By Eric Flint

Down with flu, I tend to grab something easy, something accessible. Nobody will argue that 1632 is a masterwork. Its prose is ordinary, but racy. The premises are questionable. The mathematics suck. But it’s a rousing, fast-paced read for all that.

In a capsule: for plot reasons an Appallachian town is transported from the Appallachians to Thuringen, Germany. And from the present to the thirty year’s war.

Of course, these brave, blue-collar heroes, the finest that America has produced, proceed to kick ass and show the stupid kowtowing Europeons what freedom is all about. Kunsjt — if you bring enough hundreds of guns, a machine gun and enough gas and ammo to conquer Iraq with. That’s what I meant with ‘maths’ — I simply don’t believe that even an American hill town has enough weapons and ammunition to equip a few thousand men and women and carry out three battles.

But perhaps I’m naive.

Anyway, this book was recommended to me because it sketches, according the person recommending, a few very believable women. That’s quite true; and the men feel believable, too. If it weren’t for the snobbery about the Great American Values, the Great American Bravery, the Great American Character, the Great American Ingenuity.

That said, 1632 belongs to a particular subgenre I’m fond of; not just military sf, but the kind of books where someone has to start out with basically nothing, and builds almost a complete empire. I like reading books about people succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.

But only when I’m feeling very miserable, like today. And don’t mind the frequent interruptions when the author appears to be grinning, and gives out a bit of sententiousness.

You can buy this book or download it from Baen’s Free Library in various formats. I read the HTML version. The sequel is not freely available, except for the first twelve chapters.

Just added: Ellen Kushner, The Fall of the Kings (This was a birthday present for Irina, and she’s finished it —  now’s my turn.)

Just discarded: Nothing yet.