Friday, July 29, 2011

Read Alike: Eric Flint

Eric Flint is known for his ability to blend genres in the creation of engaging, fast-paced, and witty novels. He is probably best known for his ongoing series, Assiti Shards, about a small, modern-day West Virginian town that is suddenly transported to 17th century Germany. There the inhabitants quickly become involved in the politics of the Thirty Years' War, and send history on a new course with their introduction of modern weaponry and American culture. The most recent title in the series is 1636: The Saxon Uprising, or you can start with the first book, 1632.

Mr. Flint's ability to blend historical detail, science fiction, military action, humor, and fast-paced plots has built his books a loyal following. He frequently collaborates with other authors on works that range across the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres.

You can read more about Eric Flint at his website:

Other authors fans of Eric Flint may enjoy include:

Harry Turtledove is one of the most popular authors of alternate history. He is known for intricate plots, military action, and great amounts of detail both historical and scientific. His books range in topic from a trilogy about Atlantis, Opening Atlantis, to alternate versions of the American Civil War, How Few Remain and Guns of the South, and a Second World War that involves alien invaders, Worldwar.

David Weber is the author of the popular and fast-paced Honor Harrington series of military science fiction. Eric Flint has collaborated with Mr. Weber on some of the books in this series based loosely on the earlier naval adventures of Horatio Hornblower, but has grown over the years to a richly detailed and colorfully populated future universe. In turn, Mr. Weber has coauthored two of Assiti Shards titles, 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War.

Mercedes Lackey is known for the elaborate world-building of her fast-paced fantasy titles, often set in the lands of Valdemar. Her plots may be darker, but never without hope, and there's often a bit of romance too. Mercedes Lackey collaborated with Eric Flint and Dave Freer on an alternative history series, The Heirs of Alexandria. In The Shadow of the Lion, the series opens with two brothers on the run from their family's enemies as 16th century Venice is menaced by the evil sorcerer Chernobog.

David Drake uses his military background to create believable characters and detailed, fast-moving plots in fantastic settings. For his take on military science fiction, check out With the Lightnings, the first book in his RCN series about a lieutenant unexpectedly thrust into command, and the librarian who becomes his indispensable partner. For historical time travel, check out Belisarius, the first book in a series written along with Eric Flint. Belisarius is a general of the Byzantine Empire engaged in battle with the Malwa Empire, but both sides are aided by time travelers from the distant future.

If you enjoy the time travel aspect of Eric Flint's novels, you might enjoy Diana Gabaldon's ongoing Outlander series about a 20th century woman who is transported to 18th century Scotland. Though the focus is directed more towards the characters and their relationships, the plots are still fast moving and suspenseful, with ample military and political action. If you're already a fan of Ms. Gabaldon, be sure to check out our Read Alike list for Diana Gabaldon.

George RR Martin is probably best known for his Song of Ice and Fire series, which takes events from history and then remixes them into a new fantasy environment. Put one way, it's the War of the Roses, but with dragons and magic. However, the sheer scale of the world-building and the large, compelling cast of characters make this series anything but simple or predictable. The tone is by turns described as realistic, bleak, or gritty, but if you're willing to risk your favorite character dying, you'll be in for an action filled thrill ride. The series was recently adapted to television by HBO.

A number of other authors have explored alternative history and time travel over the years, from Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union to The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor for more suggestions!

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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