From the co-author (with David Drake) of Destiny’s Shield (p. 760) and a solo yarn, Mother of Demons (1997, not reviewed), a neat what-if that Flint barely troubles to justify: What if a six-mile-diameter chunk of 1999 West Virginia, complete with people, structures, and technology, were suddenly and instantaneously ripped away and inserted into East Germany in 1632? Well, Flint’s brawny cast of miners, union organizers, high-school footballers, ex-Marine physicians, etc. (along with their womenfolk), immediately set about promoting American-style law and order in the late-medieval hodgepodge of belligerent, barbaric, warring fiefs they find themselves surrounded by. What else did you expect? Tough UMWA boss Mike Stearns begins by rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress, Rebecca Abrabanel, and her ailing father—both Sephardic Jews fleeing persecution. Later, after bashing hordes of local thugs, Mike will have to accommodate an invasion force led by the pious and relatively benevolent Gustav II Adolf of Sweden—after everyone convinces the monarch that their womenfolk, though highly talented, aren—t witches. Not to mention persuading Adolf that democracy isn—t such a bad idea after all. Sinewy shoot-—em-up, with pikes and muzzle-loaders squared off against modern automatics and 20th-century tactics: a rollicking, good-natured, fact-based flight of fancy that should appeal to alternate-history buffs as well as military-fantasy fans.