The Forgotten Futures CD-Rom
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The Forgotten Futures CD-Rom contains all of the Forgotten Futures role playing material plus an expanding collection of Victorian and Edwardian articles, fiction, and illustrations in HTML format. This was previously sold as shareware; however, I have now decided to make it freely available - but if you'd like to help me keep the site running and support Cancer Research UK please hit the Paypal button on the right!
Download the last release of the Forgotten Futures CD-ROM as a Zip file (482mb):
Once the file is downloaded save it, then copy the contents into a new directory. From there you can either run it from the hard disk or burn it to a CD.
On Windows computers the CD should autorun and run a small search engine, which is helpful for finding files containing any given key word. If you want to run it from the hard disk I'd recommend using a subdirectory such as "C:/ff-cd" or similar, rather than putting it into a directory on the desktop, since the search engine may not work properly otherwise.
On Mac, Linux, etc. the search engine won't work without a windows emulator, and has not been tested extensively.
Please IGNORE anything you see in these files about shareware registration - due to changes in European law I'm no longer in the shareware business.
In the Game section of the CD-ROM the Forgotten Futures II variant Mummies: The Next Generation appears by permission of Steve Jackson Games, who originally published a slightly different version in Challenge Magazine.
See below for CD-ROM contents:
Out November 20th 2010, Release 7.0 includes
- FORGOTTEN FUTURES XI: Planets of Peril
A detailed SF setting based on Stanley G. Weinbaum's 1930s stories.
- The Forgotten Futures Library adds:
- Twenty-two SF stories and novels by Stanley G. Weinbaum
- The last Doctor Nikola novel by Guy Boothby, Farewell, Nikola (1901)
- An interesting parody of The War of the Worlds; The War of the Wenuses by C.L. Graves and E.V. Lucas (1898)
- Another vision of visiting Venusians, Letters From The Planets, an anonymous series of articles from 1887.
- A fascinating scientific romance, On the Martian Way by Captain Harry Gore Bishop (1907)
- George Griffith's 1906 fantasy The Mummy and Miss Nitocris: A Phantasy of the Fourth Dimension
- A short newspaper piece from 1909, Looking Ahead to a Celebration in the Year 2009
- Another article on the 1901 opening of the Barmen-Elberfeld Monorail, The Newest Thing In Railways
- And another railway article, this time on German high-speed electric train trials in 1904; Two Miles A Minute!
The Gallery adds illustrations in several sections, most notably another thirty-six stereoscopic photographs (1900-1901), more Victorian advertisements, and some American advertisements from 1917
Release 6.1 includes
Release 5.0 adds
- FORGOTTEN FUTURES IX, IT'S MY OWN INVENTION
FF IX is a collection of role playing settings based on stories, articles and novels about weird technology. Themes include flight (and a war against a supernatural foe), automata and calculating engines, space travel, and time travel. Source material includes two novels by George Griffith, The Outlaws of the Air and The World Peril of 1910, plus short stories and articles by a variety of authors.
- The Forgotten Futures Library adds:
- The Outlaws of the Air - George Griffith
George Griffith's third novel of anarchy, flying ships, and war, published in 1895 and taking a different view to the earlier The Angel Of The Revolution and Olga Romanoff. This time the anarchists are evil, and as usual London takes a pounding. Lavishly illustrated by Edwin S. Hope. (Also in Microsoft Reader format)
- The World Peril of 1910 - George Griffith
A late example of Griffith's vein of technothriller, published in 1907. There are some similarities to his earlier work, but the writing is as energetic as ever, and who can resist a novel featuring submersible torpedo-rams, flying submarines, interplanetary collisions and space cannon! Not illustrated. (Also in Microsoft Reader format)
- Pharos the Egyptian - Guy Boothby
A melodramatic horror novel of magic, plague, and mesmerism, as originally serialised in 1898. Illustrated by John H. Bacon. (Also in Microsoft Reader format)
- Silas P. Cornu's Dry Calculator - Henry A. Hering
An interesting story of calculating machines, mathematical fraud, the dangers of technological dependence, and six-guns in the Wild West from The Windsor Magazine, 1898. Illustrated by Warwick Goble.
- The Tachypomp and other stories - Edward Page Mitchell
Several early short stories on scientific romance themes, 1874-81. Not illustrated.
- The Doom of London - Robert Barr
An interesting and predictive example of the catastrophe story, in which London is suffocated by smog. The Idler, October 1892, illustrated by A.S. Boyd.
- The Los Amigos Fiasco - Conan Doyle
A humorous scientific romance. This early printing differs considerably from the version that is usually found in anthologies etc. The Idler, November 1892, illustrated by Geo. Hutchinson
- Three Men In A Boat - Jerome K. Jerome
A lavishly-illustrated version of the classic and extremely influential 1889 comic novel, with drawings by A. Frederics.
- "Patents Applied For." - Bernard Owen
An interesting look at a few of of the thousands of patents applied for every year, ranging from strange umbrellas to a suction device for curing baldness. The London Magazine, August 1904.
- Fighting With Four Fists - Robert Barr
A profusely illustrated article on the French martial art of Savate. The Idler, September 1892.
- Japanese Fighting - G. B. Burgin
An illustrated article on the history of Ju-jitsu. The Idler, October 1892.
- Croaker's Christmas - Alf. B. Cooper.
A cynical season's greeting with more than a hint of "Bah! Humbug!" The Captain, December 1900
- Monsters of Other Days - W. J. Wintle, F.Z.S.
An illustrated article on dinosaurs and other prehistoric monsters from The London Magazine, March 1904.
- Out of the Deep - Owen Oliver
An illustrated story of a disaster of biblical proportions. The plot may seem a little silly and derivative of Wells, but it seems possible that it may have been an important influence on John Wyndam's later novel "The Kraken Wakes". The London Magazine, July 1904
- A Trip On A Submarine - Henry Navarr
Brief (and somewhat claustrophobic) account of an early test of a Royal Navy submarine. The London Magazine, April 1903.
- A Sťance with the Lights Up - Philip Astor
- Conjuring At Home - Philip Astor
An illustrated expose of fraudulent mediums' tricks from The London Magazine, September 1902, and a guide to some easily-mastered tricks using props which are mostly still available today from The London Magazine, December 1904.
- The Gallery adds a library of stereoscopic photographs covering a variety of subjects.
Out August 2002, version 4.1 includes an HTML search engine from Ansible Information for Windows 95/98/NT/2000 systems, allowing fast access to all files containing a key word or phrase. It also auto-boots and starts the web browser automatically on these systems. With the exception of one new book, E. Nesbit's Wet Magic, in HTML and Microsoft .LIT formats, the contents are unchanged from release 4.0.
Material added to the CD-Rom Release 4.0 includes
- Forgotten Futures VIII, the latest release of the RPG, covering adventures in the world of children's fantasy fiction, especially the work of Edith Nesbit. This includes three novels - Five Children And It, The Phoenix And The Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet - plus 23 short stories and a series of autobiographical articles, My School Days, game rules for magic and the world of the child, and three long adventures.
- Additional role playing content added includes Mummies: The Next Generation, an expansion to Forgotten Futures II based on George Griffith's The Romance of Golden Star, plus extra printable figures, many in colour. There are also numerous small changes to the other games material.
- The Forgotten Futures Library adds new stories and articles, including two books:
- An Express Of The Future - Michel Verne (As Jules Verne)
A small curiosity describing a pneumatic express service from Boston to Liverpool.
- New Kings On Old Thrones - B. Waters
A look at the "rightful" kings and queens of Europe and elsewhere.
- A Corner In Lightning - George Griffith
A daring financier and his scientist accomplice attempt to control the world's supply of electricity, with tragic results.
- The Romance Of Golden Star - George Griffith
George Griffith's melodramatic novel of reanimated Inca mummies, forbidden love, hate, and war.
- The White Magician - Rudolph De Cordova
An illustrated interview with Edison including a description of one of his most important inventions - the electric cockroach zapper!
- Wrestling - Walter J. Wooley
Profusely illustrated article from Pearson's Magazine, June 1897, a discussion of British wrestling styles of the period.
- My Strange Pets And Other Memories Of Country Life - Richard Bell
A 1905 wildlife book by a Scots farmer and naturalist with an interest in exotic pets. Includes fascinating historical and social material.
- The Fastest Vessel Afloat - Cleveland Moffett
A vivid illustrated account of the fastest ship of the nineteenth century - the turbine-driven Turbinia.
- What The World May Come To - Anon
A startling glimpse into the very distant future of our planet
- Is Mars Dead Or Alive? - Anon
An account of the current state of knowledge of Mars and a daring astronomical project, January 1922.
- Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
The classic sensual fantasy poem of 1862, with illustrations from its appearance in a children's magazine, February 1921. Three versions to support different browsers.
- Guesses At Futurity - Fred T. Jane
A series of illustrations depicting life at the end of the twentieth century, as imagined at the end of the nineteenth. They ran in the Pall Mall Magazine in 1894-5.
- As an experiment some HTML files from the CD-ROM have been converted to Microsoft's .LIT format for Microsoft Reader. These include:
- My Strange Pets and Other Memories of Country Life by Richard Bell.
- The Coming Race by Edward Bulwar, Lord Lytton.
- The Lost World, The Poison Belt, the Land of Mist, The Disintegration Machine, When The World Screamed, and The Horror of the Heights by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- A Honeymoon In Space and The Romance of Golden Star by George Griffith.
- Mr. Justice Raffles by E. W. Hornung.
- The Bells - A melodrama by Leopold Lewis.
- Frankenstein - A melodrama by H.M. Milner.
- Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet, and 23 short stories by Edith Nesbit
- My School Days by Edith Nesbit (autobiography)
- The Vampire A melodrama by J.R. Planche.
- Adventures of Baron Munchausen by R.E. Raspe.
The Forgotten Futures Gallery adds two new sections; illustrations of the Japanese-Russian War and a 1916 Meccano catalogue.
Material on the CD-Rom Release 3 includes
- Corrected and updated versions of all of the Forgotten Futures role playing material and accompanying fiction and articles, with extra material including
Release 3.0 adds
- The Flatland RPG, based on Edwin Abott's classic, which uses a simplified version of the Forgotten Futures rules and is only available on the CD-Rom. At last - an RPG where characters are supposed to be two-dimensional!
- An article on British martial artists previously published in Valkyrie magazine, with all of its source material.
- Larger illustrations for most of the articles and fiction.
- Forgotten Futures VII
- Forgotten Futures Theatre cutouts - a large selection of printable cutout characters.
- Improved layout for much of the game material.
- New illustrations for Forgotten Futures I and III; FF III is extensively revised.
- The Forgotten Futures Library, consisting of 12 novels, 57 stories and 46 articles.
Most of this material is illustrated. Release 3.0 adds:
- The novels The Angel of the Revolution and Olga Romanoff by George Griffith, both profusely illustrated by Fred T. Jane (of Jane's Fighting Ships fame). Griffith mentions The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Lord Lytton) in the later novel, and it is included here. Finally, there's what appears to be the first ever e-text of The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, with illustrations by Cruickshank and others.
- To celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's death this collection now includes all of the illustrations from the the magazine serialisation of The Lost World and the foreword from its original magazine publication.
- Since 1993 I've hoped to include the colour illustrations from Kipling's With The Night Mail; at last an affordable copy has come my way, and this story now contains all the illustrations.
- Another revision is the inclusion of the full text of Fred M. White's The River of Death, previously heavily abridged, plus all of the illustrations.
- Additionally, there are articles on rabies, prehistoric picnics, country-house parties, weddings, motoring and racing, and ladies' clubs, (not entirely serious), the rediscovery of London several hundred thousand years in the future, concentrated foods of the future, perpetual motion, alternate energy, wrestling, and special effects.
- The Forgotten Futures Gallery, a collection of copyright-expired illustrations on a variety of themes including
Most of this material has been scanned and saved at 150 DPI, some at other resolutions, most files are saved in multiple resolutions.
- Fashion and Costume (125 subjects sorted chronologically from 1891 to 1903, some in colour)
- Militaria (19 illustrations with detailed captions)
- Monarchs and World Leaders (21 illustrations)
- 1902 Atlas from The Imperial Encyclopaedia (16 maps at 150 DPI, the British Isles also scanned at 300 DPI, in full colour)
- 1913 Atlas from Pear's 'Cyclopaedia (32 maps at 150 DPI, the British Isles also scanned at 300 DPI, in full colour)
- Scientific Equipment, Drawings, etc. (23 illustrations)
- Transport (16 illustrations, some in colour)
- Miscellaneous (17 illustrations)
- A 100-question quiz on scientific romances, science fiction, etc.
- Comprehensive indexing by author, title, date, theme, artist, etc.
- The Odyssey columns - Seven articles on gaming published in Odyssey magazine from 1997 to 1999.
Back to index
Technical note: CD-ROMs are single-session CD-R disks and should be compatible with PC, Linux, and Macintosh (system 7.5 or later, foreign file translation enabled). Viewing requires a web browser supporting tables, .gif, and .jpg graphics
Users of DVD drives should be aware that the DVD specification does not guarantee compatibility with CD-R disks, which are not supported by some early drives, and are strongly advised to test that they can read them before placing an order.