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01/07/01: Memo from Firetop Mountain: Things to Come
by Pieter van Hiel

Hey kids! Welcome to the first edition of the Guide to the NonExistent Universe for 2001! IMC and the Guide are both entering our 2nd year, and both are going strong.

I'm mostly proud of the Guide's first full year of life. I was able to get inteviews with some pretty big names in the RPG and SF/fantasy world. I'm getting a fairly steady stream of submissions, and I finally settled into a semi-regular update schedule. You can now expect the 'zine to be updated once every 5-6 weeks -  well short of my original biweekly goal, but a rather more realistic timeframe.

What can you expect from the Guide in 2001? I've got some cracking good member submissions lined up. Gline's script will run for another 2 updates, and Shadowkitty has given me permission to use some of her award-winning Marvel fan fic. I will continue to seek out interviews with folks of interest to IMC'ers, and possibly event coverage from cons and so forth.

There will be some new items as well. First of all, my longwinded, wankish columns about life, dice, conventions, and so forth will all be entitled "Memo from Firetop Mountain."  My serious articles, interviews, etc., will be posted separately - thus ensuring the wheat stays separate from the chaff. I hope also to include pictures with some of the articles. I've got some other ideas that I'll keep under my big ugly hat for now... heh.

Anyway. On to this month's edition of "Memo from Firetop Mountain." Ahem.

2000 was a big year for me. Some highlights, for the inexplicably curious...

January : I refused to prepare for the Y2K bug in any way, shape, or form, figuring the missus and I could just drink from the toilet tank if things got bad.
Feburary : I ate cavier in Professor X's mansion, or rather Toronto's Casa Loma, where the film was shot.
March : I quit my job as senior staff writer at a godless computer industry magazine, (which shall remain nameless) and dove head-first into a much-lower paying (and much more satisfying) reporter job at a tiny newspaper.
April : My first RPG book, "Doloreaux," went to print.
May : Got invited to read an SF short-story at an event in Toronto. Got paid for it!
June : I had supper with Draonlance authors Margaret Weis and Don Perrin. Was a guest at Bayshore's 19th annual game sale and weiner roast.
July : Um... it was really rainy this month?
August : Drove to my former hometown of Montreal with my wife for a visit. Ordered a poutine at McDonald's! Scoured Rue St. Denis for a gaming store - nada - but a used book store did have a French edition of "Runequest" and a some circa 1980 Traveller stuff. Which I bought.
September : D&D3E came out, leading to a surfeit of false nostalgia for the game.
October : Realms magazine hits magazine racks across North America! As the former gaming columnist, I'm asked to be a section editor. Weehaw!
November : Attended the Primedia convention in Toronto as a guest. Met TVO's Commander Rick!
December : The D&D movie was released. Wow. What an end to the year. Ug. A second RPG supplement I wrote portions of, "Phelan," was released.

2001 is looking pretty fuzzy at the moment. I'm going to start peddling my pen to different RPG companies, and possibly try to write a novel. Again. The Guide is going to become a bigger part of my life as well, I imagine.

And that's all for now. Kudos to all, stay warm, and treat yourselves to a heaping pale of Ho-Ho's and a darned large glass of Dr. Pepper for me.

Pieter forgot to tell you where he got the title from. Ah well. Next month!