1636: Seas of Fortune by Iver P Cooper

Don’t think too hard. This book is fun like popcorn, you can’t put it down, but don’t overthink the plot.

There are 2 ‘braided’ stories, one plot with a bunch of shorts featuring different narrators.

  • One centers around Brazil, Nicaragua, Surinam, and Delaware.
  • The other centers on /J/a/p/a/n/ Nippon & California. Maps!


The Good:The Good

  • When the slaves are freed, they are not instantly transformed into noble, misunderstood creatures. They have their culture and continue on this new shore. With mixed results 🙂
  • Not every European is a Christian, thank you.
  • When the Japanese Christians are exiled to new shores, there are interesting cultural conflicts within their own group(s) as well as with the local tribes.


The Bad:The Bad

  • All the conflicts are solved, handy-dandy. Why is that bad? There seem to be no long-term issues between Native Americans and the newcomers. My suspension of disbelief wobbled.
  • When Frauline Maria sighs that her brother is ruining the family property and undervaluing the work she does to keep it up (read, does not value at all), she never wonders if she could do the job better.
  • From short story to short story, information is repeated and repeated. And sometimes information changes. The repeats are because the shorts were published separately, but why the changes?


The Double Take:Double Take

  • The kayak story. Oh wow.
  • The obligatory romances almost never end the way I expected.
  • Frauline Maria realizes that the famous women naturalists will never be born, so she decides to Do Something about that.

2 thoughts on “1636: Seas of Fortune by Iver P Cooper

  1. Is this connected to a larger series or world, or a simple stand alone? Sounds like there was a fair amount of world building for just some short stories. 🙂 Great!


  2. There is an alternate-history universe called “the Ring of Fire” in which a small West Virginia town is moved into 1632 Germany. Some books focus on wars, some on cultural things like opera or ballet, and how EVERYTHING has changed, including ‘future history’ which has been changed.

    Because Kings are very interested in reading about themselves in Encyclopedias. So are scientists.



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