Welcome back! The big Shoppe news this month is, of course, the expanded site layout. I'm still learning the finer points of HTML, but please drop me a line and let me know what you think of the Newwe Olde Infocomme Shoppe. Special thanks are due to Manuel Schulz and Stefen Meier for giving me space on their new I-F Legends server, and to Jay Goemmer, who hosted the Shoppe at his Downbelow Station the first three years.

The column is a bit sparse this month, as most of my time and energy has gone into migrating the Shoppe to hypertext. That, and I finally bought a brand-new PC, so I've just discovered Tomb Raider. But you'll be happy to know I kept the promise I made two years ago, the one about never ever upgrading to Windows 95. (I got '98 instead. Oh, well. Enjoy the control you now exert over me, Mr Gates... wanna buy a Starcross saucer?... only $6000, that's prob'ly less than you make in an hour.)

The new Shoppe should also see the advantage of more frequent updates. Since I know longer need to worry about bombarding Jay with frequent changes, I'm hoping to keep the stock list continuously updated. I'd really like to get it to the point where I can remove sold items within a day or two of the sale, and mark items as reserved if someone else has already expressed an interest in them. (And keep better tabs on items people reserve and then don't bother to pay for -- no names, you know who you are -- so I can free them up after a couple of weeks.)

The Fool on the Hill

Met (through eBay) the author of an interesting game sold only in England. Beatle Quest by Garry Marsh is a text adventure based on the lyrics of several Beatles' songs, which received very good magazine reviews on its release. Psychedelic Alan Alderidge inlay art (check it out here), and I've also got a number of extra inlays, signed (by the author, not by any members of the Fab Four), free with the purchase of this game while supplies last. I've bought up the last of the author's original stock, so you probably can't get this anywhere else. An interesting item to have, especially if you're a fan of both text games and the Beatles.

Obscure Package Variation of the Month

Paul David Doherty informed me of this one: Two versions of the Deadline folio package. The earliest mentions only Zork I and II as the other games in the Interlogic series, while the later variation also mentions Zork III and Starcross. Check yours!

New This Month

Since last update, I've been expanding my own collection into the realm of European releases. So in addition to Beatle Quest, I've got some U.K. releases from Artic Computing and Melbourne House (publishers of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings text adventures, distributed in the States under the Addison-Wesley label). Don't overlook these; they're great additions for collectors who are running out of Infocom stuff to collect.

Not much new in the Infocom department. I haven't been buying as many greys since the demand seems to be way down except on the rare stuff. I do have a shrinkwrapped Journey and a Quarterstaff, though. Two or three Infocom Mastertronics too, and I can't understand why these semi- scarce (and very cute) packages aren't more popular with collectors... maybe someone out there can explain it to me.

European collectors, if you'd like to get Infocoms and avoid huge shipping costs, I'd gladly trade for just about any text adventures that were never sold in America. Examples of companies include:

Platform never matters to me, I'll take Spectrum, Amstrad, BBC Micro, Dragon, Oric, whatever you might have. Since many U.K. games come in a small cassette case or MK-II, shipping from your end will be fairly low. Good way to get some U.S. releases for next to nothing cost-wise.

Also I've received a couple of requests that YOIS sign up with an online escrow service, which would allow European buyers to pay with their credit cards and avoid the hassle of sending U.S. cash by registered mail. I've looked at the service, but I'm not sure I completely like it -- some of them are too strict about the courier used, the shipping method, etc. But if an escrow service would make it easier for you to buy from YOIS, please let me know.

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