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Ring Of Fire (Assiti Shards) [Mass Market Paperback]

ERIC FLINT
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 6.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2005 Assiti Shards
The battle between democracy and tyranny is joined, and the American Revolution has begun over a century ahead of schedule. A cosmic accident has shifted a modern West Virginia town back through time and space to land it and its twentieth-century technology in Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. History must take a new course as American freedom and democracy battle against the squabbling despots of seventeenth-century Europe.

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Ring Of Fire (Assiti Shards) + 1634: The Baltic War + 1633 (Ring of Fire)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; New edition edition (1 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416509089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416509080
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 12 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Flint is a new master of alternate-history science fiction. His 1632, prequel to 1633, received lavish critical praise from all directions and enjoyed high sales. His first novel, Mother of Demons, was picked by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. He has also shown a powerful gift for humorous fantasy adventure with Forward the Mage and The Philosophical Strangler, which Booklist described as "Monty Python let loose in Tolkien's Middle Earth." With David Drake he has collaborated on five novels in the popular "Belisarius" series, the next of which will be The Dance of Time. A longtime labor union activist with a degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in African history, he currently resides in Indiana with his wife Lucille.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
On the Baen Bar, Eric Flint placed out a call for writers to add pieces to the growing tapestry of the 1632 series. The stories selected here are all representative of this. Although nearly all the stories have a setting pre-1633 (save Flint's own novella), they definitely have a strong influence on the rest of the upcoming series. As a fan of the first two books, nothing in this collection disappoints, irregardless of whether the writer is an established author or a first-timer. Although a couple of the stories don't move forward much other than rounding out the characters and I found a few not to my taste, there is enough variety that any fan of alternate history or science fiction will have a good read. However, all the stories in this book assume the reader has read 1632, so it is a must that it be read before this one. Enjoyable read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan Fiction carrying the story forward 26 May 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Eric Flint's passion for collaboration, and his willingness to let other people play in his backyard has produced a captivating anthology. I actually read Ring of Fire first of all of the 1632 novels, and it was this that led me to buy and read all of the rest; a happy circumstance for which I am now very grateful. It's intriguing on its own, but together with the rest of Eric Flint's wonderful 1632 world, clear proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars RoF is different:) 22 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Start by reading 1652 RoF
A very different read to most.
If youlike that you'lllove RoF.
I didn't give it 5 stars but I don't know why not, the series is innovative & has really engaged me on many different levels.
Try it & see!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Here to Stay! 26 Nov 2012
By nicky
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent sequel to 1632. Be ready to dig in because Granville isn't going anywhere and is here to stay in the Seventeenth century
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Anthology 13 Jun 2004
By David Schaich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Ring of Fire" is a collection of short stories set in the universe created by Eric Flint in his 2000 novel "1632." In "1632," the town of Grantville is ripped from modern day West Virginia and dropped in the middle of Germany, in the middle of the Thirty Years' War, by a cosmic accident (commonly considered an Act of God) which is eventually dubbed the 'Ring of Fire.'
The fifteen stories in this anthology seem to have been written after the publication of "1632," but before that of its sequel "1633." They take place concurrently with the action in those two novels: "Power to the People" by Loren K. Jones goes all the way back to the Ring of Fire that kicked off 1632, while Eric Flint's "The Wallenstein Gambit" is set in the middle of the year 1633. As with all anthologies, the styles and qualities of the stories varied from author to author, from the 16-page "To Dye For" by Mercedes Lackey to Flint's 120-page novella. However, although I enjoyed some stories in "Ring of Fire" more than others, I can honestly say there were none I actively disliked, which is pretty much as good as it gets for anthologies.
What makes "Ring of Fire" so interesting is the fact that it is not your typical anthology. Most 'spin-off' anthologies like this one feature stories peripheral to the main plot of the series, involve minor characters and don't play a significant role in the grand scheme of things. Some stories such as "Power to the People" and "When the Chips Are Down" by Jonathan Cresswell and Scott Washburn seem to follow that model. However, most of them actually play important roles shaping both the plots and the characters of the later books in the series. For example, David Weber (who coauthored "1633") writes a story about the founding of the new American navy that plays a prominent role in "1633" and Andrew Dennis's story sets up "1634: The Galileo Affair" (which he coauthored) and develops some of its main characters. Meanwhile, "The Wallenstein Gambit" incorporates other stories in "Ring of Fire," redraws the map of Europe, and lays the basis for forthcoming "1634: ..." novels.
The point is that this anthology plays an important role in the series, and needs to be read by anyone who wants to enjoy future 163x books. This is a part of Eric Flint's interesting approach to the whole series, which tries to make the '1632 universe' a full-bodied and realistically complex place. To do this Flint writes the main books of the series with a number of different coauthors (David Weber, Andrew Dennis, Mike Spehar, Virginia DeMarce), while at the same time allowing all of the authors who contributed to "Ring of Fire" to make their own mark on the developing series. Flint has even begun publishing fan fiction in an online magazine (the "Grantville Gazette") and incorporating it into 163x novels. It is (to my knowledge) a unique approach, and so far seems to be producing excellent results.
So not only is "Ring of Fire" a solid anthology in its own right, it is required reading for those who intend to follow Flint et al.'s 163x series. Although "1633" builds off of several stories in "Ring of Fire," it can be understood and enjoyed without reading the anthology. The same is less true of the "1634: ..." books that are currently being written and published. If you enjoyed "1632" enough to want to read more books in the series, "Ring of Fire" should be a sure bet.
To conclude, and to emphasize one last time the important role played by "Ring of Fire" in the development of the 163x series, I will sketch out the current shape of the series and indicate which stories in "Ring of Fire" are incorporated into each of the planned books. Of the fifteen stories in the anthology, only three do not seem to play a role in the larger series, though they may yet be incorporated into one of the volumes currently being planned or written.
"1633" with David Weber
---"In the Navy" by David Weber
---"A Matter of Consultation" by S.L. Viehl
---"Skeletons" by Greg Donahue
"1634: The Galileo Affair" with Andrew Dennis
---"American Past Time" by Deann Allen and Mike Turner
---"To Dye For" by Mercedes Lackey
---"A Witch to Live" by Walt Boyes
---"Between the Armies" by Andrew Dennis
"1634: The Baltic War" with David Weber
"1634: Escape from the Tower" (Eric Flint solo)
"1634: The Austrian Princess" with Virginia DeMarce
---"Biting Time" by Virginia DeMarce
"1634: Bohemia" (tentative title) with Mike Spehar
---"A Lineman for the Country" by Dave Freer
---"The Three Rs" by Jody Dorsett
---"Here Comes Santa Claus" by K.D. Wentworth
---"The Wallenstein Gambit" by Eric Flint
"1635" with Virginia DeMarce
Stories that don't (yet) play a role in the series:
---"Power to the People" by Loren K. Jones
---"Family Faith" by Anette M. Pedersen
---"When the Chips are Down" by Jonathan Cresswell and Scott Washburn
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A megavitamin supplement to the series 9 Jan 2004
By P. M Simon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Briefly, this anthology is a must-read for those reading the "1632," "1633" series. The next full novel (presumably 1634) will be out soon and "Ring of Fire" provides character development, plot details, and timeline descriptions that will be valuable. Stories in this new collection date from the "Ring of Fire" incident right up to "1633" an involve many of the same characters.
Despite the wide variety of authors, the tales hold together well, with a real sense of place and time. Not all the stories will appeal to everyone. Some are more militaristic, others are social or romantic in nature. "A Lineman for the Country" gave real depth and progression to the timeline while similar odd-couple romance "Power to the People" left me saying "yeah, and?"
Overall, this is a must-read, and could be read right after "1632" w/o first facing the more fractured, slow-paced, and overly military/technical aspects of "1633." In fact, these downsides to "1633" will be lessened quite a bit by the character development and background details in "Ring of Fire," so why are you waiting? Add it to your shopping cart now!
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book of Stories 25 Dec 2003
By Leonard Wechsler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely must-read book for those who enjoy the 1632-ish universe created by Eric Flint. Anyone who likes great alternative history, or for that matter, likes history at all, will enjoy the stories of a group of Americans tossed back to 17th Century Europe and stranded there.
The complexity and texture of the universe has been remarkable. In the first book, 1632, Flint brought in Gustavus Adolphus and his generals as major characters along with a raft of fictional characters from two different centuries. The 1633 collaboration with David Weber expanded the field to include Richelieu in France, Cromwell in England, and Frederick Wilhelm of Holland, as all of Europe became part of the changed history. Real and fictional characters met and blended well. Coming a bit later in 2004 is the the book entitled "1634: The Galileo Gambit" that will center on Venice and include many of the Church people of the time including Giului Mazarini, generally known to history for his life a bit later as Cardinal Mazarin.
This book is a collection of stories that fills in gaps, that prepare the way for other books.
Some of the stories are by well-known science fiction writers, others by amateurs who participated in a contest run by Flint and his publisher (at Baen.com).
David Weber's "In the Navy" focuses on two characters who were center stage in "1633", John Simpson and Eddie Cantrell, as they create a new navy for the new nation, the United States of Europe. And it is a nice narrative tale, particularly fun for those who had previously read the book.
Mercedes Lackey's "To Dye For" is a comedy focusing on a 60's "drug chemist" hippie who needs to find a way to make enough money to win over the father of the woman he loves. David Freer;s "A Lineman for the County" brings in a couple of characters who will be in other works, Dougal, Len, and Ellie who create the first "telephone" system. Andrew Dennis has a story "Between the Armies" that looks at the impact of religion as brought in by those from the 21st Century on those living in the 17th and is a key to the upcoming book. Virginia DeMarco has a cute story about getting dentures for a key character that is a lovely comedy of manners. S.L. Viehl brings in William Harvey as a character in a way that brings a thread from 1633 full circle. "The Three R's" by Jody Dorsett, "Here Comes Santa Claus" by K.D. Wentworth, and most particularly, "The Wallenstein Gambit " by Eric Flint move key components of a new major element into the whole tapestry.
The first two stories combine with the third, in which the man who was the lead villain in 1632, Count Wallenstein, changes sides and is willing to work to prevent the largest porgrom in Eastern Europe that existed before the Holocaust (at Chmielnicki) if he gets support from the lead characters. The combination of fictional characters along with the historical ones (Wallenstein, Pappenheim, Comenius) is fascinating, along with a glimpse of life in East European ghettoes.
The book, again, is a "must read" for fans of the series and alternative history. Also, not a bad way to get into this series. As a former history teacher I must also add that it is a fascinating glimpse into an era that is often never examined in schools.
Bravo! to Flint (the "Wallenstein Gambit" is one of his best works) for putting together this group of stories and for including the work of non-professionals as well.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Your Time If You Like 1632 5 Jan 2004
By Mark D Burgh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Eric Flint's decision to open his alt-hist to anyone who wanted to write has turned out to be a good choice. Although the previous book in the series, 1633, is not strong, this collection of stories has a lot to offer fans of this series. The implications of a modern American culture being transported back to the Thirty Years War is explored by several different authors from the well known Mercedes Lackey, to the unknown, with several middling efforts among the stronger pieces.
Lackey's piece about Grantville's dope farmer's dying business is fun and enjoyable, as well as being historically intriguing. The piece about dentures isn't so strong, or at least I didn't find it so. K.D. Wentworth's X-mas party with deep political implications is my favorite of the lot - I went out and bought Wentworth's Moonspeaker right after I finished reading ROF- but Flint's story of how a small town Jewish jeweler becomes the savior of Prague is the most impressive of the group.
I didn't expect too much when I bought this book, but I was happily surprised by both the level of writing and the level of invention.
If you liked 1632, this is a good read. If you're interested in this altnerative universe, ROF is a good introduction.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Filler 12 April 2004
By Jerry Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Eric Flint burst on my consciousness as a writer to watch with the publication of "1632". A late 20th Century West Virginia coal mining town is engulfed by some sort of cosmic "accident"(?) and blasted back through time and space to 16th century Germany, right in the middle of the 30 Years War. As a piece of "alternative history" it followed in the footsteps, sort of, of S.M. Stirling and his "Island In The Sea Of Time" series (also highly recommended), but where Nantucket was simply (?) moved in time, Grantville, Kentucky is moved in space as well.
Ring of Fire is a "shared universe" collection of short stories by various authors both well known and unknown (Mercedes Lackey, for example) as well as a novelette by Eric Flint. Timewise, these stories generally fit in between 1632 and its sequel 1633. And oddly, for a shared world anthology, characters introduced in these stories have important parts to play in 1633 as well as the forthcoming "1634:The Galileo Affair".
Generally speaking, I would NOT recommend this book as an introduction to Grantville, please read "1632" for that, but as illuminations upon the world of 1632, I can't recommend it highly enough. To get a taste of this book, you can actually read the first four chapters from "Ring Of Fire" on the Baen website.
As an example of "alternate history", American ingenuity, "strangers in a strange land", etc., this is a truly wonderful series. But the transplanted Americans needs must beware, for the people who've only been characters in history books, have READ those history books now, and know what the future used to be...
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