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BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY........................... .........................................................Jan. 13, 1945

BULLETIN No.20

New Members

Again for the second issue running we have to report that no new blood has been introduced to our ranks since those announced in the September Bulletin. Bad show, chaps, very bad show. The most I can report is the existence of two prospects, who may, indeed, have joined by the time you read this. The fact, however, that we have already got twice as many members as we originally anticipated should not be cause for us to relax our efforts to spread the light, especially as we can reasonably hope that the end of the war is at least possible this year, and that the coming of peace will enable the BFS to evolve into some really worthwhile body.

Norcon Report.

This, the second such event, proved to be quite successful within its necessarily limited scope. Fourteen fans attended altogether, Ron Holmes and Rita James of Liverpool, Ron Lane, Ron Bradbury, and George Ellis of Manchester, Norman ("Gus") Willmorth of Los Angeles, Edwin MacDonald of Inverness, Joyce Fairbairn (Sheffield-at-the-moment) Roy Johnson and Ken Chadwick from Leicester, Brenda Gabrielle Lee, Miriam Harris, Arthur Harris, and J. M. Rosenblum of Leeds, but the maximum on any day was thirteen, Edwin MacDonald substituting for Joyce Fairbairn on the Sunday, and vicky verky on Satuday.

The initial gathering was on the evening of Friday, Dec. 29th., at 4 Grange Terrace, known the world over as the residence of Michael Rosenblum for the purpose, one presumes, of talk about this and that. Such too one ascribes as the purpose of the Saturday Morning assembly, but the afternoon started with a swing by a visit to the world's largest block of flats - Quarry Hill Flats, Leeds (American papers please copy). Passing from the sublime to the ridiculous the party proceeded to the cinema to be regaled with a revival of "Hoppity Goes to Town". The inner man then standing in need of refreshment dinner was taken at a hotel where no exception was made to there being thirteen at table, and the day concluded with a quiz in which Leeds, incorporating for the nonce Los Angeles (!), proved superior to the intellectual combination of the rest of Great Britain.

On Sunday morning and afternoon, sessions were held at the Dick Sheppard Centre. At these it was decided to advocate a Midvention for Easter (get your excuses ready Smithy!) . The question of what to do with the financial surplus resulting from auctions and whatnot at Conventions was raised, and settled by deciding to establish a pool for such monies, the eventual hoard to be used for some major purpose such as promoting a super postwar convention, or for establishing the central library scheme (as mentioned in previous Bulletins). Ron Holmes was elected treasurer. The auction itself realised nearly 3, against which is approximately 10/- costs, making quite an initial contribution to the kitty. Recent prozines, especially Amazing Stories, were something of a drug on the market, but considerable interest was shown in books. The evening was spent at Grange Terrace tapering off from the main doings of the day with chatter, games, and this-and-that generally.

We are inbebted to Michael Rosenblum for the above facts, scrawled down as best he could in spite of his fibrocitis still persisting. I'm sure all will join me in wishing Michael complete recovery in the near future - if only for purely selfish reasons!

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BFS Beyond No.2

This issue finally commences its peregrinations round the circuit of those who asked for it just before Christmas. My "pull" placing me at the top of the list I am able to report that it is a good achievement that reflects great credit on all associated with its production, though our main debt is to the editor, Arthur Hillman. There is a fine sample of Harry Turner's work in the illustration to the first story, and others by Bruce Gaffron, who can fairly claim to be on a par with Turner, there are other illustrations which are well up on the scale of fan efforts, and the stories - 9 of them - are all worth reading, most of them making up for deficiencies of style and planning by the freshness they bring as compared with the rather standardised staleness of the standard prozine tale. It is definitely an improvement on the previous issue, and does not disgrace the standard established by the prototype published by our friends at the Cosmos Club.

I will just remind you of the address of the editor in case anyone else would like to see this issue, or conribute story, verse, or art-work to the next issue. He is Mr Arthur Hillman, 100 Corporation Road, Newport, Monmouthshire.

Director of Fandom and Prospectus.

Owing to his incapacity Mr Rosenblum is not able to bring out the usual issue of Fido with which this would normally circulate but he has completed a reprinting of the Prospectus, which will be sent out with this to all members, and hopes to be able to issue the Directory at the same time, The Prospectus has been brought up to date, with a number of new features mentioned in tne Activities, but we must apologise for any faintness of duplication, due to circumstances over whiich we - and stencil-cutter Gus Willmorth - had no control.

Advisory Board

This has been set in motion under the guidance of Jack Gibson as Coordinator, a post he has accepted in spite of the fact that he has just taken on another large job by getting married. Messrs Roy Johnson, Arthur Hillman, Dennis Tucker, and Edward Tubb make up the rest of our brains trust.

We saw it coming didn't we chums - or did we?

Fiction today - fact tomorrow used to be one of the cries of science-fiction in the good old days, and, in view of the recent regrettable developments in science I suggest that it would be an interesting game to see how much, and how exactly, science-fiction has predicted these things, and equally what it has missed. I don't - except in an unifinished story of my own commenced just before tne war - recall any mention of jet propulsion as distinct from rockets. On the other hand, the Messerschmitt 163 (hope I've got the number right) bears strong resemblances in shape and in method of operation to the 'plane used by Wade, as the Air Pirate in John W. Campbell's story "Piracy Preferred". I suggest that collation of such examples and possible publication in booklet form would give fans a good "talking-point" with which to counter the attacks of those who say "Can't see anything in that stuff - too far-fetched". Anyone interested enough to get together with me and start such a compilation? The address is 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Happynooyear.

D.R.Smith (Sec'y.)

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Notes:

1) The aircraft mentioned above, the Messerschmitt Me 163 'Komet', was a rocket plane that saw some operational deployment. The world's first fully operational jet fighter was the Messerschmitt Me 262.

2) The Dick Sheppard Centre was not a randomly chosen venue, but rather a connection Rosenblum had via his pacifism.