aka: Mannington in 1630s Germany
What does that mean?
In 2000, Baen Published Eric Flint’s alternate history novel 1632. Eric lived in Granville, West Virginia when he was working for the unions in the 60s and loved it, so he wanted to show small-town West Virginians making the world better. By 2000, Granville had changed (lots of big box stores), so he looked for a small town closer to his memories and chose Mannington, renamed Grantville in the novel, as his model.
In 1632, Grantville is sent back from April 2000 to May 1631 and lands in Thuringia, Germany during the Thirty Years War. They quickly realize they need to make the tools to make the tools to make the things we take for granted in the 21st century, such as light bulbs and toilet paper. Some things, like drugs including penicillin, are simply too far beyond their resources, including their knowledge.
For those living in the 17th century, even simple (to us) things like basic sanitation have profound impacts. Grantville is very much a boomtown.
Is Grantville identical to Mannington?
No, but you have to look close to find differences (other than names). The biggest is that Grantville has a power plant but no oil. Buildings that are demolished in the real world still exist in the 1632verse, particularly near the interchange of Water and Market Streets. The more time passes, the more the two diverge, of course.
The massive size of the universe requires extensive coordination. Keeping buildings and geography fairly tightly tied to Mannington makes this easier. For characters, we have something called “the Grid” that lists everyone who came back through the Ring of Fire (the up-timers). Down-timers are people who were already there when Grantville arrived in 1632 or who were born after that. The jobs, birth dates, death dates, family trees, education, age at marriage – all of it was based on the 2000 Mannington census and data for people on that census. Names were changed but came from local genealogy information.
“Massive size of the Universe”?
In the nearly 25 years since Eric Baen published 1632, there have been over 14 million words (no ret-conning), 200 authors, 103 magazine issues in two different short-story magazines, and dozens of books set in the universe. Stories have been set in what we know as Germany, France, England, Scotland, Austria, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, and other parts of Europe. They are also set in Japan, IndoChina, India, Mauritius, the Caribbean, South America, Canada, and the New England states of the USA. Eric had plans for Africa, but when he died in July 2022, they were shelved indefinitely.
The QR Code on the above left will take you to a page telling you about all the different books. The one below left will take you to a site selling the 1632verse magazines.
What does this have to do with me, or Mannington?
You may have never heard of the 1632verse before today, but we–the writers, publishers, and fans–have most certainly heard of Mannington. We would love to find ways to work together to promote both the town and the series.