FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 16 (Vol. 2, Number 4) Jan 1942
Now that they were formally at war with the West, the Japanese wasted no time in moving against Western interests in the Pacific. After quickly taking the islands of Guam and Wake, they moved on to Luzon, the largest of the Phillipine islands, driving back US General MacArthur and his forces. On the 10th, they invaded British-held Malaya, and later launched air raids against Singapore. Hong Kong fell on Christmas day.
At the start of the month in Britain, it was announced that unmarried women between 20 and 30 would be called-up and those between 30 and 40 registered to meet future needs. With the severe manpower shortage in the forces, they would take over civilian jobs from any able-bodied men who could be drafted into the armed forces.
Distributed with this issue:
THE BIBLIOPHAN #3 - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 4 pagesOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ...........................cover by Arthur Williams
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
________________________________________________________________ Vol. 2, No. 3; January 1942
An Amateur Magazine devoted to fantasy fiction.......................................................................................................
Published monthly at 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7.......................................................................................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Editor; J. Michael Rosenblum
3d per copy, 3/- or 75 cents (in prozines if desired) per annum. Various
other sheets distributed in the same mailing. Reciprocal exchange welcome
To our editorial surprise, the new type of format adopted last issue appears to be quite popular. This is fine, cos we prefer having considerably less work to get through. So now we are all satisfied - perhaps!
There is one thing I do want to say, before I begin (sic) anent material mailed with FIDO and that is; after making two reasonably mild attempts in 15 months to "suggest" what should not be put in sheets, and both causing rather more bother than I consider worthwhile, not being a rabid feudist, I hereby solemnly state that no attempt will henceforth either directly or by implication, be made (what grammar) to affect such material, on the understanding that I am in no way responsible for same. But I find it necessary to make certain rules, namely: - all matter to be included in one month's mailing must reach me before the end of the previous month; if more than 2 sides are required I must be notified of the fact well in advance; adequate margins (at least half inch) must be left on stencils sent to me. Keeping those in mind any and everybody is welcome to join in the melee.
And if you can't or don't want to put out a sheet, please remember that I am always grateful for little bits that can be lifted out of letters - news items, opinions on recent pro or fanzines, why not try a review of that last fantasy book you read, and so forth. S.L. Birchby's greatly-admired Londonletters make a good model.
IN AND OUT THE SERVICES
Which is practically all fan-news today consists of. First, another call-up, and one we can ill spare. 'Due to be called up by the R.A.F. about the middle of January' is the message sent by JULIAN PARR of Stoke-on-Trent. This will remove yet another of the dwindling band of actifans. Eighteen years old at the moment, Julian has come to the fore in the last couple of years, taking quite a leading part in the organising of British fandom. His own "baby" is the Stoke-on-Trent Science Fiction Club, the only stf organisation still in existence at this side of the Atlantic. Julian is about six ft tall, with blue eyes and light brown hair, interested in Biology, Medicine and Astronomy, dislikes Geology and Botany, socialistic & Wellsite. Once again we convey all best wishes to one of our friends on the start of his new career.
A letter from Arthur C. (Ego) Clarke, mad scientist of the B.I.S., informs us that he is now at No 2 RAF radio school as an instructor. This is quite interesting because fellow-fan Roland Forster is now on the instruction staff of No. 1 RAF signals school. There's something about a fan, apparently. Incidentally Roland managed to squeeze in a visit to 4 Grange Terrace just before Christmas and we were very pleased to see him again. As usual we talked ... about anything but stf, almost.Though the latest fanzines were investigated.
Another airman we have heard from this month is Mancunian William Shelton, now with an RAF Maintenance Unit detachment in Egypt and only too remote from sources of stf, Bill sends best wishes to all his friends especially Harry
Turner. The optimist also wishes me to send his greetings
to the Denvention - which took place last July. More news from the Middle
East comes from ex-Leeds SFL director, Harold Gottliffe, RAMC sergeant.
In his first letter for 11 months Harold says that he wants to be kept
in touch with fandom and also manages to convey the information that he
has left his Hospital Ship. Local rumour has it that he is in Palestine,
on the staff of a P.O.W. camp. Another ex-member of the Leeds SFL is in
that part of the world, namely Matthias Rivlin, now a teletypist in the
Royal Corps of Signals. Again the local knowalls can state where he
is - in Alexandria.
Another serving fan, but this time an American, Captain P. J. Searles of the US Navy has just done another move, from Bermuda where he was engaged in the construction of the US Air Base there, to Washington, D.C. Captain Searles had an article in the October issue of the US Naval Institute Proceedings; but it was unfannish enough to deal with the past part of history instead of the future - actually with the Battle of Perico in which a group of English pirates defeated the outnumbering Spaniards.
And Jack Banks of Eastbourne tells us that should he not be heard from for a while, he will be in durance vile; not having been as lucky as Doug Webster and myself in persuading tribunals of his sincerity.
News of English author Benson Herbert, a newcomer to our clientele "I am a back-number at the moment, as I am convalescing from an appendix removal operation. Above is the evacuation address (Links Hotel, Thurlestone, S.Levan) of Faraday House Elec. Engineering College where I lecture in Physics." The sympathy and best wishes for your complete recovery of fandom are yours, Benson. Incidentally the forthcoming Tales of Wonder -"Gillings has had a fortnights leave and has been busy correcting proofs for ToW 16" - will contain a story by Benson Herbert; as well as tales by two "new" authors whose names seem rather familiar to us; Marion Eadie & John F. Burke, to whom congratulations on breaking into print are due.
And silence now while Richard George Medhurst unmasks an awful conspiracy to keep fandom in ignorance of the facts of life subtitled; -a storm in a very small teacup.
"Then one turns to Cosmos. Bibliophan is attacked specifically and by implication. The latter type of onslaught is directed towards its airing of the sex question. Renny says that "sex cannot in any way be argued into sfn". I say it can, and, backed by some of our leading thinkers (not forgetting Robert Heinlein!) I could put up a damned good case for this point of view (Sex is a department of human life and therefore connected with stf, but it can be treated sanely, or with levity, or just be plain filth. But is FIDO a logical place to deal with such a topic at length? - Editor) But such a case would naturally involve mention of this shocking word "sex". And, very neatly, Renny immediately bans this with an irrevocable ban. In other words, like a true "democrat", this fan attacks my ideas, and carefully makes it impossible for me to answer.
Now, Michael, I'll admit that you and diciple (sic -Ed) have rather cleverly out-manoevered me. O.K. But I don't find it amusing to be left in such a position that, not being allowed to put up a case, it appears that I am also out-argued. So I think it is quite reasonable to ask you to insert this and the last paragraph somewhere in Fido, as at least an indication that, if I were not addressing fans, but an audience having a certain culture (oh, RGM wottacrack, Ed) some critical intelligence and less squeamishness, I could defend myself".
The return of a long-requested department
This month's specimen ...... Edwin MacDonald of Inverness, Scotland Born 31st October 1924; educated up to Higher Leaving Certificate standard; always been in Inverness; working in County Offices; -very interested in aviation and science fiction fantasy and weird literature; no violent likes or dislikes otherwise consider myself rather "broadminded"; neither smoker nor drinker; neither pacifist nor C.O.; neither agnostic, nor Atheist! Socialist. In some ways an optimist & in others a cynic as far as the human race is concerned....! Rather interested in science in general & astronony in particular, and also somewhat in archaeology, and the supernatural. Introduced to s.f, via "Tales of Wonder" No 1, and to fandom via FIDO No 1.; read any s.f. mag. Most fantasy films I go to see are s.f., fantasy or "horror". Would like to travel (apres la guerre). Would like to attend a convention very much (but who wouldn't). Physically slim, light, 5' 6" or more; sort of hooked nose, grey eyes, dark light wavy hair (i.e, 'twas once fair but is now a kind of brown!). Do not speak with what is the popular conception of a Scots accent.
Slipping home at lunch-time to see if there were any letters for him, London's Arthur Williams discovered that the door had been forced. Cautious investigation proved that the intruder was still on the premises and Art held him there whilst a neighbour went for a policeman. The burglar, who had smashed the gas and electricity meters, turned out to be a deserter from the RAF, and an old hand, and to keep the matter stfical, his name is Hanson, but not Maurice. So now Art is spending his time frequenting police-courts as an important witness.
PROFESOR A. M. LOW
Among the copies of "Birth of the Future" - Robert Heinlein's Denvention speech - sent to us for distribution was one for Professor A.M.Low which was duly sent on, together with FIDO for December. Acknowledging receipt his private secretary says: "He has asked me to write and say he is very glad to hear from you again. He is back in the Army again, attached to H.Q., Southern Command, and I am to tell you that he has met Mr Gillings of "S.F.A."
The Professor looks forward to good times with the Association as soon as we have won the War".
I am sure that some of you will be interested to learn that I have, during the last month or so, succeeded in collecting my stf and fantasy books together in one place, and magazines and fanzines in another, for the first time since the outbreak of war. I have hopes of having a place for everything in the near future and being able to lay hands on anything I require when I want it, which will be quite a pleasant change. It has been quite a stocktaking during which extra mags have been put in order and the following are available to anyone wanting them; Futurian War Digest - all issues from April 1941, Vol 1 No 7, the original FUTURIAN 1938, June & Sep; 1939, Jan, Spring, Summer - all printed issues; and 1940, Winter & spring - duplicated; all at 3d each postfree. Free on application are PSEUDO-FUTURIAN, Nos 1 & 3. And there are some copies of the Leeds SFL Bulletin for March 1938 @ 1penny. I also have some spare copies of sheets distributed with FIDO particularly STAR PARADE, also MOONSHINE, DAWN SHADOWS, WARBULL, etc. which anyone who includes postage is welcone to. Please specify what is wanted.
Title tells you a good deal about the book, which is quite what anyone would imagine as the result of the authoress having read something of or about Dunne's Experiment with Time. Our two lovers are unhappy in 1812, so they have try at changing their period. However since they do it by the more orthodox way of reincarnation they are not aware of their background. But here in 1937 actually, difficulties once again crop up, and they transfer back again to 1812, this time in full possession of their faculties. Apart from this juggling with time - generally called the 4th dinension in the book - the usual sloppy romance completely occupies the plot. Still it was worth reading for a change.
Feature novel is "Lost Legion" by Lyle Monroe (who is none other than R. Heinlein in disguise), science fantasy verging on the occult dealing with the conflict between good and evil in the shape of super-men using those hitherto unused portions of the brain versus the forces of greed & corruption. Other tales are "Tumithak of the Towers of Fire" by Charles R. Tanner, a second rate continuation of a first rate story published quite a while ago, "Red Gem of Mercury" - Henry Kuttner, "The Biped, Reegan" by Alfred Bester, a rather unusual story about the end of mans existence on earth written fron the standpoint of ants, "Pendulum" by Los Angeles fans Ray Bradbury and Henry Hasse and a terrible paper-wasting monstrosity by Ray Cummings.
This magazine seems to be keeping up quite a high standard of quality in spite of changing hands, in fact to those who prefer a wider story policy it may well be preferable to in the days of Farnsworth Wright. Three novelettes in this issue, of which two are firstclass "Shadow over Innsmouth" - H.P.Lovecraft , nuff said, and "Parasite Mansion" - Mary Elizabeth Counselman. Seabury Quinn's "Who Can Escape" is hardly up to standard. The five shorts run the gamut of fantasy, from the macabre in A.L. Zagat's "Table for Two" to the romantic type of ghost in "The White Lady" Dorothy Quick; From the science fiction of another of Nelson Bond's Lancelot Biggs epics to the humourous "Death Thumbs a Ride" - Robert Arthur. And in "The Eyrie" Seabury Quinn gives his evaluation of the fan magazine in answer to a request sent to him for material. On the whole we agree with him, though he is more scathing than necessary, and does not consider the function of the fan press in binding fellow spirits together.
ABOUT THIS MAILING
As we go to press there will be incuded the first issue of Ted Carnell's SANDS OF TIME, another BIBLIPHAN from George Medhurst and we hope for COSMOS from J.E .Rennison. British subscribers will also receive another copy of FUTURIAN OBSERVER and some will also receive a folio of "VOMaidens" sent to them by F. J.Ackerman. We are also enclosing to a few people a report of the Esperanto youth organisation Tutmonda Junular-Organizo of which we are a member and hope you will also be enthusiastic enough to join.
Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of H.J. Ellis, Andrew Salmond, Eric Needham, A. Bewick, J.Briston, D. Houston, M.K. Hanson, Eric C. Hopkins and Eric F. Russell. Please renew quickly
LOVECRAFT'S STORIES WILL CONTINUE
The March issue of WEIRD TALES will contain another tale by Howard Philips Lovecraft - the first of series entitled "Herbert West, Reanimator" about a young scientist obsessed with the idea of reviving the dead and bringing them back to life. First episode will be about 2500wds in length and will be illustrated by Gilbert Roller. Feature yarn of the issue will be "Hell on Earth' by Robert Bloch; other tales including "Tibetan Vengance" - Stafford Aylmer, "March of the Trees' - Frank Owen "Superfluous Phantom" - Malcolm Jameson and five more.
- Fantasy News.
news of the draft ratings of two more Americans is now to hand. Lester del Rey received the rating of 1B due to persistent tachychardia - meaning fast heart. The doctor apparently didn't realise that a pulse rate of 130 is normal for 'superman' del Rey. Milton B. Rothman (Lee Gregor) also received a rating of 1B, in his case due to bad eyesight. Another 1Ber, you may remember, is Forrest J. Ackerman.
the wellknown stf artist is now back from his course in the US Army. He reports an interesting experience since "I admitted in an interview at Fort Dix that I developed my own photogaphs. I was sent a few days later to Denver, Lowry Field, which is a technical school, to be taught aerial photography. I was not there long before I learned that there was an opening in the public relations dept for an artist. I took the job and did nothing but art work till I was released. The army, I found, was a very pleasant experience though few agreed with me. It all depends on whether they let you do what you enjoy doing."
- Courtesy F.F.F.
VOM STILL MUTATING
Latest issue "Voice of the Imagi-nation" to put in an appearance over here is the super-colossal 4th anniversary, November 1941 edition. 4eAckerman and co-editor Morojo are still experimenting with format in an attempt to use their stencils to the uttermost and after a try at a half-foolscap size have now gone the whole hog, and produced a full foolscap-sized fanzine with 20 pages and a couple of photos as well. This issue notable to Anglofans (Ackermanese for us) for the start of a new series by Ken Chapman "It's Been Grand Knowing You", personal biographies of people Ken has met, breaking off with Ted Carnell.
is a semi-stf organisation interested in probing into some of the secrets on the frontiers of mans knowledge. Sited at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it publishes an organ "Frontier" and has of late, been tending to indulge more and more in fan activities. The early support the society offered to the National Fantasy Fan Federation was a sign of this.
Latest news, via Fantasy Fiction Field, is that the Frontier Society headed by Paul Klingbiel, is commencing the "Future History" project which has been talked about in fandom for the past year or so. Members of the society will be assigned groups of magazines to read and report upon. The reports will contain descriptions of the types of civilisations shown in the stories, the historical events that take place, and of course the historical time in which the story takes place. These reports will be placed in chronological order, and the results will be a complete picture of the various futures which science fiction has predicted for us. Final editing will be done by Milton Rothman.
Another local S.T.F. Organisation is the Queens (New York) Science Fiction League
still going after 4 years of stormy existence, since it was founded as the Flushing
S.F.L.by James V. Taurasi. They are the latest recruits to the Esperanto-in-Fandom
Movement and have started a class for the study of this language.
Damon Knight, well known fan and editor of "Snide" has broken into the pro magazines and is now illustrating for "Future" and "Astonishing Stories"..... New idea on fanzines is the "Pollcat" issued by fandom's poll cat Arthur Widner Jr. Free for the asking, its 16 pages contain a Fortiea-Kuhn article and pages of questionnaires to satisfy Widner's insatiable appetite for fan data.....A separate "Shangri L'Affaires" has just made its way here, having evolved from a mere department in the Voice of the Imagination. This first experimental issue is guest-edited by Charles D. Hornig and consists of 2 foolscap sides done in the usual verdant L.A . manner.
BRITISH AMATEUR PUBLICATIONS DEPARTMENT
- yes we can call it that because this month two British fanzines have made their appearance.. which only goes to show something or other. The 32 page December 1941 issue of FANTAST is a fight issue, or so says editor Douglas Webster. He has collected a batch of controversial material by Birchby, Burke, Hopkins etc which together with the more regular items, certainly makes up a good meaty number - art work by Turner is, as usual, specially notable. Much teeth-gnashing will undoubtedly occur as a result of a new column - Swillings from the Stf Trough, by Swine - which apparently sets out to see if fans can take it. Watch out for squalls but I think British fans might manage to miss the rabid feuding certain transAtlantic denizens seem to dote on. One hearty agreement with Swine is on the antics of Frank Edward Arnold who persistently sends a sort of bulletin purporting to represent British fandom to Famous Fantastic Mysteries and signing himself Frank Edward Arnold, Science Fiction Association. This is, of course, sheer impertinence as the SFA is suspended and FEA represents no-one but himself. As to his interest in fandom - it is so great that he cannot even acknowledge three seperate copies of FIDO sent to him.
The other appearance this month is the second issue of Arthur Williams' UNIQUE. With the exception of a poem, editorial and drawing of a spaceship, the contents consist of fiction by D. W. Rimel, J. E. Rennison, Joe Gilbert, and R. W. Lowndes. Its a nice little magazine with quite an atmosphere about it, though one reason why it appeals to me, I feel sure, is because of its resemblance to the format of Novae Terrae; making you think of the dear departed days.
LAST MINUTE THOUGHTS
Apologies for having carefully dated both the cover and the top of page two incorrectly. The cover should of course read Vol. Two, No. Four, and the other the same....What is happening here? Thursday, Jan 8th comes the news that John Morgan has arrived at Beverley, some 10 miles south of Leeds. The very next day Eric C. Hopkins writes from Linton-on-Ouse, perhaps 15 miles to the north-east of Leeds. So, I hope to see them both in the near future. Eric has just spent a weekend with the Burkes at Liverpool, by the way. Another Eric (Russell) has now managed to get stationed in London....Welcome to a new subscriber, John (yes, another John; something ought to be done about it) G. Elmer of MacIntosh Place, Cardiff. Signing off now, JMR.