The Change

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    The Change series by S.M. Stirling is actually two separate series of books that are interconnected. Each series tells of the same event from a different point of view.

    The Emberverse series begins with the book “Dies the Fire.” Set in 1998, Dies the Fire follows several characters as they go about their daily lives when the Change happens. The Change involves a bright light over Nantucket, followed by the loss of all higher technology across the planet. No electricity, guns don’t work, steam engines barely work. Every where the same thing. Everyone is thrown back to a medieval level of existence (and members of the Society for Creative Anachronism have a step up on everyone). No electricity, no internal combustion, no food in the grocery stores. Mass starvation follows. Lots of dead bodies, no running water, lot of people huddled together…then come the plagues. And yes, there are cannibal gangs. Everyone is reduced to fighting with spears and swords, knights make a come back. This book has it all. Dies the Fire is the first of the series, and is followed by:

    * The Protector’s War
    * A Meeting at Corvallis

    A second tetralogy, set 22 years after the Change, is in progress:

    * The Sunrise Lands
    * The Scourge of God
    * The Sword of the Lady
    * The High King of Montival (set to be published this year)

    The Nantucket series looks at the Change from the point of view of the people living on Nantucket. The bright light over their island that sent the rest of the world back to the Dark Ages literally sent them back to the Bronze Age…but their technology still works. One night everyone sees a weird light in the sky. The next day all of the phones are dead and no one is on the radio. They send out a seaplane to the mainland and find a Native American village. They are forced to group together and reorganize their island to survive without the modern outside world. They have to start growing crops and animals, and they first have to send out expeditions to England to bring back the seed and live stock. They search through homes for antique tools…the grain mills are still good and they can use the horse drawn plows. They have a huge amount of tech, but don’t have the bottomless pit to draw support for that tech from. For example, they scrounge up old dot matrix printers. They can’t resupply the cartridges for the ink jet and laser printers, but they can rub soot into the old dot matrix ribbon cartridges. Over all, I found these books to be good, fun reads. There are three in the series:

    # Island in the Sea of Time
    # Against the Tide of Years
    # On the Oceans of Eternity

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