Welcome, my friends, to another ride through the magical wormhole we call the Grantville Gazette. Be prepared! Look carefully, because things in an alternate universe aren’t always what they seem.

In this issue, we have Alyse Glaser proving that a woman can always do a man’s job in “WWJD is the Wrong Question.” And in the first of his two pieces in this issue, “Quelles Misérables,” David Carrico writes of the impact of the works of Victor Hugo and how Cardinal Richelieu reacts.

Terry Howard and Thomas Hare concoct a “flying ace” story as the French, who have no idea what they are doing, try to build a working heavier-than-air craft. Maybe it will fly. Maybe it won’t. “Air France” is a great story about those magnificent men in their flying machines.

In his second piece, David Carrico carries on his “Letters to Gronow” in the fifth installment. Will Phillip actually sell a story to Gronow?

In our Nonfiction section, Iver Cooper continues his series on weather, “Fair or Foul, Part Three” with a discussion of meteorology, and how instruments might be made to conduct meteorological analyses.

In “Notes from the Buffer Zone,” Kristine Katherine Rusch gives us a column about the future that didn’t come, and the one that did. Mid-Century Modern? What?

Bjorn Hasseler, our nifty managing editor, wrote a short piece announcing the start of the Best of 2017 contest. This will be the second year we’ve held a contest, and we were pleased to see that the first year produced an excellent winner—”The Winter Canvas: a Daniel Block Story” by Robert Waters and Meriah Crawford. Pick your nominees and get them in. The minicon is early this coming year, and that’s when we make the choices.

In our Time Spike department, David Dove deals with the issue of what to do with an unemployed car thief—or rather, what kind of trouble can an unemployed car thief get into in the Cretaceous Era? It’s some fun with a serious side.

And in the Universe Annex, we present “The Touch of Iron” by Steve Quinn. I get to see the stories first, of course, and I think this one is a sure nominee for Best of 2017.

So, buckle your seat belts, and hold on tight. This train is leaving the station . . . now.