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
DAWN SHADOWS #3 - ed. James Parkhill Rathbone - 2 pages
FAN DANCE #1 - ed. DC.S.Youd - 6 pages
TIN TACKS #6 - ed. Don Doughty - 2 pages

page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5 * page 6 * page 7

page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................cover art by Harry Turner
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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? .......................

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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.
George Snaghurst (no Medhurst, I believe, Ed), on a brief visit to London, was the instigator of a lively fan rally last Sunday - 13/7/41 -chez Ken Bulmer. Present were Ego, Eric Hopkins, Arthur Williams & Ken.

The Brompton Lozenge, who was in transit from Cambridge to Oxford, stoutly denied that he was to finish off at Repton. He was presently engaged in the usual mathenatinal furiosa with Ego, followed by panzer thrusts at table- tennis. According to the latest communiques, both sides claim a decisive engagement took place, but it is not known what was decided.

Congratulations are due to London's Frank Edward Arnold, whose story, "Mecanina" cops the cover of the first issue of Wolheim's "COSMIC STORIES" & gets the editorial, too. The only two copies of the mag known to be in this country belong to Ken Chapman and Ted Carnell. (ye Ed has one, too). Line up gents. Frank has another story coming up in the same magazine.

Latest book find in Charing Cross Road. "A Romance in Radium" by J.Henry Harris, pub. about 30 years ago (ye Ed has one, too); rather tedious but amusing satire about visit of an angelic being from another planet to search 4 traces of a former expedition that didn't return. Probably inspired by HG Walls "Wonderful Visit" but not half as good. Sample crack: - Professor, a recluse, when the visitor materialises in his laboratory;- "Madame,this study is private and I am very busy".


Having by now become thoroughly affected by the amateur publishing virus, Harry Turner has decided to issue his publication "ZENITH" for the time being, at least, as a regular fan magazine, devoted to general topics. The first number under this new guise should be out for about the middle of August and be priced At 4 1/2d. It will be mimeographed and consist of some twenty pages. Address is 41 Longford Place, Victoria Park, Manchester 14. The only drawback about this is this is that we lose Harry's incomparable art work from the FIDO mailing.

Whilst on the subject of fanmaggery, here are the latest bulletins for the other couple of British sf amateur publications. "FANTAST" may be out by the time you get this, in any case it won't be long now. New editor is Doug Webster of "Idlewild" Fountainhall Rd.,Aberdeen.

Whilst Arthur Williams reports about his "SCIENCE FANTASY FAN", "I think I can confidently say that the ish after next (no.5) will be typewritten - not hand-printed -as twas/is now." Dave McIlwain generously lent Arthur a load of hecto carbons a couple of days before he was called up and Arthur has now experimented successfully with them.
A condensation of the Henderson article in May CHAMBERS JOURNAL mentioned in last FIDO, on sf and U.S. foreign policy, is in the Aug. PARADISE.

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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...
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"Herewith I wish to announce to you that I have formed the BSFWRS British Science Fiction War Relief Society..." commences a long and interesting, letter from John M. Cunningham of Beaumont, Texas; "and as director of said organisation - ask your support and help in same. The purpose of the NON-PROFIT organisation is to supply FREE OF CHARGE to British S-F fans, United States Pro S-F magazines--to help spread the pleasure that Science Fiction brings and to keep alive its interest; since the war has cut off their supply from the United States publishing companies. Our organisation is getting the support of USA leading, fans, and is asking donations of S-F mags and contributions in unused USA stamps to mail the mags to British fans and readers. However we can use the AID of English S-F fans to see that these magazines are distributed there in England"..

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..

Thanks are due to Kenneth Bulmer for his kindness in stencilling DAWN SHADOWS for James Rathbone. Incidentally, James being in close contact with doctors his writing is almost indecipherable and his address should read c/o Mrs Parkhill, 24 Heriot Place, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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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.

(more from Mr Croutch next month)

Were these your answers to last month's QUIZ?
  1. October 1933
  2. Cycling, nothing to do with stf.
  3. Leslie F Stone, Amelia R Long, Miss C L Moore,
  4. Book of the Damned, Wild Talents, New Lands.
  5. Eric Frank Russell
  6. M.A.
  7. i. 1938 January,ii. 1938 Feb.
  8. Astounding, 1937, November.
  9. 14th of November 1935.
  10. "The Adaptive Ultimate"- John Jessell.
  11. a. "Follow the Bouncing Ball"-A.J Burke, b. Bond, c. "Rule 18" C. W . Simak.
  12. "The Kosso"
  13. 1. Rocket Engineer, 2. Patent Expert, 3. Pharmaceutical Chemist Research Division.
  14. 1.L.Sprague de Camp, 2. "The Merman" 3. Vernon Brock, 4. Ichthyology
  15. Edwin K Sloat, 1939 July Amazing.

Mr E.F.Russell elucidates further on the omnibus volume of Charles Forts works mentioned last month.

"It is very doubtful whether any individual reader in this country will be able to obtain the book from USA, owing to the restrictions on the export of cash. Anyway I've taken the steps necessary to make the book available to British readers ... Import licences can be got by bona fide publishers, so I'm arranging for a number of copies to be imported and distributed on behalf of the Fortean Society by King, Littlewood & King Ltd. of Fishery Rd., Bray, Berks. These people are publishers of books and magazines and - directly they've obtained supplies - will be advertising the omnibus in their sixpenny monthly TOMORROW, also running a fairly long review of the book written by me.

Should this method fail, it may be possible to arrange for a British reprint to be marketed.

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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 !!


Wanted. sixpenny editions "Last & First Men" "Shape of Things to Come" 2 vls, also "Odd John". Sid Birchby, 28 Richmond Crescent, Highams Park, E.4.

Letters received this month from E.F. Russell, A.Williams, R.Holmes, O.F.Wiggins Lew Martin, H.Syms, D.Houston, J.Parr, A.Ragatzy; A.W.Busby, and R. Forster to which I fear lack of time will prevent me replying. As this is being stencilled early probably a few more people will also be missed.

I have several copies of the extinct stf weekly "Scoops", vol.1, No.3 dated February 24, 34, to dispose of at 5d. each, postfree. "Also January 1939 vol.2, no.3 issue of the original printed FUTURIAN at 3d. each postfree.

Don't forget that this column is available to all "fidofans" to state their requests etc. absolutely free.

A neat and well-mimeographed little "prospectos" for the LOS ANGELES SCIENCE FANTASY SOCIETY has just arrived over here. It deals with all aspects of the world's premier stf. organisation, the "Shrangri-LA (as they will have it) of fandom. After a brief resume of the purpose behind the club, it goes on to explain the founding in Feb. 1936 and the interesting fact of it being Chapter 4 of the Science Fiction League, chapter 1 of the Science Fictioneers, affiliated to the Weird Tales Club and a branch of the SFA as well. The regular members and their very varied interests are introduced, mention is made of the prominent figures who hold an honorary membership, and three pages are devoted to activities - publications, special events, speakers and correspondence. Oh! to live in Los Angeles.

page 7: (This page was a late, carbon-copied insert on typewriter paper.)

I finished the stencilling of FIDO on July 28th. So naturally some more interesting news breaks the next day. To save having to wait a month to tell you all, here is another last minute addition.

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).