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October 31, 1998: December Release Announcement

These will ship December 7:

Silicon Valley Tarot

Created by Thomas Scoville, this tarot deck became "flavor of the month" on the Internet before a single tree died to create a real card. But everyone who saw it wanted an actual, physical deck . . . and it's coming in December.

Our hardcopy version of the Silicon Valley Tarot will be a real 70-card deck, with both major and minor arcana, and will include a 44-page guidebook with Scoville's oracular interpretations.

This is the Tarot for the new millennium . . . and on January 1, 2000, it WILL still work.

Stock #1324, ISBN 1-55634-362-0. $19.95.

In Nomine: Liber Canticorum

This is the “Book of Songs” for In Nomine. Songs are more than just "magic spells" . . . when an angel or demon wants to bring the Symphony in tune with his own desires or those of his Superior, he uses a Song. This book includes more than 100 new Songs – to create, to destroy, to change. Some are usable only by angels, some only by demons, and a few are even available to mere mortals. There are also guidelines for discovering powerful lost Songs – or creating new ones.

Stock #3312, ISBN 1-55634-354-X. $19.95.

GURPS Technomancer

By David Pulver (author of GURPS Vehicles, Ultra-Tech 2, Bio-Tech and many other hits). Fans have been asking for a worldbook that combines magic and high-tech. Here it is, but it's NOT cyberpunk. No netrunning, no brain-jacks, but lots of action. F-15s versus dragons, and the Cold War fought by wizards! It all started when the first A-bomb test opened a gate between worlds . . .

Stock #6087, ISBN 1-55634-359-0. $19.95.

Murphy's Rules (Second Edition)

Some game rules are good, some are bad, and some are Murphy's! This is the cartoon feature that takes the strangest and silliest game rules and skewers them, bleeding, for everyone to mock. (Us? Attitude? It's all right; we pick on our own stuff, too.)

The last time we published a Murphy's compilation was in 1988. This new book includes everything from that edition, plus all the Murphys that have come out in the last ten years . . . and more . . .

Stock #9006, ISBN 1-55634-363-9. $14.95.

October 30, 1998: Guided Missile Tour

Illuminated Site of the Week: Kevin Kelm's Site, "The Dark Prince of HTML", features two interesting photo tours, one of a decommissioned Titan I missile complex somewhere in the Midwest, and the other of the Catacombs of Paris. It also contains "My Plans for World Domination", the Church of the Quivering Otter, Phrenology, "How to Serve Ewoks" and more. Amusing and worth a click or ten.
- Brett Slocum

October 29, 1998: Upcoming Pyramid Chats

We've got an excellent lineup of chats next week in Pyramid's online chat area. On Monday, November 2, Greg Costikyan joins us to discuss his two current game projects, the state of the computer games industry, and whatever else comes up. On Tuesday the 3rd, Dan Smith talks about his art for GURPS and other SJ Games projects. And Steve Jackson joins us for a chat on Wednesday, November 4th.

Visit the Pyramid chat page for the current chat schedule and info on how to login. You must be a Pyramid subscriber to join the chats!
-- Kira

October 28, 1998: Tribes!

The game formerly known as Darwinopoly is now Tribes. We'll ship it in mid-November. Look for it!

While Tribes was actually already at the top of our pre-contest name list, fair is fair . . . LOTS of people suggested that name in the contest (43 of them, in fact). The first one was Jason T.A. Hogue, so he gets the $100 certificate and the free copies.

Our online suggestion form produced some less-than-serious entries, as well. Should we tell? Oh, why not? OK, some of the best were . . .

From Bradley Beth:

From Mike McGarel:

From Anthony Salter:
Life, What A Beautiful Thing (If The Kids Don't Get Eaten)
Don't Feed The Hyenas
Ugg Love Trouble
Crossbreed Doctor Lucky
Bug Eyed Monsters Alpha: They Came To Get Our Women But Went Home Empty-Handed Because Cave Women Are UGLY!

From Jeffrey Kessler:
Stop Dragging My Kid Around
Birth or Consequences

From Jim Bryant:
Breeding & Feeding
(SJ note: This is a cleaned-up version of one of our in-house names, “Food and Sex,” which is itself a cleaned-up version of a name that we not only couldn’t use, but won’t print here.)

From Michael Sarno:
Quest for Sire
It Takes a Village
It Takes a Village Idiot
Making Babies
Circle the Wagons, Once We Invent the Wheel

From Scott Haring:
Better Caves & Gardens
Social Contract: The First Draft

From David Simpson:
Tribal Pursuit
Axes & Allies

From Colin Clark:
Clan of the Day Care

From Shawn Metcalf:
Caveman: the Foraging
Look What Thag Do
Car Wars (not a very accurate title, but great name recognition)
Wooden Clubs and Iron Stomachs

From John Sanders:
Got Rocks?
-- Steve Jackson

October 27, 1998: SVT on TV (this time for sure?)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

The Silicon Valley Tarot segment of Ziff-Davis' "Internet Tonight" show is now scheduled for Wednesday the 28th. Check it out, if you have cable! It's on the ZD-TV channel. Consult your local oracle for the exact air time.

We'll release the Tarot in December, and we are taking orders now . . . if you haven't seen the web page yet, come by for a visit. You can even have your fortune told online.
-- Steve Jackson

October 26, 1998: Alien Races I To The Printers!

Alien Races 1, the second GURPS Traveller supplement, has gone to the printers. It covers the Zhodani, the Vargr, and three new minor races in Vargr and Zho territory, and will be in stores in November.

October 25, 1998: Free Shipping on (large) Web Orders

Okay . . . this is an experiment. It may not continue forever. But at least until the end of the year, we will be giving free shipping on direct mail orders over $80, to addresses within the continental US. (Yes, this includes APO and FPO, too.)

Here's the deal:
Order $50 or less: shipping is 10% of retail, with a minimum of $3.
$50.01 to $80: shipping is a flat $2.50.
Over $80 - shipping is free.

We are currently using FedEx 3-day service, but they just hiked their rates WAY up and we'll probably move to another service the day the FedEx gouge becomes effective. If not before.

Why offer free shipping? Simple. To encourage you to place bigger orders. We're much better off if you order five books at once rather than in several little orders. And if you want to get together with your friends to place an order . . . cool. Whatever. At any rate, now, more than ever, check out our catalog . . .
-- Steve Jackson

October 24, 1998: Swoosh! They're Gone!

Okay, too many of you read the notice that the GURPS Basic Set hardback was about to be in short supply. We ran through all those that we'd set aside for direct mail, and the orders kept coming in. So we moved the last hundred or so into the mail-order stack.... and it didn't take long for those to sell too. So now we're out. You'll get one if you ordered from us before Thursday; otherwise, talk to your local retailer.

October 23, 1998: Bring Back The Bell

Illuminated Site of the Week: Last week, he quit the talk radio business. Now, rumors are floating around that he might be back on the air as soon as October 30th for his annual ghost show.

I'm talking about Art Bell, the king of High Weirdness by radio, broadcasting two shows (Coast to Coast on weeknights from 10pm to 3am PDT and Dreamlands on Sunday night from 6pm to 9pm PDT) from his remote home studio in the Southwest. His show covers conspiracies, UFOs, Ultra-Tech, time travel, Atlanteans, cattle mutilations, black helicopters, and more.

This site has the schedule for the show, an art gallery, feature articles, a local station search function, and tons of links to relevant web sites. The truth is way out there.
- Brett Slocum

October 22, 1998: Brain Interface – For Real

Emory University researchers are having some initial success with an experimental system that lets a paralyzed patient control a computer mouse by mental impulses. NPR has the story.

October 21, 1998: Silicon Valley Tarot on TV

Ziff-Davis' "Internet Tonight" show, on Wednesday the 21st, will talk about the Silicon Valley Tarot . . . which WE will be releasing in December. Ta-daaa! Check it out, if you have cable! It's on the ZD-TV channel. Consult your local oracle for the exact air time.

-- Steve Jackson

October 20, 1998: Pyramid Additions

Pyramid issues #1 and 2 are now online in our archives, and more are coming soon! The back-issues are being converted from Quark files to HTML by our volunteer archivist Brian Cook.

And another change in the works: David E. Brooks, Jr., has modified the INN news server software to authenticate with our Pyramid user database, so soon the Pyramid message boards will be readable via your favorite newsreader (for Pyramid subscribers only). This is a feature that many of our subscribers have requested, and we're glad to finally be able to offer it. Of course, the web-based boards will still be available too.

We'd like to say thanks to Brian and David for helping us bring these new features to you.

If you're not already a Pyramid subscriber, subscribe today!

October 19, 1998: A Little Bit Damp

It rained here Saturday and Sunday. A lot. Some places got over ten inches of rain before dark Saturday. Serious flooding. The fire department advised people to evacuate some residential areas (including mine . . . I live in a 25-year floodplain that the city has pretty much ignored, except during actual floods, for decades . . . South Austin is not a fashionable part of town). The front page of Sunday's paper showed some of my neighbors being rescued by boat, and reported five deaths and another five missing.

The office is all right, and – as far as I know – none of our staff was in any danger, though the last communication from Melissa Brunson indicated that her apartment was taking on water. All in all, an exciting day.

The best part is, the weather pattern that caused this is expected to persist until Wednesday or Thursday. So we could get another ten inches any time. Stay tuned . . .
-- Steve Jackson

October 18, 1998: One Million Visitors!

Friday night, we had our millionth visitor to our home page. Kira wrote a script to say "Hi – You're number 1,000,000!" and invite the lucky web-crawler to leave his/her/its name and pick up a gift certificate.

But, as fate would have it, Number One Million apparently wanted to maintain a secure identity. The page was returned empty. So we can tell you that we've had our millionth guest . . . but as to who it was, you're not cleared for that and neither, apparently, are we. So it goes.
-- Steve Jackson

October 17, 1998: Name That Game!

Remember a couple of months ago I announced a game of caveman roleplaying, called "Darwinopoly"? Well . . . turns out we can't use that name. Too bad, so sad, end of story.

So I need a name. And I need it now, because we want to release this sucker in November. We've got some ideas, but I'd like more. If you want to help, look at the page describing the currently nameless game, and then go here to enter your suggestions.

All entries become our property, none can be acknowledged, do not pass GO, do not collect $200, close cover before striking . . .

If we choose your entry, I'll send you a half-dozen copies of the game and a $100 gift certificate. In case of duplicate entries, the earliest one wins fnord.
-- Steve Jackson

October 16, 1998: UFOs, Stock Crashes, and Zionists, Oh My!

Illuminated Site of the Week: The folks at the Harvest Trust have a whole lot on their plate. They track events in a variety of conspiracy stories, including Majesty 12, Mossad involvement in the OKC bombing, the Intelligence Community, the Global Surveillance System, Waco, and more. Lots of bold, all-caps, and exclamation points.

-- Submitted by Patrick Anders

October 15, 1998: Say Hi to Captain Trips

For those of you haven't read Stephen King's The Stand, "Captain Trips" was the killer flu that depopulated the world. This winter's flu won't be that bad . . . probably. But one current strain, A/Sydney, is plenty bad enough. In California last winter, it filled hospitals.

So? So go get a flu shot. Vaccination isn't a guarantee . . . you might just luck into a flu bug that's resistant . . . but it really improves your odds. And if you don't catch the flu, not only do you spare yourself a week of misery (or worse) . . . but you won't be passing it on to others. And the flu DOES kill some people, especially the very young, very old and those who already have another health problem. So if you can avoid passing the flu around, you might actually save some lives.

A carload of us from the office went down today and got shot. Why not go do the same?
-- Steve Jackson

October 14, 1998: Dino Hunt in the Nature Company

Our agents tell us that Dino Hunt has made it to the Nature Company stores . . . and is well displayed and is selling.


If you have never picked up this game, and you have dino-crazy kids anywhere in your extended family, check it out. Don't take my word for it . . . look at the What They're Saying page. This has been a commercial plea . . . :-)
-- Steve Jackson

October 13, 1998: Swoosh! Out the Door!

We ordered only 2,000 each of the GURPS Basic Set and GURPS Traveller hardcovers. Apparently the printers gave us some extra. A good thing, too, because we came very close to selling out of the GURPS Basic Set just on pre-orders . . . I expect to run out this week, except for the ones we have reserved for direct mail sales . . . and GURPS Traveller won't be far behind.

So if you want one of these, go bug your local retailer right now, and beat out those people who don't read the Illuminator . . .

-- Steve Jackson

October 12, 1998: Filk Music

Just a quick report: I'm in Columbus, at OVFF (the Ohio Valley Filk Festival). If you like filk, you know why I'm here . . . if you don't, well, never mind.

The most amazing thing here is the music. (When was the last time you walked down the hall at a con and passed three people singing - to a flute, a guitar and a standing harp?)

The second most amazing thing: I brought the #1 copies of GURPS Undead and the GURPS Traveller hardback as donations to the Interfilk auction (Interfilk is a nonprofit group that sends good filkers to different parts of the country to spread the music.) And . . . wow. The set brought $425, which was (though only by a whisker) the most of any lot. Moral: There should be more of this kind of memorabilia donated to charity auctions at conventions. My friends and competitors, take note . . .
-- Steve Jackson

October 11, 1998: Fantasy Trip Website

Ty Beard has created a website for the (long-out-of print and lamented by many) The Fantasy Trip. It includes several articles and a Metagaming ludography.

October 10, 1998: Looking for Opponents?

Access Denied offers a database of gamers for Boardgames, PBEM (Play By Email), Network and RPG games. You can register yourself as a player with over 500 games in the database (and you can easily add new games that are not listed). With an advanced query engine you can find opponents based on location, game, skill level, or available times.

October 9, 1998: Protect Your Brain!

Illuminated Site of the Week: When working for the Illuminati, you can't always afford expensive, high-tech protection from Orbital Mind Control Lasers, psychic mind-reading, and other forms of intrusive mind control. Enter the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie home page. This site provides all the information needed to protect your brain.

-- Submitted by Lyle Zapato

October 8, 1998: The Manifesto of January 3, 2000

Quoth Bruce Sterling:

"The rapidly approaching millennium offers a unique cultural opportunity. After many years of cut-and-paste, appropriation, detournement and neo-retro ahistoricality, postmodernity is about to end. Immediately after the end of the fin de siecle, there will be a sudden and intense demand for genuine novelty.

"Any new year offers a chance for sweeping resolutions and brave efforts at self-reform. But the end of a millennium offers a rare and vital opportunity to bury all that is dead within us and issue proclamations of particular scope and ambition.

"I suspect that a group that can offer a coherent, thoughtful and novel cultural manifesto on the target date of January 3, 2000 has a profound opportunity to affect the zeitgeist. (On January 1, everyone will be too hung over to read manifestos; on January 2, nobody's computers will work. So naturally the target date must be January 3.) In this preliminary document, I would like to offer a few thoughts on the possible contents of such a manifesto..."

But then he gets serious. Read it.
-- Steve Jackson

October 7, 1998: The Fnorder

Ever wondered about the program that brings you those messages from the Illuminati? Well, the Fnorder now has its own page. It's a shareware perl program that you can adapt for your own web page. Like it? Send us $10. Hate it? Erase it. The lovely laser from Waukegan delights Hitler's brain.
-- Steve Jackson

October 6, 1998: SubGenius Card List

People have been asking us for a full list of the SubGenius cards for some time now. Well, we heard your pleas, and the card lists page now has its very own SubGenius section. Cards are listed by rarity and alphabetically; the list will be updated whenever necessary.

October 5, 1998: Murphy Strikes Again!

A major omission was made when artist Rob Caswell's name was inadvertently left off the art credits for GURPS Traveller. The omission is even more embarrassing because one of Rob's excellent illustrations appears as a backdrop to the credits page itself.

Traveller fans should not need to be reminded that Rob's work is seminal to the look and feel of the Traveller universe. Rob has received our apologies already, and rest assured we will correct things in the book's second printing.
-- Loren Wiseman

October 4, 1998: Our Agent in St. Louis

Reese Harrell is at Archon in St. Louis this weekend, ably assisted by a cadre of evil MIBs. And maybe even some of the other kind, but you're not cleared for that. Games will be run, Illuminated loot will be sold from the table, and in general the flag will be waved.

October 3, 1998: More Books to the Printer

The revised and enlarged fourth edition of Killer and the reprinted GURPS Compendium II went off to the printers Friday. They are on target to appear in stores in late November, along with Authentic Thaumaturgy and GURPS Traveller: Alien Races I – check out our page of upcoming stuff for the details!
-- Steve Jackson

October 2, 1998: Cthulhu! Cthulhu! Ra! Ra! Ra!

Illuminated Site of the Week: Miskatonic University has quite the reputation. Nestled in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts, it offers what no other school can offer . . . tentacled visitors in the night and human sacrifice.

This site has staff lists, admissions forms, course offerings, etc... everything you need to decide whether Miskatonic is for you.

-- Submitted by Richard Grinnell

October 1, 1998: New Car Wars Online Editor

Our online editors are volunteers who take responsibility for the web pages for various games. They make it possible for us to give you much more web support, and we appreciate their efforts!

Our new online editor for Car Wars is Robert Deis ( Welcome, Robert!
-- Steve Jackson

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