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Ring of Fire II  
Ring Of Fire 2
Author Various
Language English
Series 1632 series
Genre(s) Alternate History
Publisher January, 2008
Preceded by 1635: The Cannon Law
Followed by 1635: The Dreeson Incident
Ring of Fire II (Baen, 2008) is an anthology volume set in the 1632 universe, which is sometimes called The Ring of Fire Series. While Ring of Fire II is the second anthology by that name, it is one of several anthologies in the series. Much as with the first volume, Ring of Fire II contains stories by both established science fiction authors and newcomers.

StoriesEdit

"City of the Dead"Edit

by Jay Robison

"Noelle Comes Home"Edit

by Virginia DeMarce

Flint's e-book preface refers to this work as being a prequel to his own short novel (below), but the title does not agree with the credited work on 1632.org's timeframes spreadsheet. The preface to the print editions does not mention this title, and refers to "Second Thoughts" as that prequel. It is conceivable that this was a working title.

"Horse Thieves"Edit

by Karen Bergstralh

The story focuses on four former mercenaries who worked for Count Tilly before being released on good behavior and becoming horse traders in Grantville. While returning to Grantville following a horse trade in France, the traders encountered a foreign mercenary contingent preparing to attack Grantville's allied city, Badenburg. They also observed that the mercenaries were using American Civil War era equipment and doctrines that they had somehow acquired from modern history books. The traders, with help from the American militia, made several skirmishes against the army before finally eliminating them.

"Second Issue?"Edit

by Bradley H. Sinor.

This story tells about the birth of tabloid journalism in Grantville. The plot begins with a suggestion that it might be a tale of investigative journalism, but it ends with a humorous twist. There are tight connections between this story and "The Wallenstein Gambit".

"Diving Belle"Edit

by Gunnar Dahlin and Dave Freer

The story focuses on an attempt to raise the Vasa from its resting place in Stockholm harbor. Or is it an elaborate fraud?

Notes:

  • The story does not give dates, but appears to be set in in the summer of 1632, or at least between the formation of the New United States and that of the Confederated Principalities of Europe.
  • It makes a passing reference to an unnamed "nosy Norwegian" who "looks like a pirate and is almost certainly a spy"; this may have been Baldur Norddahl.
  • The "Admiral Fleming" referred to may have been Clas Fleming.

"A Gift from the Duchess"Edit

by Virginia DeMarce

"Lucky at Cards"Edit

by Andrew Dennis

Late in 1634, Cardinal Richelieu, Abel Servien, Léon Bouthillier. and Jules Mazarin devise a plan to take Gaston, Duke of Orléans for a large amount of money at cards.

"A Trip to Amsterdam"Edit

by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett

The story focuses on the two groups of maturing tycoons known respectively as the Sewing Circle and the Barbie Consortium, who were initially introduced in the well-written story "The Sewing Circle", and whose story continued in "Other People’s Money", and other seminal background tales. It also deals with efforts to support and stabilize the Dutch guilder following the initial successes of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in the Netherlands.

"This'll Be the Day..."Edit

by Walt Boyes

The story recounts the deeds of Father Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld on the days prior to August 7, 1635, which was when he died in the original timeline.

Note: There appear to be continuity conflicts between this story and 1635: The Papal Stakes, as the final part of The Papal Stakes takes place early in August of 1635.

"Command Performance"Edit

by David Carrico

This continuation of the "Franz and Marla" stories, ties in with a brief mention of the story behind and within the concert as told here. The same tale, from a different perspective, was used as background for the entrance of Admiral John Simpson and his wife Mary as they come on stage during the end of the industrial disaster that begins the novel 1634: The Baltic War.

As a continuation of the Franz and Marla saga, the tale reveals Marla in a triumphal debut among the rich and famous in Magdeburg, while the lovable and tragic Franz finds a new musical groove—and is able to play again publicly — while, finally, proving worthy in his own eyes of "getting the girl". Like the preceding Franz and Marla stories, it is an excellent tale told with skill and is good at evoking emotions and painting complex characters undergoing life's pressures.

"Ellis Island"Edit

by Russ Rittgers

The story recounts the tribulations of a peasant family immigrating to Grantville.

"Malungu Seed"Edit

by Jonathan Cresswell

The story focus on an African Jesuit layman who has an urgent mission in Grantville and elsewhere.

"Trials"Edit

by Jay Robison

The story focus on the trials of Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi and a Grantville housewife.

"The Chase"Edit

by Iver Cooper

This story is a sequel to "Grand Tour," which appeared in Grantville Gazette X. It features historical figures Thomas Hobbes and William Cavendish (the Earl of Devonshire), and several of the young ladies of the "Barbie Consortium."

There is a scene set at a down-time tennis court, and it's worth noting that Iver also wrote an article on down-time tennis ("Tennis: The Game of Kings") which appeared in Grantville Gazette XV.

"Eddie and the King's Daughter"Edit

by K.D. Wentworth

Set in parallel to 1634: The Baltic War, the story focuses on Eddie Cantrell, who was captured by the Danes in the confused aftermath of the Battle of Wismar, and who became involved with the daughter of Christian IV of Denmark.

"Second Thoughts"Edit

by Virginia DeMarce

The story discloses the events leading to the marriage between the parents of Noelle Brigitte Murphy, and to her decision to change her last name to "Stull".

"The Austro-Hungarian Connection"Edit

This short novel by Flint features a return of the enigmatic secret agent, Noelle Stull, introduced in 1634: The Ram Rebellion, who considered becoming a Catholic nun. It tells the story of how she and Janos Drugeth met and became involved with one another.

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