by Michael Flynn
Cover Artist: Steven Hunt
Review by Andrew Brooks
Tor Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765319104
Date: 13 November 2007 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Eifelheim is quite an ambitious novel; one part historical fiction, one part hard science fiction, with a narrative that jumps between the present and a German village in the fourteenth century. The village, originally called Oberhochwald but later renamed Eifelheim, is the site of first contact between man and alien in Michael Flynn's latest. Throw in superstitious peasants and a dash of the Black Plague, and you could expect that it's going to be one of the more interesting first contact tales. It's certainly unique, and the amount of detail Flynn pours into his historical setting and characters amazes. I haven't read a book more in tune with the author's chosen time period since Gary Jennings' Aztec. But Eifelheim is not a book for everyone. There's some good stuff here, especially if you're interested in both subjects, however the two mashed together didn't work all that well for me. From official release/information:
Book Description: Over the centuries, one small town in Germany has disappeared and never been resettled. Tom, a historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived. What's so special about Eifelheim?
Father Dietrich is the village priest of Eifelheim, in the year 1348, when the Black Death is gathering strength but is still not nearby. Dietrich is an educated man, and to his astonishment becomes the first contact person between humanity and an alien race from a distant star, when their ship crashes in the nearby forest. It is a time of wonders, in the shadow of the plague. Flynn gives us the full richness and strangeness of medieval life, as well as some terrific aliens. Tom and Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant SF novel.