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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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A Great Drowning of Men-- Grantville Gazette #28
Taking a quick break from writing nonfiction, I sold a story to the Grantville Gazette.

It is called "A Great Drowning of Men" and is the story of some of the survivors of the great storm surge and tidal wave in October 1634.

I changed some of the events from the Original Time Line, to account for the effects of chaos theory (the butterfly effect) but it was very similar to what actually happened.

One thing I wanted to do is to write a story where the uptimers didn't figure as characters and didn't look like superhuman never-wrong demigods from the future. I've read too much slush on the 1632 Slush list at Baen's Bar where the uptimers are the only ones in the story who think, who have good ideas, and are necessary to save the day.

In this story, the uptimers just flat forgot to mention the potential storm to King Christian IV of Denmark...they thought it had been butterflied out.

I also wanted to talk about what knowledge the downtimers had...in the area of the Waddensee, from Holland to Denmark at the south end of the North Sea, they had been building dikes, channels, sluices and draining polders since prehistory. What they could do with wood and dirt rivals what the Dutch can do today, with modern construction materials.

And the story and the characters are real. The story is taken from an eyewitness account by Jan Adrianzoon Leeghwater, a very famous hydraulic engineer who was working on building new dikes and channels in Schleswig at the time of the storm.