Hello Card  -  Volume 20  -  Preface Card Number 0  -  Sat, May 4, 1991 12:57 AM

Brace yourselves, boys and girls! Issue 20 is by far the largest, most astonishing issue of Archipelago ever to hit the streets. It is nothing less than a landmark issue, the biggest issue, the best issue, and the last issue ever to be sent from Canyon Creek. Issue 20 marks the end of an era and dawn of a new age!

There can be no doubt that it is the biggest issue in history. It weighs in at over 36 THOUSAND words and contains a record 136 cards! This includes the second longest voice card ever, and SEVERAL members have set personal records this time out! We even have more picture cards than ever before in a single issue!

I also believe it to be one of the BEST issues ever. I predict that when it comes time to select the best voice cards of 1991, issue 20 will be recalled again and again. Stuart and Larry did a particularly magnificent job this time!

Issue 20 was also the fastest ever to arrive at command central. When I received Robert's packet several weeks EARLY I almost fainted. At first I was convinced it was some kind of postal screwup. And then the other members came racing in like rockets. Pretty much everyone got their packets in within the grace period, an Archipelago first!

AND Issue 20 marks the debut of a VERY promising new member, Yumi Nagasaki. I'm sure you will agree that Yumi's first time out of the chute made for a brilliant contribution, and I am looking forward to more brilliance in the issues ahead. Also, I have just received word of yet ANOTHER new member in the wings. Stay tuned.

Of course the biggest news, especially from my point of view, is that issue 20 will be the LAST issue launched from Canyon Creek. By now most of you know that I unexpectedly fell in love and got engaged last month. And in a few hours I will be moving to southern California. The details of my whirlwind romance and subsequent Montana vacation, along with two cards penned by my beloved fiancé, Betsy, can be found in a very special edition of my voice cards.

We also have some lively conversation trees in full bloom. Larry gives the opening reports of his new career as a dad. Roger has developed an interest in housecleaning statistics, Larry, Drury, and I continue to ponder personality, and our newest member has some telling observations about Iraq.

And BEST OF ALL, we got no less than FOUR superb responses to the Gargoyle Serial Mystery. I have decided to hold back my counter-response until next time so as not to bias the branching of the tale. PLEASE pick your favorite (or pick two - it will be very hard to choose) and whip out more installments. I can hardly wait to see what you guys are going to come up with next!

As if this was not enough, we also have two excellent book reviews and three fairly nifty gifts under the tree. Mr. Wizard is pleased to offer a sequel to last month's Starmaze column, and Stuart, in addition to his usual wonderful bestiary sonnet, has given us an alphabet poem that has gotten WAY out of hand; I like it so much I've been reading it aloud to some of my friends. Finally, in honor of the last show of Twin Peaks, we have a single LARGE sound effect in this month's sound archive.

So there you have it: the most spectacular issue in the history of Archipelago. Because it is so vast, I have added an extra couple of weeks to the standard deadline. As I discuss in my last card, I will call all of you before the end of July with my new address.

I would like to take this opportunity to renew my commitment to Archipelago. Despite the changes that are sweeping through my life at the moment, I will remain steadfast at the helm. The big move of command central from the mountains to the sea provides us with a natural demarcation. The halcyon days of our youth are behind us. Archipelago has now reached it's first maturity and is ready to step out into a wider world.

Have a great summer everyone! See you all in issue 21!