we've been chasing for over 10 years became a reality this week:
at long last, we have mass produced Icehouse pieces in our hot
little hands. It was an incredible joy to see Icehouse pieces,
in little formations of 3, popping out of the mold like you see
here, in this amazing action shot. I put up a page of initial
last Friday; since then, KLON has made green and blue pieces,
and they're planning to start running the reds sometime today.
At the same time, TJ's
Print Shop has been hard at work on the rule booklets, and
they too are expected to be done by the end of this week. All
of this means that, unless something goes wrong, we should be
able to start sending out the pre-ordered sets a week earlier
than last week's estimate, i.e.
at the begining of next week. Wow! Keep your toes crossed...
Meanwhile, I won the Jury Duty Lottery this week, and got
the big payoff, too: I'm on a jury. Of course, with everything
we've got going on right now, the timing on this just plain sucks...
particularly since I ended up on a comparatively long trial,
expected to last almost a week. The trial isn't over yet, which
not only means that I really had to rush to get this week's update
done, but also means that I can't talk about the case right now.
But I will say that it involves someone's death, and that it's
apparently a significant enough case that there've been reporters
around (whom we've been instructed to avoid contact with). Some
of my fellow jurors said yesterday that they'd had to studiously
avoiding reading articles (in both the Washington Post and the
Journal) about the trial, which had appeared earlier in the week.
(It made me wish I had copies, so that I could read the articles
later on, when it's over). Anyway, tune it next week and I'll
let you know what happened.
We've finally firmed up our plans for Philcon:
we're going to throw an Icehouse
product release party, in our suite, on Saturday night!
For those who don't know, Philcon is a major science-fiction
convention, held each November in Philadelphia. It has long been
a favorite of many in the Icehouse community, and it's also a
really good choice for throwing a hospitality suite, since Philcon
is in general an excellent party convention. The hotel in which
it's always held has a floorplan that is perfectly suited to
meet the needs of roving con-goers, who want to systematically
patrol the entire building, seeking out the best parties. The
top floor is given over entirely to large suites, which are always
the scene of big parties; but additionally there are 4 "junior"
suites on each floor, each the perfect size for entertaining
a crowd. (I have fond memories of several interactive literature
games that took place in these rooms at Philcons in the past,
including "Bleak Frontier" and "The Second Earth
we've booked ourselves a suite. We're going to call it the Pop-Tart
Cafe, and we plan to set it up as something akin to the Saturn
Cafe, with beaded curtains, synthesizer music, mood lighting,
and 4 or 5 small gaming tables (several for the various Icehouse
games, plus a couple for Fluxx and Aquarius). And of course,
for refreshments, we'll be serving up a full menu of freshly
The whole thing should be a lot of fun, and we're getting
pretty excited about it. Philcon takes place November 12-14th,
so if you don't yet have plans for that weekend, you might want
to consider coming out to Philly.
I feel the need to offer a little bit of explanation with
since it is, in essence, a true story. It's not well known, since
it was a well-concealed secret project for decades, but the Russians
were in the space race to win, and might have actually landed
on the moon themselves if their enormous moon rocket, the N1,
hadn't blown up every time they tried to launch it. But even
after it became clear they'd never beat the NASA team in person,
they still hoped to steal back a piece of the glory, by being
the first to bring home samples of the lunar surface. The unmanned
lander called Luna-15 was launched 3 days before Apollo 11, but
it crashed into the surface during the landing attempt, just
a few craters over from Tranquillity Base. A later mission did
succeed, as did their unmanned rover, which drove around up there
for weeks, sending back pictures... but we in America never heard
about it. These news items were only of interest to those inside
Russia, where coverage of the American moon landings was suppressed.