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Grantville Gazette III  
Grantville Gazette III.jpg
Author Eric Flint
Language English

1632 series

The Grantville Gazettes
Genre(s) Alternate History
Publisher Baen
Publication date January 2007 (Hardcover edition)
Followed by Grantville Gazette IV

The Grantville Gazette III is the fourth anthology in the 1632 series edited by the series creator, Eric Flint. It was published as an e-book by Baen Books in October 2004, less the short story "Postage Due" by Eric Flint. It was released as a hardcover in January 2007, and trade paperback in June 2008 with both editions containing "Postage Due".


"Postage Due"[]

By Eric Flint

Note: This story only appears in the print editions of Grantville Gazette III.

This story is essentially part of a continuing serial by Eric Flint, as it follows Grantville Gazette I's "Portraits", wherein Anne Jefferson models for five different seventeenth century master painters as Mike Stearns hatches a plan to count another subtle-coup under the radar screen of the down-timer political opponents with their willing co-operation. As with his release of directions via Jefferson on how to make an antibiotic (See "Portraits" and culmination of the plot in 1634: The Baltic War), the politicians opposing the republic of the United States of Europe and democracy of the State of Thuringia-Franconia have no concept of the attack unleashed via the popular psyche.

In this the third installment of the Nurse's Amsterdam tale, Jefferson sits for Peter Paul Rubens a second time—during or shortly after Stearns visits the "Siege of Amsterdam"—acting in furtherance of Stearns' scheme at the same time, for "the unknown" young master painter-to-be Rembrandt and the resident Dutch portrait masters, the brothers Franz and Dirck Hals. Meanwhile, Special Forces Captain Harry Lefferts appears in a scene suggesting skulduggery and underhanded dealings with a specific reference to Frans Hals' need for money and a Frenchman willing to outbid others in the Netherlands.

The story ends with Cardinal Richelieu selecting a painter and planning to join the parade of states in the new service, despite the nominal hostilities, which makes the postal service a typical Stearnsian attack on the underpinnings of the old Europe, with untold and unexpected consequences for the down-time leaders adopting the new concept.

"Pastor Kastenmayer’s Revenge"[]

By Virginia DeMarce

The story follows a good Lutheran pastor who escapes from a small village leading women and children whilst most of the villages men and boys perish fighting a delaying action against Count Tilly's rampaging mercenaries. In Grantville, his oldest daughter gets swept off her feet by a handsome up-timer and marries a few days later without permission.

With the help of a formidable widow, the pastor plots a fitting revenge and founds a fifth-column that seeks to not only trap eligible bachelors into marriage to his flock's dower-less eligible daughters, but to convert the American scoundrels into becoming stalwart Lutherans. He carefully targets young American men known to be "heretics" or lapsed in their own religions, and indirectly the scheme has the effect of rehabilitating some of the more under-achieving and under-educated American hillbillies into more solid citizens who can support a Lutheran family. The tale is loosely modeled on the Seven Daughters for Seven Sons, at least in numbers, and every couple has their story that spans the time line from 1631 to early 1635. It serves as an exposition of likely culture clash scenario's as the up-timers' social system comes up against a stubborn adherent of the religiously centered thought modes prevalent in the transitional period between middle-ages social modes and the social revolution inherent in modern thought embodied in Grantville's natives.

"The Sound of Music"[]

By David Carrico.

"The Sound of Music" begins a set of stand-alone sequential, inter-related stories (known informally as the "Franz and Marla stories"). The series focuses on down-and-out down-timer violinist, Franz Sylwester, who lost his position with the orchestra of the Archbishopric of Mainz after a rival deliberately mutilated his left hand. Sylwester ekes out a living writing correspondence letters for the illiterate. He find his way gradually across western Germany to Grantville, where he is exposed to modern Rock and Roll (which appalls him), but also to modern musical knowledge from "Master Herr Professor Wendell" (the high school music teacher), where he learns about the breadth and depth of modern musical instruments and the systematized musical theory available from these strange people from the future.

He is befriended by singer Marla Linder. The thread is continued in "Heavy Metal Music" and "Revolution in Three Flats" in Grantville Gazette IV, and the thread is integrated into 1634: The Baltic War.

"Other People’s Money"[]

By Gorg Huff

This story continues the adventures of the teenage entrepreneurs and their families started in "The Sewing Circle" (Grantville Gazette I). This story is centered more on David and Sarah (who sneak in a 'creative date') early in the story.

"Other People's Money" builds a deeper background for the burgeoning economy of Grantville. It seems everyone downtime wants a piece of an American enterprise, and knowing and being able to demonstrate a connection with an up-timer can be worth quite a lot. The story also adds a cautionary element with a sub-plot where injudicious greed, fast-talking, and overconfidence rear their head. The story also introduces Claus Junker, who plays a reluctant role in showing a way to merge German down-timer property law and practices with up-timer expectations

Further this tale introduces the three active newspapers covering events in the region immediately around Grantville, and details their reporting styles and target audience: The Street—aiming for a staid financial coverage similar to the Wall Street Journal; The Grantville Times—which similarly emulates the reserved style of the New York Times; The Daily News—which is contrasted as flashy and incautious in what it prints, but has an editorial policy championing the idea that the death of any up-timer is an irrevocable and unpardonable loss, and that policies ought to be in place to prevent any up-timer from taking unnecessary risks.

"If the Demons Will Sleep"[]

By Eva Musch'

This story focuses on European refugees falling into the safety of Grantville's expanding hegemony. A man seeks New United States medical assistance for the pending childbirth of his traumatized wife. She has been so abused by her experiences during the Thirty Years' War, that she cannot stand psychologically to be enclosed within four walls. The nurses eventually learn that she was once a captive of the Blood Countess.

"Hobson’s Choice"[]

By Francis Turner

This story is set within the businesses, schools, homes, and pubs of Cambridge, England as word of Grantville's appearance in far off Thuringia reach the English academic and mercantile circles. The tale illustrates how thoroughly religion and education were intwined. Much of the story involves real historic characters, and the predominant setting location, The Pickerel Pub, claims to be the oldest pub in Cambridge and is still in business.

A young upwardly mobile son of a merchant named Richard Abell takes up "reading as a student" in Cambridge and soon unsurprisingly befriends an attractive young woman— the tavern-keeper's young, precocious, vivacious daughter, Bess Chapman— whom he proceeds to share his instruction with as the only way he can spend time with her under father's watchful eye. In time, his tutoring of the girl becomes a scandal within the society of Cambridge, which believes that women cannot be educated. Bess's education gives lie to this opinion.

When this crisis unfolds, the city's upper-, university-, and merchant-classes begin to plan a fact finding mission to Grantville.

"Hell Fighters"[]

By Wood Hughes

This tale addresses the concerns of the Roman Catholic Church about the arrival of Grantville and its people. Information about the future, received through up-time publications, raises concerns among the Benedictine religious order about the role and survival of monastic orders in the future. By sending Brother Johann, a German librarian from the region, to Grantville, they hope to arrive at a long term survival strategy and to discern a pattern in the two divergent histories. This will allow the religious community to act and alter their order to provide a secular role and benefit to the communities as a long term survival strategy.

"Euterpe, episode 2"[]

By Enrico Toro

"Euterpe" continues to follow Giacomo Carissimi, a musician who feels compelled to investigate Grantville and the rumors of new and wonderful instruments and music. Carissimi narrate his experience through letters back to the home parish in Italy. This episode is written from 'on the road' detailing an expansion of the party by like thinkers and instrument makers in northern Italy and Switzerland, and details a formation of a company including one member of the party joining a local guild (costly) for access to jealously guarded local quality woods.

The serial tale becomes intersected in "Euterpe, episode 3" with the David Carrico's "Franz and Marta" tales ("Suite For Four Hands" in Grantville Gazette V) exploring many of the same topics.

"An Invisible War, part 2"[]

(Not in Hardcover and paperback print versions, Part 2 of the serialized story in the ebook, was combined and printed as one inclusion in the print released versions Grantville Gazette II).

This important tale by Danita Ewing establishes canon for the series as Grantville's understaffed medical capabilities struggle to create training and advanced care institutions and begin out-reach to nearby down-time communities in matters bearing on public health and medicine. The story establishes the newly built Leahy Medical Center, several different medical field training programs (Emergency Medical Technician and various nursing programs, Nurse-practitioner programs) and outreach programs in public sanitation and public works for same. Much of the story focuses on the culture clashes experienced—including counter-productive chauvinistic incidents from both up-timer and down-timer characters—during an effort to form a collaborative program to train up-time standards trained physicians at the University of Jena.

Fact Essays[]


By Rick Boatright

Boatright's essay focus about the production and use of iron in a modern society.

"The Impact of Mechanization on German Farms"[]

By Karen Bergstralh

Bergstralh's essay on the nature of German farms, the economics of mechanization, and the necessary infrastructure to support such technology.

"Flint's Lock"[]

Soon after the release of 1633 internet buzz on Baen's Bar showed a heavy concentration of surprise and queries because the Confederated Principalities of Europe armed forces of Gustavus depicted in the novel had been given less advanced firearms than readers had projected, the muzzleloading SRG rifle. Once the Gazettes moved from conceived experiment to implemented trial, this essay—"Flint's Lock" by Grantville Firearms Roundtable members Leonard Hollar, Bob Hollingsworth, Tom Van Natta, and John Zeek—was commissioned by Flint to explain "why a muzzle loading flintlock rifle was chosen, rather than the pet design of every fan, requires a look at many problems faced by the Grantvillers and their understanding of those problems."

"Alchemical Distillation"[]

By Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark's how-to essay, "Alchemical Distillation" is a brief chemical treatise on how processes familiar to the 17th century Alchemists can be used to prepare a number of refined and very useful 18th–20th century industrial and final user products such as the analgesic Aspirin, purified acetic acid (from "bad wine", that is vinegar), various kinds of tree bark extracts like the familiar 17th century's pine tar—which have very different useful properties, a transformation of pine pitch into turpentine—a basis of better industrial preservatives—especially better paints, sodium acetate, acetic anhydride (a powerful desiccant that could be used (with a lot of care) as an explosive or explosive primer, and so forth. The essay is written as if a local down-timer alchemist has written the text, but included a lot of up-timer English terminology to the benefit of his audience.