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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

Radiation: Divine Creator

In the distant future, sentient cockroach anthropologists studied our culture's fossils. Just as we examine dinosaur bones, they scrutinized our lingering traces, analyzing our ancient extinction. Imagine their surprise when, through psionic time travel, they discovered that they owed their very existence to the radioactive fallout from WWIII. (Their religions were shaken to their foundations.)

#12's Nanofics

New this week:
The Working Life


"That's crazy."
"I'd be careful."
"It's going to be interesting to see what comes out of this."
- me, Jim Butler, and Peter Abel

Cool Words

clerisy (clair'-ih-see) n. intelligentsia

Haiku Reviews

My Dinner With Andre :-|
koyaanisquatsi about
minds out of balance.

Daddy-O's Reviews

American Beauty

I was both impressed and depressed by this movie. It had a lot of good stuff to say, about such things as the destructiveness of homophobia, the positive aspects of marijuana, and the evils of gun ownership, but like Being John Malkovich, I found the characters generally unpleasant and unlikeable. In fact, the only guy I cared about at all was dead at the end, a plot-point I would have found unforgivable if we hadn't been told it would happen at the very beginning. On the whole, it's a beautiful and genuine film, but it ultimately reminded me of medicine: it's good for you, but it leaves a yucky taste in your mouth at the end.

Tirade's Choice

The Anti-Clown Site
Fruits of Chaos
#12's Webcomic picks
Max Panic

Thursday, March 9, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On?  Paper Icehouse and some new cgi's

Last December, we noticed that we were running out of origami icehouse kits. This week, we sold the last one. In a few weeks, it will be replaced by a new version of the product, which we will call Paper Icehouse.

Once upon a time, the only way to get a set of Icehouse pieces (short of a custom job) was to buy a packet of paper pyramids and put them together yourself. When we first created these, back in 1991, we intended them only as a stop-gap product, to be eliminated when real pieces became available... but even in this, the Age of the Injection-Molded Plastic Icehouse Piece, demand for an inexpensive starter version of the game has persisted. In fact, it's increasing, hence our need to reprint.

Back when our company was called Icehouse Games, an Origami Icehouse set included pieces, rules, stashpads, and some extras (like a copy of a story called Appointment at Ten); but the Looney Labs edition was pared down to just the pieces and some assembly tips, pointing the user to the website for the rules to the various games. We figured we could get away with this because we were only planning on selling them direct to consumer through our website, which meant that anyone who bought a set from us would obviously have access to the web... and indeed, they've been selling well.

Now however, we've decided that A) the current version of product is too spartan, because B) we'd like to start making these available to stores at wholesale rates. So, we're renaming the product Paper Icehouse and we're going to start including a new book (sized and styled like the ones included with the plastic set) called Paper Icehouse, along with a copy of the Zarcana Reference Card.

The task of the week then was putting together this new booklet. This wasn't a huge job, since most of the material is recycled from other sources, but I did have to create new cover art and write a new intro. The book will also include assembly tips, the rules to Martian Chess, an intro to Zarcana, overviews of IceTraders and IceTowers, a list of yet more games, and finally, a nanofic entitled The 100,000 Year Legacy. It all makes for a pretty nice little intro to the world of Icehouse, and while it's going to be more expensive than the old Origami edition, it'll still be nice and cheap. Our target price is $4.95, and it should be available in about a month.

Also coming soon, as I mentioned last week, is the Tirade edition of Button Men. The design was reviewed and approved by James Ernest this week, though not without some apprehension about his vast, super-dimensional powers. He may end up being banned from tournament play, but we decided that's OK, since we'd rather he be appropriately powerful than competition legal. As James said: "I mean, after all. He's Tirade." Anyway, that project is also moving along nicely.

Meanwhile, Kristin has been busy putting into html all of the rabbit stuff that has been rolling around in her head (and on the rabbit discussion list) for many months now. The rabbit pages have been completely updated, and now include several cgi's that will hopefully make it easy for us to keep the site up to date, while still showcasing the great stuff our fans are doing to help promote our games. It will also connect the requesting and sending of free stuff (prize support, literature, etc.) to our existing order fulfillment system, which will make a BIG difference in our ability to actually keep on top of these tasks. The new pages also include two calendars, one with a list of upcoming events being run by our rabbits, the other providing a list of the events we plan to make an official appearance at. Kristin even created fill-in forms to help keep these pages up to date, so if you've got a tournament planned, or wish to invite us to your con, then surf on over there and do some pointing and clicking.

Well, that's about all I have to report this week, since I'm not yet ready to talk about the great new game I'm designing. Er, um... how's the weather? It's been great here. It's just starting to be springtime, so of course, Alison has begun her gardening. Yesterday, she and Kristin planted 4 kinds of peas.

AndyAll Hail the Internet!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
"It's a plastic world. And because of plastic, it's a plastic world in a different sense, in the original sense of the word: it changes its shape easily. And when the shapes change regularly, which they do, we begin to *want* them to change regularly." -- James Burke, Connections, Episode 8
The new Hasbro edition of Diplomacy features metal pieces, and they're really neat. Monopoly experts will recognize the new army and navy markers as the artillery piece and battleship tokens that disappeared from Monopoly somewhere along the line, no doubt for being too warlike. Now you can get piles of them, in rainbow colors!
"There's nothing worse in life than being ordinary." -- Angela Hayes, "American Beauty"

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