FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 23 (Vol. 3, Number 1) Oct 1942

On August 6th, General Bernard Montgomery assumed command of the Eighth Army in North Africa, an appointment that would lead to a dramatic improvement in their fortunes. The following day, in the Pacific, the US Marines landed in the Solomon Islands, establishing a bridgehead on Guadalcanal from which they intended to move on to the airfield the Japanese had been building there.

Churchill had his first meeting with Stalin on the 17th to discuss joint strategy against the Nazis, while on the 19th Allied forces launched a major operation against trhe port of Dieppe.

In early September, the Nazis slaughtered 50,000 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, while in the USSR they reached the Volga, north of Stalingrad. At the end of the month, in North Africa, the Eighth Army siezed key German positions in what was to be a prelude to October's battle of El Alamein.

Distributed with this issue:

DELERIUM TREMENS #5 - ed. Dennis Tucker - 2 pages
GALAXY #2 - ed. Terry Overton - 4 pages
THE MIGHTY ATOM #1 - ed. R.Rowland Johnson - 2 pages
REVIEW SECTION #1 - ed. Ron Holmes - 2 pages
SANDS OF TIME #7 - ed. Ted Carnell - 4 pages
OCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.

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page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................cover by R.L.Bradbury
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Here is ye October 1942 issue of ye . . . . . . . . ***********....................... . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vol. 3. No. 1.


Incorporating "The Pseudo-Futurian" and "Science Fantasy Reviews", "War Digest", the Spasemans Chronicle, Asteroidweller, Neptunion, Mothers Help and Gravediggers Gazette. Issued from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, England; by J. Michael Rosenblum at 6 weekly intervals if possible, at a cost of endless entreaties and 3d. in cash, 2/- per annum. American subscriptions in kind (U.S. books and prozines) particularly welcome as is exchange with any other fan production.


As your editor looks over his accumulated material for this issue and the preponderance of exerpts from epistles exerted therein, it appears as tho this issue of 'FIDO' will look rather like ''Voice of the Imagi-Nation" or VOM, composed as this fanzine is of nought but missives. But we do not complain about this phenomenon, rather the contrary for it is a help in the hurried construction of this fanzine. Moreover should this issue be ready at approximately the correct date, it will be due to the kind help and devoted work of Barbara Horne at the mighty typewriter, and Kenneth Chadwick with the duplicating and assembly. This latter gentleman we hope to make into a pukka fan some day, if we can drag him away from his beloved tec stories; he already reads Astounding and all the fanzines we will lend him. But time passes; on with the Letter Parade:- A letter from E. Frank Parker introduces the PRSSFL to our readers. Telling of its origin Frank says:

"Then came war, and All That. No more monthly doses of STF. The patient pined and suffered. Soon, he contacted the Science Fiction Service, and got them to send all they could. He felt guilty, this guy Parker. Here was he, a single Unit, getting rare - so rare! - magazines, and not passing them on for the enjoyment of others! Spending more dough than he could afford, too, due to increased costs of the prized panacea.

He fire watches at his place of work, the Paint Research Station. One night, his optics light amazedly upon a back number of "Astounding" (containing :"The Red Peri" which he promptly began to re-read!) What was this? Another addict? It led to enquiries, contacts, the discovery that five others in the joint were stfiends! Result: the birth of the PRS Science Fiction Library, of which the guy Parker is the Hon. Sec. to this day."

and a more formal report reads -
"Formed because of the shortage of science fiction magazines following the declaration of war, the Paint Research Station Science Fiction Library now numbers 16 members, including three of the six originators - the other three being parted from the throng due to the inexorable demands of H.M. Forces. Before the war none of the six knew that other fans worked side by side with them! It took fire-watching and the sharing of each others assets to reveal this fact and wake them to communal activity.

Now, due to the good offices of John H. Cunningham of BSFWRS fame, current issues circulate freely amongst the sixteen. Recently, the bill of fare has been extended by the receipt of VoM and other American fanzines and now (not before time!) they are linking up with British fan organisations and subscribing to FIDO.

Leading lights are John K. Aiken, author with claims to promag attention, and Victor S. Walton, fantasy artists superlative and another promising author. PRSSFL activities include the quarterly publication of "Beyond", an amateur fantasy magazine, for hand-to-hand circulation. No. 1 of this will soon be available for loan to a wider circle, and enquiries from interested fans will be welcomed by the secretary, E. Frank Parker, of 6, Greytiles, Queen's Road, Teddington, Middx.

Dated 7.9.42. comes an interesting epistle from Olaf Stapledon:

"My connection with the Science-Fiction movement has been very slight, though I have occasionally read with interest some of the magazines, which seem to me very uneven in merit. Some of the ideas are both original and significant, some are original without being significant, and a great many are neither. But certainly some fulfil the genuine mind-stretching function. The human aspect is generally very trite. It was kind of you to offer to send me a copy of Futurian War Digest monthly, and very churlish of me not to
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reply. But you must not waste your paper on me, for I am now very much occupied with writing, lecturing to troops (and others) and producing vegetables, that I find it impossible to cope with all the reading matter that comes my way.

You asked me about my attitude to the present condition of the world. I think we have come to one of the great turning points in the career of our species. I agree with Wells that we may crash into extinction or at least a dismal dark age, but that we may also turn the corner and create a world order far more favourable to human capacity than anything that has existed before. If the corner is successfully turned, a few generations may transform the race into something amounting almost to a new species, and in a sense a super-human species. The future, I believe, depends less on the further advancement of science (though that is important) than on the search for wisdom, and the realization of the kind of being that we ought to desire man to be. We have power, but not wisdom."

Then news from Egypt - 1105310 LAC Skelton W, SHQ, No. 208 M.U., R.A.F., M.E.F.
"I was very pleased when April and May "Fidos" both arrived today, and still more pleased to find that page of fanphotos from "VoM", and your picture of Forrie was a good idea. It was appropriate that the series should start with the No.1 Fan, Wistful afterthought: I wrote a humble introductory letter to Forrie way back in February - and am still hoping for a reply.

My compliments to Ted Carnell for airing something that made me as mad as it did him. That "Four British Chaps" letter in the March "FUTURE". I have a hell of a time defending stf against a horde of cynical friends - and such childish efforts help to weakcn my arguments. I'm not sure whether Doc Lowndes concocted the drivel; even if he didn't he should know better than to print it. In any case, somebody should apologise for it - very publicly.

Way back in January you printed my salutations to old friends - 'specially Harry Turner. Thanks! Now, I'm not begging for more waste of good space on a repetition -but if you're at all in touch with that reprobate, ask him - why no letter? Apparently he's hitting high spots with his ZENITH. I got copies 1 and 2. If the rest are any better - wow!

I've had correspondence recently with Harold Gottliffe, and through him was second recipient of a bundle of stf sent out by the kind hearted Alicia Feather. I see from "FIDO" that more fans are out in the Middle East. Letters will start to shuttle back and forth pretty soon, and we'll be a stf Colony. According to Gottliffe's last letter, Service contingencies have slightly held up his "JESTER IN EXILE" Plans, but I hope he brings it out sooner or later, then I may at last make a debut as a fan-mag contributor."

And. a typical Eric F. Russell epistle -
"At the moment I'm not at the above address - Limavady, Home Forces - I'm at Watchfield, near Swindon, on a special radio course - but will be back in Limavady the end of next week. Here, I'm not so far from Arthur Clarke, who is at Yatesbury (or was), on the other side of Swindon, so with a modicum of luck I may see him before my return.

One reason for writing is that since being in Watchfield I've had the interesting experience of finding a stf fan rejoicing in the name of Willy Ley. He's here on a course similar to mine. But I couldn't believe that name until he provided documentary evidence of it.

I didn't see any of the boys while in London last Sunday - time was too brief to get hold of them. Neither have I yet dug up any well-known names among the swarm of Yankees in Northern Ireland. Undoubtedly, though, one or two will turn up sooner or later. Have palled on with a dozen noisy Minnesotans in the hut adjoining mine. They're all from St. Paul, and think Arthur J. Burks is a good writer - of Westerns!

You'll be interested to know that I'm hoping to resume writing in about a month's time though, owing to this and that, I'm afraid I'll be doing it on a rather reduced scale. Have a couple of yarns still to appear - "The Kid from Kalamazoo" in "Amazing Stories" and "Hell's Bells" in British "Short Stories" - but I'll have to get continuity of appearance, war or no goddam war."

(((NB continues after next section!!!! - Greg P.)))
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Full Name - Donald John Doughty
Date of Birth - December 4, 1921
Height - 6 ' 1". Weight - 11st. 7lbs.
History -

Was born in this same town, on the date given above, and led quite a normal life for several years, with scholarship from Elementary, to Secondary School at the tender age of 10 - followed by Matriculation 6 years later, when I left school and started into earning my own living in the local Employment Office, where I stayed for nearly 4 years, until I was called up in the Navy for training as a Wireless Mechanic on 17 September '41. Have since then been scooting around the country absorbing various courses on radio, until I passed the last one a couple of weeks ago. Am now home on 7 days draft leave and expect to go to sea soon after I get back - should be there by the time you guys read this.

I first began to take an interest in Stf, in the shape of Wells, Verne, etc. around the age of 14, and then became interested in the pros in '38 being introduced to Fandom at the time of the first issue of FIDO, now nearly 2 years ago At the beginning of last year I used to bore a long suffering fandom with a Fido-sheet, TIN TACKS, until the Navy stopped all that. Haven't had much chance to do anything more than read fan and prozines since joining, hoping to become more prolific when I am settled down at sea. No point in stating preferences, as I'vc not read sufficient wartime stf to be able to give at all balanced opinions on mags, authors, artists, etc.


You'll also be interested to hear that I am trying to arrange for Fort's "WILD TALENTS" to be serialised in "Tomorrow". It isn't yet definitely fixed, by any means, but I have good hopes of bringing it off. The appearance should satisfy any fans who want to read "Wild Talents" and have not been able to secure the Fort Omnibus.

Guess I've little other news for you. Julius Schwartz has gained further deferment from military service and is still editing. Otto Binder, when last heard from, was busily employed editing a comic. (Damn! I meant that Schwartz was agenting, not editing). And, as far as I've been able to discover, American pulps don't seem likely to be affected by any paper shortage in the next twelve months. The way things are going, I reckon that what influence Wells had on public opinion (which was some even if not a lot) will in due time be as nothing compared with Stapledon's. Keep your eye on him".

And now Bert Castellari, on leave from the Australian Forces; - "I alWays sigh when. I think of the way you English fans can get along together and work together. I've never yet seen any vicious clash of personalities in any English fan mag or any fan mag for that matter, or run across anything detrimental in my correspondence. Perhaps it is because the whole make-up of British fandom differs from that of Australia and America in that British fans are genuinely interested in the problems of the future, in scientific development. Instead of fighting among themselves about petty fan affairs. I find they are more interested in putting their time and energy into discussion and argument of things that really matter.

I see that in Los Angeles there was a stir over the Pacificon among other things. That of course, was just at the beginning of the Jap business - perhaps war will bring the Americans close together - perhaps not. It has done no good for the children of Australian fandom.

One thing though, there still a number of American fan mags appearing. I get home leave once a month and every time there's always at least a half dozen mags waiting. The tendency of American fan mags to develop into personal publicity sheets is increasing. As I see it there will have to change soon or fan mags from that country are going to lose a lot of the so-called "punch" and develop into sheets of monotony - with some of them I think it would be better to rename them "Traveller's Adventures" or some such thing. Don't think I'm a grouch and believe that science fiction fanmags should touch nothing but stf. A certain amount of variety counts a great deal but taken to the extent (as I said before) to which some of them have been

(((NB - In my copy that para ends just as it does here. No follow-on anywhere!! - Greg P. And in mine - RH))
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Fans in the forces are still being shunted hither and thither with great enthusiasm and much annoyance. PO from C.S.! 2375076 Signalman Youd C.S., Special Wireless Section, Royal Signals, Gibraltar; So now you know. Maurice Hanson gallivanted up to the Orkney Islands about a month ago and A.C.2 Turner H. left Redcar for a six months (he hopes) course in Birmingham. Sid Birchby is up near Selby in Yorkshire for a week, a month, or a year, he knoweth not. Ted White of the Canadian Army makes a trip to the North of England this month and may be loooking in on your editor about the time you are reading this. And Bob Gibson appears to have managed a leave or something cos he looked in on George Medhurst in London just recently. After all his misfortunes Erik Needham finally obtained a leave and got home to Manchester with no energy left, so having to sit still and recuperate after his accident and illness - he's been enjoying mumps of late. The Cranwell trio of fans - E.F Russell, Roland Forster and Dave McIlwain - is now well broken up, Eric is in Northern Ireland as his letter informs, and Dave is transferred to Ferry Command and has departed overseas, to Canada possibly, or even U.S.A.! Ted Carnell, still in the wilds says that he has got himself attached to a U.S. unit and is rapidly becoming even more Americanised. Far away in Rhodesia there dwelt an old-time fan, by name Dmitre de Worsmin, with whom we used to correspond in the dear dead days before the war. This week we had our first letter from him for over 2 years with a chronicle of his adventures in the army. More details next issue.

Londoner Horace Vella has "got himself called up" but will be undergoing the new psychological and other tests before it is decided which particular unit will be graced by his presence.

And now for we stop-at-home folk; ha ha ha! As you will perhaps have noted 4 Grange Terrace was visited by Derek Gardiner and also by the Manchester musketeers - Lane, Ellis and Bradbury. Derek also called on Ron Bradbury in Manchester, and on Don Houston and Peter Knott in Northampton. He also made an unsuccessful attempt to see new fan John Greenfield of Gainsboro', Lincs. Quite an oddessy, eh? Roy Johnson of Leicester took a trip to Parkstone and spent a holiday with Jack Gibson, which both seem to have enjoyed. Edwin Macdonald is the latest in a succession of visits to Websterian Aberdeen and has, as a result, been infected with the virus of collecting, from he was hitherto immune. Arthur Williams has a new address - 11, Kenbury St., Camberwell, London S.E. 5. And so has Hugh J Ellis - 29, Victoria Avenue, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancs.



Well, it is actually our second anniversary issue of the FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST, since the first edition of FIDO came out in October 1940; but we aren't going to do anything about it. Of course, please remember that FIDO is only a variation on the same theme which has been running since early 1938, as the Bulletin of the Leeds Science Fiction League, then The Futurian, the Pseudo-Futurian and finally to our present fanzine. Which makes us really nearly 5 years old! However, somehow or another quite a bumper issue has accumulated and indeed, it has taken your editor all his time to manage to get it out, In fact the correspondence situation has got completely out of hand and apologies are due to all the people who should have been written to, but haven't alas! Last time we dared glance thru the pile of epistles requiring answers there were 28 and in spite of attempts to deal with them, we fear there are nearer forty by now. So forgive us if you have to wait a century or two for your letter to be dealt with. New subscribers this time are A.C.1 Robert Chittock, stationed at Honiley near Kenilworth; L.A.C. Alan H. Miles of 1, Exmouth Rd. .Knole,Bristol, now stationed near Reading who wants to correspond with fans in or training for air-crews, and other people too, and Roy Almon of Roanoke, Alabama. Subs expiring are those of Bert Lewis & R.R. Johnson.


- the list of books included in the mailing is the start of a comprehensive list of my collection produced for several reasons, (a) to give information to those people who want to know which books to look out for (b) to allow bibliophiles to know what books I have and, therefore which others I would like, and because I require an up-to-date list myself. Given time I hope to include a sheet thereof with each mailing.

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BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY........................... ................................................................October 1942



The receipt of Entrance Fees from Messrs Carnell, E.F. and Johnson, R, R. brings the total membership up to 40. So far so good, but we want another ten members to attain even our preliminary target of 50, so it is hoped that all who have the chance to do a little propaganda will do so.


While the most charitable minded person could not honestly say the Society is in full swing yet, the Executive Committee, and Mr.Rosenblum in particular, have not been idle entirely. The library - well, the library is what you choose to make of it; I think it must be admitted that no fan society has had such an amazing, astounding, and wonderful start in this all important function. Unfortunately I have not a report from the Librarian to hand - mea culpa, I have left it too late to ask for one - but I hope that the "B" Section, so all-important not only from the material point of view but also for promoting a feeling of mutual co-operation, is receiving the backing it deserves from those with magazines or books to loan.

The Prospectus may be ready to be distributed with this. If so it will give all concise information as to the nature of the BFS and what it hopes to do for its members. It is not put forward as being complete, final and binding, it is there for anyone to improve on, to add to if they can. Suggestions, criticisms, abuse, anything is welcome to show that you are taking an intelligent interest in this Society you have joined. (But always remember the old pleas "Don't shoot the pianist, he's doing his best".)

Membership cards and official notepaper have been ordered. A suggestion by Edwin MacDonald that we draw up a brief pamphlet giving, for novitiates, .an explanation of what fandom is and what and why is the BFS, to be used in making converts, is being considered, and I think I can safely say here that what is chiefly needed is someone to draw it up. Any volunteers? The possibility of a larger work giving more detail of the development of British fandom is also being considered, in which case it would be best to make it the task of a special committee of volunteers.

The possibilities of co-operation with American fandom are being investigated, and it is suggested that we affiliate with the National Fantasy Fan Federation - a body of similar constitution to the BFS. And now you are all as wise as I am.

D.R. SMITH ( Secretary).

POSTSCRIPT by the Director.

We can start by being a little more cheerful about membership, no less than seven new applications having come in since our indefatigable secretary prepared his report They are those of Chittock, Robert; Edwards, B. H.; Ellis, Hugh John; Gibson, W.R.; Longton, Allan; and Miles, Allan. That brings us up to 47 now; almost to the 50 we were adopting as our preliminary aim. So now we can attempt to beat the NFFF with its 80 odd membership, and show the Americans just how to go about things. Which reminds me, quite a few people who have sent in late applications state that they intended to write previously. Are there any more in the same boat? If you have any friends in this position, give their memory a jog if you please. Rapid reports on several other matters!!!

Advisory Board. Nominations have been few and far between but totting we find the following nominated: JRRennison, WRGibson, STBirchby, EMacDonald, WTemple, DHouston and DTucker. Also RJSilburn (mathematical students will notice that I only listed 6 names above RJS should have been the 7th) & TOverton. To get on with matters nominations will be closed on October 15th. Prospectus and stationary are being attended to, but are not yet ready, but they ought to be in the near future.


Librarian Jack Gibson reports that from Aug.6th to Sep 20th some 15 persons have borrowed 85 items from the library. Complete lists will probably be issued every 3 months and supplementary lists at three month intervals. He also proposes an Esperanto group within the Society, which I will second. Pros and contras forward please. Last minute flash - - this is really not BFS matter, but will all people changing their addresses (Servicemen especially) please keep Douglas informed of their whereabouts (Idlewild, Fountainhall Road, Aberdeen). He will then see that others are informed. Thanks.