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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Dates for Next Three MEPACONs Announced

by Ken Newquist / August 26, 2007

The dates for the next three MEPACONs have been announced by the staff of the mid-eastern Pennsylvania game convention. The dates are:

  • Fall 2007: 2-4 November
  • Spring 2008: 11-13 April
  • Fall 2008: 7-9 November

All three conventions will be held at the Holiday Inn in Dunmore, Pa. You can learn more about the convention by visiting its web site at

Mars to Earth: You Missed Your Big Close-up (Again)

by Ken Newquist / August 25, 2007

An e-mail claims that Mars will soon be looming so large in our skies that it will rival the moon. The truth is that while Mars did get very close to Earth a few years ago, that merely turned it into a slightly brighter red star in the sky. If it actually did get as close as the email claims, the Earth would be wracked by high tides and thrown out of its orbit.

Here's the email.

Captured 8/24/07

Two Moons on 27th, August 2007*

*27th August; the day the Whole World is waiting for .....

CNN: Many parents now get domain names for kids too young to type

by Ken Newquist / August 24, 2007

Parents are buying domain names for their newborns, partly to make sure the address doesn't get bought up by someone else, partly to provide friends and family with an easy way of getting photos/news and partly because hey, they are geeks. Well, not all of them -- one of the points of the story is that the practice is happening beyond geek circles, with others seeing the value of parking their kids' domain name from day one.

There are privacy concerns -- some folks aren't locking down their kids sites, others are concerned that being able to easily guess a child's domain name (e.g. first name, last name, .com) is an invitation to unsavory types.

GenCon Day 4: Sundered Skies and Chessex Dice

by Ken Newquist / August 23, 2007

As the morning sun shone on the final day of GenCon I arrived at my last game of the convention, a Savage Worlds game taking place in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting called Sundered Skies. After liberating a dragon from the deathly bonds of necromancer, I returned to the exhibition hall to complete one final quest: the search for a new set of dice.

CNN: Google Earth to launch Sky for stargazers

by Ken Newquist / August 23, 2007

Google is launching a virtual stargazing program called Sky. It will allow users to explore millions of stars, and will support layers for things such as views from the Hubble Space Telescope. One has to wonder how long it will take the Trekkers to start mapping out Gene Roddenbury's universe in this thing...

Space Westerns: No Right

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2007 has published its latest short story, "No Right" by Jens Rushing:

Of course my employees have the right to leave at any time, with notice or without it, Mr. Lang.” Nolan’s unctuous voice filled the large office. “The deuce of it is, he took my favorite speeder.” Nolan leaned back in his chair, his soft hands gripping the polished oak desk. Real wood was a rarity here in the Sierra sector; Nolan had imported the desk all the way from the Middle Colonies, and it had been worth every credit

GenCon, Day 3: Star Wars, Exhibit Hall, Savage Pirates, RPG Podcast Party, Mall Zombies

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2007

I woke up far too early on Saturday to get to an 8 a.m. Star Wars d20 game. The game let out early, which gave me time to wander the exhibit hall until exhaustion sent me retreating to my hotel room … only to be called back by a phone call from Erilar about a Pirates of the Spanish Main game that was just starting. Rounding out the day was the well-attended RPG Podcaster Party and an all-out zombie assault on a French-built shopping mall.

GenCon, Day 2: Battlestar Galactica, RPG Podcasters, Solomon Kane

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2007

Thursday's D&D 4E buzz subsided by Friday morning, though a bunch of the special 4E t-shirts could be found in the convention hall. I will say there weren't nearly as many as when 3E was announced in 1999, though admittedly the t-shirts for that edition were much, much cooler (listing all the major changes being made to 3E; we'd kill for that kind of list for 4E).

By the end of the day I'd noticed a grassroots buzz building for an entirely different game: Savage Worlds. By then I was also recognizing just how hard it was going to be to find open wireless at the convention.

Gen Con, Day 1: Spirit of the Century, Godlike, D&D 4E

by Ken Newquist / August 21, 2007

The big buzz around the con today is the anticipated announcement of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, when the game will arrive, how it will be different from 3E, and what this means for the hobby.

And that's just what I heard while waiting in line for coffee. Then again, maybe they should have just read the official press release, which states the game will launch in May 2008. Which is way, way too soon for my tastes.