|1634: The Ram Rebellion|
|Author||Eric Flint, Virginia DeMarce, and others|
|Publication date||April 25, 2006|
|Preceded by||1634: The Galileo Affair|
|Followed by||1634: The Baltic War|
1634: The Ram Rebellion (Baen, 2006) is the seventh published work in the 1632 series, and is the third work to establish what is best considered as a "main plot line or thread" of historical speculative focus that are loosely organized and classified geographically. It is basically an anthology, containing stories written primarily by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce, although works by other authors are included.
"The Birdie Tales"
Note: This part was listed as "Recipes for Revolution" in the table of contents.
The two Larkin "Birdie" Newhouse tales, along with two flashback vignettes by Flint, begin The Ram Rebellion; all four are set in the weeks immediately after the Ring of Fire. In the Flint stories which are sandwiched around the Birdie tales, Mike Stearns goes back to school under the tutelage of Melissa Mailey. Stearns, newly elected Chairman of the Grantville Emergency Committee, wishes to get a handle on likely complications from the local population. Mailey presents him with several very thick history books on European history in the era.
Birdie Newhouse is a farmer, but most of his arable land was left behind by the Ring of Fire. The stories by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett explore the alien land practices and ownership of down-time Germany as Birdie seeks to gain additional lands. Land sales are rare, the lawyers are in control and there are three general levels of vested interest. There are the owners in fact of the lands. There are the tenants, who have certain rights and obligations over and above monetary rent, while leases are generally for three generations or 99 years, whichever is less. of In between the owner in fact and the tenants is usually a monetary transaction which gives the rents to any number of claimants—depending upon the finances of the landholding family. The claimants all have a say in the farm operation to some extent, as do the occupants of the farm villages, which also have the right to disapprove or accept new co-farmers, for the land is farmed cooperatively with another set of obligations and entitlements. Birdie can't just go an buy a piece of land, he has to buy it from three different and diverse groups of people and get them all to agree to terms. As the story notes, seventeenth century Germany was a lawyers' paradise.
"Enter the Ram"
This section contains the "Brillo Tales".
The Seed Savers Exchange mentioned in "The Merino Problem" actually exists.
"The Trouble in Franconia"
With the example of future Grantville, a peasant revolt becomes a revolutionary movement in the fractured Holy Roman Empire south and east of Thuringia while the Machiavellian maneuvers in the neohistorical governments and various field armies now dance to counter-act those aimed at the Americans' new heartland. Up-timers want the revolt to succeed — but also know what a bloodbath the French Revolution became, and various individuals act to help one and prevent the other. Avoiding that path will take all sorts of resources and efforts, and Americans from both uptime and down-time act resolutely to mitigate the problems, use diplomacy to head off wars headed by authoritarians threatened by the new American ideals, and show a deft appreciation of when not to fight and dangle an irresistible carrot instead.
"The Ram Rebellion"
This is a short novel, written by Flint and DeMarce, in which the events in "The Trouble in Franconia" come to a head. The team of Noelle Murphy and Eddie Junker plays a significant role, as does the team of auditors consisting of Estelle McIntire, Willa Fodor, and Maydene Utt.