FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 29 (Vol. 3, Number 7) July 1943
On May 12th the war in North Africa effectively ended, all organised resistance by German and Italian troops ceasing following the order to surrender given by captured Geneneral Sixt von Arnim. On the 17th, the RAF launched the famous 'dambusters' raid which destroyed the Mohne and Eder dams, releasing millions of tons of water into the Ruhr and Eder valleys and causing massive damage to German industry. Also in May, the tide began to turn in the U-boat war in the Atlantic, the Allies finally gaining the upper hand.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #9 - ed. D.R.Smith - 2 pagesOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 9 * page 10 * page 11 * page 12 * page 13 * page 14
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................cover art by Arthur Williams
SIX FANS GO TO AVALON or The BFS Pendle Expedition.|
Something new in the way of fan meetings was tried this last Whitsuntide, and here is a brief resume of the proceedings, though Roy Johnson threatens all sorts of 'orrible disclosures in another issue of his sheet, due to go out with this Fido. 'Twas at the Midvention that Ron Lane, when mentioning that he and two other Mancunians - Ron Bradbury and George Ellis - were considering visiting Leeds at Whitsun, discovered that Roy Johnson and Donald Houston had the same brilliant idea. This fact was communicated to Michael Rosenblum together with the request that accommodation for the five should be sought out. However JMR too, wanted a holiday; and didn't want the bother of making enquiries at hotels and places. And he has a mother, who has a bungalow, yclept "Avalon", at Higherford, near Nelson, Lancs. So what? So he proposed that the whole party moved in to said edifice, bringing own basic rations, and spent the weekend together. General agreement from the others the matter was arranged thusly.
Six fans spent Saturday to Monday (4 till Tuesday) looking after themselves, cooking, washing up, tidying k.t.p. in glorious isolation. Other stefans in the neighbourhood were informed but none proved able to make it, Ron Holmes being prevented at almost the last minute.
JMR went from Leeds by bus on the Friday night, spent Saturday morning shopping for potatoes, bread and other non-rationed fodder; then wandered down to Nelson railway station (Yanks read Depot). The other five were
(continued on page nine inside)
Rise, all ye Faithful, or stand humbly at attention. Now follow directions
carefully. Wipe the hands, wipe the nose; wipe the feet - and wipe that silly
grin off your face. For this is Fido! The issue is dated July 1943. In your
files it is Vol III, #7. It comes to you by courtesy of British Movietone -
damn, I mean Michael Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7. The price is 3d,
it's said to appear every 6 weeks, and just guess who is stencilling this?
INFORMATION - "We Are Not Alone" - by - James Parkhill Rathbone
I don't know why it is, but no one ever tells me anything! Take this small matter of the discovery of a planet in a solar system not our own. I read Fido from cover to cover every time, but I don't see any reference. Or perhaps fans aren't interested in astronomy, perhaps they're interested in fans? And the first paper I come across that does tell me is THE COUNTRYMAN. The Countryman! Yokels, farmers, and gentlemen of the land.
In case there are any more people like me, here is the information:
'One morning before the close of the year' (very accurate, you understand), this
planet was discovered. It is supposed to have a density 5000 times that of the earth,
as the method that was used to discover it was the same as that used to find the faint
companion of Sirius, i.e. a star was found to wobble, & they calculated why. This
particular star (they don't say which one), was eleven years distant, "of stellar
mass of faint [luminosity?-- DW] & of planetary dimensions". Mass l/66th the mass
of the Sun, which is, of course, larger than Jupiter, our largest planet. Discovered
by Pr. Stroud, a Danish astronomer at Snathune College Observatory in Pennsylvania.
Technical article appears in February's PUBLICATIONS OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF
It would be interesting to know if the 200" would do anything with this object. I doubt it very much. I am thinking of planetary disks and suchlike vaguenesses. Undoubtedly the 200" might give enough data to calculate an orbit more accurately than would the telescope at Snathune College. But I should be interested in physical details. Of course, they won't say which star it is - probably one of these with a number and "N.G.C." before it.
I think this discovery is of the order of such discoveries as the heliocentric philosophy of Copernious and Galileo. We are, more and more, finding we 'are not alone'!
NOTES BY TYPOGRAPHER'S IMP
(1) Not being a professional cryptographer we found it difficult to decipher some of the above from the MS, & may have construed wrongly here & there. (2) If 11 light-years is correct for the distance, the star in question would probably be one of half-a-dozen smallish, faint red stars about that distance from here. (3) The whole account is a masterpiece of indefinite-ness - trust those yokels. "Density 5000 times that of Earth" (if accurate) indicates, not a planet., but a white dwarf star (if our shaky memory of astronomy fails us not); on the other hand, it's difficult to make out which items refer to the primary star, which to the new object; in any case, isn't "mass l/66th that of the Sun" rather small for any sort of a star? We are considerably baffled. Damn the yokels !
SUGGESTION - 'Back to the Classics' - by - E. Frank Parker
A little while ago I met a keen fantasy fan I know., His lips wore a mournful droop and in his eyes was mirrored the hopeless misery of the codfish on the fishmonger's slab. Now all this was peculiar, because normally this was a zestful fan, one who got a lot of fun out of life and especially out of his chosen hobby.
"What ails?" I enquired, "Doctor signed your death-warrant?"
"No," he groaned. "Worse than that. Much worse! " And he proceeded to tell me the whole sad story.
It seems that a friend of his had been in the U.S. almost since the outbreak of war. This friend had generously acted as forwarding agent to my acquaintance, the fan, and as a result a large number of recent magazine issues had reached him.
Now he who had done the forwarding was homeward bound for England again. Result:
no more current magazines....And hence the furrowed forehead and puckered of my
acquaintance, the fan.
I sympathised with some fellow feeling as one whose links with the pro-mag field were themselves wearing only too thin. But I had some advice to offer him, too. Shortly before, I had found something of a solution to this problem, which worked very well in my case, and eventually did so in his.
This fan, I knew, like myself possessed a collection of back numbers. I don't know how many he had: it didn't matter much, because he was a BFS member and could get most back issues out of the BFS Library. At any rate, he was familiar with the history and development of magazine stf . But I was ready to swear that he hadn't opened any of those back issues of his for a very long time.
What is it that makes us hoard these magazines, once read, just for the joy of possession? Don't ask me. I know that my original reason for keeping stf magazines was because, earlier, when I was very young, I got rid of a pile (and went to the pictures on the proceeds!) - and for many months after, when for some reason I was quite unable to get hold of any more issues, I pined in vain for a draught of the blessed Lethe. It was during that pining period that I resolved never again to discard any new fantasy magazine that came my way; and no, I never have!
But when I could get them all again, regularly, the pile grew rather alarmingly. And I had plenty to read, and never had to turn to the back numbers for solace. So the collection expanded, and got put on one side and pawed over occasionally - but never re-read!
Now, current magazines are very, very scarce, They're likely, of course, to become yet scarcer. And I submit that this is the time we collectors have subconsciously been preparing for. We have the material at hand, piles of it, much of it very good stuff indeed. Let us turn to it.
There are innumerable ways of interesting oneself in the stories of earlier years. One can, of course, simply turn back to the acknowledged classics, the SKYLARKS, MOON POOL, SEEDS OF LIFE and so on, and re-read them for what they are - very good, original and well-told stories. Sometimes, in order to appreciate fully just how original and how progressive these stories really were, it is a good idea to read some of the other yarns in the same & preceding issues, and thus get a picture of where the field of fantasy stood at the time of their first appearance. Often the result is eye-opening. But this for all that is only a very superficial way of using the opportunities afforded by these collections.
One can, for example, trace back the work of a favourite author of today or yesterday, study the evolution of his style, his susceptibility to certain trends, his resistance to others. Or one can amuse oneself hugely by going back to the work of original minds like EESmith or Stanley Weinbaum, and tracing, through the issues of magazines which appeared after their first work was published, the profound influence they have exerted upon the technique of fantasy story-telling. For example, look at the trend in ASTOUNDING today. Time-travel, once the Cinderella of the basic plots, has come into its own again by virtue of the "branched time" concept. And who started that trend? No, it wasn't Rocklynne with TIME WANTS A SKELETON. Nor was it Heinlein or Van Vogt. It was David R. Daniels with THE BRANCHES OF TIME in one of the last issues of the old WONDER STORIES - the most astonishing example of delayed-action influence that I know! [If a former reader might shove in his oar - Strangely, there appeared, almost concurrently with this, at least two other stories of the same type - a van Manderpootz one by Weinbaum, and SIDEWAYS IN TIME by Leinster in ASTOUNDING. The interesting question is: what produced these three (maybe more) variations of the same original theme, certainly independently, at very nearly the same time? - Typographer's Imp.]
Then there are many good stories, seldom mentioned now, that deserve re-reading on their own merits. Recently, I read Murray Leinster's POWER PLANET in a 1932 AMAZING. It had all the originality of conception, the power of development and the high level of characterization, that is demanded by ASTOUNDING today.
There are authors whose names we have forgotten who produced many little classics in their time. Chan Corbett [Schachner - TI] , for instance, in ASTOUNDINGS from 1933-1937, & Laurence Manning with his delightful Stranger Club stories and the brilliant "Man Who Awoke" series, of 1932-1933 in WONDER STORIES. And who can forget the breath-taking beauty of some of Clark Ashton Smith's work of about the same era?
Not the least interesting of the possibilities of a "back-numbers" library is the
tracing of the influence of the readers in promoting changes. How often can we see
a story which, in this day and age, would be scorned and rubbed in the dust,
acclaimed by the readers of yesteryear, & sometimes even starting a new fashion?
And again, a story outstanding by our present yardsticks, being thumbed down by
the amateur critics because it was too advanced for its time? A fascinating field
of study, this, and sometimes a melancholy one.
One other field I must mention before I close. the magazines themselves. To trace their evolution, especially in respect of the history of the eventful past 16 years, is an education in itself. Try it sometime and see!
Yes, there is always something to interest the fan whose wartime issues supply has ceased, if he approached the problem in the right way. And so it is that I say - back to the classics, young fan!
There's a little matter of fantasy books, too, to interest the fan cut off from US mags.
--From aforesaid Imp, who is tired of typing other people's dirt, and wants to advertise himself. We hope you'll read this and act on it. Some of you will have seen copies of the Schwartz fan-biography booklet mentioned in Fido recently. Now, Messrs. Rosenblum & Webster had been thinking of issuing just such a booklet, dealing with English fans, & with your cooperation, they hope to start this going right away. Therefore:- we want you, without fail, to send in a short, potted autobiography, limited to some 100 words, and containing vital information such as your date of birth, height, weight, job, interests, first connections with stf and fans, &c. And anything else likely to be relevant or revealing. Thus it's useless repeating for the millionth time that you like EESmith or your favourite film-actor is Cary Grant; but if you're ga-ga over Dorothy Lamour or Veronica Lake we should be able to work it up into something pathological, and if your life-ambition is to see Marlene Deitrich in the nude we can front-page you right away as Britain's coming #1 Fan. This applies to all British fans, and may we make a special appeal, that if you haven't been very 'active' lately, or are, say, serving overseas, you should still take five or ten minutes off to fill up a card with the details, and send it in. This booklet can't just be produced by one or two persons alone: to be successful it must be a cooperative venture, so we hope you'll all make the little effort to help us. Send the 'autobiog', either right away (preferably on a pc) or when you happen to write them, to JMR or DWebster, Idlewild, Fountainhall Road, Aberdeen - and be sure to keep it on a separate sheet from any other matter in your letter. Anyway, do it. Naturally, it'll be a considerable while, from the nature of the job, before this booklet can be ready. When it is, we'll print details in Fido; to avoid confusion, customers in GB should wait till then before ordering copies; on the other hand, fans serving overseas or in the USA will receive their copies free, so any who wish a copy should drop a note to that effect to Webster (not JMR) as soon as they like. So, thanks in advance, boys. We hope you'll help.
REVERIE --- by a bloke called "Staggerer" ---
After the war, divine words of music! much can & will take place in the publishing industry throughout the world, much that will affect science-fiction. One small facet of what might be - A world in which stf becomes a so-called "Popular literature", ranking with "Westerns and "Mysteries", &c. What a hideous concept! [We might even get some more good adventure stories written about human beings for a change. Perish the thought! - TI] And yet, is not this state of affairs the goal towards which we advertise stf? One marked difference would be the increased output of stf in bulk. Best sellers would be written, perhaps, by a one-time hack on ASTOUNDING's staff. The public's lay mind, in connection with stf, would not have the rare discrimination common to a true fan. And have the fans any power whatsoever to influence Editors and publisher? We make the most noise, we are the best organised, but we are not in the main selling field the publisher is catering for. Of the many prozines that will spring into existence, will those run by fans, who at the
moment nurture fond dreams within their martial bosoms, fare any better than those
run by business men out for a profit to enable them to go on living. Impulsive
answer says "Yes!" But a prozine run on lines truly fannish would be incomprehensible
to the normal "man-in-the-street ". Reluctantly we must realise that reams and reams
of rubbish would be written and would see print. More so in proportion than today,
for restrictions tend to send quality of material up, in the fierce cut-throat
competition that exists. But perhaps the biggest point that will be a thorn in the
flesh is the tender problem of who is a fan? Will fandom spread to include all those
actively interested in stf as we are today? Pity poor Michael, & those few like him.
Correspondents would inundate his mailbag to bursting point. His records, while
attaining new, undreamt of heights, would also fall by the way. I see a new figure
on the horizon. One who makes of fandom his career life, writes, publishes &c.,
thereby earning his honest living. A new era is dawning - the day of the
"Dear J" - under sep cov am sending pkg containing copys the camppaper I now work
on full time in the army. Ish in question features a Fearnian stfantasyarn I put
across + numerous othersitems by Yours Fooly. Would U please mention in Fido that
I'm considerably indebted to "Bobby" (Barbara) Bovard for marking the papers for
me, a not inconsiderable job considering there were about 23 checks to be made on
each! Checks indicate items I wrote or concerning me.
- and so to every British recipient of Fido goes a copy of the "Fort MacArthur Alert" sent by PFC Forrest James Ackerman. We thank Forry for his gift, & Bobby for her kind assistance.
Latest loss to Anglofandom is Arthur P. Williams of Kenbury St., Camberwell, London, who joined the RAF on May 24th, Arthur was one of the new fans, only becoming active since the outbreak of war, but he came into fandom with a bang, & during a short-lived partnership with Ken Bulmer, till that gentleman was called up, made up numerous ambitious plans for fannish activities & carried out a number of them. He edited several issues of THE SCIENCE FANTASY FAN, & with Ken FANTASY POST, Artistical, he has been responsible for many drawings, including Fido covers, & is now developing his technique in a constantly improving manner. Arthur has also spent some time in planning a "fan encyclopaedia" to include a history of fandom in this country, & much data on magazine & book stf . His latest work was the production of the MIDVENTION BOOKLET. .... Incidentally, we shall be running a series of Fido covers dealing with various promagazines as visualised by Arthur.
REPORT- "Too Much Water in Cosmopolis!" - E.F. Parker
Planned for Saturday, May 9, the Cosmos Club's Field Day, which included a water-divining expedition, was a wash-out. Nobody could have helped divining water - the darned stuff was everywhere! So the dozen brave souls who defied the weather repaired to Shirley's Cafe, and in the upper room did some more extra-sensory perception tests. Physicist Bullett (present at a meeting for the first time) analysed the results and said they nere meaningless. Shame!
The congress broke up for a very starchy tea at another joint down the road; blows were just avoided over (a) the odd jam-tarts and (b) whether Sprague de Camp was "hack". More ESP tests followed at the reassembly. Art Williams (who'd got lost in Bushey Park!) and Al Gascoigne were welcomed to the fold.
Later, a select bunch paddled off to divine the water, but didn't have much luck. Rumor has it, however, that they ended up by finding another liquid...!
New 9d. Penguin publication consists of about half a dozen of the ''Short Stories of Algernon Blackwood". Although these stories are also contained in sundry other collections of Blackwood's works we are heartily in favour of any procedure which brings this writer's work before a wider public. . .... Another Penguin production, at 1/- this time, is LIVING IN CITIES by Ralph Tubbs, a sequel to the 1940-42 exhibition of the same name. Of direct interest to the
fantast not only on account of its sociological knowledge, but its direct advocacy
of the form of the city of the future.....At the other end of the scale is a GGSwan
publication we've kept putting off mentioning for some obscure psychological reason.
Entitled INTO THE FOURTH DIMENSION by Ray Cummings, it also includes a number of
other reprints, CARIDI SHALL NOT DIE - Walter Kubilius; BABY DREAMS - Alan Warland:
SIR MALLORIES MAGNITUDE - SDGottesman; EPHONY'S SPECTACLES - Clarence Granoski &
POWER PLANT by Lee Gregor. Price 1/-, 128 pages, cover in half tone, the usual Swan
monstrosity. Announced on the back is THE MOON CONQUERERS by
PHRomans - but no sign of this opus as yet ...... BSFWRS. We regret that we haven't
yet heard, from John M. Cunningham, anything definite about the continuation or
winding up of the organisation & have little idea just what is being done at the
moment. An attempt to discuss matters by mail was frustrated by enquiries from
Exchange Control re the monies involved & we have no alternative but to continue
waiting, & hoping for the best ..... And the matter of English subscribers to
SPACEWAYS (alas, defunct) hasn't been satisfactorily cleared up as yet, Harry.
Could we have the promised accounts to see how things stand? ..... Which reminds
our Imp that the letters relevant to the last issue of SPACEWAYS were to be
published by Larry Farsaci. Wouldn't it be possible to arrange for a few copies
to be sent over for the one-time English subscribers? As we had an article in
the last issue, we have a special interest in this! ......Letter from Milty
Rothman on dinky notepaper featuring the cute little rabbit-drummer from BAMBI:
Says he (Milty, not rabbit) has landed in an Army Specialist Training Program
and is now doing a 9-mths. course of study in Electrical Engineering at Oregon
State College - at the USArmy's expense! Lucky man! ..... 1081355. Bdr. Carnell,
E.J., No.l Bombardment Group, c/o APO 4545 sends an airgraph, Reached ME, regards
to all & sundry. Letters will be welcome. Hoping to see some of the boys out that
way. Finds plenty of SF mags but at 2/- each mainly 1941 remainders. Found his
sergeant pal is a fan - been together a year & never knew. Helped produce ship's
newspaper on way out & contributed an astronautical article. Wottaman! .....
Edwin Macdonald on deferred service, or whatever you call it. Had his medical
for the RAF, was given a pretty little badge, & is being left to simmer for
anything up to 10 months. Ugh ..... .And that' s all our news, as yet . Over to
PS - further late news. Culled from LE ZOMBIE: Fred Pohl is in the USArmy, Don
Wollheim editing Sports & tec. mags, Damon Knight has replaced Dorothy LesTina
as assistant editor for Popular Publications. ........ And is it that we just
don't read Fido carefully enough, or are we right in thinking no mention has yet
been made of CSLewis' new fantasy book, PERELANDRA (Lane, 8/6). said to be a
worthy successor to OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET; religious in theme, & deals with
the planet Venus......
Last Fido your editor stated that the first American fan to land on British territory was John. L. Chapman of Minneapolis who is in India. But we were mistook, for John Millard, a "Galactic Roamer" from Battle Creek, Michigan, was apparently in England first. Johnnie, though an "American" fan, is actually a Canadian citizen & is in the Royal Canadian Air Force, & stationed, at the moment, near Thirsk in Yorkshire. Perhaps 25 miles from Leeds; your editor hopes to be the first Anglofan to speak to an Amerifan in this country!
In the reconstruction of London, many favour decentralization. This view seems eminently sensible. Cities throughout the world are becoming too big. They are hanging a giant's frame around an infant's skeleton. I see a city of business centres within easy walking access, then the homes, workshops, factories, all the gamut of civil life spread over the fair countryside. Fast rail-planes, possibly, would provide arteries of communication. Televisors connecting house to house. Private autogyros. Propellor-driven, duralumin land cars. The parklike aspect of England in her prime would not be marred, for great areas would receive preferential treatment, &. remain beautiful reservations of England's rural beauty, free to all. Each home would contain all the elements of modern life, flats & tenement dwellings will disappear entirely, except in few unusual instances, The close packed, broiling stews that are cities today will give place to a spacious network of communal homes, based on the family as a unit, The country of Tomorrow. The Land fit for Heroes to live in!
DISCUSSION ON THE ABOVE - Being a Reply - by - Doug Webster
I'd better be frank, When Michael sent me "Staggerer"'s second Reverie to stencil, I told him I'd be quite willing to stencil stuff I disagreed with entirely, stuff I should never publish myself, or stuff that didn't interest me but presumably would interest others; but if he wanted to publish trash of this sort, he'd better stencil it himself. That was my opinion. I'll tell you why.
Staggerer's Culture of Cities is of the backside-foremost type. It's on the Utopian theme, the Let's not bother with irksome ways & means, let's pretend there are no difficulties or complications, let's just consider it done, method. And as such, essentially unpractical and very silly. The backside-foremost method starts at the wrong end. It's obsessed with visions of shining metal erections & utopian city-spreads such as we've seen in stf illustrations ad nauseam; but the details of how all this is going to come about, what influence it will have on the people, what influence the temper of the people will have on it - these to the Utopian are sordid matters & are always glossed over. The whole viewpoint is far too selective & simplified. Flats & tenement dwellings will disappear entirely. Spacious network of communal homes. Just like that, "Off with their heads!" we can almost hear the Queen of Hearts saying; "Do you play croquet?" The land fit for heroes to live in. The whole problem outlined in a dozen lines, & bigod, not one single difficulty mentioned, We've been living next-door to Utopia all these years, & none of our town-planners or sociologists knew it.
I suggest that this shallow Utopianism is worthless & even harmful (in beclouding the mind) because it ignores the infinity of factors involved. Any fool can work up bright & shiny utopias with no connection with practical realities. As an analogy - Were I so minded, no doubt I could churn out dozens of pages describing a Utopian state of affairs in the sphere of medicine, prevention of diseases, health services, &c, and I daresay some of my utopias, like some of Staggerer's, would be well worth attaining. But since I have no experience whatsoever in that sphere, know nothing of the complexities involved or attainments so far made, my blether would be worse than useless. In just such a sense is Staggerer's Reverie useless, & harmful if it induces others to think in the same Utopian fashion. The culture of cities involves a great many factors too. There's a very big purely political factor, as Staggerer would realise if he considered the case of the new farm-labourers' houses in Scotland just now. Other factors might be largely industrial, or might concern the fact that houses house people, & many people already have very stubborn ideas about such things; and so on. Quite apart from the purely technical aspects, Staggerer might get some of the other angles if he read (just as one instance), say, Orwell's THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER, or the new Mass-Observation book, PEOPLE'S HOMES. And there's the awkward factor of sheer conservatism (small "c").
Staggerer's method in outline is to take the rather shaky edifice of civilization & slap on a new coat of paint. This is meant to make it something different, but it doesn't: it means starting at the end, & you can't get to the end without starting at the beginning. For the woodwork under the new coat of paint is a labyrinth of worms & beetles & crumbling sawdust. It's the worms & beetles that need taking care of - after that the paint outside follows automatically.
But this is just one instance of a most persistent & astonishing fallacy among Utopians. Namely, that other people, among them the planners who concern themselves with sordid details & the complexities inherent in reality, are lacking in imagination. This idiocy is especially ridiculous on two counts. Firstly, the ability to talk as Staggerer does, along with the ability to contemplate without a second thought speeds well over the velocity of light, or eons of time or vast galactical spaces, & the ability to accept civilizations without a thought as to whether they are logically constructed, clearly indicates not imagination, but a sorry lack of imagination. And again, one glance at the excellent LIVING IN CITIES which JMR mentions this issue will show that the realist planner and artist is as a rule possessed of a very fine imagination, & it's this, along with the essential need for planned reconstruction & a grasp of the practical situation involved, that will bring results. I commend the thought, as a general application, to any in future who are taken with a frenzy of Utopianizing.
Due to the heroism of Derek Gardiner in devoting a portion of his embarkation leave to producing a few more fan photos for Fido, we are able to continue this feature for a little longer. Derek wishes to emphasize that he is only able to use paper not up to standard, for his prints, as this sort of thing is severely rationed these days; and hence the pictures are not as clear as might be hoped for. Due to the truly tremendous amount of material which has come forward for this issue, there just isn't room for a proper "Introducing" but we present the likeness of Dr W. Arthur Gibson, the subject of last month's feature. Next issue "I" will be back again, and the subject for dissection will be Arthur Williams.
THE STORK AGAIN
14/6/43. "Just a short note to let you know that ROGER METSON PARKER made a three-point landing on Sol III at ten last night (Whit Sunday) and seems very impressed with all he sees...he weighs 7 and a half pounds - and, darn it, he hasn't got a single tendril!" Best wishes to the new arrival, and congratulations to Mr and Mrs E. Frank Parker; from us all. And we are still waiting to know who will be next. Interesting that "Voice of the Imagi-Nation" is already featuring articles on the care and upbringing of young slans.
too to Arthur Ego Clarke who says "I've now get my commission and am technical officer in charge of a pile of radio gear that would make any SF fan's hair stand straight upright. It makes mine do so anyway". Ego sends his best wishes to all and sundry, reminds these same people that he is to be contacted via "Ballifants", says he met much of the London gang a week or two back when in town, has almost lost touch with things scientifictional, and is now living in a superb country house and the life is pretty good.
Cpl Eric Frank Russell sends his usual report about his American friends... Mort Weisinger is now a corporal in the US Army Air Force and, temporarily at least, has a nice comfy job in the AAAf's propaganda bureau in Atlantic City. Julie Schwartz is still out of the whirlpool, still agenting. About his own affairs Eric Frank saith .. "Sinister Barrier" comes out as a book in the Autumn list, by The World's Work, at either 4/6 or 5/-. It may be followed by other books. "On the Ramparts Still Gleaming" ought to be in the May or June Astounding (tisn't in the May - JMR) Campbell has just accepted "Symbiotica", a long Jay Score story which is a sequel to last years "Mechanistria". And Eric would like to know what you are up to, Wally G!
And from Fantasy Fiction Field ... Phil Bronson, Tom Wright and Harry Jenkins rejected by the draft, Art Widner classified as 3A. Henry Kuttner in the army. Fritz Leiber working in a war plant. Pvt Joe Fortier stationed in New York (April 35th). Abe Oshinsky, the astronomy enthusiast, after rejection of his C.O. plea, is the first US fan to go to jail for his convictions. Forrie Ackerman in hospital. Larry Shaw classified 1A and deferred till July.
"August Derleth is planning on publishing the second volume of Lovecraft's collected works September the first, and he has asked me to revise and enlarge my CTHULU MYTHOLOGY article for inclusion therein. In as much as this involved going through a nearly complete file of Weird Tales and re-reading all of Lovecraft's works (I ended up with ten pages of additional notes) you can see I have been busy". Francis T. Laney. "This book will start off with an appreciation of Lovecraft by W. Paul Cook (HPL's lifelong friend), followed by "Cthulhu Mythology" by F.T.Laney, followed by "Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath" and "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", followed by selected verse and essays by Lovecraft." - Fantasy Fiction Field.
Six Fans Go To Avalon (continued)
supposed to arrive together, having met in Manchester, but a local train from Blackburn (shades of Renny) deposited a couple of bright looking lads, who gazed around expectantly. On the nearest being asked if it were Johnson it replied that it was not, but t'other was. Another wait of five minutes brought a London train in, with the other three aboard; and after an argument with the railway company's minions re payment of the full fare, were safely abstracted from the station and escorted to "Avalon".
On the whole things went very well. Meals were prepared decently in spite of numerous phobias on the part of the fans - one a vegetarian, one doesn't drink tea, one won't touch custard, one insists on cornflakes and nothing else for breakfast - and so on. Sleeping was a bit of a problem but it was managed, those fans who firewatch being already broken.in to sleeping in peculiar positions and conditions.
But the piece de resistance was undoubtedly a walk of several miles across country, the ascent of Pendle Hill, and the return; a record (long) time of 5 hours 20 minutes being taken for the performance. Pendle is NOT a mountain by some few feet, but it rises quite steeply from a valley and our super-men found it quite hard going, scrambling up amongst the waist deep bracken and over stony paths. It was compared unfavourably by our intrepid travellers with the Martian and Venerian territory they were apparently so familiar with.
Many were the discussions which took place, on political, cultural, and even stfish subjects, including, in particular, the preparation of fanzines. A proposal for a British Amateur Press Association for fantasy was briefly mentioned and should appear later in this fanzine. And tentative plans laid for future fan meetings - London at Midsummer, Leeds or Manchester at Xmas, the Midlands next Easter, and Higherford again at Whitsun 1944, was the suggestion. Well; what about it, you people?
Derek Gardiner has departed from these shores for parts unknown, somewhere round about Whitsun weekend, thus preventing him from slipping over and seeing the mob at Higherford as had been suggested. And now Sigm H. K. Bulmer, 2378109, 78 Tele-op Section, 7th Air Formation Signals, BNAF, sends an airgraph to say that he is now doing battle with the flies in North Africa. This is rather unexpected as we had a letter from Ken only in mid-May written in London. Then comes this airgraph dated Jun 11.
Change of Address
Another Ken, this time Kenneth Chadwick of Leeds. It has been rather awkward for me with Ken living over in Armley, at the other side of Leeds, some 3 or 4 miles from Grange Terrace so the kind gentleman has most obligingly changed his place of domicile. He is to be contacted now at 32 Spencer Place, Leeds 7, perhaps 5 minutes from here. There are other reason for the removal too, by the way. Will chainees please note this new address for all communications. And Kenneth wishes to apologise that the dispatching of chains has fallen rather behind these last few weeks - you can give a good guess at the reason.
says "I had no idea that I was ranked among novelists who produced fantasy novels; are the four novels that you refer to in third page of the digest the following: TOMORROW'S YESTERDAY, THE NEW PLEASURE, WINTERS YOUTH, MANNA ? or do you include SACRED EDIFICE ? (Can anyone give us a decision on this latter point? I haven't read the work - JMR). There are several tales of a semi-scientific nature about the future, in my collection of 37 short stories (published by Nicholson & Watson) under the title of IT MAKES A NICE CHANGE. I occasionally see volumes of what I believe are called Science Fiction, and although some of them are abominably written (here, here - JMR) many of them show great power of imagination; indeed this form of writing may almost be regarded as a form of contemporary folklore." Mr Gloag also states that he is preparing a new fantasy type novel.
seems to have become something of a bumper affair due largely to the kindness of Douglas Webster in stenciling the first six pages on the three stencils I sent him. Work that out for yourselves. Items of interest seem to be flowing in quite nicely now, but lots and lots more are wanted, especially a nice juicy argument. Incidentally this is the twenty-ninth issue of Futurian War Digest, which means that in our emergency format we have just equalled the number of issues of the almost-legendary NOVAE TERRAE. With this issue are distributed copies of the BFS leaflet which you are asked to make the best possible use of (more are available on demand) & the somewhat late account of the Leicester convention last Easter. Subscriptions expiring are those of J.W.Banks, S.I.Birchby, H.Chibbett, A.C.Clarke, R.I. Fishwick. Expired with last ish are those of J.Craig, A. Salmond, M.Vinter, and Kenneth Johnson (who by the way, is now stationed just near Manchester). And the following people are hereby warned that their subs expired a while back and if they haven't sufficient interest to keep them up, they can't expect to go on receiving Fido - A.Bloom, S. Bounds, J.F. Burke, J.W.Holland, A.H. Miles, E. Needham, J. F. Parr, R.J. Silburn and H.Vella. Tis possible some in the forces are out of touch for the moment.
Plans are now being made for the formation of a British Fantasy Amateur Press Association, apparently somewhat on the lines of the 6 year old US FAPA. Sponsored by Ron Lane, Roy Johnson and Don Houston, tentative plans are for a quarterly mailing, members having to produce a minimum of eight quarto pages a year. There will be no limit to membership though a fairly high standard (by what measurment? - JMR) will probably be necessary regard to material. All interested should get in touch with Don Houston, 142 Ardington Road Northampton and if enough replies are received a complete system will be evolved. For those without duplicators, duplicating can be done, and at a pinch, even stencilling. Walk up, walk up...
- lots of, lets get going. ..saith Mike Vinter "Perhaps you'd like to know that two short stories by yours truly, "Moons over Mars" and "Outcast of Time" will be appearing in American stf mags God knows when, but some time in the future. I've also got "Prisoner of the Ages" being taken into consideration for publication - a full length novel - by Messrs Hodder & Stoughton." Best of luck Mike in your developing literary career ... New fantasy book recently published is "The Landslide" by Stephen Gilbert (Faber & Faber 7/6.) - uncovering of a stretch of the primitive world ... an appeal is being made for a stenciller for GALAXY, as its editor Terry Overton, is typewriterless. Any offers? ... Famous Fantastic Mysteries was due out (in USA) on June 18th. Features first magazine publication of John Taine's "Iron Star". Also R. W. Chambers "The Yellow Sign" ... Benson Herbert 's booklet "Strange Romance" is selling very well and it is doubtful if copies are still available even now. Incidentally the story isn't at all as bad as Benson modestly implied in the last Fido ... Drastic pruning of his collection by Derek Gardiner has produced a number of copies of US prozines which can be bought from sister Anne (48 King Edward Ave, Worthing). Amazing, Startling, TWS, and others are available - no Astounding ... John Miller, after two years service with the army, has at last managed to get transferred to the Navy, where he will be employed in his prewar job of electrical work and is likely to be sent to a naval base overseas ... Arthur Busby has received calling-up papers for the NFS but since his medical managed to bust his wrist which refuses to set right. Hence probability is that he will still be left loose ... next issue of Fido should be out for the middle of August, but I'd better warn you now that with conditions as they are now, it probably won't be. Still will all "sheeters" send stencils for Aug 5th ... Another meeting report from the Cosmos Club was received just too late. Sall.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................22nd June 1943
Burgess, L, Pte 10330148, c/o 2 Lansdowne Square, Hove 2, Sussex (76); Freedman, H. P., 49 Church Road, Teddington, Middlesex (77); Gardiner, Anne, 46 King Edward Avenue, Worthing, Sussex, (80); Ouseley, S.G.J., 24 Hillfield Avenue, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent (78); Pennington, John, 58 Talbot Street, Southport, Lancashire, (79). Going up! Note also the enrollment of the first Beefasmette - truly a most notable occasion, Let joy be unconfined.
The first issue of this epoch-making publication is on the way under the editorial guidance of E. Frank Parker, but more - much more - material and information is - are, I should say - urgently required. Will everyone interested, either as reader, writer, illustrator, or assistant please communicate with Frank at once, giving answers to the following catechism..
So far Frank has received five short stories including - to my knowledge - one each by Mike Vinter and Bob Gibson. The former, together with Dennis Tucker, has volunteered to help with the typing, the latter with the illustrating, but we still have the "Help Wanted" sign out.
In particular do we want stories, especially a fairly long one to star in this first issue. "Most noble and illustrious drinkers, and you thrice precious, pockified blades" we beseach you - 'ave a go!
Fred Goodier - and please note that his address is now 13 Gloucester Road, Teddington, Middlesex - informs me that the catalogue is well forward - complete, in fact, but for duplicating. Assistant Librarian Doyle is still in hospital, where he has been for anelluva time, trying to take his mind off his woes by zealously making himself acquainted with the whole of the library. We trust sincerely that he will soon be back in good health again. Joe Gibson, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has sent us a batch of Astoundings, Sept 1942 to April 1943 complete - words are inadequate. All is well on this front.
Copies of Tales of Wonder No's 1, 6, 10, 12, and 14, by L. Burgess Member No.76, address as above. Our new friend is very urgently wanting to complete his set of ToW by the purchase of these, and is willing to consider black market prices. Can anyone help him please?
Advisory Board Report No. 3
(Report No 2 came along too late for inclusion in the last Bull; the following is the latest gen on the deliberations of our Brains Dept.)
To Frank Parker, and even more to Mrs Frank Parker, on the birth of a son. A far, far better thing than the trivialities of fandom.
"Thus have I Wall, my part discharged so;
D.R. Smith (Secretary).
SCIENCE FICTION FANDOM
Three Chapters of the SFL were formed in Britain about the same time. One was at Nuneaton
(Warwickshire), one at Liverpool, and one at Leeds. The latter had by far the greatest number
of local members. In London, although there were many more members than elsewhere, no Chapter
was formed nor were members co-ordinated into any group. A few fans used to meet at odd intervals
- usually after meeting of the British Interplanetary Society. Both the Nuneaton and Leeds groups
published fanmags, and many readers throughout the country became interested.
In 1937 Leeds decided to hold the first British Convention, and fans from London, Nuneaton, and Liverpool all attended. The outcome of this meeting was the formation of the Science Fiction Association, with Prof. A. M. Low as President, and including amongst its members all the known authors of this country. Its object was the advancement of science-fiction literature and the co-ordination of fan activities along similar lines, to get more and better fantasy films, and to advance astronautics (the science of interplanetary travel). Leeds remained the pivot until 1938 when the administrative offices were transferred to the London group.
A great deal of good was done up to the outbreak of war by the SFA, members being enrolled in America (an active group in Los Angeles being amongst the foremost), and as far away as Australia and New Zealand. With the advent of war the SFA Council decided to adjourn the Society for the duration, the subsequent call-up of so many members and the bombing of London, which would have seriously interfered with all activities over a long period, proving that this action was justified.
For three years fans in different parts of the country, and even those who had gone overseas on active service, still endeavoured to keep in touch with each other and the various fortunes of the American magazines till publishing their favourite literature. It has been through the definite need of these fans that the British Fantasy Society was formed in 1942. Through your need too, for you would not be reading this pamphlet if you were not a reader and a fan.
What fandom has meant to thousands of readers during the past sixteen years it means to you. It is the expression of your innermost thoughts, your desire for better world conditions in the future. It is the outward expression of the wish that perhaps during your lifetime you will see Man obtain space-travel, for you are as much a pioneer of the space trails as an engineer or radio mechanic, and we cannot allow war to blind us to the great possibilities the Future holds open.
The British Fantasy Society will do all in its power to keep alive the flame that is within us all, despite adversities. You can help us and all these fans fighting on the war fronts who hope for something better in the future. Will you?
Text of the Carnell leaflet courtesy of Greg & Catherine Pickersgill with missing text supplied by Robert Lichtman..