Over the centuries, one small town in Germany has disappeared and never been resettled. Tom, a historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived. What's so special about Eifelheim? Father Dietrich is the village priest of Eifelheim, in the year 1348, when the Black Death is gathering strength but is still not nearby. Dietrich is an educated man, and to his astonishment becomes the first contact person between humanity and an alien race from a distant star, when their ship crashes in the nearby forest. It is a time of wonders, in the shadow of the plague. Flynn gives us the full richness and strangeness of medieval life, as well as some terrific aliens. Tom and Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange destiny of tragedy and triumph in this brilliant SF novel. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
- Hugo Awards
A present-day scientific odd couple who are longtime domestic partners, physicist Sharon Nagy and historian Tom Schwoerin, look into the fate of the Black Forest village of the title, which apparently vanished in the plague year 1348, in Flynn's heartbreaking morality play of stranded aliens in medieval Germany. Most of the narrative focuses on the consequences of the discovery in the 14th century by Eifelheim's pastor, Father Dietrich, of a crashed space ship carrying the "Krenken," horrific grasshopperlike aliens. Despite Inquisitorial threats, Dietrich befriends, baptizes and attempts to help the aliens return home. Flynn (The Wreck of the River of Stars) masterfully achieves an intricate panorama of medieval life, full of fascinatingly realized human and Krenken characters whose fates interconnect with poignant irony. Through human frailties, the very Christianity by which Dietrich hopes to save Krenken souls dooms them all. (Oct.)
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Showing 1-3 of the 3 most recent reviews
Posted August 25, 2013 by Gil , Miami, FLJust a difficult read. Pretentious and wordy. Very few books that I couldn't finish. This is one of them. Can't believe this won an award.
2 . Excellent Story and Well Written
Posted February 09, 2009 by Terry , MuskegoThis is a very well written and engaging science fiction fantasy about a medieval community's close encounter with aliens.
3 . Great concept, well written
Posted January 08, 2009 by Linda , Cheshire, CTWhat if aliens crash landed outside a small medieval village? What a concept! The author not only has a wonderful imagination, but a gift for writing. The alien/medieval plot runs parallel to the contemporary story of two researchers on their own quests for knowledge; all of it intersects in the end, perhaps a bit too conveniently, but that's a quibble. I loved that the author didn't fall back on stereotypes of medieval people (pitchforks and torches!) and also explored difficult scientific concepts in a relatively understandable manner. I definitely recommend this fascinating book.
November 12, 2007
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