As you can see, the cover is a bit ridiculous, but then again, I can't really think of any other way to illustrate the main idea behind the book and its accompanying series. The premise of 1632 is an odd bird and that's putting it mildly. Basically, a cosmic accident involving aliens causes the West Virginia town of Grantville to not only travel to a province in the Holy Roman Empire called Thuringia, circa 1631, but to actually physically swap places with the chunk of land that the town appears at. Grantville itself isn't the only thing that is transported, but everything in a three mile hemisphere of the town is too. The oddity is how well the people in Grantville acclimate to the situation. Aside from the town's population, another people taken along for the ride include the local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America and some out of towners in for a wedding. After the shock of the event - called the Ring of Fire - wears off, the towns people, led by a guy named Mike Stearns, sets about building a life, including establishing a new government, constitution, and a military.
Especially a military. Did I mention that there's a war going on in 1631? Not just any war, but the Thirty Years' War. As a result, bands of mercenaries travel the countryside, looting, pillaging, and raping, and both Sterns and Grantville decide to take a stand against it. I don't want to get into details and spoil things, but it's a damn good read - I'm already on page 321 and its only a 500 page book! I think I've read well over a hundred pages today alone, and I may very well read a hundred more before the day is done.