Ring of Fire III
Edited by Eric Flint
Cover Artist: Tom Kidd
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439134481
Date: 05 July 2011 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The Ring of Fire series is one of the most popular shared universe series. This collection adds to the body of work that began in 1632. There are 20 stories by regular and new contributors, some that set the ground for currently written and planned novels.
Dye Another Day by Mercedes Lackey follows Tom Stone as he helps to keep Wallenstien from the quackery of Gribbleflotz. One thing is safe to say, Wallenstien will never look at himself the same way.
Birds of a Feather by Charles Gannon tells of the fate of the Irish tercios in the Lowlands. The wild geese are on the move and making a future for themselves.
Falser Messiah by Tim Roesch is the story of a young man trapped by his actions in the original timeline. He became a prophet but now he is just a young boy confused by the reactions of the Jews around him.
Royal Dutch Airlines by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett is the story of airlines in Europe, technology, and TransEuropean Airlines’ survival.
Milton’s Choice by Mark Huston is the tale of John Milton. He is given the choice of writing something new in favor of the King of England or dying.
To End the Evening by Bradley H. Sinor is a tale of D’Artagnan. This isn’t the musketeer you grew up with. This one works for the Cardinal.
Cap and Gown by Jack Carroll is the story of Richard Leammington’s efforts to bring Science to Cambridge. Struggling with a disease, Leammington is in a race to convince his fellow scholars that advanced math and engineering is the school’s future.
A Relation of the Late Siege by Panteleimon Roberts is a story of the Ottoman’s invasion of Persia. As the Ottoman’s siege of Iravan. Arash Khan must hold out against superior technology, or his family will die.
Frying Pan by Annette Pedersen is the tale of Otto Lasse. He is trying to find a new life away from the Swedish court, but life has not been kind to him.
All God’s Children in the Burning East by Garrett W Vance is the first story from the far East. It is the story of the Japanese refugees that have been betrayed by their countryman and the country where they made their new home.
Do it once and Do It Again by Terry Howard is a wildcat story. Oil is going to be important in this world, but how do you refine it. Sometimes the old ways work best.
Les Ailes du Papillon by Walter Hunt is a butterfly effect story. Changes lead to changes. But a shaman has guaranteed the death of Samuel de Champlain. The Five Nations plan to take advantage of his death and kick the French out.
And the Devil Will Drag You Under by Walt Boyes is about salvation. Georg Shuler is struggling with something he did years ago. With the help of a new Army, he will find salvation one step at a time.
Salonica by Kim Mackey is a story of the reasons for converting faith. Women can be a burden.
The Sound of Sweet Strings: A Serenade in One Movement by David Carrico is story of the changes brought to music. Giouan Battista Veraldi is a famous musician. He made no mark in the original timeline, but he has found a new calling, the banjo.
Stone Harvest by Karen Bergstralh tells of the struggle to bring modern archeology practices to the seventeenth century. It also throws in a little cloak and dagger.
An Eye Opener by Kerryn Offord and Linda Davidson is the story of optometry. The standard practices of the modern world don’t fit in this new old world.
Make Mine Macramé by Virginia DeMarce is about the creation of borders and how they don’t always end up nice and neat.
Upward Mobility by Charles E. Gannon brings in the balloons. Estuban Miro is a hidden Jew. He needs to find a new way to make money, he sees opportunity in old fashioned dirigibles.
Four Days on the Danube by Eric Flint is the story of Tom and Rita Simpson’s withdrawal from Ingolstadt. His survival ruins the plans of Duke Maximilian.
This collection contains high quality and stories that are important to the development of the 1632 universe. Fans of the series should easily be able to find several to enjoy as there is a little bit of everything. The final story by Eric Flint is one of the best and it links very well with the second Gannon story. This is not the place to start reading the series. Author Eric Flint has recommendations on his website.