Alternate History and ‘Hard’ Science Fiction

This post may get rambly, and switch topics. Just a heads up to everyone.

The ‘1632’ series, also called ‘The Ring of Fire’, or, as I and my family call it, ‘Grandma’s books’. The 1632 series began as an idea in the mind of the well-known sci-fi author, Eric Flint. It’s about a small town named Grantville in turn-of-the-21st-century West Virginia. Grantville is picked up by ‘the ring of fire’ and dropped in Bavaria, Germany in 1632, the middle of the 30 Years’ War. Eric published the first book, aptly name 1632, and Baen’s Bar (the online discussion board at soon became filled with people asking about the series, and if there would be more. My grandma, Virginia DeMarce, sent Eric a note saying how much she enjoyed the book, and complimented him on the very solid research he had done to write the novel. My grandma complimenting people on their research, especially during that time period in Europe, almost never happens. She taught college history courses on the history or Europe during the 15-1700’s.

The 1632 series has become a huge series, with countless authors. My grandma is one of the authors of the series, and also the resident historian. If she doesn’t already know the answer to a question someone asked, she knows where to find it. The amount of research it has taken to get the series up and running, even from before 1632 was published, is astounding. I’ve been to two of the 1632 mini-cons with my grandma over the years, and the panels are simply amazing. The way they can take actual facts and turn them into a very popular alternate history series is beyond comprehension.

Getting into the series is one thing, 1632 is a very easy read with interesting characters and a motivated plot. Eric Flint can tell a story. ‘1633’, which Eric wrote with David Drake, seems a little slower, at least to me, because Drake is a sci-fi author who writes ‘hard’ sci-fi, but more of that later. The story still follows, for another 30 or so books. Alternate History definitely has it’s problems, first and foremost being how closely you want to stick to the actual recorded history of the time and place you’re writing about.

If you have questions about alternate history, just ask. I kind of have an inside view of it because of my grandma, and I’d be willing to answer any specific questions.

Now onto ‘hard’ sci-fi. I classify hard sci-fi as the kind of sci-fi that actually digs deep into the science of the story. The how as much as the why. Maybe not even the how, but the constant mention of the science involved in the way the story works. I love this kind of sci-fi, where the science drips from the pages in acids and bases, and lights up the inner workings of my brain with the nuclear-power. It’s fascinating and electrifying. It’s critical reading as much as it is for the plot and character development.

David Drake, David Weber, and Isaac Asimov have written great ‘hard’ sci-fi. Just a few of my own personal suggestions.

Sorry guys, it’s Wednesday night, and I have Calc homework to get done. This post could have been a lot longer, but feel free to ask questions if you have any.


About rieishere

I'm Rie. There's nothing overly exciting about me. I'm studying for Early Childhood/Elementary Education and Music. And that's about it. I have an amazing group of friends, but sometimes... we get a little... band nerdy... View all posts by rieishere

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