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Sketchbook HarvestNanofiction

How Shakespeare Lived To Be 653

The Time Traveler swiped Shakespeare's still-warm corpse (replacing it with a synthetic replica) and restored his health using 23rd century medical technology. "Now write!" he commanded. "I'll produce your lost works and become rich beyond imagining!" But the Bard, bewildered by the Future, had lost his touch. "Mona and the Dragon" was a turkey.

#12's Nanofics

New this week:
The End


I'm looking over an email I'm about to send to the Icehouse mailing list: '3. Bandaid - This is a rule that may *appear* to be flavor or spice, but is *only* used to fix a problem, and actually *doesn't* fix the problem, or it creates another problem.'

Cool Words

divagate (dive'-uh-gate, div'-uh-gate) v. to wander or drift about n. form: divagation

Haiku Reviews

Chicken Run :|
Claymation artists
fail to escape Hollywood's
big formula farm.

Daddy-O's Reviews


Gregory Peck stars as an amnesia victim accused of murder, and Ingrid Bergman is his psychoanalyst, who helps him recover his missing memories via dream analysis. Actually, it's rather dull by Hitchcock standards, but the dream sequences, designed by Salvador Dali, are extremely cool. It's a shame they weren't done in color.

Tirade's Choice

Uchronia: The Alternate History List
Fruits of Chaos
Egypt Travelogue
#12's Webcomic picks
Modern Living

Thursday, August 10, 2000
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? The Day of Ruin is Our Deadline
When I created the 1999 Calendar T-shirt two years ago, I noticed that August 24th was the anniversary of several disasters and therefore dubbed it the Day of Ruin. This year, 8/24 is the day we're supposed to submit all of the finished production elements for Chrononauts (i.e. card art, rules, and tuckboxes) to Carta Mundi, the card printer who'll be doing the actual manufacturing. This is sooner than we'd hoped (particularly for the rulebook, which I'd thought had a shorter production cycle than the cards) but while we are nervous about it, we're still hoping to (at least substantially) meet the deadline. It just means that we have to work night and day from now till then, and that we've canceled our last-minute plans to attend Gen-Con, which is already underway. (Our apologies to those who'd hoped to find us there; getting Chrononauts out on time is more important, and we hadn't planned much anyway. Hopefully next year!)

Response to last week's playtest upgrade has been great. We're feeling better than ever about the gameplay, and everyone agrees that Alison's color re-design of the cards is making the game look as good as it plays. But last week's preview was incomplete; everyone (including the three of us) was curious about what the final Paradox artwork would be like, and we hadn't yet settled on the cardback or final logo designs either. And we've been struggling all week with these issues, but here you see the answers we came up with.

The cardback you see here was basically created by Alison, on the last day of the week; but the Paradox art was a collaboration between us that we struggled with all week long. As opposed to her other re-designs, I wasn't taken with her new version of the Paradox; it was neat, but it wasn't what I had in mind. So I took over and did my own version, and then she took over again and spruced up my version, and then, just when we thought we were done, we realized (after fondling our first prototypes) that the "bubbles" needed to be Ripplepoint Blue, not Linchpin Purple. But the end result was worth all the trouble!

Incidentally, the bubbles were inspired by a comic book depiction of time travel that has been stuck in my mind since I was a kid. It's from the Classics Illustrated adaptation of the HG Wells classic, The Time Machine, published in 1964. I still have my copy, which I unearthed to show to the girls during one of our many Paradox design meetings. "See," I'd say, pointing to the panels on page 43, "this is what time travel actually looks like." But even with bubbles my design wasn't working until Alison tweaked them into the third dimension.

Things are even going well (and similarly hecticly) on the financial side of the balance sheet. Sales volume has been excellent lately, and it seems like our Product-Backed Investment concept is going to work. Our new warehouse space is brimming with sparkling new Fluxx 2.1 decks, made possible by a check from Objective Consulting, Inc. (Thanks Gene!) They have a particular interest in Fluxx... they're currently producing a text-based, networked version of the game! It started as something they were doing for their own amusement (and because it was a useful programming example), but given our new corporate partnership, who knows where it might end up! Stay tuned for more information about a limited alpha test in the coming weeks!

And speaking of ASCII-based electronic versions of our games, Jason McIntosh has created Martian Chess: The Computer Game, and it's already open for playtesting! If you can use telnet, you can be among the first to try out his adaptation, and be sure to send him your feedback if you do, since the project is still in development and he's looking for comments. (I'm looking forward to trying it out myself... on August 25th.)

And speaking of people with looming, important deadlines, Number 12 is getting married next month and has therefore chosen to make this his last week (for the time being) of regular WTS updates. Well, I can't say as I blame him! It's a lot of work maintaining a regular feature like this, and let me just say thanks Charles, for entertaining us these many months with your comic picks, your own forays into the realms of Nanofiction, and all the other bits of e-musement you've been providing us with. I must say I've really enjoyed the friendly competition we've been having in this new medium, and I'll miss your weekly 55-word accompaniments to this page. But you've obviously got more important things on your mind right now, so we'll look forward to hearing from you again, after you settle into married life. And in the meantime, good luck, have fun, and best wishes to you and Lisa!

AndyRemember Peter McWilliams!

the story so far

Thought Residue
I think one of the best human qualities you can nurture in yourself is the ability to cheerfully change your attitudes and beliefs when confronted by evidence that you've been wrong about something.
It's not as thick nor heavy as I'd like it to be, but I have to say, it's pretty neat finally having a gold coin mixed into the US currency. But if it's going to succeed, we need to abolish the paper equivalent. And now is the perfect time to do it, too, with the re-designed $5 and $10 paper bills now entering circulation. The question is, does the Treasury Department have the guts to drop the $1 bill and issue a re-designed $2 bill instead?
"Bush and Gore Make Me Wanna Ralph." -- A Letter from Michael Moore to the Non-Voters of America

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