What happens when the seventeenth century encounters Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep? What happens when the Elder Gods descend upon Magdeburg? When literary entrepreneur Johann Gronow discovers the stories of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe in the libraries and book collections of Grantville, he launches a magazine for the purpose of publishing translations of their stories. Der Schwarze Kater—The Black Tomcat—begins attracting attention immediately. From his very first reading of the first issue of the magazine, a young bookkeeper named Philip Fröhlich develops a passion to write those kinds of stories. And so begins the quest of every author—to satisfy the requirements of an editor and make that first elusive sale. As have millions of aspiring authors, Philip discovers it's not as easy as it looks. Time after time his submissions receive a rejection letter from Gronow. But Philip stubbornly keeps submitting, along the way discovering things about himself and the people around him that he never would have learned any other way.