FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 10 (Vol. 1, Number 10) Jul. 1941
On June 14th, Roosevelt ordered the freezing of all German and Italian assets, which
led to those countries immediately expelling US consuls, while on the 17th the RAF
revealed that "radio location" had been Britain's key weapon against German bombers,
the first public acknowledgement of the existence of radar.
The big news in June however was Hitler breaking the Nazi-Soviet pact and, on the 22nd,
launching a massive invasion of Russia with 100 army divisions along a 1,800 mile front
that stretched from the Arctic to the Black Sea.
Distributed with this issue:
THE GENTLEST ART #8 - ed. Douglas Webster - 4 pages
TIN TACKS #5 - ed. Don Doughty - 2 pages
page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5 * page 6
First item to report this month is news of James Rathbone, who has
been wandering round the near East. His letter gives as address c/o Imperial
Communications, Durban, South Africa; but is postmarked from London,
England - so he has arrived home again. However, he is at present in
hospital with some sort of nervous trouble . We wish him a speedy recovery;
especially as he and the girl he left behind, Miss Rita Pitman, are
waiting anxiously to get married:
Incidentally a round-about item of
news about Harold Gottliffe via the
ordinary press, was that his hospital.
ship was unsuccessfully bombed during
the affair round Crete. No casualities
was the report.|
Two changes of address: Hugh John
Ellis of Barrow-in-Furness joins the
gallant ranks of the bombed-out; new
address is Berkune Cottage, Lindal-
in-Furness, Lancs. And S.A.Beach leaves
Aberystwyth for 18 Coychurch Rd,
More Service news: William Frederick
(Woof) Temple, after spending a
leave with wife and family in Cornwall,
is now in a Field Regt in Monmouth
"not doing at all badly; Mostly
Scots, Hoots, What's ma haggis". And
Signalman E. C .Williams has now arrived
in Llandudno for the nonce.
The visiting season has commenced.
Eric Needham of Manchester & Eric
Hopkins of London had a minor convention
of their own, wandered all round the
metropolis, discussed everything under
the sun and made an unsuccessful call
on Arthur Williams.
Eric Williams (this is getting a bit
confusing) did manage to find both
Arthur Williams (no relationship) &
Ken Bulmer in during his recent leave
in London and all three had a grand
free-for-all discussion. "Renny"
Rennison of Blackburn visited Bert
Lewis in Preston & spent a day investigating
Bert's beautiful collection. Both enjoyed
the exchange of views. Ron Lane and Harry
Turner, both of Manchester, met for the
first time recently - there is a possibility
of an stf. club (very informal) for
Manchester, being formed.
Ron Holmes appeared before his local
C.O. tribunal this month. Verdict
land work, ambulance or civil defence.
L o n d o n l e t t e r
As a result of a chain-letter
recently sent around to them, half-a
dozen London fans are now in touch
with one another.
Tom Dovey; new fan-find of Sidney
Bounds, reveals himself an enthusiastic
cave-explorer, and met myself
and two other cavers last week. Raises
query; any other fans interested in
speleology? Over Whitsun I visited
deserted lead mine workings in Mendip
Hills, source of Roman pipes in
baths of Bath, reputably Phoenician
in origin. Am.going to spend a seven
days leave caving In South Wales.
Sidney L. Birchby
FORT'S BOOKS REPRINTED !!!
The Fortean Society of America
announces that in collaboration with
Henry Holt & Co., they have reprinted
all of Charles Fort's epoch-
making books, in a single volume together
with a complete & exaustive
index. The price is 4 dollars post-
paid anywhere in the world. The four
books in question are "The Book of
the Damned", "New Lands", "Lo!", "Wild
Talents" and all try to show Fort's
ideas of the incorrectness of modern
science's interpretation of the universe.
We hope that this edition
will be available in Britain.
A new series-of shilling paper-
backs has been issued by Messrs
Methuen. The first 12 numbers contain
two widely differing fantasies,
namely "The Jovial Ghosts" by Thorne
Smith, which is one of the Topper
series, a hilarious Rabelaisian farce:
and "The Wind in the Willows" by
K. Grahame, a childrens book of the
FIRST "SYDCON" A SUCCESS !!!|
Australian fandom held its first
convention on April 13th - Easter
Sunday -- at Sydney. The idea was first
mooted in the fanzine Cosmos, & Vol
Molesworth and William D.Veney took
the arrangements in hand. The usual
Aussie squabbling then occurred but
at the last minute feuding was forgotten
and all Austra-fandom united to stage a
Notable features of the occasion
were; the entrance procession with
the Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle
groups all carrying banners, auction
sale of all sorts of stf miscellania,
David R. Evans, guest of honour
summing up Autralian fan activities
from the very beginning; gramaphone
interludes and the popularity of the
Things To Come march, and the banquet
at the Hotel Australia.
The attendance reached the staggering
total of 67, which certainly reflects great
credit on all concerned, and compares
favourably with American conventions.
An edition of 500 copies of a special
booklet had been prepared and
was reported to be sold out. Eric F
Russell said that 250 copies were
sold in Australia, 150 sent to USA,
and another 100 sent to British fans.
So far this latter batch has not
turned up but we hope for its
A great deal of friendliness and
fraternisation took place and many
people now feel that they know others,
who a short while ago, were nothing
more than names. Everybody present
enjoyed the affair thoroughly
and are looking forward to next
years "Melbention" or Melbourne
convention; which the Melbourne group
had been plugging vigorously during
the day, including the singing of a
specially written anthem.
The convention was officially
declared closed at 10p.m. and all fans
gave three cheers for the committee
who had spent so much time and money
in arranging the entire affair.
.............courtesy, Australian S.F. News.
DAVE MCILWAIN CALLED UP
Liverpool's David McIlwain received his papers
to the Royal Air Force on Saturday, June 28th,
so by now he will be in the service. He wishes
all his correspondents to note that he would prefer
them to hold up all letters until they hear from him,
so as to avoid congestion in the McIlwain billet,
until such time as he is more or less
settled down. But fanmags etc., will be ok, as he
still wishes to keep up with fanews.
This of course, means an end to PAN Publications, though
they were probably entirely finished off by the "blitzing"
of printer Reggie Potter. So until after the war we must
say - - farewell "Garge".
A Note To American Fan Editors
We are now working out a system
whereby the maximum value is obtained
out of any extra copies of fanzines
which wend their way in this direction.
A second copy goes around fellow FIDO editors
and at the moment a "chain" is being made up
so as to circulate any third copies of mags
amongst the main body of subscribers
so that if you are good enough to
send three copies of your magazine
to this address, anywhere up to 50
people will read it. This will give
fanzines a tremendous jump in actual
circulation. There are difficulties,
in arranging to pass comments on to
editors but we hope to arrange it.
Incidentally would Britishers who would like
to receive such mags etc., and will guarantee
to pass them on within three days, please inform
either Jack Gibson or myself.
Latest News of James Rathbone, just
received is that he. is now in
Bellesdyke Military Hospital,
Jack Gibson hopes to be able to
include a complete list of the books
& magazines available in his Science-
Fiction Exchange, to be incorporated
in the August mailing.
AN INTERESTING ARTICLE
"Mars and the Monroe Doctrine"
on some recent changes in American Public Opinion", by
Gavin B. Henderson, is an article of considerable sciencefictional interest.
It appeared in "Chambers Journal" for May '41. Mr Henderson points
out that American public opinion has been "influenced not so much by
leading articles in the principle dailies as by a type of literature so
worthless and ephemeral that it has received little attention". The trash
in question being 'the "pulps". He is connerned largely with the Science
Fiction Magazines (he spells it with capitals throughout!) The claim is
that it is stf, (along with President Roosevelt) that has been responsible
for the mass swing-over of opinion in America from complete isolationism
to a move or less active interventionist mood.
Stf. it appears, has worked this wonder, by hammering home
the lesson that "Machine warfare has done one notable thing already.
It has killed off the possibility of isolation for a nation, and made
the invasion of far-off lands almost as easy as those nearby". This he
quotes from "Wonder Stories" for March '32. Brer Henderson cites story
after story from Astounding, Wonder, and Amazing featuring war and invasion
and destruction, from "The Death Cloud" (Astounding, May '31) to
"The Invisible Invasion" (Amazing, April'39).
Its really quite a nice little boost for stf. especially in
such an unexpected place. Such sentences as "These stories are a riot
of undisciplined imagination, and only rarely have the slightest literary
value" are probably a concession to the readers of Chamber's Journal.
His sympathetic interest in stf. in reasonably plain. Rather a pity he
didn't manage to work in a reference to Tales of Wonder .....R. G. Medhurst
Since the appearance of this article we have been in touch with Mr.
Henderson who says, "My approach to the subject is perhaps rather
different from yours. I am a historian, and primarily interested in foreign
policy; But of latter years public opinion has played a greater and
greater part in moulding foreign policy; and I am therefore necessarily
interested in the various things that influence public opinion - including
Science Fiction. This influence has, of course been much greater in the
U.S.A. than here. It is not a topic in which, so far as I know, any work
has yet been done; and I wrote my little essay to try to persuade some
American student to get on to the subject."
This certainly opens up an interesting vista worthy of some thought
on our part. Incidentally Mr Henderson would be pleased if anyone could
inform him of some good stf collections which could be accessible to him
the neighbourhood of Glasgow, where he lives.
"STIRRING SCIENCE STORIES" Vol.1, No.3, June 1941
This magazine is certainly showing promise,- its semi-fan line-up
gives it a freedom from, formula greatly to be commended. No less than 14
stories in this number, all interesting but in my humble opinion the
fantasy section is far superior to the science fiction. Best tale is
"Mr Packer Goes to Hell"- Cecil Corwin, surely one of the strangest
underworlds ever portrayed in fiction followed by "Martian Fantasy" by
Henry Andrew Ackermann;- "The Silence". Venard McLanghlin and "Karzan
Collects"- S.D.Gottesman- all of a very high standard. Other stories are
by A,J.Burkes, Walter C. Davies, Hugh Raymond, Basil Wells, Walter Kubilus,
R.W.Lowndes, and D.H.Keller. Bouquets to Hannes Bok for his fine art work.
.................................. by BERT LEWIS
There are three books of note for my review this month
tho' I'm afraid this is a little delayed owing to pressure
of my own work; all these books hewever are quite worthy of note.
The first is by Rex Warner, many of you will, no doubt, remember his
"Wild Goose Chase", his latest effort is of a different type and quite
topical in a way. The book is called "The Aerodrome" (Bodley Head 7/6)
and tho' sub-titled "a love story, bears no resemblance to the kind of
romance those three words usually describe. It is much more than a love
story; it is a grim fantasy and a grimmer warning of what might happen
in this country, were a Fascist regime to sieze power. It bites deep and
possesses a rare individuality, it is not a comfortable book, some of it will
shock, with its cold sincerity and colder logic and demands, for its author's
place amongst the present day writers who are producing somathing
really new. It centres in a typical English village, where the "enemy"
Air Force takes over the local aerodrome in its ruthlessly efficient
way and the village is reduced to something like slavery.
The second story by Morchard Bishop is "The Star Called Wormwood"
(Gollancz 8/-), is a fantastic satire directed against all wars. This
also is a book which may well make some people feel uncomfortable, as
the author sets about his task, not hesitating to bring in the ecclesiastical
as well as human affairs. The result is a curious compound of
Wellsian adventure and caustic commentary, during which an unlettered
rustic from early Victorian days, finds himself transported to the world
of A.D. 2839, in the company of shades of Coleridge and Blake, being
gradually made aware of the, to him, almost incredible stupidities of
modern man at war.
Ths third book is only reviewed in brief as, up to the time of writing
only little in known of the contents, here it is for what it is worth;
"Invasion" by Henrik Van Loon (Harrap 5/-) the book is supposed to have
been written by Van Loon, who, in 1960, discovers his old manuscripts
of a Nazi invasion of the United States in the early 1940s, the story
in written contemporarily, its place in S.F. lists is very obvious.
WE WANT TO SAY that this issue is respectfully dedicated to Mr Douglas
Webster of Aberdeen, who so kindly provided Fido's rapacious maw with 2
reams of paper which we are using for this issue.
We must apologise for uhwittingly conveying inaccurate information
last month in the momentous question of chain-letters. Apparently the
idea was originated by Ego Clarke, who discussed it by post with several
other people, whereupon Hal Chibbett brought out the "Probe" letter on
the idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The elegant and elite periodical publiaction you are now perusing is
entitled FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST and is devoted to fantasy fiction. Generally
known as "FIDO", it is published monthly from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7
by & J. Michael Rosenblum; @3d. per copy, 3/- per year postfree. Amercans
can remit promags to the value of 75 cents in lieu of cash. Thanks
are due to those worthy souls who are responsible for the accompanying
QUIZ : NUMBER TWO ..........
......... compiled by Arthur W. Busby
There's the little lot. See what you make of 'em. Answers next month.
- When did Street & Smith take over Astounding from Claytons?
- The principal theme of H. G.Wells book "Wheels of Chance" is --?
- Give three feminine authors who have written for either Ast. or Amazing
- Fort's "Lo!" was serialised in Astounding some years ago. What are his
- Who is the British Secretary of the Fortean Society of America?
- What degree does Stanton A. Coblentz hold ?
- When did Astounding first publish: i. In Time to Come, ii, Mutants?
- When was an editorial from The New York Times reprinted in an SF mag?
- What day did the great Stanley G. Weinbaum die ?
- S.G.Weinbaum wrote a story under a pen-name. Title & pseudonym please.
- What Astounding stories featured a.Billiards,b.Baseball,c.American
- Bill Temples first published fantasy story was ?
- What are the following by profession 1. Willy Ley, 2. L. Sprague
DC Camp, 3. John A. Clark ?
- An author invented a fictitious character only to be informed later
that there was a person of that name actually engaged on the work the
author depicted. What was 1.Author 2. Story 3. Occupation 4. Character
- Chan Corbett wrote a a story called "When Time Stood Still". Another
author used the same title ?
Postcard from chez McIlwain informs
us that a gramaphone record from 4e
Ackerman has just arrived. Entitled
"Hola al Halivudo" it is a talk in
Esperanto. Would any fan studying
Esp-o and who would like the loan of
the record, let me know.
Wanted; Chess Set. Julian Parr,26
Edward St., Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.
Warwick Hockley, 183 Domain Rd,Sth
Yarra, SE1, Melbourne, Australia,
will be "darn glad to hear, from
British friends who'd care to write.
During the last month letters have
been received from E .C .Hopkins ,A.C .
Clarke, T.Overton, H.Villa, A.Dewick,
H.J.Ellis, D.J.Doughty & J.Banks to
which I fear I shall be unable to
reply. Other people I have tried to
answer. One new FGPOer only: Robert
J. Silburn of Aberystwyth.
UNKNOWN (American editions) May &
Dec. '40 @ 1/6 each. Write first to
Edwin MacDonald, 25 Dochfour Drive,
I an extremely sorry to have to
report that the continuation of FIDO
is once again in jeopardy. This
is due to the new Act recently passed
by parliament which makes conscientious
objectors who have received a
conditional exemption, such as I have,
liable to be called up any time; at
three days notice, for anything the
government decides is "civil defence"
and to serve anywhere. There is no
appeal of any sort and the only
alternative is presumably jail.
I have already received a "general"
type of notice and might not hear any
more. However should I get a second
"call-up" notice, I fear that will be
the end of FIDO.
Careful accounts are kept of all.
subscriptions and should the worst
occur, all money paid will be retuned
at the earliest opportunity.
Let us hope that is the end of the
matter but if FIDO doesn't turn up at
any you will know what has happened.