I say I've been a professional since 1989 - minus the many, many years I worked as a caregiver to my parents. I wasn't kidding. Going through an old hard drive, I found something I must have written on one of my DOS machines from way back. It's a CV for a possible job as a graduate teaching assistant. It lists a short story sale...fuck, I can barely remember the title, I can't remember selling it. I'd look through my old books, but hey, almost every one of them was destroyed in the tornado. I supposedly sold "Firmware Revolution" to an anthology called Future Tech Wars back in 1992. I can't find a copy of this story on my old hard drives and my physical story files were destroyed in - you guessed it - the Greensburg Tornado. I can remember writing a story with that title, but I don't have a clue as to what it was about. If anyone runs across this anthology, read my story and tell me what it's about. Thanks.
Just how do I have old hard drives? The computers they were in were destroyed by the rain, motherboards are very sensitive to moisture, but the hard drives survived in the rubble. I took a little of the insurance money and bought a couple backup drives and copied all the files over before the original ones failed. My laptops did survive. Their exteriors were banged up, but they booted and ran well for years. I eventually gave them to a cousin. They may still be running. Toshiba laptops. At least their 2003 laptops were sturdy.
Back to Batman Improved. The bad guys are there, though much altered from their more flamboyant origins. Two Face's face isn't burned, he's called that by other drug dealers because he is so untrustworthy. The Joker started out life in the comics as a gangster, so let him return to that, a Whitey Bolger of Gotham. Even Superman's in this universe. He's not a son of Krypton, he's a soldier-assassin used in covert ops by the government. Shades of Marshal Law! Poison Ivy has a big makeover. She's the girlfriend of Alfy. She's mostly harmless, except...well...she mostly destroyed her sanity through over-use of her own designer hallucinogens. Alfy, Bats, and Catwoman have to rescue her from mental hospitals on a regular basis. She also has a bad habit of "enlightening" nefarious local politicians and rich folk through the use of certain herbally-based psychoactive substances. But mostly she's a good guy. Think a kinder-gentler female version of Rorschach from Watchmen. Gordon's still a good cop troubled by the political corruption in his city. Bruce, Alfy, Selina, and Ivy make some of their money by running their own collection/repossession agency. Other than that, they mostly prey upon the rich and the corrupt. They've been known to pay off the car loans of poor people, especially after Catwoman and Batman steal a few Bentleys.
I'd love to write this, but just how could I do so? I'd have lawyers crawling up my ass forever if I tried to sell it - and I'm not about to write fan fiction for free at this point in my life. Sure, I wrote some fan fiction when I was caregiving, as a way to entertain myself and keep my mind alive, but now? Nope. Maybe I'll make it into a proposal and send it off to DC. Who knows, they might like it. Weirder things have happened.
R. P. Bird: Professional writer since 1989. Author of the IN THE REALM OF THE GODS
series and the SUZIE crime novels. Crazy, but highly reliable. Can fix