May 13th, 2005

evil senji

Musical Relay Race

Oh. I appear to have been given a baton. It's some kind of intricately carved neo-wood, with instructions in elvish telling me that I should answer the questions and then pass the baton on to five other people. Hmm, this sounds a little like some kind of MLM, but I guess I'll go along with it...
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The five people I'm passing the baton onto:

I hope none of the people I've picked on mind (and if they do they should just ignore it – I'm not trying to impose a requirement here!)

The 1632 effect.

20. Flint, Eric 1632
21. Flint, Eric (editor) Ring of Fire
22. Flint, Eric & Weber, David 1633
23. Flint, Eric (editor) Grantville Gazette

November 1999, Grantville, WV, US, a day like any other except for two things. Rita Stearns has just got married, and during the reception a cosmic accident transports the entire town back 368 years in time and halfway around the world to Thuringia in Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War.

From this point onwards it's all plain and simple AH, with the Americans having a reasonably large amount of uptime knowledge and equipment, but a somewhat smaller amount of advanced industry and no way of maintaining a large amount of their equipment. They have some idea of the way history is supposed to go, but the Butterfly Effect strikes immediately and things start to shift…

The two novels look mainly at the big picture of politics, the short stories at people and minor events – such as how an American Roman Catholic Priest who believes in the 1992 catechism and Vatican II reacts to the Inquisition.

An interesting thing about the series is that the short stories are mainly written by third party authors, an approach I've not seen often elsewhere; with names from the famous (K.D. Wentworth) to the unheard of (Virginia De Marce … whose story in Grantville Gazette is probably my favourite).

This is, to my mind, an exemplar of the genre. 1634 the Galileo Affair is out in paperback in August, and I'll be buying it as soon as…

Phantastic sleuths and New Conservatives

24. Hamilton, Peter F. Mindstar Rising
25. Hamilton, Peter F. A Quantum Murder
26. Hamilton, Peter F. The Nano Flower

What Hamilton was like before Nights Dawn….

England is recovering from both global warming and socialism. The New Conservatives are in power, the people are housed, and Philip Evans is legitimising his high-tech commercial operation Event Horizon. But Philip Evans has a problem, something or someone has been causing unacceptible losses in his orbital operations. Fearing that his organisation might be compromised he calls in outside help, and finds Greg Mandel, a veteran of the Jihad war and ex-Mindstar operative.

Greg Mandel has bio-enhanced psychic powers that enable him to read people's emotions, and occasionally gets flashes of intuition that noone can really explain. The three books centre around Mandel and Event Horizon, but along the way they provide images of both Hamilton's imagined post-Warming world and of the years of oppression under the People's Socialist Party.

I think A Quantum Murder is the best of the lot; it's better written than Mindstar Rising but doesn't attempt to be as grandiose as The Nano Flower.