Welcome once again to the roller coaster we call the 1632 Universe and the Grantville Gazette. We are going to dip into the minds and hearts of people like Alyse Ballentine, Georg Nusch and Kilian Albrecht, Yamazaki Genzaburo, and Brother Brenn, as well as Maria Anna von Habsburg, the Wheelbarrow Queen.

Alyse Ballantine lives for horsemanship, for the rodeo or charreada, depending on which side of the Rio Grande you were. We see her as she attracts kindred souls and rebuilds her life after her husband cleans her out and moves away. And we see her take in another stray, from the Spanish Riding School and bring the “airs above the ground” to Grantville. Read about it in “One Woman’s Treasures” by Sarah Hays.

Georg Nusch once did, or did not, drink a huge jack of beer as a sort of bet with Johann Tzerclaes, Count Tilly, to induce the field marshal to spare the city of Rothenburg from a sack. But because of his notoriety, he is sent to Grantville for help, along with Kilian Albrecht, who believes that Grantville is entirely demonically inspired. Read how it all comes out in “Two Drinks for Rothenburg” by Chuck Thompson.

Sean Little writes of Feudal Japan in “Genzaburo’s Gamble.” Yamasaki Genzaburo is one of the least of the samurai caste and is barely better than the peasants he lives among. But Genzaburo is ambitious and will fight for a better future.

The mysterious Brother Brenn begins by preaching that the up-timers are not only demonically inspired, but are actual demons. He believes that all the up-timers and all their works should burn. Joy Ward’s gripping story is “Up-timers Must Burn!”

Tim Sayeau gives us another of his whimsical stories, with a little bit of a bite, in “The Stars Were Bright.” The Wheelbarrow Queen, Maria Anna von Habsburg, Queen in the Netherlands just loves the up-time Swedish pop group ABBA and plays their songs to her husband, Fernando.

Iver P. Cooper gives us another installment of “Industrial Alchemy, Part 6” in our nonfiction section. It talks about how modern alloys are hard—and hard to make.

In Notes from the Buffer Zone, Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives us her column, this time on “Technological Change.” She uses taking Spanish at UNLV as an example of how technology changes process.

In the Universe Annex, Gustavo Bondoni gives us “Understudy Overreach” about what might happen if the second team of astronauts decides to just go do something different.

We hope you enjoy the ride. Now be sure to keep your feet and hands inside the car at all times as we head up the first incline.

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