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June 30, 1998: Knightmare Chess Blank Cards!

The brand-new Knightmare Chess Set 2 includes two blank cards, for the more devious among you to invent your own knightmarish cards in the privacy of your own home.

For some of you, though, that wasn't enough. So we are offering Knightmare Chess Blank Cards in packs of 20, available only by direct mail. To order, just click here.
-- Scott Haring


June 29, 1998: The Illuminated Xena

Lucy Lawless, in an interview with TV Guide . . .

LL: "Of course, from the beginning, my goal was to totally infiltrate popular culture."

TVG: "In other words, world domination."

LL: "Exactly. (Laughs)"



June 28, 1998: The FBI's *real* X-Files

The FBI has gone public with info on some of their weirder cases. Want to see their official position on cattle mutilation (it's real and they don't know who did it) or UFOs (caused by cuts to the Federal law enforcement budget. No. I lied. Go read for yourself.)

June 27, 1998: Discworld Rocks!

GURPS Discworld has been a little delayed while we waited for Paul Kidby, the consummate Discworld artist, to come through with his illustrations.

Boy, has he come through.

Here's the cover: judge for yourself. GURPS Discworld will be available in August.

-- Scott Haring


June 26, 1998: A New Breed of Secret Agent

Illuminated Site of the Week: "At the close of the millennium the Supermodels of the world are at war. Forces of light and armies darkness struggle for conquest. Now you will know the story..." from the Soldiers of Fashion web site

I bet you didn't know that Claudia Schiffer was a general in the secret, elite U.S. Army Supermodel Corps, charged with keeping America safe by neutralizing the evil Supermodels in the world. Read about the exploits of The Company, whose evil plans include world domination, cloning Supermodel DNA, and establishing an orbital nuclear platform. See the dossiers of the supermodels in The Supermodel Mafia; their mission is to utterly destroy The Company.

So, all those fashion shoots in exotic locations across the world are just fronts for clandestine operations of the most nefarious kind. I knew it!

Submitted by Ed "Overload" Davis


June 25, 1998: Drive to Find Drives

A couple of CD-ROM drives have died here at the center of the universe, and the simplest proposition would be to swap them out with identical models, right?

Right.

The catch is that no one markets these drives anymore. (After all, they're at least 18 months old.) So, I can go and spend top dollar for new units that I have to hassle with drivers (and perhaps lack throughput) for, or I can offer real value for real value:

If you're the proud owner of a functioning Toshiba XM-5401 and/or Matshita CR-8005 being used as a coaster, e-mail me and let's cut a deal. These are SCSI quad speeds that saw life as original components in PowerComputing and Apple boxes respectively. If you own the Matshita because you had it pulled out of an early 7200, try again. I'll ask.

If you can supply both, I'll throw in an ultrarare copy of GURPS Black Ops with a special illustration of Dr Kromm being eaten alive by a pack of axe-wielding raccoons. Or I'll keep it to myself, if you prefer ...

-- Gene Seabolt



June 24, 1998: GURPS Russia Gets a Perfect Score

The folks over at RPGNet have a lot of cool things on their website, not the least of which is a huge number of reviews written by their readers. They recently posted a review of GURPS Russia that got their highest possible score! Thanks, guys.

Which is as good an excuse as any to remind you that GURPS Russia is available only by our Direct Mail department, either by mail, phone, or by our online catalog.
-- Scott Haring


June 23, 1998: Dino Hunt -- The Parents' Choice!

Dino Hunt is a 1998 Parents' Choice Silver Honor award winner. Previous honors for Dino Hunt include making the Games 100 list for 1997, and the Dinosaur Society seal of approval.
-- Loren Wiseman



June 22, 1998: A Plug for Matching Payments

In Issue #47 of Shadis Magazine, our good friend Spike Jones wrote not one, but two articles about Steve Jackson Games products. One was about silly types of dragons (like there are any other kind . . .) for TOON, and the other was excuses to get naked (like anybody needs one . . .) in GURPS Celtic Myth. Check 'em out.

But the plug is just the half of it. After Shadis paid Spike for his articles, he sent us photocopies of the articles and the check, and we matched the payment. That's right, it's our Matching Payment Policy, and you can read all about it here.
-- Scott Haring


June 21, 1998: Now There are Two!

A little while after we announced that Knightmare Chess, Set 2 would soon arrive back from the printers, people started asking if it was the same as the earlier Knightmare Chess 2nd Edition.

Since there seems to be some confusion, let me clear things up:

Knightmare Chess, Set 2 is a completely different set of 78 new cards (plus two blanks, and rules for playing them as Knightmare Chess cards if you don't want to use them to make up your own). The set can stand alone, or it can be added to the original Knightmare Chess cards.

Knightmare Chess, Set 2 will be in stores near the end of the month.
-- Loren Wiseman


Homepage Hits Break 2000

On Monday, we had more than 2000 visits to the SJG home page (2253, to be exact). It's almost a new record (but not quite - on Dec 11 of last year we had 2549 hits on that page), and to date just the 4th time we've ever had more than 2000 hits on the homepage in one day. Thanks for visiting!

June 20, 1998: I Think, Therefore I Con

I'll be a guest at this Houston convention, along with none other than E. Gary Gygax, next week. Check out their web page for more information. Looks like it will be a good one. Come see me.

Yes, I will be running The Pirate Game there. DARN, I wish I had my Pirate page built and ready to link in. Oh, well.

By the way, I'd love to get e-mail from any other Austin folks who are planning to go. We can discuss matters of Mutual Interest, fnord.
-- Steve Jackson


June 19, 1998: Gardening on the Dark Side

Illuminated Site of the Week: If you ever need to know what plants attract bats, which flowers bloom at night, how to make a blood garden, or which plants are carnivorous or poisonous, the Gothic Gardening site is for you.

This stylish and fun site has thirteen theme gardens, Ye Olde Gothick Herball, folklore, mythology, a message board and much more.

Submitted by Ember Blackwell


June 18, 1998: Deluxe Illuminati In Translation?

We're working on a reissue of Deluxe Illuminati with full-color cards. (Should we even CALL it "Deluxe" this time? The little Pocket Box version is at least a decade gone . . . this is the only Illuminati there is.)

Anyway I'm thinking seriously about doing some SHORT runs of cards and rulebooks say, 1,000 or so each in other languages. French, German, maybe Italian, Spanish, Portuguese . . .

But I need to decide soon. Real soon. And to pull this off, I would need perfect, idiomatic translations of the cards and rules. There's not much text on the cards, but there's not much time to translate them, either. (We would have considerably longer for the rules.)

My idea of the ideal translator to (for instance) Italian is someone who speaks good, fluent English, but is a native speaker of Italian. So if there is anybody out there who is a native speaker of language X, but has excellent English, and plays Illuminati, and would like to see this happen . . well, let me know right now, OK? Thanks!
-- Steve Jackson


June 17, 1998: Now Shipping!

Now that the last reluctant counter sheets and rules folders have been wrestled into place, assembled and shrink-wrapped, like so many willful dogies refusing to enter the corral, we are pleased to announce our June ship:

We've got Knightmare Chess, Set 2 a completely new set of cards guaranteed to make your chess game stranger than ever. We've also got Issue #30 of Pyramid Magazine, the final paper issue of that magazine, plus reprints of GURPS Martial Arts, 2nd Ed. and Deluxe Car Wars.

Look for these products in stores near the end of the month.
-- Scott Haring


June 16, 1998: Job Opening

We're looking for a convention liaison who will also serve as head of our MIB network of demonstration teams. This person will report to the Marketing Director, Loren Wiseman, and will be responsible for all aspects of convention support, including planning and execution of our convention presence. Full-time job, in our Austin office. For further information, please contact Loren at lkw@io.com.

It's Too Hot

In other news: 109 degrees Sunday in Austin, and it feels about the same today. We're assembling Deluxe Car Wars . . . so anyone who objects to the outside temperature can come stand next to the nice cool shrinkwrapper.
-- Steve Jackson


June 15, 1998: The Transparent Society

 [cover art] I had the pleasure of reviewing early versions of this nonfiction book by Dr. David Brin (best known for his award-winning science fiction, including the Uplift series). Now The Transparent Society is on the shelves. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with freedom and privacy in our society.

But it's not another hand-wringing, oh-my-gosh-what-have-we-done, computers-are-robbing-our privacy screed. And it's definitely not another "Crypto Will Save Us!" manifesto. Quite the contrary. The Transparent Society argues that our society pays too much lip service to the ideal of "privacy," in a way that benefits only the rich and powerful . . .

Brin's core argument is that the coming generation of technology will make our present ideas of privacy impossible anyway. The only question is whether we are entering an age of universal surveillance of the population by the government or of universal accountability of the government to the people.

Criticism and accountability, say Brin, are keys to truth. And Brin encourages others to comment on and criticize his book at a website sponsored by The Foresight Institute.

I don't like Big Government, and I have thought of myself as a privacy advocate. But this book made me think. Specifically, it makes me think, "Damn! He may be right!

Read it.
-- Steve Jackson


June 14, 1998: The Posthuman World

Cyborgs on CNN! Every day, it's a bit easier to be mechanical. Wearable computers are just the beginning . . . the gap between human and cyborg is narrowing.

Car Wars Meets Bunnies & Burrows

Well, that's what Michael Nichols called it when he pointed out this strange news story on the CNN web site. Definitely worth a look.
-- Steve Jackson


June 13, 1998: Chief Financial Officer Reaps Dividend!

Congratulations to our head financial wizard Kelly Singletary and his wife Collette, proud parents of a brand-new baby boy! Kelly Alexander (Alex) Singletary was born June 5, and came in at 6 pounds 7 ounces, 20.5 inches long. Mother, baby, and father are all doing fine.

June 12, 1998: Way Too Much FUN

Illuminated Site of the Week: "It's always fun to use narcotics, or so I have been told. The only problem is, they can cause annoying side-effects, such as death . . ." So begins the Fictional and Useless Narcotics (FUN) page, dedicated to extolling the comparatively safe virtues of drugs that do not, in fact, exist at all. Point your local War Against Some Drugs crusaders at this page; bonus Illumination Points if your community is the first to launch a well-publicized battle against the growing threat of soma and melange.

Submitted by Orville Eastland.


June 11, 1998: Pyramid Upgrades

Our webserver, www.sjgames.com, will be down for several hours this Sunday (June 14th) for a system upgrade. We'll be installing the latest versions of RedHat Linux, Apache, Perl, and several other goodies to make the machine faster and better.

And while I'm talking about upgrades - Pyramid subscribers can now take advantage of our new and improved message boards. We currently have 18 groups for discussions about Pyramid, playtest files (including GURPS Traveller and the new GURPS Undead playtest draft), a marketplace for buying/selling/trading games, and game-specific boards for talk about INWO, In Nomine, and others. Check 'em out, and if you're not currently a subscriber, sign up today!
-- Kira


June 10, 1998: Welcome, Celeste!

Celeste Hollister is our new Production Artist and Editor, helping pick up the slack of a busy summer production schedule. Lori Schwartzberg, who used to do production part-time when she wasn't keeping our computers going, is shifting over to Multimedia to help Gene Seabolt with the GURPS CD-ROM project.

Welcome, Celeste!

-- Scott Haring


June 9, 1998: Just What Level is Bill Gates, Anyway?

The Onion knows. That great purveyor of satire in America has the complete scoop right here.

Check it out.
-- Scott Haring


June 8, 1998: Chaos is Everywhere, Part Two

It was just the other day we told you about Netscape's in-house bus sign. Now, secret operatives have infiltrated, leaving behind this evidence of their daring:

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-- Scott Haring


June 7, 1998: More Goodies from the Printer!

We recently received the advance copies of the GURPS Martial Arts, 2nd Ed. reprint. Look for it in stores later this month!
-- Scott Haring


June 6, 1998: Chaos is Everywhere!

For proof, we refer you to this bit of web nonsense pointed out to us by an operative known only as Sasha . . .
-- Scott Haring


June 5, 1998: The UFO Master Index

Illuminated Site of the Week: They claim to be the World's Largest UFO Website, and who are we to argue?
Their front page says: "This page is the top level of a series of link pages leading to all major UFO sites on the web. Anyone can add or modify links on most of these pages (subject to later review) . . . As a matter of grammatical style on these link pages, all claims are taken as true. (Qualifiers like "allegedly" are not used here, but they should always be assumed.)"
Good attitude; Scully would approve.
Submitted by Brett Slocum

June 4, 1998: GURPS Undead Now Available for Playtest

GURPS Undead, a new book by Sean Punch, is now available at our playtest site. Check it out.

Of course, it's available only to Pyramid magazine subscribers . . .
-- Scott Haring


June 3, 1998: The Chat Room is Filling Up!

If you haven't already, check out the Pyramid Chat Room schedule. We've got some good stuff lined up this week, including Inner City Design's Chris Clark on Fuzzy Heroes and their latest project with Gary Gygax, and Yours Truly on Pyramid magazine. Check it out!
-- Scott Haring


June 2, 1998: Exit, E3

E3 has come, and E3 has gone, leaving Atlanta's electrical utility and modeling industries that much richer for the experience. Let's just say overkill is the starting point for aesthetics in this venue. A lot of new first-person shooters were previewed, a lot of market trends were prognosticated, a lot of potential business for SJ Games was discussed. More on that soon, I hope.

The new Legos also were the near Wintermutian wonder I cracked them up to be. (Though our conversation didn't progress very well. Talking to them is like talking to a brick wall ...) Look up http://www.legomindstorms.com/ for a preview.

-- Gene Seabolt



June 1, 1998: This Just In . . .

After a few delays, the final paper issue of Pyramid magazine, issue #30, is on its way back from the printer. The preview copies arrived earlier this week.

This issue will ship along with the GURPS Martial Arts, 2nd Ed. reprint. Look for them both in a store near you in the middle of June.

-- Scott Haring


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