­di­ate­ly and ir­rev­o­ca­bly change the course of history, thanks to their advanced technology.

The Ring of Fire has spawned an active community at 1632.org, leading to a great deal of fan fiction, developing plot lines, fleshing out major and minor characters, as well as lots of geeky spec­u­la­tion about technology transfer.

This book is a collection of that fan-generated material. Only one piece is written by a pro­fes­sion­al author, Eric Flint, the creator of the series. The rest is a mixture of fiction and factual pieces, many continued from the earlier Gazettes.

I found this to be the weakest book of the series. None of the stories were memorable. The fiction con­cen­trates on minor events, generally the culture shock of 17th century Europeans, trying to adapt to the strange, powerful Americans who were suddenly thrust upon them.

Not rec­om­mend­ed unless you’re a completist.

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