FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 30 (Vol. 3, Number 8) Aug. 1943
On July 10th, Allied forces invaded Sicily along a 100 mile front. By the 23rd, they had captured Palermo, the island's main city. On the 19th, 500 US bombers dropped 1,000 tons of high explosive on Rome, the first time the Italian capital had suffered an air-raid. On the 25th, in the face of these assaults, Mussolini was deposed and imprisoned.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #10 - ed. D.R.Smith - 6 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
COSMOS CLUB MEETING............................
................................................. Report by John Aiken|
Latest Cosmos Club junketing was on July 17th - announced as another attempt at water-divining, this time fine weather turned it into a ramble plus picnic, including a certain amount of commando tactics, on Esher Common. Feature of the afternoon was the absence, by common consent, of specific reference to stf, quite in the Shangri-LA tradition. Pardonable fall from this state of grace was occasioned by Gordon Holbrow's discovery of a Jovian Carrot-Tree some ten feet high. Not being a botanist, he uprooted this unique trans-spacial "escape" with sacrilegious promptitude, but luckily Peter Hawkins was on hand to photograph it before it died. Most of the water, (adjudged far from divine by the girls) was found in an intrusive anti-tank ditch which was crossed and recrossed by the (intentionally?) in-expertly navigated party. Tea was taken in what turned out to be a den of sinister but flimsy spiders, each provided with one or more little orange parasites of repellent aspect and suspected extra-terrestrial origins. Very large quantities of mosquitos abounded also - they selected Jean Murray as the most toothsome specimen (several members concurring) & made numerous accurate dive-attacks on her. During tea there was an epidemic of shaggy-dog stories, including one of enormous length about a hangman, told by Bruce Gaffron - it was so funny that even those who only came in towards the end were convulsed. The meeting ended as it had begun at the celebrated old-world roadhouse The Marquis of Granby; full of bonhomie, the survivors voted for repeat performance at an early date...
An Amateur Magazine dealing with & devoted to fantasy fiction - preparation
for the future, the bizarre & the occult. Published 6-weekly, tho it may be
bi-monthly from now on, from 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7 by
J. Michael Rosenblum; who is aided & abetted by several kind people, notably
DWebster with stencilling, HVinter with addressing labels, & KChadwick in
the mailing, as well as "litter" producers, article writers, & senders-in
of news items. Gratitude hereby rendered to all, Fido is priced at 3d;
circ now 168.
CRITICISM - "Down With Fan Humor" - by - Francis T. Laney
The literature of fandom teems with allegedly comic articles and stories - some entire fanzines are devoted exclusively to the silly side of things. Even crudely drawn cartoons have been allowed space in some issues - as though we were all juvenile followers of the Buck Rogers funny books. An outsider looking through a representative stack of fanzines could not fail to be unfavorably impressed - and could scarcely be expected to be attracted by so apparently frothy a hobby. Fans generally speaking are fairly intelligent, reasonably serious people (judging from my own contacts) and it is a source of never-failing amazement to me that so large a proportion of so many fanzines is devoted to labored attempts to make us laugh.
In late years, the cult of silliness and assininity has been growing by leaps and bounds among the general population, and it is not surprising to see a reflection in fan circles. The "kidder" and. the "wisecracker" have become national heroes; every night, millions of Americans sit spellbound, listening to some inane radio comedian. Jokes and humor obviously have their place in a well-balanced life, but it is pathological when nothing can be taken seriously, when everything must be twisted and distorted into something to laugh at - this condition is, I suspect, merely one facet of the wide-spread insanity that grips mankind. The walls of a madhouse ring with pointless laughter.
I freely admit that humorous fantasy has a legitimate place in literature (cf, Thorne Smith), but it so happens that of all types of writing, humor is one of the hardest to compose adequately. Serious writing can vary greatly in quality without completely repulsing the reader, but humor must be well-nigh perfect. It is too easy for the would-be humorist to be obscure, in poor taste, silly - or to commit any one of a hundred other faults - and in any of these cases, the product is definitely unfunny. Amateurs, being proportionately less skilled, are all the more likely to lay an egg. In fact, I can offhand think of but one intentionally comic piece of fan writing that struck me as being definitely funny: Art Widner's Saved By A Pill> in a recent issue of Canada's Light - though of course there are belly-laughs to be found in some purportedly serious items.
Our hobby of reading, collecting, and writing about stf and fantasy is not furthered by pseudo-humorous accounts of fanventions, fantrips, and the like, entertaining though they may be. A good fanzine should not be entirely ephemeral - fiction; verse; serious articles dealing with various phases of bibliography, biography, criticism, discussion forums, arguments - and of course, moderately sane accounts of fan doings. Please don't get the idea that I am a humorless and solemn old sour-puss, with no appreciation of the lighter side of life. I enjoy a good joke just as much as the next fellow, and my laugh is loud and frequent. I merely assert that fan humor is NOT good humor, and, even if it were, that there is no legitimate place for it in fanzines.
I have noticed that you British fans have developed quite a tendency to ape the alleged "humor" of American fanzines - even in some cases reprinting humorous items verbatim. Generally speaking, the British fanzines I've seen so far display a decidedly sane and level-headed approach, and it is my sincere hope that you Britons will keep your magazines serious. If you must imitate or reprint from America, refrain from the giddy items disgracing so many of our publications. Some things should be allowed to moulder into oblivion.
INSPIRATION - "Concerning Social Obligation' - by - R. R. Johnson
I have written many things in the past which have - to say the least of it - been deplorable. Many of them were not published. Of those that were, however, most contained statements which I now most definitely wish to withdraw.
Every time I write the above, I undergo a ritual battle. Do I really wish to deny my former convictions? Is it not that I was right then, but that I am wrong now? Am simply becoming suddenly enthusiastic about a thing which I was right in regarding bad - becoming enthusiastic without thinking?
The doubt is still there, but it is weak and it's getting less. I realise that I definitely have changed my views.
What views? - you may ask. Religious views, philosophical views, scientific views...? The answer, of course, is Political and economic.
I used to deny social obligation - had some lovely scraps with Julian Parr over that point, in and out of DT's - because of the worthlessness of Homo Sap(ien)s. I used to say something like this: It is the duty of every man to his fellows to take a complete interest in social, political, &c. matters; but since the majority of men are too unintelligent and apathetic to do this, any duty towards them can be disregarded, and therefore we who are intelligent enough to take notice of things have no obligations to do so.
I still can't think out a reasonable reply to that argument. It simply depends on whether the present apathy of man is indeed synonymous with worthlessness - or whether there is, indeed, still some hope. I used to think the former; I now believe the latter.
That which has mainly affected my conversion has been the latest and greatest book of that reformer par excellence, H.G. Wells. PHOENIX, the book is called - small, easy to read, it yet contains more wisdom than THE FATE OF HOMO SAPIENS, THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME and THE OUTLOOK FOR HOMO SAPIENS put together. There are many things in it which I eminently disagree with; many details over which I shake my head, and cannot and will not be converted to. Details; trivia; basically, no intelligent person should find himself disagreeing with PHOENIX. The book is built round, and is most important for, the Sankey-Wells Declaration of the Rights of Man - and of these, the introductory Threefold Imperative is the main thing. Surely, there will be no-one in Fandom who will disagree with the following :
You will all agree with these points. Yet if you agree with these points, you agree with PHOENIX, in the main, and are the material for World Revolutionaries.
Not warlike revolutionaries, shooting off guns and blowing up government buildings, or assassinating politicians and officials. Just Passive Revolutionaries - quiet, critical, closely-banded, ready to deny your Government of Inequality when the time is ripe, and effect a coup d'etat.
No pamphlets, no "official" meetings, no salutes or passwords or rituals or other trivia which clutter up those peculiar political organisations known as "parties". Just a tacit and mutual understanding about the Threefold Imperative, and a readiness to act if necessary when the time is ripe.
Read PHOENIX. Read it two or three times, and thoroughly digest it. It is the most important book of the last decade. It will explain in detail many things which I cannot touch here. It will give, as its sub-title says, "a summary of the inescapable conditions of world reorganization".
It has changed my views, anyway; I think and hope that it will change yours. The least you can do is to give it a trial. It is available through most Public Libraries; for those who wish to buy it, it is published by Secker & Warburg, at 8/-.
Perhaps I am being a little presumptious in assuming that anyone will buy, or even read, this book. I'm beginning to understand that in many ways fans are as apathetic as normal people. Right, you needn't read it if you don't want to - I'm
......(concluded 2 pages further on)......
This gathering was attended by the 13 fans below, gathered on less than a
week's notice, in Frisco & from across the bay in Oakland & Berkeley; &
Technician 5th Grade Hoffman (better-known as "Hoffmania"; of the LASFS)
came 150 miles from his army camp. Tom Wright - nufsed, Ebey & Watson are
new publishers of the fantasy poetry fanmag, Sappho. Harry Honig a newly
active fan with a collection of 2000 pro's & numerous xlnt bks. Jas. Kepner's
sociological fanmag, Toward Tomorrow, will appear soon (article I believe by
Ericopkins), Barbara Wrede is a radio-caster newly interested. MacDermott &
Anderson are olden fans from the days of the Inter-nat'l Scientific Assn.
Goldstone remembered for his Fantasia. Mke Fern was formerly of Honolulu.
Phyllis White is Mrs. Boucher.
Now that U know the cast of characters, what briefly transpired was that
from noon til 10pm we had a good gabfestful. A conmag was dummied for the
occasion, Stf in general, time-travel, atheism, nudes, Tigrina, fanmags,
the New Yorker article, pseudonyms, etc, were discust. Concerning the
latter, I am now at liberty to reveal Heinlein was 'John Riverside', author
of "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathon Hoag", while Kuttner now writes
regularly under the name of Lewis Padgett. Or did write - he, too, the
insatiable Army. Fotos were taken. Next day I learned I've become a
If his brow is high and noble, and he's often deep in thought
A long lanky lad (6 ft in sox) with brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, medium build, and all the trimmings. Didn't come across magazine sf till after the war broke out, but have since made up for lost time. First entered fandom in Feb 1941, and have had the good fortune to meet over forty well-known fans since then. Had a habit of grinning until Staghurst converted me to Socialism (??) and now only grin spasmodically.
-:- -:- -:- -:- -:--:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:--:- -:- -:-
................(Encore Roy Johnson).................not actually trying so much as to persuade you to do so, as to advise you. It'll be for your own good.
I've rambled on at some length, I see. Sorry if I've bored you. But I am really serious about this, for it's a serious subject. Ex-opponent Parr will back me up in stressing the urgency of taking social obligations seriously. (That doesn't mean British Govt. Post-War Reconstruction, incidentally.) Perhaps, Julian, we could start an intensive campaign for the Waking-Up of Politically Unconscious Fans...? It might be worth trying, at that!
And that's about all. I still retain my views on the details, &c. of all political matters. Just on that basic problem of social obligation, I've changed. I'm still willing to argue about anything, so go to it! MITE is open, JMR is featuring a few things of this kind, and Dennis Tucker, the pioneer, will still print the stuff I suppose - so you can't say there's nowhere for you to express your ideas.
In particular, friend Julian, I'm itching to see what you have to say about this. From time to time, I'll probably be reprinting (as the publishers, in their sincerity, give permission to do) in MITE or elsewhere, excerpts of particular interest & importance from PHOENIX. But perhaps you'll all have read it by then!
F.C.Brown, Digbeth Police Station, Digbeth, Birmingham - wants Burroughs' TARZAN & THE LION MEN, TARZAN & THE FORBIDDEN CITY, THE TARZAN TWINS, SWORDS OF MARS, CARSON OF VENUS, BACK TO THE STONE AGE. Also Merritt's books, will purchase or exchange. J. P. Parr, 26 Edward St, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent - wants Gollancz' HANDBOOK OF MARXISM (stf, eh?). Buy or swap! Walter I. Norcott, 41 St. Johns, Worcester, wants to indulge in swapping prozines. Requires recent AMAZINGs, FAs, TWS, PLANET & CAPT. FUTURE. Abe Bloom 13 Waverley Rd., Hoylake - has a few magazines of fairly ancient vintage to dispose of. Mainly AMAZINGs. Terry Overton, 107 Thomas St, Abertridwr, Cardiff, has for exchange Astounding March to August 42, US editions. And Don Houston who is going to London to live, and will be parted from his collection for periods, wants sundry Unks, FFMs, FNs, also Weirds & S&S Asts (Pre36 & wartime). Has to dispose of issues of Wonder, Scoops, Weirds, Clayton Asts, Strange Stories and US fanzines.
INFORMATION - "Prepare for the Last Days!" -- by -- W.R.(Bob) Gibson
Pioneers in the North West Territories and Alaska sometimes tell of the Ice Worms, creatures made for "Probability Zero". You can sometimes see the holes they make, sinuous white lines and ovoid areas in clear ice. Perfectly transparent, they are invisible. Brittle, they break with the ice they burrow in. Yet they have saved the life of many a starving man. They make a nourishing soup, with a flavour gourmets would rave over, if they could get any.
To make it you chop out a large piece of clear ice - any ice for they are surprisingly common - and hold it in boiling water just long enough to warm it slightly. This kills and relaxes the worms. (You mustn't melt the ice - the worms spoil if heated slowly.) Then you shake them out of their holes ... they also form bait for fur-bearing fish, but that is another story.
Yet there are, if not ice-, snow-dwelling worms, and insects and plants. Both the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and NATURAL HISTORY (organ of the Smithsonian Institute) have in the past published accounts and photos of tiny, bright-red worms - true worms - found in the snow high up in Californian mountains. And in northeastern states and in Alberta a small insect lives in alpine meadows above the snow line. The soil never thaws deeper than an inch or so. The insect slightly resembles a long-legged termite, or a young - and pincerless - earwig. Yet it is several years old, and has gone through several metamorphoses, before reaching adulthood. Slow moving. Hold one in your hand and it becomes active, but dies of heat prostration in a few minutes. Several of them, caught this summer [1942 - DW] are being kept in refrigerators in Canadian universities. To complete the picture, in the far north, over tundras and further south in Europe, North America and probably Asia "red snow" is sometimes found. It arouses fear or interest according to the intelligence of the finders. A one-celled plant, an alga, causes it.
And so, in the latter days, when the sun has converted much of its available mass into energy and the weakened bonds of gravity let the gelid earth slip further away, its reddish light may still support life forms. Two species of creature and a food plant. And up until the cold, black final days, earth's sorry history of wars may carry on.
Recently published in USA was THE POCKET BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION edited by Donald A. Wollheim & issued by the Pocket Books of New York. Owing to paper supply limitations the work had to be cut down from its intended size but its 310 pages-include: BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON - Stephen Vincent Benet; MOXONS MASTER - Ambrose Bierce; GREEN THOUGHTS - John Collier; IN THE ABYSS - H.G. WeIls; THE GREEN SPLOTCHES - T.S. Stribling; THE LAST MAN - Wallace G. West; A MARTIAN ODYSSEY - Stanley G. Weinbaum; TWILIGHT - Don A. Stuart; MICROCOSMIC GOD - Theodore Sturgeon; --AND HE BUILT A CROOKED HOUSE - Robert A. Heinlein. As an introduction to the better type of science fiction - both plotting and writing - the work is indeed worthwhile though it has suffered the criticism of possessing a uniformly pessimstic tone, which is to be regretted. Nevertheless it is undoubtedly the finest piece of "missionary" work towards good stf for everyman that has so far been performed & DAW is to be congratulated on his choices. ....Alan H. Miles is the first Briton to possess a copy of the work, bringing it back from Canada with him, & he is very kindly lending it out to a number of BFS members who express a desire to borrow it. More details of the second Lovecraft omnibus BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP, to be published sometime in September by Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin, are now available. The complete contents are:- The two novels, THE DREAM QUEST OF UKNOWN KADATH (never before published), THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD; many short stories, among them THE MOON BOG, THE UNNAMABLE, HERBERT WEST - REANIMATOR, THE DOOM THAT CAME TO SARNATH, THE WHITE SHIP, THE SPRAWLING CHAOS, THE HOUND, and others; the complete FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH, PSYCHOPOMPOS, and other selected Poems; colaborations; stories by HPL; an autobiographical sketch; HPL's Commonplace Book, his own Chronology of the NECRONOMICON, &c., together with an appreciation of Lovecraft by W. Paul Cook, and a Cthulhu Glossary by Francis Laney, The book-jacket ia planned to be in red & black, a photograph of four of Clark Ashton Smith's weird sculptures.
Messrs Lloyd Cole have sent to press MPShiel's new novel ABOVE ALL ELSE though
no date of actual publication can be given. It will be 7/6, cloth bound, with
a jacket illustrated by HWPerl. Theme - definitely fantasy - really - though
it passes for an ordinary novel. About a girl who lives for thousands of years,
always appears youthful, but is sterile unless she can marry a certain "kindred
spirit' who has also lived thousands of years. -------Benson Herbert.
And for those enquirers who wish to know - No. 1 of the Fantastic Fiction Series (issued by Lloyd Cole) has not yet appeared. The numbers of the series have been altered more than once & the vagaries of paper control caused No. 2 to come out first. Recent American books included in the fantasy field are DARKNESS AND THE DEEP by Vardis Fisher and Whitman Chambers' INVASION. Former is a prehistoric story published by Viking. Latter just scrapes in as fantasy; deals with a possible future phase of the present war in which Japanese succeed in invading.the Western coast of America successfully. Published by Dutton. --- Langley Searles.
ARGOSY has just published a rather good serial EARTH'S LAST CITADEL by CAMoore [C.L. ?] and Henry Kuttner..... THE, MOONLIGHT TRAVELER: GREAT TALES OF FANTASY & IMAGINATION selected by Philip van Doren Stern & published by Doubleday Doran recently. (And nearly all by English writers - Wells, RLStevenson, Maugham, de la Mare, EMForster, Stella Benson, Conrad Aiken, Oliver Onions, Saki, &c. --JMR) Another anthology - of ghost stories - is THE MIDNIGHT READER. ---P. J. Searles.
----Incidentally the two Searles - Langley & Paul J - are both American, both bibliophiles, & have no connection whatsoever: don't think they even know of each other.
ANOTHER AMERIFAN IN BRITAIN
Norman (Gus) Willmorth, late of Los Angeles, and an ex-director of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, is now a corporal in an American ordnance supply depot in the "European theatre of operations" - i.e. somewhere in Britain. Hopes to see some of us soon.
Other fan moves. --
FANTASY AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION
- probably the oldest fan organisation still in existence has now completed its sixth year successfully and is in general, bigger and better in every way than it has been previously. The June 1943 mailing contains no less than 33 separate items and reaches a high standard indeed, especially when you consider that these sheets are put out for the pleasure of the producer only, there being no subscribers to worry about. An item which may interest some people over here is that members are now voting on a resolution to raise the membership limit from 50 to 65, and thus allow 15 newcomers to enter the society ... incidentally there is a waiting list of 7 already. All members must possess an activity (in fandom) qualification to join, and be active in the society afterwards, but I feel that one or two Anglofans might use the opportunity. I am under the impression that it should be possible to send an IMO for subscriptions to a society, (75 cents a year). Anyone interested communicate with me.
Full "gen" on the query posed in the last issue by J.P. Rathbone has now come to light. Surprising to say his information, thought garbled, is correct. The first non-solar system planet has been discovered. The facts, culled from Astounding for July are that the study of peturbations in a double star system, 61 Cygni, has revealed the existence of a third body revolving round one of the components at a distance of about 200,000,000 miles and having a mass 15 times that of Jupiter - far too small for a sun. It is believed to be a planet, but its density must be very high since it is believed that no cold body can be greater than Jupiter - if one piles on more matter the atoms start to coalesce and the thing usually gets smaller. The average density of the planet works out to be about 400. It's surface gravity could be about 300g. Ouch!
"Discovered by K. Aa. Strand of the Sproul Observatory, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. First announcement in paper read before American Philosophical Society in November 1942. The investgation commenced by Strand at the University Observatory, Leiden, Holland, in 1933. Success of research depended upon accurate photographic positions of the components together with best visual measures. Length of interval covered by these observations was 120 years. The distance of 61 Cygni C corresponding to its latest parallax 0294 seconds of arc, is 11.084 light years''.
Mrs Joan Temple wishes to make known that Gnr. Will Temple's address is now "Central Mediterranean Force" instead of M.E.F. No. rank, and regiment as before. Visitors to Grange Terrace. As mentioned previously Allan Miles of Bristol reported to Harrogate and did manage to look in on ye Ed a couple of times. The usual gabfest took place. On Sunday Aug. 8th, I was informed that a Mr Webster had called to see me. Upon meeting the gentleman it was ascertained that his first nane was Douglas and from the fact that he kept muttering something about Aberrrdeen, the provisional hypothesis that he eminated from that direction was adopted. We fear other people will also have the Webster imposed upon them during the course of his blitzkreig tour of Anglofandom; tho we must confess that it is quite a pleasant imposition. Two days later; PC from Doug informs that he missed Joan Burke & Bronwen in North Wales, Arthur Busby and Tom Hughes in Birmingham and was just on his way to find Roy Johnson of Leicester not at home. Serves him right for not letting anyone know beforehand. Incidentally Edwin Macdonald visited the Webster menage in July.
A full page article extolling the British Interplanetary Society appeared in "Everybody's" for July 14th. Quite decently written, it gave a brief resume of the present position of astronautical research, the plans for the BIS rocket, and what was being done about them.
"Sinister Barrier", the Unknown story by Eric Frank Russell, has been printed by World's Work Ltd, in the first batch of their Master Thriller series to be put out since the war. It will be available to the public at the. beginning of September, price 5/- (postage 4d) through normal trade channels. The receipt of an advance copy seduced your editor into re-reading the yarn and we found it quite as interesting as the first time, though we have a suspicion (unchecked admittedly) that the tale has been condensed.
And from USA, results of the Widner Poll up to June 1st 1943.... . first 10:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................Aug. 14th, 1943
BULLETIN No.10Now We Are One
The British Fantasy Society has now been in existence for rather more than a year, and the cynical will be wanting to know whether it has justified its existence. What, if anything, have we accomplished?
Believe you me, folks, we've done plenty, allowing for the handicaps of wartime. We've issued you all with membership cards and a prospectus and a pamphlet explaining all about ourselves. We obtained a supply - unfortunately a rather limited supply - of official notepaper. We can supply you with stickers with which you may, with an absolute minimum of effort, proclaim your membership to the world. We've given you Bulletins full of (doubtless) fascinating information. And we've made available to you a number of valuable services, reviewed in detail below, with more to come.
I do not propose to go into historical details of the past year. History, said the well-known intellectual Henry Ford, is the bunk. Instead let us now praise famous men, the men holding the dirty end of the stick, the men who have been and are doing the work.
J. Michael Rosenblum must be the first. The Society is due to his initiative in the first place, and owes its success to a large extent to his efforts. As Director he has fulfilled the most important and most active roll on the Executive Committee, and many of the benefits of the Society, the Membership Cards, the official stationery, the circulation and duplication of the Bulletin, and many others, are wholly or partly due to his unaided efforts.
Ted Carnell brought experience and enthusiasm in large doses to us, but unfortunately for us was too busy with the war to do as much as he would have liked. JMR informs me that he has, owing to the prospect of an indefinitely long sojourn abroad, sent in his resignation as President recently.
Jack Gibson deserves a big hand for the flying start he gave us with the Library - the ex-British-War-Relief-thingumabob (I'll forget my own name in a minute). When illness caused him to relinquish the job he had wrought nobly as Librarian and his loss was quite a blow.
Fred Goodier and J.P. Doyle, joint followers in Jack's footsteps, have been carrying on the good work, hampered by illness again. The former is just recovering from an attack of pleurisy, the latter has had a long spell in hospital. We all wish them a speedy recovery - a not entirely unselfish desire!
Arthur Busby has looked after our finances with an authoritative eye and given sage advice in the deliberations of the Executive Committee.
Kenneth Chadwick has been running the Magazine Chains with unobtrusive efficiency for a considerable time - a most valuable service.
Edwin MacDonald served us well during his few months as Coordinator of the Advisory Board, to the members of which, Dennis Tucker, Donald Houston, Terence Overton, Bob Gibson, and Robert Silburn, praise is due for their efforts to do the heavy thinking for us.
Mention must be made in despatches of Roy Johnson of Leicester, and his friend Arthur Gardner who demonstrated the possibility of Conventions; of E. Frank Parker who even now is striving mightily with the editorial responsibilities of the BFS BEYOND; of Doug Webster who, though a convinced Fanarchist, accepted for a time the post of Liaison Officer and is now doing his best with the "who's who"; of Mike Vinter, new Liaison Officer, and of Walter Norcott, who is going to run the science-fiction Mart for us.
And don't forget the Secretary, sirs, don't forget the sec.
There would have been a library catalogue and a librarian's report with this Bulletin but for Fred Goodier's illness. Such things cannot be helped - they come and they go, as the chap in H. G. Wells' story said of the ants. Those of you who have tried the Library do not need telling of its possibilities and advantages, the others presumably have their own good reasons for not using it.
These two (I think two?) chains have proved very successful under the guiding hand of Kenneth Chadwick, using magazines supplied from various sources but chiefly through the generosity of American Fans via Michael Rosenblum. The aim is to issue one magazine per chain per week, which is about as fast as they can be comfortably passed from one reader to the next, and this rate has been quite well maintained. (A recent lull due to lack of supplies is now over, I understand.) About twenty members thus benefit by seeing more, probably, of the fantasy pulps than they would in peace-time - certainly in seeing a greater variety of types. A very valuabIe feature.
Bibliophiles Section. (Report from the Chief Book-Worm)
"This section follows the usual custom of communicating via a 'chain', and has ten participants to date, about equally divided between old and ardent collectors and novices to this field, thus creating a nice balance. Several interesting topics are already being dealt with although the third revolution only is in progress - Utopias, "long-livers", Burroughs, and Cabell's works and ghost stories are under discussion. Moreover already a few of us have obtained great help in cataloguing and obtaining sundry rarish items, and this branch of research is likely to be extended. The Section is also likely to co-operate in the carrying-out of a Bibliography project. Now that the Bibliophiles chain has started we wonder how we ever managed without it."
"Beyond" BFS Edition. (Editorial manifesto.)
"The amateur fantasy magazine to be produced on behalf of the BFS is close to completion. To give the latecomers a final chance the editor is placing 'deadline' for receiving contributions to this issue at one week after the publication of this Bulletin. Please don't delay if you've got any material to submit, otherwise it may have to be held over for a second issue at some indeterminate date in the future.
Some members who wish their names to appear on the Circulation Rotas have already intimated as much. The others are urged to do so at once. The earlier names are received by the Editor the higher up on the rotas will they figure. Last comers will be last on the lists.
No.l will definitely contain stories by Mike Vinter, Roy Johnson, Peter Hawkins, Bob Gibson, Syd Bounds and D.R. Smith and, probably, J.K. Aiken. All types of fantasy will be included. Art work may be expected from Bob Gibson, Jack Banks, Don Houston, Bruce Gaffron and Harry Turner.
Believe it or not, the editor expects to get the first Circulation Rotas going by the end of the month! Who is the editor? Don't know? Try E. Frank Parker, of 6 Greytiles, Queen's Road, Teddington, Middlesex."
Science Discussions Chain.
Notable chiefly for the length of time it is talking to make its first circuit. But moving it is, and ere many moons are up it may arrive back to its starting point, full of strange esoteric wisdom.
New Liaison Officer.
Mike Vinter, of 49 Stanhope Road, St Alban's, Herts., has consented to act in this capacity from now on. (If you wanna know what this is turn up your copy of the Prospectus and look at Activity 5.)
It is proposed to establish a mart for the exchange, sale and purchase of science-fiction magazines, with the idea of facilitating contact between those who want to sell and those who want to buy. The idea has great possibilities and will fill a long-felt want. The Mart-man is to be Walter Norcott of 41 St Johns, Worcester, who has offered to tackle the job. More about the exact functioning of this in our next.
Terence Overton has suggested that BFS members exclusively interested in "weird" fantasy - as opposed to science-fiction - might form a section of their own within the Society, under a Director who would be a member of the Executive Committee. The section would run its own book and magazine exhange, produce a bulletin or magazine of its own, pool information about weird books and magazines, and possibly attempt a bibliography of weird fiction exclusively. Formation depends chiefly on whether a sufficient number of members are interested, so will all who are please write to Terence Overton at 107 Thomas Street, Abertridwr, Cardiff, Glamorgan.
This body, by far the largest group of fans in the country in reasonable meeting range of each other, holds meetings at fairly regular intervals which are well worth a visit from anyone within striking distance. It is therefore proposed to announce the dates and. places in the Bulletin in the hope that some members may be able to benefit. There is to be one on Sept. 26th, 7 p.m. at Shirley's, Teddington, when fantasy music will be discussed. John K. Aiken, 5 Kingfisher Court, E. Molesey, Surrey will give you any further information if you speak him fair (inclusion of a stamp for the return postage is a potent method of compelling a reply!) The Cosmos Club is four-starred in Baedeker (or ought to be).
Advisory Board Report No 5.
After deep consideration we have come to the conclusion that the following points must be followed for the well-being of fandom, as nothing is less desirable than friction between the Science Fiction Association and the B.F.S.
(l) The S.F.A. is to be left buried and the B.F.S. to continue in its place. (The real difference is only in name, and B.F.S. is a more suitable title than S.F.A. as "fantasy" covers a wider range, "British" establishes the locale of the society, and "Society" is neater than "Association". The Advisory Board is unanimous in the matter, and is certain that the great majority of fandom is likewise. On the proposed resumption of its activities after the war the S.F.A. would doubtless have had new elections, and anyone intending to try for an official's position then is just as eligible for any B.F.S. position - so there is no question of former officials being "usurped".)
The BFS arose in difficult times which caused the downfall of the SFA, so survival of the fittest......We are not casting any aspersions on the SFA, merely pointing out that it is of the past. ((DRS again - The actual reason why the SFA could not function in wartime was that its constitution did not allow for a dispersed Executive communicating by correspondence, and foresaw the dispersal of the members of its governing Council. The BFS arose by accepting the correspondence method of government - a method having many and obvious defects - and also because an unexpectedly large number of fans have settled down to more or less permanent positions for one cause or another. The point we have to face is - would it be possible, even if desired, to resurrect the SFA after more than four years of coma? In all fairness I think it must be admitted that it would not be practicable without an amount of trouble equal to creating an entirely fresh society.))American Policy and Honorary Members
Don Houston's suggestion this:- formation of a board of three with the objects of :-
The above is the last report we may expect from Edwin MacDonald who, though retiring as Coordinator, is going to continue as a member of the Board. Opinions on the points raised, particularly concerning the SFA, will be most welcome.
List of Members
Ackerman, Forrest J. 236 N, New Hampshire, Hollywood, California, U.S.A. (49)
Lane, Ron, 22 Beresford Road, Longsight, Manchester 13. (7)
Lewis, Bert, "Carthoris", Blundell Lane, preston, Lancs. (14)
Longton, Allen, 2 Fulden Street, Cowling Lane, Leyland, Lancashire. (46)
Lord., Michael F., 6 Malcolm Road, London S.W. 19 (68)
Moss, Eric, Home address "The Bothy", Roundhay Hall, Leeds 8 (3)
MacDonald, Edwin, 25 Dochfour Drive, Inverness. (9)
Miles, A. H., Home address 1 Exmouth Road, Knowle, Bristol 4. (42)
Miller, J. T., Home address 136 Calabria Road, Highbury, London N.5. (59)
Medhurst, Richard George, 126 Finborough Road, West Brompton, London S.W. 10 (70)
Norcott, Walter I., 41 St John's, Worcester. (54)
Norton, Alden H., c/o Fictioneers Inc., 210 West 43rd St, New York City. (61 - HONORARY)
Overton, Terence, 107 Thomas Street, Abertridwr, Cardiff, Glamorgan. (5)
Orme, Ralph, 153 Farron Road, Wyken, Coventry, Warks. (18)
Ouseley, S.G.J., 24 Hillfield Avenue, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent (78)
Parr, Julian, 26 Edward Street, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent (home address) (19)
Parker, E. Frank, 6 Greytiles, Queen's Road, Teddington, Middlesex (48)
Patterson, Eric F., home address "Rose Cottage", Eagle, nr Lincoln.
Pusey, Gilbert, 35 Mendy Street, High Wycombe, Bucks. (73)
Pennington, John, 58 Talbot Street, Southport, Lancashire. (79)
Rosenblum, J. Michael, 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7. (1)
Ridgway, Arthur J., 23 Prince's Road, Feltham, Middlesex. (55)
Strange, T.W., 12 Phine Road, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. (28)
Smith, D.R., 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, Warwks. (11)
Sheel, A.G., 54 Willifield Way, Golders Green, London N.W.11 (34)
Silburn, Robert J., The Dingle, Rhyd y felin, Aberystwyth. (41)
Sandfield, B.L., 7 Ellesmere Road, Greenford, Middlesex. (75)
Stewart, R., 13 Gloucester Road, Teddington, Middlesex. (82)
Tucker, Dennis, "Wicklow", 87 Oakridge Road, High Wycombe, Bucks. (8)
Temple, William F., Home address 7 Elm Road, Wembley, Middlesex. (13)
Vinter, I.M., 47 Stanhope Road, St. Albans, Herts. (64)
Ward, Frederick W., 4 Poplar Nook, Allestree, Derby, (12)
Walton, Victor S., 2 Princes Road, Feltham, Middlesex. (51)
Wiggins, James R., 52 Warren Road, Whitton, Twickenham, Middlesex. (52)
Williams, Arthur F. - address not known in full (58)
Webb, John, Hermit Lodge, Stockbridge, Hants, (74)
Some comments are indicated, starting with an apology for the terrible typing due partly to tiredness, partly to lack of interest, and partly to a depressing conviction that a considerable proportion of the addresses above are out-of-date. For really accurate information apply to the "Fan Directory" now being compiled by Dennis Tucker for issue in the very near future.
"Home address" indicates that the member in question is in the Services but may be reached c/o the address given. The numbers in brackets are the membership numbers. Messrs Devereux and Stewart are newcomers since the previous Bulletin.
There being no room left for Arthur Busby's Financial Statement and JMR's Stationary Account I will summarise them as showing us with a net Cash-in-Hand of approximately 25/-, with a stock of 3,900 stickers still for sale from JMR at 9d per 100, 5/4 per 500. Roll up and buy!
And for those things which I have missed, and for those things which I have put in wrong, pray accept my apologies...............D.R.Smith (Sec).