Welcome to what might be the best Grantville Gazette so far. In this issue, we have two of the best stories that we’ve bought in years, a great serial starring Sergeant Whatsisname and a short story by Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett, and Gorg Huff in an entirely new universe! We also have nonfiction by Iver P. Cooper, and a fantastic column by Kristine Katherine Rusch.

David Carrico’s “Requiem for the Future,” smashes our faces right up into what the up-timers have truly lost. We have seen them as intrepid heroes, most of them, or sometimes villains, but mostly just people; and we don’t always think of what it would really be like to have been ripped out of your life and stuck somewhere where you will never ever see the family members who stayed behind, never ever have all the things that were commonplace, never ever be able to go back. This story will undoubtedly be nominated for the Best of the Gazette award next year. (Because I’m going to do it.)

In Phil Riviezzo’s “The Sicilian Job,” we find ourselves involved in a no-kidding caper. Albrecht leaves Jan Barentsen’s traveling circus because his sister, home in Palermo, sends him a letter begging him to come. Like all capers, “The Sicilian Job” is replete with villains, beautiful women, family, and of course, what would a caper be without an elephant. Here’s the question you must answer: How do you hide an elephant?

We also present Part One of Nick Lorance’s “Honing the Blade,” another chapter in the story of Richard Hartmann, better known as Sergeant Whatsisname. As the best training sergeant, he gets the dregs nobody else wants, and he also gets a young officer whom he must train. Unfortunately, the officer isn’t listening . . .

“We are living in the future,” says Kristine Katherine Rusch. Even though she suffers from technotrauma, she is still in love with tech.

Iver P. Cooper graces us this month with an article about airship handling. It is a great discussion about just how hard it is to handle an airship on the ground, and how to design a hangar for them.

And in the Annex this month, Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett, and Gorg Huff give us an introduction to a whole new universe they are writing in: the fourteenth-century Paris of “The Demons of Paris”—a new novel that will be published in March by Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press.

Remember, too, that there is still time to vote for the Best of the Gazette, and now, if you would please sit down, fasten your seat belts, and keep your hands and feet inside the car, we will take you on another rollercoaster tour of the 1632 Universe!

Welcome aboard!