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Marcus Rowland & Forgotten Futures
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MARCUS ROWLAND is a retired London-based laboratory technician and author of FORGOTTEN FUTURES, the Scientific Romance Role Playing Game, a tabletop RPG based on period science fiction and fantasy. The game is published as HTML and graphics files. It was formerly distributed as shareware, with some support material only available to registered users. The complete game and a growing collection of support material was published as the FORGOTTEN FUTURES CD-ROM (last update November 2010). Pending a complete site redesign, the contents of the CD-ROM can now be downloaded freely - follow the link above.
A few articles from the CD-ROM are on this site, see the links below. The latest release for the game is FORGOTTEN FUTURES XI: PLANETS OF PERIL, based on Stanley G. Weinbaum's 1930s SF, on line from 20th December 2010.
Marcus is also the author of DIANA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, its supplement ELVIS: THE LEGENDARY TOURS, and THE ORIGINAL FLATLAND ROLE PLAYING GAME
Marcus was the regular games columnist for Odyssey Magazine throughout its life, but the magazine has now ceased publication. Some SF and fantasy published in shared world anthologies in the eighties is here
Marcus is single, and lives with 6000+ books, 1000+ games and supplements,
and two pets, Murphy and Cobb, corn snakes who have more sense than to get involved with role playing games or science fiction. He has occasionally been known to dabble in fanfiction, which can be found on several sites.
He doesn't usually talk about himself in the third person. See his livejournal if you want a more regular update on his life.
Old Articles Etc.
A few examples of the material on the Forgotten Futures CD-ROM or due to be added in later editions - to save web site space and minimise downloading time some illustrations have been reduced in size:
- NEW! The Police Code and General Manual of the Criminal Law by Sir Howard Vincent
Scotland Yard's guide for the police, in its fifteenth (1912) edition. HTML and PDF versions.
- NEW! Orrin Lindsay's Plan Of Aerial Navigation By J. L. Riddell, M.D.
A "serious scientific paper" from 1847 involving space travel using a material remarkably like Wells' Cavorite.
- NEW! Within an Ace of the End of the World By Robert Barr
Another exciting story of the end of the world, this time a man-made disaster.
- NEW! The Violet Flame By Fred T. Jane
An apocalyptic scientific romance written and illustrated by the founder of Jane's Fighting Ships.
- NEW! On The Martian Way By Capt. H. G. Bishop.
An interesting 1907 story, featuring routine interplanetary travel, friendly aliens, interplanetary radio messages, computing machines and anti-gravity spaceships.
- Futures Dictates of Fashion by W. Cade Gall.
An article on the history of fashion from the late 19th century to the 1970s... published in 1893 and not perhaps terribly serious.
- An Episode of Flatland by Charles Hinton.
A different sort of two-dimensional world, the first time a complete uncut version has been put on line.
- D'Ordel's Pantechnicon is a wonderful satire on the Victorian and Edwardian magazines used as a source for Forgotten Futures - it includes rules for creating your own, a sample magazine, and more, and explains a LOT about illustrated magazines of the period.
- Thorne Smith's Fantasy Novels (all of them!)
American readers should NOT follow this link since the stories are still in copyright in the USA. This will not be included on the FF CD-ROM.
- Pharos the Egyptian by Guy Boothby
- The River of Death by Fred M. White - Now complete! (818k)
- The Vickers Airship Catalogue - A catalogue produced circa 1923 with plans and illustrations (1.3 mb)
- Saved From Hydrophobia by E. H. Julian - An account of the disease and Pasteur's treatment. (343k)
- Perpetual Motion Seekers (anon) - describing several strange inventions. (1 mb)
- Snake Charming by Mark Lane - A visit to a snake-charming show. (526k)
- Zig-Zags At The Zoo by By Arthur Morrison and J.A. Shepherd - A humorous article on snakes at the London Zoo. (722k)
- Victorian Colour 3D Photography! (356k)
- Victorian Fax Machines! (506k)
- Nikola Tesla! (965k)
- Baron Munchausen! (2 mb including illustrations)
- A Transatlantic Tunnel (hurrah!) and Jules Verne (sort of)... (155k)
- New Kings on Old Thrones, an article on "true kings" of the Jacobite "monarchy" and other claimants to royalty. (152k)
- My Strange Pets and Other Memories of Country Life, a detailed account of a Victorian Scots farmer and menagerie-owner's life in the 19th and early 20th century. (550k)
- What The World May Come To, a serious article proving that the earth will eventually be pyramid-shaped! (121k)
- My School Days by Edith Nesbit; a memoir originally serialised in 1896-7, I'm not sure if it ever appeared elsewhere, which sheds some interesting light on her fiction. (279k)
Books in Microsoft Reader e-book format
For a while I experimented with this format, and there are several books and stories on the FF CD-ROM. Here are a couple of samples:
- The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (149k).
Note: This is my first attempt at converting Forgotten Futures source material to this format; see Forgotten Futures III for an HTML version.
- Mr. Justice Raffles by E. W. Hornung (219k).
A neglected novel featuring Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman. Note that this book contains racial stereotyping which modern readers may find offensive. An HTML version is on the FF CD-ROM
- The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer, Lord Lytton (198k).
The classic nineteenth century hidden civilisation novel, in which an underground explorer discovers a buried Utopia. An HTML version is on the FF CD-ROM
See some favourite links
Updated November 2010
"We are all victims of this slime. They... ...fill our mailboxes with gibberish
that would get them indicted if people had time to press charges" [Hunter S. Thompson predicts junk e-mail, 1985 (from Generation of Swine)]