1632 by Eric Flint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the grand tradition of all the best "What If"s of the SF field, this one neatly portrays what would happen if we transported a modern American small town, in its entirety, into central Germany during the Thirty Years War.
In a lot of ways, it's hilarious, but that's tempered by some really great history and ramifications that would have to be explored in true Alternate History SF style. Watching an a**hole cavalry leader play tag with a bunch of hillbillies in pickup trucks had me guffawing.
Surprisingly enough, I knew this would be a jingoism-turned-reality rah-rah America novel, but instead of it annoying me, I had a pretty good time. It seems we finally found a great fantasy reason to be NRA members, so heavily laden with guns and ammunition that they outnumbered family values at a rate of fourteen to one. Personal politics aside, I'm really glad that these coal miners stockpiled enough artillery in their small town to take on an army.
*aside* (I think this novel was written specifically to give private militia-ism a real nice feeling in their pants.)
That being said, the novel is genuinely optimistic. It's all normal folks who honestly believe in all the things they were taught to believe about America and they're willing to murder hundreds of thousands of unprepared grunts in a Germany of almost 400 years ago to prove it.
If this last line made you take a double-take, congratulations. Your irony sensors are working.
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