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Thursday, June 11, 1998

This week I've put up the past 3 months worth of atomic bomb photos, 25 in all, plus 13 new Image Wall photos, along with an additional 13 pictures on 5 pages of the Summer of Lori.

Speaking of which, the population at Wunderland.Earth returned to normal this week. Lori is settling in so well here in Maryland that she's decided to get her own apartment. Oddly enough, it's the same studio apartment that was once rented by Dawn, one of three in a large old house nearby. It's one floor up from the apartment where Number 12 lives now, an apartment in which I myself lived, back in the eighties, for about 3 years. And before that, my brother Rash lived in that apartment. Apartment A even served for awhile as a factory for Icehouse Games, where we manufactured pieces for the first 100 Icehouse sets... until the guy who'd been living in Apartment C at the time complained about the stench of hardening plastic resin drifting up the stairs and asked (well, told) us to knock it off. Anyway, it's a very cool place to live. The house has a lot of character.... it's one of those big old places that used to be all alone on a large estate and now is in the corner of a suburb that is itself aging in comparison to the neighboring townhouse communities. It's the kind of house that looks like it ought to be haunted. But I digress.

Kristin has created a version of solitaire you can play with an Aquarius deck, and it's great! She just noodled it up last night (I helped with the playtesting) and so she hasn't had time to finish writing the rules yet, but if you see her she'll teach it to you and hopefully we'll get the rules up here by next week. We're even talking about doing a version in Java... anybody interested in helping?

We saw The Truman Show this weekend, and I really, really liked it. I'm not much of a Jim Carry fan (quite the opposite, actually) but I went because the Twilight Zone-ish nature of the movie really appealed to me. (It reminded me a lot of Time Out of Joint, by Philip K. Dick (as did Dark City, another fine film)) I'm happy to say Jim wasn't too irritating, and the movie isn't just another excuse for him to clown around (although there is some of that). The film was directed by Peter Weir (who's wrenching drama Fearless changed forever my feelings about air travel). Even the soundtrack is good (influenced by and featuring Philip Glass, of Koyaanisqatsi fame). Go see the Truman Show! It's great!

And speaking of movies, I have completed the Alpha version of Right to the Bottom! It's been doing well with the first test audience, although I've decided I want to rework the ending of the first reel - I've got one scene in the wrong place. It's also pretty long (3 hours and 7 minutes) but still, it's shorter than Cameron's version, and mine has an intermission.

Lastly this week, we're up to the long-awaited Chapter 37 of the Empty City. This chapter marks the beginning of a 4-chapter segment which was originally a serialized short story called "The Children of Mars." When I first wrote it, back when I was still living in Apartment A, I formatted this story up as a series of 5 postcards and sent it out to a couple of dozen friends, at a rate of one card per day. I wrote this story a year or so after writing a much longer story called "Icehouse" (which became chapters 2-33 of the Empty City) and although I first concocted the game in that story, it was this story, presented via postcards, that inspired Chort to make me an Icehouse set, which in turn led to the development of a playable game. The third story I wrote using these characters was called "Seagulls and Horseshoe Crabs" (now chapter 89) and those first three stories were collected together in a thin yellow volume that was included as part of those original 100 Icehouse sets, entitled Icehouse History. Awhile later, I wrote a story called "Appointment at Ten," which we printed up on little blue folded cards and included with Origami Icehouse sets until 1991, when I finished combining all these stories into one novel and we published the first edition of the Empty City.

Anyway, Enjoy Life!

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