Eric Flint: Grantville Gazette Volume 24

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Grantville Gazette Volume 24: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Eric Flint


Grantville Gazette Volume 24

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

Power Play


Written by Douglas W. Jones

I'd gotten a decent night's sleep after the hard ride back from Eisenach. Much of Grantville had stayed up late celebrating their victory over the Croats, but I'd slept through most of it. After breaking my fast, I wandered over to the police station to see how the Grantville police were dealing with the aftermath of the raid two days before.

"Sergeant Leslie," Angela called, smiling. "Am I glad to see you!"

Before I could reply, the phone rang and she picked it up. "Grantville Police," she said, and then paused. I listened to half a conversation while she took notes. Angela Baker is a sweet young woman, but I'd seen her handle some tough situations in the months that I'd served as Mackay's man with the Grantville police.

She picked up her radio microphone as soon as she hung up the phone and transmitted a terse message full of the ten-codes that the American police seem to love. The message was acknowledged by what seemed more a squawk of static than words, but she seemed satisfied.

"Where is everyone," I asked, after she finished with the radio.

"Out," she said. "While everyone else celebrates, we work. That call was about a wounded Croat cavalryman who crawled out of the woods east of town. We've had some cases where they're still armed and dangerous, but some died before we got to them. Add to that the fact that the king is in town with his cavalry, and we're busy. What I was going to say is…"

The phone rang again, so again I waited while she took notes. When I first began working with the Grantville police, I thought girls like Angela were menials, but I'd been wrong. Her job wasn't just to answer the phone and relay messages, it was to decide what mattered and what could wait. If something did matter, she had to know who to tell.

"A horse wandered into someone's back yard," she said, shaking her head as she put down the phone. She looked up at me and went on in a more serious tone. "John, we're short handed, and I have a call here that needs attention now. I know you're not officially Grantville police, but could you go out and take a look at this for us?"

"What is it?" I asked.

"The power plant phoned just before you walked in the door. They say they think they might have been attacked."

"They think?" I asked.

"Weird, isn't it. The rest of Grantville is darned sure it was attacked, but out at the power plant, they just think. Could you ride out there and see what's going on? Take notes, collect evidence."

Ten minutes later, I was on my horse on the road up Buffalo Creek. I'd hoped to spend the day helping celebrate Colonel Mackay's wedding, but I knew how much Grantville depended on electric power. In the past few months, Grantville's electric powered machine shops had become the key to supplying the king's new artillery.

It's a three mile ride to the power plant, but even before I got to the fairground on the west side of town, the whole atmosphere changed. Where the center of town was bustling with work cleaning up after the Croats, the west side was calm. I saw no broken windows and no bullet scars on buildings. If any Croats had made it west of town, they'd left scant evidence.

Not long after I crossed the railroad tracks at Murphy's run, the valley turned, giving me a view of the great cliffs south of Schwarzburg that mark the border of Grantville's land. A bit over a year before, Grantville and a round chunk of America from almost 400 years in the future had been plunged through a ring of fire into the center of Germany. The ring of cliffs around Grantville mark the mismatch between the German mountains outside and the American mountains inside. I've been in and around Grantville for most of a year now, and it's still terrifying to think about what God or the Devil did in that instant.

As the valley straightened out, the castle at Schwarzburg and the power plant below it came into view. A year ago, there was just a small cluster of houses by the power plant. Some people called it Spring Branch, after the stream that used to flow into Buffalo Creek there. Now, the Schwarza River flows into Buffalo Creek at Spring Branch, and the village has more than tripled in size. The power plant workers put up some of the new houses, a cluster of what the Americans call mobile homes, but the biggest growth started as a prisoner of war camp just west of the plant. By fall, the camp had become a refugee camp, and now that was fast becoming a permanent village, housing for workers at the power plant and at the new businesses growing up around it.

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