Troubled by Trolls? Swamped with Spam? These links may help...
Deja News is one of the most useful search engines for Usenet, but one that a surprising number of people have never heard of. Worried that your newsgroup has been invaded by trolls? Type the address into Deja News to see all their postings for the last few years. Doesn't work every time, but it's sometimes useful to know that the odd little WW2 historical query you are dealing with has been posted by someone who usually hangs about in alt.sex.nazi, or appears to have no previous history on usenet at all.
If spam is your problem, a British homepage offers a search engine for addresses which simplifies the process of tracking messages back to their real source.
POP 3 Scan Mailbox is an indispensible Windows 3.1/95/98 utility for anyone who gets too much spam - it's also free! If your software supports POP 3 e-mail collection you can see what messages are coming in, and delete them unread. I first used this when it was in Beta test, after someone tried to "mail-bomb" me with 5000+ messages, and it's still VERY useful today.
Games & Gaming
Rather than give hundreds of gaming links which tend to go out of date quickly, here's the most useful link for any UK gamer; Phil Masters, the guru of the British role playing games industry. His site includes links to most of the role playing companies and conventions and is kept much more up to date than this one...
Having said that, here are a few links which ought to work:
Steve Jackson Games is the essential stop for anyone interested in role playing games. They publish GURPS, In Nomine, Car Wars, Illuminati, and Toon, many other games, and the on-line magazine Pyramid which covers the entire industry. Their web pages are well worth a visit. This is the company that was raided by the US Secret Service, in the notorious "hacker crackdown" case; an account of the raid is available from their web page.
Little Wars, H.G. Wells' wargaming system in facsimile form. You won't see it in print in the UK because it's still in European copyright and the Wells estate has refused to allow anyone to reprint it.
BITS, British Isles Traveller Support, are now the main proponents of the first SF RPG "Traveller"; there's also a GURPS version (see Steve Jackson Games above) which is being heavily supported, but if you want more material for the original game BITS should be your first port of call.
The Castle Falkenstein Reading List is a good source of Victoriana, intended for R. Talsorian's Castle Falkenstein game but readily applicable to Forgotten Futures. R. Talsorian themselves also have a Web presence. Another useful historical source is Scientific American in the 19th Century. The Dead Media Project is also useful; it collates information on obsolete forms of record storage and transmission. Another useful source is the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica; there are problems with some incomplete entries, but it's still a valiant attempt to put one of the classic encyclopaedias on line.
The Dover Bookshop (or try this link) offers a huge range of period clip art and illustrations which can be useful in any Victorian or Edwardian campaign. They are in Earlham Street, London, a few doors from the Orcs Nest games shop, and just round the corner from one of my favourite SF / crime bookshops, Murder One.
If alternate history is an interest, for games, fiction, or speculation, there's a site that offers a comprehensive alternate history reading list. You might also be interested in the alternate history newsgroups, alt.history.what-if and soc.history.what-if, where I sometimes post. For real history the History Resources web site has umpteen links to sites covering a broad spectrum of historical events.
Fudge is a multi-genre role playing game distributed as freeware, and used as the core engine for many other games. The site includes rules and scenarios for many settings.
Chaosium Inc publish Call of Cthulhu and many other excellent games. They are possibly the most respected name in role playing games.
Warhammer fans will find Games Workshop useful; their web page covers their games and White Dwarf, which is now entirely a house magazine for Games Workshop products.
If you want a one-stop web page for all known role playing sites, try rpg.net, which attempts to provide links for every possible role playing address, including a directory of players. It's well-organised but doesn't provide many details, and so big that finding things can sometimes take longer than it should.
Finally, I've just added a separate page listing manufacturers of Victorian and Edwardian figures in various scales.
An interesting site for all biological interests is Biodidac, the University of Ottawa's biological image reference bank. Useful, but it sends out a lot of cookies. I've previously posted the wrong address for this organisation, many apologies for the error.
There's a web site with Science-Related cartoons that I've enjoyed. Not many snakes, but lots of fun.
UK Net Politics
If you are interested in the process of newsgroup creation, uk.net.news.config and its equivalents in other countries are fascinating. Find out now what your service provider may offer in a few months, or find a cause to support - or oppose. Full details of the uk newsgroup creation process can be found on Usenet UK's web page.
Science Fiction - Double Feature...
The Science Fiction Foundation is Britain's premier scholastic organisation for the study of SF, with a library of 25,000 books at the University of Liverpool. They are always looking for funds, books, and help of one sort or another, and will be inheriting my collections some time in (I hope) the late 21st century (never would be better, but is possibly rather too much to hope for...). They are supported by the Friends of Foundation, a registered charity, and publish the magazine Foundation, a critical review of SF.
If you liked Forgotten Futures 3, you will probably LOVE The Lost World web site, which has facts about the films, the book, and efforts to raise funds to restore the original silent version. Lots of pictures, so a little slow, but well worth a look.
The Memory Hole is the index to an archive of science fiction fanzines. The Memory Hole Annexe is a site storing the publications of various British SF conventions. Both may be a little esoteric, but if you are interested in that sort of thing it's information you won't find elsewhere.
The Real Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy homepage is authorised by Douglas Adams. It has some funny entries and raises money for charity. The title page says "Marginally better than a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster", but this may simply be an odd definition of "better". Warning - uses frames, graphics, music, etc., don't even think about going near it with an older web browser.
The Dreaming is a site for Neil Gaiman's excellent comic The Sandman.
Lexx was an extremely strange TV SF series, and this is a link to an extremely strange site. Don't say you weren't warned...
The Adventures of Luthor Arkright have their own web page, concerned with the comic, the character, and the role playing game. It's worth a visit.
Phil Masters is one of the most respected figures in the British role playing scene, with many commercially published adventures and game supplements. He is the author of The Skool Rules, a charityware RPG which is included in Forgotten Futures III and available from his homepage. An excellent source of useful information and links.
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