FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 1 (Vol. 1, Number 1) Oct. 1940

On the home front, the big news in September was the German decision to switch the focus of their bombing raids from RAF airfields to major cities beginning with London. Shortly after 5 pm on the afternoon of September 7th, over 300 bombers accompanied by twice that number of fighters flew up the Thames. They bombed Woolwich Arsenal, a power station, a gas works, the docks and the City. Cycling home from work in south-east London, a young Vince Clarke (who was not yet involved in fandom) paused on a hill and gazed across the river. He later described the scene to this writer, saying everything on the northern side of the river was ablaze as far as the eye could see. This was the start of the Blitz.

In North Africa, a week later, British forces inflicted heavy losses on Italian troops attempting to invade Egypt from Libya while in West Africa one week after that, the Royal Navy landed Charles De Gaulle and a force of Free French troops in Senegal to launch an attack on Dakar. They were rebuffed and retreated two days later.

On September 15th, it became obligatory in the US for men aged between 21 and 35 to register for military service, while on the 27th Japan signed a treaty with Italy and Germany, formally joining the Axis powers.

Distributed with this issue:

DAWN SHADOWS #1 - ed. James Rathbone - 4 pages
page 2 * page 3 * page 4

page 1:

Vol. 1, No. 1................... ........................................................... ......................................................October 1940


During the last month I have been experimenting with various forms of format for "Fido" - our pet name for FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - and after having played about with impressive pseudo-newspaper arrangments; at the last moment de- cided to continue a semi-informal style as in PSEUDO-FUTURIAN. Time will let us know if such is satisfactory.

"TALES OF WONDER" OUT AGAIN - - - Number 12 (Autumn 1940) issue appeared last week, containing three reprint tales and one apparently ORIGINAL one (I, Spy! by E.F.Russell ). Once again the number of pages is cut but smaller type keeps the amount of material up to the usual. Hopes are entertained of another issue, depending on circumstances, says Wally Gillings

WILLIAM F. TEMPLE CALLED UP - - - Fan and author Will Temple received his papers to report at Colchester early last month. He is in the Signals. Another good fan gone; still we wish him the very best of luck in his new environment, and a safe return in happier days.

DEATH OF TED WADE - - - We regret to announce the death on active service of Edward Wade, an ex-member of the Leeds SFL. Ted left us in 1936 to join the R.A.F. but retained his interest in fantasy. He was member number 12 of the SFA, which was founded just after he left Leeds.

"CHICON" BEEN HELD - - - The second World Science - Fiction Convention held in Chicago, will be over and just a pleasant memory (we hope) by the time you read this. A special film entitled "Monsters of the Moon" was to have been a feature. F.J.Ackerman is responsible for what is described as 'a costly amateur production made on a professional scale'. Britain's best wishes were conveyed by Ted Carnell via the US fan press; and also by Bart Lewis in a special letter.

DEATH OF WELL KNOWN EDITOR - - - T. O'Conor Sloane, editor of Amazing Stories for close on ten years, died on August 7th at his home in South Orange, N.Y. He was eighty-eight years of age. Dr. Sloane was a well-known writer on scientific subjects and had been associated with numerous magazines. All stf fans will feel a sense of almost personal loss as Dr Sloane had come to be associated in our minds with the type of policy that made Amazing the "aristocrat of science fiction", and when he left that magazine, an era, was over.

"A NEW ERA IN S-F" - - - says Tom Wright of Martinez, California, refering to the issuance in the near future of DAWN. This is to be a 65 page annual with a 4 colour cover, fan photos with autographs and biographies, stories, poetry, humour, cartoons etc.. A circulation, of 200-300 is aimed at.

D.R.SMITH BEEN ILL - - - letter from Donald Raymond Smith, the "sage of Nuneaton" reveals that he has been suffering from a severe chill, and spent a couple of weeks in bed., After that he had a rest period which he thoughtfully spent rockclimbing; presumably hoping to break his leg or something and get some more time in bed. He adds to the epistle "I am all for this new effort of yours to keep the English Fan magazine in an active state, and sincerely hope it is as much a success as it deserves to be."

page 2:
GLEANINGS.......... ........................................................... ...............................Garnered by RON HOLMES

Yea, I'm back. Even London's air-raids don't get me down. I have been the apple of Bill Temple's eye since I last wrote, and I think he has done a good job, I congratulate him.

Some Fan-news:- Jimmy Rathbone, Edinburgh fan, now in Surrey, has had all his teeth pulled by the Army. Ever heard of Harry Syme ?? He's an English fan who is very little known, who boasts of articles in the, U.S. fanmags - all right wise guys, , here's a chance to enlighten me, who knows his pen-name?? Ted Dikty (of US) has produced a "Whos Who in Fandom", don't buy it folks - it's a swiz, I'm not in it.But I'm in the Chicon Booklet - Ted Carnell will have to share the English honours with me now.

January '41 Amazing, will start a series of short novels by Edgar R. Burroughs - about John Carter of Mars. The first will be 20,000 words, (yea! I said short) entitled "John Carter and the Giant Men of Mars". It is rumoured the three will be sold in book form later.Personally, I lap up Burroughs, but from the most critical fans I gather the series is not welcome.

Amazing Quarterly has not gone to print yet, but when it appears it will have 17 stories - all reprints, 420 pages, and cost 25 cents.

A plea to fannish editors. Those of you kind souls who send exchange copies to the editorial address, please, puleez, in the kindness of your hearts - send me a copy as well (32 Rockfield Rd, Liverpool 4)

Ay Theng Yew.....Amen



- - - - some fan-mag reviews - - - -

THE ALCHEMIST Vol 1, No 3;.published quarterly; 128 Race St. Denver, Col., 10 cents a copy. With this issue jumps to the forefront of the field. 70 well mimeoed octavo pages; covers by Bok contributors include Warner, Lowndes, Widner, Daugherty, Morojo, & a feature article on Stapledon's works by J.B. Michel; plus several interesting,departments. This mag is rapidly going places and its editors,comparatively new to fandom are to be heartily congratulated.
SUNSPOTS Vol 3 No 2: Official organ of Solaroid Club; p. 31 Bogert Place Westwood, NJ. 10 large pages, improved a little but room for more. Plenty of enthusiasm tho'. Triple editorial several somewhat incoherent articles, & club notes. Shows promise.
FUTURIAN OBSERVER No. 13, price 2d p. B. Castellari, 10a Sully St., Randwick Sydney, NSW, Aus. Organ of Sydney's Futurian Society. Fortnightly newssheet, 2 foolscap sides and interesting fan bickerings.


Richard G. Medhurst

20 year old Londoner, now studying mathematics at Cambridge, due to closure of London University. Collector of the most rabid type -- specialising in interplanetaries - knows a lot about the subject both technically & bibliographically. Tall, slim, dark, absent-minded in the best scientific manner. Non- smoker & non-drinker (alcoholic) Pacifist, Socialist and generally intelligent; grand letter writer with a humorous turn of phrase. Probably possesses biggest stf. book collection in Britain, kept in first class condition in two enormous bookcases. JMR. ____________________________________________

Our only companion this month, as we go to press, is DAWN SHADOWS or colloquially "DINAH", published by James Rathbone in the intervals of his soldiering. Please forgive poor duplication of this first issue.

page 3:
FORUM - - - - a meeting place for kindred minds (perhaps).

To give an idea of the sort of discussion it is hoped will appear in our "forum", here is an extract taken from a letter of R.G.Medhurst's - subject of the "Introduction" on the opposite page.

"Talking about thinking, what is your pronouncement on the recent, and present work, on extra-sensory-perception? You've read, of course Dr J,B.Rhine's beautiful work "Extra Sensory Perception"? "If not, not - your education is incomplete!" Rhine's done a really splendid laboratory job on clairvoyance and telepathy (which seem to be established beyond reasonable doubt now) and his mathematics are very pretty. Tyrrell has followed up with another nice piece of research - on rather similar lines, which seems to bring precognition out of the seance room and into the laboratory. On rather different lines, Soal (one of our college Maths lecturers) seems also to have established precognition. I strongly recommend you to read Tyrrell's "Science & Psychical Phenomena" (Methuen 38) to supplement and extend Rhine.

You know if I might hazard a guess, I'd say this work brings us right to the edge of a major and fundamental revolution in Science; one might say, the second in its whole history. The first being of course that certain abstractions of phenomena can be approximated to by simple mathematics.

What do you think chums?"


Anent the viewpoint expressed by Sam Youd in his "Warbull" distributed. with the September Pseudo-Futurian, Walter Gillings has something to say - "You might point out to Youd, regarding my being sacked that the local Press is not quite the same thing as the national; though even the locals are now imbued with the war spirit. It was the fact that we had tried to keep our heads on the "Recorder", where I did nothing but reflect various local aspects of the war without prejudice which led to the papers policy being criticised by local authority & started the ball rolling for my dismissal, Had I not been sacked (as a gesture to the local big-wig critics), and been expected to change my attitude to suit a more warlike policy, I would most certainly have resigned, As it was, they didn't give me a chance."


FANTASTIC NOVELS Vol. 1 No. 2; September 1940 has reached this country It features the complete booklength novel "The People of the Golden Atom" by Ray Cummings, which is a sequel to "The Girl in the Golden Atom" which Ray Cummings says was the first story he ever wrote. Both, tales deal with expeditions into the ultra-small, and the intrusion of people of our world into the civilisation existing within a single atom of a wedding ring. Other contents of the same issue are: Merritt's "Through the Dragon Glass" - an exquisite little short, "The Middle Bedroom" by H.de Vere Stacpoole; and "Spawn Of Infinitude" by Edward S. Pilsworth. Also an autobiography of Cummings and a verse on Edgar Allen Poe by Robert Lowndes: the wellknown US fan. The November issue will contain "The Snake Mother" by A.Merritt.

The October FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES is also to hand, containing a novel "The Face in the Abyss"- A.Merritt; a novelet "Fungus Isle" - Philip M. Fisher and a short story "Out of the Dark" - Amabel Redman.

page 4:
HOW DO WE DO?.......... ........................................................... .........."FIDO'S" INTRODUCTORY BARK

Gentle reader, you hold in your hand the very first issue of FANTASY WAR DIGEST, now, alas the only regularly-appearing British fan publication. In these dire straits, it is absolutely essential that to be able to continue, we must have support as never before...and this is the first burden of my song. We want 50 new subscribers. That may sound a lot at once but just consider a moment. Both our "constituent" fan magazines deliberately let their subscribers diminish as their future became uncertain- and those people must be picked up again. The subscription is the very lowest possible and we sincerely hope that it will not have to be raised. Subtracting postage we offer a monthly 4 pages at least for 9d. per year. It just can't be done without plenty of support. And we do mean you. At the conclusion of this article you will find a mark telling you the number of further issues you will receive. If there is a large "0" then read the foregoing once more and search your pockets.

That being considered over; now a word as to policy. We have a twofold duty, (a) to give news of and to fandom, (b) to keep burning those bright mental constellations possessed by all fans. Both of these will be done to the best of our ability. Any interesting news items will be gratefully acknowleged and we would particularly like a London reporter. Items will be signed with the contributor's name unless editorially written. Book & magazine reviews - both pro and fan - will be featured, and we hope to have at least one controversy of some sort running at any time.

Moreover it is hoped that other people will continue to publish news- letter and similar sheets to be distributed with "Fido" so that we may in time assume, the dimensions of a mailing. All possible help will be given in regard to duplicating and mailing. Come on then.

We would like to know what you think of this magazine, but have neither time nor space for a sychophantic letter section.

o o o o o o o o o

In future issues this back page will be devoted to just what I - Michael Rosenblum - wish to say; whether it be in the form of an editorial or merely something I want to get off my chest. After all it's my magazine, so I ought to be able to get my little say-so in somewhere. Thank you.



In America a poll-frenzy is in action, and seeing no signs of similar activity in this country, we hasten to put machinery in motion to record the views of fans here before fandom ceases entirely to exist. We are asking John Goldsmid, a "new" Leeds fan to look after this dept. and details will be given regularly. Will everybody therefore let us know their ten favourites in order of preference (a) stories - either book or magazine; (b) fans - either British or American (c) favourite artist (d) favourite magazine (pro) (e) favourite fanmag - if any.


The 15th number af SPACEWAYS, America's most consistent high-ranking fan magazine is just to hand. Contents consist of a short story by F.E.Hardart; articles by Walter Sullivan, Tom Wright, Fred Semour & J. Townsend; a specimen of Bob Tucker's humour; poems by Vincent Manning, Damon Knight & Earl Singleton and the usual regular departments, Price is 3 issues for 25 cents, or 1/3, and in this country it can be ordered through Rosenblum.


How many more issues will you be getting?


1) "Ay Theng Yew!" was a catchphrase of wartime comedian Arthur Askey.
2) Yes, Rosenblum really did refer to FWD as FANTASY WAR DIGEST at the top of p.4.
3)The term 'fanzine' was coined in 1940 by US fan Louis Russell Chauvenet but it had not yet replaced the older term 'fanmag', which is used throughout this issue. It's also interesting to note differences in common usage since 1940. 'All right' had not yet become 'alright', for instance.