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Sketchbook Harvest

I look away from my computer screen to Georgi Georgiev as he enters my office, carrying a small glass pot of water. He speaks with a heavy Bulgarian accent: "How did you spend your weekend?"

Cool Words

senocular (senn-ock'-yuh-lur) adj. having six eyes

Haiku Reviews

How To Get Ahead In Advertising :)

Valuable insights
into the mental disease
known as "marketing."

Daddy-O's Reviews

The Return of the King

A few years after their success with the Hobbit, and after a different studio had interpreted the first part of the Lord of the Rings, Rankin/Bass adapted the final book of Tolkein's trilogy for network TV. Unfortunately, picking up in the middle of such a complicated story and attempting to reduce it down as they did was a disaster. And instead of just using Tolkein's lyrics for their songs, they put in completely new songs (including the infamous "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way").

Tirade's Choice

Our Lady of Toast, Mother of Toasters

#12's Webcomic picks
And Then There Was Fred

"Thanks for the speedy service! My family (daughter Christine - 15 and son Marcus - 13) and I love to play Fluxx, and your other games look great too, so we are eagerly awaiting the new ones. With so much television watching going on these days, it's so good to be different and actually talk to each other and have fun as a family through great games like yours. Thanks for all your creativity!" -- email from David of Huntington, NY

Thursday, July 26, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Fulfillment Hand-off Now Underway

This week finds us in the midst of turning over our warehousing and shipping operations to another company, namely ACMS down in Northern Virginia. Yesterday, they picked up most of our inventory, and today our first batch of orders was shipped out from the new facility! Kristin and Alison just got back from overseeing and assisting with this first shipment by their team, and Kristin says "I'm extremely pleased with the way things are going."

There's still a whole lot to do though; they are still just getting set up for us down there, and until we switch over to their shopping cart system, we still have to process the orders here and send the printed invoices to them for filling. And soon we have to go to Gen-Con. So this means that:

There will be no shipments from our online stores (and that includes Rush orders) until August 7th.

Speaking of Gen-Con, check out this scenic vista Alison put together:

This is what we'll be standing in front of at Gen-Con, assuming Landru is successful in turning this art into one of those big trade show standup units for us. Gen-Con is also our deadline for sending out the Nanofictionary Betas... Dave has been helping out here by finally writing the rules down for me and figuring out who we'll be sending these playtest decks to.

In other new release news, I've started making up my mind about which of the fabulous Lost Identities contest entries will make it into the finished product. Fortunately, the survey has been very insightful... it helps to know when you think a story is a winner that lots of people agree with you. At this point, I'm pretty sure I know what 11 of the 13 stories will be. In particular, I still have to decide between two fine stories submitted by the same author

Since there was no limit on how many stories you could submit, some authors sent in several, with Liam Bryan leading the pack by single-handedly writing about a third of the stories we received. Liam turned in so many great stories (he wrote 5 on my initial list of 20 or so favorites) that it looks like he's going to pull a double win, even though I was planning only to include one story by any given author. [I'm very fond of Turtle ("The Unusual Artifact") but Alison's favorite in the whole contest is Angela ("Arrested Development") and I have to say, it's a mighty fine story.] So congrats Liam, you're definitely getting in.

Another author who submitted more than one great story is Scotto Starkey. Guess what Scotto you're a winner too! The question is, which of your entries will win: Rufus ("All Good Dogs Come Home") or Kvar El Kvin ("Stranded Since the Beginning of Time")?

I think if it were totally up to me, I'd pick Kvar. I'm not much of a dog-lover, and I prefer how well Kvar's story fits with his Timeline requirements. (This isn't mandatory of course, but it is a consideration; one of the reasons I like Turtle's story so much is because of his Timeline fit.) Kvar's story also reminds me of The Sirens of Titan, and of course I dig well executed references as well.

But many of my key advisors (including Kristin, Dave, and Scotto himself) are voting for Rufus, and I have to say he has a lot of appeal too. His story reads like an old Twilight Zone episode, and I think people would get into being the time-traveling dog. Such a character also reminds me of the dog in that Joe Frank monologue, who learned to slip aboard cargo planes to travel around between the Virgin Islands. I like him.

So, they're both great stories, but I have to pick one. Any opinions? Andy

Did you hear I won 2 Origins Awards? I'm so happy!

Thought Residue
I'm really getting into having a pet snake! I'd never spent any quality time with a snake before Alison got this one, and was slightly worried I'd feel about them as I do about insects (i.e. "Ick! Get it off me!"). But instead, it's the exact opposite: I dig having Benji curled around my neck as I putter about the house...
"Dude, you have to, like, pay attention to cards other people are playing, and actually remember things, and stuff. Pffffffffff. Just thinking about it makes me feel frustrated. Give me a Time Vortex any day! Here lies the ruins of your delicate, five-turn look-ahead strategy! See the smoking embers of your carefully figured hand probability ratios!" - Jason McIntosh on the Chrononauts mailing list, describing why he likes my style in game design
Keep your fingers crossed for us... we're trying to get a couple of banks to loan us a heap big pile of money so we can reprint the hit games we're running out of AND publish new things like Lost Identities and Nanofictionary.


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