This is usually a very upbeat column, talking about the great stories in the magazine this issue. And we will get to that. But before we do, I want to take the time to remember two of the Gazette’s favorite authors. In December, right before Christmas, Kevin Evans passed away suddenly. Then, shortly after that, his wife and writing partner, Karen Carnahan Evans, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and she passed away in April. We have lost two of the finest authors in the Gazette, but more than that, we have lost two very good friends.

(Photo by Iver Cooper, 2011)

(Photo by Iver Cooper, 2011)

Kevin and Karen lived outside Albuquerque, NM, and they participated in the Balloon Festival every year. This gave them a unique skill set for when the 1632verse decided that balloons and dirigibles were the way to go for flight. Kevin was a steam-head and spent many years working on getting a vintage steam locomotive ready to run again. He was a fantastic artificer, and over time, became the 1632verse’s Master Armorer. He created the designs for the rifles and shotguns used by up-timers and down-timers in the stories. He got pushback over the designs, so he built working models and brought them to RingOfFireCons to show them at the Weird Tech panel, which Rick Boatright, myself, and Kevin presided over for years. He proved that you could power a dirigible with a steam engine. He and Rick made the smallest functioning steam engine I’ve ever seen to prove it.

Karen was a great writer, and a gastronome. She delighted the 1632verse with bringing modern chocolate back to the seventeenth century. Not only did she produce recipes, but at RingofFireCons, she brought samples of real Grantville chocolate.”

Kevin and Karen were members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Kevin was knighted as Sir Thorgeirr and Karen served as his squire and shieldmaiden, Lady Tyrca.

They were great people, a wonderful couple, actually bigger than life, and the world is significantly smaller and darker with them gone. I am going to miss them dreadfully, and I will miss the novels and stories they never got to finish.

In Fiction, this issue, we start with Virginia DeMarce’s “One to a Customer.” The play’s the thing, especially if it skewers the pretensions and predilections of religion.

Then we have “Letting Grace” by Natalie Silk. Dora’s daughter Deborah has an invisible friend. She says it is her Abuelita, her Little Grandmother. But Abuelita is far away. Or is she?

Kerryn Offord gives us “The Heights of Beverwijk” about the collision between up-timer planning and down-timer goals. And who gets the girl.

In the start of a new serial, Bethanne Kim gives us “Mrs. Flannery’s Flowers, Part 1: Acceptance.” Mrs. Flannery was a mean old lady. But not really.

In Non-Fiction, Iver Cooper gives us the first part of “Tethered Balloons,” Grantville style.

In her column this issue, Kristine Katherine Rusch avers, “Science Will Save Us.”

In the Annex this issue, we are pleased to present the first published story by Eric Flint’s grandson, Zachary Robbins. It is a delightfully off-kilter fantasy that reminds us a lot of his Grandpop’s “Forward the Mage.”

We also bring you the next part of Edward M. Lerner’s “Ill-Met in Space-Time” about some totally innocent aliens who by misadventure fall into human hands.

So, as always, keep your arms and legs inside the car, and hang on. This rollercoaster is leaving!