George V. Reilly

Review: Roma Eterna

Title: Roma Eterna
Author: Robert Silverberg
Rating: ★ ★
Publisher: Eos
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 449
Keywords: alternate history
Reading period: 5-9 June, 2007

Rome has never fallen to the barbarians. The eternal city has stood for 27 centuries. Its empire has ebbed and flowed, from weak emperors who submitted to their co-emperors in Con­stan­tino­ple, to mad ones who drain the treasury, to conquerors who spread the might of Rome across the globe.

The premise is in­ter­est­ing, but the execution is weak. The book is written in a Mich­eneresque style: a series of disjointed chapters set decades or centuries apart. The viewpoint characters usually have some connection to the emperor of the time. Reviewing the front matter moments ago, continue.

Review: 1635: The Cannon Law

Title: 1635: The Cannon Law
Author: Eric Flint, Andrew Dennis
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Baen
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 420
Keywords: alternate history
Reading period: 9–17 March, 2007

Another book from the 1632 series and a direct sequel to 1634: The Galileo Affair. For­tu­nate­ly, this one is much better than Grantville Gazette III.

The Americans from the future have es­tab­lished an embassy in Rome, as well as a tavern catering to the rev­o­lu­tion­ary-minded elements. Cardinal Borja, head of the Spanish In­qui­si­tion, is enraged by the ac­com­mo­da­tion reached by Pope Urban, and he foments unrest leading to an attempt to overthrow the pope.

Fairly en­ter­tain­ing with a coherent plot and engaging characters. The first half moves slowly as continue.

Review: 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, leading to a great deal of fan fiction, developing plot lines, fleshing out major and minor characters, continue.

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