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Lion's Tower

Lion’s Tower

January 1634 The lion roared. “What a cute little kitty,” said Rita Simpson. Thomas Heneage, keeper of the lions and leopards of the Tower of London, was not amused. “That’s a lion, the king of beasts. Ferocious.” The ferocious king of beasts took this statement as his cue to flop onto one side and take [...]
  
Margarete's Rose

Margarete’s Rose

“Do you mind moving?” Hans asked without taking his eye away from the surveyor’s transit. The lenses for the transit were hand ground to precise specification in a shop in Amsterdam. The brass fittings were made by an artisan who was otherwise hand-cutting clock gears. The precision arcs and screws came from a Grantville machine [...]
  
Me Fecit Solingen Nicht

Me Fecit Solingen Nicht

1632 September 1 To: Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen Solingen, Westphalia Greetings be unto you, the Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen; Ich bin Meister Lawrence Farha. I head the RAND Group of Grantville. I have taken the opportunity of retaining the Abrabanel family to represent my interests to you. The swords you make [...]
  
Rotkäppchen

Rotkäppchen

Freyburg, August 1633 Julius Halberstadt plucked at the shriveled leaves on his vines. “I tell you, there is something wrong with the vines,” he insisted. “It’s just a bad year, Julius,” fellow vintager Friedrich Beyerweck disagreed. Julius dragged Friedrich closer to the wilted vines. “Look at that! Does that look like a bad year? It’s [...]
  
Storm Signals

Storm Signals

Vlissingen, Netherlands 1636 The wind off the North Sea howled through the antenna wires outside, blasting rain sideways at the shack’s windows, driving droplets through the chinks in the double-hung sash. The occasional snap from the speakers told of faraway lightning bolts striking the sea. Inside, the electric lights fed from the little turbine at [...]
  
The Future Is Where You Started

The Future Is Where You Started

The village of Lasnamae Not far from Reval (modern Tallinn), Estonia Spring 1637 “What do you mean you are leaving!” Jaan screamed at the top of his lungs. Martin did not cringe or look away. He smiled. Actually he smirked, and he chuckled just a little. Jaan’s rants and rages were no longer a significant [...]
  
The Red Flag of Henneberg

The Red Flag of Henneberg

Grantville, Spring 1635 “What are they?” Hedy Beasley asked her husband. “Bed sheets. King size. Fucking worn out bed sheets that won’t even fit our mattress. Just like everything I get to bring home from the laundry is so worn out that the person who brought it in doesn’t want it any more. Damn, but [...]
  
Euterpe, Episode 4

Euterpe, Episode 4

To Father Thomas Fitzherbert SJ, Illustrissimus Collegium Anglicanum Roma From Maestro Giacomo Carissimi, Grantville, USE Second day of January, in our Lord's year 1634. Dear and illustrious Father, Today I finally sit down to write to you. This is the first letter I write in three months and I apologize for that. I hope that [...]
  
Northwest Passage, Part Six

Northwest Passage, Part Six

Newfoundland April, 1634   The anchorage for the new village of Christianburg bustled with activity. The sound of axes chopping trees echoed across the water. The crew of the fishing boat, Bridget, was busy transferring cod to the drying racks a quarter mile from the main landing. Small boats from the larger ships were shuttling [...]
  

Stitching the Country Together: Railroad System Technology in 1632

The American railroad system was, in the words of Jessamyn West, “a big iron needle stitching the country together.” The “needle,” I suppose, is the locomotive, but it doesn’t accomplish much without the “thread”—the track. In this article, I will be covering railroads in pre-RoF Grantville, the immediate post-RoF rail supply, route planning, track design [...]
  

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Changing Times

Changing Times

For more than a decade, I'd played with something I called The Freelancer's Survival Guide. I wrote the introduction. I outlined the book, chapter by chapter. I went so far as to write a book proposal, but I never mailed it. I wanted The Freelancer's Survival Guide to be exactly what it sounded like—a nonfiction [...]
  
The Long Fall

The Long Fall

To Mi Dimarco, the habitat blister’s common room felt cavernous after her five-month trip in the solo transfer ship. She floated just inside the room while Estevez, in the quick, clipped patter of a salesman, gave her the short-form tour of the asteroid mining camp. Estevez ended with, “Those hatches are the bunks. Last one, [...]