Grantville Gazette V was published electronic format in April 2005. It was the first electronic edition that was not directly translated to print.
- by Jay Robison
Artemisia Gentileschi, the most prominent female artist of the period, decides to send her daughter Prudentia Gentileschi to Grantville. The town has captivated her imagination both because of its advanced technologies but also socially and politically as rumors have reached Italy of the equality between the sexes there. Politically, such a move could be risky, for her patron is His Most Christian Majesty Philip IV of Spain. Artemesia is referred to again in the novel 1634: The Galileo Affair, but her appearance in this tale is the earliest in the overall series timeline.
Prudentia becomes something of a celebrity on a small scale while attending Grantville High School, and joins an ad-hoc film appraisal group that advises the television station. Jabe McDougal, a self-taught video documentarian, former student video producer with WVOA-TV, and now in the New United States Army, is a regular attendee of the "Dinner and a Movie" group and is somewhat smitten by Prudentia.
When the news of the Battle of Wismar reaches Grantville, the storyline reveals Jabe has a crush on Prudentia and is uncertain how to communicate his interest. Jabe is given special orders to prepare a film tribute to the fallen heroes. He mines video footage from his digital "oral history project" records he'd begun after the ROF as a personal hobby.
With Prudentia quietly sketching for companionship, Jabe works overnight to put together a tribute to the fallen heroes for the next day's address by Vice President Frank Jackson, and the formation of the United States of Europe in consequence. At the very last minute, they deliver a VHS tape that brings tears to the eyes of many. Prudentia considers it a masterpiece in a new art form, and does a painting modeled on her sketch of Jabe worked frantically, but shows it to no one.
Artemisia visits Grantville some months later and sees the painting done by her daughter, depicting the videographer intently at work behind computer workstations and monitors. Artemisia decides her daughter is continuing the family tradition, being the first artist in the third generation.
"Ounces Of Prevention"Edit
- by Kim Mackey
This takes place shortly after United States of Europe Prime Minister Mike Stearns deliberately leaked detailed "How-To" plans and instructions for making the antibiotic chloramphenicol to the Spanish besieging Amsterdam, as described in "Portraits". Rubens and Alessandro Scaglia quickly discover that having the instructions and being able to put them into practice are two different things, and that the necessary ingredients and instruments would have to come from Grantville or Essen.
Rubens and Scaglia travel to Essen, where they meet with Louis de Geer and Nicki Jo Prickett. There, they learn that the Essen Chemical Company was months away from being able to produce chloramphenicol, and that what could be made would probably be stockpiled to deal with a plague epidemic that was "scheduled" for 1635. They are also told that the real key to large-scale reductions in disease-related deaths is preventive measures such as water treatment and controlling lice, fleas, and rats; and that Essen can sell them the means to do that.
Chloramphenicol becomes central to the overall backplot of the developing neohistory and recurs by reference and as motivator in many stories, since any antibiotic is miraculous to the civilizations of the disease-infested 1630s.
A Grantviller arranges for a secret but co-operative production line to "copy" his grandfather's old safety razor (stated to be nearly ninety years old), and surprise the 1632-verse world with a suddenly available "relatively modern" solution to facial hair. The down-timers he enlists in his scheme are all sworn to secrecy and located well outside of Grantville, with one producing the safety razor blades, another the handle, a others shaving consumables such as the shaving mugs, scented shaving soap, shaving brushes, cologne, after-shave and similar toiletries. The story also introduces modern advertising and the technology of electro-plating to the emerging modern Europe of the neohistory, because the safety razor produced is gold plated (Chrome being hard to come by as it hasn't yet been isolated as an element or ore).
The end of the story pays tribute to the decades-long billboard advertising campaign for Burma-Shave that formerly lined American motorways. The style presents a typical short ad of couplets, revealed one line at a time on a series of signs, with the signs placed a few moments apart as one traveled.
Note: This story also appears in the print version of Grantville Gazette V.
Set immediately after the Ring of Fire, the nearby village of Schwarzburg is far "upslope" along the edge of the cliff-like ROF formed "wall" nearly three hundred feet above the displaced West Virginian terrain relocated by the ring and consequently, a part of the remaining village now perched precariously atop the new and unstable cliff-face subsequently soon after slides into "The Pit" as the local Schwarzburgers initially begin calling Grantville's lower terrain, as they are looking down into the ominous "depression". The village and castle are sited high above the corresponding section of Grantville and overlook the power plant, which is described as being within cannon shot. Not knowing whether the sudden terrain shift is the devil's work, or God's, and cautious of the imposing "fortress-like" power plant and strange noises and goings-on about the plant, the local Germans respond very cautiously to the Ring of Fire, undergoing their own version of a crisis, which includes deaths and casualties. A day passes before one grief-stricken husband leads the way down into the pit, in sight of the power company which had been preoccupied with preventing disaster and restoring operations, and had been cautioned by the reports of the gunning down of police chief Dan Frost and the skirmish at a farm house involving the UMWA posse led by Mike Stearns.
Part of the storyline deals with miscommunication. While the Americans had sent along a letter written in German by Rebecca Abrabanel, no one in either of the initial parties spoke the other's language. The second American party included a character who had studied German in school, but was rusty, and one who had immigrated to the USA and was a native speaker. However, neither spoke the local dialect, and the locals did not generally use High German, much less the High German of the late 20th century. The Americans also had an English-German dictionary, but there were still some problems since the dictionary used up-time German. Even so, the parties were able to communicate well enough to conduct recovery operations for the ten or so residents of Schwarzburg whose homes had slid down the sudden cliff into the pit. Mark O'Reilly is also able to converse with Hermann Decker, the Lutheran pastor in Schwarzburg, and explain that Grantville, and the up-time world in general, used the Gregorian calendar not for any religious reason, but because it had long been recognized as being better than the Julian calendar.
Meanwhile, the Schwarza River/new Buffalo Creek is threatening to wash out a road and the Ring Wall has definitely isolated the castle and village from the rest of Thuringia to the north and east. The Americans offer to build a road and grant free passage rights to the small hamlet's inhabitants. Captain Franz Saalfelder, the military commander in the castle, begins getting reports back from his scouting parties who have surreptitiously slipped into "the pit", but these dovetail with and reinforce what the Americans have been able to communicate. Additional dispatch riders are sent with follow-up messages to the Graf (count) Ludwig Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, who is away from the family seat in Rudolstadt trying to guard his lands from the predations of both the Catholic and Swedish armies.
Two teenage girls Tina Hardesty and her younger sister Susan find they are no longer able to cope with their dysfunctional mother, Velma, without the social services support network of the up-time State of West Virginia. Velma's promiscuous sexual behavior and alcoholism have placed her daughters in harm's way. They turn to their paternal grandfather, Fred Logsden, who has a partial answer
"Of Masters And Men"Edit
An attempted shooting by her estranged husband makes a woman resolve to divorce him and marry her beloved childhood sweetheart. During the court process, suspicious details of their uptime marriage arise. In the meantime, a greedy downtimer hopes to skim money from the Grantville government with the encouragement of some shady uptimers.
"Suite For Four Hands"Edit
Note: This story also appears in the print version of Grantville Gazette VI.
The third tale starring the characters Franz Sylwester and Marla Linder. This tale overlaps and intersects in one scene with Enrico Toro's "Euterpe, Episode 3", where Marla Linder proves herself to the characters of the Euterpe tales, much as she wowed the down-timer German musicians in "Heavy Metal Music".
"Euterpe, Episode 3"Edit
- by Enrico Toro
The continuation of a down-timer view point story of Italian musicians traveling and reaching out to learn the Grantvillers musical capabilities and especially about the marvelous piano. In this tale, the protagonists finally reach Grantville and meet up with surprises and challenges in equal measure, for they discover they aren't the only down-timers seeking the secrets of up-timer musical theory and construction of more modern instruments. Intriguingly this tale overlaps and intersects in one scene with David Carrico's "Suite For Four Hands".
"In Vitro Veritas: Glassmaking After The Ring Of Fire"Edit
What do the up-timers of Grantville have to offer experienced Renaissance glass workers? New types of glass (notably borosilicate and lead-alkali glass) will make possible much improved laboratory glassware and optical instruments. New manufacturing methods will allow the production of glass products at a greater rate and at a lower price than what the down-timers would have thought possible. And there are some new glass products for them to consider.
"Dyes And Mordants"Edit
Discusses the significance of dyes in the 1600's, the methods and knowledge that already exist downtime, and what the uptimers may contribute. See "To Dye For" in the first official 1632 anthology, Ring of Fire.
"What Replaces the SRG?"Edit
"The Grantville Brickmaker's Primer"Edit
Research shows that downtimers already have extensive methods for mixing, forming and drying bricks. Potential contributions from local uptimer potters in the form of various kiln concepts are discussed.