- Ring of Fire II
infoboxwidth = 200px
name = Ring of Fire
image_caption = Baen Books Prepublication "Ring of Fire II" cover art.
country = USA
language = English
Alternate history, Science-Fiction
publisher = Baen Books
release_date = January 2008
isbn = ISBN 1-4165-7387-9 (2008 hardcover)
preceded_by = 34TBC
followed_by = likely,
Grantville Gazette IV(more anthologies, unknown)
"Ring of Fire II" is the second published eponymously named book of anthologies which includes the colloquial name for "The event" used by the characters in the series as part of the name—the event, being a space time juxtaposition of a small American town to Central Germany in May, 1631—right in the middle of the Swedish intervention in the
Thirty Years' War. After six years of mixed names for the series, the publisher Baen Books, and creator Eric Flintseems now to have finally settled on Ring of Fire Series.
Created by editor-author-historian Eric Flint, the popular
1632 series, an alternate historyseries also boasts a e-zine of anthologies, The Grantville Gazettes, of which four were collected into print published works ( Grantville Gazette IVwas the last book Jim Baen purchased from Flint before his death, and is expected in 2008), and it may be the Gazettes manifestation as printed works has come to an end, and this volume is a "Best of" result of those.
The series is set in war torn Europe during the middle of the
Thirty Years' War, at a time when religion was a pretext for war and authoritarianismheld a hard hand around the throat of the populace. It is a unique model-shattering shared universe series with many stories by a variety of established science fictionauthors, and new writers but all set in the universe initially created by Flint's science fiction novel "1632", and all of which involve Flint either as co-author or editor—by which means he maintains control of canon and overall overarching plot developments. The works involve an in depth look at the emerging modern world of the 17th century, when the superpowers of the day were Spain, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire, with emerging powers England, The Netherlands, the Swedish Empire, and France, while the Holy Roman Empire continued to stumble forward as a disorganized semi-state.
Premise of the series
The first novel, "1632" and resultant
1632 seriesshare a common theme, which is to ask the "What if?" questions common to and characteristic of the science fiction genre: "What if a mysterious cosmic event occurred which exchanged a whole populated region of 20th century West Virginiawith a matching portion of 1632 Germany?" Mix in a character focus repudiating the "Great Man" theory of history, making the whole town of Rednecked Hillbillies, hillbillyand German Rednecks your collective protagonists allowing plenty of scope for fast-paced parallel plot development, add two cups of calculating authoritariannoblemen who think social-class matters, a pinch of venal grasping clergymen, and a quart each of American law, American can-do elan, and half a pound of American attitudes and imagine the fun they'll have interacting in "interesting times" when "High-Tech" means just-invented flintlockrifles.
A unique departure
The initial Ring of Fire book was a notable departure in another way as well in that it heralded a new era in writing series fiction by being set in an authors' milieu shared with other writers, but especially and uncharacteristically by doing so without being safely somewhere off to the side of the main story threads which are usually under the tight-fisted control of the milieu creator, its author. When borrowing a setting authors sharing the milieu are constrained and careful to not mess up their host with trend setting, significant events that would be unwelcome in the host authors future planning for its maturation and development. Flint, in explanation, has self-styled himself as something of a gambler, he demonstrated that by ignoring convention and went the opposite way, deliberately asking the other writers to share in creating the main threads and plot lines of the milieu so that this work and the large second full novel in the series, "1633", were written contemporaneously so that story threads started here intermingle and generate matching action or background there, and vice versa. Flint is on record that large portions of "1633" were adjusted drastically, even thrown out and rewritten as later submissions in the collected stories in ROF-1 impacted the various and diverse story threads. For a fuller precise on this interesting and historic literary development see
Assiti Shards series.
tories in the anthology
32TOC-beg |Ring of Fire II [ [http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1416573879/1416573879.htm?blurb Ring of Fire II by Eric Flint - Baen Books ] ]
* "The Austro-Hungarian Connection" [http://www.ericflint.net /index.php/2007/10/10/the-austro-hungarian-connection-snippet-1/] (short novel) by Eric Flint
:*"Titles below containing an asterisk are documented in one source, but not listed in the Baen
e-ARCversion as of 31 December 2007. It is likely these were working titles changed during production by Eric Flint or the Baen Books Editorial staff." [1632 Editorial Board staff, http://www.1632.org Link: "Timeframes" (Spreadsheet: /timeframes.thrugg15.ods, accessed 2007-12-26)]
"City of the Dead*"
"Noelle Comes Home*"
Virginia DeMarceFlint's e-book preface refers to this work as being a prequel to his own short novel ROF-2|s="" (below), but the title does not agree with the credited work on 1632.org's timeframes spreadsheet.
1632 Research Committee and Editorial Board member, writer 16writ|Karen |Bergstralh, is
1632.org's resident expert on horseflesh, and farming.
"A Gift from the Duchess"
"Lucky at Cards"
"A Trip to Amsterdam"
This vignette by 16writ|Gorg |Huff and 16writ|Paula |Goodlett returns to the story of the two groups maturing of tycoons known respectively as the 16inst|Sewing Circle and 16inst|Barbie Consortium introduced initially in the well-written story GG01|The Sewing Circle, continued again in GG03|"Other People's Money", and other seminal background tales.
"This'll Be the Day..."
This continuation of the popular "Franz and Marla" stories by 16writ|David|Carrico, ties in with a brief mention of the story behind and within the concert as told here. The same tale, from a different prospective was used as background for the entrance of Admiral 16char|John|Simpson and wife 16char|Mary|Simpson|p=Mary as they come on stage during the end of the industrial disaster that begins the novel 34TBW.
As a continuation and perhaps climax of the Franz and Marla saga, the tale reveals Marla in a triumphal debut among the rich and famous in 16plac|Magdeburg, while the lovable and tragic Franz finds a new musical groove—and is able to play again publicly — while, finally, proving worthy in his own eyes of "getting the girl". Like the preceding Franz and Marla stories, it is an excellent tale told with skill and is good at evoking emotions and painting complex characters undergoing lifes' pressures.
This story is a sequel to "Grand Tour," which appeared in Grantville Gazette 10. The principal characters in The Chase are historical downtimers Thomas Hobbes and William Cavendish (the Earl of Devonshire), and several of the young ladies of the "Barbie Consortium".
There is a scene set at a down-time tennis court, and it's worth noting that Iver also wrote an article on down-time tennis ("Tennis: The Game of Kings") which appeared in Grantville Gazette 15.
"Eddie and the King's Daughter"
Veteran science fiction writer 16writ|K.D. |Wentworth returns to the
Ring of Fire series(her seminal story ROF-1|IN="Here Comes Santa Claus" began the speculative line that is the rapidly developing plot thread|Eastern European thread) to explain just how 16char|Eddie|Cantrell became involved with the daughter of king Christian IV of Denmark, after his capture in the confused aftermath the 16batl|Battle of Wismar.
"The Austro-Hungarian Connection"
:"'time line: ":sequel to: 34TRR and 34TBC,
The Anaconda Project, etcetera.:prequel to: 35SoB and (both in production and scheduled for publication in 2008):"Original "working title": Technology Transfer with Noelle [Flint, 1632 timeframes, GG-15 version, accessdate: 2007-12-22 && 31, Quoted spreadsheet: "Flint TechNoelle RF02-TechNoelle A Eric Flint Technology Transfer with Noelle "]
This short novel by series creator
Eric Flintfeatures a return to the enigmatic secret agent, 16char|Noelle|Murphy, introduced in 34TRR who once (Still is?) considering becoming a Catholic Nun(see 34TRR|in="Enter the Ram"). [Cite Sm|Flint, |http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1416573879/1416573879___1.htm, |October 2007, |accessdate: 2007-12-31, |q="Virginia's DeMarce's "Second Thoughts" continues the story of Noelle Murphy, one of the central characters in 1634: The Ram Rebellion, and serves as a preface to the final story in this anthology.iThat's my own short novel, "The Austro-Hungarian Connection," which ties the development of Noelle as a character to major changes taking place in political and military developments in Austria and Hungary with the accession to the throne of a new emperor. The story also features Denise Beasley, one of the major characters in a new novel I've co-authored with Virginia entitled 1635: The Dreeson Incident, which is coming out in September of this year." ] 16char|Noelle|Murphy isn't quite a James Bond, and "can barely hit the floor with a hat" when shooting a pistol, but she's a good brain, knows how to sniff out a hidden relationship, and something about dealing with people.
* [http://www.ericflint.net Official snippets]
** [http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2007/10/10/the-austro-hungarian-connection-snippet-1/ First snippet]
Ring of Fire (anthology)aka "Ring of Fire I"
* ISBN 1-4165-7387-9, $25.00 Hardcover (January 2008)
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