1000 Years Into The Past

 

Michael and Melanie Anderle are truckers, team driving with their twelve-year-old daughter Shane along. At a truck stop they are asked to carry a sensor package measuring time distortions. They accept, to find themselves 1000 years in the past shortly after taking it.

An Angel Called Peterbilt, by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, and Paula Goodlett, begins a new strand in Flint’s Assiti Shards series opened by his novel “1632.” Six Americans from today’s Midwest find themselves in Central Illinois 1000 years or so before their day started.

They are in the era of the Mound Builders. The Anderles find Alyssa Jefferson, her two children, and the corpse of George Dawes with them. (He was killed by the time transition.) The Anderles and Jeffersons decide to stick together.

For resources they have the Anderle’s Peterbuilt tractor, a trailer filled with diesel and gasoline they were hauling, Dawes’s pickup truck and what is in it, and part of a country store and its contents.  No one was in the country store.

It is a standard opening to a new cycle in the Assiti Shards series. Put some folks and what they have with them in the far past with the resources available. It was the West Virginia town of Grantville in the original novel, and a high security prison and a cruise ship in two other cycles.

This novel initially follows that pattern.. The six up-timers soon determine where and when they are. (Jefferson, a chemist has some knowledge of astronomy.) They make contact with the locals, tenth-century Indians ally with some. (When you arrive in a massive tractor-trailer the locals think is a demon, the locals want it on their side. Then the two groups start assimilating.)

There are the usual bumps. The up-timers’ knowledge threatens the local Powers That Be. Knowledge is power, and TPTB realize the new knowledge could overthrow them. The locals’ religion includes human sacrifice. The up-timers introduce the locals to Christianity to eliminate human sacrifice. This further threatens TPTB. They use sacrifice for control.

This series adds one new twist: communications with uptime. The tracker they carried provides a link with their future. It has been 25 years since Grantville when this story starts. Scientists were studying these transformations.  An Apollo-program research effort permits restricted communications under limited conditions.

An Angel Called Peterbilt offers a fresh beginning to a long-running series. The authors offer new possibilities, with fascinating ramifications.

“An Angel Called Peterbilt,” by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, and Paula Goodlett, Baen Books, February, 2024, 320 pages, $28.00 (Hardcover), $9.99 (E-book)

This review was written by Mark Lardas, who writes at Ricochet as Seawriter. Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City, TX. His website is marklardas.com.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    If I ever get to Cahokia Mounds again I’m going to look for that tractor and trailer.  There is a good view from the top of the biggest mound.  

    • #1
  2. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    This is another wonderful  wacky sounding book that I’m sure is going to be as weird and delightful as its Seawriter buildup

    • #2
  3. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    BTW the Cahokia mound artifacts of the daily lives of its inhabitants show us modern folks that these poor oppressed semi savages had to spend an astounding 33% of their lives trying to obtain necessities.

    After those were secured, they could spend the rest of their time hanging out with family and friends, feasting, dancing, and playing vid games.

    If only one of their leaders had bothered to create a Fed Reserve or an IRS!

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    BTW the Cahokia mound artifacts of the daily lives of its inhabitants show us modern folks that these poor oppressed semi savages had to spend an astounding 33% of their lives trying to obtain necessities.

    After those were secured, they could spend the rest of their time hanging out with family and friends, feasting, dancing, and playing vid games.

    If only one of their leaders had bothered to create a Fed Reserve or an IRS!

    Yeahbut, what percent of their time went into building those mounds? And then repairing and rebuilding them? 

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    If I ever get to Cahokia Mounds again I’m going to look for that tractor and trailer. There is a good view from the top of the biggest mound.

    Won’t find them. According to canon in the series an alternate reality is created by a temporal displacement. The ability to communicate with the originating timeline requires an anchor at both ends – which was provided in this book, but not in the other three series.

    • #5
  6. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    BTW the Cahokia mound artifacts of the daily lives of its inhabitants show us modern folks that these poor oppressed semi savages had to spend an astounding 33% of their lives trying to obtain necessities.

    After those were secured, they could spend the rest of their time hanging out with family and friends, feasting, dancing, and playing vid games.

    If only one of their leaders had bothered to create a Fed Reserve or an IRS!

    Yeahbut, what percent of their time went into building those mounds? And then repairing and rebuilding them?

    Kill Joy!!

    • #6
  7. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    If I ever get to Cahokia Mounds again I’m going to look for that tractor and trailer. There is a good view from the top of the biggest mound.

    Hahaha…very good.

    But a question to Mark: Was this completed after Flint passed away?

    • #7
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    If I ever get to Cahokia Mounds again I’m going to look for that tractor and trailer. There is a good view from the top of the biggest mound.

    Hahaha…very good.

    But a question to Mark: Was this completed after Flint passed away?

    As far as I know, yes.  Also as far as I know, he approved the plot. Also Huff and Goodlett were major Flint collaborators on the series during Flint’s lifetime. Along with Boatwright they were used by Flint to determine what was canon and what was not.

    • #8
  9. Randy Hendershot Lincoln
    Randy Hendershot
    @RicosSuitMechanic

    I like the 1632 series very much. Not many wrong notes there. And if you like alternative history, I recommend S. M. Sterling’s three alternative history series, beginning with “Dies the Fire.”

    • #9
  10. Randy Hendershot Lincoln
    Randy Hendershot
    @RicosSuitMechanic

    Whoops, four series if you count the Draka series.

    • #10
  11. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    If I ever get to Cahokia Mounds again I’m going to look for that tractor and trailer. There is a good view from the top of the biggest mound.

    Hahaha…very good.

    But a question to Mark: Was this completed after Flint passed away?

    As far as I know, yes. Also as far as I know, he approved the plot. Also Huff and Goodlett were major Flint collaborators on the series during Flint’s lifetime. Along with Boatwright they were used by Flint to determine what was canon and what was not.

    Thanks. I am working my way through his and Drake’s Belisarius books. The 1632 series is on my list…which is already long.

    • #11
  12. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):
    Thanks. I am working my way through his and Drake’s Belisarius books. The 1632 series is on my list…which is already long.

    1632 is an excellent series, but it also has such a large number of titles (and some are duplicates or short stories that became novels) that it gets complex after a while.  One thing I truly liked about it was that authors could explore a wide variety of topics (like medicine, dyes, etc.) that an individual contributor knows a lot about, but the reader might not.  For example, how do you make anti-biotics or the types of ballet in the 17th Century?  It made reading them so much fun.  That and the 30 Years War is a topic that is often glossed over in history classes when it is one of the most important events in world history.

    • #12
  13. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Randy Hendershot (View Comment):

    I like the 1632 series very much. Not many wrong notes there. And if you like alternative history, I recommend S. M. Sterling’s three alternative history series, beginning with “Dies the Fire.”

    Dies the Fire is an excellent series as well.  The Island in the Sea of Time series that is linked to it is also wonderful.  

    • #13
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