In the words of the great prophet George – "Frogs are natural. Frogs are good. Not everybody does them, but everybody should!" Imagine Freddo in his space suit, in command of a neat little ship in the clouds – about to order a troop of his comrades to rain on some poor sodding little unsuspecting mediaeval village. That's what science fiction is about. Now, picture Freddo with wings about to order a collection of his friends to go save that same village from an evil overlord. That's fantasy.

There is more to your average frog than the usual picture of a hoppy green creature on a lily pad. For the real frog image we have only to travel to our nearest reedy watercourse, and listen as they tell their own story in a gentle harmony of croaks, gleeps and snores.

Frogs are among the cutest, the furriest of God's creatures. They come in an attractive range of greens and browns, and hop everywhere. Very appealing little things, all in all. Yet they are also cold blooded, given to being slimy, and earn their living in stagnant ponds. This makes them easy for the reader to identify with. Obviously, the author of The World According to Garp picked up on this fact early on.

Despite their obvious willingness and eminent suitability, frogs have so far been underrated in SF & F writing. Please, writers, don't discount the role of the frog in your next work!

The public love frogs, they love them in ashtrays, on fridge magnets, as mugs, as sweets, as air freshener holders and pot plant decorations, as T-shirt motifs and on the end of those little things you put in cocktails to make them look right. They are going to love them in books, maybe even at the movies!