FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 21 (Vol. 2, Number 9) July 1942
Major battles between US and Japanese forces took place in the Pacific in May and June. First came the Battle of the Coral Sea, which both claimed as a victory and in which the US lost the carrier Lexington. Then came the Battle of Midway, in which the Japanese advance was finally halted and turned back.
In North Africa, a new offensive by the Afrika Korps drove back the Eighth Army, while in Europe the RAF launched a thousand bomber raid that devastated the German city of Cologne.
Following the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech partisans, the Nazis responded by destroying the village of Lidice. All the males, 199 men and boys, were shot, and the women and girls sent to concentration camps. The village was then razed to the ground. A few weeks after this, the Polish underground got information to London of further Nazi atrocities with a report suggesting they had already murdered one million Jews....
Distributed with this issue:
THE BIBLIOPHAN #4 - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 2 pages
Official news and notices of the Society will be given from now on, in its bulletin; which incidentally is still in need of a title, but Futurian War Digest will endenvour to keep up a service of news, completely unoffical, let it be understood, about the organisation.
A new movement in fandom being lnunchcd at the same time and apparently to he reckoned with as a power in British stfdom, is "Fantarchy". It appears to be an organisation organised by people who object to being organised. Charter members are Marion F Eadie and Harry E Turner, and that man, Devil Will Love Webster of Aberrrrdeen. It has been suggested that Fantarchy might with advantage be incorporated in the BFS as a sort of opposition within the movement to keep it level-headed and to debunk all theories of the genius of fandom. This suggestion will undoubtedly cause considerable perturbation in the bosoms of the noble iconoclasts involved. Anyrate, we believe that it is going to be great fun.
American Fan News As we go to press the latest available news of the Pacificon, the stf convention which was to be held in Los Angeles, is the probability of its postponement for at least a year, possibly till the cessation of hostilities. A ballot has been taken amongst the members of the convention organisntion to ascertain whether they preferred postponement, the holding of the convention according to the original plans, or the trasfer to another venue. The former alternative was overwhelmingly voted. The National Fantasy Fan Federation now has a "Welcoming Comnittee" in action. The idea is to contact those people who from their letters to pro magazines, appear to be of the stuff fans are made of, and to endeavour to draw them into the maw of US fandom. The country has been divided up into areas each in charge of an officer and a chairman, Louis Goldstone of San Fransisco, and a dispatcher, John Cunningham (BSFWRS administrator) have been appointcd. Others on the committee are C. Hansen, R. Kuhn, B. Tucker, H. Jenkins Jr, D.B. Thompson and T. Wright.
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
July 1942, Volume 2, number 9; whole number 21.
SUBSCRIPTIONS TO AMERICAN MAGAZINES
Discussion by mail with John Meyer Cunningham of Beaumont, Texas - the originator and administrator of the "British Science Fiction War Relief Society" has lead to the drawing up of a possible scheme for subscribing through him to any or all of the United States fantasy magazines. After discussing the lack of effective co-operation from the bulk of US fans, John goes on to say in regard to the proposed scheme ". . . this might seem rather undignified on my part, but it is far from that. Rather it is an even greater help to fans than the old one which was doomed jo failure. I have learned from Michael Rosenblum, editor of FIDO, that fans over there are willing and able to pay for the magazines they get, and that they have the money to do so. Therefore I feel that this is not an unjust action. Since I am the only financial supporter of the plan you may understand the need for it. It will however, be a loss to me, even as much as the old plan whereby I send a few a few mags to a limited number of fans, due to lack of funds to send them to all."
Prices compare favourably with those of regular subscriptions in the States and are:
This price list expires year hence, and deadline for all subscriptions to be placed is hearby set at August 1st 1942. Expiration of first years subscriptions, all of, and new price goes into effect also, August 1st 1943.
Those people who wish to take advantage of this scheme should send full details of their requirements and the requisite cash to me - JMR - (or to Bob Gibson if already dealing with him) before the end of July. Please note that only yearly subs are possible and all will start on August Ist 1942 and expire August lst 1943. Prices are based on the wholesale cost of the magazines and are extremely advantageous, hence no dealing in the magazines will be permitted. Should it nes mill be returned.
Incidentally, Science Fiction War Relief has and will continue to send for the duration, packets of magazines to men in the armed forces of Britain. All such men, who send in their names, will receive free packets of mags. Moreover, Cunningham goes on to say that all money obtained through Science Fiction War Relief will be returned 100% into the Stf. field; in paying for postage on mags, providing free magazines for men in the armed forces; and also for booster adverts in US and foriegn fanzines publicising the BSFIRS, as well as helping the fanzines in question.
WE REGRET to announce the death of JOHN G. ELMER, a Cardiff stf fan and Esperantist.
He died after an illness several weeks ago. Terrence Overton writes "Though I did
not ever have the good luck to meet him, he only entered fandom just before his illness, I
am told_ he was very, very keen on stf; and had he lived I think he would have been a
desperately needed addition to the -wartime ranks of British fandom".
John Elmer was 21 years old, a radio service engineer by profession, and his hobbies besides stf and reading generally were scientific experiments (mainly physics), photography, etc. Socialistic and a Wellsite, and being an Esperantist, he was also an internationalist. We will all share Terrence's deep regret at the loss of this brave spirit so soon after making contact with him.
His name will be added to the short, but all too long list of British fans we already mourn; W. A. Dyson of Huddersfield who died in 1936, Reg Stevens of London noted for his phenomenal memory of stf books read years before, and Ted Wade of Leeds, killed by enemy action whilst serving in the RAF, in August 1940.
When three old s.f. fans, McIlwain, Russell and Forster, found themselves together at No 1 Signals School it was, of course, inevitable that they should look with sympathy upon the lot of thousands of their fellow countrymen and allies, and determine that these should not remain ignorant of the benefits of s.f. Publicity was the immediate need and the campaign was commenced by the placing in the N.A.A.F.I. of an artistically designed poster appealing to s.f. fans. Immediate results were so gratifying that it was decided to hold without further delay the Cranvention proposed by author Russell. This highly successful event, at which subjects were discussed ranging from the relative merits of British and American writers to the question of whether after The Revolution high walls should be allowed to remain around what is now private property, was followed by a more informal meeting in a Technical Laboratory when the Army's representative, Cpl Birchby, arrived two days after the Cranvention proper. Since that time events have moved with incredible rapidity. Meetings, usually in the form of s.f. suppers, are being held twice a week, and an s.f. and fanzine lending system has been established. The first issue of Cranwells own fanzine, The Cranfan, published in London for the Cranwell group, arrived last week and was enthusiastically received. Produced in two colours, the mag contained fan news, book ~and music reviews, and a political commentary. One outstanding piece was a heart cry in lurid red of "Harry Kay! Where Art Thou?". Knowing what Forrest J Ackerman has done for fans in this country during the war and of his collection of stf rarities, it was unanimously decided to forward as many copies as possible, accompanied by a letter in Esperanto, to 4e as a small measure of gratitude for his services to British Fandom. Thus it is probable that Sid Birchby is now the only British fan in possession of a copy.
Affairs being so satisfactorily organised, it was decided that comrade Clarke, struggling against difficulties at No 2 Radio School, should have the benefit of our experience at No 1 Signal School in the organising of a fan group under, active service conditions (After all, No 1 was a going concern when No 2 was nothing more than smiling meadows in the heart of Wiltshire). To this end it was decided to send to Arthur Cranwell's Canadian representative, E.A. (Jim) Atwell, formerly of Ottawa, and there in no doubt that under his expert guidance No 2 Radio School will soon produce its own flourishing fan colony.
In conclusion, a new maxim for those in or about to enter H.M.Forces is: "join the Army for mud and blud. For Fantasy join the RAF!"
Editorial Note : Yes it's reasonably true; but, oh, how much better do we now understand
the genius of "reporting''
FOR SALE: Astonishing April 40, Nov 41; Fant Ad Jan 41,9d. each. Ghost Stories Dec 28 1/6., Marvel Aug 39,8d; Amazing Feb Apr 36, Wonder Oct 34, Mar 35,Astounding Sep 34, May 35; 10d each. Weird Apr 31 1/2. Edwin MacDonald, 25 Dochfour Drive, Inverness, Scotland.
Some notes on this magazine emanating from Leonard Moffat of Ellwood City, Penna
USA who promises to comment on current Yank prozines from time to time.
Incidentally the "Western Penna Science Fictioneers" (of which Len is Director) membership list is slowly g-r-owi-n-g and amongst the new members is Edmond Hamilton the veteran on stf author who is responsible for all the Captain Future tales.
ON THE MOVE
As per usual our friends in the Forces have been having their constant reshuffle. RAFer Sydney Bounds has now arrived at Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Maurice Hanson has left Swansea for a sojourn in Scotiland (Glasgow) before being sent elsewhere. Eric Frank Russell has finished his course at Cranwell and departed from there to the wilds of Northern Ireland. Well, he ought to get on all right with the Yanks there.Julian Parr has also finished a course - at Blackpool, and now goes to Hereford for the next 5 months. Jack Banks, we are sorry to say, has been removed from his wonted haunts and is now experiencing durance vile as a C.O. in one of His Majesty's prisons. He received a 6 months sentence for refusing to submit for medical examination for the forces and thus is, I think, the first stfan C.O. to undergo imprisonment for his ideals. Doc Lowndes informs that he has received notification from the draft board and may even be in service by the time you read this, depending on the final physical and such at the induction center.
The first publication of the National Fantasy Fan Federation, apart from some five issues of its bulletin "BONFIRE" is to be a "delightfully informal and highly readable encyclopedia of fandom", entitled the NFFFANNUAL. Produced for the NFFF by the Columbia Camp couple, Joe Gilbert and Harry Jenkins, it will cost 35 cents to nonmembers and 25cents to members. Here are some details released by the editors. Will have 24lb bond paper interior with heavier covers, multi-colour mimeoing, photo-lithoing of artwork and photos, of the ten top fans, material by Warner, Tucker, Chauvenet, Speer, Rothman, Forrie, John Chapman etc., contains amazing list of revealed pseudonyms, history of fandom in compact form highlights of the fan year in USA, Australia and Britain, list of fan terms for the newcomer, list of fanzines, biogs of pro editors, accounts of regional clubs, and many more interesting items. It is to be the first of a series of annual publications issued by the society, and will, they hope, help to put fandom really on the map.
"Right off the Map", published in the Penguin series, would, I think, just qualify as a fantasy though in actual fact it doesn't seem to be meant as one. The book deals with two mythical countries, both run by Britons and permeated with British philosophy who decide to fight a war. Very curiously, it is anti-war work written from the point of view of a professional soldier. Author's name is C.E.Montague.... Leslie A. Croutch has issued a sheet dealing with his "swappery" for years now, but at last he has metamorphosised it into a full scale fanzine entitled LIGHT. Priced at 5 cents a copy it contains 18 pages with short stories, articles, and a large "mailbag" section, not to mention quite a number of weird and wonderful illustrations ..... Dated April 1913, Walt Daugherty has issued a DIRECTORY OF FANDOM" consisting of 20 half-foolscap pages of fan names and addresses -- a very useful reference indeed. It is a Fantasy Amateur Press Association publication but is available to nonmembers in USA at a cost of 15c. Several comics have also been sent over here to distribute. Besides the Americans there are half a dozen addresses each in Canada and Australl-la, but poor old England is left out entirely. We are pleased to welcome another sheet from J.E.Rennison apparently sailing as near to the wind as possible but who cares, we're all pals together ... 'nother photo next ish -- Derek Gardiner of Worthing, Sussex.
Ladies and Gentlemen, on the right is JACK GIBSON of Parkstone, Dorset
"introduced" to you a couple of Fidos ago; and on my left is W. R. (Bob)
GIBSON of Calgary, Canada, now in Britain, and acting as English representative
of the BFSWRS. Asked for an introduction, Bob says: "Introduction? I can try.
'Er...unaccustomed as I am to...' But seriously, born in 1908 near Calgary and
in sight of the Rockies about 80 miles away. Was fully determined on a career
of science, but got laid up for too many years to make a go at it. Stfanaticism
may be a compensating mechanism (or fixation). Long and narrow built with permanently
"Trip to the Moon and Around It". Three years later I found Serviss' "Columbus of Space"
among the fairy stories in the juvenile department of the library. It probably
confirmed me in the stf habit. Began collecting promags in 1928, all stf in '31.
Contacted my first fan in 1940 - Ted Carnell - indirectly, and first met him and others
Yet another couple of Gibsons on the FIDO roster are Dr. W. A. Gibson of Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland and Joe Gibson of Albuquerque, New Mexico,, USA. Anybody find us a few more? We ought to have an Australian at least, to add to the English, Scottish, Canadian and American representatives of the clan.
BOOK REVIEW................................................. .........................................................................by Bert Lewis
I have three books for mention this month; tho' I'm afraid, that due to pressure of other matters, I have had to hold it over for some weeks. Firstly there is W. Olaf Stapledon's "Darkness and the Light" (Methuen 7/6); his books are always an event in the fantasy-fiction world and this seems to be no exception. In this fantasy the earth has two distinct features owing to the exact balance of the will for the light and the will for the darkness in men's hearts, time divides intoV two separate streams. In one history darkness triumphs, Europe.and America degenerate. The heroic defence of the light by the Tibetans is crushed by the perverted empires of Russia and China. In the end, the debased human species is exterminated, But in the parallel history, the Tibetans succeed in founding a new world-order, based on village life, an order in which every people makes a distinctive contribution to the harmonius whole, In the more remote future the human race encounters unexpected and strange spiritual adventures.
Those who read and enjoyed Joan Grant's "Winged Pharoah", will be pleased to see another book by this authoress, on the bookstalls. In her new book "Eyes of Horus" (Methuen 9/6) she appears to still have the ability to portray the times of the Pharoahs soj beloved of so many fantasy fans. This story is about 3500 B.C. when degeneracy and corruption have prermeated the Court and Priesthood alike, rule being mainly by fear, & as they do today, men of goodill feel the urge to fight against the powers of darkness. The storyteller is one Ra-ab, who eventually joins a secret society, "The Eyes of Horu" pledged to overthrow this god of evil. The picture drawn is sometimes lurid and very frank, even unpleasant, but in contrast to the brutality and corruption, there are passages of real beauty, which often seems to bear the oddest application to the world today.
Of a totally different type is "John Brown's Body" by Gordon Boshell (Secker and Warburg 7/6) .. it is right up to date and very novel. Air-Raid Warden John Brown gets caught in a bad bit of blitz. Was he killed? Was it John Brown's body (or maybe soul) which kept marching on - thru the streets and roads, defying all efforts to affect it and all authority, in its desire "to get Hitler" . A real tale of "Mystery & Imagination'
From Robert (Doc) Lowndes for publication in Fido somewhere, preferably in Sands of Time if possible.
"I'm very sorry to have been the cause of the editor of this letter (Ted Carnell) getting hot under the collar for the second time in his life. Frankly, I had no idea that anyone would consider that letter as anything more than it was -- an amusing bit of nonsense clearly not by a Britisher.
While I didn't write the thing, I did publish it, so won't try to push any blame off on the actual writer - tho' I'm sure he had no malicious intent, either. It came to us with a reused "passed by censor" seal, and was full sections cut out by shears.
As I indicated above, the thing struck me as being very amusing, and I thought that "Future"'s readers would also grin. It didn't occur to me to consider it a portrait of a typical English foursome, even an exagerated one -- and I really doubt if people actually believe that you chaps are like that."
Which ought to clear up the matter of the spurious letter from four Tommies in Egypt published recently in "Future". Thanks for the explanation, Doc.
Sidney L. Birchby writes again ....... A number of oldtimers of the SFA gathered on May 16th, chez FEArnold, Ken Chapman and Joan; Ted Carnell and Irene; Harry Chibbett and Lily; John Craig and self. We ate tea and drank cakes by the hour and pulled all the fans...yes, you, my lad!...to little little pieces.
Visiting season has commenced, Fans shot out of London in all directions at Whitsun. (Don't travel...haha...) when George Medhurst, in despair of ever getting another BIBLIOPHAN written, went to Leeds to write it in the home of Fido; and your scribe visited Manchester, and caught Harry Turner and Marion Eadie guiltily trying to to forget, that another ZENITH was due. Hoi, Harry, that's a hint.
Look, there are a number of fellows visiting London during July and August, name of Webster and McIlwain and Turner and Eadie. Why can't some of you others come along too, and make an affair of it? You could write and ask me anyway. Dates probably 1in most cases the week before Bank Holiday. Coming
ACnd it's time we extended an invitation to any American fans who come over here in the fOrces, to get into touch with their English sisters...whoops...brothers...well, us then and see who's the first fan to declare himself. Are you listening, Tucker and Co?
YE NOTICE BOARD
New subscribers since the last issue are P. Hawkins of Surbiton, Surrey; Frank Edward Arnold of London W.1; Gnr H Towers now stationed at Swansea; P. E. Knott of Northampton; R. Hooker of Blyth; Joe Gibson, Albuquerque New Mexico; Dave Elder, Wilkinsburg Pa USA and A.L.Schartz of Dorchester, Mass USA. Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of John Briston, Julian Parr, H.n.Syms, DRSmith, ACClarke, SL Birchby, S Bounds, AFWilliams. Do please renew promptly; too many people leave it a month or more beore waking up. Ted Carnell apologises for the absense of SANDS OF TIME this month, apparently he has to do some soldiering now and again. We are all hoping for its reappearance in the next mailing but its a case of keeping our fingers crossed. FEArnold states that he is prepared to pay a "fabulous" price for a copy of GARGOYLE, dated April 1940 - containing Bill Temple's article on the Grays Inn Road Flat. Terence Overton of 107 Thomas St, Abertridwr, Cardiff is particularly anxious to get hold of FN with "Blind Spot" and "Spot or Life" therein. Can anyone help him? And I am just short of the Decem. 1939 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries, if anybody has a copy available. Don Houston & Terry Overton are considering issuing a supplement to Fido dealing particularly with science, and at the moment.require the aid of someone able to cut stencils. Offers requested. 0h; Thumbs are iup again! I stop in Leeds still and FIDO can continue merrily. Hurray!!!
As this paper has very kindly been donated by Harry Turner, it is a good place to review that gentleman's super-fanzine so here goes; ZENITH issue No 5, dated April 1942, issued two months behind, schedule for numerous & well-merited reasons easily discoverable by anybody endeavouring to indulge in fan activity at this time and place. Well worth waiting for, nevertheless. As per usual superb artwork is the outstanding feature but even without that, the first class mimeoing & fine format, the fanzine would still be outstanding for solid worth. Highlite of ish is Doug Webster's "Web's Wanderings" wherein the consummate Calidonian recollects with witty abandon his recent visit to civilised England. & pages of "Hot Air" - readers opinions - a satirical short by MFEadie, discussion by Ted Carnell as to how US fandom is accepting war conditions and a cliche critique of stf by Maurice Hanson are other good things within the 20 quarto green pages of Z. Of the illustrations - we don't know whether we prefer the cartoons, the cubist illustration of a verse by Coleridge, or the sunerb fantasy "The Intruder" wherein one of Dlisney's animated toadstools from Fantasia has apparently strayed into the chessboard land of Alice thru the Looking Glass. Future plans ... June issue is now well in hand and there will definitely be an enlarged Anniversary Issue in August.
Doug Webster relates that FANTAST will have to be suspended for the summer though Web is considering the issue of certain supplementary publications.
Note re FIDO - emerging from his retirement over the past year or so, Ron Holmes offers his help in the production of this fanzine. This has been gratefully accepted and from the next issue Ron will be in charge of a special "review" dept. He Will deal with book, magazine, and fanzine reviews each issue. So will people please send him along those reviews they want to write, and fannines sent direct to him will be of great assistance. Address is 32 Rockfield Road, Liverpool 4.
Oddments. Death of Ernest Bramah (Smith) author of "Secret of the League" and the Kai Lung books announced on June 26th. EESmith hss left his job so as to go in for full time writing. RW (Doc) Lowndes having been promoted to control of all the group of mags issued by his boss Silberkleit, has passed his writers agency on to comrade Johnny Michel.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
........................................................June 18th 1942
The following have paid the entrance fee of one shilling and are therefore members of the above society:-
Ackerman, Forrest J.; Bulmer, H. K.; Ellis, George; Forster, Charles Roland; Gibson, Dr W. A.; Hanson, Maurice K.; Houston, Donald; Hooker, Ray; Johnson, Kenneth; Lane, Ronald; Lewis, Bert; Macdonald, Edwin; Moss, Eric; Orne, Ralph; Overton, Terence; Parr, Julian; Rennison, J. E; Rosenblum, J. Michael; Smith, D. R.; Temple, W. F.; Tucker, Dennis; Ward, Frederick W..
Election Results for Committee.
J.E.Rennison has proposed the following for membership of the Advisory Board:-
Sidney L. Birchby, Bob Gibson, Harry Turner, Edwin MacDonald, William F. Temple.
If any of the above would be prepared to accept a seat on such a body would they please notify either Michael Rosenblum or D.R.Smith?
The committee are engaged in preparing a prospectus, a copy of which will be available for each member, which will incorporate as far as possible the Contstitution, and Services of the Society. Proposals considered for the latter include the publishing of a Bulletin, supply of membership cards, official notepaper, and economy labels, library, book-borrowing service, the appointment of a Liaison Officer to give members the addresses of other members in visiting distance etcetera.
Suggestions from members for such services will be most welcome.
Julian Parr has transferred to the British Fantasy Society the catalogue of Science Fiction magazines, authors, and stories compiled by members of the Stoke-on-Trent Science Fiction Club. It is contained in twelve loose-leaf folders and covers chiefly the years 1936 to 1939, with a folder for more recent examples.
D. R. Smith (Secretary)
We're off, and not before time either! However the BFS is now a living entity, so its up to British fandom to rally round as hard and as fast as you can and to show the stf world just how a good society ought to succeed. The BFS has no desire or intention of being in any way oa partisan, clique or reserved society - it welcomes (& how) all and any who have an interest in fantasy fiction. We hope that British fandom as a whole will join and the benefits and comradeship doubly valuable in these times of stress be available to everybody. Lets be hearing from you, then.
J. Michael Rosenblum.