Daily Illuminator

June 4, 2006: Hi from NZ

I know. I'm a bad Steve. I didn't call, I didn't write . . .

Having an excellent time in New Zealand. Keeping very, very busy, and not terribly jet lagged. Internet is inconvenient (hotspot in hotel lobby, hourly connection rates) but speeds are broadband, so once I get myself and the computer dragged out here, I can log in easily enough; I just can't hang around in Pyramid chat. Waaaah!

However, there's plenty of "doing stuff" to keep me occupied. This is the last day of the convention. Fun is being had. This is the first time I'd met SF author Joan D. Vinge and her husband, Tor editor Jim Frenkel. Nice folks. Turns out that Jim had used some of the same now-antique typesetting equipment, early in his career, that I did, so we bored other people with geeky Electronic Selectric Composer memories.

We got to do some sightseeing before the con started. Visited Rotorua (big geothermal area, very pretty, but totally swamped with tourists); Waitomo (the "glowworm caves," with bioluminescent larvae that looks like stars; lovely, and not crowded at all); and several other sites outside Auckland. And we went on a dolphin-watching cruise. No luck the first day, so we tried again, and saw hundreds of common dolphins, and three Bryde's whales!

The photo is a tuatara, which I saw at Rainbow Springs outside Rotorua. This is a highly endangered New Zealand reptile of ancient lineage. We also saw kiwis . . . thoroughly neat birds, bigger than I expected. But they're nocturnal, and camera flash bothers them, so the pictures that I took are all nice black rectangles.

Getting a bit of playtesting done (I brought Munchkin Impossible and five other games in earlier stages of development). And spent a lot of the 12-hour flight time working on the next Munchkin project after Munchkin Impossible, but I'm cruelly not going to tell you what it is or when it comes out.

Tuesday we leave for Australia.
-- Steve Jackson

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