1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 49

The book should be available now, so this is the last snippet.

1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 49

Marina was looking at him and he snorted. “All right. I’m not talking about the Partow twins. They’re clever enough, especially for untrained kids, but David Bartley and his grandmother are little more than con-artists who got tied into the down-time local power structure. You know that the down-timers do everything through marriage. And I don’t believe for a second that Bartley was opposed to Delia Higgins’ hotel venture. She got a sweetheart deal, count on it.”

“Never mind Bartley. He’s not coming here. What about Prince Karl?”

“A rich playboy is all. His family’s money plus some good luck. Besides, from what Gundaker said they sent a really bright advisor with him.”

“The Wendell’s seem all right,” Marina said.

“The Wendell’s are tied into the Grantville power structure and that’s why they got their positions, and that’s why the daughters . . . well, the older girl . . . got her job in Magdeburg. From what they were saying back in Grantville, that whole Barbie Consortium was a bunch of underage femme fatales, using their looks to scam everyone.”

“Some of the rumors said they used more than their looks,” Marina said. “I heard that that Susan Logsden didn’t fall far from her mother’s tree and that Velma Hardesty was a slut from way back.”

“Engineering takes time, skill, and training. The gambles they take in Grantville, the lack of proper analysis, is going to come back to haunt them,” Peter said, just like he had said hundreds of times before. And it was true. He was constantly being pressured to do the same sort of sloppy engineering here, but he wouldn’t do it. There were reasons for the regulations they had had up-time and no building or engine designed by Peter Barclay was going to fall down or blow up because he cut corners.

Meanwhile, Emperor Ferdinand was getting impatient and Peter couldn’t blame him. It was just incredibly hard to build engines down-time. He had to do everything himself. It seemed that every part to make every machine to make a part of the next machine took more time and cost more than it could have. People always talked about how skilled these primitive craftsmen were supposed to be, but they took forever, and they wasted so much time on curlicues and fancy work that nothing ever got done. And he was sure in his gut that the new up-timers were going to come in with some trick and steal all the credit for all the work he had done.

****

In a way, Peter was right. But in a lot of ways he was wrong. The big difference between up-time production techniques and down-time production was not quality, but time. It takes a hellacious long time to do almost anything by hand. And if you’re going to spend that much time on it in the first place, why not add in a little more to make it beautiful as well as functional? Meanwhile, over the past most of a year in Vienna, he had built up the infrastructure to build internal combustion engines. One piece at a time, because he wasn’t good at delegating or trusting, and so required everything to go through him, but it was at least halfway to a finished product.

Peter’s unwillingness to listen to the expertise of the down-time craftsmen who did know how to get the most out of their equipment was slowing things down even more.

Water Park, Race Track City

On the other hand, Dana Fortney was getting along quite well with down-timer ladies, teaching them yoga and therapeutic massage at the water park. The water park had evolved into a combination down-time bathhouse and up-time water park, with an up-time beauty shop next door to a down-time barber/surgeon. Well, sort of down-time barber/surgeons. The up-time knowledge of antiseptics had gone a long way to improve their outcomes. They weren’t in Sharon Nichols’ class — not even close — but they were much better than they had been. In fact, they were getting better results than the professional doctors from the university. The advance of the surgeon from hack to king of the medical profession was starting much sooner in this timeline.

Vienna

The message was terse and less than informative. It had been sent before it was even known whether Pope Urban was still alive, but other messages in the same pouch had confirmed that the pope was alive but had fled from Rome. Cardinal Borja was claiming that Urban had fallen into heresy, and half the priests in Vienna seemed to believe Borja’s version. The other half was convinced that Borja was a Spanish pawn who was trying to place the whole church under the Spanish crown.

Over the next several days, the situation clarified some. In fact, there were two versions of events, each very clear and insistent. Even strident. Unfortunately, they were mutually exclusive.

In one version of events, Urban had fallen into heresy, abandoning the true church in favor of the Protestantism that the up-time church had fallen into, and — with great restraint and forbearance — the College of Cardinals had remonstrated with the erring pontiff for as long as possible. But the cardinals had finally been forced to take action to defend the faith against corruption. In this version, the true church had been forced to those measures only by Urban’s insanity and the corruption of a faction of cardinals who had abandoned Christ’s message.

In the other version of events, Urban had been in the process of weighing the issues brought into the world with the care and deliberation required by his position as head of the church, when a clique of ambitious and venal clerics under unknown influences had attempted to assassinate Christ’s vicar on Earth and had succeeded in assassinating a majority of the cardinals. But, through God’s grace, the pope had escaped the vile assassins and was continuing to do his duty. He had not decided the issue of the Ring of Fire and, even with the actions of Borja and his mad men, was not going to rush to judgment.

No one knew where Pope Urban was, but wherever he might be, messages from the Father General of the Jesuits confirmed that he was alive. On the other hand, the rump College of Cardinals — mostly the Spanish faction — had, in effect, charged Father General Mutius Vitelleschi of the Jesuits with heresy and insisted that he was not to be trusted. They were, at the least, no longer claiming that Pope Urban had been killed in Rome.

Meanwhile, there had been fist fights and even knife fights between priests of the holy mother church. Fights mostly between orders that were not overly friendly with each other to begin with. The conflict between the Dominicans and the Jesuits had approached riots. Neither faction was all in favor of Urban or Borja, but the Dominicans tended to support Borja and the Jesuits tended to support Urban. According to Ferdinand III’s confessor, Lamormaini was tending toward the Borja faction because of the raising of Larry Mazarre to cardinal, and was feeling somewhat ill-used by Father General Vitelleschi and Pope Urban.

And in the middle of this came the news that Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein would be arriving within the week, with his fiancée . . . and in an airplane.

 

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21 Responses to 1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 49

  1. davido says:

    Having read the rest of this book, it seems a little more solid than the snippets. But what will happen next year with the Turks is completely unresolved.

  2. Johnny says:

    “Engineering takes time, skill, and training. The gambles they take in Grantville, the lack of proper analysis, is going to come back to haunt them,”

    Hmm… I still wish they talked to an actual engineer for Peter’s dialogue. Engineering something precisely and economically takes time, skill, and training It’s pretty easy to design something that is twice as robust (and expensive) but basically guaranteed not to fail, though. We use engineers to cheapen construction/manufacture costs, but it’s not like a carpentry foremen couldn’t just use bigger joists every time or a shop worker could just use a thick cylinder wall every time.

    • Vikingted says:

      You just have to go back to the early 1930 with the DC-2 and DC-3 (~44,000 of these built) to see some very over-designed aircraft. These would have been much less robust if they were designed today with all our the computational goodies. This robust design saved many lives due the planes holding together while heavily damaged during WWII. Over-design is not always so bad.

      • Johnny says:

        Where did I say it was bad? I said it’s easier to design and more expensive to build. It’s not my fault if you assign “bad” to those qualities.

      • John Cowan says:

        Another example is the Brooklyn Bridge. Roebling calculated the static stresses on the bridge, but knew he didn’t know how to figure the dynamic stresses (the math for that wouldn’t come along until the 1960s or so), so he built the bridge six times stronger than the expected worst case. As a result, it is the only suspension bridge of its era still standing.

        Here’s an ASCE report on the seismic stability of the bridge, concluding it will survive a once-in-2500-years earthquake. If the City of New York ever makes you an offer on the Brooklyn Bridge, buy it. Solid value for money.

  3. daveo says:

    On the Turkish invasion: Murad IV died in 1640 uptime, reportedly of gout. Assuming the diagnosis was correct, it is unlikely that he would live longer downtime. Gout still has no cure, and the only effective treatment known then was Colchicine, which is fairly toxic and causes unbearable nausea. Murad was succeeded by Ibraham I who was mentally disabled, and also the last living Ottoman at the time. Subsequent to Murad’s death, Turkey entered a period of instability which lasted until the Koprulu dynasty of Grand Vizers took power in 1656.

    So I think it’s fair to assume that if theTurks don’t attack in 1647-1640, they won’t succeed.

    • Mark L says:

      There are plenty of historical figures in this series that are alive after the dates they died in our time line. (Gustavus Adolfus for one, Wallenstein is another.) This includes people who never met an up-timer, but had their lives affected by up-timer knowledge or effects.

      There are other treatments for gout besides medication. Losing weight and exercise, will ameliorate symptoms. All you need is a doctor who has read up-time books and passes the treatment to Murad.

      I am not saying Murad will not die in 1640, or that he will. Just that it is not written in stone.

  4. jeff bybee says:

    TO SECOND JOHNNEY an engineer is a fellow who can do for a doller what anyone else can do for two. but it does help to remember redundancy.

  5. Vikingted says:

    Drak,
    I have the hard copy now. In rereading the early portions, Ken Doll has just left his aunt, the aunt indicates (in chapter 8) that she be able to fix the damage done by the Danes before the ring of fire… The Danes? I saw the opposite in 1634BW where Admiral Simpson was going to attack some Swedish ships… Why can’t the authors keep the Danes and the Swedes straight?

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      *titter* Well if the RC Church* and all its resources couldn’t do it, nor any number of Protestant missionaries in all their fervor, what makes you think a couple of sci fi authors are going to succeed where…ohhhh…wait…
      *giggling uncontrollably* (yes, I am 12 years old right now. It is SO rejuvenating!) *ducks rotten fruit*

      -this guilty laugh (I felt no guilt, but as I understand it, I am a child in such things, regardless of my actual age) is brought to you by: your inner child- “innocently -and not so innocently- offending the tired sensibilities of grownups since grownup’s tired sensibilities came into existence (est +10,000BC)” “innerchildnotincludedinallpackages.individualchildrenwrappedwithoutinnerchildaretobeconsideredexemptfrominnerchildinsurancepackagesandessentiallifeexperiences,including,butnotlimitedto,fun,laughter,smiles,enjoymentofsimplethingslikesunsets-also,theyareextremelycreepy-somerestrictionsdoNOTapply…no restrictions apply.

      Smile, it’s funny! Would I lie? OK fine. But it’s still funny. :P ;) *chortling*

      *Roman Catholic Church

      • Bibliotheca Servare says:

        Okay….did not realize that would be one long line stretching into infinity… MS word, thou hast spoiled me…shoot…

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      *titter* Well if the RC Church* and all its resources couldn’t do it, nor any number of Protestant missionaries in all their fervor, what makes you think a couple of sci fi authors are going to succeed where…ohhhh…wait…
      *giggling uncontrollably* (yes, I am 12 years old right now. It is SO rejuvenating!) *ducks rotten fruit*

      -this guilty laugh (I felt no guilt, but as I understand it, I am a child in such things, regardless of my actual age) is brought to you by: your inner child- “innocently -and not so innocently- offending the tired sensibilities of grownups since grownup’s tired sensibilities came into existence (est +10,000BC)” “innerchildnotincludedinallpackages.individualchildrenwrappedwithoutinnerchildaretobeconsideredexem ptfrominnerchildinsurancepackagesandessentiallifeexperiences, including,butnotlimitedto,fun,laughter,smiles,enjoymentofsimplethingslikesunsets-also,theyareextremelycreepy-somerestrictionsdoNOTapply…no restrictions apply.

      Smile, it’s funny! Would I lie? OK fine. But it’s still funny. :P ;) *chortling*

      *Roman Catholic Church
      PS: I clicked the ” back” button, and it looks like I can edit that “infinite sentence” post. If, however, this turns into a repost….please don’t kill me. Good intentions and all, right? If it ends bad, I suppose they ARE the road to hell…in which case, maybe let the devil deal with me? *earnest look* Well, here goes!

    • Bjorn Hasseler says:

      The authors are correct. In 1629 Mansfeld’s Protestant army invaded Silesia. Wallenstein then invaded. 1625-1629 was the Danish phase of the Thirty Years War; Sweden didn’t enter the war until 1630. Mansfeld frequently tried to coordinate with the Danish army, although they really weren’t very good at it.

  6. Curtis says:

    I received the book on Saturday and finished reading it on Sunday. I hate to say it but I was bored… This may be one of the few books in the series that I will never read again. I working in the economic/accounting industry since 1991; 23 years to be exact. Close to my 2nd retirement… spent 22 years in the military which was much more injoyable than the last 23… Sorry I did not like “1636 The Viennese Waltz”

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