FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 32 (Vol. 4, Number 2) Dec. 1943
In November, the Allied leaders held meetings to decide on what the shape of the post-war world should be. The first of these took place in North Africa on the 22nd when Churchill and Roosevelt met with Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek to discuss the Far East. Six days later, in Tehran, Churchill and Roosevelt met with Stalin to start mapping out the future of Europe.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #13 - ed. D.R.Smith - 1 page
* - Two of these pages are reprints (or, more likely, a deliberate print over-run) of pages 9 & 10 of the December 1943 issue of Cosmos Club fanzine COSMIC CUTS and constitute an announcement of the 1944 Eastercon, which the CSC intended to run in Teddington.
page 8 * page 9 * page 10 * page 11 * page 12
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................cover art by Arthur Williams
DECEMBER 1943. UNEXPECTED BUMPER XMAS NO.
Conventions and all that!
This issue of FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST brings news and details of forthcoming outstanding events in Anglofandom -- meetings taking place in New Year and Easter 1944. The latter event is under the guiding hand of the Cosmos Club and an ambitious programme is scheduled. Further details will be found in a special sheet included in this issue; and later bulletins will be published with future Fidos.
The New Year Meeting is to be of a somewhat more informal character, and has been arranged to take place in Manchester, thus enabling fans in the North of England to have a rally. Ron Lane (22 Beresford Road, Longsight, Manchester 13) who is in charge of arrangements, wishes to say --
Will all those who have intent!ons of attending (or any possibility thereof) please notify me. I must have some idea of the number of attendants as soon as possible, and accomodation necessary. THIS IS IMPORTANT. A number of possible attendees will have received a notice from either JMR or myself, if you were not included, we apologise sincerely. There are three requests I wish to make 1. Will anyone who has anything suitable for an auction bring or send it on. 2. Will anyone who has anything of interest to his fellow fans send it along - if required it will be returned. We plan an
(continued inside back cover)
This is the November 1943 issue of Fido, and this is J. Michael Rosenblum
writing it. And DWebster stencilling it,thank Ghu! Issued bi-monthly
from 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7. 3d. per issue - -
5 cents to Americans who are welcome to trade.
I propose, in a senies of short articles, published in Fido as space allows, to inquire into the origins of the world's fantasy poetry and to see whether any of it offers future foundations for redevelopment. For the casual reader I hope to bring to notice some poets & poems still worth looking at, and for the bibliophile I hope to dangle before his eyes a few succulent morsels worth gaining and keeping. Obviously, each article will have to be condensed into a few paragraphs, therefore the bare bones of fact are but lightly clad with a tissue of criticism or appreciation. I would be glad to supply information regarding the sources of my research, on receipt of inquiries enclosing a stamped, addressed, envelope.
American fantasy poetry begins with a fantasy in the broadbst sense by Joseph Rodman Drake, born in New York City, on August the 17th, 1795. His travels through Europe may have influenced his lively imagination, and shortly before his death he wrote his long fantastic poem "The Culprit Fay", which according to Duychinch came out of a conversation between the poet, Fity-Green Hollech, & James Fenimore Cooper, on "the Scottish streams and their adaptations to the uses of poetry by their romantic associations." Drake opposed the notion that the rivers of the American continent had no such associations & therefore no romance, & his reply is contained in his poem. It is still very readable, light, & full of altogether charming, 'conceits', but is hardly likely to appeal to the sophisticated.
Passing over George Hill's "Song of the Elfin Steersman" we come to Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose poem "Uriel", concerning the downfall of an angel who believed that space was curved, is well known. Emerson's fantastic poetry is really a cloak for his pantheistic philosophy and it is difficult to criticise the two separately. He contained two opposite natures & expressed both as if they were in harmony. "Uriel" therefore suffers through a kind of artificiality imposed on it by the burden of its meaning.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'whom every schoolfellow knows' (!), travelled extensively in Europe, & rediscovered, or popularised, many mythological legends, thus assuring himself of mention here. [Oh, come, James - is that shriek justified? Surely everyone knows bits of "Hiawatha" or "The Hesperus", or "The Village Blacksmith", or some of the Slave poems; and I could swear I first came upon that well-known piece about "Ships that pass in the night,...". in HWL, tho' I doubt if I could find it again now. DW] His "Skeleton in Armour" has been illustrated by VIirgil Finlay in WEIRD TALES, but the poem suffers as nearly all his work from a kind of dramatic bathos, induced by the fashionable 'neo-Gothic revival'. His macabre "Midnight Mass for the Dying Year" is far better from our point of view.
While we are on the subject of the macabre, I found a poem by William Gilmore Simms "The Edge of the Swamp", which would repay reading by those interested in haunts for ghouls & zombies:
"Wild ragged treesSimms also wrote "Atlantis: A story of the Sea", which is not significant and very tedious reading, but, shows the influence already that is to form the poetic tradition for coming fantasy poets.
Thomas Holley Chivers finds his place here more from the result of his fantastic vocabulary than anything else. The friend and plagiarist (the plagiarism was mutual) of Poe, Chivers seemed to lack that sense of humour which gives most of us a sense of proportion:
"As an egg, when broken, neverThis is Chivers, but this too, is Chivers:
"What are the stars but hieroglyphs of God's glory writ in lightningCoupled with the name of Chivers, but far superior to him, is Edgar Allen Poe. I close with Poe, because after his example, American fantastic poetry stops its growing pains and becomes fully mature. All that comes after follows the example of Poe or the earlier writers in subject matter or treatment.
Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1809. His education in the South, and this is a coastal town - Richmond - laid down for him the foundations of future romatic poetry. In 1815, Poe, then seven years old, came to England, and was entered at Manor House School, Stoke Navington, near London. He was already beginning to write poetry. In 1820, he was taken back to the United States, and when of age had a short, unsuccessful & very wild career at the University of Virginia. Misfortune after misfortune piled up, and before a somewhat obscure career as a soldier, "Tamerlaine / & / Other Poems / by a Bostonian" appeared. It was not a success. On the verge of starvation Poe enlisted in the Army. "Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and minor poems" appeared. Still no notice. "Poems" appeared, and was a little more successful. In 1835 he became more well-known, & in 1841, he has 'reached his zenith'.
Poe needs no introduction to fantasts - his 'Raven' has assured him of that. Less LOS, well-known is, his "City in the Sea", macabre & fine - more restrained than most of his things. "Fairyland" is enchanting, & reminiscent of Coleridge's "Kubla Khan". Poe's lwa4 fault was lack of restraint, and repetition, his greatness his romantic mood & metre, & knowledge and sense of the macabre. It is only fitting to end with a few lines of "Ulalume":
"Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber -If any know these regions, it is sure & certain Edgar Allen Poe of Boston, Massachusetts, was more familiar with them than most!
DISCUSSION - - "Staggerings" - - H.Ken Bulmer
The post-war problem of transport affords many diversified opinions and provides fruitful grounds for discussion. With the promised wholesale marketing of cheap family and sports cars it is obvious that the present day system of traffic and road layouts is hopelessly inadequate. The few main roads we have of any degree of efficiency will become chaotically overcrowded. Two first solutions immediately become plain. 1.-- to increase both the number and capacity of our roads and to bring them to a higher pitch of modernity. 2.- - to take as much traffic as possible away from the roads, dispersing it amongst other forms of transport. The first has had a certain publicity in the past, a few attempts at by-passes have been constructed and a lot of theory has been got through. A large appropriation must be made from the Budget for this work. Main highways must be widened, banked, controlled, and safe intersections and crossings designed and built. "A" class roads must be made free of obstructions in the way of villages - petty cart tracks crossing and as many awkward and dangerous corners as possible must be ironed out. How often is one forced to slow from a flowing seventy to a mere amble in threading a narrow stone bridge, or running the gauntlet of some picturesque small village? Intersections and crossings must be dealt with on some system such as the four-leaf clover method. This project however will take time and the second alternative offers certain advantages. The public, while buying cars,are also more air-minded than ever before. All public conveyances between towns and across Britain must, to follow our second proposal, be taken off the roads and to be logical be put into the air. This will prove admirable for long-distance work but on stretches of short duration may be viewed with eyes of official scorn. It should be needless to point out, however, that a plane is quite capable of hopping oeven a short distance, which will not give full scope to its powers, in safety and efficiency; and in the
grand scheme of transport, will be preferable to a ground ride by car.
For purely local work a form of Rail-plane solves both difficulties. The Rail- plane will not take up valuable space on the congested roads, and does not need to get flying speed and room to keep in the air or a specially located and prepared landing ground. It will need time, money, materials and brain in its construction. Thus it will not be among the available means needed by alternative 2. As I mentioned in a previous "Staggerings", I foresee a great future in the rail-plane. Many layers can be built up, compressed in a space that would be suitable for but one layer of aircraft. For a Fun ~ city's internal communications it ranks above the Underground-tube in efficiency. Thus we find an England whose face is ribbed with modern motor roads, filled with private traffic and great airliners powerfully discharging their duties as public servants, with the network of rail-planes linking small towns to their neighbours and large cities to their suburbs. This does not take into the consideration the railways which will not die an easy death or the hordes of private fliers. And does this prospect please . . . ?
COMMENT --- The Editor.
Mr. Bulmer propounds certain thoughts of his anent future transport in a reasonably advanced & idealistic community upon which I shuld like to add a couple of words. Ken mentions "main highways" and "class A" roads but fails to envision the high speed roads practicabea nowadays on the lines of the German Autoreichbahnstrasse ((N.B. - I take leave to consider this flourish on the part of the Jayem an example of the impulse Mr Wilson Harris & Dr. W.H.D.Rouse call Polysyllabomonia; has any educated citizen views on this vital matter? - DW)) & Italian Autostrada - specially built highways laned for traffic at various speeds a minimum speed in the region of 40 m.p.h., no crossings, direct entry or intersections, & giving either elevated or underground in congested regions, In short, treated like railways. Another major development already taking place, & probably to be brought into full use Mafter the war, is the perfection of the helicopter, which is safe, cheap & practical for long. or short distances, town or country, & for private use, or airline 'bus services. This is a fascinating subject which I am loth to leave but fain must.
Spirit of the New Age: No. 4........................................ ................................................................ by John F.Burke
John Michael Rosenblum
Someone will someday write a tribute to the mothers of fans. Hard-working and kind, all of them, their lives ruined by the insanity of their offsprings . . . uncomplainingly they witness the arrival of innumerable strange beings on their front doorstep, talking a strange language, encouraging the son of the household in his wierd ideas. If a Martian were to knock at the door he would bc asked to sit down and read while he was waiting.
I remember a wonderful meal at the Rosenblum home. Michael and his mother are, if I remember aright, vegetarians, but his father is not. Michael is a Pacifist; Mr. Rosenblum was cheerfully patriotic and seemed to regard me - very mistakenly - as a potential commando. While we were eating, Michael described his experiments on the garden at which he works, trying to cross different vegetables to produce something new. Yes, doctor, I agree: reading too many issues of WEIRD TALES is definitely harmful for some people. Not that he sticks to WEIRD TALES - he can read anything. Any paper- backed novel his sister leaves lying around, any of his mother's mystical books, any "Basinful of Fun" or other product of Leeds' less respectable citizens. . . Michael laps them up. While I cannot believe that he accepts them all uncritically, I still cannot recall having heard him distiguish book or magazines one from the other by any other terms than "fantasy" and
"non-fantasy". ((This is a libel, I often state whether a work is humerous or otherwise,
& I'm prone to classify by geological periods - Victorian, pre-war, early twenties &
thusly! -- JMR))
Our first meeting was in Manchester. Doug Webster had been staying with us in Liverpool, and invited me over to Harry Turner's for an evening. Fans are like that: they will invite anybody anywhere. When I got to Langford Place, after a tour of the district occasioned by the Scotch Ambassador's faulty memory, the carpet was littered with visitors. We entered and were at once conscious of silence - the silence that falls upon a room where fans are waiting to be introduced to each other. Julian Parr and Ron Lane, Marion Eadie (obviously peeved because I tried to shake her hand while she was sewing), and a medium-sized, dark bloke with glasses. This was Michael. I should never have known it if I had not been warned in advance by the Web. There was really no reason for imagining that he would be tall, willowy, shy and retiring: the energy required to produce Fido, produce innumerable booklists, organise a fan society that has worked in wartime, and the ceaseless flow of correspondence would all indicate an energetic person. Still, Michael was a shock. (And as editor of this magazine he is at liberty to interpolate some nasty remark here.) ((All I will say is that I'd considered myself a fairly typical fan in build & c. [first class example - are youlistening, philosophers? - of a statement that means absolutely nothing -- DW], but undoubtedly John's Liverpudlian confreres are all unusual - even in fandom - so what had the poor bloke to build his data on. -- JMR))
Not that we said much that first time. I said: "Hello". He said: "Hello". When we were wandering off down the road later that night he said. "Don't tell me that Fido has faults. I know them all." So I didn't.
The next time was in Leeds. I found the train from Huddersfield, found Leeds, found Grange Terrace, and then had to find Michael. He was in the middle of a morass of paper, camouflaged as a Paul monster.
I said: "Hello".
Then we got more talkative. I watched Mihael produce current issuss of magazines, photographs, fanmags, books, and several unrelated sheets of paper: they flew around my vision with the rapidity of a clever conjuring trick. When the shower had subsided I removed odd sheets of foolscap from my collar and began to disapprove of the B.F.S., advocating fanarchy. Michael smiled tolerantly and did not argue. . . well, not exactly. Somehow or other I became Member No.56.
The second time I went to Leeds - that is, the third time I encountercd our President I met his sister. One fan said she was intelligent and beautiful. Another was dubious. And my opinion? No, you don't catch me. We talked about Victor Silvester and Tchaikovsky's D flat Minor Concerto, and the suppression of jitterbugging. Michael tossed bundles of magazines into my lap at frequent intervals in case I got bored.
I shall always marvel at the tireless energy that has kept Fido going. One sees fans come and go, fanmags rise and fall, enthusiasms wax and wane, but all the time Michael is doing something. He has to work hard during the week, and I doubt whether he has time to do much reading nowadays, but he ensures that newcomors to fantasy shall not want for food. ((Hardly average 5 books, a couple of stf mags, say half a dozen political weekabout two score variegated epistles - nothing to what used to be dealt with. --JMR)) Perhaps he does not stop to think if it's really worth while - in fact, I am sure he does not, for any reformer or prophet who stopped to think would probably give up. Michael has decided that the religion of science-fiction must be spread, and spread it he does. Once come within his clutches, and you are lost. ((But it isn't science-fiction I want to spread - it's an intelligent and enquiring attitude of mind. And I don't consider it mere coincidence that most stfans have it, or are groping towards it; & most people with it are tolerant, to say the least, of fantasy. = JMR))
Do you remember THE FUTURIAN? Green covers, printed pages: a few poems and a few articles. The time that was necessary to print this made it impossible to publish up-to-date news, so that early Rosenblum effort had to rely on literary material. ((It wasn't a Rosenblum effort, my energy went mainly into stirring up the informal editorial board to do something, & then trying to make something out of that they had done - all the Leeds SFL members "edited" it. --JMR)) Today, Fido has gone to the other extreme, and I think Michael has realised that it is time to put the brakes on.
We have no fanmag left
in the country that publishes material such as we knew in NOVAE TERRAE, ZENITH,
and the others. I ignore the sporadic attempts of new fans, which all die a speedy
death. You can take that as a challenge, if you like.
I disagree with Michael on many things. I would not run Fido the way he does; I wouldn't touch some of the books he reads; I wouldn't waste so much energy collecting all the worthless fantasy in existence; I wouldn't bother about organising individialists like science-fiction fans . . . but 1 think Michael would be missed. Ten years hence he will still be at it, rallying fanatics around the banner. ((I hae ma doots- JMR))
"If the following don't pay their subscriptions, they cannot expect to continue receiving copies of this magazine. . ." And my name there! Shame on you, Mr. Rosenblum: after all the nice things I've said.
STATISTICS - "Covers and All That" by -- Bob Gibson
Should this ever see the light of day it is presumed that only fans will read. If, bless their little hearts, they do. I have heard that the second most virulent stage -- prior to the straitjacket -- in fandom, is reached when the fan tries to write science- fiction. (The last stage comes when he submits it to an editor, of course if it is accepted he is an Author, not, a fan, and nobody would think of confining him.) But whether or not he submits it there is always the very dream of having it accepted, and the even rosier, if dimmer, one of finding it decked out with the cover illustration. Ah me ! The dreams of youth.
About the chances of his work being accepted I can say nothing. No data. But once accepted the following totally inaccurate "figgering" may give an idea of his chances of getting a cover. Working on a basis of the 1195 stories in the promags specializing in such material read by me since reaching this country I have discovered the obvious. His chances are better the more he has printed. Authors with one title to their credit have odds of nearly 11 to 1 against having a cover. A second story doubles their chances, 5,33 to 1 against. A third does even better, leaving them 7 to 3. And if he has four or more he has the long end of the stick - 1.317 to 1 in his favour.
If statistics were all the story you can see how to get a chance at your share, but they are not. Some magazines intermittently, some TALES OF WONDER, peace be to its ashes and resuscitation, has recovered as well as reprinted. So has SCIENCE-FICTION QUARTERLY. E.E.Smith's serials rate two each, in recent years.
There are other, perhaps sinister, undercurrents as well. What gives "Oscar J. Friend his stranglehold on the cover art? And have you seen a cover on any of Theodore Sturgeon's yarns ? I have yet to & so, but my coverage of the field is decidely incomplete. Or Frank Belknap Long ? (His first is on the Dec. TWS,) [Note:- this last sentence was written in the margin; I take it to refer to Long, but am not sure. - DW] How long had Dr. Keller been writing before he got one ? I can't remember, but he had an impressive list of titles before it appeared.
And so, gentle reader, there you have it, When the opus is published will you get a cover ? . . . or you ? Well, maybe you will, but I doubt it.
SEE HERE. YOU!
This is a swindle. we admit it right away. Michael thinks this space is being used for a filler about fan biographies; he'll soon be disillusioned, but anyway, the space is being filled. The point at issue is that Frank Arnold is in dire need of certain copies of PICTURE POST, & will pay any reasonable price for them. Could. readers make a special effort, rake out old issues, & find if there are among them ? -- 12 Aug, &; 29 Oct. 1939; 17 Feb., 9 March, 10 Aug. & 14 Oct. 1940 ; & 19 April 1941. Communicate With either FEArnold, 14 Crawford St., London W1. --or -- D.Webster, Idlewild, Fountainhall Rd., Aberdeen. Whoever can produce, the goods gets, in addition to regular prices, one copy of LAST AND FIRST MEN and one copy of STARMAKER. also needed bY FEA are the WEIRD TALES containing THEY CALLED HIM GHOST by Laurence Cahill and DISTORTION OUT OF SPACE, by Francis Flag,; (June and August 1934, I think) & sundry science-fiction items which will be named on request. Cash in on the big money!
So you want to know my life history, do you? Okay, but you needn't expect anything exciting -- Now when I was out in Poonah -- What's that? Oh, sorry; I was thinking of someone else!! Seriously though, I was born in West Ham, London, on November 24h 1925, so I can truthfully call myself a Londoner. Became interesred in science- fiction about five years ago, maybe a little earlier, when I read Wells' FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. At about the same time I became a regular reader of MODERN WONDER, from the first issue.... (Come to think of it, I believe that magazine first appeared in May 1937, so it's over six years ago now.) I remember enjoying the first stf serials in MODERN WONDER:- THE SPACE MACHINE by John Beynon, which, I understand, is a condensation of his book PLANET PLANE (and, incidentally, I'd dearly like to a copy of it now in the book form....) ATLANTIS RETURNS by W.J.Passingham, THE LOST KINGDOM by ????, THE WORLD BEYOND THE MOON by Passingham once more, and others. (Did anyone notice, by the way, that Gerald Bowman's KINGDOM OF THE ANTS, an old MODERN WONDER story, appeared in the September 1940 issue of STARTLING STORIES?) But, dear me, I'm wandering.... Surprising as it may seem, considering the start, I didn't make contact with the American magazines until early in 1939, when I found THRILLING WONDER. Later I discovered TALES OF WONDER and FANTASY. So I became tightly enmeshed in the coils, and the grip has never slackened.
During 1939 and 1940 I purchased a few items from Ted Carnell's Science-Fiction Service, and, indeed, I wonder that fandom didn't discover me then. However, strange as it may seem, I discovered fandom at the same time that fandom discovered me. I had a letter published in the December 1940 issue of ASTOUNDING and I think some fan saw it and sent th address to Michael, who forwarded a copy of Fido to me. But it so happened that I was no longer at that address in London. Meanwhile, in High Wycombe, I had discovered Jack Gibson's address in ToW and had contacted him; he advised me to subscribe to Fido, which I promptly did. After I had sent the P,O, scme relations brought down the Specimen Copy that had gone to London. Rather queer, what?
Eventually I had the urge to become active, and, after a puerile attempt (INTERPLANETARY NEWS with THE SCIENCE FANTASY FAN), I started to produce DELERIUM TREMENS for Fido. I hope you've found something interesting therein, now & again.... There you have the whole story.
As to myself, personally:- Secondary School Education broken in little pieces by the (CENSORED) war, hence I have a personal grudge against Hitler. Particularly interested in Chemistry(which, but for the war, I should have taken through to a degree). Physics, Astronomy, and Astronautics. Am amused by Fort and bored by politics (maybe I'll learn better!!) thrilled by Kinnison and astounded by Hamilton. Collect science-fiction. (YES!!) Weaknesses:- Eyesight, Tommy Handley, Jonny Weismuller, bread-and-butter pudding, Dr. Fu Manchu and Boris Karloff... That's all!!
I. Once upon a time, in a far off land, there existed a weird selectIon of magazines which published peculiar stuff called science-fiction: now this peculiar stuff called S-F for short was read by peculiar peoplw who debated every month in sundry readers' pages the probability of all stf fans having been dropped upon their heads at an extremely early age, consequently resulting in the sustaining of grave, cerebral indlsposition which, alas, seems irreperable, and at least three well-known doctors have contracted the same trouble through no fault of their own. But in England there existed a young fellow called Vinter, who didn't believe this, and so, to either enumerate or eliminate the point whether Ess-tee-eff fans did or did not know whether what they read was original, cribbed or plagiarised, he took part of a story written in one of those mags by a great favourite, Paul Ernst, called THE INVINCIBLE MIDGE, copied it out word for nword but for a few minor alterations which were safeguards against possible copyright complications, and called the copied part UNDER THE DYING SUN. Whereupon he despatched the effusion to an amateur fiction magazine hight BEYOND (BFS Edition), in which it duly appeared. As yet, he has not been challenged and with great complacency he does not expect to be, and thinks he has successfully pulled the legs of a few score of unsuspecting reader-fans.
He hopes he is forgiven and there is no hard feeling.
The name of the writer of this explanation is I. Michael Vinter, and he is a scientifiction fan. God help him!
II. Fun in Chicago! A few months ago an unknown writer by the name of William De Lisle sent in several stories to Raymond A. Palmer, editor of AMAZTNG and FANTASTIC ADVENTURES. The stories were good & RAP bought them & asked for more. Unfortunately for the "writer", readers began to write in commenting on the remarkable word for word similarity between these tales & some in tho English magazine FANTASY published by Newnes. At once, Palmer communicated with the law, & our Mr De Lisle now lodges in durance vile, & RAP has a complete file of FANTASY on hand.
PUBLICATIONS From August Derleth, Director of Arkham House, Publishers:
"As you know, Arkham House has more or less specialised in fantasy, as apart from science-fiction, though there is no bar to science-fiction, and if events ever shape up as they should, we hope to publish a Merritt omnibus that is an omnibus -- with four or five novels and the short stories. However, since Merritt's rights are scattered far and wide, we now have considerable difficulty ever achieving that end; we struggle on, though. It would not come out until well after the war, for paper restrictions now make it impossible to contemplate a book. We have difficulty now to get enough paper for only 1200 copies of BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP; our War Productions Board wants to let us have only enough for 400 books, and that would not nearly pay the cost of putting the book through ($2500), since as you realise, we don't believe in cheap jobs. Our books were meant to stand up well among those of any other publisher, and actually to be sturdier than most, and in that we have succeeded very well. However, we do hope, if BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP gets through in good order, to publish three more $3 books - Donald Wandrei's THE EYE AND THE FINGER, the late Henry S. Whitehead's JUMBEE AND OTHER UNCANNY TALES, and a second Clark Ashton Smith - LOST WORLDS. The mss. for these are being prepared, and the indexes to all three are done. If the WPB allow it, we will do either the Wandrei or Whitehead book next year; trouble trying to connect with someone of the Whitehead estate for permission is holding up that title is virtually ready to be put into type. Wandrei is in service (not myself, since I have a hernia and a spot of high blood pressure), and it is difficult for me to get his stuff together for the book since the famous RED BRAIN has never been printed as it should have been, having been cut about a sixth by Weird Tales." [Note:- Since this was written in August, the War Productions Board has granted the 2080 extra lbs. of paper needed for the Lovecraft book, which has have been off the presses in early Nov. As I stencil this (mid-Nov) there has been no further word. -- DW]
"Lloyd Cole" news: ABOVE ALL ELSE by M.P.Shiel was published a couple of months ago at 7/6 in a war economy format. Readers of Fido were given a resume of the plot before publication by Benson Herbert, To recapitulate, however, the book deals with sundry present-day, episodes in the life of an eternal young woman: one of a small group of eternal human beings. I found this the most readable of Shiel's novels I've struck so far & enjoyed it, considering it quite "fannish" literature, in spite of Benson Herbert's dubiousness on that point. Two other recent brochures put out by Lloyd Cole were science-fiction stories - THIEVES OF THE AIR by Festus Pragnell and Benson Herbert, 8d., a juvenile almost-interplanetary; & HAND OF GLORY, 8d,, by Benson Herbert, a rather better written, but still juvenile, tale of mystery & super-science. All three publications are distruted through normal trade channels, but the Shiel book can be ordered thru the BFS, via JMR, to the benefit of that organisation's finances.
Edwin Macdonald of Inverness reported to the RAF at the end of October [to be stationed at Regent's Park, London - lucky man!], thus suspending his career in active fandom. for the nonce [and the flesh-pots of the Metrop]. Edwin has been one of the outstanding "new" fans & until recently held the position of Co-ordinator of the BFS Advisory Board, resigning only because of his impending call-up. (Douglas Webster, who knows him best, says of him . . . go on Doug - write a couple of lines) Shucks, states Webster: Why, Edwin is older than his age, mentally, younger than his age, socially. His letters are tough, his manners mild. In person he is slim, small- ish, with wavy hair & a silent smile.
Culturally he in at an assimilative stage, tho'
none too sure what to assimilate: it is rumoured he regards Picasso as punk. Shame!
He treats stf with a fine, though hesitant contempt, & is a devotee of horror films; he
is the only fan (to my knowledge) who is a member of the LBC. He is, you will pecieve,
an intellectual, & it is his misfortune, as well as ours, that he lives so far from
civilisation. May his sojourn there be long, hectic, and fruitful.
Walter H. Gillings has now been invalided out of the army, due to ill-health. He had a breakdown in early summer which necessitated a prolonged stay in hospital, after which the army dispenced with his services. Wally is now back at Ilford & is on the staff of the SUNDAY PICTORIAL.
If all went as expected, another ex-serviceman is Arthur F. Williams who was to have been discharged from the RAF for medical reasons. We are particularly pleased to welcome as active a member of Anglofandom back to tha civilian fold, & hope that this ensures the continuation of Fido covers.
Carnell-ogram (Sept.23rd.) "'Sands of Time' is now coming to you from a mountainside somewhere in Italy, although I regret that there is little or nothing in the way of a literary report in this saga. Obviously the war here has to come before any chance of reading, and for weeks I saw nothing but 'Eighth Army News' & a few old British papers. However, I've just run across a library of good books at a nearby H.Q. & am now making up for lost time. ** Folks back home will be pleased to know that all these books are directly from the recent Book Appeal back in Blighty - and they are a godsend, believe me! I noticed that most of Burroughs' Martian series were present & have skimmed through several as a refresher. **Owing to many changes in address I'm not up on recent mail, so haven't any letters from you later than June. Am therefore completely lost on what has happened to the Society in my absence. I hope it is still going well, & will be glad of any news. Through Fido give my regards to all the gang, wherever they are on this globe. ** I'll be back! ** Cordially, Ted."
Fido seems to be very tardy with the news these days. Since that time Ted has actually been home for 17 days leave in London, hitting the high spots, no doubt.
Fellow-Londoner, William F. Temple (Sept. 30th) - "Thanks again for FIDO, which I receive & read in the most unlikely places, but though Joan always forwards it promptly, it often seems to toss about on the sea with no more direction than a cork, & the last issue I had, some time ago, was May. That included Ted signing off 'Sands of Time' starting in this direction, but his guess that I was in India was what we sharpshooters call a 'washout' - I am motoring in Italy: the grapes, the vino, the natives, the scenery are all very buona, as we Italian scholars say. You will have heard about Peter Douglas from Joan, no doubt. I won't boast of my prowess: it just comes naturally, as we proud fathers say. I want to thank Forry Ackerman for the fan & other mags he sends, but I've lost his address & can't for the life of me remember it. [Box 6475 Metropolitan Station, Los Angeles 14, Cal., USA: you got no excuse now but laziness - DW] I don't want to impinge too much on your valuable space in Fido, but if you could bung in an announcement (Bill Temple wishes to thank etc.) he'll probably read it. Grazia, as we bi-linguists say. Incidentally, in the ruins of a bombed house in Sicily I came across a splendid & I should think complete (& that means plenty!) collection of Verne's work in Italian, & quite a few Wells' and Doyles in English. Never saw the owner, but maybe a prospective member, eh ? AR - as we signallers say. ** YrsBill **
Another Londoner - LAC Eric C. Hopkins writes (Sept.24th.) :- "Ain't kidding, palsy, I'm really here. (New Brunswick, Canada.) It's a great life. No seasickness, no sinkee, and they paid me for coming. Bags of food, unlimited quantities of eggs, milk, chocolate of every description, apples, oranges, grapes, ice-cream, and the other necessities of a luxurious life. [Canada must be quite a civilised country.-DW] ** My chances of getting into the States while I'm over hcere seem probably nil at the moment. There's a five dollar limit on the amount of Canadian cash we can take over the border and that being just over one English bar or quid, there ain't no sich doin'. Furtermore the distances here are just colossal:
New York is a thousand miles and that's just a step away. And London or Leeds is still
a dam sight nearer than Fort McArthur'. Ah,
and the tales I'm told of American hospitality, too! Too bad. ** Since Fido went
intellectual it has become more entertaining if not amusing. R.R.Johnson's castigations
pf the pore old people used to tickle me immensely. His conversion to social obligation
etc. is not quite so jolly but still leaves room for a rib-tickler or two. I am
enormously enthusiastic for these quiet critical closely banded people who understand
all and await everything. Furthermore, I admire Passive Revolutionaries; I coup
at their d'etat. Lastly, I could not help but love a guy who eminently disagrees. Such
insouciance. What's the beezer mean, anyway? Starting a campaign for the Awakening
of Politically Unconscious Fans! Starting! Listen, R.R., rigor mortis has been
setting in for years. Vote for Laney! Down with Temple and Clarke!!! **
All the best, Eric
[Lazy Fido! Eric's last two or three letters have come from Neepawa, Manitoba. --DW]
Yet another Londoner (my; they go to any lengths to get away from the place) - Sigmn H.Ken Bulmer in North Africa:- "Was saved from mental starvation when Fido arrived, buckets of thanx and congrats! This is only an ask., am writing more fully, and some further Staggerings. Am saying nothing at the moment in reply to Doug - beyond the fact that I was attempting to give some idea of the finished product we might expect to use - anyone knows that there are many difficulties in the way. [Mr Webster is reported to be sulking at this; does nobody wanna fight ?] ** Clear Ether, Ken."
John T. Miller was brought up in Portsmouth: his wife now lives in Bangor, but previous to call-up he lived in - London! [It's about time I sent you an Airgraph, old boy, I am a Londoner, you know. Yep. I have an aunt who works in London. - DW] Anyrate, he now writes from Xilindini, East Africa. "Please note my new & permanent address for the duration. [Damn Michael's lines and arrows and cabalistic symbols: thot wasn't meant to be quoted at all. It really begins like this. Sorry. --DW] "Well, as you can see, I've arrived abroad at last. ** As you probably know sunset is round about 8 p.m. all the year & the star formations are unfamiliar. I haven't seen the Southern Cross yet. There is no blackout which means it means it seems far from the war. Fruit is plentiful - such as bananas, oranges, grapefruit, coconuts - & also ice-cream. Goods are dear, the shopkeepers being Indians from S.India & Ceylon. The natives speak Swahili, which I intend to learn. Amusements are scarce, as there are only two cinemas in Mombasa - the town. Our main trouble will be boredom, which I hope to relieve by reading, writing & music. Talking of reading, I picked up one of A.Merritt's in the ship's library coming out, DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE, but didn't think it up to his usual standard, The plot was chaotic & it read like an E.R.Burroughs "Tarzan". Another collection of near-fantasy was MOONSHINE by John Collier, of New York. This brings in the question of STF here. Maybe you could give me all the dope on any contacts here, not that I expect any. What about sending mags out? Is that possible? I shall be here for a year at least, I should imagine, so if you get any spare mags I shall be glad to receive them. ** Fortunately we've arrived in the cool season & the rains are over. Hot season starts about Xmas & carries on till March & as we're only 5 degrees S. of the Equator, it gets pretty hot. ** Well, Michael, I hope STF is carrying on at home & preparing for after the war'. I've seen a few ancient mags here in the U.S.Library (United Services, not U.S.A.), but that's all. ** Best of luck. Yours, John.
A little out of place, Liverpool's Leslie J. Johnson sends a line from North Africa to say he is still alive, pretty bored, wants reading matter ("18 months since I saw an American ASTOUNDING) [well, I've made damn sure it won't be another 18 months before he sees one! - DW] Conveys his good wishes to all, & especially to Wally Gillings & John Millard - who cooperated with your Ed. in sending Les his previous Airgraph from Grange Terrace.
Incidentally replies to all these Airgraphs were joined in with by Messrs. Gus Willmorth, Lane, Bradbury, Ellis & Co. of Manchester [Mr. Willmorth is the LosA. one, not the Manchester breed, we believe. --DW], & Kennish Chadwick of Leeds.
News of the Manchester Meet, continued from front cover.
exhibition of fan work and want it to be as great a success as possible. 3. Will anyone who has, or can obtain a film, send it along- preferably panchromatic.
An international flavour will be imparted by the attendance of Norman (Gus) Willmorth, representing the US Army, Los Angeles Science Fantasy Soc., and Amerifandom in general, whilst compatriot John Millard of Jackson, Mich., and Toronto does the same for the Galactic Roamers, RCAF, & Amerifandom too. It is hoped that Bob Gibson can drop in, on behalf of Canadian Fandom and the Canadian Army. Other people who have already expressed their intention of being present include; Ron Holmes, Roy Johnson, Peter Knott, Arthur Williams, Ron Bradrury, George Ellis, Don Houston, J.M.Rosenblum and Ron Lane. We hope that this list will be doubled or trebled in the near future.
All people informing Mr Lane of their desire to attend, will be forwarded fullest details and instructions (including a plan of Manchester) at a later date when all arrangements have been made. A programme has been provisionally arranged to include various discussions, brains trust, stf quiz bee, auction and excursions. This is the first formal stf gathering to take place in the North of England since January 1937 -- lets make it a good one.
All the oddments wandering in later. This paper is part of a brochure produced by Forrest Ackerman about the film "Monsters of the Moon" presented at the Chicon. This is to forestall queries anent it ...Gus Willmorth has certainly been seeing Anglofandom! He first looked in at Teddington's Cosmos Club in August, September he was at Aberystwyth with Sid Beach and Bob Silburn, early October saw him at Leicester, whilst later in the month he arrived at Leeds, where he also met the Manchester trio. Lane, Ellis and Bradbury. Recently he turned up at London and said hello to Ted Carnell, Frank Arnold, George Medhurst et autres, And next month he'll be at the Manchester Meet. Good going. ...You'll be well aware by now that Ted Carnell is back in Britain, we're pleased to have him...Arthur Skeel of London now with the RAF at Aberystwyth. ...Peter Knott of Northampton managed to break a leg early in. his RAF service and is now in hospital at Padgate, Lancashire...Walter H. Gillings, back in harness again and picking up loose ends, would be pleased to hear from any of his old correspondents...Ron Holmes of Liverpool has been enjoying bad health of late, hope he is better by now ...We hear that Teddington's Jean Murrey has now moved to Bournemouth, leaving the Cosmos Club (almost) desolate ...Stephen Ouseley of Stoke-on-Trent is wondering about the formation of a weird book club, within the BFS, to act as a sort of subsidiary library specialising in this type of fantasy...LAC William Shelton airgraphs from M.E.F. Interested in the BFS and the Johnson-Parr argument, is a lonely fan having lost touch with his last contact except Fido - Harold Gottliffe sends best wishes to the Fido gang ...Johnny Millard now on leave in London ... P/O Allan Miles stationed at Forres, Morayshire and has visited Edwin Macdonald and Doug Webster...new and very praiseworthy venture by Arthur Williams is the production and circulation of a one copy fanzine "TRENDS" utilising unique copies of things such as original drawings, photographs, signatures etc. It will gradually percolate round such of Anglofandom who desire it...my own personal 'sheet' published for the FAPA, hight "Browsing" will only be sent to such Fido subscribers as request it. So if you should like it, please let me know, apart from Webster, Burke, BFS bibliophiles, Parker and Forster...New US fanzine due out in November is CENTAURI (A.Anderson,515 Ocean Ave, Pismo Beach, Cal) includes work by Rimel, Dean, Burbee, Daniel, Pong, Hoffman, Wright etc. .. tis reported that Tom Wright of Martinez, California, has followed the lead of Louis Russell Chauvenet and quit fandom ...John M. Cunninglam now stationed Chico, California, still unable to do anything about BSFWRS...Reminder: If you haven't already done so, send your brief fan biography in to Doug Webster if you wish him to produce a comprehensive Who's Who of Anglofandom...re this gentleman's comment on my use of term Autoreichsbahnstrasse, I intended to say "Autobahn" but asked a German present and was informed this was correct.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................Nov. 26th 1943
Corbishley, Peter, 59 Howard Street, Leicester (89); Hillman A.F., The Anchorage, 100 Corporation Road, Newport, Monmouthshire (88); Willmorth, Cpl. william (Gus), No39257330, 1750 Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Depot, APO 637, U.S.Army, (90).
In order to regularise the position of members in the USA, and to extend the mark of our appreciation given to Aiden H. Norton for his generosity in supplying us with magazines to others equally deserving of our gratitude, we propose to confer the title of Honorary Member on certain other American fans who we feel merit it. The first two fans to be considered under this scheme are Messrs Forrest J. Ackerman and John M. Cunningham, who are already registered as members no. 4 and 38 respectively, and who in future are to be considered Honorary Members.
There are a number of others who must be granted this title, and we would appreciate the assistance of our members in bringing to our notice instances of the help they have received from American fans. We, the Executive Committee, know, lor instance, that Messrs Searles, Bob Tucker, and Joe Gibson deserve to be recognised in this way, we would appreciate information of others.
It may seen an empty honour that we are giving, and so it is at the moment. But we hope and expect that all British fans will remember this through the years to come - that the fan who is an Honorary Member of the British Fantasy Society was made so because of the very material help which he gave British fandom when that heip was badly needed. Should it be possible at any time to help such a fan in any way no British fan will be able to refuse or to shirk without utterly losing his self-respect.
Everyone seems satisfied with the executives, so there willbe no election for them this year except, possibly, for the President.
An election of some sort for the Advisory Board is definitely neccessary. When, some months ago, Edwin Macdonald resigned from the position of Coordinator, difficulty was found in filling the vacancy. An appeal in the last Bulletin for volunteers resulted in an offer from Peter Hawkins which we cannot make immeditLe use of as there is, officially, no vacancy on the Board for another member, Edwin Mac having decided to continue to take part in the discussions as an ordinary member.
We therefore ask, not for nominations, but for volunteers for positions on the Advisory Board, volunteers to state whether they are prepared to undertake the duties of Coordinator - which involves making a digest on the discussions and reporting to the Executive Committee. It is particularly requested that present members oi tne Board notify us if they are willing and able to carry on - otherwise we shall assume that they cannot. If the number of volunteers exceeds the required number an election will be held to consider those best fitted for the job.
Applications must be in the hands of the Secretary, D.R.Smith, 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, Warks, before the end of the year.
It is the opinion of the Executive Committee that, in the absense of any definite support from the members, it is necessary to move with circumspection in the question of our relations with the SFA. Movement is taking place... it is not thought practicable at present to subscribe to American mags for the library.