FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 25 (Vol. 3, Number 3) Jan 1943
The year came to a close with several bits of good news. In North Africa, the Eighth Army decisively defeated Rommel's Arika Korps at El Alamein, taking 9,000 Axis prisoners and destroying 300 tanks, while a few days later American troops landed in the Vichy-France part of North Africa in an operation that quickly siezed control of Algeria and Morocco. Within 24 hours of their surrender, German and Italian troops moved into Vichy-France. The French fleet in Toulon harbour was scuttled to prevent it falling into Axis hands, where it could have tipped the naval balance of power against the Allies.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #5 - ed. D.R.Smith - 4 pagesOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
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Beat the Trumpets, Sound the Drums .........................................................................................................here comes
Dealing with, and devoted to fantasy literature of all types, class and kinds, and the associated fantasts interested therein. Published sixweekly (we hope) by J. Michael Rosenblum out of sheer goodness of heart and weakness of brain from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds at 3d per copy. Reciprocal exchange welcome as are comments, criticisms, and contributions. Wonderifanyoneonehasreadthis.
anent the present situation and condition of FIDO and its litter has lead your editor to believe that the time is ripe for somewhat of a change in policy. The inspiration for "sheets" appears to be almost exhausted and Messrs Tucker, Overton, Houston and Beach-Silburn are in the throes of producing publications of their own. Hence I have decided to open the pages of this fanzine to articles of interest to fans and fandom as well as the merry snippets hitherto incorporated. Fiction appears to be out - not because of innate inferiority but rather a lack of space to develop properly. Thoughtful critical or informative articles on all phases of fantasy will be preferred, though nothing will definitely be barred. For the nonce book reviews should be restrained until a definite policy regarding the proposed Bibliography is published, but that does not mean that (say) a critique of the works of one author or one type of fantasy are not welcome. FIDO will still attempt to cater for as many varieties of fan tastes as is found possible, and to carry news items of general interest obtained or gleaned from all sources.
In addition we are considering the formation, in connection with the BFS, of a MS Bureau so as to help to ensure that writers will be sure of their mode of self-expression being duly brought before the fan public and fanzines be a little more certain of adequate souces of literary supply. In this connection we should be grateful if editors wishing to take advantge of such a service - both British and American - will indicate this fact and their general requirements to JMR. Payment of the author by means of a complimentary copy of the issue involved and a second copy for the archives of the Society is requested.
So we expect to be deluged in the near future with all sorts and types of literary compilations, and you needn't be bashful either.
OUR EXPEDITION TO NORTH AFRICA
A short while ago L/Bombardier Edward J. Carnell, accompanied by a number of his pals, paid an unexpected visit to the North coast of Africa - a mention of which has appeared in the more general press. This explains his seclusion, of late, from the ravings of Anglofandom. He was escorted by a portion of the British Navy not yet under the command of Donald J. Doughty, and according to information received, it is probable that air cover was given by Corporal Dave McIlwain of the RAF. The whereabouts of the latter duo are as yet unknown but Ted has returned to Britain, gone on leave and been recalled therefrom in the midst of said leave. He had intended to produce a four-page "Sands of Time" but circumstances forbade and herewith appended is something of a synopsis from his typewriter ----
SANDS OF TIME - Dec/Jan issue
Alas, dear friends, that we should be cut down to such a miserly size as this when we had planned a bumper four pages, but Recall to Duty notices aren't to be ignored and we haven't the time to cut stencils.
So - we went to Algiers with the Armada, and we had a wow of a time. Going on board a troopship in the harbour, after the initial work was over, we were amazed to find all the latest US mags on sale at the canteen. The steward had loaded up at New York prior to the trip. Even the British reprints were there. Coincidence of the trip -- Don Doughty was posted to his first battle-wagon some time ago, which happened to have wandered halfway round the globe with us in our recent excursions. On numerous occasions Don must have been on the receiving end of messages sent by ourselves -- although we weren't to know that. A letter awaited us from him when we returned giving the name of his ship. So near and yet so far.
Canadian Bob Gibson landed in on us the other evening and we spent a pleasant time together. The next opening we (Irene & I) spent a soulful period with the Old Gang -- Joan and Bill Temple, Joan and Ken Chapman, and Frank
Arnold. The first time we had met since entering the Services. Bill, despite repeated rumours, and
actually being on embarkation leave many times, had not left the country -- but he will have done
by the time you read this -- and we expect to be away again ourselves, possibly on the same job.
We nearly reached New York recently -- last minute change of plan turned the convoy eastward for
Britain -- curse the luck!
We'll be back...
was that made by the aforementioned Bob Gibson during a 9 days leave recently. Previously scheduled were visits to Aberdeen and Doug Webster; and Inverness' Edwin Macdonald with, if possible, a glance in, en voyage, at your editor in Leeds. The latter did not eventuate, however, but an extension to the original 7 days leave allowed a visit to a cousin now stationed at Manchester, followed by a rush over the Pennines to Leeds. To conclude the performance, hearing of Ted Carnell's return, Bob dropped in on him on the way back. Not bad going eh? We hope to drag a fuller record of the voyage and attendant impressions out of the gallant Canuck for publication in a future issue of FIDO.
FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES
You can stop holding your breath now. Alden Norton writes "Incidentally, you may have heard by this time, that this company (Popular Publications Inc) has purchased the Frank A. Munsey magazines, including FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES. It will continue to be published, although on a quarterly basis. Mary Gnaedinger will continue to edit it. Our first issue -- dated March 1943, will feature "Ark of Fire" by John Hawkins, with Finlay illustrations and a Finlay cover". Well, there's the news straight from the horse's mouth. Incidentally we learn that Popubs have got over their absolute ban on magazine reprints by initiating a policy of reprints from books in FFM.
to be called ODD TALES has been announced in USA. Advance reports claim that it will be the most sensational item ever offered to us, and will startle fandom. Pass the salt James. (Courtesy FFF)
Several people have enquired recently about the position regarding mailing of fanzines from USA. Here is the available data. To men in the British Armed Forces, no more than one parcel or package shall be accepted for mailing in any one week when sent by or on behalf of the same person or concern to or for the same addressee. Weight limit 11lbs, or 18 ins in length or 42 ins in length & girth combined. Persons not in the Armed Forces same rules except only one parcel to be sent in any one month. A curious exception is the Hagerstown, Md P.O., home of Harry Warner, who have interpreted this regulation to mean that no parcels can be sent and Harry is thus debarred temporarily from sending material he has accumulated. Moreover it is a possibility that USA, like Canada, will ban the sending of magazines and periodicals to Britain. We sincerely hope not!!!
ADIEU TO SPACEWAYS
It is sad indeed to lose an old friend even when the friend is an inanimate publication, but when it is the number one fanzine which gives up the ghost due to the war situation then we weep. After 4 years of regular appearance and consistent quality Harry Warner feels that the general and his own situations (Harry was due for the draft in Dec 42) force him to announce the discontinuance for the nonce of SPACEWAYS. In happier days it might be revived and Harry pays a tribute to fandom when he states that he does not think his time could have been better spent nor could he have obtained more knowledge, or come into contact with a group where so much sincerity enthusiasm, talent, and friendliness abound.
Can we squeeze in an explanation of the back cover Bob Tucker sent us? It illustrates a recent "Michiconference" and is itemised thusly; LeZ LovelieZ - 1. Kay Decker, 2. Smoky , a feline, 3. Jane Tucker, 4. Abby Lu Ashley, 5.Dorothy Tomkins, and 6. Verna Smith Trestraill. (Damn, those last two are wrong way.) LeZ Miserables; l.EEEvans and Chicken Leg, 2. Walt Liebsher acl, 3. Al Ashley acl, 4. sleeping-beauty Jack Wiedenbeck, 5. EESmith acl, 6. Mrs EESmith acl. 7. Verna (right this time), 8. Jane T., 9. Abby lu Ashley again. Wishwewerethere.
A resume of the current stfical situation in the Antipodes as seen by Graham Stone, 30 the Avenue, Randwick, Sydney, NSW.
"If anything, the stf situation in Australia is worse than in England. We haven't had a regular (full-size) fanmag this year. S.F.F. Reporter appeared every Tuesday (yes, actually and literally a regular weekly fanmag) for a while, then folded up. Futurian Observer still appears now and then. Futurian Spotlght has just had its second issue. None of these, except Observer, have been more than a single sheet. There are the reprint Astounding, Unknown and Science Fiction, of course but a surprising number of them fail to appear out here. We have had all the Tales of Wonder, but there will be no more of those now.Graham is willing to trade the booklets he mentions for many recent issues of the British reprints.
Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of F. A. Arnold, D. J. Doughty, J. W. Banks, and D.W. Gardiner... latter gentleman has now been called-up; present whereabouts unknown, the usual best wishes to him in his new circumstances...this will affect "Fidographs" we are afraid. Incidentally the picture and introduction of Roland Forster have been crowded out of this issue. Sorry....sundry moves -- Johnny Burke now near Nuneaton, Wally Gillings up at Catterick, Syd Bounds in Cornwall, Sid Birchby in the wilds near Sheffield, Bob Chittock has gone overseas, Bob Edwards has a new address - 34 Charlton Road, Brentry, Westbury, Bristol. Airgraph dept - Harold Gottliffe is now a Staff Sergeant and still at No 57 General Hospital. M.E.F; Bill Shelton is with No 118 M.U. RAF MEF wishes to convey belated but no less sincere good wishes to Mr and Mrs Harry Turner, and thanks BSF War Relief Society for sundry prozines which "had a big circulation in this particular strip of aridity"....re the Bibliography mentioned in the BFS Bulletin going out with this Fido to BFS members, please note that only lists of titles and authors are requested at this stage - further details will be requested later... Incidentally the Searles-Unger bibliography now being issued with Fantasy Fiction Field, two pages at a time, has now reached page 12, including two pages of introduction and a 2 page article dealing with the complete works of A. Merritt. The eight pages devoted to listing books takes us up to "Bu".. which means that it will be a goodly while till the job is conpleted - quite apart from the addenda and errata which we understand are rolling in. This effort includes all fantasy in book form published anywhere...have you noticed the two shilling edition of Dunne's "Experiment With Tine" now on all the book stalls? Published by Faber & Faber ...we recently noticed another new stf work of sorts in "The Prowlers of .the Deep" by Franklyn Kelsey, p. Harrap 8/- , and being a war story with a submarine powered by atomic engines, plus robo-soldiers and other interesting phenomena for twelve year olds...and before close, the very best wishes for the New Year and may 1943 be a happier year for us all. And thanks to all the kind people who sent me cards.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................14th. Dec. 1942
Burke, John F; Brown, Police Constable F.C.; Chadwick, Kenneth; Miller, J. T. Pte S/10692043; Norton, Alden P. (Honorary); and Williams, Arthur F.
Those additions bring the total membership up to 60. It would have been 61, but we have to announce the loss of one of our members. On the 23rd of November J.E. Rennison resigned from the society. He was Member No 2, being the first to join when the Society was formed by JMR.
Alden P. Norton
It has been suggested by several members that we ought to honour this most worthy Editor in some way as an acknowledgment of his generosity to British fandom, the only feasible way being to make him an Honorary member. This we have done, and the following letter is being sent to Mr Norton.
"As a token of the gratitude felt by British fandom for your really notable generosity in providing a number of representative British fans with free copies of ASTONISHING STORIES and SUPER SCIENCE STORIES it has been decided to make you an Honorary Member of the above Society. We trust that you will accept this humble testament of our esteem. Small honour though it be, it is the only one in our power to offer you.
We enclose your Membership Card and a copy of our Prospectus setting out the functions and aspirations of our Society. With the most sincere wishes for your happiness and prosperity during the coming year."
This idea, whose suggestion by Edwin MacDonald was announced in the last Bulletin, has aroused considerable interest and enthusiasm. Our Director, Michael Rosenblum, makes the following comment and request:-
"Most BFS members are probably unaware that data for such a production has been collected for several years by Messrs Bert Lewis, R.G. Medhurst, and myself, though we had decided to defer any attempt at publication until the end of the war. In view of the interest aroused and of the help that members of the society may be able to give, I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can assist to the extent of giving all or part of the following data about any fantasy work. Author, title, whether science-fiction (S) , fantasy (F) , weird (W), or occult (O), publisher, date of first edition (if known), synopsis, and if possible a brief review. Please list such volumes in alphabetical order of the author's name, starting each new letter on a fresh sheet of paper, and send in to myself or DRS as soon as possible (within reason of course )."
I think we can assume that JMR and his colleagues - all notable collectors of this type of fiction - have all the data they require on such authors as Wells, Verne. Poe, and other such well-known writers. In case of doubt, though, take it that they have never heard of the particular work which you are considering. Wheel 'em in!
Those in search of correspondents should write to the Director, J. Michael Rosenblum, who will try to arrange for suitable contacts.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN No 5. Page 2.
Advisory Board Election
The interest shown in this cannot be described as notable. Votes were received from Syd Beach, Jack Banks, Julian Parr, Maurice Hanson, Peter Knott, and B.H. Edwards, it being decided by the Executive Committee not to allow the votes of the candidates themselves. To make matters worse I had blundered in including Sid Birchby amongst the candidates, as he is not a member of the Society, and finally there is the resignation from the Society of J.E. Rennison - who, incidentally, was alone in scoring 100 per cent full votes.
I suggest that all the remaining six candidates be elected, and that the Advisory Board be composed of W.H. Gibson, Donald Houston, Terence Overton, R. Silburn, and Dennis Tucker, with Edwin MacDonald, who had a lead of one in the voting, as Coordinator, their term of duty to expire on June 30th. 1943 with that of the Executive Committee, when we may hope to hold a more satisfactory election. If any member wishes to raise an objection to this arrangement will he please do so before January 23rd, when, in the case of no objection being received, the A.B. may be launched on its brief trial voyage.
After further consideration it has been decided to open this to all BFS members desiring to participate in the circulation of near-current U.S. magazines. The member in charge is Kenneth Chadwick, of 45 Salisbury Road, Leeds 12, and applications may be addressed either to him or to JMR. The cost to each member will be one-way postage only, the chief liability that of passing on the magazine within a reasonable time (days - not weeks) and of not damaging the magazine more than can be avoided with reasonable care. A service of one magazine a week will be attempted until it is seen how the scheme is working, with the prospect of further chains being started if the one becomes overloaded.
Science Discussions Group.
There must be a number of our members who are very much interested in scientific developments, and it is suggested that these may like to form a discussion group amongst themselves. The chain-letter principle would enable such a discussion to take place, the chain being initiated by the leader of the group who proposes a topic to which each in turn adds his remarks or additional information. As the chain goes round on its second circuit each member would remove and file his own previous remarks, making notes as desired of the opinions and information contributed by the others. Possibly two or more chains could be simultaneously circulated, to prevent too much delay between each, one on astronautics and one on the possibilities of atomic power for example.
The advantages are obvious. If ten people are involved, then each can gather the opinions af all the others by writing one letter instead of ten. Moreover ten persons together are much more likely to sift out odd tit-bits of information than one person alone, and there is, above all, the great advantages to be gained from argument of finding out thus the limitations of one's knowledge.
Will those interested please communicate with the Secretary (i.e. me) in the first place, mentioning whether they are prepared to undertake the task of initiating and supervising the discussions, and if so mentioning if they have any qualifications particularly fitting them for the task.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN No 5. Page 3.
This idea is taking real hold, and it looks as though it will be attended by more than Midlanders alone. Roy Johnson has formed a committee on the subject and is trying to get the questions of where and when and how settled as soon as possible; how far he has gone he will possibly announce himself in his own sheet, "Mite". Certainly if he pulls it off, and it certainly looks most promising at the moment, he and his colleagues will deserve something more than a pat on the back.
It being six months since the formation of the BFS we thought it as well to let you know what we are doing with the subscriptions - or rather, entrance fees, which we have collected off you.
The purchase of the Official Notepaper was made by Mr Rosenblum, who is running this as a separate account, the cost being too great a burden for the Society finances to have met themselves. So far he has sold 1000 sheets of octavo paper at l/6d per hundred sheets and 600 sheets of quarto at l/9d per hundred sheets, a total income of £1. 5. 6d.
We regret to have to say that this position is, as yet, not filled. No volunteers have come forward and so far the various possibles whom we have tried have been unable to oblige. It is most unfortunate.
List of members.
Before commencing this I have to announce that another new member has joined us - Walter H. Gillings!
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN No 5. Page 4.|
List of Members (cont.)
The addresses as given above are accurate only within the limits of my present information. The bracketed numbers are, of course, the Membership Numbers of each.
And that is as much as there is room for, in spite of the increased size of this Bulletin over the previous issues. Happy New Year (we hope) !