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We are thrilled to announce that we are having the first 1632Con since 2021 in less than three months as part of FantaSci in Raleigh-Durham, NC! We hope you are as excited about this as we are! As of late January, the hotel block still has rooms and there are still tickets available. Please join us! We would love to meet you in person. Eric Flint was scheduled to attend two cons in the winter of 2022 (listed below), but he became too ill and didn’t make either one. How perfect, then that the first 1632Con after his passing is at FantaSci 2024! SUPERSTARS WRITING CONFERENCE 2022February 9-12, 2022, Colorado Springs, Colorado FANTASCI 2022March 25-27, 2022, Durham, North Carolina (And yes, we will try to give more notice in future years.)

In the 1632 novels, you get—more or less—The Big Picture featuring the Stars of the Story. In the 1632 anthologies, you get basically more of the same, simply with a narrower and tighter focus and (often but not always) featuring a worthy character actor who gets his or her day to strut on the stage. What do you get in the Gazette? All the shenanigans of everybody else, that’s what. The damn spear-carriers, run amok. Slice of life story piled onto family sagas—functional and dysfunctional alike—and all of it ladled over with a heavy scoop of personal melodrama. I mean, honestly. Who cares—just to name one example—if Karen Bergstralh’s woebegone blacksmith gets around the oppression of the guild-masters and starts setting up his own successful business? Who cares—to name another example—if the pimply-faced American teenager in Jay Robinson’s “Breaking News” wins the heart of the (hopefully not acne-ridden) teenage daughter of a downtime artist who is only remembered by art connoisseurs? (The mother, not the daughter—nobody except scholars remembered the daughter, for Pete’s sake, until Jay dragged her out of historical obscurity.) Shall I go on? Who cares if Velma Hardesty’s daughters escape from the Horrible Mother’s clutches, in Goodlett and Huff’s “Susan Story”? Just to make it worse, from what I can tell about a dozen other writers seem to have become infatuated with Wicked Velma, and it looks like we’ll be getting a small cottage industry cropping up of “Velma Gets Her Just Desserts” stories. Sigh. Not one of these stories deals with Ye Big Picture. Not one of them fails to wallow in the petty details of Joe or Dieter or Helen or Ursula’s angst-ridden existence. Pure, unalloyed, soap opera, what it is. There are times I think of just throwing up my hands and publishing all of the stories in the Gazette as “continuing serials.” And, in my darker moments, contemplate changing the title of the…

Eric Flint Bibliography (Chronological) NOTE: For those of you who prefer your bibliographies chronologically, here it is. This page does not include the classic SF series I’ve edited. — Eric Flint. 1970Trade and Politics in Barotseland During the Kololo Period, 1970 Journal of African History (Volume XI:1) 1993Entropy and the Strangler, (short story), in Writers of the Future Volume IX 1997Mother of Demons, September 1997 (pb) 1998An Oblique Approach, March 1998 (pb) with David DrakeIn the Heart of Darkness, August 1998 (pb) with David Drake 1999Destiny’s Shield, July 1999 (HC) with David Drake 20001632, February 2000 (HC)Destiny’s Shield, June 2000 (pb)Fortune’s Stroke, June 2000 (HC) with David DrakeRats, Bats & Vats, September 2000 (HC) with Dave FreerThe Thief and the Roller Derby Queen, (short story), in The Chick is in the Mail, edited by Ester Friesner, October 2000, (pb) 20011632 February 2001 (pb) From the Highlands, (short novel), in More than Honor #3: Changer of Worlds with David Weber March 2001 (HC)The Philosophical Strangler, May 2001 (HC)Carthago Delenda Est, (novella), in Foreign Legions, edited by David Drake, June 2001, (HC)Fortune’s Stroke, July 2001 (pb)The Tide of Victory, July 2001 (HC), October 2002 (pb) with David DrakeRats, Bats & Vats, September 2001 (pb)Pyramid Scheme, October 2001 (HC), with David Freer 2002From the Highlands, (short novel), in More than Honor #3: Changer of Worlds February 2002 (pb)The Philosophical Strangler, March 2002, (pb)Forward the Mage, March 2002 (HC) with Richard RoachThe Shadow of the Lion, March 2002 (HC) with Mercedes Lackey & Dave FreerThe Tyrant, April 2002 (HC) with David DrakeThe Islands in Warmasters, an anthology, May 2002 (HC) with David Drake and David Weber1633, August 2002 (HC), with David Weber“Carthago Delenda Est,” (novella), in Foreign Legions, September 2002 (pb)The Tide of Victory, October 2002 (pb) with David Drake 2003Pyramid Scheme, February 2003 (pb), with David Freerâ–ª “Fanatic,” (novella) in The Service of the Sword, the fourth Harrington anthology, April 2003 (HC), compiled by David Weber1633, July 2003 (pb)Forward the Mage, August 2003, (pb)The Course…

Book clubs are fantastic! We would love to hear about any book clubs reading and discussing 1632 and any books or magazines in the 1632verse. To answer one common question: The book was originally expected to be a stand-alone book, not a series. Jim Baen, of Baen Books, said that books with even numbers sell better than ones with odd numbers. Thus, it was named for the year the story ends instead of the year it starts. And so that is why all the names for “mainline” Baen books in the 1632verse start with the year the book ends and not the year it starts. General Questions: How realistic do you think 1632 is? What elements make it more, or less , realistic? Is there anything you would change to make it more realistic? Do you think Grantville and the up-timers are a good reflection of a real small town in West Virginia in 2000? 1632 was published in 2000. Over 50 novels, 104 magazine issues, and multiple anthologies in the 1632verse have been written by approximately 200 authors in nearly 25 years. When it was first written, everything was contemporary. Twenty-five years later, technology, pop culture, and a lot of other background things have changed. What challenges do you think this presents to the writers? How do you think readers will respond to this story when the series is 50 years old? How do you think Eric Flint’s life and beliefs are reflected in this novel? What do books and libraries contribute to the plot and to the 1632verse? How much power do Grantville and its residents have to change their world? How do the up-timers comfort themselves when they are sent back in time? How do the down-timers comfort themselves with all the war-related trauma in their lives? How do you think you would cope if you were in their shoes? Other than the way Grantville was sent…

aka: Mannington in 1630s Germany (alternate history series) What does that mean? In 2000, Baen Published Eric Flint’s alternate history novel 1632. Eric lived in Granville, West Virginia when he was working for the unions in the 60s and loved it, so he wanted to show small-town West Virginians making the world better. By 2000, Granville had changed (lots of big box stores), so he looked for a small town closer to his memories and chose Mannington, renamed Grantville in the novel, as his model. In 1632, Grantville is sent back from April 2000 to May 1631 and lands in Thuringia, Germany during the Thirty Years War. They quickly realize they need to make the tools to make the tools to make the things we take for granted in the 21st century, such as light bulbs and toilet paper. Some things, like drugs including penicillin, are simply too far beyond their resources, including their knowledge. For those living in the 17th century, even simple (to us) things like basic sanitation have profound impacts. Grantville is very much a boomtown. Is Grantville identical to Mannington? No, but you have to look close to find differences (other than names). The biggest is that Grantville has a power plant but no oil. Buildings that are demolished in the real world still exist in the 1632verse, particularly near the interchange of Water and Market Streets. The more time passes, the more the two diverge, of course. The massive size of the universe requires extensive coordination. Keeping buildings and geography fairly tightly tied to Mannington makes this easier. For characters, we have something called “the Grid” that lists everyone who came back through the Ring of Fire (the up-timers). Down-timers are people who were already there when Grantville arrived in 1632 or who were born after that. The jobs, birth dates, death dates, family trees, education, age at marriage – all of it was based…

by Bjorn Hasseller Eric Flint studied African history; worked as a machinist; drove trucks; wrote, edited, and published books and short stories; and was a union organizer. He was married to Lucille Robbins and had a daughter, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren. He once posted a picture of himself wearing a shirt that said “Grumpa.” I think Eric liked to come across as grouchy. You could quickly see how much time he spent helping others out, though. That might be when he was risking his personal safety helping the unions or something as simple as taking a couple hours to make sure you understood where he wanted to go when he offered you a co-writing opportunity. Eric’s first novel was published when he was fifty years old. I count at least 69 novels as well as numerous anthologies, collections, novellas, and short stories. He wrote in several genres but was probably best known for alternate history. He didn’t just write; he worked with others, especially helping new authors get started. Between the 1632 series and The Grantville Gazette, he helped over 200 authors be published. For about three-quarters of us, it was our first professional sale. That’s aside from everything he did at Writers of the Future and the Superstars Writing Seminars. As he often pointed out himself, the 1632 universe was less than half of Eric’s writing. Of his many alternate history, science fiction, and fantasy universes, it’s the one he opened to anyone who wanted to write in it. Sometimes he’d look bemused at the directions people took with it, but he’d let them do it, as long as it wasn’t interfering with his own plans. We are excited to help carry that legacy forward. * * *

by Bjorn Hasseller Jose Clavell served in the US Army, was a nurse at Walter Reed, and served in the Puerto Rico Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. He passed away in March, 2023.  In the 1632 universe, Jose developed the USE Marine Corps and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. These are moving stories, and they’re influential on other authors.  We’d like to keep Jose in the series. FROM: CPT. L. KLINGL, USEN TO: CDRE E. CANTRELL, USEN —MESSAGE BEGINS— RE: RETURN VOYAGE FOLLOWING OPERATION “ISLAND HOPPERS” AND HURRICANE, CAPTURED PIRATE SHIPS LOW ON FRESH WATER. TWO VESSELS DIVERTED TO PUERTO RICO AND HOVE TO OFF LOCATION LABELED MAYAGUEZ ON UP-TIME MAP. REFILLED WATER. NO ENEMY CONTACT. STOP COMMEND USEMC SGT. J. CLAVELL FOR INITIATIVE LOCATING FRESH WATER AND ESTABLISHING CACHES AND DEFENSIVE POSITIONS FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS. STOP HOWEVER SGT. CLAVELL LEFT USE FLAG. CLAIMS WE OWN ISLAND. STOP —MESSAGE ENDS—  “I dunno, Clavell.” Hans Ludolf squinted. His nose was scrunched up, and his lips pursed, all signs that the Marine was very skeptical about something. “I think the captain is pissed.” “Hard to tell, from how he was trying not to laugh the whole time,” Clavell countered. “What if the Spanish find that flag? They will search the area. They might find the caches and fighting positions.” “Then they will think there are patrols on the island and waste a lot of time and many more resources than we left in the caches,” Clavell returned. “And if one of our ships passes between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and needs food and water . . . It is what the up-timers call a win-win. And who knows? We could find ourselves back there someday.”

As a small town, up-time Grantville didn’t have a lot of claims to fame. Down-time? It’s the most famous place on the planet, reputed to be a magical place filled wealth and wonders untold. It’s a bustling city whose size is primarily constrained by the local geography. This local geography is one constraint that ensures it will remain smaller than many other cities for the foreseeable future, and that real estate will remain quite valuable. Up-time, the round “Red Barn” run by the historical society and the County Fair were probably the two biggest attractions. They also had Oktoberfest (relatively new in 2000) and the Great Buffalo Canoe Race. Interestingly, down-time Germany did not have Oktoberfest, which didn’t start until the nineteenth century. They did, however, have tons of local fairs, festivals, and other events, both secular and religious in nature, which are not included in this list. Attractions and Annual Events: Breitenfeld Day (September) This is a new down-time holiday to celebrate the victory at Breitenfeld. Canoe Race (May) The Great Buffalo Canoe Race was normally scheduled in May (up-time), but the exact date was based on water flow rates and other weather-related factors. It may need to be scheduled down-time. It also may need to be moved since Fairmont is gone and the new down-stream route may not work for a canoe/kayak race. Description: A canoe race on the Buffalo Creek between Mannington and Fairmont, WV. Saturday, May 6th, 2000. Rain date is May 13th, 2000. Sponsored by The West Virginia Police Reserves. Registration begins at 8:00am at the Hough (pronounced “Huff”) Park Community Building in Hough Park, Mannington. The race starts at 10:00am. Racers may drop over the falls at their own risk, but it is not recommended. The DNR and West Virginia Police Reserves are not responsible for any injuries or accidents. On Sunday, May 7th at 2:00pm there will be a picnic and awards will be given at…

If you’ve ever built a WordPress site, you’ll have seen that new sites are set up so the first post is “Hello world!” Sitting here, about to delete this post, I decided what the heck – I’ll go with it! Welcome to Eric Flint’s 1632 & Beyond. This is our first post. Read it or skip it, then start reading! You may notice that while this is “our first post,” there are dozens and dozens of older posts. The explanation for that is simple: Those are blog posts, magazine forewords, and other things written primarily by Eric Flint himself but also by other people working for and with him. In fact, one of the two sticky posts at the top of this blog is something Eric wrote in 2005! Hopefully you enjoy reading them! Even if you don’t read any of the rest, please read the one pinned to the top of the blog. It’s Eric’s view on what the 1632verse magazine was all about, and it’s worth the short time it takes to read. All joking aside, we are very proud to be sharing this all new venture. We announced the existence of a new short-story venue for Eric Flint’s 1632 Universe, the magazine “Eric Flint’s 1632 & Beyond”, at LibertyCon on June 23, 2023. The first issue will be published on 1 August, 2023, with new issues every two months after that. So, look for new issues on the 1st of every odd numbered month! To be assured of not missing a month, please click here to subscribe now. Updated January 26, 2024

Eric Flint’s 1632 & Beyond Short fiction is back in the 1632 Universe! Eric Flint’s 1632 & Beyond will publish six issues per year, on the first day of odd-numbered months. Is this from Ring of Fire Press or 1632 Inc.? It’s from a new company, Flint’s Shards Inc. Do you have permission? Yes, we have a contract with Lucille Robbins, Eric Flint’s widow and heir. We will also coordinate closely with Baen Books to maintain the canon continuity for which the 1632 series is known. I missed some Grantville Gazettes. Can I get those? Yes.  Grantville Gazette issues are available here individually and in groups of six. What about Gazette issues I paid for but didn’t download? While we are making the back issues of the Grantville Gazette available for sale, we have an obligation to pay the owner of those issues for every issue sold. We do not have permission to give them away for free. I had three issues left on my Grantville Gazette subscription. 1632, Inc. (the company that sold those subscriptions) is no longer in business. Is this going to be just like the Grantville Gazette? Not exactly, but close. We will publish primarily 1632 stories with some stories in the other Assiti Shards universes (Time Spike and Alexander Inheritance). What about 1632 serials? Yes, with caveats: The editors may decide to split a story up into multiple parts. The editors need to see the full serial. Our upper limit is going to be 17,500 words total. That is a hard limit. We can publish novelettes, but not novellas. The same group of characters can go on to have another self-contained adventure. We are strongly in favor of this. But we’re not publishing novels with the serial numbers filed off, either. (Pun fully intended.) What about the other Assiti Shards? Yes, Eric Flint’s 1632 & Beyond will publish stories in the Time Spike and Alexander…

By Griffin Barber Friends, We have been talking about how we need to act on the 1632 forums of Baen’s Bar for years. You can’t have a working idea factory if the first answer is always “No!”.  Griffin Barber has written a very important piece that we would really like everybody involved with the 1632 Universe to read, and think about. And maybe agree with. Walt BoyesBjorn Hasseler I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Like, ALWAYS. Funny, that, who would think a dyslexic kid with ADD would have any success at all in sitting down to write a story, let alone several lengthy novels and a bunch of short stories? Funnier still, for that same dyslexic1 kid with ADD to grow up and eventually become assistant publisher at a small press like Ring Of Fire Press.2 All I can say is that a red-hot desire to succeed can overcome a great many roadblocks, especially if that desire finds a community that shares not only that desire to succeed, but actively encourages it. I found such a community early on, in the electronic halls of Baen’s Bar, the forum created and hosted by Baen Books. I haunted those halls for a while, posting an occasional opinion or even a snippet of some story I was tinkering with for others to look at. I didn’t get much feedback, but what I did get was both commensurate with my (small) contributions and helpful in a general sense, allowing me to think I might have some chance at writing stories someone might read. I went with that small encouragement and wrote my first novel. (No one will ever see it.) I then set out to try and sell it to a publisher. I started attending conventions and meeting people. Good people. Fun people. Some were even famous, and not just ‘in-genre famous,’ either. I had various advice from those who were kind enough to dispense it. I’ve…

by Walt Boyes It is my unwelcome duty to tell you that we have lost another member of the 1632 family. This time, it was Head Geek Rick Boatright. Rick passed away on July 22 from pancreatic cancer. He was 66 years old. Rick was a polymath. He knew something about nearly everything and his ability to research little squirrelly facts was astonishing. He and I came up with the Aqualator at a con, and he wrote it into the series. He was the lead presenter, along with Kevin Evans and me, doing Weird Tech at Minicons. (The fact that we lost both Rick and Kevin within eight months, leaving me the Last Amigo, worries me.) He said he wasn’t really a writer, but he had a respectable body of work, and his latest novel (with Kerryn Offord) was published in August. But above all, Rick was a teacher. He gave up teaching because he wasn’t politically correct enough for the Topeka Board of Education, but never stopped being a teacher. He taught everyone he met. The world is much poorer without him in it.

by Jeff | Jun 28, 2021 | Podcasts https://youtu.be/jcHg6ZDPhs4 Eric Flint and Griffin Barber discuss 1637: The Peacock Throne, a Ring of Fire alternate history novel set in India during the time of the Mughal dynasties; And David Weber’s Uncompromising Honor Part 64. Originally aired: 30 April 2021 Get the book here: https://www.baen.com/1637-the-peacock-throne.html To download this and all other Baen podcasts, check out: http://www.baen.com/podcast

by Jeff | Jun 8, 2021 | Interviews https://youtu.be/stKjEC1CZ2k JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today is Eric Flint, the New York Times bestselling author of over 50 novels and the creator of the ever expanding 1632 Universe. Welcome, Eric. When you sat down to write the proposal for 1632, what made you think it would be a good idea to transplant West Virginia miners into the Germany of the Thirty Years War? Eric Flint: Well, what I wanted to use the novel for…novels should work on several levels. One of them is just entertainment. And I write action-adventure novels. So I wanted something in a setting that would allow me to do that which the Thirty Years War was certainly good for. Thirty Years War was kind of sheer chaos that was probably, most historians would agree, the most destructive war Europe ever went through, worse than any of the two world wars, especially in terms of its impact on Central Europe, which is centered on Germany but involves other countries around what’s today the Czech Republic, other parts. At the time, that was really the center of Europe. And that was true politically, as well as culturally. Through a mysterious ancient alien civilization the residents of Grantville, West Virginia are thrown back in time to 1631 Germany in the middle of the 30 Years War. On top of coping with the shock of being displaced in time and location, the people of Grantville must overcome the surrounding raging war, language barriers, and numerous social and political issues, including class conflict, witchcraft, feminism, the reformation and the counter-reformation, among many other factors. The image people have of Germany is a Germany that was created out of the Thirty Years War and the outcome of it. But the Germany prior to the early years of the Thirty Years War is a very, very different place. It was very dynamic. It was quite…

I want to take the time to remember two of the Gazette’s favorite authors. In December, right before Christmas, Kevin Evans passed away suddenly. Then, shortly after that, his wife and writing partner, Karen Carnahan Evans, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and she passed away in April. We have lost two of the finest authors in the Gazette, but more than that, we have lost two very good friends. Kevin and Karen lived outside Albuquerque, NM, and they participated in the Balloon Festival every year. This gave them a unique skill set for when the 1632verse decided that balloons and dirigibles were the way to go for flight. Kevin was a steam-head and spent many years working on getting a vintage steam locomotive ready to run again. He was a fantastic artificer, and over time, became the 1632verse’s Master Armorer. He created the designs for the rifles and shotguns used by up-timers and down-timers in the stories. He got pushback over the designs, so he built working models and brought them to Ring Of Fire Cons to show them at the Weird Tech panel, which Rick Boatright, myself, and Kevin presided over for years. He proved that you could power a dirigible with a steam engine. He and Rick made the smallest functioning steam engine I’ve ever seen to prove it. Karen was a great writer, and a gastronome. She delighted the 1632verse with bringing modern chocolate back to the seventeenth century. Not only did she produce recipes, but at RingofFireCons, she brought samples of real Grantville chocolate.” Kevin and Karen were members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Kevin was knighted as Sir Thorgeirr and Karen served as his squire and shieldmaiden, Lady Tyrca. They were great people, a wonderful couple, actually bigger than life, and the world is significantly smaller and darker with them gone. I am going to miss them dreadfully, and I…

Eric Flint on Writing Note: The original post wasn’t dated, so we don’t have any real idea when this was written and posted beyond Eric was still alive. The assigned date is fairly random, but before his final illness. How long does it take to write a book? ERIC: That basically depends on three factors: The length of the book.2. The type of book it is.3. Whether I’m writing it solo or with a collaborator (or collaborators). Length is the most obvious. Novels are made up of words, and the more words in a given novel the longer it’s going to take to write it. My novels, thus far, have ranged in length from about 110,000 to 180,000 words. The shortest being The Philosophical Strangler and Rats, Bats & Vats; the longest, 1632. Although that’s about to change — The Shadow of the Lion, now nearing completion, is going to be well over 200,000 words long; probably closer to 250,000. (I might mention here that writers gauge the length of a book in a different way than readers. Readers think of length in terms of pages, but for an author that’s almost meaningless. The number of pages which a given number of words translates into varies wildly, depending on many factors determined by the publisher, not the writer — fonts, leads, margins, etc. So writers talk in terms of words, because that’s the only fixed absolute quantity.) How many words do I write a day? Well, that varies a lot, depending on the type of book it is, as I’ll explain in a moment. But I don’t write every day of the year, anyway. Not even close. Writing, for me, is “burst work.” When I dig into a novel, I will write just about every day until the book is finished. Never less than 1,000 words. Once or twice — as many as 10,000 words. My average per day runs somewhere in the 1,500 to 3,500 range.…

by Eric Flint | Feb 17, 2021 | Information I was going to stay out of the latest inside-the-SF-Beltway kertuffle, but it seems to keep chasing after me. At least, I keep running into it on Facebook. So, especially since my name got dragged into it, I finally decided to put in my two cents. The kertuffle I’m talking about started with the publication on his Patreon site by an author named Jason Sanford of a hit piece on my publisher, Baen Books. I’m deliberately calling it a “hit piece” because everything about it stinks to me. I will explain why in the course of this post, but let me start with the fact that Sanford’s essay was followed in very quick succession by people piling on elsewhere including in File 770, a demand being placed on Baen Books’ service provider that they cancel the publisher’s online access, and loud demands that the upcoming 79th World Science Fiction Convention (Discon III) remove Baen’s publisher Toni Weisskopf as their Editor Guest of Honor. Maybe all this is just coincidence, but I doubt it. And before anyone accuses me of suggesting there’s an elaborate conspiracy involved, I don’t think that for a minute. What I do think is likely is that a handful of jerks got together and thought starting something like this was a bright idea. Let me begin by quoting the thesis of Sanford’s essay: This is an investigative report about how Baen’s Bar, the private forum run by the science fiction and fantasy publishing company Baen Books, is being used to advocate for extremist political violence. Evidence will be presented. Comments by a number of the forum’s users will be shared.[See Note 1 below] I believe it’s vitally important for the SF/F genre to know what is going on in Baen’s Bar. As the world has discovered in recent years, disinformation and online threats of violence do not remain in one place and this applies equally…

How long does it take to write a book? ERIC: That basically depends on three factors: The length of the book.2. The type of book it is.3. Whether I’m writing it solo or with a collaborator (or collaborators). Length is the most obvious. Novels are made up of words, and the more words in a given novel the longer it’s going to take to write it. My novels, thus far, have ranged in length from about 110,000 to 180,000 words. The shortest being The Philosophical Strangler and Rats, Bats & Vats; the longest, 1632. Although that’s about to change — The Shadow of the Lion, now nearing completion, is going to be well over 200,000 words long; probably closer to 250,000. (I might mention here that writers gauge the length of a book in a different way than readers. Readers think of length in terms of pages, but for an author that’s almost meaningless. The number of pages which a given number of words translates into varies wildly, depending on many factors determined by the publisher, not the writer — fonts, leads, margins, etc. So writers talk in terms of words, because that’s the only fixed absolute quantity.) How many words do I write a day? Well, that varies a lot, depending on the type of book it is, as I’ll explain in a moment. But I don’t write every day of the year, anyway. Not even close. Writing, for me, is “burst work.” When I dig into a novel, I will write just about every day until the book is finished. Never less than 1,000 words. Once or twice — as many as 10,000 words. My average per day runs somewhere in the 1,500 to 3,500 range. Once a novel is finished, I will then take a break of anywhere from two weeks to two months, basically in order to “recharge my batteries.” During that time I occupy myself with editing work, writing short stuff, rewriting…

by Eric Flint | May 12, 2020 | Blog | 1 comment As many of you already know, I have a publishing house of my own called Ring of Fire Press. I launched the house back in 2013 as a way to publish stories in the Ring of Fire series that were too long to include in one of the anthologies published by Baen Books. For the first few years, I operated the house on a pretty hit-or-miss basis. I had no regular publishing schedule and didn’t put a lot of money or effort into it. I was really doing it just as a service to some of our long-standing authors. A little over two years ago, however, I decided to take it more seriously. The first thing I did was engage a professional artist (Laura Givens) to do the covers. That instantly made a huge difference—by which I mean increasing our sales by almost an order of magnitude. Once I saw that we had a much bigger income, I took on Walt Boyes and Joy Ward as a combination of managers and editors of the house, so that it would no longer be something I was trying to do on the side. And we decided to establish a regular publication schedule. Initially that was one book a month, but we soon expanded that to two books a month. For a time, our focus remained on publishing Ring of Fire series books. But it didn’t take us long to realize that we’d built a real publishing house—so why not use it to publish any sort of fantasy and science fiction? We’ve been doing that now for some time, and reached the point where Ring of Fire series books are only about one-third of what we publish. In fact, we’ve expanded our output so much that beginning in July we’re going to shift to a three-book-a-month schedule. One of the things that has enabled us to do is…

by Eric Flint | Feb 19, 2020 | Blog | 23 comments “Tempus fugit” is a Latin phrase that officially translates as “time flies.” What it really is, though, is a hoity-toity way of saying “old farts forget stuff.” The old fart in this instance being me—and what I forgot was that my novel 1632 was published exactly twenty years ago. Well… Using the term “exactly” with some poetic license. The book was indeed published in February of 2000, but I’m pretty sure it was published earlier than the 18th day of the month. So I’m fudging a little. By any reasonable measure of the term “success,” 1632 was a successful novel. To begin with, it was successful on its own terms. It sold—this is taken directly from my royalty reports so there’s no fudging at all—7,458 copies in hardcover, which was very good at the time for hardcover sales. Better still, it also had a 69% sell-through. For those of you not familiar with publishing lingo, “sell-through” means the percentage of books printed and shipped that are actually sold. The industry average is around 50%, so 69% is very good, That was the initial hardcover print run. Since then, Baen Books has done a special edition leather-bound hardcover edition ($36.00 a copy BUT CHEAP AT THE PRICE) that has sold 765 copies at a 77% sell-through. Furthermore, the novel is still in print after twenty years, and has sold over 140,000 copies in paperback with a 88% sell-through, which is like incredibly, spectacularly good. A publishing house which has a book that maintains an 88% sell-through over two decades has essentially been able to legally print money for all that time. And—I love this fact because I sneer at so-called “electronic piracy”—keep in mind that 1632 has been available electronically FOR FREE for about the last eighteen years and… still just keeps selling and selling. Every year I get royalty payments for the book somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000. But the novel doesn’t stand on…

Hi, I’m Eric Flint, a writer of science fiction and fantasy. My writing career began with the publication in 1993 of a short story entitled “Entropy, and the Strangler.” That story won first place in the Winter 1992 Writers of the Future contest, which was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The coordinator of the contest in 1992 was Dave Wolverton, and the panel of judges consisted of Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Algys Budrys. The story was published in the 1993 anthology, which the contest puts out on an annual basis. I’ve been writing fiction off and on most of my life, starting when I was fourteen years old. But this was my first sale, and led me to the point where I am now a full-time author. “Entropy, and the Strangler” was a small piece of a major fantasy series which I’ve been working on since 1969, some of the books in collaboration with a friend of mine by the name of Richard Roach. I didn’t really buckle down and start writing seriously, however, until 1992. By then I was 45 years old, and realized that if I was ever going to get published, I’d better get cracking. By early 1993, Richard and I had finished one volume in this fantasy series, a novel entitled Forward the Mage, and I’d written a large part of the novel which would eventually become titled The Philosophical Strangler (which was published by Baen Books in May, 2001). A rewritten version of “Entropy, and the Strangler” now serves as the Prologue to that novel. The universe in which The Philosophical Strangler and Forward the Mage are set is something which Richard and I simply call “Joe’s World.” For better or worse, the novels (of which there are at least five either written or partially written) don’t fit all that neatly within the normal parameters of the fantasy genre. As I soon discovered when I started piling up…

by Eric Flint | Jan 24, 2020 | Information | 4 comments As those of you who regularly visit this web site or my Facebook page know, I don’t often post political statements. There are two reasons I don’t. The first is because most people who visit the sites are either family or personal friends of mine who are already well aware of my political views, or people who are mostly interested in me as an author. The second reason is even simpler. If there is a more monumental waste of time than arguing politics on the internet—especially Facebook—I have yet to find it. (Watching paint dry comes a distant second.) That said, occasionally I get annoyed enough to break my usual rule, and after some months of the campaigning that’s been going on for next year’s presidential election, I have reached that point with respect to one subject. THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, about which historical ignorance, incapacity to reason, blindness to reality driven by ideology and just plain stupidity have produced an ocean of twaddle. It should be blindingly obvious by now that the Electoral College is at best an antiquated institution which never matched the vision of it held by the Founding Fathers and has become an impediment to modern government. In times past, the reason most people shrugged off its grotesque features was because in practice it didn’t seem to make much difference. In the first two centuries of the nation’s existence, a candidate won the Electoral College while losing the so-called “popular vote” only three times (in 1824, 1876 and 1888). But it has happened twice in the past five elections (2000 and 2016), so now it has become a major topic of debate. [NOTA BENE: I put the phrase “popular vote” in quotation marks because the term is a silly redundancy. By definition, the “vote” is the will of the majority, i.e., the “populi” There is no other kind of vote EXCEPT a…

(aka the Ring of Fire series)by Eric Flint Whenever someone asks me “what’s the right 1632 series reading order?”, I’m always tempted to respond: “I have no idea. What’s the right order for studying the Thirty Years War? If you find it, apply that same method to the 1632 series.” However, that would be a bit churlish—and when it comes down to it, authors depend upon the goodwill of their readers. So, as best I can, here goes. The first book in the series, obviously, is 1632. That is the foundation novel for the entire series and the only one whose place in the sequence is definitely fixed. The digital eBook edition of 1632 is available as a free download at Baen.com. Click here to get your free copy! Thereafter, you should read either the anthology titled Ring of Fire or the novel 1633, which I co-authored with David Weber. It really doesn’t matter that much which of these two volumes you read first, so long as you read them both before proceeding onward. That said, if I’m pinned against the wall and threatened with bodily harm, I’d recommend that you read Ring of Fire before you read 1633. That’s because 1633 has a sequel which is so closely tied to it that the two volumes almost constitute one single huge novel. So, I suppose you’d do well to read them back to back. That sequel is 1634: The Baltic War, which I also co-authored with David Weber. Once you’ve read those four books—to recapitulate, the three novels (1632, 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War) and the Ring of Fire anthology—you can now choose one of two major alternatives for the 1632 series reading order. The first way, which I’ll call “spinal,” is to begin by reading all of the novels in what I will call the main line of the series. As of now, the main line consists of these seven novels: 16321633 (with David Weber)1634: The Baltic War (with David Weber)1635: The Eastern Front1636: The Saxon…

(last updated on 27 January 2019) STAND ALONE NOVELSMother of Demons, September 1997Slow Train to Arcturus, October 2008 with Dave FreerMountain Magic, January 2006, an anthology including a new short novel,- “Diamonds Are Forever” , with Ryk Spoor; a reissue of Old Nathan, by David Drake; and a reissue of Henry Kuttner’s four “Hogben” stories.The Gods of Sagittarius, May 2017, with Mike ResnickThe Alexander Inheritance, July 2017, with Gorg Huff and Paula GoodlettIron Angels, September 2017, with Alistair KimbleCouncil of Fire, November 2019, with Walter H. Hunt THE ASSITI SHARDS (which includes the 1632 Series)1632, February 20001633, August 2002, with David Weber1634: The Galileo Affair, April 2004, with Andrew Dennis1634: The Ram Rebellion, May 2006, with Virginia DeMarce and others1634: The Baltic War, May 2007, with David Weber1634: The Bavarian Crisis, October 2007, with Virginia DeMarce1635: A Parcel of Rogues, January 2016, with Andrew Dennis1635: The Cannon Law, October 2006, with Andrew Dennis1635: The Dreeson Incident, December 2008, with Virginia DeMarce1635: The Eastern Front, October 20101635:The Papal Stakes, August 20131636: The Saxon Uprising, April 20111636: The Kremlin Games, June 2012, with Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett1636: The Devil’s Opera, October 2013, with David Carrico1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies, June 2014, with Charles Gannon1636: The Viennese Waltz,  November 2014, with Paula Goodlett and Gorg Huf1636: The Cardinal Virtues, July 2015, with Walter H. Hunt1636: The Ottoman Onslaught, January, 20171636: Mission to the Mughals, April 2017, with Griffin Barber1636: The Vatican Sanction, December 2017, with Charles E. Gannon1637: The Volga Rules, February 2018, with Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett1637: The Polish Maelstrom, April 20191636: The China Venture, September 2019Ring of Fire, an anthology of stories set in the 1632 universe, January 2004Ring of Fire II, an anthology of stories set in the 1632 universe, January 2008Ring of Fire III, an anthology of stories set in the 1632 universe, July 2011Ring of Fire IV, an anthology of stories set in the 1632 universe, May 2016 Grantville Gazette. There are so far eight volumes of the Gazette in paper editions. There are also 87 volumes in electronic edition. These are…

NOTE: For those of you who prefer your bibliographies chronologically, here it is. This page does not include the classic SF series I’ve edited. — Eric Flint. (last updated on 27 January 2019) 1970Trade and Politics in Barotseland During the Kololo Period, 1970 Journal of African History (Volume XI:1) 1993Entropy and the Strangler, (short story), in Writers of the Future Volume IX 1997Mother of Demons, September 1997 (pb) 1998An Oblique Approach, March 1998 (pb) with David DrakeIn the Heart of Darkness, August 1998 (pb) with David Drake 1999Destiny’s Shield, July 1999 (HC) with David Drake 20001632, February 2000 (HC)Destiny’s Shield, June 2000 (pb)Fortune’s Stroke, June 2000 (HC) with David DrakeRats, Bats & Vats, September 2000 (HC) with Dave FreerThe Thief and the Roller Derby Queen, (short story), in The Chick is in the Mail, edited by Ester Friesner, October 2000, (pb) 20011632 February 2001 (pb) From the Highlands, (short novel), in More than Honor #3: Changer of Worlds with David Weber March 2001 (HC)The Philosophical Strangler, May 2001 (HC)Carthago Delenda Est, (novella), in Foreign Legions, edited by David Drake, June 2001, (HC)Fortune’s Stroke, July 2001 (pb)The Tide of Victory, July 2001 (HC), October 2002 (pb) with David DrakeRats, Bats & Vats, September 2001 (pb)Pyramid Scheme, October 2001 (HC), with David Freer 2002From the Highlands, (short novel), in More than Honor #3: Changer of Worlds February 2002 (pb)The Philosophical Strangler, March 2002, (pb)Forward the Mage, March 2002 (HC) with Richard RoachThe Shadow of the Lion, March 2002 (HC) with Mercedes Lackey & Dave FreerThe Tyrant, April 2002 (HC) with David DrakeThe Islands in Warmasters, an anthology, May 2002 (HC) with David Drake and David Weber1633, August 2002 (HC), with David Weber“Carthago Delenda Est,” (novella), in Foreign Legions, September 2002 (pb)The Tide of Victory, October 2002 (pb) with David Drake 2003Pyramid Scheme, February 2003 (pb), with David Freerâ–ª “Fanatic,” (novella) in The Service of the Sword, the fourth Harrington anthology, April 2003 (HC), compiled by David Weber1633, July 2003 (pb)Forward the Mage, August 2003,…

by Eric Flint | Jun 14, 2018 | Information | 3 comments June 14, 2018 I have the following titles that qualify for nomination for the Dragon Award to be handed out at DragonCon this year. (For more information on DragonCon, see: http://www.dragoncon.org/) BEST FANTASY NOVEL: The Demons of Paris, by Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett and Gorg Huff. BEST HORROR NOVEL: Iron Angels, by Eric Flint and Alistair Kimble. BEST ALTERNATE HISTORY NOVEL. I have several novels that qualify in this category: The Alexander Inheritance, by Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett and Gorg Huff. 1636: The Vatican Sanction, by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon. 1637: The Volga Rules, by Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett and Gorg Huff. If you’ve read any of these novels and liked them enough, please nominate them for their respective awards. Nominations will be closed on July 20, 2018. Voting will take place shortly thereafter. 3 Comments Jim on June 27, 2018 at 2:08 AMWhy would a socialist want to win awards so much? Is it because your a capitalist? Hypocrite. Drak Bibliophile on June 28, 2018 at 7:52 AMAh, but he is a capitalist and makes no bones about it. Mike on October 2, 2018 at 7:53 PMI’m confused by the whole idea that a socialist would not want to win awards. I think maybe you don’t understand what socialism is.

by Gorg Huff | Apr 14, 2018 | Information The 2019 Ring of Fire series minicon will be hosted by Westercon inLayton, Utah (just north of Salt Lake City). The dates are July 4-7.Here’s their URL: https://www.westercon72.org/ And here’s the press release they just issued: 04/14/18 Announced 2:00 pm Utah Time – League of Utah Writers Spring ConferenceTime & Location: Apr 14, 2018 at 10:30am – 6:00pmSalt Lake Community College Student Ctr, 4600 South Redwood Road, SLC,UT 84123, USA About The Event: The annual Spring Conference presented byLeague of Utah Writers includes a full day of workshops andpresentations focused on improving your skills as a writer. 2018 Spring Conference Schedule9:00 – 10:30 Registration / Check-in10:30 – 11:00 Opening Kick-off – all attendees11:00 – 2:00    Morning sessions2:00 – 3:00    Break for lunch Utah Horror Writers Announcement andWestercon 72Announcement3:00 – 6:00 Afternoon sessions Westercon 72 is pleased to announce Eric Flint as a Special Guest.Eric Flint’s writing career began with the science fiction novel Motherof Demons. His alternate history novel 1632 has led to a long-runningseries with over thirty novels and anthologies in print. He’s alsowritten many other science fiction and fantasy novels. He resides innorthwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.Along with Mr. Flint, we are also pleased to announce the 2019 1632Minicon will be held in conjunction with Westercon 72. The minicon isthe annual event that allows the 1632 fans and authors to get together.(Of course, in the case of 1632, fans and authors overlapsubstantially.) Each year the minicon is held “inside” a science fictionconvention in a different part of the country. Many cons have agreed tohost the minicon over the years. (Wording courtesy ofhttps://1632.org/2018-minicon/ ) Thank you for your time. Kate Hatcher (Chair)Westercon 72Utah’s Bid for NASFiC 2019  Utah Fandom Organization (UFO)info@utahfor2019.comchair@westercon72.org Westercon is a registered service mark of the Los Angeles ScienceFantasy Society, Inc. and is used with permission. Utah for 2019 issupported by Utah Fandom Organization, a nonprofit 501(c)(3). “WorldScience Fiction Society”, “WSFS”,…

by Drak Bibliophile | Feb 11, 2018 | 1632Snippet, Snippets | 3 comments The Demons Of Paris Blurb ANNOUNCING A NEW FANTASY/ALTERNATE HISTORY SERIES By Eric Flint, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett In March 2018, Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press will publish The Demons of Paris, which is the first novel in a series that combines alternate history and fantasy. Set in the late Middle Ages, the brutality of the conqueror of Central Asia, Tamerlane, triggers a rupture in the very fabric of reality. Demons and supernatural monsters of all kinds begin pouring into the human world, bringing both magic powers and devastation with them. But that’s not all they bring. The same rupture also drags into the year 1372 a van full of high school students from the year 2018 — along with all their electronic equipment. Soon it’s a race to see which pack of outsiders can create the most turmoil in the late Middle Ages — monstrous demons or precocious teenagers who soon have their own allies and followers among the ranks of demonkind. And King Charles V had already been in trouble! Piled onto his own poor health, a suspicious and contentious church, France’s always-quarrelsome nobility — worst of all, his unscrupulous and ambitious brother, Philip the Bold — the king now has both demons and people from the future to deal with. He does have one asset — and not a small one. He can place his trusted Constable of France, Bertrand du Guesclin, in charge of the rambunctious teenagers from the future and their ever-growing legion of demons. And Bertrand has a great asset of his own — his wife Tiphaine de Raguenel, perhaps the best astrologer in all of France and, for sure and certain, not a woman to take seriously the prattling nonsense of youngsters skeptical of her lore and knowledge. The Demons of Paris will be available in both electronic and trade paperback editions. And, of course, snippets will…

by Eric Flint | Dec 11, 2016 | Information | 8 comments The Dragon Award was launched this year at the 2016 DragonCon convention in Atlanta that took place over Labor Day weekend. It will be held every year hereafter. The award was given out in these categories: Best Science Fiction Novel Best Fantasy Novel Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel Best Alternate History Novel Best Apocalyptic Novel Best Horror Novel Best Comic Book Best Graphic Novel Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Board Game Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectible Card/Role Playing Game As will be obvious to anyone familiar with the existing major awards in science fiction and fantasy, there are two features of the Dragon Award which are quite different: First, in the literary categories, no awards are given for short fiction. Only novels are eligible to be nominated. Second, much greater weight is given to non-literary forms of science fiction and fantasy. Of the fifteen awards presented, only seven of the awards—slightly less than half—are given to traditional literary forms. Two are given out for illustrated stories (comics and graphic novels), two are given out for dramatic presentations (TV series and movies), and four are given out in different gaming categories. There are a number of reasons for these differences, which I will discuss in this ongoing blog. For the moment, though, I just want to touch on what is perhaps the most basic point to be made: The Dragon Award was not set up to compete with any of the existing awards. We didn’t launch this new award because we were dissatisfied or disgruntled with the existing awards, such as the Hugo or the Nebula or the World Fantasy Award. Our attitude stems from a recognition of something that is…

by Eric Flint | Apr 27, 2016 | Hugo Controversy | 87 comments I’m under some fairly serious deadline pressure right now and will be for a couple of months. So I won’t be writing the sort of long essays I did last year on the subject of literary awards in general and the Hugo awards in particular. That said, since the nominations for this year’s Hugo awards have now been published and it’s obvious that the Rabid Puppies have been up to some mischief again, I figure I should say a few words. Let me start by quoting something that George R.R. Martin said in a recent post he made on his “Not a Blog” blog: Sad Puppies 4, this year headed by Kate Paulk, changed its approach and produced a recommended reading list, with anywhere from one to ten suggestions in each category, rather than slating four or five. The process was open and democratic, which Sad Puppies 3 often claimed to be but never was. Paulk also avoided the ugly excesses of the previous campaign, and never stooped to the sort of invective that her predecessor, Brad Torgersen, had been so fond of, with all his talk of CHORFs and Puppy-kickers. For all this she should be commended. I agree with George and I think that’s as much as needs to be said on the subject of the Sad Puppies. Whatever I think of any specific recommendation they made is neither here nor there. The Sad Puppies have as much right to make recommendations as does anyone else. Locus magazine does it routinely and no one objects—nor should they. The situation with the Rabid Puppies, however, is quite different. It’s obvious that they voted as a disciplined bloc again this year and they have enough supporters to make a difference in at least some of the categories. They also, this year, used the sleazy tactic of including in their slate a number of works by authors…

by Eric Flint | Jan 6, 2016 | Information | 37 comments First, I need to explain some recent changes in my schedule of appearances. I was planning to attend comic cons in Miami and Pensacola in January and February, but that’s fallen through. The people organizing my schedule for those events didn’t have enough time to get it put together. Instead, they’re scheduling me for appearances at two other comic cons later in the year: Salt Lake Comic Con, which takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 24-26. Indiana Comic Con, which takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 29-May 1. See the Appearances section in the web site for more details. In other news of the day:I just turned in the manuscript for The Alexander Inheritance. That’s a novel I wrote with Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett, with whom I’ve also collaborated on three novels in the Ring of Fire series: 1636: The Kremlin Games, 1636: The Viennese Waltz and the forthcoming (no date set yet) 1637: The Volga Rules. The Alexander Inheritance is not part of the Ring of Fire series, but is related to it. Like the novel Time Spike, which I wrote with Marilyn Kosmatka, The Alexander Inheritance posits that another Assiti Shard strikes the Earth, this time in the near future, and transposes a cruise ship in the Caribbean into the Mediterranean just after the death of Alexander the Great. That period in history is often called “The Age of the Diadochi” that’s a Greek term that means “successors” and it was one of the most savage periods in human history. By the time Alexander’s generals finished carving up his empire, Alexander’s entire family had been wiped out: wife, sister, mother, half-brother, son, you name it, and only three generals survived out of the dozens who started the civil war.Think of it as Game of Thrones on steroids. I’m now back to work on The Gods of Sagittarius, which is a novel I’m writing with Mike Resnick. This is unrelated…

by Eric Flint | Nov 25, 2015 | Eric’s enterprises, Information | 17 comments I just turned in the manuscript for RING OF FIRE IV, the next 1632 series anthology. It’s coming out in May. I’m cutting it a wee bit close on the deadline for this one, although nothing compared to a few thrill rides of the past. The hang-up was finishing my story for it, which is a short novel titled “Scarface.” I’m pleased with the story, although it was tricky to write. It’s basically a romance pretending to be an action story. The action story disguise is admittedly a bit skimpy, seeing as how no humans and only one cranky critter were killed in the course of the story. And now, back to work on THE GODS OF SAGITTARIUS. I got my publication schedule from Baen for the next year or so (fourteen months, to be precise). Here it is: January, 2016: 1636: A Parcel of Rogues (new title, hardcover)February, 2016: Castaway Planet (reissue, mass market paperback)March: nothingApril, 2016: Grantville Gazette VII (reissue, mass market paperback)May, 2016: Ring of Fire IV (new title, hardcover). I have a short novel in this anthology titled ScarfaceJune, 2016: Black Tide Rising (new title, hardcover). This is an anthology set in John Ringo’s zombie apocalypse universe. I have a novella in it titled “Up on the Roof.”July: nothingAugust: 1636: The Chronicles of Doctor Gribbleflotz (new title, hardcover). I didn’t write this, Kerryn Offord and Rick Boatright did. But I’m including it since it’s part of the 1632 series.September, 1636: The Span of Empire (new title, hardcover). This is the sequel to The Course of Empire and The Crucible of Empire.October 1636: Castaway Odyssey (new title, hardcover). This is the sequel to Castaway Planet.November, 2016: nothingDecember, 2016: 1636: A Parcel of Rogues (reissue, mass market paperback)January, 2017: 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught 17 Comments Simon Proctor on November 25, 2015 at 8:22 AMUmm Eric. I think you’ve got a few too many 1636’s there.I’m sure no one would complain… Eric Flint on November 25, 2015 at 8:58 AMThat’s kinda funny, actually. I hadn’t…

by Eric Flint | Aug 31, 2015 | Hugo Controversy | 185 comments Several people, in their commentaries on my recent essay (“Do We Really Have to Keep Feeding Stupid and His Cousin Ignoramus?”), challenged or at least questioned the assertion I’ve made several times in my various essays on the Hugo ruckus that the Hugos (and other major F&SF awards) have drifted away over the past thirty years from the tastes and opinions of the mass audience. It’s a fair question, so I’ll address it in this essay as best I can. It’s not an easy issue to analyze, though. That’s for the simple reason that popularity is gauged by sales, and there are no publicly available records on the sales of various authors. That’s information which is privately held. When I published my first essay on the Hugo ruckus a few months ago (“Some comments on the Hugos and other SF awards,” posted here on April 16), a number of people privately expressed their astonishment, or bemusement, or admiration at the amount of work I’d put into it. Or in the case of my publisher, Toni Weisskopf—although she never said a word to me about it—probably exasperation. (“What the hell is he doing writing this stuff instead of novels, dammit?”) The essay does indeed represent a lot of work, since it’s 7,200 words long. (If word counts don’t mean much to you, that’s the length of two or three chapters in most novels.) But, in fact, I put very little work into it—this year. That’s because most of the essay had been written eight years earlier. Here’s the history: Back in 2007, I wound up—I can’t remember how it got started—engaging in a long email exchange with Greg Benford over the subject of SF awards. Both of use had gotten a little exasperated over the situation—which is closely tied to the issue of how often different authors get reviewed in major F&SF magazines. In the…

by Eric Flint | Aug 26, 2015 | Hugo Controversy | 246 comments Wired magazine just ran an article on the recently-concluded Hugo awards, voted on at Sasquan, the world science fiction convention held in Spokane, Washington over the past weekend. There is much in the article that I have no objection to, but it does not begin well. Here is a passage from early in the article: “Though voted upon by fans, this year’s Hugo Awards were no mere popularity contest. After the Puppies released their slates in February, recommending finalists in 15 of the Hugos’ 16 categories (plus the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer), the balloting had become a referendum on the future of the genre. Would sci-fi focus, as it has for much of its history, largely on brave white male engineers with ray guns fighting either a) hideous aliens or b) hideous governments who don’t want them to mine asteroids in space? Or would it continue its embrace of a broader sci-fi: stories about non-traditionally gendered explorers and post-singularity, post-ethnic characters who are sometimes not men and often even have feelings?” As a description of the Sad Puppies and the sort of fiction they prefer, this sentence manages the singular feat of being simultaneously dishonest and laughable: Would sci-fi focus, as it has for much of its history, largely on brave white male engineers with ray guns fighting either a) hideous aliens or b) hideous governments who don’t want them to mine asteroids in space? I suppose it’s possible that one of the Sad Puppies or the authors they tend to like has at one time or another written a story whose central protagonist is a white male engineer with a ray gun, but I’ve never seen it. Is it really too much to ask people who take it upon themselves to criticize the Sad Puppies to FUCKING READ what they actually write? Instead of doing what the Puppies themselves are…

by Eric Flint | Aug 17, 2015 | Information | 11 comments I just turned in a novella to Kelly Lockhart titled “Up On the Roof,” for an anthology he’s editing based on John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. For those of you not familiar with the series, it’s John’s take on the zombie apocalypse theme. What I did in my story was depict how people might survive a zombie apocalypse in my neighborhood, using characters modeled (loosely-there’s no direct one-to-one relationship) on my own neighbors and people I encounter regularly whenever I go out of the house. The characters, as is true of the part of the country where I live (which is northwest Indiana), are predominantly working class and racially mixed. So my characters are industrial workers, some retired and some active, a waitress and a restaurant manager, a cop and his daughter, a security guard at a casino and his wife who works in a factory making cardboard containers, etc. They are armed in the way in which blue collar civilians in the US usually are, but they are not survivalists or gun nuts and while some of them have military experience they are not a military unit of any kind. Their survival depends partly on weapons but mostly on being smart and decisive, and being willing to help others. Insofar as I have a beef with apocalypse stories, it’s that they tend to grossly underestimate the survival value of being cooperative and behaving decently to people and tend to grossly overestimate the extent to which a dog-eat-dog mindset would really help you very much in a real catastrophe. I should make clear, by the way, that that’s not a criticism of John Ringo’s novels in the series. John’s actually very good on this subject, which is part of the reason I enjoyed the series. John Scalzi is also writing a story for the anthology. I’m not sure who else is. Sarah Hoyt started to, but…

by Gorg Huff | Jul 18, 2015 | Information | 5 comments I was just invited to be the Guest of Honor at Balticon over the weekend of May 26-29, 2017.  That takes place in Baltimore, if you haven’t figured it out already. The reason for the invitation so far ahead of time is because Balticon also agreed to host the 1632 series minicon that year as well.  Next year, in 2016, the 1632 series minicon is being hosted by Fencon in Dallas over the weekend of September 23-25. 5 Comments John Cowan on July 18, 2015 at 1:45 PMEh, when I saw the title I figured it was going to be in Latvia, Lithuania, or Estonia. Color me over-sophisticated. Joe on July 20, 2015 at 2:35 PMThat would be Baltikon. Easy mistake. Steve on July 20, 2015 at 4:38 PMEric Flint would not be the guest of honor were it in Latvia, Erics Flints would be (on account of a weird Latvian linguistic convention that all mens’ names must end in at least one “s”). But I think Sweden or Germamy would be more appropriate for a con on the Baltic with him as GOH. Bret Hooper on December 5, 2016 at 10:49 PMWhen and where can one get info about the 2017 Balticon and RoF Minicon? Balticon’s website is still all about the 2016 Balticon, which I doubt is still attracting many more fans to the 2016 con. How can they be persuaded that it is too late to get more people to the 2016 con? That their money would be better spent to increase attendance at the 2017 con?Provided that Eric is still going to be GoH and the Minicon is still going to be there, I want to be at the 2017 Balticon, with my son who lives nearby in Maryland, but how does one register for it? And what is the program schedule? And . . . ? Bret Hooper on January 5, 2017 at 9:41 PMUpdate:…