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1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz (Ring of Fire) Paperback – August 2, 2016
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About the Author
Kerryn Offord stumbled on to the 1632 universe in the beginning of 2003 when his father asked him to look up when 1633 would be released in paperback. He discovered Baen's Bar, and has been active in the 1632 conferences ever since. He has had over fifty stories published in the Grantville Gazette, and has plans for many more. Although Dr. Gribbleflotz is Rick Boatright's creation, Kerryn lays claim to creating Dr. Phil.
Rick Boatright is exactly the same age as Bill Gates and like Bill has been a software developer since the early 1970s, but in Rick's case a developer for not-for-profit social service agencies. He's been a moderator of online forums as long as online forums have existed. Since 2001 he's been a writer and editor, as well as the Head Geek, for Eric Flint's 1632 alternate history world. He also held the Head Geek title for Jim Baen's Universe magazine. He is the perpetrator of the annual "Weird Tech" lectures associated with the 1632 minicon and was the creator of Ring of Fire series character, Dr. Gribbleflotz, the world's greatest alchemist.
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Until now Dr. G held a minor spot in the Grantville world, and might be thought of as a sort of blow hard, a lucky clown who fell into a great success. We now know a lot more about the good doctor. We learn enough about his early life, his married life and his career arc to appreciate in more depth just who he is. And who he is makes for good reading.
He has the ability to focus on a project, to think deeply about it and to very meticulously carry out detailed experiments. He has no particular care for money, but has some uptimer partners that see to that aspect of things for him, often to his irritation. At bottom, he has the kind of deep and open decency that attracts people to him and makes his workers determinedly loyal. And his product by and large are of genuine benefit to the people who use them. But what makes him fun is his adherence to a system of understanding the world of science that has its principals nestled deep in the middle ages. He makes sense of science in such an absurd, old fashioned way that we often just smile and wag our head as we read. He is an original.
When he finds yet another way to make a new or improved product-which further enriches him-we are glad for him. We like this guy.
This is a nice big 500 page book too, so we get to spend a lot of time with Dr. G. And not just with him. The book is arranged in episodes, a long series of slightly connected sketches. We learn about the people around Dr. G as well as himself. The scholarship by the authors is just as impressive as the imaginative stories. Clearly, Boatright and Offord have done the brain sweat that makes the inventions of Dr. G plausible.
Most recent customer reviews
would not like it. I found it is a good read with lots of engaging characterd