Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Frog Day Afternoon

My first professional fiction sale was in 1991, a story in Temps, a shared-world anthology of superhero stories put together by the Midnight Rose Collective (most notably rozk, Neil Gaiman, Alex Stewart and Mary Gentle).

Recently Roz and I were talking about this and I finally got round to asking about the copyright situation. It turns out I can do pretty much what I like with it. The book is long out of print, so I've decided to put my story on line for the pleasure (or derision) of others. I've avoided the temptation to update or rewrite it, so readers may notice occasional points at which there is a certain period charm. I hope that I'm a slightly better writer these days - most of the coherence of the story comes from Roz and Alex, who did miracles with my grammar. Alex Stewart came up with the title - can't even remember what it originally was, but I'm pretty sure it was BAD...

I've had to scan it, since I was using an IBM PC with 5¼" floppies at the time I wrote it, and I'd be grateful for comments on anything that looks like an OCR error before I put links to it on my web site etc.

Some background that makes the story a little clearer: in the Temps world there have been paranorms, basically people with abnormal powers, throughout history. Somehow history has stayed much the same, not least because most of them aren't particularly powerful, the ones who are generally learn to keep a low profile.

In the USA the current generation are basically superheroes in comic book style. In Europe they are usually under fairly close control, regulated by whatever bureaucracy got stuck with the job. In Britain this is the DPR, the Department of Paranormal Resources, set up in the late 1940s along socialist lines (think National Health Service) and slightly anachronistic in the 1990s. All Paranorms are expected to register and get paid a small monthly fee, the amount depending on how powerful they are, on condition that they make their powers available if needed. Some are in constant demand, others... well, that's part of the story.

This is the first story I wrote in the Temps universe; the second was in the second anthology, Eurotemps, and when I get round to it that'll go on line too. For now here's

Frog Day Afternoon

All comments gratefully received.

Look out for Roz to put her two Temps stories on line sooner or later - I've just scanned them for her, so hopefully it'll be sooner, once she's fixed all the OCR errors I've missed.

Later thought: For the benefit of Roz and any of the other Temps authors - if you want to link to that picture of the cover, go right ahead - it's VERY compressed and a fairly small file, so won't use much bandwidth. I have no idea who the artist was, if there's any problem with my using it in this way please let me know.

Thursday AM: Fixed some hyphenated words that somehow slipped past and a couple of typos.

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