waltspicHi, I’m Walt Boyes, and I want to welcome you to Gazette 61, my first issue as the new Editor. I’ve been involved in the 1632 Universe (and was involved in Jim Baen’s Universe as well) since the beginning, and I’ve been a professional author and editor for over 30 years. I’ve had several stories published in the 1632 Universe, and I’m a member of the Editorial Board.

I want to acknowledge the incredible, fantastic, wonderful, best job ever! that Paula Goodlett did in editing this magazine for 11 years. She made it what it is, and I would have had a terrible time doing what she did. On behalf of the entire Gazette staff, we want to wish Paula a wonderful retirement—especially since one of the things this means is that she (and Gorg) will have more time to write for us all. Yay, Paula!

I also want to acknowledge the wonderful job Bjorn Hasseler has done as assistant editor. I would not have been able to get this issue done without him. The job he’s been doing, and the job he’ll continue to be doing for us is that of Managing Editor, so I am very glad to announce his new title. The Managing Editor does most of the grunt work, is almost always totally unacknowledged, and makes the Editor look good. Thanks, Bjorn.

As our authors already know, one of the things I propose to do is to improve the writing in this magazine. With over 30 years of editing experience, I think I can do that. It has always been Eric’s intention that the Gazette be used as a platform for grooming and training new writers so they could go out into the wider world of fiction and have writing careers. This is as important to me now as it was when we set up Jim Baen’s Universe and the Grantville Gazette originally.

I am also going to work to widen two pools. The first is the author pool. I am inviting any authors who’ve never written for the 1632 Universe to come try their hands at it. The second is the readership pool. The Gazette should be a place where people who’ve never read anything in the series could come to get their feet wet, and decide if they’d like to read more of the nearly 8 million words we all have written.

We’ve selected some excellent stories, and some excellent non-fiction as well, for you in this issue. The Taxman Cometh, edited by David Carrico, is the result of a story round with many authors participating. It is one of my favorites, and is hysterically funny. The other stories in this issue exhibit what I consider exceptionally good writing, and based on what I’ve seen for issues 62 and 63 and beyond, the writing is getting even better.

So pass the word to your friends and to people who don’t usually read the Gazette: come and play.