Eric Flint, Andrew Dennis, 1634: The Galileo Affair Reviews

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“1634: The Galileo Affair ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 25/04/2004

1634: The Galileo Affair
Eric Flint, Andrew Dennis
Baen, Apr 2004
ISBN: 0743488156

Two forces are at work in 1633-1634 Europe as the Thirty Year War devastates much of the continent. In Germany, the twentieth century West Virginia transplants forge the United States of Europe based on the principle of democracy. On the other extreme resides powerful Cardinal Richelieu who wishes to dominate a European theocracy. He knows that this "Grantville" is a threat to his ambitions especially those alliances with Sweden and the Ottomans.

Pope Urban VIII welcomes the displaced Americans who come to Venice to stop the plague from spreading and to offer an alliance with His Holiness. Urban sees this group as a potential counterpoint to the growing influence of Richelieu and considers that odd thinking Roman Catholic priest amongst them could defend Galileo at his upcoming heresy trial. Though the Americans are split on whether to aid the beleaguered astronomer, Cardinal Richelieu has plans to discredit them regardless of what they intend to do.

This alternate history series is already one of the best around and each new entry appears better than the previous one, a seemingly impossible feat. 1634: the GALILEO AFFAIR is a terrific tale that provides the audience with a combo slapstick historical techno-thriller that brings to light an intriguing era, but does it with anachronisms and humor. Galileo's theories are placed in a different light than that taught in school adding to the overall mercurial splendor. The ending must have come from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" as Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis insure nothing remains sacred within their retelling of the seventeenth century.

Harriet Klausner

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