FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 24 (Vol. 3, Number 2) Nov 1942
In October, the grinding battle of attrition for Stalingrad began in earnest. On the homefront, the cathedral city of Canterbury was bombed in a 'reprisal' attack for the RAF raid on Cologne, while in London the Allies took the first steps towards setting up a commission to investigate war crimes...
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #4 - ed. D.R.Smith - 1 pageOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................artwork by Arthur Williams
"During the present emergency a good many science fiction fans in Britain and the Dominions have been deprived of access to American magazines. I have tried to assemble a list of representative fans from across the sea, including yourself, and have just sent a memo to our circulation department, instructing them to put you on our free mailing list for SUPER SCIENCE STORIES and ASTONISHING STORIES. I hope you will find these books interesting. They seem to be going over pretty well with the American fans. ...I know it is only natural to regard with some wariness anything which comes free of charge. But rest assured that this action on my part is prompted by no other wish than to give at least a few British fans an opportunity to get some American science magazines during these unfortunate times."
Needless to say we will all be tremendously grateful for this gesture on Mr Norton's part and offer him out sincerest thanks. May the other publishing companies follow his example.
The other item is that all the rights titles and interest in the Munsey chain of pulp magazines have been sold to Popular Publications, the leading company behind the Fictioneer chain. These of course include Argosy and Famous Fantastic Mysteries. The future of this latter magazine is quite unknown, tho Mrs Gnaedinger its editress, is set to be be the only Munsey employee to be retained by Popular Pubs. The reprint rights to the old Munsey classics go with the sale but the purchasers at present have a complete ban on reprint material of all types. So possible FFM may break forth as a more "normal" stf magazine. We hope, however, its continuance will be possible.
Breathless with anticipation, you hold in your hand the November 1942 issue of.......
Legend. Being an Amateur Magazine published at approximately six-weekly intervals, at 3d per copy,
from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, England; by J. Micheal Rosenblum. Originally reasonably formal and
disinterested, the 'zine has now degenerated, owing to its producers lack of time and pre-occupation
with sundry other affairs, into a hastily compiled anthology of matter likely to be of some interest,
however slight, to fandom at large, and presented largely from a more personal viewpoint than is
really desirable. Comments and contributions welcome, as also is exchange with any other fan
publications. S'that then..
US FANDOM IN THE TOILS
After a little preliminary fraying round the edges of American fandom by the draft, news is now streaming in, of sad inroads amongst the ranks of our transatlantic confreres. Well-known now are the troubles of John W. Campbell of Astounding; with his crack authors rapidly receding from sight -so far Robert Heinlein - Anson Macdonald, Isaac Asimov (who, incidentally, got himself married on July 20th last), L. Ron Hubbard, L. Sprague de Camp, and on the art side, Rogers, Schneeman and Cartier, are all otherwise occupied for the duration and we even hear rumours of the possibility of JWC following them. But now fandom proper is being well and truly blitzed! Head fan Forrest James Ackerman has now retired from civilian life. "Voice of the Imagi-Nation" is to continue, but the troubles of the girl he left behind him (Morojo (Myrtle R. Douglas) have been accentuated by the departure of new-found collaborator Barbara E. Bovard, for Washington and a government job. Whence also have wandered Los Angeleans Helen Finn, Henry Hasse and wife nee Dorothy Finn, and Pacifist Arthur Louis Joquel II leaving Shangri-La feeling extremely depleted. Top fan Milton Rothman writes to us from an army recruit camp; he upped and enlisted before the draft got him. Joseph Gilbert, chieftain of the Columbia Camp clan, decided he preferred the sea to the army, and as the navy was choosy, he is now in training for the merchant marine. Mebbe we'll be seeing him. Sam Moskowitz was said to be in the army but rumours appear to be slightly dubious. Tennyrate he seems to be well out of circulation. Besides Milty, Philadelphia has lost Bob Madle and Phillips; Rusetebar (Rust E Barron) has also probably gone by now to the Marines, J.V. Baltadonis has joined the army reserve to be called up in Feb 1943, and solitary surviviors Bill Schott and Charlie Bert are both liable to the draft. Edward E Connor, one of the most promising of the newer crop of fans, is another absentee. And we learn of US fandom's first casualty too, the death on active service of Arthur Kimball of New York City, in the Pacific. The Denver trio of Roy Hunt, Lew Martin, and Bob Jenks are in the navy and Olon Wiggins too, is either there or in the marines. Charles D Hornig ruminates in a C.O. camp. Willis Conover, old time fan, is yet another in the army, John L Chapman of Minneapolis is in the army air corps, fellow-townsmen Cyril Eggum and Douglas Blakely grace the army's ranks and Clifford D Simak has been in and out of the Military Intelligence and is now back at the writing desk. From Eric Frank Russell informs that Fred Shroyer is now a lieutenant in the Air Corps and can be reached by his home address, 710 N 3rd St, Decatur, Indiana. And that Henry Kutttner is now in the forces. Later news says that another draftee is Gus Willmorth, Director of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, and Ackerman's present address is Private FJA, Service Command Unit 1959, Checking Station, Fort MacArthur, California.
John M Cunningham reports that he too will be of draft age by the time that this is in print and may be therefore abstracted from actifandom, Should this catastrophe occur, and no one else is willing to take over the BSFWRS service, all unexpired subscriptions will, perforce, have to be returned. In any case his rota is complete already and no more subs of any type can be accepted.
Gunner William Frederick Temple has now shaken the dust of this country from his feet and departed overseas. Whence is, of course, as yet a mystery but it might, very appropriately, be Egypt and the Sphinx ... on the pseudonym front, FFF recently revealed that Ron Hubbard is the brain behind Von Rachen and Lafayette. And the new Astounding author Hal Clement is in private life, Harry Stubbs, a member of the Stranger Club of Boston, Mass ... no orders for the omnibus volume of Charles Fort's works sent to Messrs King Littlewood and King can be fulfilled until after February, as their importation quota is already pledged till that date ... Wanted. Any issues "Weird Tales" in good condition, buy or swap, write first, DHouston, 142 Arlington Rd, Northampton ... Particularly wanted. Copies of fantasy books by W. Hope-Hodgson, write to JMRosenblum. Also sundry other stf works in gd cond.
- From M688 S/Sgt. Dmitri de Woronin, HQ 25 (EA) Bde, APS, E.A.Cmmd ; - Home Address, P.O. Trelawney, S. Rhodesia.
1940- May-August: In Palestine with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (complete with kilt). Sept-Dec Western Desert, breathing sand kicking Ities out of Sidi Barrani and Bardia. Jan-May, 1941 ; Enjoying a dose of pneumonia and convalescing. Said Good-bye to the A and S H and sent to East Africa and became a Sgt in a Bde HQ - Clerical work.
Sept sailed to Eritrea and Abyssinia. Nov. Captured Gondar and became a Staff Sgt. March 1942 Came back to Kenya, and in May went home on leave. So now I've done Cape to Cairo by road with the exception of the Asmara - Cairo stretch (I hope you can read page 1).
Had three "war-poems" published in the Salisbury Paper, and the last 2 paid for the enormous sum of 7/6 each (copies on application).
Became photographic adviser of the Brigade, customers being from the Brigadier himself down to native servants. To save speech, which is golden, "published" on the duplicator a "book" for beginners - limited edition of 50 or so copies, which were thrown at all and sundry, and, I hope, improved the photo mindedness, etc. of the Bde. During the Gondar Show arranged with Division HQ. to take operation photos for them for world distribution and scooped a scoop, when the press photographer decamped, and half an hour later an envoy came from Gondar and tried to make friends with the Brig. I heard that pictures of the conference were published, but I haven't seen them so far, As far as I know, I was the only photographer present, so they must be mine.
Wrote a Rhodesian story last year, and sent it to my collaborator in Chicago. Haven't done any reading for years. There are Astoundings and Unknowns for 1940 waiting to be read. The Weird Tales are still coming..." Fine to hear from you Dmitri, keep on writing!
Yes apparently stf isn't quite dead yet, as the following note from Benson Herbert (Faraday House, Southampton Row, WC1) implies...
"It may interest you to know that I am becoming General Manager of a publishing firm, Lloyd Cole, in January, and we are publishing a series of science fiction booklets by myself at 6d. Harry Turner will illlustrate." Benson goes on to say that he will appreciate MSS, about 12,000 words for preference, and will be glad to see any that are sent. Payment will be by royalties only. We hope for futher details as the scheme proceeds.
from old faithful Sidney L. Birchby. "This week I am on leave, on one of the usual giddy flying visits. Yesterday I was in Troon, Scotland; right now I am in Nottingham, having passed through Leeds at three am, & tomorrow I am off to Wells, for a weekend caving in the Mendips. Have you seen in the shops a book called "Romping Through Physics" by Otto Willi Gail, one time Wonder Stories author? Or the Daily Mirrors' new comic strip, "Ruggles' Time Trip"?
Bill Temple, home on embarkation leave recently, had just bought H.G Wells' new book, "The Conquest of Time", described as a restatement of "First and Last Things". In his opinion and mine, it is not one of his best and about as lucid as a blackout.
A convivial evening was given at Frank Arnold's flat. Frank and Joan Temple discussed womens dresses, Bill and others sniggered over Esquire and tried to force the steel cabinet in which Frank keeps his "Gay Books", while Harry Chibbett held forth upon the latest supernatural mystery; the Gremlins. - mysterious hobgoblins who pervade the upper atmosphere, where they plague unwary airmen by making the machinery go wrong." (Anything but Stf apparently !!)
Arthur C Clarke, still at Yatesbury, tho he prefers use of his home address has tell us; "You might like to know that I shall be appearing on the bookstalls as I have an article entitled "More Television Waveforms" in the November issue of "Electronic Engineering". It deals with the Fourier analysis of the exponential wave produced by the passage of rectilinear voltages through resistance-capacity couplings. Thought you'd like to know. (So we do, and very interesting it is!!) Of more general interest, I should have a letter on the subject of interplanetary radio in the Nov. "Wireless World". They had an article on the subject last month and I made some comments on it which the editor said he would include in the next issue. As you can imagine I am far too busy to take any active interest in fandom, which is the main reason why I have not joined the British Fantasy Society. (Shame!) From time to time, of when my sub runs out you will hear from me and that's all."
This month there are one or two items crowded out of the Bulletin, and rather than leave them till next time lets try and deal briefly with them here. Firstly we are all immensely sorry to lose the services of Jack Gibson; here are some comments by DR "The gap he leaves is an extremely difficult one to fill. On the capabilities of the Librarian rests much of the future of the Society. An enthusiast is needed with a considerable amount of time to devote to this service, of a mature mind and capabilities, preferably with American contacts. We ask for volunteers. We hope the members will not fail us." Secondly, membership cards are now ready and will be distributed with this mailing. Thirdly, a new service is on the point of commencement, namely a "prozine chain" for forces members. Idea is that many fans in the forces cannot comply with the Library conditions about looking after borrowed material; so current magazines will be passed round such people. Those wishing to participate inform JMR. Cost will be postage only; and whilst unavoidable damage is winked at, all reasonable care should be taken, and the 'zines must be passed on to the next in line. If they survive this chain, they will then go to the MEF! Other ideas being considered include BFS recognition of Alden Norton's kindness, possible establishment of a fanzine MSS Bureau, and methods of advertising the organisation.
Worcester seems to be well in the news this month. Firstly 'tis the town where Londoner Horace Vella is undergoing his preliminary army training. Secondly, 'Tis where James Parkhill Rathbone, who has finally married the girl - Alys Rita Pitman - has succeeded in obtaining an appointment at a hospital. And just to round things off, we have managed to establish contact with a mature Worcester fan, Walter E. Norcott, who is now initiated into the melee of fandom. Jack Banks of Eastbourne is now "on probation" at an "International Voluntary Service for Peace" service scheme at Plaistow, London; in fulfilment of his "social service" exemption. John Frederick Burke has been switched over from the RAF to the new REME and from Dudley to Huddersfield. He has managed to visit ye Ed once so far, and may be here again in the near future. A brief airgraph from Harold Gottliffe informs that he now to be reached at No 57 General Hospital MEF. Your editor was astonished last night to receive a phone call from R.E. Folkes of Gloucester. More are promised - phanzines by phone is our motto!
YE NOTICE BOARD
If you haven't noticed it already, let me whisper that this issue is being duplicated on paper sent from USA, mainly by 4sj, but Bob Tucker passed on the "advert" on page 6 which does seem slightly familiar. The "Litter" is down somewhat tho many people will be getting a few enclosures - BFS material mainly. MITE is absent but will be back next month; you may wonder a little at the abruptness of GALAXY but the frontispiece and a full-page advert of the forthcoming Overton-Houston fanzine (price 6d, 40 half-foolscap pages, out Dec 1st) have been left undone. New subscribers include LAC Eric Patterson, Eagle nr Lincoln, and Walter Norcott, Worcester. Subs expiring are those of Ted Carnell, J.Briston, M.K. Hanson, T.Overton, J.Morgan and E.A.Thompson. A.F. Williams, 11 Kenbury St, Camberwell, SE8 has quite a few magazines for sale, mainly Astoundings. Write for details. Edwin Macdonald, 25 Dochfour Dr, Inverness, wants the first 5 issues of FIDO. Write first. More moves; AC2 Julian Parr is now at Hagley, Worcs, and Gnr H. Towers, has moved from Swansea to Salisbury. Jack Gibson wishes to say that he has been unable to reply to a number of letters received recently due to circumstances beyond his control. He asks that people affected accept his sincere regrets. He also mentions that a number of fanzine chains which have been sent out, have not returned to the fold. This is not good enough; if people cannot pass on the stuff they request, the only solution is to blacklist such saboteurs and cut them out of BFS benefits. Will anybody holding such material please send it at once to JMR. Youhavebeenwarned!! Dismal news comes from Canada, where it has been decided to conserve shipping space to the United Kingdom by prohibiting the sending of newspapers and periodicals. From the wording of the order we are dubious as to whether books are affected as well; but certainly it means that our Canadian friends cannot send us any further copies of fantasy magazines.
SCIENCE FICTION INSTITUTE
Gus Wilmoth writes in the latest issue of "Shangri L'Affaires" - organ of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society; "The disposal of the magnificent Ackerman collection has already been widely publicized, but it will do no harm to mention here the worthy project of the Science Fiction Institute." If Forrie is carried into actual combat and is thereby liquidated, one thousand dollars and the actual collection is to be the embryo of a foundation dedicated to the preservation of science fiction, it would definitely be someplace to will those well-beloved collections to - a symbol for the whole of fandomania to grasp and reverate."
Peter Hawkins, 25 Collingwood Ave, Tolworth, Surrey, wants to buy US stf mags, almost any date also set of Scoops, and most of the Not at Night series of books.
Asking for a full autobiography of the man whose name everybody knows FIDO obtained the following;-
The name is CARNELL, usually known as "Ted" ... maybe you've disagreed with my views occasionally, for which healthful sign I'm very grateful, as variety is the spice of a stfans life Especially when it is opinion.
Born in 1912 (that makes me 30 now, my son); first dabbled in fantasy reading with Verne at the age of 8. Shortly afterwards came "Boys Magazine" a lurid red-covered 'blood'; which ran lengthy serials on invasions by Martians and others of that ilk. I used to bind the damn things into book form - which cost me a Trade Scholarship in book-binding because the Board thought that I shouldn't read such tripe! Later when working through a printing apprenticeship, one of the machine hands used to pass me his copies of WONDER. That was coming up to 1930 I believe.
That died away, as we only obtained copies spasmodically, until I 'discovered' the Clayton ASF secondhand on the junk stalls in 1930. Became somewhat enthusiastic, and followed ASF till it faded out in 1933. Didn't even know that S&S had taken it over until early 1935, when a copy was sent to me by a New York correspondent. But before that arrived, I had become embroiled in US fandom through the letter section of Amazing. When I lost touch with ASF, I took Doc Sloane's mag into my bosom, and was greatly desirous of having some New York correspondents.
I picked out George Gordon Clark of Brooklyn, as a possible and wrote him without any response at first. In desperation I then picked out a round dozen names and wrote all of them - that great friend of mine, Forrie Ackerman, was amongst those who didn't reply. Wild Bill Hoskins was another, as were several other well known names of the times. Then I received replies from Clark, and also from Harold Kirshenblit, also of Brooklyn, and the great game was on. Correspondence began to spread out over the States - Wolheim and a host of New Yorkers; Dan McPhail of Oklahoma; the Beck's of California; Wiggins, Colorado; Baltadonis, Philly; even down to NZ and Aussie the mail list extended.
Back on the home front, through Clark of Brooklyn, I became acquainted with Les Johnson, later to be in partnership with him in Britain's SCIENCE FICTION SERVICE. Through Les and Eric Russell I met and became firm friends with Wally Gillings, and through Wally I met Ken Chapman and the host of other British fans that was gradually built up in the days of 1937-38. While meetings began to get under way in this country, I was steadily writing badly phrased articles and opinions for numerous American mags, and becoming involved in more correspondence than I intended. At one time I had over 30 American correspondents writing continuously.
The above is a very sketchy outline of earlier days, and what has transpired since would fill at least three of these pages - a length I'm forbidden. Sorry. Briefly there was the formation of Britain's SFA; meetings and journeys with fans in different parts of the country; weekends spent in the attic with Maurice Hanson churning out his NOVAE TERRAE, which later I took over and issued as NEW WORLDS (to fade out with the advent of war). The attempt at getting a professional monthly going, early in 1940, which brought overwhelming response from American authors - one of these days I'll publish all the facts about that failure, & some of the original letters in my possession - and of the great help British authors gave - most of them.
Of the work that went into the SERVICE, and how it grew from a hobby, into a flourishing business, and spread right round the globe. Of the friendships that formed with Americans - Forrie and I started off with a slanging match about Esperanto, in an early NOVAE TERRAE, and then formed a friendship that time and distance cannot break. Of the interesting forceful letters of Williamson and Heinlein, Campbell, Swisher and many others.
So to the war period, which didn't break me of stf. By various ways and means, mainly from American sources, I managed to keep my file of ASF and UNKNOWN up to date - from 1936 onwards I leaned more and more towards S&S publications, partly because the stories they publish make good reading (BLACK MASK is another of my favourites).
In condensed form, as Michael has asked for it - hobbies: dance bands, have played banjos and guitars for years, fitting dances into spare time not devoted to fandom. Typing, table tennis and cricket - the latter two in a big way. Stencilling - yes, I love to see a fan mag taking shape - if anyone hasn't seen a copy of the last NEW WORLDS that was put out by the SFA I'll gladly mail them a copy for a 2d stamp. That's a bargain.
This hasn't worked out so briefly as I anticipated - but then, half a lifetime in stf packs plenty of memories, and I've left out much that would be of interest. See you all at that first British convention after the war...
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................November 2nd 1942
Aiken, John K; Beach S.A; Goodie, Fred; Norcott, Walter; Parker, E.F; Patterson, Eric F. 1190705 LAC; Ridgway, Arthur J; Walton, Victor S; Wiggins, James R. Which brings the grand total to date to 55, making the target of 50 mentioned in the last Bulletin obsolete. On to the century!
This is dated Oct 28th, and covers the first three months of the Library's existence. "Eleven fans have borrowed 107 items, and I have requests from 3 more members to hand. Generally speaking these items have been treated with very great care, and everyone seems to have complied with the conditions laid down in the Catalogue in an exemplary fashion.
"John Cunningham has undertaken to keep the library supplied with U.S. mags, and a number of these have already arrived, as has also a copy of Weinbaum's "New Adam". Incidentally, he asks that should any member of the Society have a spare copy of any book by Stapledon will he please send it to the Libraraian (who will pay any reasonable price) to be forwarded to JMC. This seems the very least we can do in return for such generosity.
"I am by no means satisfied with the use members are making of the library. After all there are at least 47 members ((see above)), and while some of course have quite enough reading matter of their own I still feel that considerably more members could use it.
"A word of advice to those sending their first request for mags; don't send 9d in stamps asking me to send you as many mags as that amount will cover in postage. I have no means of knowing beforehand just how much the postage on a parcel will be, so that I'm unable to (as more than one person asked) return any surplus. Again it is imperative that prospective borrowers should send as complete a list of their requirements as possible.
"Alas! the following issues of Astounding have been lost in the post:- Oct 1934 to Feb 1935 inclusive. ((Alas is just about right! - DRS))
"Finally, will the person who has the four Astoundings containing "Slan" return them. There is not much on which to comment in this, except to express my surprise that our worthy Librarian should be complaining of being under- instead of over-worked. I am astounded, amazed, and astonished at such a situation. (Et tu, Brute? Mind your own business).
The following have been nominated for this; Birchby, S; Gibson, W.R; Houston, Donald; Macdonald, Edwin; Overton, Terrence; Rennison, J.E; Silburn, R; Tucker, Dennis (Excluding, unfortunately, the invaluable Temple, W.F., who has left for parts unknown).
The Board is to consist of five members and a coordinator, and members are requested to vote as soon as possible sending their preferences for Coordinator and members of the Board on a postcard to the Secretary - D.R.Smith 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton. Closing date for the polling is December 15th.
The Prospectus will be distributed to all members with this issue. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest, and if you have any questions or criticisms to offer, come forward with them.
The official notepaper is now available for purchase by members in two sizes, quarto and octavo, at 1/9d and 1/6d per hundred sheets respectively from Mr Rosenblum.
Messrs Terrence Overton and Dennis Tucker have volunteered for and are working on the proposed Publicity Pamphlet mentioned in the last Bulletin independently. We await the result of their labours.
Roy Roland Johnson of Leicester is working on the idea of a Midland Convention!!!
Edwin Macdonald of Inverness has sent a number of suggestions for activities including the compilation of a Bibliography of all forms of Fantastic Fiction, a similar work on Fantastic films, a "Who's Who" of British fandom, a Directory of ditto, and an organisation for reprinting selected fanmags of the past. These will be submitted to the Advisory Board when it is formed, but if in the meantime anyone has any comments to make - wheel 'em in!
It is with very great regret that we have to announce the resignation of Mr Jack Gibson from the position of Librarian and Member of the Executive Committee, his health no longer permitting him to fulful the obligations of the position.
The gap he leaves is an extremely difficult one to fill. We ask for volunteers, (more BFS details on page 4).
D.R. Smith, Secretary.