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BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY........................... ...............................................March 26th, 1946.

BULLETIN No.25

New Member.

J. Stephenson, 14 Alfred's Terrace, Northumberland Avenue, Hull, Yorkshire, (No. 127) (5/6d received for sub.) This noble character is a vintage fan, an early member of the Science Fiction Association who has waxed rather than waned in enthusiasm with the passing years. He trusts that present and ex-Service members will not hold him in any less esteem for having been a Redcap during the recent shindy.

ANNOUNCEMENT!

The engagement is announced of John Michael, only son of Mr and Mrs David Rosenblum, of 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, and Betty, elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Max Blomberg, of 527 Street Lane, Moortown, Leeds.

I'm sure all will join me in offering our friend Michael the heartiest congratulations on this latest achievement of his, and in wishing him and his future bride the bright and prosperous future which they deserve.

...............................................................

Thoughts on the B.F.S

M.K. Hanson.

As one who was brusquely removed from the environment of fandom well over six years ago and is now back in circulation again, and moreover as one who has rashly promised the hon.sec. of the BFS "something for the Bulletin'" I have been reflecting on what sort of an organization the BFS might be, what I want from it, and what I am prepared to do for it.

With the steady release of many of its members from the forces and wartime exile it should be possible for the society to function less by correspondence and more by personal contact, with active cells perhaps in London, Manchester and Leeds. Though doubtless the majority of members will still be isolated administration would tend to be simplified by this trend, which could help to eliminate the troubles of lost chain-letters and similar administrative difficulties.

I for one shall not be disturbed if emphasis is in future placed upon the utilitarian rather than the propagandist aspect of the society's activities. If the society can offer access to old and new fantasy magazines and books, can provide news of authors, publishers and fans themselves, and can initiate occasional meetings for those who are willing and able to get to them it will.more than justify its existence. That is, if the demand is sufficient, if it provides a good and efficient library, a good and reasonably frequent bulletin, and can organise attractive meetings, that will be mainly what I ask.

In exchange for this I would cheerfully pay a minimum subscription of 5/- p.a., do an equitable amount of donkey-work such as envelope-addressing or stencil-cutting, provide criticisms and suggestions as necessary and on occasion even contribute to the bulletin.

Whether or not this is a fair exchange I leave to the officials of the society to decide.

.......................................

And I think, Maurice, that you deserve to have your requirements met, and that if there are a sufficient number of fans who think likewise - and I have every confidence that there are - you will be satisfied. I would ask all who read this, and who agree that the three things mentioned are the foundation stones of a satisfactory fan-society, to consult themselves as to what they can do towards achieving these ends. Even if you can do nothing now, bear it faithlully in mind for when circumstances alter...

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The Society.

I was prematurely pessimistic in the last Bulletin when I spoke of the second consecutive executive chain letter going astray - it was merely a few months overdue when it finally did arrive. However the situation at the time of writing is very similar, so we are still operating at much below optimum efficiency. Several replies were received in answer to my appeal for suggestions for improving the management of the Society, which I have pleasure in submitting for comment.

Most detailed was submitted by Mr. N. (Spider) Lindsay:-

  1. A thinks out a scheme and submits it in quadruplate to B, C, D, and E (the letters referring to the respective members of the Executive.)
  2. The next day B, C, D, and E think it over and send their comments in triplicate to their fellows - excluding A.
  3. The 3rd day B, C, D and E each receive 3 sets of comments on which, with A's original letter, they can base their decision.
  4. The 4th day A receives four votes - which he can then ignore and carry on with his original scheme.
Which, if tied up with suitable penalty clauses for failure to deliver opinions on schedule, would work, assuming that five archangels could be elected to the Executive. But, assuming the last clause, then the chain system would work too.

Mr J. Newman, Librarian of the Cosmos Club, is of the opinion that the only way to run a Society efficiently under our restrictions is to have a "benevolent dictator" elected annually. The objection I have to this is not an ethical one, my conscience like many others would stand up to the shame of being a dictator, but I think I speak for others besides myself also when I object to the amount of work this would bring on the unfortunate elected dictator. Incidentally some of you people ought to take time off to examine my position with clear unprejudiced eyes, taking note that for the last six months I have been functioning - as far as it goes - practically out of control. If I have not laid myself open to charges of dictatorial conduct it is only idleness that has saved me.

Gnr. Peter Knott, writing from Greece, suggested that the only proper way would be to concentrate the Executive Committee in London - assuming that here, if anywhere, would be found the largest concentration of fans - to enable personal contacts to be maintained. Which is, in my opinion too, the only practicable solution - ain't I always said it? But first we must wait for sufficient enthusiasts to be demobbed to build up this nucleus, so we can hardly look forward to any developments in this direction before the end of summer. It should provide a fitting purpose for the August Convention which has been mooted cautiously amongst certain circles, and of which I trust to hear more anon.

............... ...................... .....................

Financially our position is very sound, net cash in hand being 11-10-4d, according to figures furnished by Treasurer Busby and amended by me according to payments and receipts subsequent to AWB's information. It costs between 12/- and 13/- to issue a Bulletin, which is the only expense at present being incurred, so anyone with schemes which would require a certain amount of financial backing should submit them for consideration now.

In the near future I hope to be able to give details of the new position of the Library, arrangements for the transfer of which to Mr Ron Holmes are now under way. But he hasn't got it yet, so holdyer hosses...

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Department of Correction.

Ron Holmes, justifiably referring to the writer as " a dope", points out that his daughter arrived on December 4th and was Rita Valerie - not on the 10th and named Veronica as was the information given in the last bulletin by your incompetent and excessively butterfly-brained servant.

This despicable and utterly untrustworthy person also alleged, in the same issue of this humble public print, that Mr H. Gomberg was now President of the Cosmos Club and and Mr J. Newman Secretary. This too is grossly inaccurate, for Mr Gomberg is Secretary of our contemporary, and Mr Newman is Librarian.

Proceedings of the Cosmos Club.

The last issue of Cosmic Cuts, Vol.V no. 5, was a much more impressive effort than we have observed for some time. In its fourteen pages it contains an account of a meeting held at Jose's (Jose's what?) Teddington on January 5th, some foolish imitation letters in the best tradition of fan-humour, blurb on the BFS, a brief travelogue from Peter Hawkins, a discourse on the work of Skylark Smith by one of his devotees - Mr Newman, and sundry guff besides. The general impression given is of an active, thriving club which deserves to go on from strength to strength.

Another do the Cosmites have had recently was a visit to the theatre on March 16th. in order to see the weird-play "Duet for Two Hands", at which, to quote Mr Newman "quite a good time was had by all".

Members of the BFS are welcome at any Cosmite function they can attend. Unfortunately this Bulletin is not at present issued often enough for announcements herein to be of much value, but anyone interested should communicate with Mr H. Gomberg, 45 Elliott Road, Hendon, N.W.4 (Hen. 9040).

The Cosmos Club Library is, I understand, sufficiently formidable. A recent addition is the anthology "The Best of Sceince Fiction", published by Crown Publishers, which contains 40 stories covering the last twenty years of s-f, the greater part taken from Astounding, whose editor also contributes the preface.

News.

Would have been practically none, but for the unexpected and welcome arrival of sundry fan-stuff from Bob Tucker, including two sheets of an apparently new venture of his, Bloomington News-Letter, from which I crib the following.....

Hadley-Grant have printed a second edition of "Rhode Island on Lovecraft" but the publication of "Skylark of Space" - now apparently involving a third party named Krueger - is is difficulties with the printing side.. (Mr A Chandler wrote me some weeks ago to the effect that he couldn't find anyone in New York who has heard of the enterprise..drs) ... New semi-slick fantasy and scientific magazine to appear soon, in the general format like "Time", probably in May or June... Acute pulp-paper shortage may cause favourite stf mags to disappear for months ...Hugo Gernsback issued in Jan. 36-page slick-paper 5x7 mag. called "Tame" in parody of "Time". Dated Xmas 2045 the issue was devoted to a revue of the first 100 years of the atomic age.; four-colour cover shows bald-headed stenographer writing letter with "mindwriter" machine; 29 interior pictures of people and things of 2045 - actress with hair being publicized throw-back because all normal people are "baldies"; advertisments in tune with rest of mag.....

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Recently demobbed fans include E. F. Russell, Les Johnson, E.J. Carnell and Erik Needham. Peter Hawkins has left Cairo for a stretch of desert near Ismailia, new address being 14756848 Sigmn. Hawkins, 2 Air Support Signals, M.E.F. ... Our Mr Chandler was passing through the Panama when last heard of - his novel-length story "Special Knowledge" in the Febuary Astounding was the most swashbuckling story to appear in Astounding since S&S took over from Clayton - and none the worse for that. ... he had a short in the March issue too, "Lady Dog", the issue being further ornamented by two stories by Murray Leinster - one under his correct name of Will F. Jenkins, which as far as I know is the first piece of s-f he has published under (or should it be over?) his own name.

Help wanted.

In primus - items are wanted for the Bulletin, news in particular. Ideally, what is wanted is someone with a nose for news to do a regular news-column. And anyone with anything to say can say it here.

Secondly, a re-issue of the Fan Directory, with up-to-date information, is overdue. Will anyone have a go at preparing and stencilling this?

And I nearly forgot to mention

that Michael Rosenblum would like all his friends, particularly correspondents, to note that for the time being he will be able to devote little time to fandom, a state of affairs which must persist until he and his bride are settled down in a home of their own.

Advertisment Section.

J. M. Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7, badly wants a copy of "Imperial City" by Elmer Rice.

N. Lindsay, 132 Monks Road, Exeter, wants ASTOUNDING STORIES, No. 1 to February '37 (excluding Nov '36), and Nov '39 to April '45 (excluding Jan '43, Jan, April & Sept '43 and Jan '45).

J. Stephenson, 14 Alfred's Terrace, Northumberland Avenue, Hull, Yorks, is anxious to get hold of copies of Famous Fantastic Mysteries. For exchange he has an extensive list of Astoundings and other mags.

E.C.Tubb, 7 Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, London W.6., has a massive list of wants, the most urgent being all the Clayton Astounding (nearly all anyway); Amazing Quarterlies Spring, Summer, Fall 1928, Winter Spring 1929, Fall 1931, all after Winter 1932; Wonder Quarterlies Spring, Fall 1930, Summer1932, all after Winter 1933; Amazing Stories Jan, Aug, Oct, Dec 1928, May, Nov, 1933, July-Aug 1936, Jan-Feb, Sept-Oct 1937; Wonder Stories Aug 1932, Jan, feb, March, May, July-Aug 1933,. June, Sept 1935: etcetera.....

D.R. Smith 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, Warks (me in fact) urgently wants copies of all BRE issues, the issues of Amazing containing the first installment of "Skylark of Space" and the last of "Spacehounds of IPC" (or a set of the latter in good condition), & Astounding Jan Feb Sept Oct 1930, Sept 1931, April & Nov 1934, Nov 39 to Oct '41.

End of Bull. Printing and posting by Ron Holmes. Stencils & preparation drs.

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Notes:

1) Scans of this issue supplied by Al Durie, OCR/proofreading by Greg Pickersgill.