|Publication date||February 1, 2000|
A hemispherical section of land about three miles in radius measured from the town center is transported back in time from April 2000 to May 1631. The town is thrust into the middle of the Thirty Years' War, in the German province of Thuringia in the Thuringer Wald , near the fictional German free city of Badenburg. This Assiti Shards effect occurs during a wedding reception, accounting for the presence of several people not native to the town, including a doctor (James Nichols) and his daughter (Sharon Nichols), a paramedic. Real Thuringian municipalities located close to Grantville are posited as Weimar, Jena, Saalfeld and the more remote Erfurt, Arnstadt, and Eisenach well to the south of Halle and Leipzig.
Grantville, led by Mike Stearns, president of the local United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), cope with the town's space-time dislocation, the surrounding raging war, language barriers, and numerous social and political issues, including class conflict, witchcraft, feminism, the reformation and the counter-reformation, among many other factors. One complication is a compounding of the town's food shortage when the town is flooded by refugees from the war. The 1631 locals experience a culture shock when exposed to the mores of contemporary American society, including modern dress, sexual liberation, and boisterous American-style politics.
Grantville struggles to survive while trying to maintain technology sundered from twenty-first century resources. Throughout 1631, Grantville manages to establish itself locally by forming the nascent New United States of Europe (NUS) with several local cities even as war rages around them. But once Count Tilly falls during the Battle of Breitenfeld outside of Leipzig, King Gustavus Adolphus rapidly moves the war theater to Grantville's south into Franconia and Bavaria. This leads to the creation of the Confederated Principalities of Europe (CPoE) and some measure of security for Grantville's up-timer and down-timer populations.