FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 31 (Vol. 4, Number 1) Oct. 1943
On August 17th, RAF bombers launched a raid on Peenemunde, home to the V-weapon projects of future father of the US space programme Wernher von Braun. That same day, the capture of Messina meant the whole of Sicily was now in Allied hands. This was followed on September 8th by the unconditional surrender of Italy and of her almost immediate joining with the Allies. Four days later, in an impressive operation, German parachutists spirited Mussolini away from his captors.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #11 - ed. D.R.Smith - 1 pageOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................cover art by Arthur Williams
TRIBUTE TO A MASTER............................
................................................. by Walter H. Gillings|
BRITISH fandom will share with their American cousins the profound regret which I, for one, felt on learning of the death of Abraham Merritt, whose famous novels must rank among the few specimens of modern fantasy deserving the name of masterpieces. It was his first novel, "The Moon Pool," as reprinted in "Amazing Stories" some years after its original publication at the end of the last war, that helped to convert me to science fiction as it was then being developed in America. For years after that, almost every issue of the magazines contained requests - no, demands - from new fans for this story, whose remarkable atmosphere of the utterly fantastic and strange had earned for it a reputation unequalled in the realm of imaginative writing. Since then it has been made available to all those fans who had never been able to obtain it either in book or magazine form, with others of his outstanding works which those of us fortunate enough to have had them on our bookshelves have long prized as the gems of our collections. "The Face in the Abyss", "The Ship of Ishtar", "Dwellers in the Mirage" - these are titles which fantasy fans have breathed with something akin to reverence for almost two decades. Merritt's unrivalled capacity for showing in words, with complete plausibility, the marvellous scenes and adventures productive of his vivid imagination, make these stories an essential experience for all fantasy lovers. His tales of witchcraft; "Burn, Witch, Burn!"(which came to the screen as "The Devil Doll") and "Creep, Shadow", with his "Seven Footprints to Satan," also have the qualities which make for reading that is rare, and which
(continued on a Later Page)
Probably the oldest fanzine in existence: its ancestors going to America on
the Mayflower: now issued by the Father at a Chapel. Reference Forry Ackerman,
who verbally mangled your editor & his dawg "Fido" in a recent issue of the
Fort MacArthur "Alert". Seriously though - well as seriously as reasonable -
Fido remains an amateur magazine devoted to fantasy fiction & its various
appendices; emanating from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, at 3d (5c) per issue.
Editor in chief J. Michael Rosenblum, with the cooperation of D. Webster,
K. Chadwick, &c.
SOCIOLOGICAL - "The Rape of the Masses" - Jack W. Banks
Robert Heinlein's IF THIS GOES ON is a dramatic portrayal of the ultimate development of totalitarian dictatorship, based on the false omnipotence of a pseudo-religious creed, upheld by scientifically determined mental conditioning of the population. The inspiration for this story might well be found in THE RAPE OF THE MASSES by Serge Chakotin, published here at the beginning of the war. Chakotin's work, subtitled "The Psychology of Totalitarian Political Propaganda", first deals with the concept of the conditioned reflex, and the pioneer work of Pavlov especially, leading to a survey of that principal as applied to propaganda directed to the masses of the population for political purposes. Chakotin says: "The possibility of influencing men existed, of course, in all ages, since man lives and talks and has relations with his fellow-men; but it was a possibility availed of blindly, and one which demanded great experience or special aptitudes: it was a sort of art. Now this art has become a science, which can calculate, foresee, and act under rules which can be tested. An immense step forward is being made in the sociological domain." This science of applied-psychology can be used for good or evil; Heinlein shows it a weapon in the hands of a minority, to impose a dictatorial rule on a nation. Consciously used, in this case, whereas it is the view of the author of RAPE OF THE MASSES that Hitler, the present-day example, has not consciously applied these principles. Rather, that purely by intuition, he, an unsophisticated man, has used in the political arena, the laws of conditioned reflexes defined by Pavlov. And he has been successful: no one can deny that, and Chakotin's complaint is that no one has recognised why he won. (And it might be worthwhile to note here that his success was not necessarily because of any particular gullibility of the German people, compared to others. In 1933, Nazis and Nationalists polled 52 of every 100 votes. The other parties polled 48 of every 100. So that 48 of every 100 Germans, despite the propaganda of the Nazis, did not vote for them. In Britain, in the panic General Election of 1931, the people were bluffed into believing that if the Labour Government continued in office, they would lose their savings. Only 55 in every 100 Britons voted against the National Government.) Chakotin believes that the broad mass of the population is passive, and at the mercy politically of the successful propaganda of a minority: a minority in the proportion of one tenth. The militant one tenth who can shape the future of the remaining nine tenths. The author states his belief in the power for good of an enlightened. minority, and here one notes the resemblance between his views and those of H.G. Wells, to whom the book is dedicated in those words: "To H.G. Wells. Thinker of the Future". Those who have read Wells' works of the last few years, and especially since the war, are aware of the theme on which he has continually played. "Become a conscious devoted Revolutionary", he says in his COMMON SENSE OF WAR AND PEACE, after having returned the compliments paid him by Chakotin, and whether one chooses to interpret "Revolutionary" in the usual sense or not, the challenge remains.
REACTIONS - "Why Fans" -- '& -- "Moral Obligations" -- Sidney "Simald" Dean
Expressed in very trans-atlantic dialogue [monologue ? - DW] we present some thoughts of one of the more philosophical of America's "new" fans. Just a previous word on moral obligations by your editor to try & express his own viewpoint in a nut-shell. I would support Sidney's point in tackling comparatively minor social problems as good training as well as worth-while in itself, But that is no reason for not pulling our share at least, in the major political & economic
problems. As, in my opinion, the few years at
the conclusion of the war will set the tone for civilisation's next phase, it
behoves us who consider ourselves enlightened to do our utmost to spread the light. But
onward - - I present you Sidney Dean . . . .
My first reaction to the fan-element represented by JFBurke & the like is to assume a rather cynical attitude toward the cynic. If Burke, for example, cannot see anything worthwhile in fandom or in scientifiction as a whole, why on earth does he insist on bothering to write for the fanmags at all? He says - in effect - "If science fiction has nothing to say...isn't it about time you looked somewhere else?"
Okay, Bub, I'll bite. Whyn'ell don't ya? Why do you waste your time in fandom if you don't believe in it? If you think it is worthwhile to make useful citizens of "fans", then you evidently see it as containing something of possible value. [With all due deference to Comrade Dean, who should not be denied his fun, it might be mentioned to newcomers that the cynical monster Burke made no reference to science-fiction fandom, but rather the relative merits of science-fiction & other types of reading-matter. For a neat example of twisting arguments to suit a scathing reply, readers are advised to compare closely the original (Fido, May 1943) with the present essay - DW]
I don't mean to be too, too smart for words, but cripes man; you deride the field but nonetheless remain right smack in the middle of it. If you don't like it, scram; if you do like it, either tell us that & why or shut up. Your entire attitude strikes me as being self-contradictory.
Or is it that the only group which you have anything to say on and in is fandom? Are you a sociologist, psychiatrist, student of economic politics, or what are you? If you have a technical interest in the psychology of fandom, I concede your right to goad the fans in an attempt to observe and catalogue their reactions, but if yours is but an amateur interest, I should think you would turn your immense powers of analytic reason to more practical fields, such as criminology and the factors behind insanity. No offence meant, but if you thank fandom is bull, suppose you tell us why you are still interested in that bull? Or does it, perhaps, inflate your ego to think that you are the only fan to realize how silly it all is? C'mon, tell us now. Do like I do, let the axe fall where it may....
I might be inclined to support friend Burke a bit: "Why Fandom?" is and has been the vital question confronting us, But, oddly enuf, nobody but fans give a damn. Does the National Geographic Society pay any attention to us? The Duke University? The Journal of Sociology? Nobody pays the slightest bit of heed to our self-claimed world shaking possibilities. [Nobuddy Luvs Them Any More.] Only fans themselves are the least bit interested in fandom, and they don't even know why.
My fannishness dates way back to the time mama usta answer my last, straw-that-broke-my-back "Why?" with a "'cause I said so" and, as an afterthot, a crack in the teeth by mama's fist and a "goddamya, I'll teach you to sass me." Not a very satisfactory answer is it? Mama's immense ego kept her from admitting that she didn't know. After all, mama was supposed to be perfect. So I went on and on in search of a feasible answer. I never did believe that such and such was so because some brilliant man said it was. He had to prove it to me or else. . So I made my rounds of the field, Doc Savage, G-8 & His Battle Aces, Amazing, etc, because for a while, the codes of morality and ethics and. the philosophy of life (incredibly idealistic as they were) appealed to me. But eventually I rejected, them, subconsciously, because the systems weren't exactly practical for me. I was no Doc Savage.
Pulp Stfiction was & is appealing because it got away from that "'cause I told ya so" attitude and was rich with theories to explain everything, seriously & in jest. My mental conditioning grew accordingly....idealistic codes, futuristic society, honest & platonic people, eternal progress, exalted mankind, success thru struggle against immense odds, etc. My common sense told me that the average man was full of you all understand and he only thot he was so wonderful. [Sic - ?? DW] Man calls himself homo sapiens. If anyone else could vote on it, I wonder if they would agree with our self-claimed brilliance? But I couldn't believe that our race...which I was a member of, was only a colony of bacteria on a little blob of mud. It insulted my ego. So I went on to try to find some theory or even myth which aggrandised humanity, and myself therewith.
So today I find myself an inveterate fan, a little fed up with trying to paint my fellow
men lily white and perfect just to be able to say "I'm a swell guy too." I don't give a
hoot how swell a guy I am, as long as I have fun. And so, I am getting so I lean towards
fantasy, particularly the thriller-diller type which plays upon so many black passions and
dark emotions in a guy. Like Merritt's "Creep Shadow Creep."
My interest in fandom then, is based upon an insatiable intellectual curiosity, the Pursuit of Knowledge. I have grown up in. that quest, and am unable to find anything but disgust in the other types of literature. Lurid detective yarns sicken me, I dislike the people and things involved. Why spend hours brooding upon that form of morbidity unless, of course, that form of morbidity becomes emotionally enjoyable to you? Ditto love mags. I don't want to read about love. I want to make love. Etc. Etc, Some Journals of Psychology, Sociology, Civil Engineering, Philosophy etc, interest me. I like to follow the designs of small homes, shopping centers, etc. I enjoy cynical comedy, some drama, poetry, and some mystery yarns (in the field of fiction and light reading). My standbys are Astounding Stories, Unknown, and a few Weirds. Favorite authors are Van Vogt, Merritt, and (oddly enuf) Omar Khayyam, I have subjugated the pursuit of knowledge and am pursuing pleasure now....but still, habit and outlook make me a fan. My wild imagination and intellectual character, plus a certain disdain for pig-headed exaggeration of life's little trifles, mark me out as different somehow. My choice of literature brands me as a fly in the ointment....a "screwball". I am a misfit, getting along as best I can, seeking the company of others who are interested in my fields. Fandom almost as a whole is made up of "misfits" who can't stay interested in the daily trivia. The average fans chief merit (or demerit, as you wish) is his broad imagination. Are fans too free with their imagination or is humanity to stingy with theirs?
[ So you'll to the psychiatrist?On J. Parr's Moral Obligations: I'm jumping into the middle of an argument, having been cheated out of the first installments, which are seven months, two cities, and several thousand miles in my history. The postal authorities are bewildered by the rapidity of the wanderings. They must think I 'm a gypsy sure enuf.
How can a satisfactory discussion of that topic be conducted in anything less than a book? I rather think that the predominant value of social organization lies in specialisation and mass production. Both are equally impossible without a more or less binding agreement of co-operation between the individuals of a commonwealth or race. Our civilization today is the product of co-operation. Could you individually have invented and made electric lights, radio, refrigeration, newspapers, motion pictures, beverages, canned delicacies, clothing, shoes, silverware, paved streets, broadcasting stations, news correspondents overseas [only God could have invented them, brother; or Mr. J. Gordon Bennett], automobiles, tyres, etc? Yeah, brother, yeah. I can see you producing all this by yourself. Or, if you'd rather live on a desert island with wine, women, song, women, food, women, freedom, women, and your own way about things, tell me how you would keep the Japs from enslaving you. Defense of our own forces us to keep up with and ahead of other political groups, nat'l or international. Also this requires co-operative effort under some form of social contract, with some social obligations. My idea: First Oblig. is to yourself...be happy. Second, to the present...be productive enough to maintain the status quo. Third, to the future... contribute to posterity. For the mass of us, this third obl. means to produce more than enough, and try by our increased efficiency & production to further progress. Some of us can invent, some uncover new sociological knowledge, some of us can delve into philosophy and theoretical physics. Even as amateurs in these fields we can achieve somewhat. But first, we should earn our way, better our relations (social & industrial) with the masses, and then...as a hobby...try our hand at some world shaking ideas (if we think it will do any good.) But I cannot agree that it is imperative for us to lead & guide, point the way for, etc, poor ignorant humanity. Nor can I see
where we just gotta save the world from a dastardly fate. It got along by itself some millions
of years, suddenly it all all collapse if we don't go absolutely crazy & fly into a frenzied
burst of activity. Well, suppose somebody tells me what dangers must steer humanity clear of?
And also, what powers have we that fit us for leadership? Imagination and broadness of view
is not enough, without mental and emotional stability. And most fans lack both. At least, the
ones I have met in these USA, including myself. I recommend that Johnny Fan firstly settle
himself mentally and rationally, particularly in the latter respect. Then he might be able to
approach world problems from a mature and stable viewpoint. Try improving the penal system, or
the educational system, or suggest a feasible method for eliminating the undermining factors
in the economic and. psychological factors governing the rearing of children. Then you can
preach of how valuable you are. Start from the bottom....improve your own life and your own
social environment. Then, and only then, try bringing improvement into the lives of others.
I do not question our inherent abilities as leaders of humanity, I only question our
preparedness to accept that task. I claim that fans are not yet mature enough, intellectually,
and need more time and still more encouragement. They will make the grade if we who are able
to do so will only try to keep alive the spark of their imagination, instead of trying to
kill it. The world needs well balanced men and women of vision. But we must search our own
selves first, before we can search others. Have your theories made an outstanding success of
you? It will probably react in the same fashion upon society. If they have not done as much
for you as present systems have done for the "hoi polloi" then I submit that your ideas are
not yet acceptable and need brushing up. Or are you yourself the one who needs brushing up?
I know that I do.
KNOWLEDGE - "Science Fiction Test" -- by -- Arthur Williams
N.B. All questions must be answered from memory; we rely upon the honour of the candidate not to refer to magazines, notes or other fans for information. [Phi, phi, Arthur; what candidate would be such as cad....?]
1. Who was the editor of the Clayton ASTOUNDING?[Answers overleaf (or somewhere)]
The United States Post-office department has just issued an order to the effect that magazines going to any other country can only be sent directly by the publisher & not by individuals, any longer. Books can still be sent, however. This blow will fall on those people who have been having magazines sent by US friends & will accordingly reduce the number of copies of US prozines coming into the possession of Anglofandom. Secondary effects will fall on the BFS "chain system'' of circulating current prozines, I fear; & also upon any plans for the resurrection of the British Science Fiction War Relief Society.
August 2nd., 1943 -- "Just some more Sands of Time: Only this time there is little of fictional interest - it's been 100% adventure again. We slightly altered the American marines' signature tune to read 'To the Shores of Sicily", from whence
108 Kimberley Road Leicester
Born January 12th, 1927. Height:- 5'9". Weight:- 130 lbs. Fair-skinned, light-auburn hair, blue-grey eyes, gold horn-rimmed spectacles.
Read first sf yarn, THE LAST ROCKET TO VENUS, in a boys' "blood-&-thunder" magazine, the HOTSPUR - in 1939. Discovered a FANTASY in an older friend's house, tried to get hold of another copy, and eventually, in early 1940, obtained two issues of SCIENCE-FICTION. Meanwhile, had read a couple of Verne's classics. Soon discovered A.W. Gardner liked a-f, and he introduced me to ASTOUNDING. From then onwards, bought & devoured every second-hand s-f mag I could find, until Coventry market & its fine book-stall was blitzed in November, 1940. Eventually moved from Leamington Spa to Leicester, where I soon emptied the only decent book-shops in town. [Note: This statement should not be taken at face-value, unless the meaning of 'decent' is unduly circumscribed. Whatever Maurice Hanson's views on the matter, the writer's experience is that, when in Leicester this summer, he was drawn by morbid curiosity to enter a religious book-shop & found there an excellent Biography section, whence he carried on two Ludwigs, a Gosse, a book on the American Presidency, & other items. -DW] Recieved specimen-copy of Fido in May '41, and subscribed a few months later. "Met" Jack Gibson and SFX in November '41 and have had several parcels from him. (Visited him last August.) Had sub. to ASF for 1942, & hope to get one also for '43. Expect to go on reading s-f until at least 2000 A.D. Favourites: ASF - EESmith and Heinlein/MacDonald; "Lensman" series, & BEYOND THIS HORIZON.
Well, that's all there is. Oh! yes - I almost forgot: I'm a cynic, an atheist, and a misanthrope.
....(Edw. Jno Carnell cont.)....
come these few thoughts, so you can see that I have had no time for reading. The last mags I saw were in Cairo some time back, where a stack of '42 FANTASTIC MYSTERIES were on sale, Once again found two of my colleagues were addicts! ... Despite some hair-raising episodes this is no ghost writing & you can record in the academical bulletin my flesh & blood greetings to all the gang. A detailed account may be permissable later on, when I may be able to bat it out on the "Imp" at home. Haven't run into any of the boys since meeting up with the 8th. Army, & doubt if any are here...Special greetings to Doug Webster [thanks, old lech: got your recent weinweibgesang Airgraph, & would you care to send me the bar of chocolate? - DW], & will you announce greetings to Forrie & all other Americans. It is impossible to write them from here.
See you soon, Ted."
....(Answers to Art Williams' Intelligence Test)....
1. Harry Bates.FAN NEWS
New call-up is that of Londoner Arthur Skeel, who reported to the RAF at the beginning of September. And then there was one less! Sergeant E.R. 'Ted' White of Toronto has now left this country for service with the Canadian Army elsewhere - 'twas a pity that circumstances here prevented his contacting Anglofandom rather more intimately during his sojourn in GB, a contact which both parties strongly desired. Ted carries with him our best wishes wherever he may
land. .... New address:- Northampton's Don Houston is now to be reached at 4 Meadow
Way, Letchworth, Herts. .... Overseas ... LAC Bob Chittock sends a few lines from
the wilderness of North Africa which he states is rich in insect life - "literally
hundreds of different species of insect life crawl, slide, hop, jump, slither, roll,
ooze, flit & fly around." ....P/O Ego Clarke has now wandered down to Cornwall,
Davidstow Moor, near Camelford - & states with grim emphasis: "I shall be terribly
busy from now on till the end of the war, & from then on.". .... Maurice Hanson was
shocked to learn that Fido last issue thought him still in the Orkneys - he says
since leaving there he has been in Lincolnshire, N. Berwick, Dorset, near Reading,
& is now in South Devon .... he hopes Johnny Burke will avail himself of the
opportunity whilst he is in the Orkneys to think noble & deep thoughts Away From It
All ..... Jack Gibson is now perking up rather & you will all be pleased to learn
that his eyes are now considerably improved. ..... Erik Needham now stationed at
Dallachy, nr. Elgin - North Scotland.
This month's Odyssey is provided by Edwin Macdonald, who, fired by envy of Douglas
Webster's account of his travels, decided to try & emulate them slightly. We meet
our hero spending a weekend with the Websters at Banff - about midway between
Inverness & Aberdeen. Next call Edinburgh where an assignment was made & kept with
Johnny Burke, & then a meeting with Osmond Robb of that city. Thence to Leeds & JMR
on the Friday. Saturday saw Edwin & JMR together in Manchester, rounding up Messr.
Ron Lane, George Ellis & Ron Bradbury. Sunday morning Edwin helped your editor to
carry cauliflowers at work, after which proceeding we collected Kennith Chadwick &
spent most of the afternoon seeing our Inverness friend off, on a rather draughty
station platform. On the Monday we discovered that Eric Hopkins was stationed in
Manchester! [Eric has now left Manchester and, I believe, these Isles. --DW]
STAGGERINGS ----- By the Staggerer---- H. K. Bulmer
With the continuing absorption of active fans into the Forces, the thinning ranks of Fandom must be re-filled with younger members. This to a great extent is what has happened in the past. These younger fans bring new blood, they are eager and too often impetuous, but they represent a true facet of fandom. As a natural result of their entry into this wonderful organisation (sic!) a number of fanzines spread unsteady wings. We are glad to have the new members; many of us forseeing great events in the future, welcome also the mags, but perhaps a majority view these publications a little askance, noticing their infirmities and contrasting them with the glories of the past. An unenthusiastic welcome to a new fanmag will kill it more surely than anything else. A storm of abuse and scorn would serve to temper it, a passage through the crucible of public derision would strengthen it, perhaps even more than plaudits could. This comment about fans ignoring a fmz if they did not like it was publicly used to rebuke me when I said words to the effect that the fans would have written telling an aspiring editor they objected to his sheet. I said that to encourage him. The corrector has since left the fold and the A.E. is, I believe, planning a new zine, at least was when I was in the flow of norm. But the main point that emerges is this - there are willing hands in existence and mature minds, there are pioneers of new literature and machines, there may be money but there certainly is boundless enthusiasm; and all this adds up to but one word - cooperation. It is truthful to say that every fan worthy of his name welcomes a fan magazine. The better they are the more he is pleased. It takes a great deal to stir a fan out of his lethargy to write a piece for a magazine, as most editors will testify. But once the ball is rolling, and a zine can build a reputation of superior material, fans will write well to enter the sacred portals. Thus we may assume that, provided the right market exists, an editor should feel at ease regarding quantity and quality of material - regularity no man can hope to obtain from a fan! The continual pleas for material need not disfigure tho pages of magazines. Machines exist at various locations over the country and labour should not be far removed. To sum up, fans interested should band together, whilst the war is on, to produce a certain number of first rate publications; instead of launching a large number of very weak zines individually. The whole idea of this proposal offends the first principles held dear by an independent fandom, but it becomes a necessity with a war on if any publishing is to survive at all. One does not include Fido .... The ludicrous situation may arise of all Fandom producing one zine for
their own consumption - but I hardly think so. [Such a situation obtains at present.
The result is not all that some might wish for, but no one will deny that it is far &
away superior to the standard set by one-issue fanmags which have disgraced the mails
in recent years: a standard which, it appears, Ken wishes to uphold. Nuts. - DW] And
this situation will prove a spur to the recruiting of more fans, and the converting of
fans into actifans. Partnerships will be dissolved after the war, when the new, bright
crop of fmz that are promised spring up. But until that day ----.
For those who are interested, North African pleasure cruises. Plenty of Sun, Sand and flies. Stopping at all the more desolate spots of the general desolation. Best tent accommodation provided, with water laid on a mere half hour away by fast tank. Return ticket issued via Sicily, Rome and Berlin. - ADVT.
We must apologise for the witholding of Ken Bulmer's name in the last edition of his colyum - he had no wish to hide behind the mask of anonymity, which we in our editorial zeal gave to him. We hope that further instalments of "Staggerrrings" will appear and are extremely grateful to Kenneth for his continued active interest in fandom, even amid the sand and insects of North Africa.
THAT STORK AGAIN
August 3rd, birth of a son - Gerald - to Mr and Mrs John "Zeus" Craig. September 3rd, Peter Douglas Temple arrived on this terrestrial sphere to keep sister Ann company. Congratulations and best wishes to all concerned. And September 19th to Mrs Estelle Newman (ne Rosenblum) a son; so fans visiting Grange Terrace will now be able to play with the baby as well as the cat!
Vague plans are on foot for some sort of meeting round about New Year in the North of England. The first essential is to have some idea of the support likely to be given to such a venture so will all possible attendees drop a line to JMR immediately, if not sooner. Ideas re date, place, programme and arrangements are very welcome, but please keep matter connected with the meet separate from other fan affairs. A skeletonal committee exists in Messrs Bradbury, Lane & Ellis of Manchester and Chadwick & Rosenblum of Leeds. It is felt that one of these two centres would be best and enquiries are being made in both cities, the results of which will of course affect the final decision as to town.
betwixt the respective fandoms of USA and England in person has at last been effected. By
a short head, Norman "Gus" Willmorth beat John Millard in saying hello to Anglofandom. The
noble Angeleno made a visit to Teddington and the Cosmos Club in August and met some nine of
the members who thought highly of the American ambassador, a feeling which appeared to be
duplicated. Shortly afterward Johnnie Millard of Jackson, Michigan dropped a line to JMR
saying that at last he could spend a weekend in Leeds. And the weekend was made all the
pleasanter when who should be stationed in this city for some ten days but Walter H. Gillings,
shaking the dust of the army off his feet. So the three of us fangabbed and swapped numerous
notes. I hope to see John again in the near future, whilst a visit from Wilmorth is scheduled
for late October.
"TRIBUTE TO A MASTER" by W.H. Gillings (Continued)
lives in the memory long after most other books have been forgotten. Although he has never been a prolific writer, editing a monthly magazine has kept Merritt too busy of recent years to add to his already magnificent contribution to fantasy literature. Had he lived, we might have profited by the completion of five further novels of his, but his existing works, among which are too, several short stories ( some of which were the first germs of his books) have earned for him an immortal place in the annals of classic fantasy literature.
Further news - A. Merritt passed away on Saturday August 21st. from a heart attack whilst commencing a vacation at Indian Rocks Beach, Florida.
Street & Smith Twins, alas, are so no longer! John W. Campbell announces the suspension of "Unknown Worlds" for the duration, saying that Unk has always been a magazine that sells in small quantities at many stands, thus entailing a very high percentage of returns, which the paper situation no longer allows. And "Astounding Science Fiction" too is to mutate, and produced in future in pocket book size.
Return of a wanderer - who is none other than Harry Kay, erstwhile S.F.A. librarian and member of the executive committee Harry has been extremely busy with his medical course, Home Guard, first aiding during blitzes, & moreover unfortunate in having several letters to onetime prominent fans returned marked unknown, when he tried to contact people. Now, however, he is back in fandom and has joined the BFS, about whose possible post-war relations with the SFA he writes at length. Unfortunately there isn't room in this Fido, and much of the matter has been gone over before. He emphasizes that the SFA, like the BFS, does not want to set up two rival establishments in Anglofandom, and that some form of union betwixt the two organisations is essential. Re the SFA Library, tis intact, but Harry has not the power to dispose of, or loan it in any way, at the moment.
From Donald A. Wolheim.... "been married two months now to Elsie Balter, new address is 98-50 67th Avenue, Forest Hills, NY," is now "editing TEN DETECTIVE ACES, ACE SPORTS, and12 SPORTS ACES for Ace publications. John Michel in also working at Ace. Robert Lowndes you know about - still handling a dozen or so Westerns Sports etc. Other data on Futurians: Kornbluth is in the army, technical non-com. Chet Cohen is also at Doc's publishing house as assistant general editor, Walter Kubilius on newspaper staff of N.Y. Sun. Dirk Wylie is on Military Police duty in North Carolina. Jack Robins building ships on West Coast. Jack Gillespie in the merchant marine. Dick Wilson in the army. By the way, that list of British fans who received Norton's magazines was made up by myself at Norton's request". From Gerry de la Ree of Westwood NJ.... "Since I sent that last letter I have been in the US Navy and out again. I went to Newport R.I. two weeks ago for my "boot training" got sick and was given a discharge after spending 12 days there. You ask what became of the Solaroids. Well, here is where some of the local members are now; Rod Gaetz - Penn State College, Jim Breckenridge - Cornell, Roy Plotkin - Michigan State and Columbia, Phil Franco - army, Harold Mutch - army, Bob Blanchard - still going to High School." Dmitri de Woronin of Southern Rhodesia now in Ceylon. "Helping put out "Heshima" which "is our divisional 16 page mag in Swahili (ouch!) for the Africans. I do little photography nowadays (Dmitri is in the intelligence as a photographer) tho all the mag covers are my pics." From Eric Frank Russell (the Australian one!) "In Australia at present there is practically no science fiction active at all. There exists the Sydney Fantasy Society which has a lot of ups & downs. No fanmags are being published owing to their being stopped because of the paper shortage. We receive some but not all of the reprints of Astounding and Unknown and occasionally there is a native Stf booklet."
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................Sept 18th, 1943
Cramp, F.N., AC 1620356, c/o "Gunthorpe", Clapper Lane, Staplehurst, Kent, (85); Gillot, Jack, 39 Beryl Road, Noctorum, Birkenhead, (86); Johnson, Leslie J., c/o 16 Rockville Road, Broadgreen, Liverpool 14, (87); Kay, Harry, 26 Hole Street, Staines, Middlesex, (83); Murrey, Jean, 32 Manor Garden, Hampton, Middlesex, (84) (Beefasmette Number Two).
'tis long since we have been able to welcome so many new members at a time. A most promising start to our second year.
The prospectus promises you the yearly opportunity of electing a new Executive Committee and we hereby open the affair for this year by asking for nominations for the posts of President, Director, Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian. The first of these is vacant at the moment owing to Ted Carnell's absence from Albion's sunny shores, the others are respectively filled by Messrs Rosenblum, Smith, Busby and Goodier. If you know of better men for any or all of these posts then let us have the names and we will held an election. (This Society - if we may take a few liberties with Honest Abe's well-known remarks - with its institutions, belongs to the people who are members of it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government they may exercise their constitutional rights of amending it, or their revolutionary rights of uprising and overthrowing it!)
On the other hand if no nominations are received by the secretary by Oct. 21st 1943 we shall assume that everyone is contented with our services and remain in office - DV - for another year.
The formation of this is making some progress under the guidance of its inspirer, Terence Overton, and it seems probable that it will come into active being in the near future. Anyone interested who has not yet contacted Mr Overton should do so at 107 Thomas Street, Abertridwr, Cardiff, Glamorgan.
Will resume its activities under the guidance of Dennis Tucker. (There will soon have to be another election for this too!)
Suggestion from Terence Overton.
That the B.F.S. subscribe to Astounding and Weird to ensure copies being obtained for the Library. In view of the fact that the US Post Office is prohibiting the despatch of magazines by private individuals this seems to be a good idea. It will mean though, chickabiddies, that we shall have to ask you for a subscription. "Base is the slave that pays" said Pistol, but we trust that our members are more worthy citizens than he. Reflect on it for the time being.
Comments on the Last Bulletin.
None. Not a sausage. We conclude therefore all are agreed with the various points raised in it, including in particular the proposed policy toward the S.F.A. Is good.
But did you send in your names to Frank Parker for inclusion on one of the BEYOND rotas? 'Cause if you haven't the address is 6 Greytiles, Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex.
"Be clean, be tidy, oil the lock,D.R.Smith. (Seckertray)
P.S.'s. Dennis Tucker reports he is unable to undertake duties of Co-ordinator of Advisory Board. Any nominations or volunteers? BFS edition of 'BEYOND' ((rest of line missing - RH.))