Vol. 38, Nov 2011

Read Me First…

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1632 Fiction

Aerial Donkeys
Saalfeld Railroad Station, April 1635"Where is the local?" Karl looked at the station agent, who shrugged. "I don't know, Herr Alpendorf. Reinhardt telegraphed when the train left Kamsdorf, but then closed down the station and went home. He didn't say if they were having any trouble. But if the local's delayed another thirty minutes, I'll [...]

Mitzi the Kid
Southeastern Poland Summer, 1634 The sun rose toward high noon. A buzzard circled slowly over his head as the gunfighter stepped from the saloon. Red dust puffed up from each step, and the sneer on his face was even more twisted than before. Mitzi the Kid stood up from the chair in front of the [...]

Paper Mate
February 1633, Saalfeld Veronika Vorkeuffer stuffed the envelope containing her latest assignment into the post box and smiled as she heard it hit the bottom with a satisfying thud."Still wasting your time trying to 'improve yourself,' I see," an unpleasant voice said from over her shoulder. "It's not going to help you catch an up-timer. [...]

The Arrow
Willem Krause watched the Las Vegas Belle fly over and the left side of his mouth lifted in his patented half-grin. He was a charming fellow. Which was something he both knew and worked at. Krause worked at everything. Very little had come easy to him. His title was real enough, but mostly meaningless. He [...]

The Game of War
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." —Sun TzuApril 1635, somewhere near Zernez, Lower Engadin, Switzerland . . . Klaus Gremminger stared into the lifeless eyes of General Herman Dettwiler and imagined victory. The arrogant, brash, but well-respected leader of von Allmen's small army was lying dead [...]

The Lesser of the Two Evils
The Duke of Saxe-Weimar's hunting preserve"Yuck!" Seth Turski stared morosely into the pot he'd just snatched off the campfire. The hot cereal didn't look all that bad, but the burned smell was enough to give the dry heaves to a coyote. He was probably going to need sandpaper to get the pot clean again.Dave Mora [...]

The Play's the Thing
Mirari Semsa looked up with a start when the front door of her chocolate shop slammed open so hard that she feared it would come off the hinges. Elizabeth "Betsy" Springer's familiar, lanky redheaded form made a beeline across the room, weaving in and out of patrons to get to Mirari's personal table in the [...]

Continuing Serials

Letters Home, 1 and 2
So That the Blind May SeeLeahy Medical Center, Nurse Training Program, March 1635My dearest aunt,I am well. It is warm and we are all fed very well here at this school of nursing. We have received our third clothing allowance. I cannot imagine what comes next after a gift such as that.I am learning many [...]

Second Chance Bird, Episode Seven
Chapter Thirty-Nine: Man DownPam would never forget the sound of the scream, followed by the sickening thud. Her heart stuttered a beat as an intense chill arced through her body. She tried to get up to run to the door but her legs felt like rubber. Something terrible had happened, and she thought she recognized [...]

1632 Non Fiction

Hydrogen: The Gas of Levity
Hydrogen was probably made by Paracelsus in the sixteenth century, and was described by Johann Baptista van Helmont in 1625. It's not only the gas with the greatest intrinsic lifting power (once called "levity"), hence very important for airship development, it's also an extremely important industrial chemical. Before the twentieth century, the principal uses of [...]

The New Royal Touch: Synthesis of Anti-TB Drugs
This "mini-article" is intended to supplement Brad Banner's "The White Plague" article by providing some hopefully informed speculation as to how, and how soon, various anti-tuberculosis drugs might become available in the 1632 universe.The chemists in Grantville have access to only a minute fraction of modern chemical literature. I have tried to reconstruct what can [...]

The White Plague
Run! Yes, run, do not walk . . . to the nearest doctor's office and demand that they write a prescription for a twelve-month supply of isoniazid for every member of your family. Unfortunately, even if the pharmacy has any of the drug, he is going to tell you "Hell, no." He knows just as well as [...]


City Slickers, Country Bumpkins, Ants, Robots and Mutants, Part 1.
City Slickers, Country Bumpkins, Ants, Robots and Mutants. I Thi nk That's Everybody . . . Oh Yeah, There's Goblins, to Say Nothing of the Banshee. It was a place without a single feature of the space-time matrix that he knew. It was a place where nothing yet had happened—an utter emptiness. There was neither light nor [...]

William Gibson saw it, although not completely clearly, this future—this present—filled with self-obsession and knowledge at our very fingertips. I'm not sure Bill was the first to see it—I know Algis Budrys saw miniaturization and small computers long before anyone else—but I know this: When I first read Neuromancer, I thought Bill's future sounded awful.And [...]

Time Spike

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Universe Annex

For the Love of Sin
I rose, utterly befuddled, from my kneeling position beside the corpse. "This guy is completely free of sins, Henderson. I've never seen anything like it."The coroner arrived, and I backed off to let him do his thing. He didn't even acknowledge my presence. Most people considered me a freak and treated me like a pariah. [...]