A modern American mining town is sent back in time to the Middle Ages. A circular area, encompassing the town of Grantville, West Virginia, is transported to another place and time. When Mike Stearns, the head of the local miners' union, and some of the others go out to size up their situation, they end up rescuing two Jews, the learned physician and part-time spy Balthazar Abrabanel and his beautiful daughter Rebecca, fleeing from a band of roving mercenaries.
This proves highly beneficial to both sides on several levels. The shocked residents discover they are now in Europe in the year 1631, right in the middle of the devastating Thirty Years War. Grantville's doctor saves Balthazar's life after he suffers a heart attack. Eventually, both of the Abrabanels become trusted advisers, and Mike and Rebecca fall in love.
Mike is acclaimed provisional leader, until an election can be organized and held. Despite strong opposition from John Stimson (a very successful businessman, Mike's political rival and his sister's new father-in-law), Mike decides to welcome locals and try to integrate them into their community. He knows that they will need as much help as they can get if they are to survive and adapt modern technology to their new circumstances.
When a cavalry patrol sent out by Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, stumbles upon Grantville, Mike negotiates an alliance with Gustavus. In the long run, Mike and his supporters envision forming a state and spreading democracy and religious tolerance to the war-wracked continent.
Best part of story, including ending:
Flint does a good job of fleshing out the medieval lifestyle. Is it altogether believable that the locals would so readily accept the seemingly miraculous inventions and modern ideas and attitudes to which they are exposed? Of course not. There's a certain amount of suspension of disbelief required.
Best scene in story:
When outsider John Stimson makes his bid for leadership by explaining his somewhat segregationist plan, Mike characterizes it as "downsizing", eliciting a strong reaction from the other miners. Mildly amusing.
Opinion about the main character:
Mike Stearns is a decent, likable, shrewd man. That being said, I don't know that I'd call him especially original.
"black hole" transports mining town into 17th centry, middle of 30 years war. How to use modern technology to survive even though outnumbered 1000's to 1.
This report prepared by randall pierce
A modern, coal mining town is transported back in time to Europe in 1632. The efforts of the townspeople banch off a new, alternate future.
This report prepared by Michael L. Huston
A modern West Virginia Mining town is transported in time and place to Germany in 1632 (the middle of the 30 Years War.) They join with locals to create a new world that fuses the culture of the time with the technology and political beliefs of the 20th century Americans.
This report prepared by Sharon Custer