FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 14 (Vol. 2, Number 2) Nov 1941
By late October, the German army were at the gates of Moscow. With four panzer armies each consisting of 5,000 tanks massed along a 300 mile front stretching from Kalinin to Orel, Stalin declared a state of siege in the Russian capital and announced the city must be defended at all costs. Meanwhile, the snows were falling and the Russian winter that had defeated Napoleon was tightening its grip...
On the 17th, after the resignation of those in favour of reaching an agreement with the US, Emperor Hirohioto appointed General Tojo the new Prime Minister of Japan. Later in the month, more than 70 American sailors died when German U-boats sank the battleship USS Reuben James. The US still maintained relations with Germany after this but, inevitably, it helped strengthen ties with Britain.
Distributed with this issue:
THE BIBLIOFAN #2 - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 6 pagesOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................cover by Harry Turner
News of sorts: Hannes Bok has done a delightful cover for the December issue of FUTURE for a story by Wilfred Owen Morley entitled "No Star Shall Fall". Feature of the issue will be by Ray Cummings: "Around The Universe" which is being reprinted from SCIENCE & INVENTION (Gernsback reprinted it in AMAZING, too, back in 1927). Chances are that there will be another of the Ajax Calkins stories by Martin Pearson, and a short fantasy-tale by Paul Dennis Lamond, entitled "Something From Beyond". Interior illustrations by Boris Dolgov, Hannes Bok, Ferte & Damon Knight. Morley also has a cover on (what will probably be the December issue of) ASTONISHING STORIES, as he wrote a 4000 word short-tale, after the Merritt style around a cover in Fictioneers office and story was accepted. He has a writeup of the Denvention in SUPER SCIENCE (name has been changed back to "stories" by the bye). Walter Kubilius, FSNY member and one of the founders of the club that finally became the ISA, has also landed a short tale with Fred Pohl's successor at Fictioneers, Mr. A. H. Norton. And, by no means least, Joe Gilbert has just had an acceptance.
At the moment, Hugh Raymond and Mallory Kent are collaborating on a 10,000 word tale written around a cover Bok did for PLANET. More of this later, as I have just left the action chart with Malcolm Reiss today and don't know if he cares for it or not. And then there's a long way between approval of an action chart and acceptance of a finished story. But the boys are confident; Raymond sold a short tale to UNKNOWN - story's entitled "8 Ball".
Raymond and Kent are also the authors of a really different novelet entitled. "The Enemy", This was written on order for STIRRING FANTASY and is sure to appear somewhere, because STIRRING will positively be revived in the fall. Other unusual stories accepted for coming issues of DAW's publication (which is increasing in popularity day by day) are Morley's "Passage to Sharanee" and his "A Message for Joan".
In the December ASTOUNDING an announcement will be made to the effect
that the January 1942 issue will appear in the new large size (like
UNKNOWN WORLDS). Mr. Campbell stated there will be 128 pages instead
of the present 160, and they will contain 110,000 words. There will
be a 30,000 word short novel or instead a 30,000 word instalment of
a serial; also 50,000 words of novelets (2 or 3) and there will be
20,000 or 30,000 words of short stories. The price will be 25 cents
- but you'll get a 50% increase in material. And it will still be monthly.
AND VOM GOES SMALLER
Prominent Anarican fanzine "Voice of the Imagi-nation" puts out its October 1941 issue in a half-foolscap format. Not folded across as STAR PARADE is, but cut in two and stapled on the shorter side. Reason - the war situation in US. Apparently the material to make stencils comes from Japan and looks like being very short in the near future. So VOM will use whole of stencil with new arrangement, instead of throwing 1/3 away. Maybe we ought to take the tip about stencils.
"COMET" MAGAZINE FINISHED
Reports from H-K offices indicate beyond shadow of doubt that the "Comet" is out of running. Just didn't pay expenses. FFF
NORTHERN RENDEZVOUSor the Work of The Webster
The invasion of England by Douglas W. L. Webster during the week of October 18th was made the occasion for a hastily-organised gathering at Manchester on the Thursday of the week. Apparently Northerners were jealous of the London SFA. "reunion" held the previous month! Be that as it may, a hasty note sent out the previous Sunday brought together at the home of Harry Turner, Julian Parr (Stoke), Marion Eadie (Glasgow), John F. Burke (Liverpool), :J. M. Rosenblum (Leeds) and Ron Lane of Manchester, besides Harry, of course - and the Webster.
Million to one coincidence on my recent leave ---- Sitting by solitary inn in heart of Welsh mountains, where by chance I had arranged to meet a pal who was cycling to join me for the week, am I.
Here by the pub pulls up an army lorry, also by chance, out on the days work. Crew starts sending messages on portable radio, and I talk to a corporal. I mention how I know someone who used to be stationed in Wales, but I 've lost track of him. He used to be in Monmouth - I reminisced. Good old Bill, we used to have grand times in London. "Luvaduk", says the corporal, ."are you Sid Birchby? Bill Temple's my room-mate and we're stationed not ten miles away!"
And so it was, and that evening I visited the old maestro himself. He was only stationed there for the week that I happened to be there, which increases coincidence 100-fold. I gave him first hand report of SFA reunion the week before, which he had hoped to attend until leave was cancelled.
He in turn wished all SF fans the compliments of the season and says (as usual) that army life browns him off. Can understand it too, after experiencing rigours of Welsh climate myself.
Sidney L Birchby.
This has been a lucky month for me in that I have had more fan contacts
than for a considerable previous time. The first thing that occurred was
a phone call at 6.30 one evening; announcing the presence of L.J. Johnson
-once of Liverpool - at the Leeds City Railway Station, with a couple of
hours to spare. Apparently Leslie was given embarkation leave and then
spent a period of a fortnight waiting for a ship; only to find himself,
at the end of that time, stationed at Snaith near Goole in Yorkshire,
which is not so far from Leeds. During that and a later visit Les renewed
acquaintance with current stf., both pro and fan, and announced his
intention of taking a rather more active part in fan life We hope to see
him reasonably frequently in the near future. Incidentally, this is the
first time Les & I have met since the SFA contretemps in May 1937. The
next arrival was Douglas Webster, who spent his time in this fair city
occupied by a tour of sundry bookshops, a visit to "Fantasia", (minus
the evolution sequence, for its provincial tour, alas!) and turning the
editorial collection of fanzines upside down. And of course , we talked;
and talked and talked. Overlapping on the Websterian invasion was a leave
for Eric Moss, once the Leeds SFL librarian. The two met on Eric's first
call to see me, but the talk fell on more general than stf. lines, as
there were other people present. Eric is still in Somerset, still a
despatch rider, and - still a Communist. And now I am wondering who will
drop in on me next month; the invitation is open if you can make it.
Item number one: - sincere thanks to messieur Samivel Youd for dumping about two reams of duplicating paper in our direction, apparently some remains from FANTAST. And so we dedicate this issue to Mr Youd, making the fourth dedicated issue .... Congratulations to Leslie Johnson and the missus on the birth of a daughter on October the 13th. Especially as it netted Les a couple of days leave to inspect the new liability .... Which reminds us that Australian fandom is not content with an Eric F (Frederick, theirs is) Russell but now brings an L. Johnson into the picture. This one lives in Hobart, Tasmania. And talking of the Russell, he is now an AC2 and at the moment in Boscombe, Bournemouth. Snook off & started your RAF career without letting us know eh! Naughty. .... Another culprit is Syd Bounds who has apparently been in the RAF for a while. How can we keep our reputation for hot news (if we have one ) unless you people tell us what is happening to you .... member Stanley Roberts of Stoke-on-Trent S F Club is now a prisoner-of-war in Stalag VIII A .... Ronnie Holmes has left the Pacifist Service Unit he was working with due to the death of his father, and has been for a while, working at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary. Hard luck, Ron, you have our sympathies .... recent news from America is that that eternal infernal bibliography-in-preparation bug has now bitten old-time fan Louis C. Smith and FANTASIA-editor Louis Goldstone, both of San Francisco. Sorry we can't help you, pals - George Medhurst & I have been enjoying ourselves (!) with an embryo British Bib. of some thousand books for quite a while now .... And the British Science Fiction War Relief Society (Oh, for heavens sake lets have a pet name or something) is beginning to get into action; several parcels having put in an appearance over here. Sincere thanks to American fandom. Incidentally we are strongly of the opinion that recipients of such parcels who are in a position to should send something in exchange. And may we again offer our magazine in exchange for prozines or Yank books .... So far only 3 of the seven chain-letters sent out about the proposed British fan society have returned to the fold - buck up, you fellows. Apparently a favoured idea is to be connected with the American National Fantasy Fan Federation whose president is Louis Russell Chauvenet. How about it, Yankeefandom? .... The NFFFF (Whoops! an F too many} now has a planning board whose members are Art Widner, Donn Brazier, D.B. Thompson, J.J.Fortier, H. Jenkins, Julius Unger, Ray Bradbury and Dale Tarr; and this committee is thrashing out all sorts of interesting things for the NFFF to do ... Latest mailing of the Fantasy Amateur Press has just arrived and very interesting it is too. With the current interest in amateur publications, we are, very nobly, prepared to lend this batch of stuff to anyone requesting same. Only there is a warning attached - it will take a person fairly well up in American fan matters to follow the arguments etc. Nevertheless you are welcome .... Before we finish let us offer our congratulations to contributor Leslie A Croutch of Canada, who is very successfully breaking into the pros. Six stories placed by now and more on offer. .... Joan Coquest, author of "The Reckoning" (Laurie, 1931, pp242, 7/6) died this month. Sorry, we know no more about her or the book ....Deep thought concerning lack of time for FIDO and the possibility of less frequent appearance, has made us decide to try a rather different format next month - simpler, plain paragraphing minus pseudo-newspaper ideas.
THE AMATEUR PRESS - OR British fan magazines today
It used to be said of US fandom, that once the hot summer was over, a welter of intense activity set in. Apparently a similar phase is occurring over here at the moment! For fanzine activity is absolutely unpecedented. Two newcomers to appear this month are the twin productions FANTASY POST and UNIQUE, put out by the Ken Bulmer-Art Williams team (124 Victorial Dwellings, Faringdon Rd, E.C.1) Both are very well produced, the former in particular; and are devoted respectively to reprinting a selection of the finer articles in the US fan press; and to well-written fan fiction. They will probably both be bi-monthly in appearance.
The second issue of the six-weekly ZENITH (H. Turner, 41 Longford Place, Victoria Park, Manchester 14) duly appeared and even improves upon the previous edition. Naturally the first thing to appeal is the editors fine artwork, but we particularly enjoyed Marion Eadie's wise little parable. For the time in which.we exist all three of these publications are truly amazing in quality, and we offer our envious congratulations to their respective editors who are doing such a fine job. British fandom will not be down-hearted apparently.
Future plans for FANTAST are unknown, even by its editor Doug Webster,
& vague ideas of editing a fanzine in the near future are held by
"Renny" Rennison. Assuming the possible existence of these two, an
all-time high in British fantasy amateur publishing would be reached,
with no less that six fanzines appearing simultaneously. Even the palmy
days of the SFA never produced more than five contemporary publications.
Such is our answer to the dearth of pro material - and we glory in it.