Eric Flint: Grantville Gazette .Volume XXIII

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Eric Flint


Grantville Gazette .Volume XXIII

What is this? About the Grantville Gazette

Written by Grantville Gazette Staff

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). 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, Volumes Two, Three and Four.

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 Eleven is the first volume to pay the authors professional rates.

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.

– The Grantville Gazette Staff

Loose Canon


Kirt Lee

The insistent man at the rectory door turned out to be George Andrews, Magistrate, so Bartholomew set aside his complaints about the late hour, lit a candle, and opened the door.

"Good evening, Bartholomew."

"And good evening to you as well, George. What brings you about at such a late hour. Something official?"

"Not at the moment, Reverend. Officially, I'm not here at all until morning. Late morning, I should guess."

That was a rather strange statement for George, who was usually quite straightforward. "I see. And upon what business will you be calling, if I may ask?"

"It would seem that I am to take you into custody for transfer to the Old Bailey in London."

Stranger and stranger. "Old Bailey? London? That seems a bit of a bother for a minor Non-Conformist like myself. By whose order?"

"By order of the king himself, it would appear. A messenger arrived with the papers just before nightfall. And a nice set of documents they are, too. Wax seals. Quality paper. The best handwriting. Bound in red tape. All very proper looking."

Bartholomew was taken aback… to say the very least. "Well, I do seem to have come up in the world a bit."

"More than you know. It would seem that His Majesty has a notion that you plot schism."

"Schism? That is preposterous, and you know it, George! Or should."

"Oh, I've little doubt of it, Reverend, but tell it to that messenger. The fellow became quite chatty after his fourth or fifth pint. It would seem there's a larger roundup in progress. Can't say as I have heard some of the names he mentioned, though I do seem to recall the Cromwell fellow in connection with that business about the fens a while back. The messenger seemed to think that some of them were bound for the tower. Alas, I am afraid it's the Old Bailey for you, though. I should not expect us too early, however. The messenger insists on being present himself. The man can certainly put it away, when drinking on someone else's coin. I left him in the care of Old Hollow-Legged Harry, at the inn. That should keep him busy."

"What should I pack for the Bailey?" said Bartholomew's ever-practical wife.

"I would rather your husband were not here at all when we arrive, Anne. Given the messenger's demeanor, I shouldn't be surprised if Bartholomew arrived at London in less than pristine condition. Oh, and the man may be rather disappointed at not being able to take your son John into custody with you."

"What son John? I've no children."

"True, but he insists we take John as well. He was quite adamant on that point. John is named in the papers quite clearly."

Bartholomew considered that for a moment, before realizing that. .. "Oh, how preposterous. Is this about that Thuringian business? What was the name of that place? Grantburg? Grant town? Something like that. Simply preposterous."

"Thuringian business? Preposterous or not, I'd not care to have that fellow escorting me to the Bailey. He brought his own shackles, if you please. Quite fond of them, too, the way he caresses them. It's a long trip, Reverend, and there are more like him at the other end. The man seemed positively crestfallen when I told him you would never put up a fuss over surrendering. That is not to mention the Bailey's involuntary residents with their various maladies of body and soul. I do hope you will be off visiting in the morning. Perhaps we can arrive to learn that you have left for Amsterdam or some such, and we missed you."

"Should I pack for Amsterdam, husband? It might be best to travel light, under the circumstances." Anne had her faraway "making a list" look.

"You'll find friends in Amsterdam, Bartholomew. Perhaps I can find someone to remember that you have gone to London," offered George. "I think I can manage that. Last week might be best."

Bartholomew surrendered. "Pack for Amsterdam, wife."


***

As luck would have it, they got to Amsterdam before the siege began… if you can call that luck.

As ever, the city enjoyed no lack of ministers, and of many sorts. Doctors were in shorter supply. Bartholomew was an experienced physician, so if he could not serve God in one way, then he would serve Him in another. Anne practiced midwifery, like the good wife of a man both minister and physician.

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