This, the sixth volume of the Grantville Gazette, has changed some since it's inception. No longer are all the stories submitted to author/editor Flint published in order received. Instead, this is a more selective compilation of short stories sharing the 1632 Universe as a common thread. Editor Flint has made a good selection this time, and there are fewer "duds" than in previous volumes.
Since this is anthology, combining the efforst of a large collection of authors, I'm only going to mention the short stories I considered outstanding:
The Monster; by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlet. This is an aviation-related tale of a downtimer effort to build an economically useful airplane for TEA (trans European Airlines); there is a warm underlying theme of romance in this one and develops the central characters very well.
Birdwatching: by Garret Vance. Another tale of interaction between a lonely and isolated up-timer, Pam Miller, and how her birdwatching hobby/passion allows her to break from her remorse and begin to connect with the 17th Century through efforts of the good couple, Dore and Gerbald.
Suite for Four Hands; David Carrico. As always in the Grantville Gazette, one of the premier stories! An ongoing tale of music and romance between Marla Linder and Franz Sylwester; this deals with Marla and her newly formed group of young downtimer German musicians and her efforts to teach music theory in a 20th century mode. A very warm and enjoyable journey, it is!
Lost in Translation; by Iver P. Cooper. A clever tale with a surprise ending. Well executed.
Sailing Upwind; by Kevin and Karen Evans; another real "winner" in this volume. This is a very nicely crafted tale of an uptimer hot air balooner and his wife, adapting up-time technology to an unusual proble, A nice subplot involving a young downtimer German lad as an assistant Boy Scout Troop leader plays out nicely.
Jenny and the King's Men; by Mark Huston was something of a return to the British portion of the ongoing tale--and the efforts of King Charles I to eliminate the yet-to-be conspiritors who participated in his not-yet-to-be history of losing his head. I enjoyed this one very much, and Julie (Sims) Mackay and Alex play a small role in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Many of the other stories seemed to be "thread drift," and got a little too far from the main storyline in the 1632 Universe. Not that they weren't well executed, but I've simply highlighted the better installments.
Overall a well crafted collection, and an improvement over previous efforts. Five stars, and no equivocation on my part. Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it.