The Grantville Gazette

The Grantville Gazette (Grantville Gazette I or more recently yet, Grantville Gazette, Volume 1[1]) is the first of a series of professionally selected and edited paid fan fiction anthologies set within the 1632 series inspired by Eric Flint's novel 1632. The electronically published the Grantville Gazettes, which are reaching long novel length with regularity, now make up the majority of the series in terms of words in print. Flint as series owner and editor accounts all as canonical. The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) recognizes published stories within the Gazettes as qualified credentials for membership—which membership requires a writer to have three published works as prerequisites.

Grantville Gazette
The Grantville Gazette
AuthorEric Flint, et al.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Series1632 series
GenreScience fiction; alternate history
PublisherBaen Books
Publication date
PB: November, 2004
Media typeE-book & Print (paperback)
Pages361 pages
ISBN0-7434-8860-1
OCLC57403208
Preceded byRing of Fire (anthology)
and 1633 (novel) 
Followed byGrantville Gazette II
and 1634: The Galileo Affair (novel) 

Series premise

The first novel, 1632 and resultant 1632 series share a common theme, which is to ask the "What if?" questions common to and characteristic of the science fiction genre: "What if a mysterious cosmic event occurred which juxtaposed the location of a whole populated region of West Virginia with a matching portion of early modern Germany?" Flint added the additional query to his premise: "What if the two places also switched their respective places in time so that the region from our here-now traveled back in space-time to the land and peoples of 369 years ago?" The series lands a fictional town of about 3,000 people (Grantville, West Virginia) in Germany amidst the chaos and disorders of the Thirty Years War.

Story synopses

"Portraits"

by Eric Flint

The story deals with the decision to smuggle information about antibiotics to hostile forces besieging Amsterdam, where Rebecca Stearns is trapped. It features Anne Jefferson, introduced in S. L. Viehl's Ring of Fire short story "A Matter of Consultation". As well as presenting the moral and ethical issues implicit in aiding the enemy, the story focuses heavily on artist and diplomat Peter Paul Rubens, whose portrait of Jefferson forms the book's cover art. The events of this story are referenced in 1634: The Baltic War and other works in the series.

"Anna's Story"

by Loren Jones

The story focus on the farmer girl, Anna Braun, who fled from mercenaries that bowled over Police Chief Dan Frost and signaled the arrival of conflict and war at the opening of 1632. It is a poignant story that was just barely cut from Ring of Fire according to Flint in the forward, mainly because Mr. Jones already had another tale in the collection, but also because of space considerations—Ring of Fire is nearly 800 pages. The story also turns to the task of elaborating on her family's fate, and introduces a lovable if idiosyncratic farmer who finds a new family this side of the Ring of Fire.

"Curio and Relic"

by Tom Van Natta

The story centers on Paul Santee, a reclusive Vietnam War veteran and gun collector, who lives isolated on the outskirts of Grantville. Set in the weeks immediately after the Ring of Fire, Santee remains unaware of his current situation until being met by Eddie Cantrell, one of several outreach workers combing the remote regions around Grantville to make sure everyone is informed about the Grantville Emergency Committee's edicts, and soliciting resources for the community. Furthermore, Santee learns that Frank Jackson wants him to join Grantville's army as a trainer of cadre, as he has more combat and years of general military experience than everyone else in town put together. Initially Santee flatly refuses to reenter military service.

Reality intrudes when a band of men ransacks his remote cabin, forcing Santee to realize just how much times have changed and that he is now dependent upon others. He takes a position under Jackson and with the assistance of Eddie Cantrell begins to collect and organize the spare arms in the city, organizes an ammunition reloading program and trains residents who need help learning how to use their weapons. Going out with Cantrell to test fire and evaluate different load combinations in the three calibers selected for use by the New United States Army, the two stumble upon and combat brigands raiding a nearby farm. The down-timer Germans had chopped down several trees behind the battlefield of the Battle of the Crapper to gauge and evaluate the penetration power of the Grantvillers' firearms, and used the knowledge to create an armored (timberclad) wagon. Under fire from Santee and Cantrell, eight of the rogue ex-mercenaries use the timberclad wagon to begin to close on the position of the two Americans. Realizing their bullets will not penetrate, a wounded Santee bravely orders Cantrell to return to the arsenal and return with an elephant gun while he holds them in check himself. Santee and Cantrell managed to eliminate the brigands with the elephant gun. At the end, Santee agrees to become an unofficial advisor to the military trainers.

"The Sewing Circle"

by Gorg Huff

"The Sewing Circle" takes a canonical look at the meshing of the resource limited 'New United States' with the extant economy of war torn central Germany. 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. Armed with a father who has become part of Grantville's Finance Subcommittee the one girl has a dinner conversation involving "Federal Reserve [Bank] Fairies", who magically make more money and regulate the economy.

Another part is to convince the Germans and all the other down-timers that they are real, because they perform a very important function and it only works really well if most people believe in them.

Grantville, newly arrived in 1631 has some fast talking to do to have its money stand up and be negotiable specie. On thing which is surprisingly salable is things with plastics, particularly dolls that a rich nobleman might buy a favorite daughter.

Soon after, the four Junior High classmates, meet along the banks of a creek. Two, Brent and Trent Partow, are twin brothers, are mechanically inclined and the fourth, David Bartley, is smitten by the lass, the carrot-topped Sarah, who pines for one of the twins. Just to add more angst to David's life, his mother is something of an overprotective loser and his father has long departed for greener pastures—and went back to his wife. The four kids realize resources are very limited, manpower is short, and that gearing down is absolutely necessary from the very beginning.

The kids' problems are just beginning. While Mrs. Higgin's Singer is nearly 100 years old, the gap between early 20th century and 17th century manufacturing technology and techniques is vast—particularly for under-experienced would-be twin engineers not yet in high school. David turns out to have a head for organizing and management, and keeps the project moving forward with an able assist from his Grandma Higgins. She eventually bankrolls a big piece of the company, while David figures out how to make it pay. Sarah has a grasp of finance beyond her years, and teams with David—which he minds, not a bit.

"The Rudolstadt Colloquy"

by Virginia DeMarce

This story is Virginia DeMarce's second fictional foray in the series and like "Biting Time", the tale establishes some important canonical underpinnings that draw references, or are extrapolated upon in the various novel sequels. This protestant (Lutheran) Colloquy is mentioned often in the first printed major works of the series, and occasionally crops up in the thirteen Gazettes existing solely as e-published works. The Rudolstadt Colloquy as historical background sits at the heart and center of the religious strife between Protestant sects which in our time line continued to divide the new churches even as they collectively battled the Roman Catholic dominated world and that church's Counter-reformation, the effort to reimpose a uniform religion on all of Europe.

At the heart of the matter is the strongly held belief in the authoritarian philosophy, embraced by the nobility and churchmen alike, that a state cannot not stand without a uniform official religion. "From the perspective of the princes, religion was important in the 'here and now' because religion here and now was a way of making the population behave." To the modern mind, this seems a curious and perhaps incomprehensible point of view, but the modern man does not embrace the concept either that one class of people was explicitly set above all others and destined from birth to rule. Further, the position and power of all nobles draws from that belief and that of kings being the chosen and anointed protectors of both church and state, regardless of how well or poorly they conduct the business of taking care of the populace at large. Considered in that light, the colloquy and its results will be a major supporting event in the overall 1632 theme championing religious toleration.

In the Rudolstadt Colloquy, internal tensions within the Lutheran community are contrasted and displayed. In addition to their mainstream Lutheran church, Grantville sends representatives from two smaller up-time Lutheran sects, the Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Throughout Europe, both Catholic and Protestant countries either have heads of state attending in person or by proxy by sending a personal envoy to the long theological debate, which is chaired by the Graf Ludwig Guenther, Count of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt happen to be among the very nearest neighbors to Grantville's geographic position. Schwarzburg, in the fictional canon, in fact is so close that the Ring of Fire (ROF) transfer of territory between space-time continuums actually cuts through the outlying houses of the town, and several more that did not go to West Virginia in OTL 2000 AD, slid down the "newly formed" destabilized cliff that resulted immediately after the ROF, as is told in detail in "Schwarza Falls". Towards the end of the novel 1634: The Baltic War, Gustavus has charged Graf Ludwig with chairing and adjudicating an even larger colloquy in the city of Magdeburg (The Magdeburg Colloquy) to settle larger issues within his new realm.

Fact Essays

"They've Got Bread Mold, So Why Can't They Make Penicillin?"

by Robert Gottlief

A fact article about the problems and process of identifying and culturing the correct types of mold, and processing and purifying penicillin extract. A story in a later volume includes use of crude penicillin extract, based on real historical uses, and some culture samples found in a lab refrigerator at Grantville High School.

"Horse Power"

Karen Bergstralh

This essay by Karen Bergstralh discusses horse breeds and their characteristics common and uncommon to the era of the Thirty Years' War and Europe. Work output, rates and other parameters such as strength, endurance, size, and so forth. Riding horses and even the gaits and tendencies of breeds for this or that trait are discussed in some depth.

Literary significance and reception

A reviewer for the Transcendental Basenji Sermons and Enlightenment that this anthology would "almost certain to appeal to (mostly US) SF fans" since the "central conceit is that small town rural ‘plain folks’ Americans uniquely possess all the skills of their ancestors, the American sense of ‘can do’ to be able to survive and prosper in the alien environment of Europe in 1632, as well as possessing intact the political principals of their idealized 1776 fore bearers."[2]

The Grantville Gazette was listed on the Locus (magazine) Paperback Bestsellers List for two months in a row during 2005, topping at number 9.[3][4]

References

  1. ^ web publisher webscriptions.net and the author/editors 1632.org website and the grantvillegazettes.com all use the volume as an volume indexed name form. The Grantville Gazette was the title of the first
  2. ^ Dalrymple, Garry (May–June 2011). "ISBN 0-7434-8860-1, The Grantville Gazette" (PDF). Transcendental Basenji Sermons and Enlightenment. pp. 26–28.
  3. ^ "Locus Bestsellers, February 2005". Locus. February 2005.
  4. ^ "Locus Bestsellers, March 2005". Locus. March 2005.

External links

1632 series

The 1632 series, also known as the 1632-verse or Ring of Fire series, is an alternate history book series and sub-series created, primarily co-written, and coordinated by Eric Flint and published by Baen Books. The series is set in 17th-century Europe, in which the small fictional town of Grantville, West Virginia, in the year 2000 was sent to the past in central Germany in the year 1631, during the Thirty Years' War.

As of 2015, the series has five published novels propelling the main plot and over ten published novels moving several subplots and threads forward. The series also includes fan-written, but professionally edited, collaborative material which are published in bi-monthly magazine titled The Grantville Gazettes and some collaborative short fictions.

In terms of the history of Time Travel literature, the 1632 series can be considered an extension and modification of the basic idea dating back to Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", in which a 19th-century American engineer, finding himself in 5th-century England, is able—all by himself—to introduce into the past society the full range of his time's technologies. In Flint's version, a whole modern community is transplanted into the past, in possession of a considerable amount of the material and written resources of modern society—making their success in changing the past more plausible.

Assiti Shards series

The Assiti Shards series is a fictional universe invented by Eric Flint. It is a shared universe open to authors of many calibre levels, concerning several alternate history worlds, related to a prime timeline. The defining characteristic of the fictional universe is the existence of the "Assiti Shards effect", and the impact that strikes by Assiti Shards have on characters in the stories. The series is rather large and expansive, having started publication in 2000, and as of 2008, consisting of 15 print books, and 21 e-magazine anthologies, in two different published timelines of the same multiverse (only one work is in the second timeline).

Baen Books

Baen Books is an American publishing house for science fiction and fantasy. In science fiction, it emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, and military science fiction. The company was established in 1983 by science fiction publisher and editor Jim Baen. After his death in 2006, he was succeeded as publisher by long-time executive editor Toni Weisskopf.

Clifford D. Simak

Clifford Donald Simak (; August 3, 1904 – April 25, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. He won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award. The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master, and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Eric Flint

Eric Flint (born February 6, 1947) is an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures. His works have been listed on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Locus Magazine best seller lists.

Eric Flint bibliography

This is complete list of works by American science fiction and historical fiction author Eric Flint.

Eric S. Brown

Eric S. Brown is an American-born novelist known for writing science fiction/horror novels. He has written nearly forty novels and publishes most of them with Severed Press. He began his writing career with short "zombie" horror stories, and then wrote his first full-length novel in 2003, entitled "Dying Days". It was followed by the "Queen" series, and then "Cowboys vs. Zombies". He now writes creature novels, post-apocalyptic fiction, and space-marine novels.

Grantville Gazette II

Grantville Gazette II is the third collaborative anthology published in print set in the 1632-verse shared universe in what is best regarded as a canonical sub-series of the popular alternate history that began with the February 2000 publication of the hardcover novel 1632 by author-historian Eric Flint. Baen Books and Flint decline the distinction, counting this book as the sixth published work. Overall it is also the third anthology in printed publication in the atypical series which consists of a mish-mash of main novels and anthologies produced under popular demand after publication of the initial novel which was written as a stand-alone work.

Grantville Gazette III

The Grantville Gazette III is the third collaborative and the fourth anthology in the 1632 series edited by the series creator, Eric Flint. It was published as an e-book by Baen Books in October 2004. It was released as a hardcover in January 2007, and trade paperback in June 2008 with both editions containing Flint's story "Postage Due".

Legal issues with fan fiction

Legal issues with fan fiction arise due to the prospect that a piece of fan fiction may constitute a derivative work, most prominently (but not exclusively) under United States copyright law.

List of 1632 characters (fictional)

This list is based on the 1632 series, also known as the 1632-verse or Ring of Fire series, an alternate history book series and sub-series.

The list is maintained alphabetically, by last name then first name, but individuals of particular note may have their own section as a link to point from other articles.

Ring of Fire (anthology)

Ring of Fire is the third published book by editor-author-historian Eric Flint of the 1632 series, an alternate history series begun in the novel 1632 (February 2000). The Ring of Fire is both descriptive of the cosmic event as experienced by the series' characters, but also is at times used as the name for the series itself. The series is set in war-torn Europe during the middle of the Thirty Years' War.

Ring of Fire is a collection of short stories —half by a variety of established science fiction authors invited into the setting, half fan-fiction by enthusiasts who helped take the stand-alone novel into a series numbering works in the tens of books; all set in the universe initially created by Flint's science fiction novel 1632 written as a stand-alone novel and turned into a series by popular demand. Unlike most short works in a novel created series, the stories within are important milieu shaping creations—story threads which are formalized into the series canon for they helped establish it, and act as a spring board for further developments in the books. Many characters debut in these short stories who play an important role in subsequent longer works.

The 1632 Slushpile

Slushpile is publishing trade jargon referring to the pile(s) of unsolicited submissions to a periodical. 1632 series main author Eric Flint encouraged fans to contribute to the series, several short stories were published in the online magazine The Grantville Gazettes. In the "continuing adventure" of the Grantville Gazettes, according to Flint, the unsolicited stories began shaping the background thought in the series milieu, and the magazine "idea" was born whilst he tried to recoup some of the time costs involved in examining the fan fiction. Also, he judged some of the tales to be professional quality, and indeed, incorporated many of them into about half of Ring of Fire. The flagship novel was written as a stand-alone literary work, an experiment with the new Assiti Shards story premise, and was but one of three such universes planned by Flint in 2000. However, the sensation and interest engendered by the 1632 novel's publication subsequently caused the other works to be delayed while the 1632 series was developed. The other books in the overall Assiti Shard series currently under contract are:

Time Spike with Marilyn Kosmatka, published in May 2008.

By Any Other Name with Sarah Hoyt, first draft completed; Eric Flint scheduled his part of the writing for 2007–2008 in October website announcement.

1776, a solo novel, original name was 1781; production overdue and delayed.1776 supposes George Washington and Frederick the Great are transposed to ancient Rome's Crisis of the Third Century, By Any Other Name takes place in several different time frames including a transposition of the Assiti themselves into Elizabethan England, and Time Spike involves transpositions of various populations into the unpopulated late Cretaceous era (145–66 million years ago).

The 1632 Tech Manual forum has had a large role in developing the overall series as its discussions revolve around the course of likely events, reactions, and developments as the fictional town of 3,000 souls is transplanted into the middle of the religion-based Thirty Years' War.

The Grantville Gazettes

The Grantville Gazettes are anthologies of short stories set in the 1632 universe introduced in Eric Flint's novel 1632.

The Gazettes started as an experiment: a professionally edited, officially sanctioned "fan magazine" published electronically. Initially released as serialized e-magazines, they were later published as e-books (taking a page from the Baen Books experience with E-ARCs—Electronic Advance Reader Copies, which had been instituted several years earlier.) Because the electronic sales were successful, Baen contracted with Flint for more issues, to be published 3-4 times per year (bimonthly, starting in 2007). Each would form part of the canonical background for the other works (novels and anthologies) in the rapidly growing 1632 series.

As of mid-2012, e-magazines are published bimonthly, and six books have been published (five of those as both hardcover and mass market paperback) excerpted from the first 17 issues of the magazine. A seventh book is promised.

Worlds

Worlds is a collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories by Eric Flint. It was first published in hardcover and ebook format by Baen Books on February 1, 2009; a paperback edition was issued by the same publisher in October 2011.The collection consists of ten short works of fiction, together with a preface, introductory notes introducing the individual stories and a bibliography of the author's works.

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