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September 30, 1996

Dino Hunt Now Shipping!

[Dino Hunt - Hot Stuff!] Yes - they're here! Dino Hunt boxes and boosters have arrived and are now shipping! Proving that neither hail, sleet, or delayed soft plastic dinos could stop it, Dino Hunt is crashing toward you - with a vengeance! Grrrr!

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 27, 1996

The Many Faces Of Broccoli!

[Man-Eatin' Broccoli - Beware!] Broccoli.

There is not much to say other than this must be seen to be properly appreciated.

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 26, 1996

Advertising Campaign Misprint!

[Produce! Get Some Now!] The new Wizards of the Coast expansion for Netrunner has met with a nasty setback. Named Proteus under their current ad campaign, the expansion's true name is in fact Produce. The Director of Customer Service at Wizards of the Coast is quoted as saying "We wanted to hit a mass market, and vegetables seemed to be the key." No wonder with cards like Cherry Ice, and Lettuce Depart. Wizards of the Coast is confident that this expansion will rocket Netrunner into the superstardom that Magic: The Gathering has enjoyed for so long.

M:TG, Netrunner, and Proteus are all the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. We are not challenging them, nor are we telling the truth in this article.

Matthew D. Grau
Sales Manager
Steve Jackson Games

PS: Kyle, that's what you get for chucking POP boxes at me all weekend.

September 25, 1996

Vikings Ho!

Vikings, we've got Vikings! Okay, so maybe that doesn't display the proper amount of respect.

How's this sound: We've found the Viking Heritage website. It's full of all sorts of Viking history and other Viking resources such as:

With much thanks to Illuminator Newshound and Honorary GURPS Viking Les Dodson...

-- Bob Apthorpe
spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam lovely spam wonderful spam

September 24, 1996

Big Footsteps Approach!

[Dino Hunt - it's cute and has pointy teeth!] Hear that rumbling in the distance? That's the impending arrival of Dino Hunt! The first few sample copies of the boxed set have arrived and are tramping around the office, kicking thing over and generally making a nuisance of themselves. One nearly ate the fax machine.

But for all their ferocity, they're still pretty cute. Adopt one today!

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 23, 1996

A Modest Proposal

The Illuminator Staff was testing out some of its new Van Eck snooping gear and picked up the following on our Network Administrator's monitor. Apparently, the other side of the conversation terminated somewhere at MIT

=heather= i meant even more disgustingly long :)
=jimr= or my baby doll
=heather= i want to marry you.
=jimr= Yes, Heather
=heather= *ahem* perhaps i shouldn't have said that.
=jimr= i'm serious
=jimr= and blushing furiously
=heather= well, um, so am i.  and so am i.
=heather= god, i even blurt things out when i type.
=jimr= i wrote in my journal a while back that it seemed appropriate for
=jimr= You to propose to me, and that i would accept if You ever did.
=heather= oh..
=jimr= i didn't expect it to happen on my cherry irc session, i must
=heather= gosh, i am feeling kinda faint.
=heather= that's cos i'm so goddamned romantic.
=jimr= but we blushing brides gotta take our opportunities when they
+come up
=heather= i'm blushing *and* laughing at myself.  i should've done this
=heather= give me a chance to do it over sometime?

Okay, so we made up all the snooping stuff. Congratulations to Jim and Heather from everyone here at SJ Games!

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 20, 1996

Dino Hunt Update!

Sample Dino Hunt cards are now appearing in several card and game magazines. They're all Rare dinosaur cards from the Limited Edition. All 68 such cards were used in this card drop (each magazine has one randomly selected card), so if you read more than one of these magazines, you can expect to get different cards . . .

Collect! - October 1996 - on the stands now.

InQuest - October 1996 - on the stands now.

Duellist #12 - on the stands now.

Pyramid #21 (September/October 1996) - will reach stores very soon.

Dinosaur Collectors Club Newsletter - the next issue to be mailed.

Combo #23 (December 1996) - will hit stores in late October.

[Dino Hunt kicks big butt!] Other news - final assembly of Dino Hunt is underway (the little rubber dinos finally escaped their Pacific prison (see Dino Hunt News for more on this). The upshot of all this is that Dino Hunt will be shipping by the 30th of September. So beware - Dino Hunt will be stomping toward you very soon!

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 19, 1996

More Special Visitors!

Car Wars We got a visit Tuesday from Grady Elliott, our volunteer Car Wars Line Editor. Grady lives in Champaign, IL, but was in town for a few days for some sort of employee training for his day job, and dropped by to say hello.

Grady's been a Car Wars fan for ages, run AADA chapters, written for Autoduel Quarterly, and more. What does a line editor do? He answers rules questions, looks over submissions, consults on our future plans for the line, and generally acts as a resource for all things autoduelling.

Got a question or comment about Car Wars? You can e-mail Grady at He'd be glad to hear from you, and we'd be glad to have your input.

-- Scott Haring

September 18, 1996

Happy Birthday, Alexandra!

We're pleased to wish a happy birthday to Alexandra Diane Koke. Born just a few days ago to Angela and Jeff Koke, she's 19-3/4'', 7 lbs. 4 oz. and growing. As you may recall, Jeff Koke worked on the art and layout of so many of our books and games, it would take too long to list them all.

Congratulations one and all from all of us here at SJ Games!

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 17, 1996

Check Please!

This just drifted in from the aether and we thought we'd share:
At 9:52 AM 9/13/96, Steffan O'Sullivan wrote:
>I brought my set to the PSC gaming club meeting last night.
>One very amusing moment:  it was the end-game, and
>I was winning pretty severely.  It was just a matter of time, but my
>opponent was enjoying staying alive as long as he could.  He only had
>one piece left: his King which was actually a Bishop because of Coup
>he'd played earlier.  I had maybe five pieces left, all different types.
>It's a little trickier checkmating a bishop than a king in an end-game,
>so I was thinking hard on stopping all the escape hatches.  He had just
>played Under Elf Hill, so his piece was removed from the board.  Earlier
>he had played Doomsayer.  I was staring at the board, trying to figure
>out all the possible spaces he could bring his King/Bishop back to the
>board, and was pointing them out to a novice.
>At this moment, a fellow walked in the room - one
>of those obnoxiously purist chess players who think they're the best in
>the world - he had earlier boasted he could beat anyone at the college
>and was willing to bet to prove it.  His eyes lit up when he saw a
>chess board and he came over.  He saw three people (the two players and
>the novice I was teaching strategy to) intently staring at a board that
>only had five black pieces and no white pieces.  He heard me saying
>something like, "I can't move this piece with the pointy head over
>here, because his King [That one's safe to say under Doomsayer] might
>trap it in this corner - see, it couldn't get out because this
>cylindrical piece would block an exit.  Nor can I move this one that
>moves funny to this spot, because it's really important where it is.
>And this little guy would be too vulnerable if I moved it..."  Etc.
>He stared for a bit, with a worried look, then casually asked, "Setting
>up a chess problem?" "No," I said, "We're still playing."  I pointed to
>his bishop off the board and said, "That piece with the pointy head is
>his King and I have to trap it."
>At that point his expression was priceless, and we all stopped talking
>to observe him for a bit.  He finally walked away shaking his head.

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 16, 1996

Unplanned Obsolescence?

One of our Dino Hunt cards is obsolete before the game even comes out . . . so why are we smiling? Find out on the Dino Hunt news page.

-- Steve Jackson

September 13, 1996

Pyramid 21 Now Shipping!

[Pyramid #21] Pyramid 21 is out, with the long-awaited INWO card contest winners. It's also got articles on Knightmare Chess and White Wolf's Mage. And there is a free Dino Hunt poster, and sample cards for Dino Hunt and for Mayfair's Fantasy Adventures game.

So go harass your retailer unmercifully . . .

-- Steve Jackson

September 12, 1996

Welcome to the Skunk Works!

[Our Mascot] Don't ask me how we found this place but we did. The Lockheed(-Martin) "Skunk Works" is the birthplace of such famous aircraft as the U-2, the SR-71 (actually, the RS-71 until misunderstood by President Johnson), and the F-117 stealth fighter.

Not only that, the Skunk Works is working with NASA on the X-34 Reuseable Launch Vehicle.

They even have a gift shop, for all your Secret Santa needs.

-- Bob "Has anyone seen my F-117 tie tack?" Apthorpe

September 11, 1996

Eaten By Wolves?

Today's Daily Illuminator was eaten by wolves. We apologize for the inconvenience.

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 10, 1996

Project X Comes to SJ Games!

No, it's not an X Files ripoff, it's an interesting new technology being developed by Apple to make infostructure navigation better, stronger, faster. Possibly for less than $US 6 million...

Truth is Out There!] As a technology demonstrator, we (okay, I) did some cleaning of the Car Wars errata pages and built a small meta-content file for use with Project X. It took a little time but I think the results are worth it.

Technical note: I really hate those "Best Viewed With Tin-Can-and-String Browser v6.66" comments that seem to crop up on every website these days. Sadly, viewing our nifty Project X research project requires the Project X plug-in (free from the neat people at Apple Research) which only works with Cyberdog, Netscape Navigator, and Internet Explorer (as far as I know). Lynx users will have to settle for today's smutty newsgroup.

If you can, grab the plug-in, check out our test and tell me what you think. Inquiring minds want to know...

-- Bob "The truth is out there ... no, wait, it's just a raccoon" Apthorpe

September 9, 1996

GURPS Vehicles Streaks to the Printer!

Yes, that naked manuscript you thought you saw was none other than GURPS Vehicles, rushing off to the printers. So, amid the thunderous clatter and tinkling of broken glass from the shockwave, take comfort knowing that in a few short weeks Vehicles will be arriving at a game store near you.

And get that window fixed.

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 6, 1996

Our Friend: The Banana Slug

Today's topic is the Banana Slug. Come with us as we visit the various and sundry places that the Banana Slug has claimed as his own: All Hail The Banana Slug!

-- Bob "Waste-O-Bandwidth" Apthorpe

September 5, 1996

Will The Real Elvis Please Stand Up?

A brief search of the web proves that Elvis is indeed everywhere. Can you find the real Elvis?
Where's Elvis? Where's Elvis? Where's Elvis? Where's Elvis? Where's Elvis?

...we can't go on together with suspicious minds...

-- Bob 'The King' Apthorpe

September 4, 1996

Generation Multiplex - A Zillion Screens, No Waiting!

As the summer movie season draws to a close, we finally discovered what we needed all summer - a decent movie guide. Who brings us such wonders? The people at FilmZone, of course!

They've got gobs of filmy goodness...

Hmm. That doesn't sound too appetizing. Let me try that again...

If you're looking for a truly entertaining review of what's up on the Silver Screen, drop in on FilmZone. We especially liked Generation Multiplex. With teasers like the following, who wouldn't?
who chose to act like Jesus without actually playing Jesus.
Summer '96 Predict-O-Scripts
Cool films that aren't available on video
(hint: the Karen Carpenter story as told using Barbie dolls was awe-inspiring in its darkness...)
Film School Concentrate

Entirely too much fun. Now get back to work...

-- Bob Apthorpe

September 3, 1996

Introducing -- The Blenderphone!

The Blenderphone! It is with much pride that I bring to you today news of a product so revolutionary in its concept that you will (as I do) need to purchase this item RIGHT NOW.

What is this amazing device? Why, it's the Blenderphone. Not merely a device that offers the utility of both the blender and the telephone in one convenient appliance, the Blenderphone provides a synergy between blender and phone not previously found in any commercially-available model of either appliance.

But what truly makes the Blenderphone unique is it's ability to cross the line between food preparation and communications. Marshall Macluhan would be proud - Margarita as Media - definately classified as a 'cool' medium. Or perhaps Salsa as Media which can range from 'warm' to 'hot' on Macluhan's scale.

Print may be dead, but the Blenderphone ushers in a new era of communications, preferably one with a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval...

-- Bob "Don't Kill The Messenger" Apthorpe