A mysterious cosmic force
The Ring of Fire has hurled the town of Grantville from 20th century West Virginia back to 17th century Europe, and into the heart of the Thirty Years War. With their seemingly magical technology, and their radical ideas of freedom and justice, the time-lost West Virginians have allied with Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, to form the Confederated Principalities of Europe, changing the course of history in ways both small and large. University students, a restless breed in all centuries, become even more rambunctious in Cambridge, England because of the personal and theological impact of the time-lost Americans. At the same time, American teenagers conquer new financial worlds when their elders are looking the other way. A woman terrorized by a notorious Hungarian countess seeks sanctuary in Grantville. A Lutheran pastor schemes to gain new adherents among the Americans. A Benedictine monk finds a new calling for his order. Europe's leading musicians travel to Grantville to learn of the music of the future. Practitioners of 20th century medicine and its 17th century counterpart struggle to find common ground in healing the sick and injured. These and other new stories including a new story by Eric Flint himself return the reader to one of the most popular series in alternate history science fiction. Also included are articles exploring the technical problems the time-lost Americans face, including the centrality of iron to the industrial revolution, the problems of mechanizing agriculture in the 17th century, and the type of weapons which the Americans can mass-produce, adding up to an indispensable volume for the many followers of the 1632 series.