Vol. I. No. 4


AUG.-SEP. 1947

It's Curtains for Space Opera


    July and August issues of Writer's Digest featured articles by Margaret St. Clair, science fiction writer, surveying the field from the viewpoint of the newcomer who wants to break into it and detailing the individual requirements of the magazines. The second article gives names and addresses of fan clubs and their publications, so that writers may "catch the spirit of what readers want and get the mood of the fan seated in his own armchair."

    The July article advised new authors to pay particular attention to fan letters in the magazines. "The typical science fiction fan is young, male (though there are some de- voted feminine ones), literate, quite intelligent, interested in ideas. His mental horizon is broader than that of the average citizen. He is strongly aware of what his likes and dislikes are, and the writer who succeeds in pleasing him will hear of it, In my belief the science fiction fan is a definitely superior type, but I may be prejudiced."

    Dealing with current trends in the medium, Mrs. St. Clair says: "Certainly the present trend is dead away from the aptly-named 'space opera.' Blood and thunder is more or less on its way out, though I suppose we shall never get rid of it entirely ... Of late, Astounding Science-Fiction has been going in rather heavily for stories about the post-atomic bomb world. They take but a dim view of the future which is probable for humanity, and on this point all thinking persons must agree with them. But desolation and death, no matter how likely, offer unsustainirg subject matter for an extended programme of fiction.

    "What will the future be like? No one can see very far into it. It may be that at first we shall have a considerable enrichment in material things. Science fiction might, then, devote itself at least partially to an imaginative depiction of the impact of this enrichment on humanity, with increased emphasis on humour, on character, on human interest. The life and social sciences will receive more stress. I believe we shall have more domestic interiors and fewer space-ships, more people and fewer robots and captured suns. Anyhow, it's more darned fun to write."

[Please turn to Page 18]

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 2

The Lovecraft Cult


    It is just ten years since Howard Phillips Lovecraft, American writer of weird tales, died at the age of 47, to be mourned by a few devoted friends and the comparatively limited circle of readers who knew and valued his writings. To those who regretted his demise it is some consolation that his fame and influence have grown, slowly but steadily, through the years. Despite the condescending attitude which some were pleased to adopt towards this self-confessed literary "amateur" and the humble origins of his work, its underlying brilliance is now widely recognised.
    Of the score of anthologies of horror tales which have appeared in America of recent date, there are few that have not included at least one of Lovecraft's. Since August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, among his oldest and most ardent admirers, prepared those two magnificent collections of his stories, "The Outsider and Others" and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep," others have seized eagerly on his work, which is

FANTASY REVIEW (Incorporating SCIENTIFICTION and TO-MORROW--Magazine of the Future)

A Journal for Readers, Writers and Collectors of Imaginative Fiction BI-MONTHLY: SIXPENCE

Editorial, Advertising and Publishing Office: 15 Shere Road, Ilford, Essex.
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Vol. 1, No. 4 Aug.-Sept. 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 (Hollywood).

now familiar to a much larger public-than he himself ever visualised. These two fine books are not only out of print but such copies as do exist will never come your way except at prices that may surprise and even shock you. But if you have not read Lovecraft, or have only a dim memory of him from Weird Tales and want to read him again, you cannot do better than seek out a copy of the Tower Books collection of his "Best Supernatural Stories."
    In this book are twelve of Lovecraft's most popular pieces which appeared in. Weird Tales between 1924 and '39, including "The Haunter of the Dark," "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Whisperer in Darkness," together with the memorable "Colour Out of Space," which is said to have been published in. Amazing Stories twenty years ago only because it was submitted there by accident. Also included are "The Dunwich.. Horror" and "The Thing on the Doorstep," which, with the remarkable Astounding Stories serial, "The Shadow Out of Time," were presented in a Bart House Mystery pocket-book at about the same time. An earlier book in the same series, which you may still be able to procure, comprised "The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Whisperer in Darkness," and three short pieces including "The Outsider."
    "The Dunwich Horror" has seen print yet again, more recently, in the "Avon Ghost Reader." "The Haunter of the Dark" also makes another appearance in the latest Avon pocket-book of supernatural stories titled "Terror at Night." The current hard-cover anthologies "Who Knocks?" and "The Night Side"' both contain Lovecraft stories. But if,. in spite of all this, his work still eludes you, don't despair. Later in the year Avon will publish a new pocket-book collection of his tales titled "The Lurking Fear and Other Stories," and you. can rely on it that the new Fantasy Reader will feature him fairly regularly- With this increasing recognition of Lovecraft's work over the past decade has emerged a growing interest in the man himself, amounting to a veritable cult. For this narrator of weird and horrific stories had facets to his character almost as strange as the bizarre .

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 3

channels into which his roving imagination delved. His secluded life and yet tremendous erudition; his absorption with things of the 18th century and his affectations of the Georgian period; his abnormal sensitivity to extremes of weather; the inherent reserve that made it practically impossible for him to cope with the realities of a cruel, workaday world--glimpses of all these peculiar features of his personality were always to be had from his stories. But of his charm of manner, his infinite patience and kindly humour, his gentleness, one could gather little apart from one testimony: the devotion that prompted his small circle of friends to ensure that his name and his work should become more than a fading memory.
    August Derleth's biographical appreciation of "H.P.L." is of absorbing interest to those who have been caught up in the web of fascination that has been weaved about the recluse of Providence, Rhode Island. The profound effect on this sensitive writer of the Lovecraft influence is apparent throughout; yet, discounting the aura of semi-divinity that his earnest disciple has naturally fabricated around him, it enables us to penetrate further into the fascinating enigma of his personality.
    We learn how, in the years of his childhood, he was shielded from the outside world by the solicitude of his aunts and the ancient tomes which were his companions. Later, his entry into the field of amateur journalism led to the gradual amassing of correspondents and interests that drew him partly out of his shell of reserve. Then followed the writing of his first stories, the opening of a market for them in Weird Tales, and the acquisition of a following of enthusiastic readers. There is an elaboration of the Cthulhu Mythos around which he framed some of his greatest tales, and a penetrating analysis of the reasons and motives for his work. To those who have read and admired his writings, and who have felt a burning curiosity concerning the half-legendary figure of their author, this little book will reveal much that is illuminating and conductive to a better understanding of his most bewildering creations.
    "Marginalia," on the other hand, is essentially a book for the Lovecraft fan, already familiar with most if not all of his work and with at least a general knowledge of the literary circle which

revolved around him. The casual reader, dipping into it, may be somewhat nonplussed by the peculiar variety of its contents and the narrowness of its subject-matter; for it is primarily a select excursion into the realm of H.P.L. and his satellites, and the inexpert traveller may well regret the absence of a guide-book.
    Typifying the spirit that marked the initial launching of its publishers, it presents for the connoisseur a fascinating melange of lesser-known stories, essays and other pieces written by Love-craft, or re-written by him from the material of other writers he befriended, and covering the whole period of his writing life. The rest of the book consists of tributes in prose and verse by members of his circle, including such well-known fantasy writers as Henry Kuttner, Clark Ashton Smith and Frank Belknap Long, besides Wandrei and Derleth.
    There are several photographs and drawings which are of equal fan-interest as the "Notes on the Writing of Weird Fiction" and "Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction" must be to those who are concerned with these aspects of the fantasy field. And even if one is not a convert to the Lovecraft cult, the philosophical depth of the essays, the marked beauty of the language in which they are written, and the intriguing sidelights they throw on the whole Lovecraft tradition, render the book appealing. The initiate may not catch the enthusiasm displayed so vehemently by his followers, but at least he may glimpse the reasons for such veneration.
    Of more general interest to the weird fiction reader, apart from those who cherish all his writings, is the Love-craft essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature," which has been reprinted from "The Outsider and Others" and which originally appeared twenty years ago in an amateur magazine called The Recluse. A comprehensive survey of the whole range of weird fiction, it traces its earliest beginnings from the ancient legends of folklore croaked at the hearthside by toothless beldames, up through the brooding Gothic romances of the 17th century, to the literary masterpieces of modern writers such as Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, M. R. James and Dunsany. But although one admires the diligent researches that went into the compilation of this now classic monograph,

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 4

one sees definite signs of partiality in the criticisms it presents. For the Sage of Providence had emphatic views on the pattern of the perfect weird tale. He considered that it should take a series of steps towards a hideous denouement, each with its quota of cryptic allusions which slowly build up the cumulative force of the whole, and he gave perhaps an undue importance to those tales which fulfilled these mechanics. His thesis, while contributing immensely to the student's knowledge of supernatural fiction, thus artfully contrives also to propagandise the ideas which he upheld and turned to such notable account in his own writings.
    The modern school of brisk, staccato writing has lately invaded the weird field, perhaps one of the last refuges of good English; and one is certain that Lovecraft would be pained to see how his beloved medium has been maltreated. On the other hand, several of the old Gothic tales over which he enthused have little now to recommend them apart from their style of writing, and are stilted by the prevailing artificialities of their age. But even if one

does not share all the enthusiasms of such a rabid bibliophile as Lovecraft, his analysis of the field as it has been developed is fascinating reading; for much of the charm of the essay lies in the wonderful language he used so aptly and effortlessly.
    The beginning and the ending, particularly, are clothed in words of rich beauty and lyrical effect such as are' rarely encountered in this mechanistic age. To those who appreciate literary craftsmanship and who have a special interest in the emotional power of the supernatural story, we can doubly recommend this book.

Best Supernatural Stories of H. P. Lovecraft, edited with an introduction by August Derleth. World Pub. Co., New York, 60c.
H.P.L.: A Memoir, by August Derleth. Abramson, New York, $2.50.
Marginalia, by H. P. Lovecraft. Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Arkham House, Sauk City, $3.00.
Supernatural Horror in Literature, by H. P. Lovecraft. Abramson, New York, $2.50.


    we recommend these titles, which we can still supply to those who order without delay.
BEST SUPERNATURAL STORIES OF H. P. LOVECRAFT. Edited and with an Introduction by August Derleth. Tower Books Edition.-3/6.
THE DUNWICH HORROR. By H. P. Lovecraft, with "The Shadow Out of Time" and "The Thing on the Doorstep." A Bart House Mystery Book. --5/-.
THE WEIRD SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH, and other Stories of the Supernatural. By H. P. Lovecraft. Including "The Whisperer in Darkness."-5/-.
THE LURKER AT THE THRESHOLD. By H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. An Arkham House Production.-12/6.
H.P.L.: A MEMOIR. By August Derleth. The Life and Work of Lovecraft, with a Bibliography. Published by Abramson.-13/6. Arkham House logo


(British Sales Representative, Arkham House: Publishers)


FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 5

Among the Magazines

The Birth of NEW WORLDS


    Although Britain's first post-war science fiction magazine, "New Worlds," was launched only a year ago, it has a story behind it which goes back several years. Editor John Carnell, who has long been associated with the efforts to establish such a magazine in this country, here tells the story of its inception and its progress up to the present.

    The seeds of the present New Worlds were sown back in 1939 when, as editor of the Journal of the Science Fiction Association, I used the title for an amateur magazine which published short stories and controversial articles on science-fantasy. That magazine ran to three issues before the war compelled the staff to abandon the duplicator and take to the shelters.
    A few months later I introduced the title to a London publisher who was interested in launching a science fiction magazine, for which the preliminary work was under way by January '40. The framework of three issues was completed when the publisher decided to liquidate his business--and we went back to the shelters again. But although the magazine did not materialise and all my ideas went back in my files for another six years, the effort wasn't wasted. I had established lasting friendships with many British and American fantasy authors, and the contacts stood me in good stead when, in January '46, Frank Edward Arnold introduced me to the directors of Pendulum Publications and the New Worlds project was revived.
    At that time there were rumours of more than one science fiction publication being prepared for the home market, and we decided to get the first issue out without delay. For that reason, no advance notification was given in this country, though a certain amount of anticipation was rife in

American science fiction circles. I expected our main difficulty to be shortage of stories, but within two weeks I was snowed under by manuscripts totalling more than half a million words. It seemed everyone had been busy writing science fiction during the war years, and with a dwindling American market MSS. had piled up unsold.
    From the deluge I selected a possible 100,000 words to start the magazine running. Admittedly, most of the stories did not conform to the requirements I had in mind, but they were something to get along with, and considerations of editorial policy were sacrificed until later when the magazine had been established. The main problem, then, turned out to be finding a suitable artist. None of the known British artists were available, and new men had only a vague idea of the specialised background which fantasy illustrating entails. Probably no magazine has commenced publication with such a handicap as the first cover illustration New Worlds presented; though it was ruined not so much by the artist as the medium he had to work in and by other factors which were beyond our control, and which also made the interior illustrations less effective than they might have been.
    The readers' reaction to the first issue, which appeared in July last year,

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 6

was negligible. The second issue, following three months later, was practically a sell-out. Between those two dates an intense sales drive was organised to introduce the magazine to a wholesale trade which does not always take kindly to new publications--especially one devoted to a type of fiction the public knows very little about. But a sales check in London showed a sell-out within two days on most bookstalls which placed copies on view, and its readers have left no doubt in our minds that the magazine is more than welcome.
    The long delay which has ensued since the third issue was promised has been due to an almost disastrous series of setbacks involving two printers, the power shut-down, blockmaking difficulties, and other unavoidable holdups. So much for our hopes of regular quarterly, if not bi-monthly, appearance! But although readers must have begun to despair, as we did, our patience will soon be rewarded. Then it will remain to be seen if the hoodoo of three is broken this time.
    This issue approaches the policy I had in mind at the start but which I could not immediately institute, though there is a lack of space stories to balance the more down-to-earth type. In my pursuit of an "advanced" story policy, I have contrived to indulge in a good deal of experimentation with these first three issues; and in spite of our slow progress and the faults which must be evident to the experienced reader, the reaction has been gratifying and the criticism mainly constructive. So, if we can keep our patience and your interest, we hope to improve on each issue until we have made New Worlds into something really unique in the science fiction field.
    Among the stories accepted for future issues is a sequel to "Dragon's Teeth," by John Aiken, which we think far superior to his initial story. John Brody submitted an atomic story titled "World in Shadow" which cried out for a sequel, too--and then turned in "The Dawn Breaks Red"; both these are novelettes. Maurice G. Hugi's last piece before he died was a 10,000-word col1-iboration with E. L. Willis entitled "Break into Time," which will appear under the name of Michael Lisle. Jack Chandler has also given us a Martian story which is certain to prove popular. The short stories are too numerous to mention, but represent a fair balance of

In the Next Issue

by W. S. Baring-Gould

An Interview with A. E. VAN VOGT

new material by both old and new writers.
    In the art department, the very noticeable improvement has been the subject of much comment. The cover of the current issue, while it has its faults, is in my view a very commendable piece of artwork, and I believe Slack will improve vastly with experience. Dennis has a background of many y years of fantasy reading and knows contemporary art; he will improve, too. I hope to bring our old friend Harry Turner back to the field shortly, which should give us a useful art team to rely on until there is scope for more illustrators.
    Looking into the future still further, I can say that the publishers are so gratified with the general reaction that they have plans to build around the nucleus of New Worlds, as soon as conditions permit, a regular series of fantasy novels. Those titles which have already been promised in the "Popular" Space-Time and Fantasy Series have been held up indefinitely owing to prevailing conditions in the publishing trade, but will almost certainly be incorporated in the projected Pendulum books towards the end of this year. They are, however, entirely subservient to New Worlds, which will receive priority attention for the time being.
    As to the general outlook for science fiction in this country, I believe there is room for two or three publications provided they are directed by people who know the field, and that competition can only stimulate sales. For years there has been a struggle to interest British publishers in this type of fiction, and it would seem they have become really interested at a time when it is most difficult to put it on the market. But providing we get through the lean years satisfactorily, science - fantasy should be firmly established by the time there is an abundance of paper and printers are no longer overworked.

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 7



    Three new American fantasy magazines are projected for publication in the near future. Two are being prepared by Donald A. Wollheim, editor Fantasy Reader, for Avon Publications of New York.
    The first of these, having the working title of Literary Fantasy Project, will be a magazine differing in appearance and make-up from the usual fiction pulp. It will feature all types of fantastic fiction: pure fantasy, "wacky" fantasy, weird stories, tales of cosmic horror, science fiction of the better type, and atomic age stories of prognostication. The mag. will be slanted towards the more adult reader; emphasis will be on literary quality with background colour, characterisation and mood uppermost.
    Says the editor: "We would like to make this the sort of magazine one would expect to find Merritt, Lovecraft and Weinbaum writing for if they were alive to-day."
    The other Avon magazine, temporarily known as the Popular Fantasy Project, is described as "a standard type pulp featuring good science fiction and fantasy stories with stress on ad-

venture and the excitement of new worlds." The usual popular themes will be used in their most accepted styles, with action and tension the main consideration. Though the contents will be primarily science fiction, a certain amount of weird and fantastic fiction will be featured, including spooky or wacky tales of supernatural beings. and off-trail idea stories.
    Robert Bloch and Carl Jacobi are two writers who have already had stories accepted for one or other of these magazines, and fantasy fan-artist Roy Hunt will be among the illustrators.
    The third magazine, planned for pocket-sized format, will be called Fantasy Book and is expected to be launched before the end of the year. Among material secured for the first two issues (some of which has already been published in English magazines Tales of Wonder and New Worlds), are pieces by A. E. van Vogt, Robert Bloch, Bryce Walton, Weaver Wright, Stanton A. Coblentz, Festus Pragnell and Maurice G. Hugi.
    The new artist discovery, Neil Austin, will illustrate Fantasy Book, which will publish in Los Angeles.



    I hear that letters received from American readers of our British Fantasy, of which No. 3 has just appeared, are even more enthusiastic than those which have come from nearer home. Some of our Transatlantic friends, it seems, actually prefer it to their own magazines. Which must be very encouraging to Editor Walter Gillings; though to be restricted to publication three times a year is enough to drive any editor frantic. Yet there is no hope of more frequent appearance with the paper situation getting worse rather than better.
    The latest issue features a long novelette, "Time Trap," by Stanton A. Coblentz, which is reminiscent of his "The Man from Tomorrow" which appeared in Amazing Quarterly many years ago, but has been specially written for the magazine and is more in the modern

manner while still typically Coblentzian. There is an unusual story by the new writer F. G. Rayer, "Basic Fundamental," and other pieces by three more new names--Norman C. Pallant, Charles Alban Crouch and E. G. O'Brien. Another article by Editor Gillings, "Are You There, Mars?" deals with the possibility of interplanetary communication with the development of radar techniques. The first of the promised series of "Famous Fantasies" also appears: "Menace from the Moon," by Bohun Lynch, a condensed version of the book published in 1924.
    The cover, this time, is much better, but it still seems as if the artist isn't quite sure what he is trying to convey. However, as many readers would appear to approve of the mystery man's work as dislike it, and the interiors are, on the whole, quite up to the

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 8

standard of the stories they illustrate. But who does them we are still not told.
    Should editors write for their own magazines--under their own names that is? Gillings evidently thinks so, though he sticks to articles. So does Donald A. Wollheim, who has a story of his own in the third Avon Fantasy Reader, now to hand. It's a short piece called "Mimic," for which he says he need make no apology. There is also a new story by Mr. Derleth's protege, Stephen Grendon, titled "Bishop's Gambit," a reprint of Lovecraft's "The Silver Key," and others of which I gave details last time.
    The Reader will henceforth appear bi-monthly. And in the latest Amazing Editor Palmer announces that the response to the Shaver Summation Issue was so terrific that the publishers have decided to go monthly with its sister mag., Fantastic Adventures, at the sacrifice of one of their detective story pulps. In the September Fantastic, one Karl Tazler von Cosel is doing a Shaver on us with "The Secret of Elena's Tomb." Remember the headlines in '40? No? Nor do I. But the secret of how the German scientist brought beautiful Elena Hoyos Mesa back to life is revealed by von Cosel himself, in 50,000

shocking words (I quote!) that will shake you to your soul.
    August Astounding sees the comeback of L. Ron Hubbard and the start of his new serial, appropriately titled "The End is Not Yet." This, in Editor Campbell's own words, is "a revised and enlarged edition" of "Final Blackout," Hubbard's novel of seven years ago which sought to predict the aftermath of World War II. I can still remember it now, and in many respects it wasn't far out--or it may not be.
    Rogers does the cover and interiors for the serial. For the September issue, Alejandro has done a cover which Campbell describes as "symbolic rather than pictorial." I suppose you might say that of Fantasy's ... And did you notice the wash illustrations by Timmins in the July number? Peculiarly effective, I thought.
    The current Startling features an "outer menace" novel by George O. Smith, "The Kingdom of the Blind," with short stories by Kuttner, Hamilton, Keller, Binder, and the newly-arrived, much-discussed Margaret St. Clair. Next (Sept.) issue brings Keith Hammond's "Lord of the Storm," which postulates scientific rain-making as a future weapon. A change from atomic bombs, at least . . .


    Perhaps the greatest authority on science fiction in all languages, C. A. Brandt, who had been associated with its development in the American magazines since the early days of Amazing Stories, has died in New York at the age of 68.
    Born in Germany and educated at Heidelberg University, Brandt became interested in science fiction when, as a youth, he acquired a set of Jules Verne's works and began to study the writings of other Continental authors in the same tradition. Later, having settled in America, he amassed a unique collection of science-fantasy in the English, French, German and Scandinavian languages, and in his search for more rare volumes frequented a New York bookshop which was patronised by Hugo Gernsback, founder-editor of Amazing.
    Learning of his extensive knowledge of the field, Gernsback contacted

Brandt and appointed him a literary editor of his new magazine soon after its launching in 1926. He introduced him as "the greatest living expert on scientifiction," and it was Brandt who selected much of the reprint material used in the early issues, including translations of the works of foreign writers. As the magazine progressed, he was also responsible for introducing many new writers who became big names in the field.
    He left the staff of Amazing at the end of '31 to become Literary Editor of Wonder Stories and its Quarterly, which Gernsback had founded on leaving Experimenter Publications to form a new publishing company. But it was not long before Brandt returned to Amazing to work as assistant to Editor Dr. T. O'Conor Sloane and to resume his book reviews which were a popular feature of the magazine. On its acquisition by the Ziff-Davis company in '38, he retired from the publishing field to engage in the wine business, but continued his interest in science fiction as a relaxation and was recently planning to launch a new magazine.

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 9

Walter Gillings'


    America still discovering fantasy . . . "Science Fiction--More Fact Than Fiction," by Milton Cronenberg, gave field yet another boost in Canada's Magazine Digest. As usual, Astounding got most of the kudos on strength of atomic predictions: "Hiroshima made s-f respectable. Magazines in this field now have about 1,000,000 readers a month, the majority going to Astounding. New issues are snapped up within a few days. 'Oh, if we could only get more paper!' sighs Editor Campbell." Gernsback, Heinlein, de Camp, "Skylark" Smith, van Vogt and Willy Ley also mentioned. Fandom too, of course . . . And "Science Fiction--A Cult," book page article in Newark Sunday News by Literary Editor Max J. Herzberg, dealt particularly with van Vogt's "Sian," fan organisations. "It is a movement only in part literary; it is also scientific, technological, cultural and even spiritual . . . Their eagerness, fanaticism and often profound knowledge . . . their deep devotion to their cult are likely to astound the uninitiated bystander and awaken his admiration" . . .
    Popular Publications, publishers of Famous Fantastic Mysteries, hope to put wartime malts. Super-Science and Astonishing Stories back in circulation when paper shortage ends . . . Otto Binder, of the "Eando" (E. and O.) brother duo, reappears in Startling Stories after five years of writing "Captain Marvel" comic strip tales illustrated by third brother, Jack . . . Dr. E. E. Smith will write "The First Lensman" to connect "Triplanetary" with the "Lensman" series, all of which may appear in book form from Fantasy Press ... Omnibus of A. Merritt tales, "The Worlds Outside," promised by Arkham House, which has arranged for A. E. van Vogt's "World of Null-A" to be published by Simon & Schuster as first of a projected s-f novel series . . .

BIS Councillor Arthur C. Clarke's "The Challenge of the Spaceship" reprinted under "Astronautics" in "British Thought, 1947" (Gresham, New York: $3.75), also containing contributions by Julian Huxley on Biology and Renee Haynes on Occultism. Another Clarke piece on Lunar prospects coming up in Everywoman .. . G. Edward Pendray article on space-travel in American '47 . . . "Base on the Moon," by John W. Campbell Jun. in Pic, illustrated by Chesley Bonestell. Says Campbell: "Some nation will get to the Moon within five years . . . and the Moon is the key to the control of Earth--and the whole Solar System!" . . . Willy Ley's "Rockets and Space Travel" will be published here by Hutchinson, after his "The Lungfish and the Unicorn," all about evolution . . . Space Trails, miniature "Magazine of the Future" issued by Pegasus Publications, New York, devoted first issue to reprint of "Prison Planet," by Wilson Tucker, from Planet Stories . . .
    Sam Merwin Junr., Thrilling Wonder editor, disappointed by entries for his new fan-writers' contest, told querists Science Fiction League was dropped because "it seemed to be a pretty shadowy and unrewarding organisation for fan and editor alike" . . . Charles D. Hornig, formerly of Gernsback's Wonder, selling out his collection of magazines . . . John Russell Fearn's "Liners of Time" (see book reviews, this issue) dedicated to G. Ken Chapman "in friendship" . . . William F. Temple's "The Four-Sided Triangle." with fantastic slant on eternal ditto, to be published by John Long . . . Ray Bradbury's "Dark Carnival" (reviewed this issue) will be given British edition by Hamish Hamilton ... "

Unpublished novel, "The Mad Brain," among earliest work of the late Stanley G. Weinbaum, being considered by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach for Fantasy Press publication; though Sam Moskowitz, writing in Fantasy Commentator, says he found it "amateurish," very inferior to Weinbaum's later masterpieces, only worth publishing as collector's piece, if at all . . . Mark Schorer, one-time collaborator of August Derleth, is author of "William Blake: The Politics of Vision" (Holt, New York: 55.00), concerning famous imaginative poet . . . Stanton A. Coblentz's latest poetry volume is "The Mountain of the Sleeping Maiden" (Wings Press: $1.75). His Amazing classic, "The Sunken World," will be republished by a new fantasy book concern as their initial volume ... Weird Tales will celebrate its 25th anniversary next March . . .

[Continued on Page 19]

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 10

Book Reviews

Staggering Through Time

LINERS OF TIME, by John Russell Fearn. World's Work, Kingswood, 5/-.

    Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan

When Mr. Wells wrote "The Time Machine" sixty years ago, it probably never occurred to him, much less to his wondering readers, that in due course others would write stories of supertime-machines transporting passengers through the centuries on a luxury liner basis. But we've come a long way since then; and Mr. Fearn, of all our modern science fictionists, was never one to do things by halves. Indeed, in thin "Master Thriller Science Fiction Novel," as the dust-jacket proclaims it, he does practically everything his predecessors and contemporaries ever did prior to 1935, when he wrote it as an Amazing Stories serial and was busily producing even more astounding pieces--in the fashion of the day--for other magazines.
    Presenting it now to "the growing army of science fiction readers," the publishers drop us a cautionary hint that it is all very super-super and melodramatic. But we old sweats who know the reputation he has for the audaciousness of his ideas and the number of his contributions to the field scarcely need any forewarning of what we may expect of Mr. Fearn, even if we happen to have passed up this particular one when it appeared in his heydey. As we, in fact, did; and reading it now, we cannot recall if the omission was by accident or design. Though it is likely we may, at the time, have taken it in our stride--as we imagine Mr. Fearn may have done.
    Perhaps we have grown conservative, if not more discerning, but to-day we feel the need of seven-league boots to stay the distance with him. Not only do his time-liners shuttle back and forth over a stretch of ten million years, but his hero and heroine make rings round Wells' time-traveller by rushing back into the primordial or forward into infinity with what seems an inordinate facility. Though they do not always manage it of their own free will; for it is only with the aid of the gaseous Martians of Earth's beginning or the

Planet Brain of the distant future that they are able eventually to waylay the villain, Master of the impenetrable Age of Problems, whose aim to stagger his surplus population through the eons is a menace to the smooth workings of the time-line.
    Knowing Mr. Fearn's partiality for such sinister characters, we were hardly surprised to find that Elnek Jelfel was as loathsome a creature as his name implied: "a damnable, crawling, filthy Jovian" masquerading in human guise. Nor even that the rascal's ultimate objective was the wholesale vivisection of the specimens inhabiting the planet he had invaded; especially after he had been so callous as to resolve the heroine to her constituent atoms and project her down the time-line at the speed of light, a process that somehow reminded us of the bustled lady tied to the buzz- saw.
    But, as in all the best melodramas, Squire Jelfel comes to a sticky end after an encounter in which brain is not allowed to displace brawn entirely. And to add to the fun and the confusion of our enemies, in the end Jupiter is hurled into the Sun, with the rest of the outer planets for good measure. Nor is this all. By the wayside, as it were, we have such miraculous devices as the Growth Determinator, the Emanation Detector, the Atom-and-Time Dissembler and the Light-Wave Trap, to say nothing of radio hypnotism, wheeled cities, invisibility, and the resurrection of the heroine after we had thought her dead as a doornail.
    Yet we have an enormous admiration for Mr. Fearn, if not for much of his work. For he never once forgets that he is writing science fiction, and the sincere determination with which he tries to interpret his most bewildering ideas in scientific terms is only too evident throughout this ambitious piece. That we found it difficult always to appreciate his similes may be our fault as much as his, since we have not his illimitable imagination. And as long as his Planet Brain is human enough to provide chicken and champagne for his weary time-travellers, what cause have we to complain that he doesn't think of everything?

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 11

Williamson's Magic Lamp

THE LEGION OF SPACE, by Jack Williamson. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa., $3.00.

    Reviewed by John Carnell

While enjoying the results of his ingenuity and industry as a writer, we have always had some difficulty in reconciling the work of Williamson with the environment in which he began to produce his wondrous tales of strange planets and even stranger civilisations. It is a far cry from roping steers and bucking broncos in the dusty fastnesses of New Mexico to battling with alien beings somewhere in the far reaches of galactic space, and the writing of futuristic fiction would seem to demand something more inspirational than the smoky fumes of a kerosene lamp. Unless it were a magic lamp.
    Yet it was in this rugged atmosphere, more likely to lend itself to cowboy stories, that the 18-year-old son of a Texas rancher launched himself on his literary career. He was born in a raw mining community of Arizona, and his earliest memories are of a palm-thatched hacienda nestling in a Mexican canyon, of hostile country full of mountain lions and deadly scorpions and renegade Apache Indians. When he was only seven, he crossed the prairie in a covered wagon, mile after mile, to settle in the ranching territory of New Mexico. There there was drought, dust-storms and disaster.
    But he wasn't cut out to be a cowpuncher. His most pleasant youthful memories are of unearthing some old text-books of science belonging to his ex-school teacher father, and of making some mechanical gadgets out of odds and ends of scrap. To such an inventive mind, science fiction made an irrestistible appeal when he discovered Amazing Stories in the days of "The Green Splotches" and "The Moon Pool"--the influence of Merritt was evident in his early work. Instead of becoming a scientist, he decided to write the folklore of the new world of science (as he himself has put it), even before he had contrived to get to college to 'augment the little learning he had gained from a musty encyclopaedia.
    So, with an antique typewriter, in the light of that magical oil-lamp, he started to write the stories of which he has kept up a steady stream through

the years, commencing with "The Metal Man" and including such brilliantly imaginative pieces as "The Stone from the Green Star," "After World's End" and "The Legion of Time." All in all, one and a half million words of science and weird fiction have appeared under his name in various magazines since 1928; and there are few of his tales that have not enhanced the reputation he quickly made as an original thinker in the medium.
    It is to be expected, therefore, that some of his best work should be included among the current spate of reprint volumes, to which those of Fantasy Press are a welcome addition, since they are collectors' items in every sense of the word. This is a beautiful volume, handsomely printed and bound, with four illustrations by A. J. Donnell. And the contents are quite deserving of their attractive presentation.
    "The Legion of Space" was the first of a series of three connected stories which appeared in Astounding, where Williamson naturally gravitated when it took the lead over the pioneer magazines to which he had previously contributed. It was published as a serial in '34, being sandwiched in the same issues as Dr. Smith's "Skylark of Valeron," and even against that heavy competition it soon gained "classic" status. Twelve years have passed since we first read it; yet we found it completely fresh, and were soon lost in the enthralling exploits of that lovable bunch of characters, John Star, Hal Samdu, Jay Kalam and the immortal Giles Habibula, in their fight to rescue the fair Aladoree and her mystic weapon AKKA which alone can save Earth from the power of the Medusae.
    Since his early life was a continual struggle against nature and the elements, it is understandable that so many Williamson stories should depict, and so vividly, Man's struggle to survive in the face of insuperable obstacles. This one takes us forward to the thirtieth century, when two rival political groups are striving to control Earth. The "Purples" make an alliance with the ancient dwellers of a dying planet, only to be doublecrossed themselves; and while Earth lies helpless beneath bombardment from the Moon, our four heroic Legionnaires battle out the issue on a faraway world, the home

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 12

of the unearthly Medusae.
    Re-reading the story after all this time, we found that we had entirely forgotten the plot, and the only fault that appeared was the over-dramatising of the many climaxes. Still, it does not read like a space opera; the author has obviously made some alterations to the

original to bring it into line with present techniques, and it is every bit as fascinating as the latest examples the field has to offer. I hope we shall see the rest of this triology, "The Cometeers" and "One Against the Legion," between hard covers in the not-too-distant future.

Mr. Derleth Goes Astray

THE NIGHT SIDE: Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible, edited with an introduction by August Derleth. Rinehart, New York, $3.10.

    Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman

    This third in the series of horror anthologies edited by Mr. Derleth has ail the admirable qualities of "Sleep No More" and "Who Knocks?" including the illustrations of Lee Brown Coye. Yet there is a difference, which to me is rather disconcerting. For here Mr. Derleth has strayed from the narrow twilight grove of cumulative horror into the broader meadow of fantasy, and I am not sure his inducements are sufficient to entice me out with him.
    For example, there is that much-vaunted piece of science fiction by Henry Kuttner, "Mimsy Were the Borogroves," which is indeed excellent in its own sphere, but which seems somewhat self-conscious in its modernity cheek-by-jowl with other tales of vintage weird tradition. I do not consider it weird, but it is certainly novel and thought-provoking. The same remarks apply to Howard Wandrei's "The Eerie Mr. Murphy" and Henry A. Norton's "Sammy Calls a Noobus." These tales have a scintillating polish that disarms criticism, but their glitter does not hide the fact that their kinship with the horror story per se, like that of an ancestral lineage, has become remote with the passing of the years.
    But although Mr. Derleth has widened his horizon, so that the thrills and chills of his once narrow perspective have become submerged, there is still in this collection of 23 tales a number that will make the horror-hardened reader sit up. Among them are two justly-famed pieces from Weird Tales of a decade ago, the era of Farnsworth Wright and his brilliant editing. These are "The Night Wire," by H. F. Arnold, and "The Three Marked Pennies," by Mary E. Counselman. Both have subtle understones of menace that sound a

distant tocsin of alarm in the reader's mind; and having once caught these notes, what glutton for punishment could ask for more? Their implications are more gruesome than a multitude of gory terrors.
    There is also H. P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space," which needs no apology for its reappearance. Probably the best of his medium-length tales, the careful attention to atmosphere and locale enables this narrative to proceed with dreadful exactitude to its predestined heights of horror. It is a model of story-telling by one who took infinite pains with all his work.
    Other pieces which are noteworthy are Robert Bloch's "Enoch," which has a ghastly thread of macabre humour running through it; Alan Nelson's "Professor Pfaff's Last Recital," a modern tale with all the savagery of Poe: and Ray Bradbury's "The Smiling People," developed in his enchanting style. Concerning this last, I cannot understand why Derleth expurgated parts of it (compare it with the original in "Dark Carnival"): rather than a pruned version for a hypersensitive public, I would have preferred another selection from this brilliant young writer's fascinating melange of stories.
    I was prepared, too, for the inclusion of C. L. Moore's "Shambleau," that superb tale of a ghastly yet beautiful Martian monstrosity, which was promised in the announcements of the book's preparation. I must deplore its absence, and trust that time and circumstances will yet bring about its republication. However, in spite of omissions, there is a feast of fantasy fare in this anthology, which like Mr. Derleth's earlier collections can avoid the charge of duplication attributable to so many others; for the greater part of the contents has never appeared between stiff covers hitherto. Thus the enthusiast should not hesitate to add it to his hoard, especially since some of the gems within may not appear in print again.

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 13

Phenomenal Bradbury

DARK CARNIVAL, by Ray Bradbury. Arkham House, Sauk City, $3.00.

Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman

     In this collection of 27 tales Ray Bradbury has achieved something remarkable in the supernatural field. He has successfully discarded the traditional habitat of the weird tale, with its sombre, neo-Gothic setting, and replaced it by one—I was going to say of the twentieth century, but the twenty-first would be more apt. So far ahead are his conceptions, his style and his brilliant expressions.
    Other writers have given their impetus to the somewhat staid pace of this type of story. Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, Nelson S. Bond come primarily to mind as protagonists of the macabre in modern vein; our own John Collier has also produced several excellent unconventional pieces. But there is an air of the self-conscious in the modernity of these writers; they seem to be striving for effect, to assert even aggressively that the weird tale can be modern. Bradbury's tales, on the other hand, are not simply patterned in a

modern mould; their very foundations are laid in the minute now passing. The sparkling prose is not just an outward facade; it is the very bricks and mortar of each streamlined edifice in this book.
    Here we find "The Wind," the story of a monstrous persecution by the elements; "The Emissary," a tale of a dog that brought back bones, wet leaves, and finally—horror. There is "The Crowd," that sinister group that somehow always gathers round a street accident victim. In "The Jar" is not only an ingenious idea but a vivid portrayal of American smalltown life. And "The Handler" tells of an undertaker with a peculiar interest in his customers; the ghoulish humour is 'little short of diabolical, yet quite delicious.
    One might continue to point to each story, indicating its perfections. Enough to say that each is a model for novelty of plot, economy of narrative and superb style. The connoisseur finds here, not only a new writer, but new writing, and in the narrow field of the weird such an event is a phenomenon and a vital step forward.

shasta publishers
announce completion of their first major project of interest to collectors:

THE CHECKLIST of Fantastic Literature

After seven years of research and preparation, this important manuscript is now ready for publication.


* Complete library information. * Double-indexed—by title and author. * Printed, permanently bound in modern, convenient size. * Definitive—compiled from the world's largest fantasy collections. * Accurate—prepared with the assistance of the Library of Congress and the British Museum.

LIMITED This reference guide will be an indispensable aid to the book-hunter
EDITION in determining whether titles on dealers' shelves are considered Fantastic Literature.

SPECIAL OFFER This limited edition of 1,000 will be sold to libraries and
TO COLLECTORS booksellers. A small number of copies will be made available to private collectors.

Pre-publication price: 25/- Earliest orders will receive preference. Send cash,
(30/- after Sept. 20th) cheque or Money Order.

E. J. CARNELL (.Sole British Representative)

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 14

Book Reviews

America, Beware!

WORLD AFLAME, by Leonard Engel and Emanuel S. Piller. Dial, New York, 82.00.

Reviewed by John Carnell

    The recent political events which have produced such headlines as "The Frightened Men in Washington and the Kremlin" would seem to offer a portentous preface to this book, whose subtitle is "The Russian-American War of 1950." In its treatment, it is entirely non-political, though subconsciously it screams anti - Russian propaganda. While piously hoping that their story will never be truly prophetic, the authors have plumped for Russia as the obvious enemy of America (and a coalition bloc of allies including the British Empire) in any such "disastrous adventure," and have painted a highly sinister picture of what the invention of atomic war is likely to lead the world into.
    The story opens with the war five years old and still going strong, notwithstanding that 35 million Americans have been blasted by atomic bombs. The reasoning for this assumption is quite feasible; indeed, the reader is compelled to appreciate the somewhat unpleasant fact that Man may still survive an atomic war in spite of the holo-. caust. The book takes the style of an official Government document prepared by a newspaper reporter, specially assigned to the task of summarising for the American people the events of those first five years of hell on Earth.
    So, in that world of If, we see the encircling of Russia, the early invasion successes of the American and Allied forces, the anticipation of a quick victory gained with atomic bombs alone. Then the setbacks: the annihilation of the flower of Britain's armies in a major attack on Murmansk, the heavy American losses in Asia, the reprisal raids by Russia, the wiping out of Britain by a terrific concentration of rockets, and our final surrender. And then—germ warfare!
    Of this the authors give us a far more terrifying picture than the destruction of whole cities by atomic fire. The insidious destruction of crops, pneumonia

and scarlet fever epidemics, paralysis—they have aptly termed it a "Pandora Box of Terror," out of which comes at length the inevitable radioactive dust. But they seem to have entirely overlooked—or deliberately ignored—-the factor of radiation areas around atomic bomb hits, except for a brief paragraph at the end of the book when the hideous possibility of mutations becomes apparent. And at the end, the war is still raging; there is nothing to offer but struggle and sweat and tears.
    To us who have a daily reminder of the last war in the gouged-out vacant sites in our cities, the warning this book represents may not be very necessary, though it makes the menace of the atomic bomb mercilessly clear. To the Americans, whose cities stand proudly unharmed, it must seem a very grim picture indeed, and so it is probably intended. The danger is only that it may prove so grim to them as to seem an impossible speculation.


Now available

Liners Of Time—Fearn: 5/-
World Aflame—Engel & Piller: 11/-
Atomic Story—Campbell: 15/-
Legion Of Space—Williamson: 15/-
Mislaid Charm—Phillips: 10/6
Doppelgangers—Heard : 17/6
The Night Side—weird anthology: 16/6
Supernatural Horror in Literature—Lovecraft: 13/6
and other titles

17 Burwash Road, Plumstead London, S.E.18

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 15

Fort Without Theories

FORGOTTEN MYSTERIES, by R. DeWitt Miller. Cloud, Chicago, $2.50.

Reviewed by Geoffrey Giles

    You may recall that the author of this book was a contributor to Astounding ten years ago. The stories he has assembled here are astounding, too, but they are not fictional. For Mr. Miller is more interested, these days, in fantastic facts—in collecting and collating them and presenting them in mystifying array, much as Mr. Fort used to do. He is, in fact, a Fortean, and has been dogging the Great Doubter's footsteps for 15 years or more, accumulating a mass of pallid data on such things as the Devil's Footprints, death fogs, sea serpents and missing ships.
    But, whereas Charles Fort offered his own possible but very improbable explanations for the "enormities and preposterousnesses" he spent his whole life tabulating so as to tantalise orthodox science, Mr. Miller declines to put forward any theories to account for his oddities. He merely records them, here, as a series of disconnected incidents, all of which he is satisfied have actually happened but have been conveniently forgotten—because they could not be explained away as easily as the recent riot of "flying saucers."
    Though a few of his tales have been told before, and some he has previously recounted in his Coronet magazine feature of some years ago, most of them are new to me and all are thought-provoking. They are a mixed assortment, ranging in subject from ghostly hauntings to talking and thinking animals; and his chapters on Enigmas Out of Space, Vanished Continents, misplacements in Time and forgotten experiments cannot fail to rouse the fantasy fan's natural interest.
    The only criticism I might venture, indeed, is that the book contains too many cases for its rather limited dimensions: the treatment is therefore inclined to be cursory. I agree with Mr. Miller that "you cannot pack the marvels of creation into theories with the same nicety that you pack sardines into cans," but I would have preferred to linger longer over a few of his baffling mysteries than that he should have accomplished as much with his facts.

Religious Fantasy

WAR IN HEAVEN, by Charles Williams. Faber, London, 7/6.

Reviewed by Alan Devereux

    First in a new series of reprints of this writer's work, this particular piece is unusual in combining the elements of a "whodunit" thriller and a religious fantasy. The theme is the struggle for possession of the Holy Graal and the soul of a child between the forces of good and evil. There is Satanism and black magic on the one side and esoteric Christianity on the other, upheld by a young publisher, a bland but guileful archdeacon and a Roman Catholic duke. There is also a mysterious dens ex machina who calls himself Prester John and who saves the situation in the nick of time.
    This curious mixture starts off with a murder in a publisher's office and ends with a display of emotional pyrotechnics in a village church, the whole being leavened by a rather thin humour which occurs in unexpected places and gives a Chestertonian flavour. The writing is of a good literary standard, yet the narrative is exciting and well-knit, and it should appeal strongly to those fantasy lovers who can digest a certain amount of religious hugaboo and who like their horrors to be hinted at rather than detailed.

Masterly Menace

NORDENHOLT'S MILLION, by J. J. Connington. Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1/-.

Reviewed by John K. Aiken

    There is a touch of tragic injustice in the fact that Professor A. W. Stewart, as well known to connoisseurs of the scientific detective story as "J. J. Connington" as to his academic colleagues as a distinguished chemist, should have failed by a few short weeks to live to see the republication of this, his remarkable novel. First published in 1923 and long out of print, it is an outstanding scientific fantasy, more than able to hold its own with the best of Wells and Stapledon. It suffers neither from the frustrated Utopianism of the one nor the philosophical naivete of the other; nor is it that anathema of the true enthusiast, a satire or tract masquerading under a thin sugar-coating of . fantasy—though it has its

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 16

pleasantly satirical touches.
    To the reader of to-day the most striking feature will be the detailed and intelligent anticipation, by some twenty years, of the coming of atomic power. But no less fascinating in conception and development is the microbiological catastrophe with which the story opens. And even the most surfeited addict of magazine science fiction, complete with everything in the Cosmos except human beings and human behaviour, cannot but be moved by the vignettes of famine-stricken London, the shockingly vivid description of the cannibal packs,

and the lonely chemist in his deserted university laboratory, living on synthetic proteins and desperately racing against starvation to complete the alkaloid structure which had been his research. To the aforesaid addict — among whose numbers the reviewer hastens to include himself — the author's scope must seem very limited; earthbound, hardly venturing outside the British Isles. But his imaginative resource, his sense of proportion and characterisation, make "Nordenholt's Million" a work on the largest scale.


    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 books—and 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:
Box 29, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, U.S.A.

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 17

Geoffrey Giles writes

    News of American productions in the fantasy field must take precedence this time, if we are to enable our collector friends to keep cope with all that is coming from the other side of the Big Pond—or what they may fish for in the hope of landing the best of the shoal. To gather in everything that is, or will be, available is more than the most energetic enthusiast can manage, especially in the face of the dollar shortage. But if you spread your nets wide, you may catch more than you bargain for.

    The latest publishing set-up, directed by people who really know the medium, is Shasta Publishers of Chicago. Their laudable aim is to produce "books about books"; bibliographical and reference works especially for the fantasy collector, whose interests have never been adequately catered for in this respect. And with so many new volumes appearing and old ones being unearthed, expert guidance in pursuing his hobby is becoming an urgent need.
    Who, for instance, has not wished for a really comprehensive bibliography of fantasy to aid him in his search for books lie has heard of only vaguely or not at all? Preferably one he could tote around with him on his browsings through libraries and - bookshops, instead of a laboriously compiled list of "wants" which never seems to grow less, and which on comparison with another fan's notebook always seems to omit the most desirable items? Shasta's first production will fill this most important of all our wants.
    In a week or two will be available "The Checklist of Fantastic Literature," listing over 5,000 book titles and providing all the information you need to track down each item—if it is within your reach. The volume, which will be conveniently portable, has been indexed two ways, by titles and authors, taking due regard for pseudonyms so that you can't possibly go wrong. This invaluable reference book is the result of thorough research by some fifty fantasy collectors, British and American, whose data has been assembled by

Everett F. Blieler. With its advent, fantasy literature and fantasy book collecting will be transformed from a haphazard business of hit-or-miss methods to an organised science of classification and reliable information.

    Speaking of research into rarities, there's a story behind the first book presentation of "Edison's Conquest of Mars," the Prof. Serviss classic which is now available from Carcosa House, Los Angeles. It originally appeared as a serial in a New York evening paper—long since defunct—of the 90's; and as the publishers say, it might well have been the source book for a good deal of the magazine science fiction that has followed in the past half-century. It actually saw print in '98.
    Though it may perhaps have been inspired by Wells' "War of the Worlds," which appeared serially in the Strand the previous year, it is more ambitious in scope; a full-blooded tale of a second Martian invasion and of a counter-attack launched by Earth, ending in the final triumph of her interplanetary squadrons. And to get it into book form after all this time involved making photostat copies of the 26 serial instalments, dug out of the newspaper files in the Washington Library of Congress—which were found to contain some of the most striking illustrations the researchers had ever encountered. Twelve of these a modern artist has re-drawn for the purpose of the book, which will include a bibliography of Serviss' works, of which you should at least be familiar with "The Second Deluge," twice reprinted by Amazing Stories.
    As its second production, due in a month or so, Carcosa promises "Enter Ghost: A Study in Weird Fiction," by Paul Skeeters and Samuel D. Russell, two expert fantastistes who have been to great pains to compile the most complete bibliography of supernatural

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 18

fiction in all its phases, to augment their comprehensive survey of the field from its very beginnings.

     News of a Fantasy Book Club, of which there have been many hintings, comes from Paul O'Connor, president of the New Collectors' Group, which recently issued as its first volume a novel completed by Hannes Bok from an unfinished manuscript of A. Merritt's. This is to be followed soon by another Merritt-Bok collaboration, "The Black Wheel," which will again be illustrated by Bok. It is the story of the reincarnation of an old clipper and its original crew, and has been finished from Merritt's own notes—and with the guidance of his widow, who is satisfied that it is exactly as he planned.
    Both these volumes are available to subscribers to the Club at the original price of $3.00 ($3.18 to British subscribers) ; though the first is now changing hands at $10.00, thanks to speculators who bought up the balance of the limited printing of 1,000 copies—and who will probably do likewise with the second. A third volume, to be pubblished shortly, will be "The Eternal Conflict and Other Weird Tales," by David H. Keller; this will comprise a

full-length novel and eight short stories by the good Doctor, all hitherto unpublished. It will be in the same distinctive format as the Group's two previous selections, which are quite unusual in appearance.
    A fourth volume is also scheduled: "The Outlawed World," by Neil R. Jones, which is described as an interplanetary fantasy novel—not science fiction in the strict sense—and the best work Jones has ever done. The Group's general policy is to publish only original works by well-known authors, presented in a way that will make them genuine collectors' items. And since they will never appear in any other form, they are "musts" for all eager fans, who will have little chance to acquire them after their publication except as members of the Club—unless they are prepared to pay the piper. Address: New Collectors' Group, 425 Central Park West, New York City, 25.

     Just one British production we must find room to mention ... Seeker & Warburg have listed "The Flames," by Olaf Stapledon, which will be available shortly at 6/-. By all accounts, it will be in the best Stapledon tradition, and should be worth waiting for.


Continued from Page 1

    In the same issue was a letter from Paul L. Payne, Planet Stories editor, giving his ideas on future trends, which are of striking interest in view of the type of material habitually featured by this magazine. Mr. Payne says:
    "Psychoanalytically speaking, science fiction literature must be viewed in the same context as that of the proletarian or protest literature. The latter springs from certain mass frustrations. The science fiction fan completes the subconscious conversion from remembrance of the past through observation of the present to contemplation of the future—nostalgia, protest, wish. Served in an escapist manner, it is not escapism. It is essentially projection and concretisation.
    "Hence, we may expect the increasing enlistment of the more cerebral writers and work more sharply correlated with reality, such as Huxley and his 'Brave New World' or Hicks and 'The First to Awaken.' Witness the ascent (if we may call it that) of this literature from the

primitive adventure arena of the pulps to the pseudo-intellectual level of the slicks. We shall see, I believe, the progressing relinquishing of the stereotyped character and the banal plot. We may also see the introduction of non-fiction; is not Mr. Ley already established?
    "Space-travel, symbolically, represents the escapist overlay in the science fiction reader's mind. If the prognosis as to realism is correct, this should yield to the time - travel - on - Earth motif. Planet Stories, for example, is experiencing growing difficulty in rejecting time-travel pieces, which as a matter of policy were considered outside our scope; material on that theme has been of compelling quality. One senses a developing preoccupation with a not too remote future of Earth.
    "We are, in my opinion, on the verge of a wave of popular interest in science fiction, comparable to the recent ascendancy of the historical novel. Yes, we shall see novels! The real writing of science fiction has just begun."

FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4page 19

Walter Gillings' FANTASIA

Continued from Page 9

     "The Green Man: A Visitor from Space," by Harold M. Sherman, culled from Amazing's recent files, reprinted as 25c. pocket-book by Century Publications, Chicago . . . Latest Burroughs book is "Tarzan and the Foreign Legion"; next film of the series, "Tarzan and the Mermaids" . . . Merian ("King Kong") Cooper planning a new Monster epic; "Moonride," set, in 1973, "The President's Husband" and "Cagliostro" also scheduled for Hollywood production . . . Another fantasy film will be based on Arthur Machen's "The Terror" .. .

    John W. Campbell Jnr. gave radio talk on atomic energy ... Gerald Wendt, reviewing "The Atomic Story" in New York Herald-Tribune, said nice things about him and his book, while describing Astounding as "rather juvenile": "He is the prophet of the 21st century, as Buck Rogers is its symbol ... He emerges as a skilled expositor, a born teacher ... The thousands who tried to understand the Smyth Report would do well to start again with this excellent primer for the Atomic Age" Tiffany Thayer, editor Doubt, says slogan "Still alive—and KICKING!" will be officially adopted by Fortean Society "as expressing the spirit of Forteanism briefly and eternally" . . . Fantasy Foundation's library, to which C. A. Brandt bequeathed his unique collection, now has 1,500 volumes . . .
    J. B. Priestley's "Three Time Plays" together in current Pan Book "Berkeley Square," famous play with time-travel theme, on radio recently; "The Man Who Was Thursday," too . . . "The Earth Has Bubbles," supernatural story by R. G. Dixon, in Summer Occult Review . . . "The Brass Ring," by Lewis Padgett, voted one of best who-dun-its of '46 by Mystery Writers of America, published here by Sampson Low . . .


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FANTASY REVIEWVolume 1 No. 4Back Page

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