FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 11 (Vol. 1, Number 11) Aug 1941
On July 7th, US forces landed in Iceland to take over from British forces who had occupied it early in 1940 to prevent Germany using it as a base from which to launch attacks on Atlantic shipping.
On the 13th, in Syria, British and Vichy French forces signed an armistice. However, on the 23rd, Marshall Petain agreed to let Japan use French military bases in Indochina - setting the stage for the eventual Japanese invasions of Singapore and Burma - and the following day all Britons were ordered to leave Vichy France.
Meanwhile, German forces continued to penetrate deep into the USSR, city after city falling to their panzer assault.
Distributed with this issue:
THE BIBLIOFAN #1 - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 4 pages
page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................cover art by Harry Turner
ALL OVER THE PLACE!
In order to cut down the amount of time needed in the final stages of the preparation of "FIDO" we are going to have a try at this rather different type of format; especially as it will help incorporate those little bits of news so apt to be missed and any last-minute items too. So here goes ... Letter from Cliff Fishwick states that his brother Ron of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, went out East several weeks ago, and since then his family have just had one note which told them nothing except that he was writing it in a bunk which tossed from side to side regularly. Ron is a Despatch Rider in the Engineers... Dave McIlwain, is for the, nonce, at Wilmslow, Cheshire, where he is being inducted into the RAF life ... Arthur W. Busby of Birmingham who registered as a C.O. has appeared before his local tribunal and has been given a conditional exemption, condition being fulltime civil defense work... Doug Webster says that he is now in a position to place subscriptions to a moderate extent to US magazines for people here, so if anybody is interested will they write to "Idlewild", Fountainhall Rd, Aberdeen... Harry Syms reports a change of address to 23 Waterloo Road, Gillingham, Kent, & says that he is working 11 hour days, 7 days a week; which gives him just no time for anythiing else. He also states that he has been collecting the works of James Branch Cabell and believes he has the largest collection in England - 32 in bookcase and more on order... Fans visiting, Christopher Samuel Youd will be spending a fortnight with John Frederick Burke at Liverpool starting from Aug 4th, and hopes to visit sundry other Lancastrians... whilst I shall wander off to Nelson, Lancs, on July 30th where "Renny" Rennison at least will pay me a visit... last Saturday I had a very pleasant surprise when a 'phone call' announced the impending arrival here of Roland Forster, now transferred from the Shetlands to Cranwell on his RAF wireless operator course. He was able to stay some five hours or so and the usual discussion on any topic under the sun took place ... Ron Holmes has been transferred from Liverpool to London on his Pacifist Service Unit work. As this takes up the whole of his time, he must, perforce, retire from active fandom for the time being ... should anything happen to me in the way of being removed suddenly, Art Williams promises to circulate all FIDO subscribers and let them know ... modicum of Americanews from Lou Goldstone of San Francisco, "De Camp's Lest Darkness Fall, in the elongated book-version, has just been digested. A second - named The Incomplete Enchanter, is to be issued by the same publishers (Henry Holt) this fall, a combination of Unknown stories The Roaring Trumpet and The Mathematics of Magic both by De Camp and Fletcher Pratt. And, the latter informs me, he and De Camp are now at wark on a third book for Holt, to be issued next Spring. He says it will he something new in the line of fantasy. God, I can hardly wait"... American fandom seems to be becoming quite concerned about what will happen to them if USA is drawn into the war - whether-fan activities will be able to continue at all. My guess is that after a preliminary slump at the start, activity will be even greater than it is now; though the promags will he badly hit ... Incidentally I have been wondering recently whether it would be nice for us in Britain to form some sort of loose federation during the present emergency. We feel the lack of a sort of club spirit which the FIDO mailing tries to fill, but I felt that it might be better to have (say) a Futurian Society of Great Britain. What do you people think about it? .......................
L o n d o n l e t t e r.....................from S i d n e y B i r c h b y
A salvage squad led by B.I.S. treasurer Ego (Arthur Clarke), recently retrieved valuable (& probably incriminating B,I.S. documents from their resting place on the floor of Bill Temple's Wembly house, which was slightly damaged by air-raids last Autumn. The documents, which were found mixed up with fallen ceiling, had been there ever since.
FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - nickname FIDO - devoted to fantasy fiction - published monthly - edited by J. Michael Rosenblum - at 4 Grange Terrace ... Chapeltown, Leeds 7, England. - price 3d. - 3/- year - America - 75 cents - various other amateur publications mailed with - ccmments gratefully received - also any items of interest - special Australian edition of F. proper on thin paper - reciprocal exhange with similar pubs. welcome...
A little later on Mr Cunningham suggests that we send an issue of ToW
or similar material in exchange for each 3 US mags & therefore that the,
British distributor should charge enough to cover the cost of this, plus
the postage for re-mailing the mags . This arrangenent appears more than
fair and we heartily hope that the scheme will be found workable in the
very near future.
A FURTHER LETTER from Gavin B. Henderson, author of the article in Chambers Journal mentioned in our last issue, and who turns out to be lecturer in History at Glasgow University, adds the following comments to his appraisal of science fiction..
"My original article (and my letter) must have seemed a little snobbish to you;. but such was far from my intention. I recognise very well the virtues of Science Fiction Literature -- and the paramount virtue is imagination. There is far too little imagination in this world, where the majority of mankind takes everything for granted, and asks no questions, failing to recognise the possibilities either for good of for evil of recent trends of discovery. What is the trouble with most science fiction thought and literature is that the imagination is "undisciplined". It largely goes to waste because, in reaching for the stars,it does not remain firmly-rooted in the earth. And, imagination being so rare and precious a thing, I regard such waste as a great tragedy : one of the tragedies of half-education, - the necessary stage between ignorance and real education. And yet, to give Science Fiction its due, as I hope I always shall - it has, in spite of its manifold defects, achieved great results. I said that the hero of Science Fiction had "in real life played his part in saving the world". And that, I think, is a considerable tribute from so cold-blooded a person as a historian!".
""One last word..... Science Fiction is a symptom of man's unconquerable spirit, his striving upward, his will for change - whether for evil or for good... but its potentialities are greater than its achievements, since so many authors and fans give their imagination too free a course. Pegasus is a grand steed, but for Heaven's sake, keep him under bit & bridle.".
And that, my friends, is the view of an intelligent outside critic..
CLIPPINGS FROM CANADA
by Leslie A. Croutch
Well. it is happening. Remember what I said about American prozines being published in Canada? During the past four weeks (typed June 24 ) there has appeared on the newstands, various detective and western publications. This means the changeover has begun. When will fantasy prozines be affected? First company turning out Canadian editions from Toronto is Popular Publications. Street & Smith are also in there pitching. Get that? S & S. When will ASTOUNDING and UNKNOWN WORLDS come over? Time will tell.
In his latest letter, John Russell Fearn shows a growing boredom it and is turning towards books. During last winter he turned out three; "One Was Absent", "Little Winter" , and "Then Came War". The last had just been completed and is 110,000 words in length. They will not go to America as he says there is a growing demand in England for books, and so he will send them to London. "Then Came War" is a simple little story of an ordinary family caught in the whirlwind transition from peace to war and shows the effect it has on their characters and respective ambitions. When that is tied up, as it were, Fearn will begin his "The Impossible Neighbours". It will be 110.000 words also. He has not dropped off stf entirely. Recently he did "Prenatal" for UNKNOWN and "The Eternal Outcasts" for whoever takes it.
Have any of you read the OCCULT DIGEST`? It uses the most advanced occult articles on Yoga, Alchemy, Kaballah, Astrology, etc.. No spirit stuff used. Only fictional accounts of historical events in which occult forces operated, or fictional accounts of occult laws are used. It might be worth investigating this from a fantasy viewpoint.
BOOK REVIEWS by Bert Lewis
Two new books are to hand this month, the first by John Collier. His book has a very misleading title "Presenting Moonshine" (MacMilian 8/6). Its contents however, are very convincing. This is a series of short stories, which I would compare with Lord Dunsany's work, though they have a charm distinctly all their own, whetther frolicsome or horrific. They are deft and weirdly impressive and only in rare instances, is there any reflection of life, as most of us know it. To whet your appetite he gives us: An orchid which manages to embody in its monstrous self, first a cat and then two human beings: Jinns: Indian ropetrickers: Wax models, and intelliqunt gorillas; some of the stories are dreadfully cruel, but you can take it.
The second book is by an old favourite of fantasy fans, J.D.Beresford, who gives us "What Dreams May Come---" (Hutchinson 6/6) in a new kind of Utopia story. Here is the story of a youngster who escapes from an unhappy home life by slipping into a world of the far-distant future, at first - merely in dreams, but afterwards during a period of unconsciousness produced by bomb injuries, by fourth dimensional means. The story is most interesting, attractively novel, particularly the change in David's body aftor his celestial visit: it takes on less fleshly contours than those who live in the twentieth century, but those of the world of Oion, with its happy fruit-eating and almost sexless co-workers; striking a familiar note beloved of the old SF magazine stories (reminiscent of Paul's illustrations).
Another book recently published which may interest you is "John Innocent
At Oxford" - Richard Buckle (Chatto 5/-). A fantastic flight of fancy, set
in Oxford at the and of the twentieth century, a witty and irreverent book
... with seven drawings by the author. 'S all !!
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Firstly, we are sorry indeed to hear that Arthur Williams is ill and will, by now,be in hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery. The doctor informs him that he was heading rapidly for a nervous breakdown. This will mean the and of SCIENCE FANTASY FAN and Art his turned over all the material on hand to Harry Turner for his ZENITH. We weep!
Erik S. Needham reports a call-up notice dated Aug 2nd, for a "dump called Padgate". This presumably means that Erik is in the RAF.
A mere 12 page letter from George Medhurst leaves no room for such trivial details as news except to say that he now in Oxford, but will only be there for a short period so all letters should be addressed to London. He has called upon Alys Rita Pittman who is at present there also. Also states that he would like to publish BIBLIOPHAN regularly, but when cut off from his collection and the voluminous notes connected therewith, there is really very little hope.
By afternoon post comes a letter from Walter H. Gillings - a minor miracle in these days. Wally, after being turned down by two Tribunals, his found that he has no alternative in this land of freedom and democracy, but to succumb to his fate for the sake of his wife and child, who would be left entirely unprovided for during the year or so which is the least length of time the military authorities would play cat-and- mouse with him. Now why do we younger people who are able to stand out receive the few exceptions that are going? So Wally is now a trooper in tho Royal Armoured Corps, stationed at the moment, at Tidworth, Hants.
In spite of this he does hope that Tales of Wonder will continue for a while yet though any future issues after no. 15 will be irregular in appearance. Number 15 should emerge at the end of September featuring "The Moon Era" by Jack Williamson; "The Cosmic Cloud" by Geo C. Wallis; "Lady of the Atoms" by Miles J. Breuer; "The Insect World" by Thos. S. Gardner; "Escape to Mlok" by Clark Ashton Smith;-and of course, Science Fantasy Forum and Readers Reactions.
The response to SFForum has not been all that it might be, says Wally but readers letters are quite plentiful & all express great satisfaction with our progress - which, incidentally has become more & more difficult during the last 6 or 9 months. However we have kept going.....
1) Also published this month was Harry Turner's ZENITH #1 (New series).