By WALTER GILLINGS
It is no less than 17 years since, impressed with the growing interest in the American science fiction magazines entering this country, I began to draw the attention of British publishers to the possibilities of this field. That was in days when an English magazine so specialised in its appeal was a rare thing, and the number of readers keen enough to seek out "remainders" of Amazing and Wonder Stories at threepence a copy was comparatively small. Looking back now, I can see that the publishers I pestered were probably right in their contention that it was not enough to make a British magazine a profitable proposition; though I never would accept the objection that, anyway, Verne and Wells had done it all before.
However, one very reputable firm did issue a twopenny weekly which sought to emulate the Gernsback touch and, when it transpired that all its readers were not errand boys, tried to make itself more respectable, only to fail dismally and wind up altogether. After that another big publishing house, affected by the trend towards specialisation in fiction, seriously considered the project of a shilling magazine which would interest the enlarging fraternity of science fiction readers and appeal to a wider public at the same time. This project occupied them, and the few British writers competent to meet its literary requirements, for over a year before it was decided to abandon the idea.
Then, as a result of my importunings elsewhere, came Tales of Wonder, whose first trial issue was followed in due time by its regular quarterly publication—and, in turn, by revival of the project which brought forth three issues of Newnes' Fantasy. Then, inconsiderately, came World War II. Only Tales of Wonder struggled on, until after 16 issues the beginnings of the paper shortage forced its suspension.
In between times the American "remainders" (always a thorn in the flesh of British publishers) had given place to home-produced editions of Astounding and Unknown which, fortunately, are still with us. And when, before the war was over, more impressed than ever with the prospects for
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British science fiction, I enveigled yet another publisher in an ambitious scheme for its post-war development through a new publication, I fondly imagined we had won through at last. That was nearly four years ago, when none could see how long the paper shortage was going to remain with us, let alone how much more acute it was to become.
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.
Vol. 1, No. 5 Oct.-Nov. 1947
thus compelled to shelve a project which was intended should be developed on the most ambitious lines.
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As Others See Us
LITTLE SUPERMAN, WHAT NOW?
The growing interest in science fiction has recently inspired several articles on the field and Its "fandom" in American periodicals. To date, the most accurate picture has been given readers of "Harper's Magazine" by William S. Baring-Gould, who as promotion manager of "Time" has made a special study of reader-groups, and as a fantasy fan himself is a keen student of its development. This interest he may have inherited from his grandfather, the English clergyman-author, S. Baring-Gould, who wrote several books dealing with ghosts, werewolves and curious myths.
Gathered in the Slovak Sokol Hall on the outskirts of Newark, New Jersey, were 107 science fiction readers, editors, authors and artists. The occasion was their first post-war convention. The editors and authors had grouped themselves on one side of the hall. Around and behind them were the fans; youngish and verging towards middle age, many still in uniform, they might have been a seminar in economics at any State university.
*Condensed from Harper's Magazine, by permission of the publishers, Harper and Bros., 49 East 33rd Street, New York, U.S.A.
often confused with the story of supernatural horror. But it falls under the general heading of fantasy; it seeks to make you pause and wonder rather than make your blood run cold. The result is that most horror addicts cannot abide science fiction, while the great majority of science fiction fans care little for stories of mental or physical torture, .transplanted brains, giant spiders, man-eating orchids, or for the more commonplace yarns of ghosts, vampires, werewolves and witches.
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an American phenomenon. Translated into Spanish and Portuguese, much American and British fantasy finds its way to Latin American news-stands, and before the war science fiction magazines and books poured from the presses of Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia and England.
*See "The Shaver Mystery," by Nigel Lindsay, June-July issue.
launched several departments to keep his readers "informed on the developments in the greatest 'hunt' by science fiction fans in history for what may be the most important of truths," and he welcomes contributions. The letter writers on the whole take themselves and Amazing Stories very seriously. Not quite all the letters are in the same strain, however. One calls the magazine's Shaver Mystery exploit "probably undesirable and even dangerous." To many an honest science fiction fan whose hobby has suffered so much, this will go down as the year's greatest understatement.
[Please turn to Page 8]
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U.S. fans converged on Philadelphia for 5th World Science Fiction Convention, held three all-day sessions culminating in banquet. Speakers included editors John W. Campbell, L. Jerome Stanton, Sam Merwin, Donald A. Wollheim; authors George O. Smith, L. Sprague de Camp ("Adventures in the Occult"), Willy Ley and Thomas S. Gardner on space-travel. Many other celebrities present, among them Dr. Edward E. Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, David H. Keller. Next year's CANvention will be held in Toronto Latest American fan mag. is Burroughs Bulletin, devoted to creator of Tarzan, Barroom and Pellucidar, run by worshippers at his shrine of nine-foot giants said to have been discovered in caverns in Californian desert, once "part of lost kingdom of Mu." Search expedition planned by Amazing Explorations Inc. Shaver Mystery Mag., please copy . . .
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Creator of the 'SIan'
"Anyone can be a Successful Writer —if they Learn How!" So say the writer school ads., or something like that. And if science fiction writers weren't considered a race apart, they might find Alfred van Vogt willing—and modest enough — to endorse their claims. Though his readers, full of admiration for his long string of Astounding stories, especially the famous "Slan!" concept, would quarrel with anyone who suggested he wasn't a genius at science fiction. A natural-born superman, in fact.
"CHUMS" BEGAN IT
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him. So, when the ban was lifted and the magazines returned to the newsstands, he glanced at them only occasionally—until in '38 he chanced on the August Astounding containing "Who Goes There?" one of the pieces Editor John W. Campbell had written under his Don A. Stuart cloak.
IDEALISM OR PSEUDONYMS?
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happen, and invariably it does. Yet in spite of fanciful beasts and giant trees, motor-cars that take to the air, and a thousand-and-one other marvels, he does not forget that he is dealing with human beings and all his characters live. And however alien the figments of his vivid imagination, he contrives to give his tales an atmospheric detail which makes them as realistic as they are strangely fascinating.
year the first full-scale meeting of s-f fans since '41 was held in Los Angeles. Besides hearing author A. E. Van Vogt speak, visitors had the opportunity to meet and talk with such popular writers as Lewis Padgett, Ross Rocklynne, C. L. Moore, E. Mayne Hull, Cleve Cartmill and Lawrence O'Donnell.
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The Saga of Science Fiction
PILGRIMS THROUGH SPACE AND TIME: Trends and Patterns in Scientific and Utopian Fiction. By J. O. Bailey. Argus, New York, $5.00.
Reviewed by Walter Gillings
We have been waiting to welcome this book almost as long as it has been in preparation. It is the first attempt ever made to survey the whole field of science-fantasy, to trace its development from the beginning, to analyse its motivations and assess its intrinsic values. It, too, has a history. It started as a University thesis on the Wellsian romances, written 20 years ago; by '34 it had become a complete study of English science fiction from 1817 to 1914. Lured on by Mr. Ben Abramson, the publisher, Dr. Bailey pursued his appraisal of the field, which by then had vastly enlarged and produced (thanks to Mr. Gernsback) some peculiar off-shoots. Now at last it appears, taking due regard of more recent trends; though it would seem the author has given up the struggle to keep pace with the full flower of the medium during the last decade.
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graphy and index comprising some 300 pieces of science-fantasy.
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The Resurrection of Merritt
THE FOX WOMAN, by A. Merritt, and THE BLUE PAGODA, by Hannes Bok. New Collector's Group, New York. $3.00.
Reviewed by Frank Edward Arnold
Though this new Merritt novel appears four years after his death, he began writing it as long ago as 1923. Dissatisfied with various aspects of the narrative, he abandoned it for completion later. But his busy life as a journalist gave him little time for creative work, and at his death a manuscript of only the first four chapters was left, along with notes for the remainder. From this difficult start Hannes Bok has made a bold and, on the whole, successful attempt to finish the story.
* These, in order of their original appearance in the American Argosy, are "The Moon Pool" (1918), "The Metal Monster" ('20), "The Face in the Abyss" ('23), "The Ship of Ishtar" ('24), "Seven Footprints to Satan" ('27), "Dwellers in the Mirage" ('32), "Burn, Witch, Burn!" ('32), and "Creep, Shadow, Creep!" ('34).
fantastic concepts and narrative strength for their effect, they are marred by a somewhat over-florid style and an excess of picturesque epithet, matched only by the extravagant praises lavished on them by his ecstatic readers.
With the exception of "The Metal Monster," all have appeared in book form, the last three also being published in England. All, too, have since been reprinted in various magazines, and more recently in the "Murder Mystery Monthly" pocketbook series of the Avon Book Co., New York.
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Pagoda," Bok takes up the thread at a point eighteen years later as the girl comes from China to America to see the wicked uncle. He has done his creditable best to write in the Merritt fashion, though his own style is brisker, more "modern" and less graceful than Merritt's; and he has packed the story with fantastic invention and hectic incident in a manner that should satisfy every follower of the Merritt tradition.
This first production of the New Collector's Group is a large, slim volume with a black binding, gilt cover-lettering and six full-page Bok illustrations. Its general appearance is something like that of an old-time magazine, an illusion that is oddly heightened by the double-column printing. The edition is limited to 1,000 numbered copies, which immediately on release acquired considerable collector-value.
The Fate of the First Men
THE FLAMES: A Fantasy, by Olaf Stapledon. Secker & Warburg, London, 6/-.
Reviewed by John Beynon
The approximate 30,000 word length of Dr. Stapledon's new story scarcely warrants his publishers' description of it as a novel unless they are using the word in an older sense. As one would expect, there is novelty in it, but it is a novelty more of detail than of form or content.
compromise between spirituality and practical cunning is even older; nor is there a great deal of originality in the reflection that man's obtuseness and pettiness has him headed for his own destruction. Even the ingenuities of conception by which the sentient flames originating in the Sun may be resuscitated in the high temperatures attainable through atomic fission, and thus, if men are willing, spread the benison of their spirituality so that a state of psycho-scientific symbiosis will develop, can scarcely disguise that the story is a simple restatement of the view that homo still shows little prospect of becoming sapiens.
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Wanted: More 'Wackies'
THE MISLAID CHARM, by Alexander M. Phillips. Prime Press, Philadelphia, Pa. $1.75.
Reviewed by John Carnell
To the fantasy addict, this reprint from the pleasantly memorable pages of Unknown Worlds stands out as an oasis in the midst of a growing desert of weird and science fiction stories. Too little has as yet been seen of the wacky type of fantasy which Editor Campbell and his authors developed during the '39-43 period, and we welcome this step in the right direction on the part of the new Prime Press. There are many even better novels of this sort we should like to see in book form. Outside of a few anthologised stories, the only others we know of, which were published during the war and are now unobtainable, are the de Camp "O'Shea" trilogy and his "Lest Darkness Fall."
NOW AVAILABLE :
Free catalogue and particulars from:
G. KEN CHAPMAN (British Sales Representative),
23 Farnley Road, South Norwood, London, S.E.25
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THE LADY FROM VENUS, by Garnett Radcliffe. Macdonald, London. 8/6.
Reviewed by John Beynon
According to the publishers' blurb, this book marks a new departure for the author; and if any others are thinking of departing from the groovy trails of thrillerdom, one could not wish them better than that their way should take them among such bubblesome freshets as Mr. Radcliffe has found.
New and Forthcoming Books from
*Box 2019, Middle City Station,
THE MISLAID CHARM—Alexander M. Phillips. A captivating fantasy, with twelve illustrations by Herschel Levit. $1.75 (10/6).
VENUS EQUILATERAL — George O. Smith,. Ten stories (456 pp.) of the engineers who operate the interplanetary communications system. With six full-page illustrations. $3.00 (16/6).
EQUALITY or A HISTORY OF LITHCONIA. A new edition of what we believe to be the first American Utopian novel. Limited edition of a rare book. $2.50 (13/6).
THE TORCH—Jack Bechdolt. The story of an atomic war, the descent to a new Dark Age and man's struggle back to civilisation. A full-length novel. $3.00 (16/6).
NOMAD—George O. Smith. The story of a man made homeless because of divided loyalties; one to the Earth that bore him, the other to Ertene, the cosmic wanderer to which he owed his life and his success. $3.00 (16/6).
300 YEARS HENCE — Mary Griffiths. The second in our series of reprints of rare early American Utopias. $2.50 (13/6).
. . AND SOME WERE HUMAN" —Lester del Ray. Ten great tales, including the memorable "Nerves," Hereafter Inc.," etc. $3.00 (16/6).
And a Collection of the short stories of Theodore Sturgeon, the title of which will be announced later, $3.00 (16/6).
*Sole British Representative:
E. J. CARNELL
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The Feminine Touch
AWAY FROM THE HERE AND NOW: Stories in Pseudo-Science. By Clare Winger Harris. Dorrance, Philadelphia, $2.50.
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan
Coming up again quite unexpectedly after all this time, the name of Clare Winger Harris sets us to reminiscing. She was the first woman writer to appear in Amazing Stories, which she did just 20 years ago by winning the third prize in Gernsback's first cover contest. By inviting authors to write a story around a perfectly meaningless piece of imagery by artist Paul, he discovered several useful contributors, not least among them the lady scientifictionist who, we are somewhat shocked to find, is now a grandmother.
Do You Write Fantasy Fiction?
The writing of fantasy for the popular magazines is a job the ordinary writing schools cannot teach. It is a highly specialised field, and however good your tutor may be, however successful you have been in other fields, you cannot expect to sell your fantasy stories unless you learn the secret of writing them for specific markets and really understand their requirements.
Authors' and Publishers' Representative
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Among the Magazines
with NIGEL LINDSAY
'FANTASY BOOK' APPEARS
When we'd dried our eyes after piping them over the suspension of Fantasy, we opened them to find Fantasy Book coming from the Land of No Paper Rationing to fill the gap. This new, 25c. mag., with large-size format (not pocket-size, as originally intended), is the product of the new Fantasy Publishing Co., Los Angeles, who are making a special concession to readers who want to hoard their copies. The bulk of each issue is being printed on ordinary pulp for general distribution, and for the benefit of collectors 1,000 copies will be on better-class book paper. Subscription for 12 issues is $3.00, but frequency of publication is uncertain as yet.
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Francis Flagg comes back through the medium of Weaver Wright, and Henry Kuttner and Manly Wade Wellman are among the also-rans.
ARKHAM TO ISSUE MAGAZINE
A quarterly magazine to feature weird and science-fantasy stories and non-fiction material of interest to the collector will be launched next year by Arkham House, Sauk City. It will be called The Arkham Sampler and be edited by August Derleth.
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Geoffrey Giles writes
The sudden flood of British fantasy books which came earlier in the year would seem to have been dammed. But a few volumes, mainly of interest to the weird tale reader, continue to trickle through, though all of them are pretty ancient stuff.
THREE TAINE NOVELS
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Publishing Co., of Los Angeles, having launched Fantasy Book, is starting out with an ambitious programme of reprints which should appeal to those who want to get rid of some of those old magazines they've hoarded for years and can't bring themselves to rip out the stories they must keep to read again.
TO HONOUR KELLER
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.
IF YOU are thinking of insurance, consult J. Michael Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds, 7. We undertake all types of, insurance: life, endowment, fire, and burglary, householder's, property owner's, house purchase (via endowment policy), jewellery, accident, etc. Inquiries invited.
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The OCTOBER 1947 issue ofASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION
is now on sale.
The WINTER 1947 issue of
will be on sale SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st.
If you have any difficulty in obtaining your copies please communicate with:
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.