FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 13 (Vol. 2, Number 1) Oct 1941
The relentless German advance into The USSR continued throughout September with Kiev falling
to them on the 18th and the Crimean Peninsula being cut off from the rest of the country two
days later. The heaviest fighting, however, was in Leningrad, with great air battles
in the skies overhead as street-by-street fighting raged below. The RAF had its first
engagement in Russia, flying aid into the city.
In Germany itself, this was the month in which a decree came into effect forbidding all Jews over the age of
six from appearing in public without a yellow Star of David stitched to their clothing.....
Distributed with this issue:
THE BIBLIOFAN #(-) - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 4 pages
OCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
FAN DANCE #2 - ed. C.S.Youd - 2 pages
TIN TACKS #8 - ed. Don Doughty - 2 pages
page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5 * page 6
.....................................cover by Harry Turner
PROGRESS OF THE B.S.F.W.R.S
The British Science Fiction War Relief Society is rapidly becoming
an accomplished fact Looking after this side of the Atlantic are
Julian Parr, and Edwin Macdonald; respectively English and Scottish
representatives, & the American end is of course in the capable hands
of John M Cunningham. The first bulletin of the British end is as
follows; Further to the preliminary notice (Aug Fido) it is proposed
that the following plan be commenced, subject to alteration according to circumstances
fans who wish to be included in the scheme are to give their names &
addresses to their representative who will then send a list to USA.
They will then receive in rotation, parcels of 3 US Pro-mags of
various titles & issues. Upon receiving his parcel, each fan will
immediately send back to J. M. Cunningham a service charge of a
shillingsworth of British sf or fantasy, in the ToW, Fantasy, 6d or
1/- novels, books etc. The fan will at the same time send a p.c, with
a list of mags received and sent to his Rep who will keep a record
of transactions. In cases of extreme difficulty, the fan may send a
P.O. for l/6d to his Rep, who will arrange to buy and post the
material for him. To join the scheme apply to S-on-T Science-fiction
Club, 26 Edward St, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, or Edwin Macdonald,
25 Dochfour Drive, Inverness, Scotland, who will answer queries
ANOTHER FAN CALLED - UP ! ! !
Fellow Fido-Collaborator and editor of "TIN-TACKS", Donald J.
Doughty of Downham Market, Norfolk; joined the Navy on September
17th. Don, who is now stationed at Skegness, managed to rush off
a final issue of TT before he departed for his new life. He says
that should he get a chance, spasmodic issues may appear in the
future, but "it all depends".
In the last nine months or so, Don has rapidly come to the front
as a "top" fan, and was one of the most active members of the
coterie of new enthusiasts. We all certainly wish him the very
best of luck, and are sorry to miss his effusion in future editions
of the Fido mailing.
For the present, will pen-friends please write to him c/o his
Some London fan has recently sold all his collection, to judge by
the stocks of old Amazings, Wonders,Unks etc in Charing X Rd bookshop
t'other week Come on, own up; who's let the side down?
That'll be a day when Snaghurst sells out - and gets ten bob for
the lot. Bent, not broken.....
Ted Carnell tells the story of how he spent an entire weekend's
leave flattening out the Shangri -LA record, & playing it over to get
a transcription. He got the transcription but in the process nearly
ruined a blitz-hardened households' nerves.
Ego Clarke, having completed his RAF course, has left London & should
now be reached via his Somerset address (Ballyphants, Bishops Lydeard
nr Taunton, Som.) This ends our race to see who can see "Fantasia" the
most times. He has declared at 4 not out.
Latest arrival at a certain bracing holiday resort is RAF-recruit Eric
Hopkins, the man with the greasy letters. Says Eric, exuberating in his
new life (the day before his drills are due to start!) "We have H & C
water laid on in the bedroom". How uncomfortable.
Red-Face Dept; myself , when after fixing up a farewell meeting with
Eric t'other Sunday in London, my hitch -hiking thumb failed and stranded
me at Reading. Apologies to all who waited for me.
Recent press about stratosphere bombers & current articles in "Flight"
about rocket boosting for aircraft; lead to thought that possibly by
time atomic power is ready for use, stratorocketry will be already there
to use it. We'll visit Mars yet, lads!
Sidney L Birchby
Highams Park, London.
LONDON S.F.A. "REUNION"
England's biggest fan reunion for the last year was held over the weekend,
September 20/21, when in spite of the manifold difficulties attending such
a proposition - far in excess of anything the US fans encounter - a muster
of some 14 was managed. At Saturday lunch time a party gathered to welcome
Maurice Hanson, ex-editor of "Novae Terrae" who had wangled leave from Somerset.
After some bookhunting in Charing X Road, the party saw the film "Fantasia".
On Sunday, a crowd assembled in Liverpool St. stn. waiting room, and proceeded
to convert it, in the approved manner of fan meetings, into a magazine mart.
We rolled on to Holborn to meet author John Beynon Harris, nearly got arrested
for taking photos of the gang, had tea, & held London's first open air meeting
of fans, in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Principal Item on agenda, after speech of
welcome by yours truly, seconded by John Craig, to Ted Carnell and friends,
was discussion "What should fandom do after war?" Present at one or both meetings
were -- Frank Arnold, Ted and Irene Carnell, Maurice Hanson, Art Williams, Canadian
fan Bob Gibson, Harry & Lily Chibbett, John Craig, John Beynon Harris, Ken Bulmer,
Denise Laws, Lily Jaggers, and yours truly
Sidney L. Birchby
NEW BRITISH "FANZINE" PLANNED !!
Those two livewire Londoners Kenneth Bulmer and Arthur Williams are at it again!
This time they have been planning to issue a fanzine digest, for
the benefit of British readers. The idea is to reprint items of interest
to us from the Yank and Aussie publications and thus keep the ordinary
British fan far more in touch with current stfical thought in other parts of the
globe. The first issue should appear in about one months time, will probably be
priced at threepence, & contain some ten pages. Incidentally Arthur Williams is
now at a new address, 125 Victoria Dwellings, Farringdon Road, London, E C.1. .
The Denvention as a whole was about the most successful so far, in regards to things
accomplished and the manner in which it was carried out. The one big thing that was
done was giving the National Fantasy Fan Federation a send-off by means of a vote of
confidence. We had been discussing the various things athat fandom could do - E .E.
Evans ideas, you know - and the convention voted in favour of having the NFFF do them.
So now the NFFF is the official voice and acting agent of organised fandom. Heinlein's
talk, and the discussion that followed, was certainly the most interesting thing any
convention has ever had. Heinlein is a serious person, and the entire meeting was deadly
serious - except for the party and extra-curricular activities. But the discussions and
the business was carried on in an extremely grave manner, as if we were taking care of
the fate of mankind. Which, as far as Heinlein's talk goes, we were. Because he spoke
of the neceessity of keeping sanity in a world like this, and how we might go about it,
and how science fiction fans might be the best qualified to retain composure, since they
were accustomed to thinking in terms of the future.
Milton A. Rothman
Washington DC, USA
THIS ISSUE of FIDO proper, is the 2d to be produced on paper sent to us from well-wishers
in the States. The issue is dedicated to Walter Daugherty of Los Angeles to whom we also
tender extremely belated congratulations on his marriage last June. Walt was kind enough
to send a full ream of Duplicating Paper, of which half is being used for this months
edition. That perennial Samaritan, Forrest J. Ackerman continues to let us have parcels
of sheets of paper, of all varieties, and pages 6 and 8 are provided by him. We all thank
these two kind people.
We learn that James P. Rathbone has now left the army & is looking for a job.
S'been a hectic month indeed for me, this September, and I only am in hopes that this
issue will appear at about the right time. One or two of you will know that, once again,
I have been having a slight tussle with the local Ministry of Labour offices, from which
I think I have emerged successfully with a new job only a couple of miles from home. But
perhaps a more important point is that during the campaign I visited ye doc. and had the
first physical examination in my life The verdict astonished me, and necessitated a visit
to a specialist. To cut your suspense short, here is the final result - I am "enjoying"
a condition known as "effort syndrome" which affects the supply of blood to the heart,
which is organically perfectly sound; and as a result an not to strain myself doing heavy
work and am "to take things easy" (what a hope). Most ironically this should render me
medically unfit for military service, though, with present medical boards there is no
guarantee of this. So what! Anyrate it now seems definite that I remain attached to the
ancestral home, and therefore will continue to have the facilities to produce FIDO which
is a surer position than has hitherto prevailed ... some news of other fans; Richard
George Medhurst is now the proud possessor of a B.Sc degree and is once more back in
London. The bookhunting season has commenced apparently, at least his letter mentions
a mere 46 additions to the legendary Medhurst collection ... Latest letter from Wally
Gillings contains the glad tidings of his transfer from the ordinary duties of the
R.A.C. to those of a batman. This insures him a modicum of privacy which will render
the future of' "Tales of Wonder" rather less problematical ... Incidentally the latest
issue of ToW should now be available though there appears to be no sign of it in Leeds ...
A.C.1 Leslie J. Johnson is now stationed at Goole in Yorkshire & hoped to be able to visit
ye Ed sometime & A.C.2 Eric Needham is now in more salubrious quarters just outside Preston ...
Derek Gardiner (48 King Edward Ave, Worthing, Sussex) who is particularly interested in
Fantasy films would be very grateful if anyone could help him to obtain the loan of some
stills from the epic fantasy film "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"... By the way the receipt of
the review of this film from Harry Turner some time ago informed me that I myself had seen
the film many years ago but had not the slightest recollection of its title ...
Incidentally Harry is still awaiting his long awaited call-up notice but will continue
the maximum of fan activities until they arrive ... Some seven chain letters dealing
with the Futurian Society of Great Britain have been sent out but to date only two have
returned so that no furthur definite statement can be made though we are still collecting
& collating data ... A list of American Supporters of the British Science Fiction War
Relief Society includes the names of Wright, Martin, McKeel, Geutsch, Madle, Lang,
Yerke, Brady, Merkel, Unger, Class, Hart, Morojo, Rusterbar, Hunt, Rothman, Freehafer,
Daughertys, Haggard, Taurasi, Ackerman, & 25 or so others; says a letter from Edwin
McDonald ... whilst a recent issue of Amazing Stories headed its letter section with
the announcement of the formation of this organisation... several copies of the August
issue of "Voice of the Imagi-nation" which arrived recently will be distributed to their
chosen recipients with FIDO, the second batch sent to me to pass on ... and some more
copies of the Australian "Futurian Observer" have arrived to go out with the mailing to
its British subscribers ... goodnate, everybody, goodnate !!!
CLIPPINGS FROM CANADA
by Leslie A. Croutch
Recently, Universal's latest horror film, "The Mummy's Hand", played at our local
theatre. Compared with such films as "The Ape", "Man With Nine Lives" and others
of like nature, "The Mummy's Hand" is an astonishingly good attempt at horror
without lapsing into the ridiculous. The make-up of the Mummy is realistic, scary
enough to get you, but still not silly. The prologue showing ancient Egyptian
burial rites, is well done and very interesting. A weak spot is Dick Foran as
the hero being rather ineffectual when put up against Peggy Moran as the
curvacious girl with woo-woo!
Other Movie Notes: A trip into the future is afforded in a film showing what may
happen to Turkey in "Journey Into Fear" .... Paramount horror pic will present
Dr. Cyclops in a dual role in "Among The Living" .... "Murder By The Stars" is
being made by Monogram and features Bela Lugosi .... "Cracked Nuts" coming out
of Universal, a humourous offer about robots .... Universal also filming "Horror
Island", and "Black Cat", not the Poe tale as many believe .....Warner Brothers
will finish "The Monkey's Paw" and will continue on with Philip Wylie's "The
Smilng Ghost" .... "The Boogey Man Will Get You" is a takeoff on Horror tales,
with Karloff and Peter Lorre ....."Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" features Spencer Tracy.
In this one, Tracy will have phosphorescent eyes, and the change will be more
psychological than phsysical .... An old time Fritz Lang film is to be released
in the US: the hypnotic movie "Dr Mabuse".... A certain studio has appropriated
two million dollars to film the Book from beginning to end, in "The Bible".
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The most noteworthy arrival here during this last month, was the souvenir program
of the third world Science Fiction Convention, i.e. the Denvention. It is a neat,
well-printed booklet of some 16 pages containing mainly an assortment of "booster"
advertisements. Other contents include the full 3 day Denvention programme
(naturally) a full list of Colorado Fantasy Society - the organisation sponsoring
the convention - members; Britishers are Douglas Webster, E. Macdonald, D. J.Doughty
and J.M. Rosenblum; and lots and lots of "well wishes". The only other printed
item was a complete surprise! Some little time ago, it was announced that the
Westwood -N.J. fanzine SUNSPOTS would be discontinued - yet now it pops up in a
fine new format with articles by Manly Wade Wellman, Joseph J Millard and N.E. Body.
We congratulate the trio of editors. Another trio of editors deserving of commendation
are Tom Wright, J.J.Fortier and James Bush of Martinez, California. They have produced
a mere 50 page fanzine, using the best possible quality of paper, not to mention a
grand assortment of writers and artists. Your Ed nearly had heart failure on taking
this copious production from its envelope. Not so much smaller is the third issue of
SOUTHERN STAR, edited by Joseph Gilbert and Art Sehnert from Columbia, South Carolina.
This runs to 40 large size pages with many good features. We particularly liked
"Mumblings" by Bob Tucker, whilst an analysis of the hand-writing of 4e Ackernan
and Harry Warner was certainly intriguing, and I believe, accurate.
You are intelligent enough and lucky enough to be reading FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST, Vol. 2., No.l;
dated October 1941 and being the wartime continuation of THE FUTURIAN, and SCIENCE FANTASY
REVIEW, two amateur magazines devoted to and dealing with scientific fantasy fiction, and
the affairs of the queer creatures interested in this soul-stirring pastime. Published in
defiance of all difficulties, by J. M. Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, LEEDS 7 at 3d per copy,
3/- per year (12 issues). Exchange with similar publications welcome. Americans wishing to
subscribe may remit in promags.
WANDERINGS by Wayfarer II
During a recent wander-round two fairly rare fantasy works threw themselves
at me. They were John Kendrick Banks couple of truly fantastic tales of the
doings of the departed shades of some of this worlds great men in their
afterlife, namely "Houseboat on the Styx" and "The Pursuit of the Houseboat".
Both deal with a very wonderful "club" these departed shades have established,
meeting in the houseboat in question, and weird and wonderful are the happenings
and arguments which take place therein. Of course the books are primarily
humourous, and they have given me many a quiet chuckle. Both are published
by Messrs. Harpers and have run through several editions, at both sides of the
"The Memoirs of Satan" collated by William Gerhardie and Brian Lunn, (Cassell
& Co 1932) is a surprising sort of book altogether. According to this, Satan
was a collaborator of God, chosen to look after this earth because of his free
and independent spirit. Mankind is due to an infatuation of his for a primitive
she-ape, and he continually bemoans the fact that he did not choose a more sensible
animal, such as the whale, to half endow with his divine nature. Due to his failure
with this planet, Satan is finally punished by the All-Highest with the withdrawal
of his immortality, and he dies, leaving the notes of his eon-long existence in a
Have you ever read " The Absolute At Large" by Karel Capek, the Czech master of
fantasy (MacMillan & Co. 1927, 2/6). This tale provides another, and highly
diverting aspect, of Campbell's beloved atomic energy. In brief the plot is roughly;
that everything in existence consists of matter and a little bit of the divine; the
dissolution of matter to provide atomic energy therefore releases a portion of God,
and these particles of the Divine literally produce Hell on this earth, by "inspiring"
all sorts of people to be prophets and so forth. Thoroughly recommended.
Another book I have come across again recently is "Purple Plague" by Fenner
Brockway - ILP National Chairman, I believe - (Sampson Low 2/6) dealing with
the setting up of a miniature ideal state upon a liner, almost permanently quarantined
due to the outbreak on board of a new disease. More stf interest is added by the story
of the fight against this "plague".
WANTED S.F. pre-35 (Ast pre-38 ) state price or desired exchange to
T.Overton, 107 Thomas St. Abertridwr, Cardiff, Glam.
Particularly needed. Astounding S.F. for July and September 1937.
Dennis Tucker, 108 Abercromby Avenue, High Wycombe, Bucks
WANTED "COMET" almost any issue. will swap old ASF & various issues
of big three. Write A.F. Williams, 125 Victoria Dwellings, Farringdon
Three new subscribers, and therefore additions to the Fandom GPO idea
are R. R. Johnson (Leicester), Edward J Carnell, and Bob Gibson of the
Canadian army in Britain.
Letters this month just about swamped me and I shall simply do the
best I can with them. Some of you may RECEIVE YOUR COPIES OF- (Sorry.)
FIDO somewhat late, so that I can enclose some sort of answer to your letters.
TWO BOOKS which have popped up here at a slightly reduced price, recently are
The Secret People by John Beynon and The Island of Captain Sparrow by S. Fowler
Wright. Both were originally published by Newnes at 2/6 but are now being disposed
of as a sort of "new remainder", at 2/- each. The first is a well-written story
placed at some 50 years in the future, in which we find the Sahara about to be
made into an inland sea; and follow the adventures of a party of people who fall
into the clutches of a primitive race existing, unbeknown to civilisation, in
caverns beneath the desert. The other ought to be already known to you in its
1) The pages 6 & 8 referred to by Rosenblum at the bottom of page 3 of
this FWD were from issues of VoM and have not been included here.
2) Also published this month was Harry Turner's
ZENITH #2 (New series),
and its letter supplement