Eric Flint's 1632 & Beyond: Alternate History Stories


Grantville Gazette Issue #1 Contents:

“Portraits”by Eric Flint

“Anna’s Story” by Loren K. Jones

“Curio and Relic” by Tom Van Natta

“The Sewing Circle” by Gorg Huff

“The Rudolstadt Colloquy” by Virginia DeMarce


“Radio in the 1632 Universe” by Rick Boatright

“They’ve Got Bread Mold, So Why Can’t They Make Penicillin?” by Robert Gottlieb

“Horse Power” by Karen Bergstralh

From the Editor’s Preface by Eric Flint:

There are four stories in this issue, in addition to the one I wrote for it. Two of them-Loren Jones’ “Anna’s Story” and Tom Van Natta’s “Curio and Relic”-were originally submitted for the anthology Ring of Fire. Both of them were stories I would have included in the anthology, except that I ran out of space and, for one reason or another-none of which involved the actual quality of the writing-I decided to accept other stories instead. Loren does have a story appearing in Ring of Fire, by the way, entitled “Power to the People.”

Virginia DeMarce, the author of another story contained here (“The Rudoldstadt Colloquy”), is another of the authors with a story in Ring of Fire. She is also my co-author in an upcoming novel in the 1632 series, 1634: The Austrian Princess. [That wasn’t a final title.] Finally, her story here introduces a character-Cavriani-who will figure in later stories in the series. (Indirectly he already has, in fact, in the form of another member of the Cavriani family, in 1634: The Galileo Affair.) Gorg Huff’s “The Sewing Circle” was submitted for the magazine.

Gorg is a new writer in the setting, who has not previously been published. He does have other stories coming out in later volumes of the magazine, including a sequel to the one in this book.

All three factual articles in this issue were written at my request. Rick Boatright was the radio expert whom David Weber and I leaned on for advice while writing 1633, and his article fleshes out the background for the radio material contained in that novel (as well as future novels in the series). The same is true for Bob Gottlieb’s expertise with regard to disease and antibiotics. Karen Bergstralh is an experienced horsewoman and an expert on horses, a subject which I find is routinely mishandled in fiction. (Especially the movies-the downhill charge in the recent movie The Two Towers is admittedly a lot of fun. It is also preposterous.)

Ed Piazza, the Secretary of State of the small United States being forged in war-torn Germany during the Thirty Years War, has a problem on his hands. A religious conference has been called in nearby Rudolstadt which will determine doctrine for all the Lutherans in the nation. The hard-fought principle of religious freedom is at stake, threatened alike by intransigent theologians and students rioting in the streets.

As if that weren’t bad enough:

  • the up-time American Lutherans are themselves divided;
  • a rambunctious old folk singer is cheerfully pouring gasoline on the flames;
  • and a Calvinist “facilitator” from Geneva is maneuvering to get the U.S. involved with the developing revolutionary movement in Naples.

Virginia DeMarce’s “The Rudolstadt Colloquy” is just one of the stories in the Grantville Gazette. In others:

In Loren Jones’ “Anna’s Story,” a young German girl whose family was ravaged by mercenaries is taken in by an old American curmudgeon living on borrowed time.

“Curio and Relic,” written by Tom Van Natta, tells a story about Eddie Cantrell before he wins glory and loses a leg at the Battle of Wismar. Eddie learns some lessons in life as well as marksmanship from a Vietnam war tunnel rat who is himself making a difficult transition to the new world created by the Ring of Fire.

In Gorg Huff’s witty “The Sewing Circle,” four American teenagers set themselves the goal of launching a new industry, waging an uphill battle against adult skepticism as well as the intrinsic difficulty of the project itself. Just to make their life more complicated, an ambitious seventeenth-century German blacksmith is angling to marry into their budding commercial empire and take it over lock, stock and barrel.

In addition to these stories, the Grantville Gazette contains factual articles written by some of the people who developed the technical background for the novels 1632 and 1633. And Eric Flint has assembled a collection of portraits of prominent figures of the seventeenth century who figure in the 1632 series, along with a commentary explaining who they were and why they were important.

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