Eric Flint (born 1947) is an American alternate history and fantasy author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.
Flint has a Master's Degree in history specializing in West African history. He left his doctoral program over political issues and supported himself from that time until age 50 as a laborer, machinist and labor organizer. A long-time leftist political activist, Flint worked as a member of the Socialist Workers Party.
After winning the 1993 Writers of the Future contest, he published his first novel in 1997 and moved to full time writing in 1999.
Shortly afterwards, he became the first librarian of the Baen Free Library and a prominent anti-copy protection activist. He has edited the works of several classic SF authors, repackaging their short stories into collections and fix-up novels. This project has met commercially success, and has returned several out-of-print authors to print.
In 2004, faced with a persistent drain on his time by fan-fiction authors seeking comment on the four years old 1632 Tech Manual web forum focused on his 1632 series, he suggested to Jim Baen the experimental serialized fan-fiction e-zine The Grantville Gazette which also found commercial success. Four of the Gazette magazine editions were collated into anthology formats, bought by Jim Baen and brought out in either hardcover or paperback or both formats, though the last purchased remains unpublished. Subsequently, Flint became editor of the new Jim Baen's Universe science-fiction e-zine while concurrently remaining a creative writer bringing out three to five titles per year. After the death of Jim Baen due to a stroke and after completing the contract for the tenth Grantville Gazette, Flint founded a new website "grantvillegazette.com" which is not only continuing to bring out The Grantville Gazettes, but increasing the publishing rate from four per year to bimonthly while paying better than standard magazine pay rates and is modeled on the JBU e-zine.
As of October 2007 he lives with his wife Lucille (also an ex-labor organizer) in East Chicago, Indiana.
Eric Flint is noted as the editor of the Baen Free Library
which was an experiment in electronic publishing (e-books
in multiple unencrypted formats) where Flint and the late Jim Baen
convinced authors 1
to post entirely unprotected free copies of various works for download over the internet. Begun as an experiment to see if this increases the sales of their paper or (for-pay) electronic editions, Baen First Librarian
, Flint published semi-periodically during its first two years a series of essays
part blog and part letters to the editor
tracking the experiment and championing the practice.
Financially, it seems to be working out for publisher Baen Books, as they have embraced unencrypted e-book publication for all their works available in a variety of common formats. Usually eighty to a hundred titles are available in the Baen Free Library at any given time. In most cases, the works involved are the early volumes in continuing series, appetite whetters, where readers might be likely to purchase later works in the same series.
All new Baen Books can also be purchased as e-books in the same unencrypted formats as the free library through Baen WebScriptions As an added wrinkle one can purchase a monthly collection of five bundled works in the release stage of publication at Baen's. Once the bundle reaches four months from its scheduled release date in print, about half of the work is serialized and available to readers purchasing the advanced peek. A month later, the next quarter, followed by the last quarter, available about a month on average ahead of any printed work. The last delivery contains the copyedited e-book version of the book.
One can also purchase electronic Advanced Reader Copies (or eARCs) which are not a part of the forgoing monthly bundle, but are individually available for purchase. These followed a successful experiment with an online eMagazine, called the Grantville Gazette (More below—see 1632 series). The eARCs is an unproofed manuscript and is guaranteed to be full of typos and errors. It is pretty much raw from the author's word processor; however, they are fully available even before the first part of the monthly bundles. eARCs do not include the final proofed version. For the final version you would have to buy the single or monthly bundle for that book. in March 2007, Flint began acting as publisher of a for-fee web-access version of the Gazette.
Flint is also helming Jim Baen's Universe (JBU), an e-zine that launched in June 2006.
(with David Drake
) An epic scope alternate history series in which a Crystalline based intelligence is sent back in time to defeat a plot headed up by a computer based AI sent by disgruntled humans (political losers in the far future) intent on the molding of humanity through a ruthless merciless eugenics program, making themselves the winners in the new time line of altered history.
The series features a lot of historical characters brought to life by the authors, most notably, the General Belisarius
, who the authors present as possibly the best general to ever walk the earth.
- An Oblique Approach (1998)
- In the Heart of Darkness (1998)
- Destiny's Shield (1999)
- Fortune's Stroke (2000)
- The Tide of Victory (2001)
- The Dance of Time (2006)
Assiti Shards universes
The Assiti Shards refers to a literary mechanism which exchanges volumes of space-time with other planetary volumes of the planet struck which manifests as both a time-swap and place-swap for the two places affected—and more interestingly for the people occupying such real estate. The literary technique can be read about in detail in Assiti Shards effect
, but when it first reached print in 1632
, the technique spawned a huge surge of fan interest which is continuing to grow now well over seven years later. Flint had at least two other milieus planned utilizing the mechanism in 2000, but because of demand for works
in the 1632 universe
, he temporarily shelved them through the period 2001–05. They were known to be in production for some intervals in some part and manner in 2005–06, but the death of Jim Baen or other projects has apparently delayed them.
A 1632-style work titled 1781 featuring both George Washington and a Roman Legion and a more traditional science fiction work which will include Shakespeare as a character, By Any Other Name are now in the long production process at Baen Books (A book takes nine to twelve months after the author completes it normally to reach print at Baen Books) and these (two known to be under contract) are inexplicably delayed and overdue by that measure. A fourth Assiti Shard effects tale, Time Spike was published in 2008.
In the late winter of 2005–06, Baen started listing all the 1632-verse books under the umbrella series title Assiti Shards series and continues to do so, after previously listing them under Ring of Fire, for the only series thus far published, so 1632 (numbering 10 works in print, fourteen Gazettes (XIV came out in October 2007) and climbing rapidly bi-monthly) is currently listed on Baen's under the pseudo misnomer Assiti Shards series, of which there are (will be) four milieus planned, not just the original. Yet Amazon and Barnes and Noble lists "Ring of Fire" for some books in the series, and "Assiti Shards series" for others. As of early October 2007, the series name of the 1632 books is still confused; Barnes and Noble has seemingly grouped them under Ring of Fire series, Amazon and other web sellers are mixed, and the book covers of the last six hardcover releases avoid the question entirely on the dust jacket and artwork. At the moment, we use the term 1632 series, and other books in the series can be reached via that main article or by the navigation strip at the page bottom.
- See also 1632 official website
Once also known on the internet as the 163x series, Baen for a time called the Ring of Fire series, and it is as frequently called the 1632 Universe or 1632verse; however it is named, it is a best-selling success with the 12th published work due in February 2008. The alternate history series starts when the inhabitants of a small town in the USA find themselves transported back to Central Germany ... in the late spring (May) of 1631 with no way back. The first book title results because while the tale builds in 1631, the climax occurs when events in the Thirty Years' War nearly overrun the town in 1632.
- *1632, which started the phenomenal buzz, growth, and subsequent history. Primary characters and setting are in fictional Grantville, WV now part of Thuringia.
- *1633 (2002) with David Weber, which is co-sequel with the following Ring of Fire anthology.
- *Ring of Fire (Jan 2004, 1st of many 1632 canonical anthologies, currently supplemented by the Grantville Gazettes. For a while the title of this work was used as the series name.)
- *1634: The Galileo Affair (April 2004) with Andrew Dennis; this work takes stories from four Ring of Fire short stories and launches the second major storyline (called a 'thread' by Flint) in the milieu.
- *Grantville Gazette I print release, November 2004
- *Grantville Gazette II print release, March 2006
- *1634: The Ram Rebellion April 2006 with author-historian and key 1632 Research Committee member Virginia DeMarce. Together with stories from Ring of Fire and several Grantville Gazettes, this work launches the third major storyline thread in the novel which will be set primarily in Austria, though this book spends much time in Grantville, WV.
- (Note: Two to three additional Novels are planned in 1634 alone, including another with David Weber who is contracted for five total)
- *1634: The Baltic War (May 2007) with David Weber; writing schedule conflicts between Flint and Weber delayed this sequel to the anguish of fans world wide. This novel closes out many loose ends left hanging in the Central Europe threads predecessor novel: 1633.
- *1635: The Cannon Law (October 2006) with Andrew Dennis; Sequel to 1634: The Galileo Affair
- *1634: The Bavarian Crisis (October 2007) with Virginia DeMarce
- *Ring of Fire II (January 2008)
- *The Grantville Gazettes
- The Grantville Gazettes began as an experimental (eMagazine) collated as an anthology featuring primarily fan fiction and non-fiction background essays similar to encyclopedia articles. These fact articles, which include reference sections, were developed by the various sub-committees of the very informal 1632 Research Committee and the input (feedback and criticisms) received on the internet web-forum 1632 Tech Manual which is part of Baen's Bar. These essays and the feedback were pertinent to the developing milieu along with input from other established authors — a massive case of collaborative fiction writing—the foundation for which was in turn in part being developed on Baen's Bar by those same fans commenting, manning the committees, doing research much like contributing to a wiki, and then submitting the results to Peer review and criticism on 1632 Comments or 1632 Tech Manual. This is an ongoing process, as is the mining of said research and the primarily fan writing which is still on going.
- The self-funding eMagazine Gazettes were edited by Eric Flint up through issue six (VI), who along and a volunteer Editorial Board, many who have been assisting him closely in designing the development of the milieu, building and running the canonical website 1632.org and the many research topics leading to decisions within the whole collaboration. While now using his assistant and direct employee Paula Goodlett as an assistant editor, Flint retains full editorial control of the 1632 milieu and all its intellectual property rights.
- The Grantville Gazette anthologies are also published by Baen, beginning with an initial publication as a serialized eMagazine over three months, followed by an e-book release (downloadable in various electronic formats) at Webscription.net, but a mass market trade paperback edition of the first issue was published as an experiment in November of 2004. The first printing sold out, and reprintings followed. The second issue was released in a Hardcover Edition in early March 2006, and also sold well. The third print Gazette is in the publication production process at Baen's. Beginning with Issue 11 the Grantville Gazette has gone pro. It did go to a bimonthly schedule starting at May 1st 2007 and pays pro rates.
- * Grantville Gazette I, Issue 1 (Electronic edition Nov 2003, paper edition November 2004, both published under the title The Grantville Gazette)
- * Grantville Gazette II, Issue 2 (Electronic edition Mar 2004, hardcover edition March 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette III, Issue 3 (Electronic edition October 2004, hardcover edition January 2007)
- * Grantville Gazette IV, Issue 4 (Electronic edition mid April 2005, hardcover edition June 2008)
- * Grantville Gazette V, Issue 5 (Electronic edition August 2005)
- * Grantville Gazette VI, Issue 6 (Electronic edition March 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette VII, Issue 7 (Electronic edition April 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette VIII, Issue 8 (Electronic edition July 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette IX, Issue 9 (Electronic edition September 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette X, Issue 10 (Electronic edition December 2006)
- * Grantville Gazette XI, Issue 11 (Electronic edition May 2007)
- * Grantville Gazette XII, Issue 12 (Electronic edition July 2007)
- * Grantville Gazette XIII, Issue 13 (Electronic edition September 2007)
Other Assiti Shards universes
Other "Assiti Shards" universes which share only the time travel mechanism, but not the setting of the 1632 universe include two planned novels:
- Time Spike (May 2008) with Marilyn Kosmatka.
- By Any Other Name — being co-authored by Sarah Hoyt (First draft complete and his part of the writing scheduled in Oct 2007 by Eric Flint ''for sometime the coming year; Publication date unknown, but no earlier than very late 2008).
(with Dave Freer
and Mercedes Lackey
) Set in an alternate "Venetian Empire" in which magic thrives. (Note, a significant amount of text, and a couple of major characters in this work are adapted from stories written by Lackey in the Merovingen Nights
shared universe series. That series was started by C. J. Cherryh
in her novel Angel with the Sword
- The Shadow of the Lion (2002)
- This Rough Magic (2003)
- A Mankind Witch (July 2005)
- The Philosophical Strangler (2001)
- Forward the Mage (2002 with Richard Roach)
- Rats, Bats and Vats (2000 with Dave Freer)
- The Rats, The Bats and The Ugly (Sept. 2004 with Dave Freer)
Trail of Glory series
- In the Honor Harrington Universe
- From the Highlands (short novel), in More than Honor #3: Changer of Worlds with David Weber 2001
- Fanatic (novella) in The Service of the Sword, 2003
- Other Stories
- The Islands (novella) in Warmasters, an anthology, 2002
- "Entropy and the Strangler" (short story), in Writers of the Future Volume IX, edited by Dave Wolverton September 1993
- "The Thief and the Roller Derby Queen" (short story), in The Chick is in the Mail, edited by Esther Friesner, 2000
- "The Truth about the Götterdämmerung" (short story), in Turn the Other Chick, edited by Esther Friesner, 2004
- Carthago Delenda Est (novella), in Foreign Legions, edited by David Drake, 2001
Classic SF reissues edited by Eric Flint
- Works of Christopher Anvil
- Pandora's Legions (2002)
- Interstellar Patrol (2003)
- Interstellar Patrol II: The Federation of Humanity (2005)
- The Trouble with Aliens (2006)
- The Trouble with Humans (2007)
- War Games (2008) (Scheduled)
- Prescription for Chaos (2009) (Scheduled)
- Works of Randall Garrett
- Works of Tom Godwin
- Works of Keith Laumer
- Retief (2002)
- Odyssey (2002)
- Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side (2002)
- Future Imperfect (2003)
- A Plague of Demons (2003)
- Legions of Space (2004)
- Imperium (2005)
- Works of Murray Leinster
- Med Ship: The Complete Stories (2002)
- Planets of Adventure (2003)
- A Logic Named Joe (2005)
- Works of Howard L. Myers
- The Creatures of Man (2003, with Guy Gordon)
- Works of James H. Schmitz (Co-edited with Guy Gordon)
- Telzey Amberdon (2000)
- TnT: Telzey & Trigger Together (2000)
- Trigger & Friends (2001)
- The Hub: Dangerous Territory (2001)
- Agent of Vega & Other Stories (2001)
- The Witches of Karres (2003)
- The Eternal Frontiers (2002)
Notes and references