1632 series reading order

Recommended reading order for the 1632 series
(aka the Ring of Fire series)

Updated by: Eric Flint
January 21, 2016

Whenever someone asks me “what’s the right order?” for reading the 1632 series, I’m always tempted to respond: “I have no idea. What’s the right order for studying the Thirty Years War? If you find it, apply that same method to the 1632 series.”

However, that would be a bit churlish — and when it comes down to it, authors depend upon the goodwill of their readers. So, if all you want is the results, skip to the summary. For the explanation, as best I can, here goes.

The first book in the series, obviously, is 1632. That is the foundation novel for the entire series and the only one whose place in the sequence is definitely fixed.

Thereafter, you should read either the anthology titled Ring of Fire or the novel 1633, which I co-authored with David Weber. It really doesn’t matter that much which of these two volumes you read first, so long as you read them both before proceeding onward. That said, if I’m pinned against the wall and threatened with bodily harm, I’d recommend that you read Ring of Fire before you read 1633.

That’s because 1633 has a sequel which is so closely tied to it that the two volumes almost constitute one single huge novel. So, I suppose you’d do well to read them back to back.

That sequel is 1634: The Baltic War, which I also co-authored with David Weber. 1632, 1633, 1634: The Baltic War, 1635: The Eastern Front and 1636: The Saxon Uprising
constitutes what can be considered the “main line” or even the spinal cord of the entire series. Why? First, because it’s in these five novels that I depict the major political and military developments which have a tremendous impact on the entire complex of stories. Secondly, because these “main line” volumes focus on certain key characters in the series — Mike Stearns and Rebecca Abrabanel, first and foremost, as well as Gretchen Richter and Jeff Higgins.

Once you’ve read 1632, Ring of Fire, 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War, you will have a firm grasp of the basic framework of the series. From there, you can go in one of two directions: either read 1634: The Ram Rebellion or 1634: The Galileo Affair.

There are advantages and disadvantages either way. 1634: The Ram Rebellion is an oddball volume, which has some of the characteristics of an anthology and some of the characteristics of a novel. It’s perhaps a more challenging book to read than the Galileo volume, but it also has the virtue of being more closely tied to the main line books. Ram Rebellion is the first of several volumes which basically run parallel with the main line volumes but on what you might call a lower level of narrative. A more positive way of putting that is that these volumes depict the changes produced by the major developments in the main line novels, as those changes are seen by people who are much closer to the ground than the statesmen and generals who figure so prominently in books like 1632, 1633, and 1634: The Baltic War.

Of course, the distinction is only approximate. There are plenty of characters in the main line novels — Thorsten Engler and Eric Krenz spring immediately to mind — who are every bit as “close to the ground” as any of the characters in 1634: The Ram Rebellion.

Whichever book you read first, I do recommend that you read both of them before you move on to 1634: The Bavarian Crisis. In a way, that’s too bad, because Bavarian Crisis is something of a direct sequel to 1634: The Baltic War. The problem with going immediately from Baltic War to Bavarian Crisis, however, is that there is a major political development portrayed at length and in great detail in 1634: The Galileo Affair which antedates the events portrayed in the Bavarian story.

Still, you could read any one of those three volumes — to remind you, these are 1634: The Ram Rebellion, 1634: The Galileo Affair and 1634: The Bavarian Crisis — in any order you choose. Just keep in mind that if you read the Bavarian book before the other two you will be getting at least one major development out of chronological sequence.

After those three books are read, you should read 1635: A Parcel of Rogues, which I co-authored with Andrew Dennis. That’s one of the two sequels to 1634: The Baltic War, the other one being 1635: The Eastern Front. The reason you should read Parcel of Rogues at this point is that most of it takes place in the year 1634.

Thereafter, again, it’s something of a toss-up between three more volumes: the second Ring of Fire anthology and the two novels, 1635: The Cannon Law and 1635: The Dreeson Incident. On balance, though, I’d recommend reading them in this order because you’ll get more in the way of a chronological sequence:

Ring of Fire II
1635: The Cannon Law
1635: The Dreeson Incident

The time frame involved here is by no means rigidly sequential, and there are plenty of complexities involved. To name just one, my story in the second Ring of Fire anthology, the short novel “The Austro-Hungarian Connection,” is simultaneously a sequel to Virginia’s story in the same anthology, several stories in various issues of the Gazette — as well as my short novel in the first Ring of Fire anthology, The Wallenstein Gambit.

What can I say? It’s a messy world — as is the real one. Still and all, I think the reading order recommended above is certainly as good as any and probably the best.

We come now to Virginia DeMarce’s 1635: The Tangled Web, a collection of inter-related stories that runs parallel to many of the episodes in 1635: The Dreeson Incident. This volume is also where the character of Tata who figures in Eastern Front and Saxon Uprising is first introduced in the series.

You should then backtrack a little and read 1635: The Papal Stakes, which is the direct sequel to 1635: The Cannon Law.

You can then go back to the “main line” of the series and read 1635: The Eastern Front and 1636: The Saxon Uprising. I strongly recommend reading them back to back. These two books were originally intended to be a single novel, which I wound up breaking in half because the story got too long. They read better in tandem.

Then, read Ring of Fire III. My story in that volume is directly connected to 1636: The Saxon Uprising and will lay some of the basis for the sequel to that novel. After that, read 1636: The Kremlin Games. That novel isn’t closely related to any other novel that has yet come out in the series, though, so you could read it almost any time after reading the first few volumes.

1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies picks up on the adventures of Eddie Cantrell following the events depicted in 1634: The Baltic War.

1636: The Cardinal Virtues depicts the opening of the French civil war which was also produced by the events related in The Baltic War and which has been foreshadowed in a number of stories following that novel.

Iver Cooper’s 1636: Seas of Fortune takes place in the Far East and in the New World. The portion of it titled “Stretching Out” may have some spoilers to Commander Cantrell in the West Indies and vice versa, but nothing too important.

1636: The Devil’s Opera takes place in Magdeburg and might have some spoilers if you haven’t read Saxon Uprising. My co-author on this novel, David Carrico, also has an e-book available titled 1635: Music and Murder which contains stories published in various anthologies that provide much of the background to The Devil’s Opera.

1636: The Viennese Waltz comes after Saxon Uprising in the sense that nothing in it will be spoiled by anything in Saxon  Uprising but you might find out Mike’s whereabouts early if you read it first.  On the other hand the e-book 1636: The Barbie Consortium is a direct prequel to Viennese Waltz and should be read first to introduce you to the young ladies dancing the Viennese Waltz.

1636: The Viennese Waltz is also one of the three immediate prequels to the next main line novel in the series, which is 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught. The book is scheduled for publication in January of 2017—a year from now—and, as is true with most of the main line novels, I’m the sole author. If you’re wondering, the other two immediate prequels are 1636: The Saxon Uprising and my short novel “Four Days on the Danube,” which was published in Ring of Fire III.

As long as I’m foreshadowing titles that’ll be published in 2016, the next volumes coming out after 1635: Parcel of Rogues are these two:

Ring of Fire IV (forthcoming May, 2016). There are a number of stories in this volume written by different authors including David Brin. From the standpoint of the series’ reading order, however, probably the most important is my own story “Scarface.” This short novel serves simultaneously as a sequel to The Papal Stakes and The Dreeson Incident, in that the story depicts the further adventures of Harry Lefferts after Papal Stakes and Ron Stone and Missy Jenkins following The Dreeson Incident.

1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz, by Kerryn Offord and Rick Boatright (forthcoming August, 2016). As with The Devil’s Opera, this is a story set in the middle of the United States of Europe as it evolves. In this case, relating the adventures of a seventeenth century scholar—a descendant of the great Paracelsus—who becomes wealthy by translating the fuzzy and erroneous American notions of “chemistry” into the scientific precision of alchemy.

That leaves the various issues of the Gazette, which are really hard to fit into any precise sequence. The truth is, you can read them pretty much any time you choose.

It would be well-nigh impossible for me to provide any usable framework for the sixty-three electronic issues of the magazine, so I will restrict myself simply to the seven volumes of the Gazette which have appeared in paper editions. With the caveat that there is plenty of latitude, I’d suggest reading them as follows:

Read Gazette I after you’ve read 1632 and alongside Ring of Fire. Read Gazettes II and III alongside 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War, whenever you’re in the mood for short fiction. Do the same for Gazette IV, alongside the next three books in the sequence, 1634: The Ram Rebellion, 1634: The Galileo Affair and 1634: The Bavarian Crisis. Then read Gazette V after you’ve read Ring of Fire II, since my story in Gazette V is something of a direct sequel to my story in the Ring of Fire volume. You can read Gazette V alongside 1635: The Cannon Law and 1635: The Dreeson Incident whenever you’re in the mood for short fiction. Gazette VI can be read along with the next batch of novels recommended.

Finally, I’d recommend reading the most recent Gazette volume—that’s Grantville Gazette VII, published in April of 2015—any time after you’ve read 1636: The Cardinal Virtues.

And . . . that’s it, as of now. There are a lot more volumes coming.

Summary:

For those of you who dote on lists, here it is. But do keep in mind, when you examine this neatly ordered sequence, that the map is not the territory. On the other hand, if you like maps, here’s a flowchart, color coded to show which book is related to what. (Click on the small image for a full sized one, or visit it on gliffy.com for an interactive viewer.) That’s followed by the text version.

1632 Reading Order Flowchart

1632 Reading Order Flowchart

Reading order list:

1632
Ring of Fire
1633
1634: The Baltic War

(Somewhere along the way, after you’ve finished 1632, read the stories and articles in the first three paper edition volumes of the Gazette.)

1634: The Ram Rebellion
1634: The Galileo Affair
1634: The Bavarian Crisis
1635: A Parcel of Rogues

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories and articles in the fourth paper edition volume of the Gazette.)

Ring of Fire II
1635: The Cannon Law
1635: The Dreeson Incident
1635: The Tangled Web
(by Virginia DeMarce)

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette V.)

1635: The Papal Stakes
1635: The Eastern Front
1636: The Saxon Uprising
Ring of Fire III
1636: The Kremlin Games

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette VI.)

1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies
1636: The Cardinal Virtues
1635: Music and Murder (by David Carrico—this is an e-book edition only)
1636: The Devil’s Opera
1636: Seas of Fortune (by Iver Cooper)
1636: The Barbie Consortium (by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett—this is an e-book edition only)
1636: The Viennese Waltz

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette VII.)

And that leaves the following volumes, which will be appearing over the course of the next year:

Ring of Fire IV (forthcoming May, 2016)
1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz (forthcoming August, 2016)
1636: The Ottoman Onslaught (forthcoming January, 2017)

Eric Flint
January 2016

206 Responses to 1632 series reading order

  1. Richard S. Harder says:

    So when is the next book, I just finished the Kremlin Games, I love this series, only problem is that I am a real quick reader, so I usually have to wait. But thanks for writing, and thanks for starting this series.

    Richard

  2. Eric Flint says:

    The next book coming out in the series is 1636: THE PAPAL STAKES, which I wrote with Chuck Gannon. It’s coming out early in October, about three weeks from now. This is the direct sequel to 1635: THE CANNON LAW.

    Eric

  3. Amber says:

    Man, every time I think y’all have written my favourite Ring of Fire book…you top it. Thank you!

  4. Stephanie Hunter says:

    I’ve purchased as many of the audiobooks as I can find. I managed to find Kremlin Games on Audible.com as well. I’ve been reading them since your first publication of 1632; but I finally convinced my historian husband that he really would enjoy your take. Unfortunately, he prefers to listen in the car on the way to work, home, the store… So, I’ve gotten everything except the anthologies, and Gazettes for him. But he’s running through them so quickly!!! Is there a schedule for making the audiobooks, if any more are being made at all?

    • John Hagen says:

      I drive 45 min each way to work everyday, I love the audio books but am through all 7 that are out. When will more be recorded?

    • Stephanie: If your historian husband is a teacher, you should suggest to him that he offer a class in history thru alternate history and/or historical novels. Many, probably most, students would enjoy reading those much more than reading dry history books, and they will inevitably learn some history, if only accidentally. In class, they could have lively discussions about the similarities and differences between the alternate history and recorded history.

      In addition to the Ring of Fire hypernovel, Eric has written the Rivers of War novels, 1812 and 1824 and (with David Drake) the Belisarius series; and Steve Stirling has written Island in the Sea of Time and two sequels, and Harry Turtledove has written several 19th century AH novels. Also, there are Lyon Sprague DeCamp’s Lest Darkness Fall, Ward Moore’s Bring the Jubilee and (I don’t remember the author’s name) If Lee Had Lost at Gettysburg, which is so far out of print that neither Amazon nor Barnes and Noble has any record of it that I could find.
      Authors of historical novels NOT of the plunging neckline school include Diana Gabaldon (1740-1780), Miriam Grace Monfredo (1850-1870), and Kenneth Roberts (1770-1815)

      • Larry S. says:

        I believe the title that you are referring to is actually “If Lee had not won at Gettysburg”…. It was actually a longer essay and not a book.

        AND was authored by….. Winston Churchill (yes, THAT Winston Churchill – in 1931) Pretty good essay and I have found available in at least one book (of short story AH genre) through our regional library network system.

      • Larry S. says:

        Sorry.

        The actual title is “If Lee had not Lost the Battle of Gettysburg”. While first published in a magazine, it came out in book form originally titled “If it Had Happened Otherwise” and then in a revised edition (by Viking Press, for American audiences I believe) that same year as “If, Or History Rewritten”. Its last publication edition that I could find was in 1964.

        Also, I just checked, and our regional library network is down to just 1 copy at 1 library…. and it is in the Reference Section with no Holds allowed (glad that I read it back when I did!).

        BTW, am just getting in to the Ring of Fire series and it is great! I read considerably and have a special interest in military history, alternative histories, etc. (as well as specialized action/adventure series plots like Parker, Jack Reacher, etc.). After years of having it on my “to get to list” (while the series just kept growing and growing!), I finally got started into it last week. And fortunately our regional library network has copies of the whole series, up to including the latest one just published which several libraries have on order.

      • Larry S. says:

        Oops…

        Now mixing the two!!!

        “If Lee Had Not Won The Battle of Gettysburg” !!!

      • Larry S. says:

        A little research shows that Churchill’s essay is available online as a PDF file at:

        http://poliscifi.pbworks.com/f/churchill.pdf

        Story is a bit far-fetched when it has General Lee issuing an order freeing the slaves in The South following the signing of the peace treaty. Shows some confusion in that Lee was not the political leader of The South. That would have been CSA President Jefferson Davis, Lee’s Comander-in-Chief and the top individual most likely to be involved in the peace treaty process and its signing. And even had Lee persuaded Davis to consider such a proposal (HIGHLY unlikely – Lee had tried before), there is no way that the CSA Congress would have agreed to such a move (not after having lost tens and tens of thousands of troops and damage up to that point fighting specifically to maintain Slavery, as well as other factors such as States’ Rights, the Tariff System problems, etc.). The bottom line was that Lee was not some type of monarch, that the CSA was a representative democracy with a president and congress. Heck, Lee was not even during this time commander of all CSA armies even, not even of the Eastern Theater of Operations. His sole command was the Army of Northern Virginia (there were other armies in the Eastern Theater besides the ANV, plus the armies in the Western Theater under various other commanders).

        I realize that these ARE fictionalized alternative histories, but feel that a certain amount of realism should be maintained – especially when (unlike Ring of Fire) the plot does not involve an alternate universe or other timeline!

        Having the CSA gradually become industrialized within the agricultural field (as well as rapidly in general, seeing the benefits that had given The North) and politically determining to (10-12 years later) emancipate the slaves (as Brazil did as late as 1877) – and made Lee Commanding General of the CSA – would have made the story much better IMHO.

        Well enough off track commentary. Hope to post in the future more on the Ring of Fire series!

  5. Eric Flint says:

    I don’t know if there’s a schedule as such. What I was told by Jim Minz, Baen’s senior editor who is handling the audio publishing, is that the plan is to release essentially everything published by Baen in audio format. But how long that will take and in what order is not settled yet.

    • Daniel says:

      So, there is no definite answer for a scheduled date for any of the 1632 series in audio format, besides what is already out?

  6. Robby Watson says:

    MOVIES ! ! ! ???

    Please hint that you’ve something in the works getting 1632 on the big screen!!

    • Eric Flint says:

      There’s no movie deal in the works, but I am on the verge of signing an agreement with a well-established British TV production company to do a TV series.

      • Robby Watson says:

        Looking forward to that along with many, many others!

      • Kirsten says:

        British TV companies are generally better at staying true to the material, so that’s a relief. You might want to make sure they hire people who can actually do a hillbilly accent, and not really horrible British interpretations of them. How much creative control are you keeping for the series and/or who do you think will be directing/producing them? I’m really excited about this for the future. Totally made my day.

  7. David says:

    Audible books …YES. I don’t want to skip around and audible.com only has 1632, 1633 and 1636 Kremlin Games. Stephanie Hunter, where did you get the audio versions you mentioned?

    • Arlo says:

      Kindle can read the books for you not as well as Audibel but you do not to wait. Some book are DRM protected and will not read but not those from Eric.

  8. Gail Morris says:

    Do you plan on a sequel to Time Spike? I loved it and so did my husband who is reading Cannon Law at this time. I only own about 5 books of this series and have to get the rest from the Library if they have them [our local bookstore closed and SFBC only carries so many of your books.]

  9. Eric, Drak, Rick, or any other minion who reads this comment: Today is Hans Richter Day. Take a look at my website (RoFindex.com) and if you wish (and I hope you do) email me at bret.hooper@rocketmail.com with your comments. Thank you.

  10. ronald southwell says:

    i just finished kremlin games and it looks like there should be a sequel, any idea when we may see one down the road. i truly enjoy the stories and world building embodied by this series.

  11. Eric Flint says:

    There will be a sequel to KREMLIN GAMES, but it won’t be written for a while because I need to bring other lines of the story forward first. Right now, Paula and Gorg are working on the first draft of 1636: THE VIENNESE WALTZ, which is one of two sequels to SAXON UPRISING. (The other being a solo novel I’ll be writing next year.)

  12. Bryan M says:

    When will we get to find out what happened to the group who stayed in england? will there be an earlier English Civil War with a more Republican Oliver Cromwell who has the benefit of hindsight to guide him? (not to mention the fact that most of the nobles that supported him in the OTL have been executed in this one, so I assume a lot his new supporters will be either be Levelers or hopefully quite hilariously the scots and the irish) Sorry for the rather rambling questions.

  13. Christian Dauz says:

    It seems that war between the USE and the Ottoman Empire is on its way. I wonder if the end of the war would end the Ring of Fire series. By defeating the Ottoman Empire the USE would become the most powerful nation in the world!

  14. Aaron Smith says:

    Rather slighting to write off the Chinese like they dont have any empire.

    • Tim Rankea says:

      I agree in a way, but I think they are just too far away for much contact.

      Even in the original timeline we didn’t interact with them heavily until much later. During this period it was mainly missionaries and merchants.

  15. Anthony Theiss says:

    They may have an Empire but they don’t have a great Navy by the Middle 17th century and before the end of the 16th Century they had destroyed the Great Fleet.

    • Alex says:

      That may actually change because of the histories now available. After all, the butterfly effect has even changed Japanese. There’s a likely chance we’ll see the Chinese, and they may modernize like Russia after finding out that they’ll lag behind for centuries.

  16. john braddock says:

    i got hooked on sci-fi novels in Nam since they provided a much needed break from reality i despritly needed to keep myself sane (was dustoff medic). fell into the series by accident and i have read every one of the ring of fire from 1632 to the papal stakes. (gazettes too) i’ve re-read every one, i’ve greatly enjoyed everyone, i’m always saying “dang, this one ended too quick too” if i had a wish list and i do i’d wish for the next one written was centered on Bernie & Natash in Rus and somehow squeezel in Eddie and his kings daughter or Noelle & Janos, i’m not really into the romanic aspects of things normally but i truely believe without the one’s you’ve spun so tightly since Rebecca met Mike in 1632 that i don’t believe i’d keep reading without them.. that all being said, you’ve got refridgerator rights at my house and please look both ways crossing the road.

  17. Blair Rhodes says:

    While I still the feel of a paper book in my hands I am finding the convenience of e-books to be advantageous as I live in a remote rural area and can only get to a brick and mortar store infrequently. Any plans to provide electronic copies of your fantastic series in the future?

    • Shamandin says:

      Blair – if you go to http://www.baenebooks.com, you’ll find them there. Last time I looked (admittedly, this was a couple weeks ago), every one is available in various DRM free formats (html, MOBI/Kindle, rtf, nook, etc.). There is a page for 1632, but I wasn’t available for purchase. If I remember right, that was because they had to pull it from Baen’s free library because of the Amazon deal. For that matter, you should be able to find them on Amazon, now, due to that same deal.

      Getting them from Baen’s ebook site has been so convenient and easy to do.

  18. Peter Johnson says:

    What books are expected to be published this year?

  19. Valeriu says:

    Since the Ring of Fire universe is pre 9/11 terrorist atacks, it will be interesting to write a book in which a part of an american naval taskforce sent for battle against Iran dissapears in the Ring of Fire universe and what Mike Stearns and his friends think about the post 9/11 USA.

    • Morgan Brunk says:

      That would be tricky. Not only would they have to go back in time but they would have to sidestep into an alternate reality.

  20. Edward Hopkinson says:

    I have read all of the 1632 series and reread several times. I have read Time Spike and the 1812 and 1824 series.
    Like most of the people who have read your 1632 series I can’t wait for the next book, (books and more books please) to come out.
    I would really like some movies and TV series, but please keep them true to the books.

  21. Denise Ellison says:

    You are one of my favorite authors. I want to tell you to write quicker because I enjoy the series so much. All 3 of my brothers have read the 1632 series and 2 of the 3 are NOT readers (which says how good it is.) I have laugh and cried reading these books. I just wish my local library carried more of your books. Keep up the good work. My whole family is waiting for the next one. Thank you so much for creating a fun and exciting universe.

  22. Roland Hagge says:

    I reading the first “Ring of Fire” and I’m so impressed of your history of the 30 years’ war and your knowledge of Gustav II Adolf. Just one “mistake” his first book that he read Every single day was the Bible and then Xenophon. From them he got his knowledge of how to and who you should way war with. But his should have read the first part more careful about the war against the Persian Empire, then he should have understand that the king do not run in front of you soldier that way you will be killed.
    Anyone that has not read the Xenophon should read his book they are great book to read.
    I’m from Sweden and my favorite person thru the history is Gustav II Adolf. I have read so much about him. He was a very interested person and I so happy to come over you book and I will buy them all now.
    BTW I love how you using Gustav II Adolf real Name not the Latin name…. NO, I not am going to write it.
    Thanks Roland

  23. Please let me start with the positive, as to reading order.
    I discovered _1633_ by chance while searching for the Earl
    of Strafford; then _1634: The Baltic War_; _1634: The
    Bavarian Crisis_; and _1634: The Galileo Affair_ (which I
    knew would be a favorite!). Then back to 1632 (for me, the
    “prequel”), and _Ring of Fire_ (I), and to _1634: The Ram
    Rebellion_. And then _1635: The Cannon Law_; _1635: The
    Papal Stakes_ (a clever title!); and _1635: The Dreeson
    Incident_. A charm of this route is first encountering
    Maria Anna in _The Bavarian Crisis_ as a harbinger of
    compassion and religious tolerance in the Catholic world,
    and then focusing on the overlapping developments in Rome
    in _The Galileo Affair_ and its sequels focusing on the
    theological and political dilemmas of Pope Urban VIII.

    To place what follows in perspective, I should also add
    that I have already purchased and will read _1635: The
    Tangled Web_; _1635: The Eastern Front_; _1636: The Saxon
    Uprising_; and _1636: Kremlin Games_.

    A humorous aspect of this literary adventure is that I
    might be tempted to volunteer as Grantville’s disk jockey
    to the USE, since much of my everyday musical life for the
    last 45 years has focused on the 16th and early 17th
    centuries, and my record and CD collection is mostly from
    this era or earlier! Then, again, however, not only does
    the 1632 canon bar readers from nominating ourselves as
    uptimers and bringing our music collections into the 17th
    century; but it seems that many downtimers prefer uptime
    music anyway — as much fun as it might be to envision a
    madrigal collection _Il trionfo di Brillo_!

    Very sadly, I must also say that the conclusion of _The
    Dreeson Incident_ marks the end of the road for me as far
    as purchasing any further books in this series, a decision
    made yet sadder by the commendable accessibility of Baen
    e-books in HTML (my chosen format in purchasing these
    books); your generosity as to copyright issues and
    widespread circulation of much of this material on the Web;
    and the creative cooperation in the development of this
    series.

    As a pacifist, I recognize a distinction between legitimate
    self-defense, even with deadly force, and practices such as
    massacres, or the killing of prisoners in judicial or
    extrajudicial executions. It is one thing to describe
    brutalizing evil, or to recognize how people opposing it
    may not always be able to prevent it as carried out by
    allies as well as adversaries.

    However, the _Dreeson Incident_ — a gripping, engaging,
    and in many ways winning novel with its fascinating young
    adult characters and focus on domestic violence as well as
    political suspense — definitively crossed the line for me
    with an episode I can only call, using a different Nazi
    analogy than the novel, “The Fortnight of the Long Knives.”
    The idea of a Final Solution of the German Anti-Semitism
    and Witchhunting Problem is to me obscene, a point where
    any basis for admiring two of the central characters is
    totally demolished — unless/until they repent their
    pivotal role in facilitating mass murder.

    For those who read this book, as I do not mean to
    discourage anyone from doing, I would add that neither the
    Civil Rights Movement during 1950’s and 1960’s in the
    U.S.A., nor local, state, and federal law enforcement
    officers called upon to stop lynchings and give effect to
    old and new antidiscrimination laws, used death squads and
    mass murders as instruments of behavior modification! Some
    African-American citizens were indeed armed and prepared to
    use deadly force in self-defense or defense of others, as
    Dr. Martin Luther King observed was their natural right;
    but civil rights activists did not draw up kill lists and
    launch a carefully orchestrated campaign to lynch the
    lynchers (actual or potential). Rather, age-old Jim Crow
    attitudes and behaviors were overcome by the triumph of
    nonviolent action and the rule of law.

    Finally, this series is to be commended for noting the
    abolition of the death penalty in West Virginia — albeit
    actually in 1965 rather than in 1976, a small historical
    glitch by one admirable character (in _The Ram Rebellion_)
    which in no way detracts from the point. As I reflected
    while reading that book: “If only someone were circulating
    as many copies in German as possible of Tom Paine’s
    `Reasons for Preserving the Life of Louis Capet’ (1793)!”

    • Joe Wojtowicz says:

      Margo, Do you really think Gandhi would have lived if he tried his non-violence in the 17th century? As much as Gandhi is honored today, he succeeded ONLY because the British chose to let him succeed.
      Non-violence only works when the opposing forces are willingly constrained by either their laws or other forces. Otherwise all you have are corpses. Pacifists survive only because their enemies are not interested in killing them or because they are protected by some outside force (be it law enforcement or armies).

  24. Dan says:

    Can’t wait for that BBC TV series alluded to above, as long as they are forced to stay true to the story, and cast people who can actually do the accents of the characters, it should be quite a good watch

  25. Richard M. Blake says:

    Hi Erick,

    I’ve been reading both alternate history and novels which retain exact history as they tell a story, while fleshing out that history with honest portrayals of imagined people who must live through that same history.

    You’ve made the labor movement mining country become real for me. Ditto for making “Real” the horror of the religious wars of the 17th century. You’ve actually succeeded in making an old, unreconstructed Irish-American guy at least consider that Cromwell (spit on floor) might have been a force for justice and freedom. God! Can’t believe I wrote that!

    You may call yourself an author, but you’re really teacher . . . of the real nature of human history & human societal improvement. Keep it up buddy!!!!

    Richard Michael Patrick Blake

  26. Mike says:

    I am enjoying this series. I work in a data center by myself most of the day and I listen to audio books as I work. I have noticed that many of this series isn’t in audio format. Will any other books be released in audio format? Any time frame if so?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  27. Terry says:

    Hi. Love the series. Hope they never end, but endings are inevitable. Where do you see the series going and is an ending already decided? Can you suggest when this may come? I have friends who wrongly wait until a series is ended before reading all of the books and I think they are making a mistake.

    • Eric Flint says:

      Unlike every other series I work in, the 1632 series is completely open-ended. By that I mean that there is no ending in sight nor do I have one in mind. I deliberately don’t try to think more than two years ahead “in series time,” i.e., as of right now I could — but I won’t :) — tell you most of what will happen in 1636 and a lot of what’ll happen in 1637. As far as 1638 goes, I have a few vague ideas. 1639? 1640? I don’t have a clue.

      I designed the series that way from the beginning, and it’s a good part of the reason I’ve invited so many other authors into it. As much as possible, I’m trying to capture the contingent and sometimes accidental nature of real history, as much as possible within the constraints of narrative fiction.

  28. Pingback: 5 SciFi and Fantasy Books with Time Travel :: Best Fantasy Stories

  29. Heather says:

    Thanks for a great series (and other great books). One question, I’m trying to figure out which book got the group in England out of the Tower and back to Grantville. I’m pretty sure I’ve read it, but can’t remember where.

    Thanks so much

  30. Matthew Chamberlain says:

    I am an old fashioned guy. I like reading long stories. I do not like reading anthologies written by one author, much less a bunch of them. I wish that you would differentiate more clearly which books are just that, books and which are anthologies on the cover. I don’t appreciate being made to read a multiple author anthology in order to keep up continuity of a story history line. It is cheep cross marketing of publishers stable authors and it is unfair to the reading public.

    • Mr. Chamberlain:
      I find it hard to believe that (except in school) you were ever “made to read a multiple author anthology,” nor was it ever necessary to do so to keep up with the Main Sequence story line of 1632, 1633, 1634: The Baltic War, 1635: The Eastern Front, and 1636: The Saxon Uprising. Granted, “Anna’s Story” in the first issue of Grantville Gazette really begins in the 51st paragraph of Chapter 2 of 1632, and it is certainly best to read 1632 first. But albeit the RoF and Grantville Gazette anthologies add a lot of fleshing out to the whole story, and are for the most part excellent reading in their own right, still the Main Sequence includes its own continuity, and you don’t strong>have to read any of the rest.

  31. Matthew Chamberlain says:

    I do love the series.

  32. Joan Ehrlich says:

    My husband and I love, love, love the series. It’s a fight as to who gets to read the newest book first!

  33. Doug says:

    I’ve been following this series since around 2001. In my opinion it is absolutely the best alternative history saga I’ve read to date. The whole 1632 universe and the fan inspired Gazettes are genius.

    Of all of the science fiction and alternative history I’ve read I would love to see this story turned into a movie or TV series. With modern special effects this should be a fairly easy thing to do. Besides a great action packed storyline it would also be a wonderful history lesson for folks that know little of the period. I sure inspired me to do some research on the 30 year war.

  34. benny says:

    which book comes after 1636: The Saxon Uprising

    • Eric Flint says:

      Well…

      Eventually, it’ll be my next solo novel, the working title of which is 1636: Mike Whups On Max. But I won’t write that until next year. In the meantime, the next book coming out is 1636: The Devil’s Opera which runs parallel to Saxon Uprising — i.e., it takes place in Magdeburg during and shortly after the same time period covered in Saxon Uprising. That’s coming out in October.

  35. C matzner says:

    I got into these books via the distribution of certain cd-roma via the Internet. You know the one :) . I have since purchased every. Single. Bloody. One. In dead tree format because theyre that good. Thank you.

  36. Stewart says:

    Been reading this series for about 10 years now. It’s always tough to coordinate a multi-lined / multi-viewed study of history, but, as Eric notes, “it’s a messy world”; welcome to reality.
    I have been following the development / intrusion of late-20th century technology into the 1632 universe with interest.
    Concurrently I am also reading the campaign histories of WW2. That said, and noting fixed wing aircraft development in the USE, Dutch, Austrian and (possibly) French regions and LTA / Airship development in USE, French, Russian, Turkish (cover spoilers) and likely Austrian and French regions, is loyal minion Iver Cooper likely to cover any RADAR development ? (he IS the likely candidate).
    For an electronic nerd like myself, I enjoyed the short story in one of the anthologies noting the difficulty in developing a working Triode tube. The early RADAR development in WW2 followed a similar path with similar conflict threats.
    — Stewart
    (retired USN ET-1 / active HAM)

    • Eric Flint says:

      I ran your question past my tech experts and here’s the gist of their reply:

      First, as a technical matter, they don’t think creating workable radar is feasible earlier than about 1640.

      What’s probably more important, however, is that they don’t see any real use for it for some time. No nation has the sort of large air fleet that would require radar to counteract effectively. You’d wind up devoting a lot of effort and resources to produce something that would have very limited use.

  37. Stewart says:

    Thank’s for the reply. Likely in the 163x-verse RADAR will follow as a “bi-product” of radio development, as it did in this time line.

    — Stewart

  38. Doug McGarrett says:

    As steel ships, or steel-armored ships, have been developed, radar would be useful to naval forces, much more so than air forces in the 1640 era. Some radar can be contrived to work at frequencies as low as 200 MHz, which is within the scope of tube technology.
    It would be pretty crude, but could probably find a large ship. Some “conventional” tube technology was developed that worked up into the very low gigahertz region. Also, the
    klystron is a tube, and works up into the 10GHz region, at least.
    –doug, WA2SAY –retired RF engineer

  39. Stewart says:

    True Doug —
    although I was thinking of air defense. The ASR we had at Pt Mugu and Moffett was 700 Mhz if I recall.
    Several WWII RADARs, both ASR and Surface Search were lower freqs with some issues (Aleutian mountains returned mistaken as ships, etc). Still the iron guns on wooden ships would give a nice return signal.

    — Stewart / KG6BOV

  40. Art Hickman says:

    I have been looking for 1636: THE PAPAL STAKES and have not been able to find it on Amazon. Has it been published?
    Thanks
    Art

    • Eric Flint says:

      It’s available. You’ve got the title wrong, that’s all. It’s 1635, not 1636. (I.e., 1635: THE PAPAL STAKES.)

  41. mark ledbetter says:

    It is hard to believe that the Americans brought back from the Ring of Fire is ok with the French controlling all of North America, it would seem natural that the Americans would want to take back control of all of North America. And, many would like to see it in its natural and original glory. Do you contemplate a book or two that will have the Americans take back North America?

  42. Eric Flint says:

    How in the world would 3000 Americans — half of whom are now scattered across Europe — “take back North America.”

    Besides, Mike Stearns’ assessment is that the “French threat” in North America is pretty hollow. This is a quote from my short story “Brave New World” that appears in the back of Herb Sakalaucks’ e-book novel “The Danish Scheme” (available from Amazon):

    Mike waved his hand. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Christian’s read the same books and encyclopedia articles Richelieu has, and come to the same conclusion.” His voice assumed a slight sing-song pitch. ‘The future is in the New World. Whoever controls North America will dominate the world, yadda yadda yadda.’”

    Nasi gave him a quizzical look. “I’ve noticed before that you don’t seem unduly concerned about that. Why?”

    “Because I don’t believe in voodoo. There isn’t any magic power emanating from the soil of North America, Francisco. The pre-eminence of the United States in the universe I came from stemmed from a lot of historical factors, very few of which can be duplicated in this universe by people like Cardinal Richelieu—much less the king of Denmark.”

    Nasi leaned forward in his chair. “Such as?” His tone was curious, not challenging.

    “Start with the fact that by the year 2000, when the Ring of Fire happened, the United States was the world’s third largest nation in terms of population. We’re talking about three hundred million people. That’s a lot of economic muscle—not to mention a lot of battalions, when you need them. And how did the country get so big? By drawing people from all over the world because we had a loosy-goosy attitude toward immigration and we were willing to give people a lot of personal, political, religious and economic leeway once they arrived. You think a French absolute monarchy—which is what Richelieu is trying to build—could possibly duplicate that? Much less the Danish junior varsity?”

  43. All this to-do about the proper reading order for the 1632/Ring of
    fire
    ‘series’ arises because it has evolved from a series (which would have a clear reading order) to a hypernovel with several sequences:

    Main Sequence: 1632, (,em>1633, The Wallenstein Gambit), 1634: The Baltic War, 1635: The Eastern Front, and 1636: The Saxon Uprising and maybe 1636: The Devil’s Opera (could be Side Sequence)

    Side Sequence: 1634: The Ram Rebellion, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, 1634: The Dreeson Incident, 1635: The Tangled Web, and maybe 1636: The Devil’s Opera (could be Main Sequence)

    Italian Sequence: </strong1634: The Galileo Affair, 1635: The Cannon Law, and 1635: The Papal Stakes

    Russian Sequence: 1636: The Kremlin Games

    American Sequence: 1636: Seas of Fortune (due 7-Jan-14)

    Far East Sequence: All God’s Children in the Burning East (RoFIII), 1636: Seas of Fortune (due 7-Jan-14)

    British Sequence: (starts in 1634: The Baltic War)

    Eric is absolutely right that you will understand and enjoy the rest better if you read 1632 first, but after that, there is simply no one right order to read them, and there can’t be. RoF is just too complex and interwoven. It is great to read in any order you choose!

    • Herb Sakalaucks says:

      You need to add The Danish Scheme. It fits in between 1633 and 1634 The Baltic War and comes before 1636 Seas of Fortune. It really accentuates the “complex and interwoven” comment

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  45. Bryan says:

    Just wondering if we will see a sequel to 1812 & 1824 I really like that series.

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  47. Gerald Easson says:

    I have just finished Kremlin Games a second time. I have gotten my son in law and grandson on the 1632 series, now that their back but are you going to have a sequel to the Kremlin Games?????????
    Thank you Mr. Flint and have a good day.

    Gerald Easson

  48. Christopher R. Ponton says:

    I absolutely love this series and can not wait for the next main-line novel. I hope that you make at least one novel showing the theoretical consequences of having the first and second (and maybe third) industrial revolutions happening in tandem will have on the world.

  49. Baff Bayfield says:

    Damn you, Mr Flint et al. I’m too busy already, but I finished reading 1633 last night, I’ve ordered the next six today, and I’m having to try to find ways to gain more free time so that I can power my way through them.

  50. kocho trajchevski says:

    i plan to write a novel concerning the influence it would have on the Balkans with the events to start somewhere after the eastern front with including several new characters in the story a group of citizens of Grantville that come from the Balkans and their families
    interested in cooperating with you flint since i need your approval but it would be a connecting story considering that with the much weaker Austria, and the defeated Poland by Gustav which in the real timeline defeated a serious Ottoman army 100000 men in 1631-32 and stopped another one in 1633-34 and a third massive force of 150000 turks were stopped by Murad after the peace treaty and his realization that Poland and the alliance with Austria was to strong which with this events in the series will not be possible just as a reminder the ottomans at that time had more than 450000 soldiers placed in the Balkans and Anatolia about 200000 just in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia so i believe if which is a def they have access to the copies of the encyclopedia from Grantville they would have a perfect opportunity to simply crush and enter in to Europe if they don’t have some trouble with in which considering that at that time Macedonia was close to a revolt presents a very useful premises for a great story i plan to write it hope you would be interested

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