Minicon 2011

Snerking the Plots

Dragon Con 5 Atlanta Georgia
Date: 5 September 2011 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Posted: 9/7/2011 1:04 PM
Posted By: Virginia Demarce
Original post on Baen's Bar: http://bar.baen.com/messageview.aspx?catid=50&threadid=80138&enterthread=y#744378

Panelists at the table: Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, Paula Goodlett (Kremlin Games), Chuck Gannon (Papal Stakes)

Present and occasionally commenting: Rick Boatright, Iver Cooper, Mark Huston, Walt Boyes, David Carrico, Tim Roesch, Karen Evans, Kevin Evans [did I miss anyone]

Virginia DeMarce taking notes.

NOTE: The “Points East” panel was on an earlier day. Per Eric Flint: Much to the future distress of many of the Barflies, the Ottomans are going to take Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian royal family is going to flee. What’s more, the Ottomans are going to keep Vienna for quite some time. From a plot standpoint, this is to pin down a lot of the USE’s military power for the forseeable future so they can’t go interfering all over the map of the rest of Europe. A nice ongoing war in the background is always useful.

Per Gorg and Paula: Kremlin Games is heavily re-written from the early stories that appeared in the electronic GG. Bernie’s character has been beefed up; Prince Vladimir’s surname has been changed because “Yaroslav” wasn’t a Russian name at the time, etc. There will be a sense of familiarity to readers who have read the stories, but it won’t be the same. The book, as canon, supersedes what came out in the GG.

A little on the Mughals, Japan, China, elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

“Snerking the Plots” session, Monday a.m.:

Paula Goodlett: There’s about 5 million words in the 1632-verse canon; we’re adding more every year.

Iver Cooper: That count is only through GG#32, so there’s almost a half million more words now.

Eric Flint: What this session is. It’s where he will lay out what’s going to happen in the series. If people have questions about what’s going to happen, this is where we’ll tell you. If spoilers upset you, leave. You’re sworn to silence; snerk collars at high power. In the “Snerking the Plots” session, we don’t hold anything back (presuming that we’ve already figured it out).

Sketch of where the series is now going. GGVI next; coming out in January 2012; all those stories are written except Eric’s; all but his have come out electronically previously. He’s going back to what’s happening with the British exiles in Amsterdam, focusing around Prince Rupert of the Palatinate and his older sister Elizabeth. Some background in the Palatinate. Karl Ludwig isn’t going to figure much. Elizabeth probably will. OTL “Rupert of the Rhine” was Royalist leader in the first English Civil War; cavalry leader. Then went on to be a very good inventor; artist. He’s going to become the new king of England. One of Eric’s major pet peeves is against assassination. An attempt backfires and ends up with the opposite result of what the assassins intended.

Next book September 2012; 1636: The Kremlin Games. Paula & Gorg wrote; Flint had them rewrite; then he edited it. It’s finished and has been turned in. This book covers more time than others. Covers five years on what’s been happening in Russia since 1631. Toward the end, Mikhail Romanoff is under house arrest by a cabal of noblemen who are not happy with what’s been happening. The “dacha” people including up-timer Bernie Zeppi rescue him, get in a big blimp. They are last seen headed for the far east of Russia.

Then with Chuck Gannon: 1635: The Papal Stakes. Direct sequel to 1635: The Cannon Law. Covers a period of about three months. Harry Lefferts on his way to spring Frank and Giovanna out of prison. Pope and ecumenism. Can’t cover much more time than that because the last book left Giovanna pregnant and a pregnancy can only advance so far before it becomes impossible to haul the mother-to-be out of durance vile through something like a small window. The rescue this time won’t be an easy romp for Harry and the wrecking crew; he loses people.

Then 1636: The Wars on the Rhine. Long-overdue anthology. Kim Mackey, Anette Pedersen, Virginia DeMarce. Eric still has to write his story; will do that some time the spring of next year (2012).

Then Eric has to write a direct solo sequel to Saxon Uprising; Mike Stearns goes to beat the hell out of Maximilian of Bavaria. Just about the point Mike has Mad Max on the ropes and the USE troops are besieging Munich, the Ottomans invade Austria. The Ottomans will actually take Vienna. this requires pulling Stearns out of Bavaria. The USE cuts a deal with Maximilian, who goes into exile; his brother Albrecht comes back from Bohemia as regent for his sons who become the Bavarian reigning dukes.

NOTE ADDED BY VIRGINIA ON TUESDAY: Somewhere in here, the panel omitted any mention of David Carrico’s 1636: Symphony for the Devil with Eric Flint. WEDNESDAY: As a remedy, David reports: It's very much a side-show novel, so it almost never gets remembered in the snerking discussions. :-) Time-wise it parallels Saxon Uprising. Schedule-wise, it will probably fall in the second tier of novels, along with Drums Along the Mohawk and Iver's book.

Further in the future:

Toni has agreed that Chuck & Eric will do two more books. One, a direct sequel to Papal Stakes, will shift back to Sharon Nichols and Ruy and the conflict between the two papacies.

The other, which they’ll do first, will be in the Caribbean: 163x: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies. Desire to develop a better supply of oil than they have; try to get it out of Trinidad. Eric wanted east Texas originally; Eddie goes with small flotilla; his young Danish wife goes with him; prepare for a big expedition under Simpson. Problem is that before Simpson can come out, the Ottomans invade Austria. That changes the entire equation and Simpson has to take his fleet into the Mediterranean.

That will be a book with David Weber: 163X: Admiral Simpson in the Mediterranean. We’ll come up with a title later.

Also associated with the Ottoman invasion, 163x: Viennese Waltz with Gorg and Paula – following up on the Sewing Circle stories. Barbie Consortium. Peace made between USE and Austria; basically all but one of the girls to to Vienna for a wedding; originally intended to be a romantic comedy. Occurred to Eric that a conversation with Stanley/Pantaleimon Roberts, suggested having the Ottomans actually take the city. So the romantic comedy gets sort of grimmer.

Eric has to finish 163x: The Anaconda Project (story series started in the GG) before Gorg and Paula can do a direct sequel to Kremlin Games. The politics are going to get very complicated.

163x: The Wild, Wild East (Eric Flint with Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett). Sequel to Kremlin Games.

Someone from the audience asks about Poland. Eric Flint replies: Poland’s going to be allied with the Ottomans. “Why?” Eric asks. Because, for plot purposes, he needs to keep Torstensson and his army tied up with the Poles so he can write a lot of adventures for Mike Stearns.

Someone from the audience asks: what about the Cossacks?

Gorg – at this time, they are vicious, nasty, Libertarians. If you’re tough enough to live with us, you can be free. Eric – think of them as Hell’s Angels on horseback. There were also the “registered Cossacks” – recognized by the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth. Tension between them (the upper class of Cossacks) and the others. They’re not always going to go the same direction. This will come up most in Anaconda Project.

Chuck Gannon – there’s potential for a Casablanca in this. A really interesting city at this time is Ragusa. Had cut, sort of, an independent deal, on and off, essentially Dubrovnik today. Deals with both the Ottomans and the Venetians; exchange and economic independence. Bourse absolutely infested with spies and double agents, etc.

Eric – the wild south and east was really pretty wild territory. East Europe was pretty thinly populated compared to central and western Europe.

The axis of the series Mike/Rebecca/Gretchen/Jeff is moved now to eastern/southeastern Europe. Has a couple possibilities for Gretchen but not entirely sure yet. Mike will be continuing to fight these wars, at least for a while.

Also coming: two books about the new world. First, the one that Iver Cooper is putting together. 163x: Perilous Passages (Eric doesn’t like the working title and will think of something else); how the Japanese end up settling California.

The Japan book (solo by Iver, sort of the way that Tangled Web was solo by Virginia) will come out before the Trinidad story. A lot of dickering involved is involved in scheduling the order in which the books appear. Baen only has so many slots per month; once something gets locked in, it’s hard to change because of the way Simon and Schuster works.

Eric is also doing a book with Walter Hunt in North America (former USA). 163x: Drums along the Mohawk, a working title meant to be a joke except that it got leaked to Locus and Locus published it. That won’t be the title.

New idea floated at Dragon Con – an anthology of stories set in the new world. Herb Sakalaucks’ story; more from Iver, etc. No contract on this one yet.

Beyond that, Eric doesn’t know yet. The New World will be a mosaic with people coming in from different directions.

Switching to another theme. Starting in 1637: French Civil War. What happens essentially is that Monsieur Gaston (one of the nastiest pieces of work you’ll ever run across) pulls off a coup d’etat in Paris; murders Richelieu & Louis XIII. But by then, Louis XIV has been born (legitimate heir; actual father is Mazarin). Some explanation (official story in French history books), explaining just why, storm, begotten. Heir conceived that night. Lots of reasons to be skeptical of it. In the series (Eric and Andrew Dennis picked it because it was the most dramatically interesting) and sort of makes Louis XIII a good guy; close to Richelieu. Goes along with the scheme that Richelieu concocts that Mazarin and the queen have an affair. The queen, Mazarin, and the baby escape from Paris, aided by Harry Lefferts (who is a somewhat darker character; or if “darker” isn’t quite the right word, at least more serious character) by now. There’s a “legitimist” heir backed by Turenne and his army. Then it intersects with the Catalans and Portuguese revolting against Spain. The Catalans basically offer to become part of France under the legitmists.

Combined French and Spanish civil war Sharon Nichols and Ruy will reappear in important roles in the Catalan events.

DeMarce – as a sideline, Henri de Rohan’s daughter marries August von Bismarck (out of Brandenburg, direct ancestor of the Great Chancellor. Here he converts to Calvinism; becomes in the 1632-verse the great defender of the Huguenot cause in France).

Eric and Chuck – going back to the New World theme for a bit, there will be major impact of the revolts in Spain on the New World. Fundamentally, the viceroys are going to have to become semi-autonomous; the reliability of the flotilla will become iffy.

Turenne will win the French Civil War and establish the baby Louis XIV; Monsieur Gaston and his followers will sail across and set themselves up in the French colonies in the New World.

Iver–observation, dealing with New World. Nature of Gaston’s deal – numbers limited in a way that meant that they wouldn’t have the same advantages as the English did in the OTL. Not as great a disparity of power between them and the Indians. Eric thinks it would be interested to see what would happen in the New World without the large English emigration. Chuck – impact of the League of Ostend, treaty by Charles II. Virginia – question about Eric’s prior idea that the North American colonies will become a bastion of reaction? Eric – the settlements in the New World are actually establishments on the run, so to speak, and would like them powerful enough. Will be bigger Dutch emigration, deal between the Prince of Orange and Don Fernando. Suits a lot of people, but not the hard-core Counter-Remonstrants. Walt – you’ve cut off, basically, any chance that the triangle trade will start. Chuck – suppress and eliminate in regard to the slave trade. Eric – has been an overstatement of the disease factors (the whole issue of what happened to New World populations; Numbers from Nowhere).

Question from the audience: What are the prospects of Polish political reform? Eric. Oh, they’re quite good. What’s going to happen quite soon is that Stanislaw Koniecpolski is going to get assassinated. He’s too competent and therefore an obstacle to Eric’s plots; Eric has to get rid of him. Different factions are going to emerge: royal faction around Wladislaw that wants to go absolutist and squash the absolute magnates. Then a faction around the magnates themselves (the ones who instigate Koniecpolski’s assassination because he’s likely to support the king). Everybody’s agreed that Something Must Be Done, but don’t agree what it is. The third is the revolutionaries who want to establish a Polish Republic. The two Opalinski brothers and Jakob (in Anaconda) and Jozef; a really serious revolutionary movement will come out of this. They have to have enough sense to cut loose the Ukraine – to break the power of the magnates. In the meantime, Bohemia will keep expanding eastward, although Wallenstein is going to die fairly soon. Pappenheim, Roth, etc. become a regency council for his infant son. There are going to be a lot of changes in Poland, really big ones.

Tim–question. What about the effect of the Poles’ knowing that there was a future pope from Poland.

Eric – a split in the Catholic Church is coming. Also Jesuits split; The Polish and Spanish Jesuits go with Borja; the Polish Catholic church will go its own way. The whole religious aspect to this is going to get very complicated.

Question from the audience: Where’s the English thread going?

Rick Boatright – wants to toss out the name “Cromwell” to see what Eric will say. Concern about getting Gayle Mason back for radio purposes.

Eric – That’s another story we’ve got to take up; the characters who stay in England. He was planning to co-write it with Andrew Dennis, but Andrew has some really severe medical issues. It he can’t, Eric has been talking with Mark Huston. If Andrew can’t finish it, then Mark and Eric will do it. The escapees from the Tower get into Scotland; get embroiled in a really big faction fight. Politically, there’s a faction that wants Scotland to become part of the USE; Cromwell will make his escape. In the meantime, Laud and Wentworth, etc. are in exile in Amsterdam. They’re shooting for a “Glorious Revolution” throwing Charles and his kids off the throne; put Rupert in his place (see above) as a 17th century constitutional monarch. That is, not a 20th century constitutional monarch. Rupert will have power and use it, but constitutional more like England in the 18th century.

Eric wants to figure out some way that Cromwell and Darryl McCarthy land in Ireland in order to defend the Irish.

Iver – how will the Ottoman empire and its allies in North Africa react to the Spanish Civil War? Will they see this as an opportunity to go back into Spain?

Eric – no, the Ottomans will have their hands full. Tacitly, Spain and Charles I will be supporting them. Gaston will be all in favor of the Ottomans (anything to keep the USE off their backs). Rift in the Habsburgs; Spanish branch will not support the Austrian/Netherlands branches.

Question from the audience re: Ireland. How will it all come out? Eric – I don’t know, yet. Chuck – read some of the stories in RoF III; there will be more in Papal Stakes. Two surviving families of the earls are starting to show up. Eric. Will figure in the Caribbean, too. The Irish will appear, but Ireland as such not yet.

Welsh – Karen Evans asked. Eric – Ye gods, I don’t know.

Karen Evans – Spanish in the New World. By when are they about on their own? Eric – by 1637, all the powers that played a real role in the New World are distracted. USE has little interest in the New World, except for stopping the slave trade. Maybe 1638.

Question. When’s the next Rivers of War going to happen? Contracts for two more books; will go from there. As for when, it will be a little while. Has a new Honor Harrington book to write with David Weber. Sequel to Torch of Freedom, though hard to describe it that way.

Community