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Baen's Bar


Throughout this book you will see references to Baen's Bar and a conference there devoted to the 1632 universe ("1632 Tech Manual" conference). The Bar is an Internet website, a virtual bar, if you will, where readers and fans of Baen Books hang out, chat, and take part in some serious (and not-so-serious) discussions, including Baen books.

How do you get there?

1. Go online and open up your web browser. Type (without quotes): "" into the Address/Location bar in your browser & hit the Go radio button.

2. Sign up for the Bar at the WebBoard sign-in page.

3. Log into the WebBoard and you will see a listing of all the conferences at the Bar.

4. Be sure to read the FAQs conference, especially the "Newbies FAQ" before posting for the first time in the Bar.

5. See you there!

Editor's Preface

Eric Flint

The Grantville Gazette originated as a by-product of the ongoing and very active discussions which take place concerning the 1632 universe I 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 one of the conferences in Baen's Bar, the discussion area of Baen Books' web site ( The conference is entitled "1632 Tech Manual" and has been in operation for almost five years now, during which time over one 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 these, in my opinion, 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 myself, 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 I'm putting together a second anthology similar to it which will also contain stories written by new writers. But, in the meantime . . . the fanfic kept getting written, and people kept nudging me—okay, pestering me, but I try to be polite about these things—to give them my feedback on their stories. The problem, from my point of view, was that that involved work for me with no clear end result I could see.

Hence . . . the Grantville Gazette. Once I realized how many stories were being written—a number of them of publishable quality—I raised with Jim Baen the idea of producing an online magazine which would pay for fiction and factual articles set in the 1632 universe and would be sold through Baen Books' Webscriptions service. Jim was willing to try it, to see what happens.

In the event, the first issue of the electronic magazine sold well enough to make continuing the magazine a financially self-sustaining operation. Since then, a second volume has come out and we're in the process of putting together the third and fourth volumes.

So, Jim decided to try a new experiment: this volume, which is a paperback edition of the first electronic issue, with a new story by me included in the mix. It's an experiment, because we don't know yet whether we'll do the same thing with later volumes of the magazine.

* * *

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. 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.)


—Eric Flint
April 16, 2004


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