The Grantville Gazette originated as a by-product of the ongoing and very active discussions which take place concerning the 1632 universe Eric Flint created in the novels 1632, 1633, and 1634: The Galileo Affair (the latter two books co-authored by David Weber and Andrew Dennis, respectively). More books have been written and co-written in this series, including 1634: The Baltic War, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, 1635: The Cannon Law, and 1635: The Dreeson Incident. 1635: The Eastern Front is forthcoming, and the book Time Spike is also set in the Assiti Shards universe. This discussion is centered in three of the conferences in Baen’s Bar, the discussion area of Baen Books’ web site. The conferences are entitled “1632 Slush,” “1632 Slush Comments,” and “1632 Tech Manual.” They have been in operation for almost seven years now, during which time nearly two hundred thousand posts have been made by hundreds of participants.
Soon enough, the discussion began generating so-called “fanfic,” stories written in the setting by fans of the series. A number of those were good enough to be published professionally. And, indeed, a number of them were-as part of the anthology Ring of Fire , which was published by Baen Books in January, 2004. (Ring of Fire also includes stories written by established authors such as Eric Flint himself, as well as David Weber, Mercedes Lackey, Dave Freer, K.D. Wentworth and S.L. Viehl.)
The decision to publish the Ring of Fire anthology triggered the writing of still more fanfic, even after submissions to the anthology were closed. Ring of Fire has been selling quite well since it came out, and a second anthology similar to it was published late in 2007. Another, Ring of Fire III, is forthcoming. It will also contain stories written by new writers, as well as professionals. But, in the meantime … the fanfic kept getting written, and people kept nudging Eric-well, pestering Eric-to give them feedback on their stories.
Hence … the Grantville Gazette. Once he realized how many stories were being written-a number of them of publishable quality-he raised with Jim Baen the idea of producing an online magazine which would pay for fiction and nonfiction articles set in the 1632 universe and would be sold through Baen Books’ Webscriptions service. Jim was willing to try it, to see what happened.
As it turned out, the first issue of the electronic magazine sold well enough to make continuing the magazine a financially self-sustaining operation. Since then, even more volumes have been electronically published through the Baen Webscriptions site. As well, Grantville Gazette, Volume One was published in paperback in November of 2004. That has since been followed by hardcover editions of Grantville Gazette, Grantville Gazette II, Grantville Gazette III, Grantville Gazette IV, and Grantville Gazette V.
Note: Baen has now published ten (1) volumes of the Grantville Gazette. These use Roman numerals instead of “regular” numbers, and they don’t include “Volume” in the title.
Then, two big steps:
First: The magazine had been paying semi-pro rates for the electronic edition, increasing to pro rates upon transition to paper, but one of Eric’s goals had long been to increase payments to the authors. Grantville Gazette, Volume 11 is the first volume to pay the authors professional rates.
Note: This is explained a bit by Eric Flint in the Foreword for Volume 3, but basically, the print versions were behind the electronic only versions of the magazine. This and several other forewords are the ones included with the print versions, so they may reference things from electronic-only issues of the magazine published before the print version was published but after the electronic version with the same issue number was published. Yes, it’s confusing. Moving on….
Second: This on-line version you’re reading. The site here at http://www.grantvillegazette.com is the electronic version of an ARC, an advance readers copy where you can read the issues as we assemble them. There are stories posted here which won’t be coming out in the magazine for more than a year. How will it work out? Will we be able to continue at this rate? Well, we don’t know. That’s up to the readers. But we’ll be here, continuing the saga, the soap opera, the drama and the comedy just as long as people are willing to read them.
Note: The old Grantville Gazette website is gone, as is the e-arc, but we still have great content for our subscribers at www.1632Magazine.com and planned (soon!) via Patreon.
– The Grantville Gazette Staff