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"This new school is much more oppressive and strict. I would have to go through alot to create a card club. But I knew I had to, because I couldn't get through a week without playing Fluxx! The second week in my new school, I marched into the principal's office to speak to him about my plan. Let me tell you, he was stubborn. First he said 'Absolutely not!' right in front of my face... Within the next week, I started a massive campaign. I started visiting teachers and asking them there opinion on this matter. Slowly but surely, I gained their vote. I was completely devoted to making this work. I wanted to show other students that there was something wrong with the oppressive system and that something can be done about it. This sounds like an unprobable fiction story, but this is what I did. Miraculously, the principal called me down to the office during literature the next week. He told me with a smile on his face that the teachers had agreed to allow the club. He also added that they thought that I was quite a character... I was just glad I got this club going." -- Rabbit report sent in by Maxx Cho

Thursday, October 9th, 2003
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Carta Mundi Saves the Day!

The new Werewolf T-shirts arrived, and as you can see from this photo of Liam, they look awesome! Remember, these shirts are a Dangling Carrot exclusive, so if you haven't signed up as an official Mad Lab Rabbit yet, you might want to do so now! In other new product news, we're getting ready to publish IceTowers as the second in our line of boxed Icehouse games... scroll down for a glimpse inside.

And then, there's Stoner Fluxx...

You may have heard that we're moving forward with the publication of Stoner Fluxx. The short version of the production report is that we've given the job to our usual card printer, Carta Mundi, so we're confident the cards will be of the usual high quality and delivered promptly after completion from the plant in Tennessee where they'll be printed.

In the long version of the story, we very nearly gave the job to someone else, and came to our senses at the last minute. Here's what happened: Even though we've been very pleased with Carta Mundi over the years, other printing companies are increasingly trying to get a piece of our business, and sometimes it's hard to say no to them, particularly when money talks. One such company was promising to deliver finished Stoner Fluxx decks for the same price Carta Mundi gives us per deck, even though the size of the print run was to be only a third that of the big print runs we've been doing of Fluxx (and like anything, prices go down when you buy in bulk). Since we're donating a substantial portion of our proceeds on this product to the drug peace movement, price is even more of a factor than usual on Stoner Fluxx, which made us receptive to this new printer. Moreover, being somewhat paranoid, we rather liked the idea of lining up a back-up printer; we'd like to believe that someday, somebody's gonna mention Fluxx on a talk show, or something similar, and we're gonna find ourselves flooded with way more orders than we can handle. What if this "tipping point" arrives, and just then we have trouble getting onto Carta Mundi's printing schedule? It just seemed like a good idea to be lining up another supplier, just in case. And anyway, the price was better and they said they could get the decks finished in 6 weeks, so we thought, why not? Since they're based in New York, they're even close enough for us to take a road trip to watch the cards being printed, like we did when we visited Carta Mundi's plant in Tennessee during the first printing of Chrononauts.

So while I got the artwork finalized, Kristin was finalizing the Purchase Order, and when she asked to get the delivery schedule in writing, she found out why this new printer was able to do so well on the price: they were planning to print our cards in Hong Kong! And even though the sales guy kept saying 6 weeks was still no problem, when we insisted on getting it in writing, and he then actually checked with the printing plant in Hong Kong, the answer came back that we wouldn't be able to get the decks to us until the END of DECEMBER! This was obviously unacceptable since we clearly hope to capture a lot of holiday sales. They had budgeted for shipping by ship -- and although they offered to let us pay several thousand dollars more to have a portion of the print run sent via air freight, we obviously were not happy about this plan. If you've read our Mission Statement, you also know that we make a point of having our goods manufactured here in the USA, so we were really pretty upset when we discovered that this apparently-American company was going to subcontract our job to a printer overseas. Finally of course, it's rather laughable to think that this company could quickly provide printing services, as a backup to our primary printer, when we'd have to wait 3 or 4 extra weeks for actual-ship shipping.

So, we ashamedly went back to Carta Mundi (feeling the guilt that anyone feels when they've been tempted by the fruit of another), and happily, they're gonna work us into their schedule, with an expected ship date that's more than a week before Thanksgiving! Yay!

Thanks for saving the day, Carta Mundi! We're sorry we ever had doubts... you can obviously deliver in a pinch!

[Note to potential investors: Because of all this, we're now contemplating a bigger run of Stoner Fluxx than we can currently afford to fund, in order to get the costs back down.]

As for the IceTowers boxed set, here's a look at the underside of the box:

As you can see, the set will feature a frosty color scheme consisting of White, Clear, Purple, and Cyan. That's right, IceTowers will include a new color! Cyan pieces will not be available in stores except inside IceTowers sets; however, we are planning to make Cyan pieces available a la carte to Mad Lab Rabbits, as another Dangling Carrot Exclusive.

The top of the box will feature another painting by Alex Bradley, based on my stories about the Empty City. (I'm very happy with his sketches thus far, and I can't wait to see the finished work!) We're finally realizing the vision for the Icehouse set we had back in the early nineties: an exciting, real-time board game played using beautiful plastic pyramids, which is packaged with both the rules for the game and the novel that inspired it. We're hoping to have IceTowers available by early December.


Don't Forget to Play!

the story so far

Thought Residue
"To call the U.S. the 'freest and most democratic nation in the world' strains credulity. As the global community knows full well, this 'free nation' exercises absolute sovereignty over a number of disenfranchised colonies, including Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico -- where 4 million U.S. citizens lack both the presidential vote and voting representation in Congress. And speaking of democratic embarrassments, it just so happens that citizens living in Washington D.C. are also governed without their consent, as they too lack representation in the House and Senate. One needn't even get into the Florida electoral fiasco to see the gaping holes in U.S. democracy. That the Heritage Foundation invokes such a cheerleading mantra about the United States demonstrates its dangerously nationalist blinders." -- Chris Mooney, "We Aren't the World: The Right Takes on the United Nations"

"People in Blue America, which is my part of America, tend to live around big cities on the coasts. People in Red America tend to live on farms or in small towns or small cities far away from the coasts. Things are different there. Everything that people in my neighborhood do without motors, the people in Red America do with motors. We sail; they powerboat. We cross-country ski; they snowmobile. We hike; they drive ATVs. We have vineyard tours; they have tractor pulls. When it comes to yard work, they have rider mowers; we have illegal aliens." -- David Brooks, "One Nation, Slightly Divisible"
"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." -- Tolstoy (seen quoted at MAPinc.org)


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