Among the Magazines
'POLICY' IS LOSING READERS
Says SAM MOSKOWITZ
Is the fetish of "editorial slant" driving fantasy magazines into a rut, discouraging new writers, alienating once enthusiastic readers? The well-known American critic ,of the
field, in this outspoken article*, traces the prevailing preference for books to the
lowered standards of magazine fiction which have been evident of recent years.
As the science fiction and fantasy magazines graduate more and more of their once inseparable readers into the placid respectability of hard-cover books, it becomes necessary to
determine what is responsible for this trend.
That anthologies of weird, horror and fantasy stories have sold so well of recent years
ostensibly proves there is a good audience for the macabre. But they have actually been
purchased to a great extent by dyed-in-the-wool science fiction readers who, unable to obtain
enough magazine fiction and saddened by its generally low quality, have taken to reading
ghost books as an alternative. This is evident from the fact that both "The Best in Science
Fiction" and "Adventures in Time and Space" have soared into the best-seller class and are still
selling at peak tempo. A few more
(Incorporating SCIENTIFICTION and
TO-MORROW–Magazine of the Future)
A Journal for Readers, Writers and Collectors of Imaginative Fiction
Editorial, Advertising and Publishing Office: 15 Shere Road,
Subscription rates: In Great Britain and Dominions (except Canada)
3/6 per year. Single copies, 7d., post free. In Canada and U.S.A., 75c. per year. Single copies, 15c., post free.
Vol. 1, No. 3 Feb.-Mar. 1947
Editor: Walter Gillings.
Associate Editors: John Carnell, J. Michael Rosenblum, D. R. Smith, Arthur F. Hillman, Fred C. Brown, Nigel Lindsay, R. George Medhurst, John C. Craig.
American Correspondents: David Kishi (New York),
Forrest J. Ackerman (Los Angeles).
science fiction anthologies of this calibre will, I think, drop the bottom out of the horror rage and leave only limited edition groups dominant in this field.
Every science fiction magazine, without exception, has a definite "policy." It is these policies, and even personal editorial prejudices, which are the principal factors in limiting their appeal. The policies have been maintained through the war years when most magazines sold well and interest in speculative
scientific subjects was aroused. 'But editors and publishers have become convinced that their
"slant" has been selling their magazine, and have narrowed down story requirements from an
avenue to an alley.
The result is that the book companies are harvesting the dissatisfied customers from the pulps.
The devoted scientifictionist, who has always said he would be satisfied with one good story
an issue, is finding it actually cheaper to pay three dollars fora book and be guaranteed 30 or
40 good stories in one volume; and he has always been a collector at heart.
Astounding Science-Fiction, generally accepted the best periodical in the field, has long
since driven itself into the deep rut of all-encompassing "policy," with its resultant doldrums.
Editor John W. Campbell has for some time been slanting his magazine towards the
technicians. He has developed an ultra-conservative format, printed several quite technical
articles, and insisted that his writers accept future advances as completely normal setting and
write of things perfectly adapted to such a setting. A technical problem of the future is enough
for a writer like George O. Smith, and the
*Condensed from PSFS News, organ of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, published at 122 South 18th St., Philadelphia, Penna., U.S.A.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 3|
difficulties of keeping intact an intergalactic empire will carry Isaac Asimov along indefinitely.
It cannot be claimed that every story Astounding uses may be aptly categorised and placed in
its niche; nor that even the "typed" stories are lacking in new ideas, interest and entertainment.
But no matter how an author twists and turns, a certain sameness is always present, and
boredom sets in as a result. The facts are that seven authors and author-teams wrote close to
70 per cent. of all the stories printed in this magazine in the three years 1944-46, most of them
producing a quantity of wordage that does not permit a constant high grade of quality. That
these seven should have predominated for so long a period shows that Astounding's policy does not attract any number of new writers, and that formula is drowning inspiration.
The new publishers of Famous Fantastic Mysteries, as leaders in the anti-reprint campaign, found themselves with a reprint science fiction magazine on their hands. But they managed to carry it on by hobbling it with a "reprint from books only" policy; and guided by some
nebulous principle never adequately outlined, it has discarded, for one reason or another,
some of the greatest book classics in the field. Soon after the inception of the new publishers a
trend towards well-written, unusual advanture stories became apparent, with a whole string of
prehistoric tales followed by a lost continent cycle. But more recently there has been a leaning
towards horror, or an attempt to emphasise what horror is to be found in the particular story
This new trend is too obvious and persistent to be coincidence, as the adventure cycle was reputed to be. Straight horror magazines, unadulterated by sex, have not been too successful
in the past, and there is no reason to suppose that Famous Fantastic's horror policy will
Standard Publications' Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories have the least definite
"slant" of any of the fantasy pulps. Their range is comprehensive; they publish straight action
"space operas," "idea" stories, "mood" stories, and are even partial to "technician's bedtime
stories." Editor Sam Merwin has been singularly impressed by the fantastic advances of most of the sciences and realises that science fiction is more than adolescent
fairy tales. He has attended several major fan gatherings, and is no longer completely certain that the bulk of his audience lies in the teen-age group. This change of thinking is reflected in the definite adult trend which has lately been apparent in the readers' columns of Wonder; while an attempt to maintain a mature writing standard is evident in the constant use of Murray Leinster and Henry Kuttner and the acquisition of Theodore Sturgeon, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt and others.
Startling still carries a more juvenile appeal with the regular printing of "Captain Future"
novels. But Standard seem reluctant to disengage any section of their readers; they print
science fiction of all types, and even occasional weird tales. They cater for the fans and have
enlarged their fan departments; their policy seems to be catch-as-catch-can, but both their
magazines, especially Wonder, are in a state of flux and it will be some time before their trend can be accurately determined.
The Ziff-Davis Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures are edited with mass-appeal in
mind. Stories that are "written down" are the norm. Once there was a semblance of
differentiation in the policies of the two magazine; now science fiction, fantasies and weirds
are jumbled indiscriminately in both. The editor, Raymond A. Palmer, has been impervious to
criticism, depending upon low appeal and bulky appearance to keep his magazines well up in
the circulation brackets.
The interplanetary story has long been the most popular type of science fiction, and Planet Stories has adopted an "all interplanetary" policy with great success. Its covers, which
invariably portray "a girl, a guy and a goon," mirror the action to be found in its stories, but do
not lead one to expect the very well-written brand of action story that is actually used. The
ray-guns flash, the monsters roar, the rockets swishbut smoothly. Planet does not set the pace for the field and is not the type of publication we would point to with pride, but it has a large appeal and its circulation must be in the higher figures. The pioneer work of Farnsworth Wright and the introduction of authors used in the science fiction magazines have long since
brought Weird Tales within the inner circle of the fantasy field. Its past record is magnificent;
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 4|
lode of fine authors and great stories is immense, and has still not been exhausted by the frantic anthologising from its back issues. however, the magazine has fallen on evil times. It has literally wasted away to a shadow, and an easing of the paper situation has had little or no effect on its size.
The current trend seems to be to aim its stories at a low mental age and to cater fora reading taste generally supposed to belong to waitresses, truck drivers and department store clerks. Yet the illustrations, paradoxically, have been allowed to deteriorate in quality. No vigorous, driving editorial spirit is apparent. The attempt to bring back
old-time writers and develop new ones seems to have been given up, and the magazine pitifully clutches a few capable authors, as though trusting in their selling power to sustain it.
An all-round drop in circulation figures might be the best thing that could happen, to bring about a change or a broadening of policy In the case of those magazines where it would seem to be desired by their discontented readers. But this is not very likely in these days, and changes in ownership or new, stiff competition in the field are the only hopes the connoisseur may entertain if he is looking for an improvement in the near future.
THE SHAVER MYSTERY
By NIGEL LINDSAY
Most amazing mag. I've seen lately is June Amazing Stories, Called the Shaver Summation Issue, it's
designed to give a complete picture of the notorious "Shaver Mystery" by using the basic "truths" of the queer business as a background for each storyand all four of them are written by the great Richard himself. The titles: "Formula from the Underworld," "Zigor Mephosto's Collection of Mentalia," "Witch's Daughter" and "The Red Legion." The leading article is also by Shaver, which makes it pretty much a one-man show. However, he doesn't creep into the art department, so that we have a nice variety of illustrations and a pleasing cover by R. G. Jones which gives just the right atmosphere.
In case you aren't familiar with the Shaver Mystery, let's have a recap. Back in '43 Editor Ray Palmer published a letter from one Richard S. Shaver, giving the key to an ancient alphabet supposed to belong to the mother of all languages. Encouraged by the number of readers who found it actually worked, Shaver purported to reveal the source of this alphabet: a race living to-day in subterranean caverns, descendants of human beings abandoned 12,000 years ago by the most ancient of all racesthe Titans, who migrated into space when the Sun started to throw off radioactive rays In furious to their immortality.
Now, these troglodytes supposedly influence our present civilisation. The bad ones, called darns, emerge occasionally to torment us, while the good ones (teros) appear to be on our side. The
of all of them is kept a close secret, and any accidental contact between them and us surface dwellers is Put down to superstition, which they encourage. All this, remember, Shaver claims to believeand he has written around the notion all the stories which have made Amazing so unpopular with the genuine science fiction fan of recent years, not only because they have monopolised the magazine but have been presented as fact rather than fiction.
The author says he has gleaned his material through the "telaug (telepathic) ray," and has actually visited the caves by teleportation. All his "facts" fit the conditions of our present set-up on the surfaceor the mess we're in fits in nicely with his theories, if you prefer to look at it that way. Personally, I find his ideas much less convincing than most of those which are presented as no more than honest-togoodness science fiction. And although the Shaver "thought records" would seem to be inexhaustible there's another in the May Fantastic Adventuresthe indications are that the "Mystery" may soon be written off as insoluble, for which most of us will be profoundly thankful. Perhaps we should thank the teros ... ?
If you've been keeping a careful watch on the bookstalls you may have noticed that a British reprint of Fantastic Adventures has duly followed the single issue of Amazing which appeared some time
ago. Two numbers have emerged to date, price 1/-, with covers reproduced from the original
American issuesnot forgetting the even more
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colourful back covers by Paul telling "Stories of the Stars." No. 1 featured "Cult of the Eagle," by Berkeley Livingston, "The Stygian Terror," by Stanton A. Coblentz, and one of Robert Bloch's "Lefty Peep" tales; cover story of No. 2 is "The Giant from Jupiter," by Gerald Vance and Bruce Dennis, and there are two other pieces by David Wright O'Brien and William P. McGivern.
I notice that the contents in each case are culled from at least two different American editions, some of the stories having appeared as far back as April '45. The back cover of No. 2 is also of older vintage than the front; all of which may add to their interest as collector's pieces, at least among our U.S. friends. Incidentally, the publishers still cannot assure us of regular appearance of these reprints, such is the uncertainty of the paper situation.
Printing difficulties, I understand, are also holding up New Worlds, third issue of which was
delayed for some time after I had previewed it for this column. But the publishers hope that a
fourth issue will not be so long in materialising. Meanwhile, Fantasy approaches its third issue
in August. Here again there seems little prospect of more frequent publication for some time to
come, galling though it is for all concerned. We'll just have to be patient, consoling ourselves
with the best that America has to offer.
For example, the Avon Fantasy Reader, whose second issue is available. It brings another
nice selection of reprints, including Dr. David H. Keller's now-famous "Stenographer's Hands,"
the memorable Pratt-Manning Wonder Stories piece, "City of the Living Dead," and S. Fowler
Wright's "Automata." And coming up in the next issue, Editor Wollheim advises, are Merritt's
"Rhythm of the Spheres," C. L. Moore's "Black Thirst," and a rare piece by H. G. Wells called
"The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper." No. 3 will also carry an original story by Stephen
Grendon, and others by Frank Owen, Lovecraft, and John Collier.
Famous Fantastic Mysteries for June features a novel of 1920 by a British author, Edward
Shanks, "The People of the Ruins"; it also reprints the familiar F. F. Benson short story,
"Caterpillars." In the August issue will be another well-known English novel, "Minimum Man,"
by Andrew Marvell. Nice to see the Americans discovering so much of our British fantasy and
giving it an
Some years ago Thrilling Wonder Stories introduced an amateur story contest, which
eventually petered out due to the poor quality of the winning entries. Now they have started
another contest in the search for new writers, which is of special interest to fan magazines and
their contributors. Only material which has already appeared in amateur publications is
eligible, the idea being that a story which has stood the test of a small circle of discerning
readers should be worthy of a much bigger audience. Though articles and poems are also
invited, the first selections to be published in the Feb. '48 issue.
This magazine seems to be increasing in popularity since the irritating space lingo of "Sergeant
Saturn" was banished from the readers' department; though the acquisition of more and more
of the better-class writers has had its effect. Theodore Sturgeon is the latest top-liner to appear,
with "The Sky Was Full of Ships" in the June issue, which features the final Murray Leinster
novel in the "Kim Rendall" trilogy, "The Boomerang Circuit." The William Fitzgerald "Bud
Gregory" series continues with "The Nameless Something," to be followed in the August
number by "The Deadly Dust." Also coming up in the next issue are a George O. Smith
novelette, "In the Cards," and another long story by Henry Kuttner harping on his favourite
theme of monster mutations resulting from World War III. Title: "Atomic."
The influx of new writing ability has been noticeable in Astounding Science Fiction over the
past few months, though stars like van Vogt, Padgett and Sturgeon still shine as before. But
while new authors' names appear, artists who were almost forgotten are coming back with
every issue. The latest, Schneeman, has done the cover and interior pits for van Vogt's
"Centaurus II," in the June issue, which continues the Lawrence O'Donnell serial "Fury,"
dealing with the undersea civilisation of Venus. Remember "Clash by Night," back in '43, in
which humanity migrated from Earth when it was destroyed by atomic force? This is the
sequel, better late than never.
I liked Sturgeon's "Tiny and the Monster" in the May issueand the Cartier drawings. And
Willy Ley's article on "Peudoscience in Naziland" made Mr. Shaver's theories seem
comparatively credible. Now, I wonder ... ?
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 6|
We are privileged to be the sole British Sales Representative of Arkham House: Publishers, whose unique productions are in ever-increasing demand among connoisseurs of fantastic fiction in all parts of the world. Supplies are necessarily limited, but if you are interested in securing any of the current or forthcoming titles issued under this now-famous imprint, we
shall be pleased to add your name to our lists.
G. KEN CHAPMAN
23 FARNLEY ROAD,
|The Building of|
By August Derleth
Since it was first established at Sauk City, Wisconsin, nearly eight years ago, the firm of Arkham House 'has specialised in publishing fantasy novels and short story
collections in limited editions for the connoisseur. It derives its name from the works
of the late Howard Phillips Lovecraft, American master of the modern weird tale,
which were directly responsible for its inception. In this article, specially written for
FANTASY REVIEW, the founder-director of Arkham House, himself an expert in the
fantasy medium, tells how the firm began, what it has achieved to date, and what
plans it has for the future.
In a sense, I suppose that Arkham House was born out of my personal irritation. It resulted
directly from the failure of Donald Wandrei and myself to persuade some existing publisher in
New York to put out an omnibus volume of Lovecraft's works which we had assembled. And
only two firms saw the bulky manuscript of "The Outsider and Others" before I decided, and
my partner in the project concurred, that it would be better to publish it ourselves.
It was in December '39 that this first Lovecraft omnibus, which is such a treasured item among
fantasy collectors to-day, came from the press in a small edition of 1,200 copies. The expenses
of that initial Arkham House publication kept me personally in the red for two years. Yet, in
'41, we experimented with a $2 book, my own collection of short stories, "Someone in the
Dark," in which I had so little faith that only 1,000 copies were printed. This was followed in
'42 by Clark Ashton Smith's first collection, "Out of Space and Time," and in '43 by the second
Lovecraft omnibus, "Beyond the Wall of Sleep."
By then I had determined to carry on Arkham House beyond its original purpose of publishing the works of the late
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 7|
H. P. Lovecraft, who had been a close personal friend of both Wandrei and myself for more
than a decade prior to his death in '37. By that time, too, Wandrei had more or less withdrawn
from the venture, for he had gone into military service early in '42. My decision involved a
publishing schedule of more than one or two books a year, and '44 was, therefore, the first
year in which more than one Arkham House title appeared.
We actually produced four collections that year: Wandrei's "The Eye and the Finger"; "Jumbee and Other Uncanny Tales," by the late Henry S. Whitehead; "Lost Worlds," Clark Ashton Smith's second short-story volume; and "Marginalia," by Lovecraft and others who had been associated
with him, and who contributed to this collection of his miscellaneous writings. Despite larger
editions, all these titles, in common with the first four Arkham House books, are now out of
Our programme for '45 was even more ambitious. In that year we published my own second collection, "Something Near"; the first assembly of the work of Robert Bloch, "The Opener of
the Way"; "Green Tea and other Ghost Stories," by J. Sheridan Le Fanu; "Witch House," a novel
by Evangeline Walton, and "The Lurker at the Threshold," an unfinished novel of Lovecraft's
which I had completed. We also distributed my own book of pastiches, "In Re: Sherlock
We are able to supply these titles as long as supplies last:
Something Near, by August Derleth, 15/-
The Clock Strikes Twelve, by H. R. Wakefield, 15/-
Fearful Pleasures, by A. E. Coppard, 15/-
West India Lights, by Henry S. Whitehead, 15/-
The Opener of the Way, by Robert Bloch, 15/-
The House on the Borderland and other Novels, by William Hope Hodgson, 25/-
Skull Face and Others, by Robert E. Howard, 25/-
This Mortal Coil, by Lady Cynthia Asquith, 15/-
Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre, edited by August Derleth, 15/-
The following will be available shortly:
Dark Carnvial, by Ray Bradbury, 15/-
Revelations in Black, by Carl Jacobi, 15/-
Night's Black Agents, by Fritz Leiber Jnr., 15/-
We can also supply these titles issued under other imprints and distributed by Arkham House:
The Night Side: 23 Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible, edited by August Derleth, 16/6.
The Fireside Book of Ghost Stories, edited by Dr. Edward Wagenknecht, 20/-
G. KEN CHAPMAN,
23 Farnley Road,
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 8|
of Solar Pons," which was published by Lie house of Mycroft and Moran, dedicated to the field
of the off-trail detective story, together with various reprints of Lovecraft's works by other
Last year we led off with three titles delayed from '45: Frank Belknap Long's short story
collection, "The Hounds of Tindalos"; "The Doll and One Other," by Algernon Blackwood, and
"The House on the Borderland and Other Novels," by William Hope Hodgson. Our programme
for '46 was increasingly ambitious, but we encountered more difficulties in the way of time
and materials than during the war years, with the result that it was delayed throughout. None
the less, we managed to publish five more titles before the year ended.
Our schedule for '47 embraces six new titles within the first eight months. These include "This
Mortal Coil," a first collection of Lady Cynthia Asquith's spectral tales, selected by herself;
"Revelations in Black," a volume of short stories by Carl Jacobi; "Dark Carnival," featuring the
work of the successful young writer, Ray Bradbury; and another first collection by Fritz Leiber
Jnr., including a new novel.
The first complete collection of William Hope Hodgson's tales of "Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder"
will appear under the Mycroft and Moran imprint. The remaining title will be "Dark of the
Moon," an anthology of poems of fantasy and macabre which I have compiled. After that, as
soon as our printers can produce them, will come new collections by L. P. Hartley, Stephen
Grendon, Clark Ashton Smith, Marjorie Bowen, Manly Wade Wellman, Howard Wandrei,
Margery Lawrence, M. P. Shiel, and new uncanny novels by Marjorie Bowen, Donald Wandrei,
Frank Belknap Long, Arthur Machen and others.
As editorial director and owner of Arkham House, I am guided by only one considerationI want to publish the best fantasy and science fiction. To fulfil this object I am moved primarily by concern for literary excellence, and I would tend to decline to publish any exciting story,
however well-liked, if it proved riot to be well-written. It will, I think, be evident from my
sponsoring of the work of Lovecraft, Machen, Blackwood, Shiel, Wakefield and others that my
first concern is for something more than the average in literary worth in this field. I will not say
I have not published some novel pieces which are
AUGUST DERLETH was born in Sauk City, Wisconsin, 38 years ago. He started writing at the age of 13, had his first piece published at 15, and is now author of over 40 books and 3,000
shorter pieces which have appeared in magazines in the U.S.A., England and elsewhere. Of his
supernatural stories, more than 100 have appeared in Weird Tales alone, dating from its very early days. His interest in the medium manifested itself while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin, when he chose as a topic for his B.A. thesis "The Weird Tale in English since
1890." In 1938 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to enable him to continue writing
his Sac Prairie saga, comprising some 50 books of all types depicting the growth and
development of the Sauk Prairie country; of these, 20 have already been published. His other
books include mystery novels, short story and poetry collections, and a book on fiction writing
in which he tells how he acquired the writing habit sufficient to reach his tremendous output
and be dubbed a "one-man fiction factory." His weird story collaborations with Mark Schorer
were produced at the rate of one a day; he wrote a full-length novel in 20 days while at the
same time keeping up with two other books, his correspondence, and his lectures at
Wisconsin University where he is a special lecturer in American Regional Literature. As well as
directing Arkham House, he has recently edited several anthologies for other publishers.
only average in this respect, but they are in the minority. Now Arkham House is a small but, I hope, permanent establishment. It functions for the present from my own home, though its
books are printed a hundred miles north of Sauk City, in the heart of the paper country. But
plans are ready for a new building to stand close by my home and to be built, like my house,
out of the native stone. Its present staff, apart from myself, consists of John E. Stanton, my
secretary, and an occasional part-time helper four of us at most; and for the time being a part
of the business is supported out of the proceeds of my own voluminous writings. But Arkham
House will soon be self-sufficient, thanks to the support of an ever-increasing number of
patrons whose enthusiastic interest in its productions has been a constant encouragement in its
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 9|
FANTASIA Continued from Page One
Arthur J. Burks, once-prolific writer of s-f and weird tales, reported returning to the medium . . . L. Ron Hubbard, absent for years, coming back soon with new serial in Astounding, in which A. M. Phillips made sudden reappearance . . . U.S. radio programme "The Answer Man" revealed articles appearing in Astounding under name of Arthur McCann were written by Editor Campbell . . . But Geo. O. Smith scouts the idea that he's just another editorial
pseudonym, says this is "base canard bitterly resented by both parties" . . . Neil R. Jones, noted
for "Professor Jameson" series, is inventor of "Interplanetary," dice-and-counters game with
astronomic background selling well in America. . . . August Derleth now editing s-f anthology
to be published next year, titled "Strange Ports of Call" or "A Corner of the Moon," to include
H. P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" . . .
HEINLEIN HITS SLICKS
Los Angeles Herald-Express had interview with author Robert A. Heinlein, on strength of his "skill in lifting stories about the future from pulps to slick magazines." Reference is to "The Green Hills of Earth" and "Space Jockey," tales of space-travel with take-it-for-granted settings published lately by Saturday Evening Post, beautifully illustrated by Fred Ludekens. More Heinlein stories expected in SEP shortly . . . Joining British Interplanetary Society recently, Heinlein wrote: "I expect to live long enough to see Solar System explored, plan to set aside money to permit person of my habits and years to go as far as Luna when scheduled service starts." . . . . Collier's had two-part story, "The Blast," by Stuart Cloete, depicting aftermath of atomic war occurring next October . . . Reader's Scope ran "Armageddon," three-issue account by Leonard Engel of war of '53, as given in radio bulletins . . . Pat Frank's "Mr. Adam" (see "About Books," last issue) presented in condensed form by Liberty . . .
Series of tales of Interplanetary Space Guard versus "The Black Knight," by Sydney J. Bounds, appearing in Dublin Junior Digest . . . Cicognes, French family journal, ran front-page serial strip, "Guerre a la Terre," about invaders from space . .. New picture feature, "Adventures into the Unknown," by Frederick Blakesie, to appear in Famous Fantastic ... Astounding artist Edd Cartier now illustrating Doc Savage as well as The Shadow . "The Immortals," shilling
thriller by Ralph Milne Farley, on sale here . . .
VAN VOGT TELLS ALL
Interview with A. E. van Vogt, "top-ranking science fiction author of the year," featured by Hollywood Writers' Markets & Methods, revealed he started by writing true confession stories. Interviewer was G. Gordon Dewey, fantasy fan ... Two-page article on science fiction's prophetic value, with particular reference to Astounding and John W. Campbell Jnr., appeared in This Week, supplement to New York Herald-Tribune. Titled "Science on a Spree," by Leslie Lieber, piece showed Editor Campbell tinkering in his home lab., Nobel prizewinner Dr. Herman Muller reading Astounding, illustrations from pre-war s-f mags. which look like the real thing now . . Reviewing Campbell's "The Atomic Story," New York
Times critic Stephen Wheeler says: "He is positive, and positive at the top of his voice, about
things he cannot possibly know . . . he substitutes rhetoric for fact wherever it will serve his
purpose." . . . Former fantasy writer R. DeWitt Miller authors "Forgotten Mysteries" (Cloud,
Chicago: $2.50), dealing with supernatural phenomena, lost continents, extra-terrestrial life,
etc. . . .
New and up-and-coming Buroughs films are "Tarzan and the Mermaids," ..Tarzan and the Huntress." "The Frozen Continent," now being made, has to do with prehistoric animals . . . M.G.M. said to be planning sequel to "The Beginning or the End," picturing creation of atom bomb . . . June Air Trails and Science Frontiers has "Forty Steps to the Moon," by astronomer R. S. Richardson, illustrated by s-f artist Schneeman, just back with Astounding . . . Series of articles on writing of science fiction, detailing developing British market and expanding U.S. field, running in Freelance Writer & Photographer. The author, yours very truly . . .
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 10|
The Epics of Dr. Smith
THE SKYLARK OF SPACE. By Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. Buffalo, Rhode Island. $3.00.
SPACEHOUNDS OF I.P.C. By Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa. $3.00.
Reviewed by D. R. Smith
Although his name is seldom seen in the science fiction magazines of to-day, there must be
few fans who have never heard of "Doc" Smith and fewer still who have not read some
reference to the fabulous "Skylark of Space," even if they cannot relish the memory of its
appearance in Amazing Stories almost 20 years ago. At that time it was hailed as the most
remarkable story of space-travel ever written, and it instantly established its author in the front
rank of science fiction writers, a position he has maintained ever since by dint of one
novel-length story every two years, on an average. The last of these was "Second Stage
Lensman," serialised in Astounding at the end of '41, which everybody will remember.
If Dr. Smith were asked to name the personapart from himselfto whom he owed most for
his success, he would probably choose, not Mrs. Lee Hawkins Garby, who collaborated with
him in his first story, but Hugo Gernsback, the founder of magazine science fiction. For "The
Skylark" was completed in 1920 and, it is said, "accumulated one of the most complete files of
rejection slips ever seen" before Amazing accepted it in '27.
I find this quite believable; for Dr. Smith's own story reveals him as a persistent trier. During
the seven years he was at the University of Idaho he held eleven different jobsminer,
stevedore, electrician and surveyor among themin his efforts to acquire the money to pursue
his studies. He graduated in '14 as a chemical engineer, held a government post as a food
chemist for some time, and liked the job so much that he went back to school to learn more
organic chemistry. His wife, too, worked to help him get his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, which
have since enabled him to hold important executive positions in cereal food factories.
The theme of his life story would seem, indeed, to be that of successthrough-hard-work so dear to the lesser
Victorian novelists; a plot denounced as a naive falsehood by later cynics anxious to save the
working class from exploitation, and one whose rehabilitation is now the object of frenzied
propaganda. The same simple morality is evident in all his stories. Absolute good struggles
with absolute evil, and in the end secures absolute victory. For instance, in "The Skylark," the
noble Earthmen provide the noble Kondalians with the means to completely obliterate the
ignoble Mardonalians, without room for the thought that some of the latter may be quite
This aspect of Dr. Smith's work does most to offend the sensitive reader, who may feel such
ethics thoroughly barbarous. Yet this reducing of moral problems to a nursery level may be an
important factor in his popularity. Especially at the present time is the mind of man driven
almost frantic by the complexities of human morality, when the people of other nations seem
alternatively angels and devils. The better the escape, then, into a future world of Dr. Smith's
devising, where only the good are ever good and only the evil wicked.
The publication of "Skylark" in book form fulfils a demand which has persisted through two
decades, notwithstanding its two sequels and the other Smith epics which have
succeededand exceededit. Now that those who know it only by reputation are able to read
it they may well be disappointed, because it belongs so obviously to the days when science
fiction was a very different proposition from what it is to-day. It is, in fact, more of sentimental
interest to those who read and enjoyed it when it was new, than of any special appeal to the
fantasy reader who has been weaned on the products of a more recent period.
Its faults, now, would seem to be those of the time at which it was written; the same faults that would be apparent in a film of the '20's if it were shown today. It has the tall, handsome hero in Dick Seaton, too good to be true, a
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 11|
sickly-sweet heroine in his fiancee, Dottie (sic), and a dark, sneering villain in DuQuesne, who
is so evil that he alone seems human by contrast with the others. Its theme is local-boy-
makes-good; and its love scenes give me the screaming meemies.
Yet I, for one, still find it entertaining, if only because Dr. Smith has such a wonderfully fertile
imagination when it comes to depicting strange planets, alien forms of life and organised
warfare on the super-scientific scale. And even in this, his first story, he makes such good use
of his talents in this respect that it seems churlish to find fault with the rest.
"Spacehounds of I.P.C.", the third of his magazine stories, is likely to prove better
entertainment for the present-day reader, however. Apart from its sphere of action being
limited to the Solar System, it has everything that the "Lensman" stories have. Battle, murder
and sudden death occur frequently, from simple tooth-and-claw to the
havoc wrought by the familiar "sheets, cones and gigantic rods of force." The life-forms
inhabiting Ganymede, Callisto, Titan and Jupiter appear in various roles, friendly and
otherwise, but always fascinating; and although Stevens and Nadia are Seaton and Dorothy all
over again, they are not quite so irritating. Pedantically, one might say that some of the action
is not strictly relevant to the plot, but it is all so interesting in itself that the untidiness is
Of the books themselves it must be admitted that Fantasy Press have done much the better Job
of production. Apart from an inane dust-cover and a poor frontispiece by Schneeman, there is
nothing very wrong with the "Skylark" volume. But "Spacehounds" is far superior in general
layout and has several attractive pseudo-photographic illustrations, titillating sketches as
chapter-headings, and a striking dust-jacket which presents an interesting biography of the
|Super - Scientifiction|
DOPPELGANGERS. By H. F. Heard. Vanguard, New York, $2.75.
Reviewed by John Carnell
The title of this book may well mystify even a fantasy reader, but the dust-jacket is illuminating. It shows an enlarged reproduction of a page from a dictionary, explaining that a
"doppelganger" is a person exactly like another; a double, an astral apparition, a wraith.
Even this explanation may be misleading, for the book is no "weird," but science fiction of a
high order. In fact, it is likely to prove indigestible to those who have become used to
assimilating the slick action and smooth writing of the pulp magazines. It is a story filled to
capacity with words strung out upon a thin line of plot, but the words are deep and ponderous
and full of significance; indeed, the book needs a very careful reading to comprehend fully the
author's theories and suggestions concerning man's future, for his writing style is as weighty as
Mr. Heard commences his story on the assumption that the reader is quite conversant with
science fiction. The fundamentals of the plot are so quickly involved with a minimum of
explanation that it is only the sub-title"An Episode of the Fourth, the Psychological,
Revolution, 1997"which enables
us to fix the setting. Throughout we are left to construct our own mental scenery for practically
every incident. It is noticeable, too, that the central character is almost speechless compared
with the dialogue-producing hero of the usual science fiction novel; a welcome innovation.
The story deals with Alpha, benign overlord of a pleasure-satiated civilisation, and his
underworld counterpart, known as The Mole, who is planning his overthrow. An agent of The
Mole's undergoes a long process of master surgery until he becomes the living double of
Alpha, even to the tonal vibrations of his voice. He eventually reaches Alpha who, struck by
the resemblance, uses him as his stand-in for tiresome functions and ceremonies while he, the
Leader, rests. For convenience they are designated as Alpha I and Alpha II, though only a few
automaton servants and the Chief of Police are aware of the dual identities.
Eventually Alpha I commits suicide, and his double steps into his shoes as The Mole had
planned. But Alpha II has so completely absorbed his original's character, emotions and
thoughts that to all intents and purposes he is Alpha. While he still ponders his destiny, and
that of his contented, worshipping people, another agent arrives
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 12|
to kill him, under the impression that he is the original Leader. Then a Higher Being,
undoubtedly human but living on a mental plane above that of the rest of mankind, takes rein
of all the other characters, explains that The Mole was one of the Fallen from his own sect,
profoundly unravels the rest of the mysteries and departs, leaving Alpha II to carry on in the
manner best suited for his kind.
The reader may place his own particular interpretation upon all this. But the book was recommended to me as "a super-Astounding novel," and my own reaction is that it is far beyond the highest level of sheer thoughtfulness that popular science fiction could ever reach. It just isn't the kind of story that any magazine editor catering for majority tastes, however
elevated, would look at twice. It's super-sciencefiction.
MEDUSA, by E. H. Visiak. Gollancz, London, 8/6.
Reviewed by Alan Devereux
This is the third in the series of novels being reprinted in the Connoisseur's Library of Strange Fiction. It is both a delightful fantasy and a stirring sea story in a 17th century setting. The
striking similarity of both the style of writing and the form of the story to the work of William
Hope Hodgson is very noticeable, almost to the degree of coincidence. Possibly this is because
both writers drew from the same sources, and one cannot help feeling the influence of
Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" in each case. Tall ships lie becalmed in perilous, uncharted seas;
there is madness from thirst and sun, with baleful occult influences, eerie things in the night,
formless monsters and loathsome mermen. Added to all these is a strong streak of "Treasure
Island," with a sensitive young boy as the narrator of the tale and an ex- pirate with the perfect
name of Obadiah Moon.
But the reader is advised not to look at the Preface by Denis Saurat until he has first read the
story, as it not only gives away the whole plot, but its scientific explanation of various
mysterious events is too heavy for the delicate fantasy of the tale.
WHO KNOCKS? Twenty Masterpieces of the Spectral for the Connoisseur. Edited with a Foreword by August Derleth. Rinehart, New York, $2.50.
Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman
Like its predecessor, "Sleep No More," this collection of grim tales is an admirable and cunning
blend of vintage pieces and others of the modern school of the macabre. For Mr. Derleth (and
I agree with him) considers that many of to-day's magazine stories can stand unashamedly side
by side with their more pretentious progenitors. The transition from one to the other, here, is
Horror fans will recognise some of these stories instantly. The excellence of W. F. Harvey's
"The Ankerdyne Pew," E. F. Benson's "Negotium Perambulans," May Sinclair's "The Intercessor"
and H. R. Wakefield's "Seventeenth Hole at Doncaster" has been acknowledged by more than
one anthologist. But, not content with extracting these gems from their original settings, Mr.
Derleth has struck out boldly into the rich field of the "pulps" and culled much of his collection
from that amazing magazine Weird Talesamazing in that, surrounded by hack-written contemporaries and the clamour of an unlearned public, it yet gave precedence to literate
Thus, Seabury Quinn's "The Phantom Farmhouse," Arthur J. Burks' "Ghosts of Steamboat
Coulee," Edgar Lloyd Hampton's "A Reversion to Type" and Stephen Grendon's "Alannah" are
lacking in none of the polish of their better-known brethren in the medium. Indeed, they show
a singular freedom from the conventions that hampered earlier specimens of the genre. This
broadening of the horizon of weird fiction, which once was so narrow, will, I feel, have
importantresults in the future. The power and the glory of the weird tale is yet to come; and in
this volume are brought to light many striking variants of the once simple spectral theme.
No modern horror anthology would, of course, be complete without a piece by that great
master of the macabre, H. P. Lovecraft. Here, in "The Shunned House," we have one of his
bestif we can make such a distinction, for all his stories have the stamp of genius. Another
item I must mention is "The
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 13|
Lake," by Ray Bradbury. A rare poignancy, bitter-sweet and intense, runs thread-like through
this piece. Reading it is akin to scanning a childhood diary, for it stirs a nostalgia that has more
than a hint of tears. If Bradbury had written only this, his advent in the weird field would be
memorable, but luckily there are many fine stories of his which await general recognition.
Each item in this beautifully printed volume is prefaced by a valuable biographical note of the
author, and the illustrations by Lee Brown Coye are in a strangely whimsical style which yet
seems quite appropriate to their bizarre subjects. Like all things of rare value in these days, the
book is disappearing rapidly, and however penurious he may have been left by the flood of
anthologies from America of late, the connoisseur should be certain not to miss this one.
Van Vogt Again
THE WEAPON MAKERS. By A. E. van Vogt. Hadley, Rhode Island. $3.00.
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan
Another of the popular Astounding Science - Fiction writer's war - time serials, which British readers will not have had the opportunity to read unless they have garnered some rare back issues, now appears in handy book-publication form, in a limited edition of special interest to collectors.
The magazine story, which appeared early in '33, was actually preceded by a shorter piece called "The Weapon Shop" which introduced the basic idea of "The Weapon Makers" in an
earlier setting, but it bears no relation to the longer story apart from that and is not included in
the book. Since the first piece appeared in Astounding's British Edition (Feb. '43), you may, however, be familiar with the theme of the secret organisation which produces
THE FINEST ENERGY WEAPONS
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The ramifications of the Weapon Makers, a sort of futuristic underground movement which has been outlawed by the interplanetary Isher Em-
the prime press
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Philadelphia, 3, Pa., U.S.A.
THE MISLAID CHARM
by Alexander M. Phillips
with twelve superb illustrations by Herschel Levit. "A wacky fantasy that will be enjoyed by
all." $1.75 (10/6).
EQUALITY or A HISTORY OF LITHCONIA
First published in 1837, and now available for the first time in 100 years. Limited edition. $2.00 (12/6)
by George O. Smith
130,000 words of Smith's famous series from Astounding Science-Fiction revised and with the addition of a new climactic story written especially for this book.
(Dates to be announced later)
THE TORCH, by Jack Bechdolt.
A great story from Argosy of 1920.
CAMPERDOWN, by Griffiths.
The second of our series of early American Utopias.
*Prime Press books are available in strictly limited quantities from E. J. CARNELL, 17 Burwash Road, Plumstead, London, S.E.18. Collectors' inquiries welcomed.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 14|
pire, extend through the Solar System in the best Astounding traditions. And, in the present story, we are on the verge of an era of emigration to the stars with the invention of an interstellar drive for space-ships, which the Empress Isher is striving to suppress as a, menace to her dynasty and which the altruistic Weapon Makers are equally determined to safeguard.
It's a typical van Vogt set-up, which not only takes us out to Alpha Centauri but introduces such minor themes as telepathy, immortality, human giantism (graced with the name of "vibratory magnification"), super-mentality, time-travel, "freak" planets and super-intelligent spiders. I repeat, minor themes .. . And formidable though it must sound to the reader for whom one such concept is enough to make a story, I must say that I find the peculiar hotch-potch of ultra-imaginative conception which this writer mixes so adroitly, y, and with such compelling in- terest, as convincing as it is intriguing. Though I wonder, sometimes, if it is because I am prepared to go half-way with him for the sake of indulging in the pleasant, dreamlike extravagances in which he excels.
Not everyone, I fancy, would allow himself so willingly to come under his spell. But to the inveterate Astounding reader the process of submission becomes almost involuntary, and for such unprejudiced mortals this book is a sheer delight.
The Wonders of Eos
THE TIME STREAM, by John Taine. Buffalo, Rhode Island, $3.00.
Reviewed by D. R. Smith
Though John Taine is among my favourite science fiction authors, I am not sure that this is one of my favourite stories. I thought it was going to be when I had read the first instalment of the original serial version in Wonder Stories five or six years ago. But the story as a whole does not fulfil the promise of its first chapters, becoming increasingly complex in its development as well as its fantastic conception. A second reading, however, confirms the feeling that it is too remarkable a tale not to have read at least once; in fact, two readings would seem to be
needed to appreciate it entirely.
The theme as ultimately revealed is
that of a completely stable Utopia, maintained by a rule of reason quite divorced from emotion, which is overthrown by two people marrying for love in defiance of eugenical analysis and producing offspring which reintroduces emotional motives into the racial character. It is a difficult proposition to accept in cold blood, and the author's leisurely, emotionless style does not make it any easier to believe in wholeheartedly.
But the real fascination lies in Taine's concept of time as an actual rather than metaphorical stream, into which the nine chief characters plunge their minds, to swim up into the past or down into the future. From the world of 1906 they are precipitated almost by accident, but once in the time stream they find themselves belonging to the long-dead world of Eos, actual members of its proud civilisation who are deliberately exploring the past for a way out of the danger of the forbidden marriage.
Taine is at his best as he depicts the travellers emerging from the time stream to, find themselves on a mountain of bones in the midst of a vast, bone-carpeted desert. The reader is equally stirred by the first encounter with Eos, where five coloured suns shine eternally above
the plain where its people live in their scientifically-attained Nirvana. But this feeling of being
present in a strange, wondrous world, vivid though it is at first, is not maintained. I fancy this
is due to having to return with the narrator to the prosaic atmosphere of San Francisco so that he may recount a sub-plot involving the same characters in this time-era.
counterpoint can be very pleasing, but I think that here the author attempted more than he
could accomplish successfully. For the events in San Francisco, after the wonders of the world of the five suns, seem dull and irrelevant, and break the spell of Eos to such an extent that one never entirely recaptures it. But Taine is none the less a competent writer whose dry, matter-of-fact style is pleasant to read and at times gives a breathtaking realism to the most bizarre imaginings. Those who value his unique contribution to the literature of fantasy should welcome this addition to the few precious volumes of his work, which would not disgrace the most dignified library. However, it should be noted that it can no longer be obtained direct from the publishers.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 15|
|Something from the Soviet|
A MEETING OVER TUSCARORA. By I. Efremov. Hutchinson, London, 8/6.
Reviewed by John C. Craig
This is, to the best of my knowledge, the first offering of its kind that has come to us from the U.S.S.R. It is a book of science fiction, and it is all the more welcome because it is something quite fresh. If you want super-science, or the sophisticated science fiction of Astounding, you will not find it here. There are no gadgets, no supersonics, no high-flown atomic theories. Though the stories are undoubtedly scientific in background, their approach is simple and direct, and having read and enjoyed them one suddenly realises that an essential of really good science fiction is simplicity of mind.
It is a book of five stories told by five men who meet in an air raid. They are an elderly sea captain (who relates the title-story), a geologist, a mining engineer, a surveyor and a Siberian explorer. There is nothing very new in this method of presentation, but it is the stories themselves which are of value. The author, himself a retired
sea captain, draws generously upon myth and experience as well as imagination, leaving one with the impression that the vast countries of the Soviet must offer thousands of possibilities for scientific romance such as he exploits so effectively here.
Yet those who require their fantastic phenomena to be fully accounted for by scientific explanation may find these stories wanting, at least in this respect; for instance, in "Allergorkhoy-Khorkhoy The Monstrous Worm" (irresistible title!), and "The Lake of the Mountain Spirits," which concerns the discovery of a lake of mercury in the Altai Mountain. Again, "In the Steps of the Ancient Miners" presents no startlingly original theories, but if you are inclined to be claustrophobic you will emerge into the daylight with the same sense of relief as the two characters in the story.
If I were asked to draw a comparison between this Russian writer's work and any of the fantasies we keep on our shelves I would point to some of the best of Merritt's famous stories. But the book is interesting of itself, both in
And Now The First Volume of Science Fiction
By John W. Campbell, Jnr.
THE MIGHTIEST MACHINE
When Aarn Munro and his crew of the spaceship "Sunbeam," powered by the energy of the Sun itself, plunged through into the other-universe of the titanic Sun Anrel, they found they had been preceded, long before, by the survivors of the lost continent of Mu and their hereditary enemies of the caverns of Earth. And after ages of separate development on two different worlds in that other-space, the Magyans and the Tefflans, armed with mighty weapons, were once more engaged in interplanetary conflicta fantastic battle in which the supernal forces discovered by the Earthmen came to be used to shattering effect.
You will not want to miss this handsome book presentation of one of the most remarkable novels ever published by Astounding Stories, a masterpiece of the days before the author took over the editorship of the magazine. It will be available shortly in a limited edition at $3.00 in the U.S.A. and Canada, and to British collectors at $3.25 post-paid. Order now from:
THE HADLEY PUBLISHING CO.
271 Doyle Avenue, Providence 6, Rhode Island, U.S.A.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 16|
the writing and the scope of its ideas, which, incidentally, are mercifully free from propaganda. All of us who wish to extend our reading of science fiction beyond the narrow limits which convenience dictates must be grateful to the translators, M. and N. Nicholas, and to the publishers of this volume for an experience all too rare.
The Sleeper Wakes
SUMMER IN 3000, by Peter Martin. Quality Press, London, 8/6.
Reviewed by John C. Craig
Here is something of a rarity, a British science fiction novel which does not pretend to be anything other than science fiction, though it has a sociological slant. It transports John McCullum into the world of the future while he is on a walking holiday, by the simple expedient of letting him fall asleep and wake up in the year 3000. This deviceor, rather, the lack of itis a little too simple to be convincing. At the risk of being considered pro-
gadget, in this case I plead for the time machine!
But, having arrived, our hero falls into the arms of the lady who displays her charms on the dust-jacket, and who Possesses the further advantages of intelligence and strength besides rejoicing in the name of Clarnia. The story then deals, on fairly conventional lines, with the highly cultured race to which Clarnia belongs and its strife with an America in which free enterprise has been carried to its logical conclusion.
Some of the author's theories did not impress me as very logical; I thought I could detect a trace of hysteria here and there, and some of the science is, to say the least, unconvincing. At times I found myself recalling O'Duffy's "Spacious Adventures" and Palmer's "The Hesperides"; but if the concept is not new, the story itself is not allowed to suffer from theorising, and the newcomer to science fiction is likely to find it quite enthralling. For the rest, it makes pleasant bedtime reading and is an interesting item to add to any collection of Utopias, whether penny plain or tuppence coloured.
SUPERNATURAL HORROR IN LITERATURE. By Howard P. Lovecraft. Introduction by August Derleth. A study of the Horror, Gothic, Spectral and Weird Tales.-12/6 ($2.50 in U.S.A.)
H. P. LOVECRAFT: A MEMOIR. By August Derleth. A Study of the Man and His Work. Together with an Appendix and Bibliography-12/6 ($2.50 in U.S.A.)
THE CIRCUS OF DR. LAO. By Charles G. Finney. Illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. A Satirical, Whimsical Fantasy.-25/($5.00 in U.S.A.)
PILGRIMS THROUGH SPACE AND TIME. By J. O. Bailey. A History embracing the entire field of Science and Fantasy Fiction. A comprehensive study.-25/- ($5.00 in U.S.A.)
ARGUS BOOKS, Inc.WEST 46th STREET NEW YORK 19, N. Y.
Remittances from outside the U.S.A. should be made by International Money Order.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 17|
|John C. Craig writes
There are, of course, good reasons why our British fantasy books, like all our publishers' offerings, are still way behind those of our American friends in quality of production. There is an acute shortage of paper, and a bottleneck in the binding trade (though most of the latest volumes would easily pass through the neck of a bottle). But surely it is not beyond the wit of our publishers to improve their dust-jackets and the interior lay-out of their books? In this respect, some of the volumes I get from America make ours look very shabby indeed.
Two of the books among the latest British bag are exceptions to the general rule. The jackets on Francis Gerard's "Sorcerer's Shaft" and Garnett Radcliffe's "The Lady from Venus," both published by Macdonald at 8/6, are excellent. If the other non-smokers in the train see you with either of these, they will be more likely to crane their necks for an envious view than glance pityingly at the tripe they suppose you are reading.
You should know Francis Gerard for his "The Black Emperor," "The Dictatorship of the Dove," and others. Though his new book is primarily a mystery, with a theme of black magic, it is one which may well be placed along with your collection of "weirds." Garnett Radcliffe is a name which should also be familiar to fantasy fans, though I have not seen it since before the war, when his "London Skies are Falling Down" was serialised in the American Argosy. "The Lady from Venus" is a wacky account of the adventures of a Venusian minx on the planet Urth or Mud, and may be highly recommended to those who don't take their science fiction too seriously.
There is a third offering from Macdonald: "The Peacemaker," by John Remenham, which is all about a millionaire's efforts to establish world peace by means of a device operated from the Arctic regions. "Bright Tomorrow," by Derek Neville (Crowther: 7/6), with a 1980 setting, is another variation on the theme of a dreadful force at the disposal of one man who intends to use it to prevent war. Highly moral though it may be, and appropri-
ate to these times, this sort of thing is so familiar that it is no longer very enthralling to the science fictionist.
Any variant on "A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur" must, similarly, have a most original slant to get by these days. Which is why "An Airplane in the Arabian Nights," by Arthur Lee Gould (Laurie: 8/6), left me stone cold. But I thoroughly enjoyed returning to the realm of Lilliput in "Mistress Masham's Repose" (Cape: 8/6), by our old friend T. H. White of "The Sword in the Stone." This is an ingenious tale of a child who finds the descendants of the original Lilliputians, living on an island near an old mansion.
From Methuen comes Vardis Fisher's "The Golden Rooms," which is the second in a trilogy of novels portraying primitive man. The third, "Adam and the Serpent" (Vanguard: $2.75), has just appeared in America; the first was "The Darkness and the Deep," which you should find in the library if you're interested. Or perhaps you prefer "The Shadow Girl," a Ray Cummings thriller which Swan have made available at 5/-. For myself, I used to read Cummings' serials in the old All Story with rapt attention. Now, I wonder.
Finally, there is a new anthology, "At Close of Eve" (Jarrolds: 15/-), which presents 22 new stories by modern writers covering the field of the curious, the fantastic and the horrific. It is edited by Jeremy Scott, who produced "The Mandrake Root" collection last year. Quite an impressive list, altogether, at least as far as numbers goes. And two other new volumes, "A Meeting over Tuscarora" and "Summer in 3000," you will find mentioned elsewhere in this issue. Of the continuous stream of American books we have space to mention only the more attractive items, notable among which is Prof. J. O. Bailey's "Pilgrims Through Space and Time" (Argos: $5.00). This is a comprehensive historical survey of scientific fiction, ranging from the ancient Greek myths to the present-day magazine story. From Hadley comes news of the reprinting of John W. Campbell's Astounding novel, "The Mightiest Machine," which will be available soon in a $3.00 volume.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 18|
The first Prime Press production, "The Mislaid Charm," by Alexander M. Phillips, is now available at $1.75. And for those who want to keep up-to-date with astronautics, a fourth, revised edition of Willy Ley's "Rockets and Space Travel" may be had from the Viking Press at $3.75.
A new edition of M. P. Shiel's "The Purple Cloud" has been published by the World Co. at $1.00, while Random House have produced a highly coloured de luxe edition of Wells' "The Time Machine" at $2.75. The firm of Didier have also reissued Verne's "From the
Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon" in a revised version by Carter Hull, at $3.00. And Edgar Rice Burroughs fans will be interested in "Escape on Venus," the fourth of Carson Napier's adventures on that planet, which has come from Tarzana at $2.00, and doubtless will appear in a British edition in due time.
Those who enjoy reading poetry (and most fantasy fans do) will find a rare volume in the new Arkham House anthology, "Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre," edited by August Derleth. Other collector's pieces
DOOR TO THE FUTURE
These books are the keys to tomorrow. Some of them are for the Scientist, some for the Engineer, some for the Rocket experimenter and some for the Dreamer! Taken all together, you might make a door out of them; hang the door on the hinges of possibility and probability, set it in the solid wall of inertia and ridicule. Then open these booksand peer into the Future!
Rockets, by Robert H. Goddard $3.50
The two famous Goddard papers in one binding.
Atomic Energy for Military Purposes, by Henry D. Smyth 2.00
The primer of atomic energy. Should be read by every taxpaying citizen.
The "Particles" of Modern Physics, by J. D. Stranathan, Ph.D 5.00
What the student and engineer wants to know about the atom.
Applied Nuclear Physics, by E. Pollard and W. L. Davidson, Jr. 3.50
Methods of accelerating particles, and applicable tables, charts and formulae for experimentation.
The Modern Gas Turbine, by R. Tom Sawyer 2.00
What the engineer wants to know about the gas turbine.
Rockets, by Willy Ley (Third Edition) 3.75
Still the best all-round book on rockets.
Rocket Research, by Constantin Lent 4.00
A rocket primer and a "must" for your library.
Rockets, Dynamotors, Jet Motors, by A. L. Murphy 2.25
A fine book for the experimenter.
"Wege Zur Raumschiffahrt," by Hermann Oberth 8.00
German Rocket classic by the man who made the V2s. Collectors' item
"Raketenflugtechnik," by Eugen Sanger 4.00
German rocket calculations. Collectors' item.
The Coming Age of Rocket Power, by G. Edw. Pendray 3.00
A rocket prophet speaks.
The Charles Fort Omnibus, by Charles Fort 4.50
"The Book of the Damned," "Lo!" "Wild Talents" and "New Lands." The four books of Charles Fort. The gold mine of science-fiction and reading to give you a new slant on life! Recommended.
The Best of Science Fiction, edited by Groff Conklin 3.00
Forty science fiction classics.
All these books are obtainable through the UNITED STATES ROCKET SOCIETY, INC. Prices are based on market and availability. All books sent prepaid. Make cheque or Money Order payable to:
ROCKET ASSOCIATES, INC,
Box 29, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, U.S.A.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||page 19|
forthcoming from this source are Cynthia Asquith's collection of weird tales, "This Mortal Coil," Ray Bradbury's "Dark Carnival," and Carl Jacobi's "Revelations in Black." All may be obtained at 15/- each from Arkham House's British agents, whose advertisement appears on another page.
The latest weird anthology, comprising 23 tales by "familiars" in the field, collected and illustrated by Elmore Blaisdell is titled "Tales of the Undead: Vampires and Visitants" (Crowell: $3.50). There is also an interesting $5.00 volume from Random House, "The World of Dreams," which anthologises the work of many writers touching the subject of dreams and is edited by Ralph L. Woods. "The World of Flame" (Dial: $2.00) is, too, something of a nightmare. It's a novel by Leonard Engel and Emanuel Piller, foreseeing
the Russian-American war of 1950, with atom bombs and germs annihilating fifty million Americans.
Finally comes news of another new organisation, pledged to publish de luxe editions of rare fantasy classics, which will shortly commence operations under the name of Carcosa House. Its initial production will be a first edition of the legendary "Edison's Conquest of Mars," by Garrett P. Serviss, which countless fans have clamoured for through the years. It will be published in an illustrated, limited edition with a bibliography by A. Langley Searles. Carcosa
also plans to publish a lengthy study and critical analysis of the supernatural in English and
American fiction by an authority in the field. The well-known Los Angeles fantasy fan, Russ
Hodgkins, is associated with this new venture.
Special Rate to Collectors: 2d. per word (5c. Canada and U.S.A.); minimum 12 words. To Traders and others: 3d.per word (7c. in Canada and U.S.A.). All Advertisements in this section must be prepaid. Box numbers 6d. (15c.) extra.
ADVANCE ORDERS taken for forthcoming Check List of Fantastic Literature listing over 5,000 fantasy book titles with information for collectors. As yet unpricedE. J. Carnell, 17 Burwash Rd., London, S.E.18.
WANTED: Marjorie Bowen's "Great Tales of Horror" and "Last Bouquet"; A. M. Barrage's "Some
Ghost Stories"; Philip Allan's "Creeps" Series. Will buy or exchange for new American
booksnot Arkham's.Syms, 28 Eden Park Av., Beckenham, Kent.
WANTED Astoundings and Unknowns, U.S. editions. Plenty of mags., all titles, for sale or exchange.N. Lindsay, 311 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon.
REQUIRED books on handwriting, autographs, graphology, etc. British and American. State titles, authors, pricesBox 103, Fantasy Review.
FOR SALEScientific Detective Monthly and Amazing Detective Tales, Jan.- Oct. '30, ten issues, good condition. What offers?Box 104, Fantasy Review.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Legion of Space," 15/-; "Doppelgangers," 17/6; " Night Side," 16/6; and other titles. Post paid.E. J. Carnell, 17 Burwash Road, Plum-stead, S.E.18.
FOR WRITERS and fans. American-published " Writers' Markets and Methods," containing interview with A. E. Van Vogt. 1/8 a copy, post free, from E. J. Carnell, 17 Burwash Road, Plumstead, London, S.E.18.
E. J. CARNELL
17 BURWASH ROAD, PLUM-
invites your enquiries concerning
any books mentioned in this
STEAD, LONDON, S.E.18
offers the following magazines ex
stock, in good condition, postpaid:
AMAZING STORIES 1926-39
AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY 1928-33
AMAZING DETECTIVE TALES 1929-30
AIR WONDER and SCIENCE WONDER STORIES 1929-30
WONDER STORIES 1930-39
WONDER STORIES QUARTERLY 1929-33
ASTOUNDING STORIES 1930-39
WEIRD TALES 1926-39
PRICES: 1939 issues, 1/6d. Add 6d. for every preceding year; e.g. 1930 issues 6/-, 1926 8/-.
Quarterlies double the respective year-price.
NOTE: We offer the same prices less one-third for all similar magazines in good condition.
1 OXFORD STREET,
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 3||Back Page|
We buy and sell second-hand volumes in this field. Limited editions, rare books and signed copies are our speciality. All inquiries receive individual attention. We are pleased to serve collectors on both sides of the Atlantic.
I 1 Clowders Road,
Catford, London, S.E.6
The Weird The Unknown
10/- Sample Packet 10/-
Sell or Exchange Your Collection of
Direct Mail Subscriptions to all
U.S.A. Science-Fiction Magazines
(Dept. FR3), 16 Rockville Rd.,
to Regular Readers
The SUMMER 1947 issue of
will be on sale SATURDAY, JUNE 28th.
The AUGUST 1947 issue of
will be on sale SATURDAY, AUGUST 9th.
If you have any difficulty in obtaining your copies please communicate with:
ATLAS PUBLISHING & DISTRIBUTING CO. LTD.
18 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4
Ripley Printing Society Ltd., Ripley, Derbys.
This version of the magazine was assembled by Farrago & Farrago using a copy from the collection of the late Harry Turner, who created the cover artwork for the early issues of Fantasy Review.
All copyrights acknowledged, all articles and artwork remain the intellectual property of their creators.
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