FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 17 (Vol. 2, Number 5) Feb 1942
The new year opened with 26 countries affirming their opposition to the Axis in the 'Declaration of the United Nations'. Later in the month, the first US troops land in Europe when several thousand infantrymen disembark in Northern Ireland on January 26th. The Dublin government expresses displeasure at this development claiming it violates Eire's neutrality.
As the month ends Japanese troops, having swept through Malaya, lay siege to the island of Singapore.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY: QUESTIONNAIREOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ...........................cover by D. Elder
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
________________________________________________________________ Vol. 2, No. 5; February 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
Stationed in London now is author and Fortean, Eric Frank Russell, on an R.A.F. course. Here for four months, can be reached at c/o 38 Hillmarton Road, N. 7 ---- Home for a week's leave last week was Eric Hopkins. Says the R.A.F. is silly and is thinking of asking for his cards. ---- Met at L.P.O. concert by R.G.M and self; science-fictionist Joyce Fairbairn, who reveals existence of hitherto unknown science-fiction club at her firm.
Henry Chibbett's fire-watching nights have by now become a synonym for S.F.A. meetings. Last week a motley audience listed to Eric Frank Russell's salacious adventures and the horrors of Forteana. Among other things we learnt with regret of the first rationing casualty, namely, author Maurice Hugi's stomach. Gone the sobriquet "Tubby"; there's room for two Hugis inside his suit. ---- Wearing a black band (round the neck) to mourn the call-up of Ken Bulmer, we dolefully greeted his sidekick, Art Williams, but cheered considerably to recieve "Unique" 2 from him, complete with glossy cover, and a first rate one. Free advt. ---- The day before we had gone with Eric Hopkins and seen a Movietone "Magic Camera" travelogue about S. America. Now this magic camera is a telephoto lens job, and what should it discover, in a sequence of aerial shots of the Andes, but a hidden plateau, as inaccessible as Everest, covered vith criss-cross markings like swathes and lines, obviously artificial, but also inexplicable. We saw and were impressed. Any explanations, readers?
NATIONAL FANTASY FAN FEDERATION
By a three to one majority, the NFFF advisory board, which governs the matter of membership applications, decided that membership should not be confined to Americans only. The test application which caused this decision was that of your editor, who is now therefore, a proud member of this organisation. Advisory-board chairman Milton Rothman is now wondering whether it could be International Fantasy Fan Federation; "not", says he, "one single organisation for England and America, but I thought that we might have one organisation in name, with independently-operating sections in each country. There could be a President at the head of each section, while the international officer would be called the Coordinator." This is more or less the general feeling expressed over here when a proposed British fan organisation was mentioned so it would appear that we can go right ahead.
Incidentally a shape-of things-as-they-might-be has already been provided by the formation of a "Midwest Fantasy Fan Federation" with the Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio Fantasy Fan Federations (Four of 'em) as constituent bodies. Each has some sort of chief of staff, provisional officers being respectively Bob Tucker, E.E. Evans, C.L. Barrett and Claude Degler; with EEE as co-ordinator. All this was decided at the First Annual Michifan Conference held at Jackson, Mich. on November 17th when about thirty fans foregathered and held a complete miniature convention.
SCIENCE FICTION EXCHANGE BULLETIN
Probably many of you are wondering why there has been no supplementary list since November 1941. The main reason for this is that additions have been so few that to issue a list just wasn't worth the trouble That is also the reason why you do not receive the complete list No. five, which would normally accompany this issue of FIDO. Items which are not listed on L.4 are as follows
AST Jan 1942; FFM Feb 1942; "The Hyborean Age" - Robert Howard; "Strange Conflict" - Dennis Wheatley; "The Land That Time Forgot"- E. R. Burroughs; "He Who Sees" - N. Roger; "Lady of the Shroud" - Bram Stoker
Jack Gibson 7 Belmont Road, Parkstone, Dorset.
PHILATELIC EXPORT AND IMPORT CONTROL
Government Regulations prohibit the sending of stamps or items of philatelic interest from or into this country unless the exporter or importer here has obtained prior permission from this Control to despatch or receive the same. At the present time it is not permissable to export stamps to North or South America as gifts; they must be paid for by one of the approved methods; neither is it permissable to import stamps from these countries.
On this occasion your letter and stamps are returned to you. British Philatelic Association, 3 Berners Street, LONDON W.1 England.
The above is a transcription of the note enclosed in a letter returned to me, in which I had attempted to send some stamps to Johnny Cunningham. A pity it can't be done, but I was ignorant of the fact when I sent. I was treated quite fairly though. The post office people returned my airmail fee less 2d to cover ordinary handling.
WE learn that John Frederick Burke is now in the RAF, stationed for the time being at Boston, Lincs. John has been an active fan for some five years and took a prominent part in the formation and proceedings of the Liverpool branch of the Science Fiction Association. He was responsible for the editing of The SATELLITE (Sally) during its entire career, until merged with FANTAST. With Dave McIlwain and a non-stf. drummer friend, clarinetist Burke formed a swing trio; although he is also interested in classical music. Some months ago, he and the trio's crooner-ette, Joan, entered into married bliss.
Another to go in the very near future is Andrew Salmond of Glasgow, another SFA stalwart, who is expecting his RAF call-up sometime in February. All sympathies and salutations to you both in your new careers!!
Signalman Eric Moss looked in on us during a recent leave, all well and as happy as can be expected, though very short of reading matter in the wilds of Somerset. Another welcome visitor was Signalman (how many fans are now getting shoved into this Corps?) John Morgan, once of Johnstone, Refrewshire, Scotland. John is just at Dewsbury, at the moment, as mentioned in a previous FIDO and hopes to slip over regularly whilst he is still stationed there.
LATEST WIDNER POLL
Airmailetter from FJA to Douglas Webster contained the up-to-date results of Arthur Widner's perpetual polls. And here they are; -
AUTHORS (39 votes) l, Heinlein; 2, Smith; 3, Campbell-Stuart ; 4, de Camp; 5, Merritt ; 6 , Hubbard ; 7, Van Vogt ; 8, Williamson; 9, Asimov ; 10, Lovecraft. MAGAZINES (36 votes) 1 Astounding ; 2 Unknown; 3 FFM; 4 Weird; 5 Super Science; 6 Astonishing; 7 TWS; 8 Startling; 9 Cosmic; 10 Future.
FANZINES (31 votes) 1 Spaceways ; 2 Fantasite; 3 Le Zombie; 4 VoM; 5 Southern Star; 6 Fantasia; 7 FFF; 8 Eclipse; 9 Fan-Atic tied Starlite; 10 Nova
FANS (34 votes) 1 Ackerman; 2 Tucker; 3 Warner; 4 Lowndes; 5 Gilbert; 6 Rothman; 7 Chauvenet; 8 Bronson; 9 Unger; 10 Evans And that's that.
An American fan says hello to FIDO, and tells us something about himself, as E. Everett
Evans writes us an introductory letter ......
"Have not been an ACTIVE fan very long, just since the Chicon in 1940, in fact, but have been a reader since "way back when", and since I have started working actively in Fandom have really made it my sole hobby, and have, I believe I can say without boasting, achieved some worthwhile things in my short career. I was one of the founders and first secretary of The Galactic Roamers (we call our President the "Chief Pilot", while the secretary is "Chief Communications Officer"). Also was one of the main instigators of the National Fantasy Fan Federation and am Director of it. Then the four state Federations - Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio gathered themselves into a Mid-West Federation, and I am Co-Ordinator of that. Also I am Chairman of the National Fantasy Fan Federation's Long-Range Planning Committee - which I was instrumental in having formed. Then I am sort of financial backer of Bob Tucker's LE ZOMBIE, and of the new NOVA, which is published here in Battle Creek by Mr and Mrs Alfred Ashley and Jack Wiedenbeck and myself. So I guess you could now call me a FAN!"
A wonderful record indeed, especially for a "new" fan, but what you forgot to mention, Everett, was your age. That is given away in EEE's FAPA publication which says "he is 48 years old, more or less well-read and semi-intelligent". And we could do with some more like you!
"Have you seen Amazing Stories lately? Amazing isn't it? While Campbell has been pushing out
blurb about enlarging Astounding, Palmer slips a quick one over him and enlarges Amazing. You
can't complain about quantity and the strange things is that quality has gone up correspondingly.
The last issue with that tongue-in-the-cheek Pellucidar story by Burroughs is quite good. I
liked the town-planning story for obvious reasons and was very intigued as to what caused a
hack pulp writer in America to choose such a theme - not only that but showing such uncanny
Actually both the January and February 1942 issues of Amazing contain 240 of the ordinary
small-size pages instead of the normal 144. This method has apparently been chosen in preference
to a large-size format which failed so disastrously vrith Fantastic Adventures. But there is
more to come. Mark Reinsberg states in Le Zombie, "Palmer is going to run a fan page in Amazing,
with me doing the editing. This will be a monthly feature if the fan-letter response is high enough.
I can print just about anything I want to, including photographs."
Stirring Science Stories is resuming publication as a monthly, beginning first of January and
Wolheim is now busy with it. 1st of new issues will be dated March. Magazine will be large-size,
instead of small, but will not suffer any loss of material either in quality or quantity. Price
will remain at 15 cents. New publisher is Manhattan Fiction Publications. For the time being the
cover will remain in the style used in the past, but it is expected to go to full color after a
few issues. At the moment they are overstocked with material as they are using a batch of stories
from Cosmic Stories which has been discontinued.
Most noticable feature in the latest batch of American fanzines to reach us is the prevalence
therein of photographs. We noted that out of nine mags, Le Zombie had a picture of the Michigan
Conference in session - which included Doc Smith; and the resusitated Fantascience Digest, which
has popped up after a year or two of hibernation has a photo of four of Art Widner's Denvention
group - Widner, Rothman, Unger & Bob Madle - taken in the Rocky Mountains. The new printed
Sunspots contains no less than three blocks of, respectively, Futurians Wolheim, Kornbluth and
Lowndes; Gerry de la Ree and his two co-editors; and authors Manly Wade Wellman and Binder. And
Southern Star includes the same page of Denvention pictures as we have opposite.
Actually both the January and February 1942 issues of Amazing contain 240 of the ordinary small-size pages instead of the normal 144. This method has apparently been chosen in preference to a large-size format which failed so disastrously vrith Fantastic Adventures. But there is more to come. Mark Reinsberg states in Le Zombie, "Palmer is going to run a fan page in Amazing, with me doing the editing. This will be a monthly feature if the fan-letter response is high enough. I can print just about anything I want to, including photographs."
Stirring Science Stories is resuming publication as a monthly, beginning first of January and Wolheim is now busy with it. 1st of new issues will be dated March. Magazine will be large-size, instead of small, but will not suffer any loss of material either in quality or quantity. Price will remain at 15 cents. New publisher is Manhattan Fiction Publications. For the time being the cover will remain in the style used in the past, but it is expected to go to full color after a few issues. At the moment they are overstocked with material as they are using a batch of stories from Cosmic Stories which has been discontinued.
Most noticable feature in the latest batch of American fanzines to reach us is the prevalence therein of photographs. We noted that out of nine mags, Le Zombie had a picture of the Michigan Conference in session - which included Doc Smith; and the resusitated Fantascience Digest, which has popped up after a year or two of hibernation has a photo of four of Art Widner's Denvention group - Widner, Rothman, Unger & Bob Madle - taken in the Rocky Mountains. The new printed Sunspots contains no less than three blocks of, respectively, Futurians Wolheim, Kornbluth and Lowndes; Gerry de la Ree and his two co-editors; and authors Manly Wade Wellman and Binder. And Southern Star includes the same page of Denvention pictures as we have opposite.
Come into the library for a few minutes, and lets talk about books . . .
Firstly - A BOOK REVIEW
Remember those fine stories published under this pseudonym some ten years or so ago, in Amazing? Well, John Taine - who is really Eric Temple Bell, an eminent Mathematician at the California Institute of Technology - is also responsible for at least eight published books of a fantasy nature. This is one of 'em, and a good example too. In prehistoric tines a Great Race lived somewhere in the north of India and built up a very advanced civilisation. Due to tampering with forces beyond their control they became reduced to a meagre remnant inhabiting an isolated district of Tibet and shunning the outside world throughout the passing centuries. In search of a missing girl and lured by the sight of sone miraculous-looking gems, a party of 3 adventurers strike into this region. They dimly realise the past greatness of the Race and are tremendously interested in the fragmentary data of a dead and gone science, particularly the apparent solving of the question of atomic power. After the usual sort of vicissitudes their objectives are accomplished though they only just manage to escape a duplication of the original catastrophe.
Does anybody know anything about a book called "What Dreams May Come" by J. D. Beresford? Apparently published quite recently I am told that it deals with a young fellow, who in pursuance of his ideals, decides to stand as a conscientious objector in the present war. In some way he has an accident, becoming unconscious, and in his supposed dreams visits an Utopia - which fulfils all his longings for a better world. Regaining his senses in this world of ours he becomes bitterly disappointed and dispirited. After a brief interval he "dies"... but does he really, or has he got back once more to that beloved Utopia?
Note to RGM in particular.. have obtained a copy of "The Immortals" by Harold E. Scarborough (Unwin 1924) and discovered that it bears no relationship whatsoever to the Argosyarn of the same title by Ralph Milne Farley. Hence the vague suspicion that Scarborough might be another pen-name of R. M. Farley (or Roger Sherman Hoar, to be more accurate) is evidently incorrect. Q.E.D.
Books to dispose of - due to tidying operations and the discovery of a new source of supply, sundry stf books are available to the first applicant. They include "Blind Mouths" - Tweed (new) 2/6; "Blind Circle" Renard & Jean 2/-; "Number 87" Hext 1/6; "News From Nowhere" Morris 2/-; "Land Under England" O'Neill 2/3; "Day of Wrath" O'Neill 2/-; "Glass Centipede" Painter & Lain 2/- ; "The Coming Race" Lord Lytton 1/-; " Memoirs of Satan" Gerhardie & Lunn 2/-; "Crystal City Under the Sea" Laurie 2/- All postfree.
as can be very easily observed is another "American" issue, on paper sent across by Forrest J. Ackerman. Special thanks are due for the photographs taken at the Denver S. F. Convention by Milt Rothman and lithographed by FJA. The captions are self explanatory, after a little thought on the subject though the fancy dress pictures at the top are somewhat shocking at first glance. The cover, minus the printing was also supplied "readymade". We thank you Forry.
Three newcomers to the FIDO circle are Frederick V. Giles of Barking, Essex; Douglas Slack of Looe, Cornwall, and John W Holland of Leighton Buzzard, Beds. A hearty welcome to you all. Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of F.D.Wilson and R. Fishwick. We would be grateful for speedy renewal.
TALES OF WONDER
Latest news from editor Walter H. Gillings is that "Tales of Wonder" has had a very narrow squeak indeed. "In the midst of preparing the issue" says Wally, "I heard from World's Work that it was quite possible it would never appear; it appears they wanted to transfer the paper they're allowed for it, and that for their other two quarterlies, over to the monthly "Short Stories", but they first had to get the consent of the Paper Centre - and this was not, fortunately for us, forthcoming. So No 16 will he appearing on March the 13th, to be followed in due course, all being well, by No 17. Complete list of contents is: "The Earth Shall Die" by Benson Herbert, "Flight Through Time" by Clark Ashton Smith, "Breath of Utopia" by Miles J. Breuer and "Beast of the Crater" by Marion F. Eadie. ''Science Fantasy Forum" will be included although pressure on space forces "Readers Reactions" to be omitted entirely, as well as several other items Wally was hoping to include. Tentative plans for the issue after include John Beynon's "Exiles of Asperus", and the first story of John F. Burke - "Before the Flood". There may be another by Marion Eadie too.
The first issue of "Renny" Rennison's fanzine duly appeared during the month and apparently took up all Renny's energies so that no Supplement was available to include with this mailing. 'Tis a nice little magazine of 18 half-foolscap pages, well mimeographed by Dennis Tucker and plentifully and charmingly embellished with Arthur Williams inimitable little pictures. Stories by Ron Holmes, Don Doughty and Don Houston are of a surprisingly high standard for fan fiction and articles by Messrs Silburn, Gibson, Bulmer and Gardner, whilst not reaching quite the same standard, are thoroughly enjoyable. Renny says that maybe there will be another issue some day, we sincerely hope so. Oh, address for those interested is J. E. Rennison, 82 Ramsgreave Drive, Blackburn, Lancs.
Arthur Williams, London's livewire enthusiast, writes to us to tell us that he is dropping most of his science fictional activities in the near future. This is due to preoccupation with other affairs, leaving him no time to spare. 'tis a great pity, and we all convey our condolences to Arthur and hope he will be back, taking an active part in fandom, in the not-so-very-distant future. Incidentally this means discontinuance of UNIQUE which now follows its sister publication FANTASY POST into oblivion
ON THE MOVE
As per usual our Forces friends are on with their perpetual peregrinations and are scattered far and wide. Here are some of the latest moves. After a very long stay indeed at Okehampton, Devon, Maurice K. Hanson has now arrived in Swansea, South Wales. John F. Burke, now in the RAF, is at Boston, Lincs. Kenneth Bulmer of Royal Corps of Signals writes from Hendon - apparently getting nearer home than the wilds of the Yorkshire moors around Catterick where we last heard of him. Sidney Bounds, once of Kingston-on-Thames is now at Slough, Bucks, he is another RAFer. Whilst L/Bdr Carnell, E.J. send us "Sands of Time" from his new station at Tiverton, Devon, having prepared the issue under awkward circumstances.
There is a Canadian edition of ASTONISHING out, Vol. 1, No. 1, being the Nov '41 issue. The cover has a pic by an unknown Canadian artist. Canada's UNCANNY has gone bi-monthly. I met Ron Lane at Manchester last Monday, and we spent a pleasant (if short) evening chatting. May be meeting Ron Bradbury on the 23rd - not confirned as yet. JER.
This year I had decided not to send any cards, and was therefore all the more gratified to recieve some and wish to convey my sincere thanks rather belatedly, I admit, to Adele Beasley, "Eleanor Walt and Forry", W.S. Sykora, Harry Warner, Sid Birchby, Doug Webster, Dave McIlwain, Jack Gibson, Don Doughty, L.J. Johnson, R. Johnson, and Alicia Feather.
Q U E S T I O N A I R E
As there has been a certain amount of response to the suggestion of some sort of British science fiction organisation, I believe that I am justified in taking things a step further. Therefore I an enclosing this questionaire with FIDO. If you are intending to join the proposed society please fill in the following and return to me within a fortnight if possible. If you are not interested, then ignore the thing! J. Michael Rosenblum.
SECTION "A" THE SOCIETY
Name to be
(i) British Fantasy Fan Federation..... (ii) Futurian Society of Great Britain..... (iii) British Fantasy Society..... (iv) Any other title.....................................
Instead of a regular quarterly or annual subscription, or leaving it just to donations, there should be a method of "taxation" according to the financial requirements of the society; similarly to the American NFFF whereby expenses are shared out among the members. Yes No. (delete where necessary) With an absolute limit of ..... per year.
An entrance fee of 1/- (or.....) be charged to cover preliminary expenses and to put the society on its financial feet. Yes No.
There should be a definite qualification or qualifications for membership, such as passing a test of stf knowledge, proof of activity in the stf field, or recommendation of two existing members. Yes No.
There should be a "Bulletin" dealing with Society matters. Yes No. To be issued monthly, quarterly, as and when required. Distributed with FIDO.
Executive officers to consist of a maximum of three.....Namely; President.....VicePresident.....and Secretary-Treasurer.....
That there should be an Advisory Board to look after and guide the organisation..... Consisting of 5 (or.....) members. This would be suitable 4 elder brethren now in the forces with a non-forces chairman as co-ordinator.
That there should be a Finance Committee of 3 (or.....) to decide on financial questions, etc and assist the work of the Secretary-Treasurer..... Again suitable for people in the Forces.
That there should be additional non-executive officers appointed by the Executive to fulfill such duties as might be considered necessary. e.g. Librarian; person to look after correspondence chains.....
That the Society should be divided into smaller georgraphical units, each with some sort of co-ordinator. E.g. A Midlands Group.....
SECTION "B" YOURSELF
Name........................................................................ Age.................................... Address................................................................................................................
Abilities and facilities - have you a typewriter, capable of cutting stencils, a duplicator,
What positions could and would you accept - don't be bashful, non experience and newness to fandom need not deter anybody; the idea is new to us all.
Please list the positions you feel you could fill best and then we can see how we stand. Mention any qualifications you think might be helpful.
Any other suggestions?
1) Also published this month was Harry Turner's ZENITH #4 (New series).