The plan to invite fantasy fans to assist in financing a new publishing company to take over 'New Worlds' is now being referred to writers and others who may participate in the venture.
The story of fantasy-fiction's development in this country is one of magazines that have failed eventually if not soon after their launching, or that have not materialised at all. Always such projects have been stalled by hesitant publishers, adverse conditions or, now, the frustrations of the paper shortage. Yet those who refuse to accept these repeated setbacks as any more than temporary have found a widespread interest among Britain's fantasy followers in the proposal for continuing New Worlds through an organisation which they would set up and control themselves. It is suggested that not only those who would produce and distribute the magazine, but the authors whose stories it would present, should share the financial brunt of re-launching it on a sound commercial basis, and that those readers interested enough should be invited to give further backing to the project.
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ERIC FRANK RUSSELL on CHARLES FORT
In spite of his debunking of science and practically everything else--most science-fantasy readers have a soft spot for the late Charles ("I believe nothing") Fort, whose peculiar philosophy has inspired many stories, notably Eric Frank Russell's "Sinister Barrier." Here the British writer, who is also a prominent supporter of the Fortean attitude, claims that the man who packed four books with marvels science cannot adequately explain deserves to rank as a giant of fantasy.
During the last twenty years we have seen the passing of some doughty figures in pulp magazine fantasy. Some, like Ernst, packed up and left for lusher fields. Some, like Hilliard, faded out mysteriously and effectively. Some, like Weinbaum, were taken before their time, scintillating all too briefly and leaving us a memory full of vain regrets.
fantasy, each according to his own especial virtues, to such an extent that much of what we read to-day might be termed an end-product. Much, but not all, There are other forces operating, such as those of young and uninhibited publishers, unusually competent editors, new, brash and individualistic writers. But the formative forces of the giants can still be felt.
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"Lo!" At that time my wits must been located in my tail end, for I read it with little interest, and to the present day my sharpest memory concerning it is of a letter to Astounding from a reader yclept "Zero" who sensed Fort as a foul smell made manifest at Holy Communion. I don't recall that I resented Zero's yardstick. My indifference was not Fort's fault; he sought me out when I was spending too little time in study. But, a couple of years later, Fort hit home in what I used for a mind. "Lo!" reappeared in book form. I read it again, decided that Astounding had cast an unnoticed pearl before me. How many others reached a similar conclusion is something I'll never know. That some did is evident by the fact that in the world of pulp fantasy Fort is more alive to-day than when "Lo!" first came out.
*Astounding Stories, Apr.-Nov. '34. Editor Tremaine presented it as "the natural inheritance for a thoughtful audience," considering his readers "the one group in America which can digest it."
Photo : Pincus Horn
CHARLES HOY FORT, called by his followers "the man who liberated minds," lived and died (aged 57), in The Bronx, New York. Starting out as a naturalist, he took to writing novels and ended up (in his own words) "an ultra-scientific realist." For 26 years he kept notes and cuttings-40,000 of them—on earthquakes, tidal waves, comets, meteorites; falls of frogs, stones and red rain; strange footprints, poltergeists, and all things spooky and fantastic for which, according to him, there was no explanation that could be relied upon. He had his own theories for such phenomena, which he presented in "The Book of the Damned" (1919), "New Lands" ('23), "Lo!" ('31) and "Wild Talents" ('32); these have been assembled in an omnibus, "The Books of Charles Fort" (Holt, New York: '41). In '31, Tiffany Thayer, Ben Hecht, Booth Tarkington and others founded the Fortean Society to preserve his notes, widen the scope of Fortean inquiry and foster its viewpoint of "enlightened scepticism"; also, as defined later, "to remove the halo from the head of Science." Members include science fiction writers R. De Witt Miller, Nelson Bond; its magazine, Doubt, has been parading "pallid data" and printing Fort's notes (dating back to 1800), since 1937—rather, by the Forteans' own calendar, the year 7 F.S.
picture of Naples after an eruption of Vesuvius:
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yards in diameter, and hearing, in one dominant roar, no minor sounds more than a few yards away. Streams of refugees were stumbling into the streets of Naples. People groped in circles, into which were thrust hands, holding up images, or clutching loot. Fragments of sounds in the one dominant roar—geometricity in bewilderment—or circles in a fog, and something dominant, and everything else crippled. The flitting of feet, shoulders, bandaged heads—cries to the saints—profanity of somebody who didn't give a damn for Vesuvius—legs of a corpse, carried by invisibles—prayers to God, and jokers screeching false alarms that lava was coming.
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Fantasy philosopher Olaf Stapledon to open British Interplanetary Society's new lecture programme in October, discussing ethical and religious problems of space-exploration, possibilities of other-world life, colonisation of planets, telepathic communication . . . First-night hubbub at Aldwych Theatre for Hon. William Douglas Home's "Ambassador Extraordinary," in which Tarzan-like Martian visits Earth, averts atomic war by threatening annihilation of this mad planet, returns to Mars by rocket . . . Satevepost featured novelette by Michael Fessier, "The Fascinating Stranger," all about X-ray-eyed visitor from planet Philistia whose terrestrial misadventures cause interplanetary complications . . . New Astounding contributor Erik Fennel in Blue Book Magazine with "Doughnut Jockey," tale of flight to Mars to prevent pneumonia epidemic . . . Clue, new U.S. mystery mag., ran special supplement on science fiction, Anthony Boucher editing, August Derleth book reviewing . . . British author Peter Phillips' second Astounding piece, "Manna," accepted . . . Prof. A. M. Low, discussing "Questions of the Future" in Practical Mechanics series, forecast dawn of space-flight era twenty years hence . . .
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THOMAS SHERIDAN continues
Implementing his policy of steering the eight-years-old Astounding Stories into more thoughtful channels, new editor John W. Campbell Jr., ten years ago, boldly challenged the assumption that science fiction's appeal was primarily juvenile. Announcing his intentions in the British fantasy feview, Sclentifiction (Jan., '38), he asserted that "even the youngest readers of our magazine are mentally older than has been believed." By the end of the fifth year of Street and Smith proprietorship, through such features as "The Analytical Laboratory" and "Brass Tacks and Science Discussions," he had established that over 30 per cent. of them were practising technicians—chemists, physicists, astronomers, mechanical and electrical engineers, radio men—and that all were "technically inclined." The drastic change of title to Astounding Science-Fiction ("Stories," argued Campbell, "carried no message that was intelligible; the new title explains to the unfamiliar . . . what our material is") seemed perfectly justified.
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ASTOUNDING in Heinlein's heyday: the May '41 issue, featuring his "Universe" and "Solution Unsatisfactory," by Anson MacDonald—also Heinlein.
the stories had been the scientific widgetry; its effect on the characters and the general background of the story had been treated, for the most part, superficially. Now, there was more concern for psychological and sociological implications, and the realisation that human nature and society are themselves fascinatingly complex produced a far superior type of story.
*See "Brass Tacks," Astounding May '41.
preparation of his plots, he used the pen-name Anson MacDonald for many other pieces which did not fit into this scheme but were equally well-executed, e.g., "Solution Unsatisfactory" (May, '41) and "By His Bootstraps" (Oct., '41), each of which was featured in the same issue as a Heinlein story and joined it in leading the popularity poll. As fellow-contributor P. Schuyler Miller, no mean hand himself, expressed it in "Brass Tacks," Heinlein was "clearly an unbeatable."
See "Creator of the Slan," Fantasy Review Oct.-Nov. '47.
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monthly issue: "a record," remarked the editor, "in the somewhat fluid field of science fiction." With covers by Hubert Rogers, who had long since replaced Brown and shared the interiors with Cartier, Kramer, Kolliker and Orban, its get-up supported fandom's view that the idea was to edge both Astounding and Unknown out of the pulp class into the semi-slicks.
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From Wells to Bradbury
STRANGE PORTS OF CALL: 20 Masterpieces of Science Fiction, selected by August Derleth. Pellegrini, New York, $3.75.
Reviewed by J. M. Walsh
When I opened "Strange Ports of Call" and found "The Crystal Egg" among its contents, I feared that on re-reading its old enchantment would vanish. For that reason alone, I dealt with the stories seriatim, playing no favourites. But when I came in due course to the Wells story, most of the old magic was still there; more, it seemed to fit naturally into its place. Subconsciously, perhaps, I used it as a yardstick by which to measure the merits of the rest of Mr. Derleth's selections, and in the result neither Wells' nor any of the other masterpieces suffered by comparison with one another. To me, therefore, this seems the best anthology he has edited to date.
*"The Outsider & Others," by H. P. Lovecraft: Arkham House, '39.
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state of the world to-day, but I fancy I detect in most of the stories of the future we have here an underlying suggestion that man is inclined to play with forces which threaten to get out of hand, and that both statesman and scientist lack the imaginative vision to see beyond a certain point the possible consequences of their uncontrolled actions and inventions. Mr. Derleth, however, has been primarily concerned with presenting stories of literary value, in which there are no stock supermen or alien monsters and the reader-interest is in genuine human behaviour rather than the scientific gimmick. In putting "man first and foremost—man in his reaction to other dimensions, other laws, other science, other worlds," he may therefore, if unintentionally, have emphasised his weakness as well as his curiosity and intentionally, have emphasised man's has added a very fine volume to the now quite extensive shelf of collected science fiction.
The End is Not Yet
FINAL BLACKOUT, by L. Ron Hubbard. Hadley, Providence, R.I. $3.00.
The opportunity to describe a science fiction novel as moving or sincere occurs but rarely; not because there is anything basically insincere about science fiction, but because its basis is usually so purely intellectual that the question of sincerity does not arise. This grim and not yet falsified prophecy of the outcome of World War II, which caused something of a furore when it appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction early in '40, is in many respects untraditional: it is both sincere in its philosophical analysis of the crisis of civilisation and, in its climax, deeply moving. It is written, too, at a level of craftsmanship which Mr. Hubbard has not since approached, except perhaps in "Fear" (Unknown, July, '40); and this is not particularly to decry his later work. Though he is himself inclined to doubt the verdict of those enthusiastic Astounding readers who voted it "one of the ten greatest stories ever published." It is, he insists, "just a story."
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The Mantle of Merritt
THE BLACK WHEEL, by A. Merritt and Hannes Bok. New Collectors' Group, New York. $3.00.
Reviewed by Geoffrey Giles
For a writer to attempt the task of completing the unfinished work of one who, even before his death, had earned a reputation as a "master" of fantasy, requires a courageous spirit as well as a familiarity with his methods. August Derleth was the first to make such a bold venture, when he worked on the unfinished manuscript of the late H. P. Lovecraft to produce the novel, "The Lurker at the Threshold," which appeared under both their names in '45 and proved fairly successful in its adherence to the Lovecraft tradition. But he had already a considerable experience of the now-famous Cthulhu mythos, in the development of which he, like other writers of the intimate Lovecraft circle, had made his contribution; nor was it the first unpublished material of their master which he had handled.
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TRIPLANETARY, by Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa. $3.00.
Reviewed by D. R. Smith
The third of Dr. Smith's cosmical epics to see book publication is the story which, following its serialisation in Amazing in '34, encouraged him to write the famous series which culminated recently with "Children of the Lens" (Astounding, Nov. '47 -Feb. '48). It is actually the first of the "Lensmen" tales, of which the second, confusingly titled "First Lensman," has never appeared in any magazine and has still to be published by Fantasy Press. (See " Galactic Roamer": Fantasy Review, Apr.-May '48.) To bring it into line with the subsequent stories, some 30,000 words of narrative preliminary to the original "Triplanetary" have been added, and interjections made to tie it up with the underlying theme of the series.
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history, without any apparent unity of purpose. The Arisian interventions detract considerably from the tension of the tight spots; one feels that these perfect planners have everything under control, and the absence of any possibility of failure leaves us undelighted at their success. It is even difficult to feel any admiration for the Earthly inventors, knowing that disguised Arisians are among the back-room boys putting ideas into their heads.
Down Among the Dead Men
DEATH OF A WORLD, by J. Jefferson Farjeon. Collins, London, 8/6.
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan
Since Mr. Farjeon's previous work has been mostly in the mysterious tradition (does anyone know if his "Mystery on the Moon" is anything like it sounds9), it is natural that this essay into science fiction should be labelled a mystery by the publishers, who also make use of such adjectives as "amazing," "astounding" and "thought-provoking" in connection with it, as though to intrigue such as we. But the element of mystery makes it hardly satisfactory, particularly for us, since it is only when the author gets down to the science-fantasy that he leaves us mystified, and he fails either to astound or provoke much thought except as to what he really intends.
The Summer's Best Titles
Readers of long standing acclaim this "Doc" Smith's finest story to date. You'll need it if you are to follow the "Lens-men" series through to its conclusion.
WORLD OF NULL-A
One of the most thought-provoking tales of the present decade. It has to be read more than once to be fully appreciated.
THE BLACK FLAME
Including his "Dawn of Flame," this two-story volume is a fitting tribute to a writer whose fame was fast spreading when he died.
A TREASURY OF SCIENCE FICTION
A modern anthology of 30 stories compiled from the best science-fantasy of the past eight years. 17/6
OUT OF THE UNKNOWN
A collection of three fine fantasies by each author, in their weird and wacky moods.
OUT OF THE SILENCE
From Australia comes this revival of a classic science fiction novel. First editions are a rare collector's item.
E. J. CARNELL, 17 BURWASH ROAD, PLUMSTEAD, LONDON, S.E. 18
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In Print and Available:
THE CHECKLIST OF
The indispensable bibliography listing all known science-fiction, fantasy and weird books in the English language ! Every fantasy reader needs this guide to thousands of fantastic titles; every collector must have this book to increase his fantasy collection. Indexed by title and author; preface and introduction; total of 475 pages. Attractive wrapper by Hannes Bok.
WHO GOES THERE?
Seven novelettes by the editor of Astounding Science-Fiction, written under the Don A. Stuart pseudonym. Includes `Twilight,' 'Night,' 'Dead Knowledge,' and the classic title story of weird antarctic horror. Wrapper in colour by Hannes Bok.
Forthcoming Fantasy Fiction:
SLAVES OF SLEEP
A novel of thrills and high adventure from the pages of Unknown. This is the story of Tiger, pirate and rogue, who lives two simultaneous lives---one in the prosaic here and now, the other in the fabulous world of the Jinn. Wrapper in colour by Hannes Bok.
waste-heap, viewed in a succession of scenes of hideous and inexplicable chaos," and "enclosed in a chaotic circumference of indeterminate and changing boundaries." We suspect there were blurb-writers aboard.
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Do You Remember Atlantis ?
ALAS, THAT GREAT CITY, by Francis Ashton. Dakers, London, 9/6.
Reviewed by Alan Devereux
It was nice to be back in Atlantis again. All the old, familiar landmarks were there; the temple roofs still glittered with orichalcum, and the white marble stairways still reflected the glorious sunlight with which the gorgeously costumed inhabitants seem always to be favoured. Black magic was, perhaps, not quite so prevalent among them as before; but there were plenty of weird rites and red-blooded orgies as they awaited the cataclysm caused by the imminent arrival on the scene of our present Moon—the two earlier satellites were destroyed, of course, 50,000 years before in Mr. Ashton's previous novel, "The Breaking of the Seals."*
Box 2019, Middle City Station,
regret to announce the temporary postponement of their Summer publishing programme owing to printing delays, but wish to assure followers of their fiction titles that every effort is being made to produce their next volume by August.
Forthcoming in the following order:
A collection of the finest work produced by this outstanding writer who has not yet received all the attention he deserves from the anthologists.
LORDS OF CREATION
One of the great fantasy serials from the famous Argosy magazine, by the popular author-duo.
Being the first book presentation of the popular serial in Astounding Nov. '44 to Feb. '45, under the pseudonym of Wesley Long.
Titles by Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey, Charles R. Tanner, Horace L. Gold, Ross Rocklynne and Nelson Bond are under consideration.
AND SOME WERE HUMANLester del Rey 16/9
*Sole British Representative:
E. J. CARNELL
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Something Old, Something New
THE TRAVELLING GRAVE and Other Stories, by L. P. Hartley. Ark-ham House, Sauk City, Wis. $3.00.
Reviewed by Peter Phillips
For this seventh of the series of Arkham House books featuring the work of British exponents of the outre and macabre, Mr. Derleth has drawn on two published volumes, "Night Fears" and "The Killing Bottle & Other Stories," and on some of Mr. Hartley's manuscripts which now see print for the first time. Though he is also known as a novelist, he is not a prolific writer in this genre; yet among these dozen tales are at least three which are assured of the attention of anthologists beyond this generation.
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Fred C. Brown writes
By now my copy of "The Checklist of Fantastic Literature," the first bibliography of fantasy which Shasta Publishers have provided for us, has been well-thumbed and ear-marked, and found very adequate to replace the painfully compiled lists with which we used to sally forth on our book-hunting expeditions. The need for a comprehensive reference work covering the weird and science fiction fields has been obvious for too long; and to me the completion of this seven years' project to index over 5,000 titles within the scope of a handy, portable volume represents the greatest advance yet made in the interests of fantasy and its devotees. Certainly, its appearance is just as important as that of any of the superb collections of stories which now repose in our libraries, if not in our pockets.
ANOTHER KELLER VOLUME
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NIGEL LINDSAY & KENNETH SLATER
giving reviews of current issues and news of stories to comeAMONG THE MAGAZINES
British magazines may die for lack of paper or enforced price-cutting, but the Americans succeed in adding to bulk and price at the same time. Thrilling Wonder for October has 32 more pages than heretofore; Startling Stories for November will also run to 180pp., and both mags. go up to 25c. On the whole, too, they're worth it, though you wouldn't think so to look at the covers we've been having lately.
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offers another illustrated article on the question, "Are Space Visitors Here?" and one which looks forward "Five Years to A-Day" with diagrams showing the probable effects of atom bombs on city areas—very edifying indeed. Prof. R. N. Sweeney discusses the old subject of life on Mars in the light of recent observations, and Vincent H. Gaddis touches on parapsychology in an interesting article on people who can still think in spite of severe injury to the brain. Other pieces on scientific prediction of the future, the human aura, children's uncanny experiences and various ghostly happenings, combined with a digest of the book, "The Secret Science Behind Miracles," by Max Freedom Long, make reading of compelling interest to all fantasy fans.
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.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 2 No. 10||Back Page|
The AUGUST 1948 issue of . . .
will be on sale SATURDAY, AUGUST 21st
The SUMMER 1948 issue of . . .
is now on sale.
In order to include more of the contents of the original American editions the size of these magazines has been increased. Owing to paper rationing, however, the demand cannot be fully met and you are therefore recommended to place a regular order with your newsagent.
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.