I just heard that Eric Flint died today. He was 75 and had suffered through various illnesses over the last few years. So, it wasn’t a surprise, I guess, but it was still a shock for me. I’ve been reading his books since I picked up his first novel, Mother of Demons, way back in 1997. And, as you can see by the stack of books shown above, I’ve bought a LOT of his books over the years.
He’s done a lot for the SF field over the years, and especially for the Alternate History sub-genre, where much of his work was concentrated. Of particular note, his 1632 series (also sometimes known as the Ring of Fire series), an Alternate History shared universe that he cultivated after the success of 1632, the first book in the best-selling series. The premise is that a cosmic accident propels the town of Grantville, West Virginia back into time and transposes it to the middle of Germany during the bloody Thirty Years War.
Eric Flint also spearheaded the consolidation and re-publication of the works of a whole bunch of worthy older authors, including Keith Laumer, Christopher Anvil, Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy series, James H. Schmitz, and more. I have a bunch of those books, too, where Eric Flint was an editor. And let’s not forget how many newer authors have gotten their start writing fiction, and non-fiction articles, for the 1632 series.
I even had—and still have, since I don’t think the 1632 community is going away—aspirations of writing within that universe. I’d lost touch with the series years ago so, a few months back I started a series of blog posts that I called the 1632 Read-Through. For each episode, I resolved to read the entire series, one book a month, and post my thoughts on each book. This was mostly for my own enjoyment, but also I thought it was a good way to re-educate myself on the series.
I was three episodes into this effort. And now Eric Flint has died.
So, here’s to Eric Flint…and his legacy: the books he’s published, the books he’s edited, the exposure he’s bought to classic writers, the encouragement he’s brought to newer writers, and the fans/friends/family he’s left behind. You will be missed.