Welcome to the 17th Century! We have attempted to make this thrill ride as realistic as possible, so keep your hands on the book or e-reader, and hang on!

After the blinding and painful flash of light that they call the Ring of Fire, the people of the little town of Grantville, West Virginia had to come to terms with the notion that they were . . . well, not in West Virginia anymore. It took a while for them to figure out that they now lived in a different universe, started at the moment of the flash. Some hoped it would all go back. Others dived right in—to the new situation.

In “Matters of State: The Escape” Mitchell Townshend shows what happens when amateurs try to capture a professional espionage agent, who is bent on escaping the tyranny that England has become.

Bjorn Hasseler’s “Reed and Kathy Sue” is a love story told in letters between Reed, at the front lines, and Kathy Sue, at home with the kids and all the daily strife. Their letters are enlivened by their unapologetic and truly living faith in God.

“The Night Soil King” by Joy Ward and Walt Boyes tells the story of a survivor of the Great Drowning of Men, and his forbidden love affair with a burgher’s daughter—and what that love will make them do. Civil Engineering and revolution await.

Rainer Prem continues his serial, “Ein Feste Burg” with its 23rd episode. Moritz von Hessen saves the day for his aunt Amelie.

In nonfiction, we have part two of Charles E. Gannon’s outtakes “From the Cutting Room Floor.” This is an extremely interesting look at what doesn’t make it into a novel, that novelists don’t usually show.

Iver Cooper gives us a look at “Life at Sea,” which may be different than what you think it was like. This is part one of a multi-part series.

Kristine Katherine Rusch gives us her column, “Notes from the Buffer Zone.” This issue, she reminisces about the future, from the vantage point of a USB stick shaped like Snoopy Beagle.

And in the Universe Annex, we give you “A Green Tongue,” by Frank Dutkiewicz, in which a diplomat must find a way to communicate with a vegetable.