FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 33 (Vol. 4, Number 3) Feb. 1944

The year opened with the Axis powers being pounded on several fronts. On January 19th, the Russian finally broke the long German siege of Leningrad, while the following day the Allies rained 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin. On the 22nd, thousands of US and British troops stormed ashore at Anzio, 30 miles south of Rome, taking the Germans completely by surprise and cutting their supply lines.

Distributed with this issue:

BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #14 - ed. D.R.Smith - 2 pages
LAMPPOST# 2 (inc. CONVENTION EXTRA) - ed. E. Frank Parker - 4 pages
REVIEW SECTION #9 - ed. Ron Holmes - 2 pages
SANDS OF TIME #11 - ed. Ted Carnell - 2 pages

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page 1:............................ ................................................................ ............................cover art by Arthur Williams
............................ ................................................................ .....................................................FEB. 1944

FIRST "NORCON"

The meeting held at Manchester over New Year can rightly be said to have been a success in every way, although the actual number of participants was somewhat more meagre than anticipated. But even this had its bright side, As the party of eight was just a nice "fit" into the hospitable Lane household where the actual deliberations occurred. Roll of those present includes Gus Willriorth of Los Angeles , Ron Holmes and Rita James of Liverpool, Roy Johnson of Leicester, your editor and Messrs Rons Lane & Bradbury and George Ellis of Manchester. As yet no explanation of the non-arrival of Hugh J Ellis, John Millard and Peter Knott - all expected - has arrived but service contingencies are suspected. Unfortunate circumstances prevented the attandance of Ken Chadwick, Art Williams and Peter Corbishley. Activities included the usual gabfest, brains trust, stf quiz, visit to the Belle Vue Zoo and Pleasure Ground, a call on Marion Turner and inspection of Harry's books, games of Solo!, music - piano and gramaphone, and the intermittent production of a Norcon Booklet. A limited number of copies of this axre available on application to JMR at 3d each, postfree. The traditional auction also took place, netting the sum of £2 16/-. Probably fuller accounts of the proceedings, apart from that in the booklet which is by way of a blow-by-blow description, will be supplied by other attendees. Great enthusiasm was shown for further meetings and the conference decided to support the meeting at London (Easter) and Leicester (Midsummer ) as well as an informal weekend in the country at Nelson, Lancs, if such can be arranged at Whitsuntide. Accomodation for this will however be limited - apply early.

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FIDO comes six times a year; when it comes it brings . . . . a varied assortment of items and articles concerned with fantasy fidction and its enthusiasts. Produced by J. Michael Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7, England, at 3d. per copy. Organ of the British Fantasy Society.

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BOOK REVIEW

- - What They Are About - - Julian Parr

"On the Way to Electro-War", by Kurt Doberer (John Gifford Ltd.,London, '43)

You must judge from this short description whether this rather strange book is worth reading. It is a translation (from what language I cannot say - very few references are given) and possesses just that slight "alien" quality which would probably add to the attractiveness of fiction, but distuurbs one's digestion of technical details in a non-fiction book.

The book professes to describe the application of electricity - in all its forms - to warfare; both in the past & in the fature.

After a short introduction giving the usual analogical descriptions of electrical oscillations & radio waves, it goes on to such subjects as Electrocution, The Electric Chair, Electrical Traps in Warfare. Ultra-short wave tests (giving details of their power in causing death, apoplexy, fatigue, artificial cowardice; focussing & reflecting them, & defence against them). Robot-control by Radio (of battleships, torpedo boats, bombers, ramming fighters, bombs, torpedoes, tanks; the possibilities & limitations of jamming & other means of defence). Remote blasting of Ammunition by Wireless. Rays which cut motors; Infra-red instuments; Electro-Chemical power storage (you BIS interested?). Poison Gas Warfare, Electric Fire Arms (a "solenoid Howitzer"!) and Lightning Machine. Many of these machines are every-day matters to us sf fans - but this book, while being very chary in giving exact references, does give credible evidence of present day secret research on some of these lines; and its greatest value to sf fans would be in its wealth of small details describing experiment results - details which would give many of our future-war stories a realistic atmosphere. And thus I advise fans at least to borrow a copy from their Library, if they can.

Radio enthusiasts in fandom may be disappointed at the incomplete nature of its technical explanations - and exasperated at the vagueness of many terms used (this may be solely due to translation) - but many interesting ideas are there for the taking.

SOCIOLOGICAL

"The Reason Why" - by - R. Rowland Johnson

These following remarks, such as they are, are quite apart from the writings on similar matters in PHOENIX and elsewhere. They may be considered merely as an answer to the rather puerile remarks made about our obligations by Sidney Dean, in an otherwise excellent and well-written article.

I quote: "But I cannot agree that it is imperative for us to lead and guide, point the way for, etc., poor ignorant humanity. Nor can I see where we just gotta save the world from a dastardly fate ....... suppose somebody tells me what dangers we must steer humanity clear of ?"

Every educated, intelligent person has a very definite duty: not to "lead" and "guide" in the normal way, as Sidney Dean seems to think, but to act so as to point the way for the unthinking and unintelligent masses, who otherwise are swayed by what they are told in their newspapers and on their radios, and according to how well they are told. (Sometimes known as propaganda in its more obvious forms .,...) Propaganda is constantly being included in almost every normal orthodox printed line or spoken word, and all too often unconsciously by the educated, intelligent, but unthinking writer or speaker, who has been snared as have been the masses. Those who are incredulous of this statement have only to take the example of the hero-worship of Churchill, which has so naturally grown up throughout the war, as an example„ All students - real unbiased students - of politics and politicians know what Churchill really is [go on, tell us - - a zombie ? - DW] and few are shameless enough to use the language necessary to fully describe him. Yet to 90% of the British people he is the most wonderful man imaginable. In the cinema, they cheer just at the sight of him . . .

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This subtle propaganda is constantly going on, and is all the more dangerous because of its subtlety. It is in the stage where the point to be put across is not regarded as such, but is tacitly supposed to be obvious fact. If that is done well enough it becomes a case of "follow the leader"., "Don't say anything else, why, everyone knows that such-and-such is the case, it's obvious. . . . " The same has appled to religion for centuries - it's taken for granted, for instance, that an atheist is necessarily bad. Intelligent people know it is not so: but when such is assumed, they "go with the crowd". We know that "atheistic" was one of the most damning adjectives applied to Russia before this war, when the "Red Bogey" attitude was general throughout the rest of the world.

The propaganda sometimes comes in the form of cliches, catch-phrases, and the like - "Britannia Rules the Waves" etc. One notices, when arguing about Socialism, how someone, with an air of great profundity, states that "Socialism is all very well, but it doesn't suit the English temperament.". Even more noticable is the way in which this is accepted.

Sidney Dean seems quite an intelligent person in many ways [after all, he reads science-fiction, doesn't he ? --DW]; it is amazing that he has not yet come across the numerous books which will completely answer the questions he asks. They cannot be answered in a short article such as this, unfortunately. Briefly, however: The nature of Capitalism is such that it cannot - must not - last. In a very few years Mankind is going to be faced with the problem of getting rid of it. The process will involve whole nations, whole peoples, and will be essentially international in scope. Of sheer economic necessity there must soon be continuous war from which no nation will be excluded, unless Capitalism goes! I defy anybody to deny the essential truth of that statement. [If you don't watch out, brother, somebody will be defying you to prove some of the statements you are making - DW] In all probability, the war will be such that Mankind will go under; in any case it will be the most disastrous event in human history. But if the intelligent and educated people of today start with a full knowledge of the problem, a complete awareness, and an absolutely unbiased attitude with regard to "propaganda" the removal of capitalism can he effected simply and easily. [Hey presto! And there's your rabbit, complete with spats and plus-fours, for the asking. Who is kidding who? --DW] That is a fact, and that is why Julian Parr and I are starting an intensive campaign of sponsoring political awareness.

That's all. If Mr. Dean reads the books listed below, then - if he can see further than his nose, and is not completely prejudiced - he will fully comprehend the answers to his questions.

BOOKS: "Fate of Homo Sapiens"
"Outlook for Homo Sapiens"
"Phoenix"
H. G. Wells.
"What Dare I think?"
"The Uniqueness of Man"
Julian S. Huxley.
"Das Kapital" Karl Marx
Or, sugar-coated
as fiction:
"The Iron Heel" Jack London.

--+000+--

INSPIRATION - - Hilda M. Johnson

"O lovely Future ! O Future, my love,
What a beautiful Future you are!"

In a world gone all awry, where the bombs and bullets fly,
And killing is the order of the day - -
There's a steady little band of intelligentsia, who demand
That the Password should be 'culture', not 'decay'.

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They have had to drop their schemes and escape into their dreams;
But their dreams are of a future world sublime.
And when the fray is o'er and the killing is no more
They will work again, and show results - in time!

They don't dislike the earth, but they'd like to see the birth
Of a rocket transport, to and from the moon.
And another one to Mars, and to all the other stars
Then they could see how other planets keep in tune.

They won't use their wits for war, for it's war that they deplore:
They're planning earth's rebirth and not its end.
So, re the future, don't look glum, for the "shape of things to come"
Has a scientific, idealistic trend.

NOTE -- So many poeople have inquired concerning the identity of Hilda Johnson, as a result of her previous poem printed in Fido, that we'd better inform you here & now that Hilda (nee Crosson) is the wife of Leslie J Johnson of Liverpool, former BIS secretary and SFA councillor. - JMR.

SPIRIT OF THE NEW AGE #4................. ................................................................ by John F.Burke

ERIC CHARLES HOPKINS

[Note:- This essay was originally written for THE FANTAST, wherein it was to be SotNA #3. Readers will make allowances for this in some of the subject-matter. - - DW]

In dealing vith Eric, I am on more dangerous ground than that which I covered when attempting to present short studies of C.S.Youd and D.W.L.Webster. The first two subjects in this series are better known to fandom through their letters and publications than through personal contact: conventions and hasty fan gatherings are very pleasant affairs, but one has little opportunity of really getting to know one's fellows. Sam and Doug, despite their expeditions, are still more like wise voices spoeaking from far distances than human beings. Eric Hopkins is well known to all the Londoners, who will have a definite conception of him that may disagree with mine. I could have invented many things about the first two, but with Eric I must be careful.

At the 1939 SFA Convention our chattering group was approached by a dark-complexioned, rather sinister person who was, if I remember aright, dressed in a green sports coat and flannels (and, presumably, shirt, tie, socks and shoes). Eric denies the green sports coat, but I still feel sure that I remember it. He looked just as I imagine Sam Youd would look. Sam does not look in the least like Eric. We talked about something, but I cannot recall one word of it now. The second time we met was in London when Sam and I were staying with Maurice Healy: again I recall some very animated discussion wherein Sam and I were explaining some idea we had to Eric as we walked along by some park rallings; again I have no memory of what it was. As we walked in the rain round the Albert Hall, sneered at the monument, and discussed all the fans we might visit, Sam mentioned "Brave New World". Eric said: "Isn't that the one where the woman takes off her clothes and makes improper advances to the bloke?" "It is," we confirmed. Eric said: "The improper advances are all I remember of that book." He lost his ticket when we were travelling on the Underground, but we all looked so honest that the collector let him through without paying.

The third meeting was in Liverpool, shortly before I was called up. Joan had had some throat trouble and lost her voice, which made things very much easier for Eric and me. We went out for a walk in the darkness and became involved with the road blocks at the end of our road, finishing up on his knees, muttering at me from the gloom. He went back to Yorkshire, where he was at that time stationed with the RAF, leaving behind. him Henry James's "Ivory Tower" and, a box of Christmas cards he had promised faithfully to take back for his colleagues.

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This absent-mindedness does not quite tally with Eric's character. He is an extremely methodical person; I am not too sure that he is not over-careful; too much deliberation can squash inspiration altogother. Eric's judicial approach and refusal to be stampeded make him an excellent critic, but as yet I have seen no signs that he is likely to be a creative writer. He is impartial to a degree that astounds a person like myself: he chides me for saying that the writings of all the world's great critics have been enlivened and improved by their prejudices and intolorance, and that an absolutely unbiassed attitude would to rather a dull thing.

Examine any of Eric's few contributions to fan magazines, and you will be impressed by the care he has taken, He admits that to writes even his letters with some thought to their construction and phrasing. Though a great believer in good balance and form in literature, I think it best to write letters to a friend quite spontaneously. letting it all come out in a spurt. I realise, of course, that the effect at the other end may at times be alarming.

Arnold Bennett said that "the fame of classical authors is entirely independent of the majority . . . it is by the passionate few that the renown of genius is kept alive from one generation to another. These few are always at work." Eric has often quoted this to me when I have disparaged one or two writers of the past for whom he feels respect; he feels, with some justification, that if an author has survived some hundreds of years, there must be some reason other than affectation on the part of the reader who claims to enjoy him. This is not to be denied, but there are dangers in such a belief. Eric is inclined to advance the mere fact of their survival as proof of their excellence; he approaches each author whose work he has not tested before with the assurance that it must be good if "the passionate few" have been saying so for so many years; whan asked his reasons far liking a particular work, he is as likely as not to quote somebody else's opinion, or justify its existence by something not unlike "survival of the fittest". So willing to believe that all things hate their good points, he may at times lack discrimination.

All this is not questioning Eric's sincerity. More than any other of the circle with which I am acquainted, I think he may claim to have been in a job (pre-war, of course) to which he was entirely unsuited. In the most unfavourable circumstances, he has developed a passion for art in all its forms and good taste that even his too open-minded policy cannot conceal. Entry into the Forces has made him think more deeply about post-war planning and all the difficulties attendant on the abolition of war from human relationships. Most of our aquaintances have put aside all such ideas preferring to drink themselves silly or to sit contemplating their navals.

I have been turning out my files and sorting: through some of Eric's letters. It is impossible to quote from them properly, as when he seizes upon an idea he develops it at some length - and there is an astonishing miscellany of ideas in the few pages I have had time to examine. He complains: "I have not the slightest recollection of a single instance when I had a poem explained to me in its construction, style, form, or any of the ways in which poetical expression is arrived at. Still less have I ever read a poet's works in conjunction with his life and with a knowledge of his period, two prerequisites for a proper understanding." You will observe that he is interested in the expression of ideas - in the machinery of art: I have not been able to find in his letters that to has paid any attention to the original inspiration. Manner rather than matter seems to have been Eric's study so far.

His method of reading in 1940: "I work in a period, and read contemporary fiction etc., as an anchor to my voyages into the peaceful past. As Bennett suggested, I let one author lead to another. In this way, Coleridge should be the next purchase to Lamb, but I have ordered Wordsworth instead because of the latter's 'Literary Criticism', which is indispensible to an appreciation of verse' W.W. was a great friend of Lamb anyway." Very methodical, you will admit.

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A few other glimpses of his opinions may be enlightening: "I like music of any period if it's good, from Bach to Wagner..." I have no preference in painting because I am without experience, although in time I shall endeavour to penetrate that wing of Art, as I am music and literature now..." "My own opinion is that the inbred instincts of centuries and a fundamental difference in mentality besides physical life sets woman quite apart from man..." Maybe we had better leave off there, as one's opinions on such matters change in a couple of years, though it may be noted that in a recent letter from Canada he refers to the women there as empty-headed. I have no idea whether that proves anything or not.

As usual, I come to the end of mv study with a feeling of profound dissatisfaction. Human beings touch one another at so few points. Eric will doubtless be horrified to learn that I have always regarded him kindly as having many things in common with me, thinking it over, I realise how little I know about his thoughts and his real attitude to life. In his conversation and his letters he says what he has to say quite clearly, but with such obvious calmness that one wonders if these are his real opinions or the result of stowing several philosophies from books he has read, straining the result through his critical mind, and producing a polished article that somehow reflects nothing of his real character. If his critical mind is still functioning, he will soon be writing to me explaining just what is wrong with that startling metaphor of which I have just delivered myself.

AU REVOIR AND FAREWELL

..... to William Robert (Bob) Gibson of Calgary, Canada, who during the three years he has been in Britain has been an integral part of Anglofandom, Bob has now left this country & is at present with the Central Mediterranean Force. Back home in Canada Bob was a "silent" fan, & accumulated a complete set of American fantasy magazines, besides a formidable assortment of fantastic stories exerpted from other magazines. Upon reaching Britain, however, a change was apparent - Bob was soon in communication with fans all over the island, & had crystallised into a bibliophile & book-collecter of the first order in the fantasy field. An indication of his prowess in this latter direction is that during his stay here, he managed to amass somewhere in the region of 500 fantasy books - truly a commendable effort. He cooperated in the establishment of the British Fantasy Society & held the position of a member of the Advisory Board. His biography & photograph were published in a recent Fido. We take the opportunity of conveying the best wishes of all who knew him to Gunner Gibson, & may we meet him again in the very near future.

NUZ

Fans over here - particularly those in the Forces - may be interested in a publication issued by Walter Dunkelberger, 1443 4th. Ave. S., Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.A. Entitled "NUZ from HOME", it is intended primarily to keep American Servicemen in touch with home affairs, & started as a general publication with a humorous tone. But Walter is an stf fan, & stf topics & personalities can't help creeping in ! And he wants to extend the range to Anglofans now, which is very nice of him. As for the "subscription", I don't think Exchange Control will grumble overmuch, because it consists of a letter to Walter for each issue received.

POT-POURRI - "Delvings into the Weird and Imaginative"

One occasionally comes across an aspect of the weird in unexpected places. As examples of imaginative art, some etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720- 1778) are of interest. In sixteen plates, entitled "Carceri d'Invenzione", he portrays endless huge halls, mighty arches and machines of torture in a manner that has been referred to as "stupendous" and "haunting". De Quincey refers to Piranesi in the "Opium Eater" and states that, according to Coleridge, these etchings were the product of a fever delirium, and likens the scenes to the fancies of his own dreams. However, Malcolm C. Salaman, in "The Great Painter-Etchers" considers that De Quincey was not correct, his knowledge of the "Carceri" being second hand, from Coleridge. Incidentally De Quincey's dreams would provide an excellent hunting ground

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for a series of Finlay drawings. [Vulgar interruption: Yes, this is a point worth noting. There is an enormous amount of research waiting to be done by some enterprising enthusiast into romantic & fantastic art of the past, from Gustave Dore to S.H.Sime, with a thousand. off-shoots. Many hints of the wonders to be found appear throughout the works of Sachaverell Sitwell. Relevant here also might be mention of a book called OPIUM, by, the French writer & dramatic critic Jean Cocteau, which contains a large number of the most astonishing drawings made by Cocteau while emerging from the effects of the drug. -DW] To continue in a "classical" mood, Leigh Hunt has an interestlng essay on devils, with several references to old works such as the "Hierarchie of Angels", by Heywood, or the "Discovery of Witchcraft" by Reginald Scott (1584). Hunt refers to the latter writer as a "learned and spirited English gentleman", who at this comparatively early date wrote a book denying the existence of Witchcraft. A study of some of the well-known writers of the past would probably reveal some rare examples of the weird or morbid.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The film "Jane Eyre" has just been released in London, and the critics have made mention yet again of the Hollywood custom of introducing fog-laden landscapes and dark gloomy houses to give an atmosphere of mystery and terror. This raises the question as to whether the outside surroundings for a weird theme must necessarily be of one type, We are all too familiar with the conventional horror film background of storms, banging doors and screaming voices. It is time some new approach was found. The film is the perfect medium for the translation of the bizarre and strange, and it has been a continual annoyance to enthusiasts that the film makers have been content to take a great literary theme, almost discarding the original masterpiece, throwing in a few extra bodies or death-masks, and adding several obligatos on the wind machine.

As one example of a film in which the whimsical aspect of a weird story is not unduly stressed, I might mentiion "The Cat People", a very unpretentious production that has received little publicity among the general public. Based upon a legend said to be current in a part of Serbia, that certain people are descendants of the "cat people", it tells of a young woman in America who marries, despite the ancient warning that those of her type will, if occasion should arise, change into large cats of the panther variety. Although, in the film, she changes and roams in search of her prey, no actual changes are shown and the only view of the "cat" is by silhouette or shadow. One of the best scenes is where, driven by instinct, she attempts to kill the woman friend, of her husband, chasing her through a hotel swimming bath. The other woman frantically diving into the pool, treads water, all the while listening to the roaring of the beast in the darkened hall, lighted only by the flickering water on the ceiling. The familiar pseudo-religious touch is introduced, when her husband and the "other woman" are trapped in the draughtman's room where they work, and the man routs the beast by the simple expedient of raising a T-square so that the silhouette forms a cross, and calling the beast by his wife's name, telling her to go, "For God's sake". On the whole; I found it an engrossing film, and hope there will be more like it.

(Note -- this film has received adequate mention in the US fan press & quite an amount of enthusiasm has been shown. Walt Daugherty of Los Angeles is said to be prepared to give his version of the story to any question either a "full length" or "short" version. The "short" account takes 20 minutes! A sequel, "Curre [?] of the Cat People" has probably been completed by this time. - - Editor.)

[Stencillor's Note: I am sorry that this item, which seems to me to be on a higher level than many that appear In Fido, should appear anonymously; but search as I may I can find no sign of a name, & the typewriter is not familiar. Its placing after some 'news' items is due to its arriving only after they had been stencilled. - DW]

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UTOPIAN

A new venture in the publishing world, with which stfans will feel particularly sympathetic, is announced as follows -

"Walter H.Gillings is a director of Utopian Publications Ltd., which company he has recently formed in association with Benson Herbert, who is to act as Literary Advisor to the new organisation. This is to specialise - as might be expected - in the publication of science-fiction booklets, at least for the present. Later, it is hoped more ambitious productions will follow. Although, at first' the work of American authors will be featured, it is desired to encourage British science-fiction as much as possible, and writers who desire further information of requirements both new and in the future should write to Mr. Gillings at 15 Shere Road, Ilford, Essex, to which address all MSS should be submitted."

We hope to publish an article by Mr. Gillings in the near future dealing with present and future markets for would-be authors. Incidentally, Wally has now commenced a new full-time job as sub-editor of a group of suburban London papers.

BIMONTHLY DIARY

Yet another stalwart dons khaki! . . .John C. (Zeus) Craig of Ilford, Essex is now in the Army and writes from Maidstone. John is one of our senior fans, though he only entered organised fandom in 1939. He is a mine of information on Argosyarns, doesn't bother collecting or retaining items unless they particularly interest him, has had one story published in ASTONISHING STORIES, was employed by the London County Council as a surveyor, is about in his mid-thirties, has a wife & two children.

Where they are: - Derek Gardiner has now settled down in India, which explains the long silence from him. Besides Bob Gibson as mentioned elsewhere, the Central Mediterranean Force has been reinforced by C.S.Youd of Eastleigh & Ken Bulmer of London. Les Johnson, Dave McIlwain, Bill Shelton & Harold Gottliffe write they remain In their previous stations, former couple in BNAF, latter two in MEF. Among the recently returned prisoners of war was Stanley Roberts, onetime member of the Stoke-on-Trent Science Fiction Club. We hope to welcome him back to active fanning.

Death was announced recently of Mark Channing, who was the author of a number of books of the adventure-fantasy type, notably KING COBRA, THE POISONED MOUNTAIN, and WHITE RHYTHM. His work is rather reminiscent of that of H.R.Haggard & Genpat [? - this word indecipherable. --DW] Another writer who died a couple of months ago was Sir Charles G.H.D.Roberts, represented amongst fantasy books by a prehistoric IN THE MORNING OF TIME. Sir Charles was noted as the only Canadian ever to be knighted for literary worth.

Bad show! Information has been received that amongst fanzines offered for sale in this country have been a number of copies of VOICE OF THE IMAGINATION. I have no details about the matter as yet but wish to protest vigorously against the disposal of these magazines on a cash-value basis. All copies distributed in Britain have been sent by Forrest J Ackerman & Morojo as GIFTS to Anglofandom, 4e paying the postage from USA to Grange Terrace. [This may be true in most cases, however, the "all" is not warranted, since the presont compositor has been known to send over large quantities of British stf - mostly pretty rare - in exchange. This does not detract from anything Michael may say about the low state of fandom's morals -- a subject on which we have often waxed eloquent. --DW] I have distributed all copies sent to me gratis: these marked to their intended recipients - with one exception: extra copies when these were included to people whom I felt would appreciate them. A proportion of the recipients express their gratitude either direct or thru me, & some are decent enough to refund the postage I lay out on forwarding their copies - a not inconsiderable item when 40 or so copies are received simultaneously. I believe that I can speak for Forry too, when I say, how hurt we are

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that a gift of this sort should be looked on in such a mercenary manner. After all fandom is a hobby, not a business!

Personal - chance for swappers. W.H.Evans, 233 Shelton Ave., Ames, Iowa, is willing to exchange US prozines for certain copies of BRE's & gramophone records he particularly wants ........ The Manchester "twins", Rons Lane and Bradbury, are in the throes of producing a fanzine entitled GEMINI. Details will not be announced till the project is completed ........ Gus Willmorth in London in November: has now taken up book collecting seriously & intends to rival the hoard amassed by Bob Gibson so rapidly ......... Your editor hopes to have a few days in London in the near future, probably the weekend of February 15th ......... George Medhurst now convalescing after having his appendix removed. . . .Art Willams now back at work, after discharge from the RAF - as an advertisment artist no less ........

MARRIAGES'N'STUFF - - Being an Unsolicited Monologue by Webster --

An lynx-eyed Fido readers will recall, a marriage relevant to our little community had been arranged for January 15th. of this year. This splurge in due course took place, & turned out to be between old fan stalwart (I had almost written "roue") Sid Birchby and Jessie Hatton of Didsbury, Manchester. Present at the wedding was a noble concourse of young and old, fair maidens (see below) and hoy-polloy. The contingent from fandom included Harold and Lily Chibbett, Frank Arnold, and myself - as best man. The whole affair went exceptionally well: the London crowd, needless to say, were late in arriving - i.e. at about 2 a.m. on the wedding-morning a gang of thugs burst into my bedroom, heaving cases on to the floor, throwing my clothes about, brandishing bottles of whiskey, thrusting dirty postcards under my nose, & in general behaving normally. From that moment on I knew we need worry no more. Everything was obviously under control. Sid, I may, say - and quite seriously this time - was magnificent. As an experienced next man, I had not thought it possible that any man could stand up so well under the strain (which had Frank, Harold & me in the jitters), but Sid never twitched a muscle, & was off with the bride almost before we could kiss her. They are now doubtless busy, as I write, with what Ted Carnell rudely calls Woo-hoody-oo-woo. After the ceremony the crowd assembled at the Hatton homestead (Sid, by the way, could not possibly have chosen his "in-laws" better), where food and drink was consumed, Harold and Lily entertained the guests in their own inimitable, and often startling fashion, and Frank attended to all of the fair maidens already mentioned in his own -- alas ! -- inimitable way. There, after a quick tour round to the local for a snifter, I perforce had to leave them at 9 p.m. or so, with the noise at full swing.

Through the night I travelled over to Wales, and next day, Sunday, had a very pleasant reunion (marred only by my being 90% asleep) with my old friends the Burkes: John, then on leave, Joan, & Bronwen. They are bringing up Bronwen on Bertrand Russell lines; I have therefore lent them MARRIAGE AND MORALS, so that John can have no objection to my educating his wife on Bertrand Russell lines next time I see her. But that visit, like all good things, rolled to a close, and sometime late on Monday I staggered home, now 98% asleep, havlng asked for a day off work, and ended up with three days less a couple of hours. Sic itur ad astra. -- DW, 22:1:44.

UNPAID AD.

Due to lack of bookshelf space, lack of money, diminution of interest, and the quixotic mood of the moment, Webster has suddenly decided to offer for sale some or all of his fanmag collection, more especially one or two hundred oldish US items, in ones, in twos, en bloc, or any old way you choose. Will prospective customers please get in touch with him at Idlewild, Fountainhall Road, Aberdeen, stating which titles they are interested in so that he may quote issues at hand, and if possible mentioning what prices, roughly, they are willing to pay (terms are cash unless better ones can be found), so that needless bargaining will be avoided. P.c. are also warned that because of the second reason, above, such prices will in general be high (for such a generous-hearted guy as DW), but never prohibitive. Yea.

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MY IMPRESSION OF FANS 'Orrible Disclosures by An Outsider.......

At a recent convention (let it be nameless) I had my first glimpse of fans !!!

I have never before in all my young life seen a more varied congregation. There were those who sat in corners, waiting to have food passed to them; there were those who blindly grabbed, and hoped no one would censor them. No sooner had they arrived than the place was in an uproar. It was impossible to either enter or leave a room without seeing fans, stumbling over fans, treading on fans ... for to add to the pristine confusion, fans themselves sprawled engagingly on the floor, prefering this natural environment when playing cards. And then the assembled people decided to have a little music... I don't know if you have ever heard Tauber singing "Vienna, City of My Dreams" to the accompaniment of a piano upon which Yellow Tie was playing hot jive. I have, and I suspect the neighbours have too, if the hints dropped later were any criterion.

After the convention had broken up on the Sunday evening it was noticed by the family which bore the onslaught of the fans upon their (usually) peaceful abode, that the mascot of the house - that is to say the dog 'Rusty' - was in state of nervous collapse, and ever since those never-to-be-forgotten days , she has been found hiding in various dark and secluded corners of the house, poor thing.

I may add that I am on the verge of becoming a fan MYSELF despite the dissuasion of my brother who never had a friend to warn him !!!

My brother's sister.

- - - - Only some 400 sheets of British Fantasy Society notepaper @ 1/9 100 left - - - -

COSMIC CIRCLE CLOSES

British fans have for some little time heard distant rumblings of a new fan organisation in USA, an organisation that was out to do things. Calling itself the Cosmic Circle the society was headed by a "Don Rogers" and boasted quite a number of further names and an ambitious programme. However certain writings and facts did not square with each other and many individuals became, shall we say, suspicious. Notable among these was T. Bruce Yerke of Los Angeles, who went to the trouble of compiling and issuing a "Report to Fandom" on the Cosmic Circle and its progenitor who, curiously enough, was previously known to fandom as Claude Degler. This Report seems to have brought to a head much latent opposition that Degler had managed to raise, and when fat was thrown into the fire by a declaration from Raymond A Palmer, editor of Amazing Stories, that his publshing firm - Ziff-Davis - objected so strongly to the type of publication being issued by Degler, that unless organised fandom ceased to include Degler, they could have no further contact with it in any way, it was felt that such action was the only possible course to adopt. Quoting Harry Warner - "Anyway, the Cosmic Circle has now been pretty thouroughly discredited to all but perhaps a few very new fans who are still taken in by the tinsel trappings and high sounding nonsense Degler has been spouting forth, The only thing Degler has accomplished, in my estimation, is a very skilful employment of crude, but effective, propaganda tactics that are remarkably similar to the German propaganda from the time the Nazis took power till 1941. He has used such tactics as playing on the vanity of less prominent fans and making them believe they'd be tremendously active and popular if established fans weren't repressing them; and in all his writings and conversations taking it for granted that fandom is a race to itself, far superior to the rest of humanity, and merely enduring the rest of mankind until such time as it can break loose from shackling bonds." As a result of this discrediting says Harry, the possibility of the greatest fan feud of all time has receded, and Degler is back in Indiana, still mouthing but minus support.

page 11:
And, now, dear friends, for our BACK-COVER COLLECTION of last minute items

The bacover itself is provided by Bob Tucker and formed the front of the last issue of his LE ZOMBIE, as one or two observant people may have noted ...now for news...in BROWSING some time ago I put forward a suggestion for the gradual getting together of a super fantasy bibliography using a page per book. Well, I at least have now started on this scheme, and the first page I've prepared will form part of BROWSING No 6. Any offers of help in reviewing books, stencilling sheets and so on will be very welcome and all people. wishing to collect the pages as they are gradually issued should let me know. As yet plans for co-operation with USA have not been worked out...from USA comes the news that Jack Foo Speer, prominent Amerifan, has obtained a position with the Lend-Lease authorities, and is likely to be stationed in North Africa or Egypt. He hopes to have the chance of at least a visit to England... we were sorry to learn that Jack Banks of Eastbourne, who has been working on a social service scheme in East London, is now ill in hospital... Bob Gibson now definitely located in Sicily... Christmas brought us first news of one of our old Leeds SFL members for quite a time. And its Lieutenant Augustyn G. Snowden now with the Indian Forces in the Middle East... Xmas Airgraphs also received from D. Woronin and C.S.Youd. Thanks fellows... and now here is one matter cleared up. Harry Warner informs that his accounts at the suspension of SPACEWAYS showed the following copies due to English subscribers; RGMedhurst, 3; JERennison 5; HSymns 1; RLane 2; AGSkee1. 1; JGibson 1. If there is anyone else with a claim, please notify me at once, with details. These subs will fulfilled with extra issues of Fido unless exception is made,,, Amerifans were to have their outstanding subs made up with the Ashley 'Zine NOVA. But the, first issue since the demise of Warners publication is still to appear tho' John Millard has it that this was all ready bar the assembling before he left Canada,... Peter Knott of Northampton now in RAF convalescent home in Blackpcol recovering from his broken leg...sends apologies for non-appearance at Mannchester, due to transport and service difficulties ...another apologist is John Millard, and service contingencies again to blame... we learn that Blyth fan Ray Hooker is now in the RAF...hoping to visit B.L.Sandfield of Greenford, Essex, in the near future... and whilst your editor is in London over Feb 17-21 (I'm keeping my fingers crossed) Gus Willmorth and Fred Brown hope to popup for a portion of the time... despite sitting one of his exams the morning after the Norcon, Ron Lane has been successful in obtaining his MPS -- precisely a year before the earliest time he could have sat for it, according to pre-war rules. Good work Ron and congratulations...Ron is following the example set by Derek Gardiner and persuading his sister to take his place in the BFS... vague tales anent the possible revival of the National Fantasy Fan Federation emanate from the 1943 MICHICON, held at Slan Shack, Battle Creek (!), Mich. - home of the Ashleys, Jack Wiedenbeck, and Walt Liebsher. I counted 16 signatures on the souvenir they sent me including Tucker, Speer, Saari, Perry etc., Apparently the affair was the usual success... Bert Lewis reports that an old correspondent of his, hight Harry Boosel, from Chicago is now in Britain...Bert himself hasn't been having too good a time with a sprained arm recently. This expliains his lapses in correspondence... airgraph just received from John T. Miller, still at Kilindini, East Africa, and all right except stf starved. Has found a couple more stfaddicts in the place... perhaps we'd better mention that the author of the Delvings printed in Fido is actually Jack Banks, who carefully omitted his name from the copy but is not necessarily anxcious to remain anonymous... thanks to Larry Shaw, who has sent across a number of copies of his 'zine, I have several spare copies of NEBULA, a news fanzine of interest to those with an intimate knowledge of US fandom, available on request...so are some copies of two issues of The ATSRONAUT, organ of the Manchester Interplanetary Society.

page 12:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY........................... ................................................................18th Jan 1944

BULLETIN No.14

New Members

Gaffron Bruce, 11 Erridge Road, Merton Park, London S.W.19 (92) Hawes, H. M., 82 Waldegrave Road, Teaddington, Middlesex, (91); Jones, J.M. Bank House, Baker Street, Aberystwyth.

It won't be long now to the 100 mark!

Beyond BFS Edition.

I think that by now most of the people interested have read Number One of the above noteworthy magazine, and are looking forward with whetted appetites to reading another issue in the not too distant future. Our Editor, Frank Parker, is ready and willing to do his part - all he wants is a few stories. So what about it? Breathes there a fan with a soul so dead he never to himself has said when reading some lousy professional story that he could write better than that when he was ten years old? Here is your chance to prove that you can, and to entertain your fellow-fen while doing so. Wheel 'em in to 6 Greytiles, Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex; any length up to twenty thousand words or so; five copies typed single-spaced on both sides of quarto paper if so can do - if not send them in anyway and we'll get them typed for you. Get weaving.

Advisory Board.

The amount of support this has received has been negatively alarming on account of only three members - Messrs Peter Hawkins, Roy Johnson, and Terence Overton have volunteered - the first two for the position of Coordinator.

Not very good is it? Isn't anyone else interested enough to have a go or must we carry on, seriously understaffed?

Magazine-Mart.

Circulated with this Bulletin will be a copy of the rules and regulations for the operation of this - the Mart Man being Walter Norcott 41 St. Johns, Worcester - whose activities in this direction are probably known to many of you already. We shall be pleased to consider any questions or objections to these that any member may raise.

Weird Section.

This so far has 9 members, with a possible 5 new ones. Unforseen mishaps - such as the loss of a chain-letter - have caused a certain amount of delay, but the section is now more or less organised on the basis of a constantly circulating chain-letter. Terence Overton, in giving us this information, adds that he seems "to be stuck as Director", so anyone wishing to join should contact him ts 107 Thomas Street, Abertidwr, Cardiff, Glamorganshire.

Honorary-Members.

Further to the remarks on this in the last Bulletin it is proposed to elect the following American fans as Honorary Members in the BFS in recognition of the splendid help they have given British fandom during the past few years.

Forrest J. Ackerman, John M. Cunningham, William H. Evans, Joe Gibson, "Morojo", Milton Rothman, Paul J. Searles, Bob Tucker.

Certificates to this effect will be sent to the above at the earliest opportunity.

Odds&sods.

With any luck at all an up-to-date Library Catalogue will be circulated with this - Peter Hawkins has been appointed Cosmos Club Liaison Officer with the BFS - 'snoroomforanymore'.

...D.R.Smith (Secretary).

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