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«Grantville Gazette Volume XI», Eric Flint

Preface to:

Grantville Gazette 11

Written by Grantville Gazette Staff

 

Wow. Who knew?

Back in 2000, when Eric Flint's novel 1632 was published, who even considered the possiblity that nearly three million words dedicated to a 1632 series would have been published by 2007?

Eric didn't, since he'd written it as a stand-alone novel.

Nevertheless, here we are. Grantville Gazette, Volume 11, our first pro issue.

As usual, stories in this volume cover a wide range of topics and events. Virginia DeMarce's "Pilgrimage of Grace" describes what can happen to the family of a so-called traitor. Even when he didn't think that's what he was. Well, it's complicated. You need to read it all. That story was told as "The Suhl Incident" by Eric Flint and John Zeek in 1634: The Ram Rebellion.

Iver P. Cooper has written an exciting adventure in "Stretching Out, Part 1: Second Starts." This one ranges from Germany to the New World. Kim Mackey offers "Land of Ice and Sun," a story about a genuine down-timer who didn't particularly care for the plans her family made for her. Catalina decided not to go along with those plans and made her own.

Kerryn Offord gives us two stories in this issue. "Bootstrapping" shows how hard times really can be overcome and how good it is to give something back. "A Gift of Blankets," co-written by Kerryn and Vincent Coljee, is the sort of story that can give a person the shivers. What could have happened if smallpox had hit Grantville before they were ready for it is out-and-out scary.

"Lessons in Astronomy" by Peter Hobson shows how a hobbyist can change history… with a bit of help. "Azrael's Bargain" by Terry Howard has our favorite cracker-barrel philosopher, Jimmy Dick, attempting to explain… well, you'll see. "O for a Muse of Fire" by Jay Robison explores the entertainment possibilities available, while "The Treasure Hunters" by Karen Bergstralh shows just would could happen, should someone be foolish enough to attempt to fool the natives of another country.

Russ Rittger's offering, "Bathing with Coal," explores alternative fuels. Ah, yes, in 1632, coal is alternative. Gorg Huff and I wondered one day just how to sell all those new products that are being invented and re-invented. The result is "Wish Book." As well, we're continuing the adventures of Bernie Zeppi, off in the wilds of Russia – which isn't nearly as wild as he expected. Well, some days aren't so wild. Others…

Our nonfiction in this issue covers the difficulty of transportation when you can't just hop in the car or truck. Or even on a regularly scheduled train or bus. Iver P. Cooper covers one angle in "Hither and Yon: Transportation Modes, Costs and Infrastructure in 1632 and Beyond," while Karen Bergstralh covers another in "Adventures in Transportation: An Examination of Drags, Carts, Wagons and Carriages Available in the 17thCentury.

Last, but certainly not least, Kevin H. Evans discusses yet another alternative in "Steam: Taming the Demon." The railroads are about to make a big comeback in the world. Mike Stearns thought that in 1632, didn't he?

An interesting issue, this one. We hope you enjoy it.

Paula Goodlett and the Grantville Gazette Staff

May 2007

FICTION STORIES

 

Pilgrimage of Grace

 

Virginia DeMarce

"They're not taking what happened in Suhl last January out on Johnny Lee's family because they can't. His dad's been dead for thirty years. His mother wasn't from around here to start with and she moved back to Ohio after a while. Mary Fern – that's his sister, you probably never met her – married one of the Collins boys after she graduated from college and last I heard, they were living in Michigan. You could ask Sandra, I suppose, or Gayleen or Robyn or Samantha, where Ricky and Mary Fern were living, but I don't see what good it would do. It wouldn't bring her back to Grantville to take some of the heat off Kamala."

Cora Ennis plopped five cups of coffee down on the table at the City Hall Cafe and Coffee House, which had only had "and Coffee House" added since the Nasi family had succeeded in importing coffee beans, while she talked. Before the Ring of Fire, it had been a plain sandwich shop. "But anyway, I think it's a shame. Johnny Lee Horton wasn't the most popular teacher at the high school. Maybe he was the least popular one, but he wasn't the worst one. He made the kids learn the stuff, and he commuted to Fairmont State for years to get his master's in math education, all at his own expense. If you ask me, they should have left him at the school teaching. But they wanted to assign him to Greg Ferrara's 'Manhattan Project' and that meant he had to go into the army, and they couldn't get along, Greg and Johnny Lee, which anyone who knew the two of them could have told Mike Stearns ahead of time."

"Cora," Ned Paxton started a little reproachfully.

The interruption wasn't enough to stop her. "But by then he was in the army and the army, even our little army that we've put together since the Ring of Fire, is like that story they taught us in school about the kid who stuck his hand in a jar and picked up so many marbles he couldn't get it out again, but was too stubborn to let go of some of them and his hand rotted off or some such. I knew there was a moral to that story. Maybe that's why it was in the book in he first place. So instead of discharging Johnny Lee, Frank Jackson sent him off to Suhl to pretend to be a soldier, which certainly wasn't any of Kamala's doing."

She turned her head toward P.H. Johnson. "And that's what I was talking about to start with, Henry. I know you covered up what those boys were doing to Shaun at the pool on Memorial Day weekend. Don't blame you for wanting to avoid publicity. No point in making a bad situation worse. They were just kids themselves, and at least you and your JROTC put a stop to that." Cora wiped a little coffee that she had spilled on her hand off on the towel she was wearing as an apron.


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