Assiti Shards series

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The Assiti Shards series is a fictional universe invented by Eric Flint. It is a shared universe open to authors of many calibre levels, concerning several alternate history worlds, related to a prime timeline. The defining characteristic of the fictional universe is the existence of the "Assiti Shards effect", and the impact that strikes by Assiti Shards have on characters in the stories. The series is rather large and expansive, having started publication in 2000, and as of 2008, consisting of 15 print books, and 21 e-magazine anthologies, in two different published timelines of the same multiverse (only one work is in the second timeline).

Assiti Shard[edit]

The Assiti Shards work by displacing bits of the world into other times and places, exchanging it with that which was there. These "shards", according to the fictional universe backstory, are waste byproduct of artworks created by the sophisticated and curious alien race known as the Assiti. The various stories involve shards striking the Earth and timeshifting characters into different periods and places.[1]


Ring of Fire[edit]

The first literary work in this fictional universe was 1632 (pub. 2000) by Eric Flint. This work led to a series of works that branched off this, into the Ring of Fire series (aka 1632 series). Most of the works in this fictional universe fall within this particular timeline. This timeline involves the displacement and exchange of the late 1990s mining town of Grantville, West Virginia with a piece of 1630s medieval southern Germany (in Thuringia).

Although 1632 was written as a stand-alone novel in 2000, Flint had planned several other universes using the Assiti Shards story premise. However, the sensation and interest engendered by the 1632 novel's publication subsequently caused the other works to be delayed while the 1632 series was developed.

This timeline was opened up to third-party authors, and open submissions. These are collected and published as the Grantville Gazettes, an online anthology magazine, focused solely on the Ring of Fire timeline. It is similar to Analog Science Fiction Science Fact, in that it publishes fiction and nonfiction. In this case, the nonfiction relates to the Ring of Fire timeline. The best stories, some commissioned, are collected into the Ring of Fire print anthology series.[2]

All the major novels in the series, after the initial one, have so far been collaborations between Eric Flint and other authors. The series is considered broad and expansive.[3]

Time Spike[edit]

The second timeline opened up by Eric Flint was the one based around the novel Time Spike, which he co-wrote with Marilyn Kosmatka. It was published in May 2008. This timeline involves several different periods in the history of Middle America, starting with a maximum security prison in the 2000s, along with Amerinds on the Trail of Tears, Spanish Conquistadors, a city of the Mound Builders, and some Paleoindians—all displaced into the age of dinosaurs (several different periods of the age are also jumbled together).

Since volume 39 of The Grantville Gazette (2012), Garrett W. Vance has been writing an ongoing serial in the Time Spike universe, known as Time Spike: The Mysterious Mesa concerning the adventures of a citizen of the newly formed Republic of Texas serving as a soldier in the United States Army Cavalry who was escorting the Cherokee during the Trail of Tears incident, a Spaniard serving in Hernando de Soto's 16th century expedition across the Southern United States, and several pre-Columbian Native Americans from several different time periods ranging from the Neolithic to the Mississippian culture period. Vance's stories was reissued as a single volume by Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press in 2018. To date, this is the only other major work that is written in the Time Spike universe.

The Alexander Inheritance[edit]

A novel by Eric Flint with Paula Goodlett and Gorg Huff that was released by Baen in July 2017.[4] "An Assiti Shard transposes a modern cruise liner into the Mediterranean just after the death of Alexander the Great."[5] The passengers and crew include a historian, a Norwegian cruise ship captain, a French first officer for navigation who was a competitive pistol marksman while previously serving in the French Navy, and an American congressman, who are thrown back in time during the period of the Diadochi, when one of world's largest empires was being split apart by civil war.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lardas, Mark (June 8, 2008). "'1632' fans will enjoy Flint's latest sequel]". Galveston County Daily News. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  2. ^ Barker, Dan (May 30, 2008). "Barker on books - 'Ring of Fire II' shows depth of human experience". Fort Morgan Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  3. ^ Blankenhorn, Dana (July 19, 2007). "小説にも映画にも――広がるオープンソースの世界" (in Japanese). ZDnet Japan. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  4. ^ "Publishing Schedule". Baen Books. Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Forthcoming". Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Alexander Inheritance - Official Publisher Page". Simon & Schuster.

External links[edit]