FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 34 (Vol. 4, Number 4) Apr. 1944

By February 17th, after a battle in the Ukraine lasting 14 days, the Soviets succeeded in destroying 10 divisions of the German Eighth Army, this coming on top of the destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad. The USSR was increasingly becoming the rock on which their forces would be smashed.

On March 19th, in the most spectacular operation of the Burma campaign, a large allied force was landed by glider 200 miles behind the Japanese lines. All the equipment for a large force, including a bulldozer, were flown in to them from China. Within 12 hours they had carved an airstrip out of the jungle large enough to take a fighter squadron. However, as impressive as all this was, something of far more long-term significance for Britain occured in Parliament on the 19th when, after some initial opposition, the House of Lords approved plans for a National Health Service.

Distributed with this issue:

BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #15 - ed. D.R.Smith - 1 page
DELIRIUM TREMENS #13 - ed. Dennis Tucker - 2 pages
LAMPPOST# 3 - ed. E. Frank Parker - 2 pages

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Note: By this point, the misnumbering of issues had become endemic - you'll note this is the third in a row to get the volume number wrong, for instance. In all cases the correct volume and issue numbers are those given in blue at the top of this first page, and not those given on the front cover or in the colophon of the actual issue. These were often not only both wrong but also different from each other.

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Fanzines may come, fanzines may go, but I begin to fear that Fido will go on for too long: if not quite for ever. But the emanatlon is an attempt to provide a news organ & forum for British fantasy enthusiasts. Published bi-imonthly from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, England, with J. Michael Rosenblum at the helm, ably assisted by Douglas Webster & Kenneth Chadwick in the stencilling & despatching depts. Price 3d. per issue, subscriptions can be sent in prozines from USA, and lemons from CMF, BNAF & MEF!

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ARKHAM HOUSE

The latest bulletin from August W. Derleth, Director of Arkham House, contains the following interesting information:

"As I think I predicted in an earlier letter to you, Lovecraft's THE OUTSIDER AND OTHERS is now out of print. I continue to hope, however, that it will be reprinted in England after the war, perhaps in a less expensive edition, or perhaps, with less stories in the book. We shall see as to this once this conflict is done ....... Meanwhile, the second Lovecraft book, BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP, has made its appearance, paper shortages notwithstanding, and about half the edition is gone, though we will probably have copies of the book for two years to come, judging by the rate of sale that the first volume of this projected triology had. [One copy at least of BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP has reached these Islands. Readers are advised for their own sake to see to it that the war is over within a couple of years so that they may invest freely in this volume. -DW] *** Your mention of science fiction prompts me to bring to your attention an interesting new book which is to be published over here in January or February. I have read the galleys, and find it very good, particularly for s-f fans. The book is PILGRIMS THROUGH SPACE AND TIME, by J. O. Bailay; it is a fairly comprehensive history of science-fiction, and discussions of many aspects of the craft; it will be published, I think, at $3.00 by The Argus Book Shop, Inc., 16 North Michigan Averue, Chicago 2, Illinois. 1 feel, sure that some arrangements can be made with them to import the book from your side, for the Argus does a large business with English publishers. Some manner of exchange should he feasible. *** There is little news from this end. More and more, new events must wait upon the end of the war. We have mss. ready for publication, and hope to be able to bring out Don Wandrei's THE EYE AND THE FINGER sometime in the first half of 1944, but no one knows just what the paper situation will be at that time, though our allotment ought to be ample to enable us to bring out the customary 1200 copies of the book. The Whitehead book is also ready, but this will probably have to await 1945, for our allotment is just enough to bring out one book. There are a good many titles being planned, but unfortunately we cannot go ahead with a new book before we have fully paid for the current title; not that our printers would mind, but we would; I have quite enough to worry about now without adding greater financial burdens."

BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS

Yes, it seems to be a busy time in the publishing world for fantasy fiction: and here are a few items we culled from current lists (thanks to RGMedhurst) MISS SHUMWAY WAVES A WAND by James Hadley Chase [ITMA] (Jarrold 8/6): wherein another Miss Blandish goes fantastic amid galaxies of gangsters. BLACK DAWN by Shaw Desmond is a tale of after this war. [So is THE TRIAL OF MUSSOLINI, which costs half-a-crown, & it would do you a darn sight more good to read it. Why not bite ? --DW].

Lord Dunsany's GUERRILLA is tale of anti-German resistance, but set in a mythical land & led by a mythical hero, and in perhaps primarily an allegory.
DARKNESS AND THE DEEP by Vardis Fisher (Methuen, 8/6) is yet another prehistoric.
THE LIGHTS WERE GOING OUT - Arthur Guerdham (Quality Press) -- and --
CALLING LORD BLACKSHIRT - Bruce Graeme, both deal with after this war, latter with an ex-airman's quixotic combine fighting crime in the shape of the drug traffic.
THE LOST TRAVELLER - Ruthven Todd (Grey Walls Press, 7/6) wherein a youth is translated to an eerie otherworld dimension to indulge in a weird quest.
ERONE by Chalmers Kearney (Biddles, 8/6) is an out and out interplanetary, in which we visit an Utopia on Uranus.

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THE DEVIL IN CRYSTAL - Louis Marlow (Faber, 6/6) ; "Definitely fantasy"-- Roland Forster

And to show Britain is not alone, Walt Liebsher comments on recent US publications:
NONCE by Michael Brandon. This one I liked very much. It is an odd, fierce story stuffed with black magic, murder and fornication. It is a simple story, yet so forcefully told it almost knocks you out of the seat at the end. A review is coming up in NOVA, so you'll have to wait till then. Mean ain't I?
A TOUCH OF NUTMEG by John Collier. Another collection of his short stories.
THE LANDSLIDE. Story of a shifting of the earth in Ireland. Eggs laying dormant for hundreds of years hatch and dragons, prehistoric birds &c. come to life. An old Man and a young boy learn to talk to these creatures and the story is a satire of modern living with much theosophising in it. From what we've heard this a charming tale. Unfortunately, I haven't read it yet so can give you no further info on it.
THE DICTATOR AND THE DEVIL. A lyric pome which concerns the dictator (presumably Hitler) making a journey through the Solar System to Hell, where he is promptly thrown in a dungeon and Moloch takes his place. This one is beautifully illustrated.
THE AIR FUTURE. A book describing and picturing the possibilities of air travel after the war.
MR. MIRAKEL, by E. Phillips Openheim. A curious Utopia yarn that was particularly pleasing to me, because it was treated in such a matter of fact manner.

The third and last have already been published in Britain. We'll end with a note about MEN WHO MADE THE FUTURE by Bruce Bliven, (Pilot Press, 8/6), a series of interviews with prominent American scientists about such matters as atomic power, electron microscopes, cyclotrons, & other items of up-to-the-minute research.

THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW AGE................. ................................................................ No.5

Donald Raymond Smith

by John F.Burke

This is going to be awkward. It is more than somewhat presumptuous, of me to attempt a biographical sketch of the aloof, secretive secretary of the British Fantasy Society. I have met Don thrice, corresponded with him, and fought with him, in colunms of fan magazimes, but although he has never been reticent with his opinions, he has never been communicative about himself. When it came to writing this study, I wrote and tried to coax a few details from him, but received only a refusal to divulge any "intimate secrets" of his life, with a rhyme that sheds little light on his character.

Donald Raymond Smith
Was beloved of all his kith,
But he was never very well in
With many of his kin.
Having failed to produce any response, I tried to recall some little thing from our meetings that would help to start a train of thought. Don came to my rescue when I was stranded in a particularly awful army army camp near Nuneaton. He came over to collect me with his tandem, and probably does not realise even now how close I was to turning away in fear. Perhaps he hoped I would, and had brought the infernal machine along merely to scare me. If so, he failed; we wobbled a bit, I made apologetic noises and thought how contemptuous the back of Don's neck looked, and then we started on the long road to the Smith ancestral home. I was fed well, given several books of cartoons to read - these being considered about my intellectual standard - and later delighted by a recital of gramophone records that testified to an unsuspected musical taste in the retiring Mr. Smith.

This brief respite from creativity was not my first meeting with the Sage of Nuneaton. We had chatted for a few hours in Birmingham several months previously. We met for a third tied - well, not much. Don was fair, somewhat windblown, wore spectacles, and looked more good-humoured than I had expected. He will, in my memory, be clad in sports coat and, flannels forever, unless we come together at some future Convention and he wears the flowing gown and wizard's peaked hat that suits his office.

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But that is unlikely. He says that he will not attend conventions. He discourages people from visiting him, and in his letters and articles has always sneered - yes, I say sneered - at fans. Unsociable? One of those unfortunates who cannot escape from the inexorable grip of fantasy, but endeavours to salvage his pride by making derogatory remarks about his fellow slaves?

Nothing ready-made will fit the case. If I look back to the days when I first read the Smith articles in NOVAE TERRAE, I can remember the feeling I then had of his being conceited; affected in style, and shallow. Time has altered that opinion, though not to such a degree that I number myself among the "Cosmic Case" admirers. Sam Youd and I quarrelled over some of the prose poems by Smith in FANTAST, particularly the purple "Oceana", which was acclaimed by the devotees of gush as a minor masterpiece. I thought it bad then, and I think it bad now, but certain features of Don's style appeal to me more now than they did then.

The name of Donald Raymond Smith will not, I feel confident, ever be known as that of one of the great creative writers of the world. He himself has no such ambitions, as far at I can judge. He would like to make as much money as P.G.Wodehouse, but that's not much help. 1 think he would make a good critic of the caustic, destructive kind - a minor James Agate. His phrasing is terse, and at his best he can produce delightful flashes of critical sensibility, but in anything long his style would suffer. Perhaps he was destined to be a journalist, but he is not interested in the ephemerae which must of necessity be the journalist's main concern. And perhaps he was destined to be no more than what he is, a jig-tool mechanic, dabbling in literature and music, admiring blood-and-beery writers like Hemingway, making a name for himself as a sardonic sage in a small group of adolescent fanatics. There is something for the psychologist: is Don a would-be mighty figure who can find no outlet for his desires in the larger world, and endeavours to build up a reputation among a few gullible readers of science fiction? It fits - he sees as few of these fans as possible because personal contact always destroys such illusions as the Sage of Nuneaton's reputation for wit and caustic criticism. Could be.

It could be a lot of other things as well. What makes Don what he is? Was he dropped on his head when young? The shape of his head and features does not suggest it - at any rate, no more than those of any other fan.

Work it out for yourself. He writes satires and vague fantasies, confesses to having written a science-fiction novel (kept well out of sight), likes the idea of strong men, shows no sign of liking women, beer, or cigarettes; would not like to pluck and clean a chicken, dislikes intellectuals, likes Wagnar, James Thurber, David Langdon, climbing mountalns . . .

He has annoyed more people than I would care to annoy. John Russell Fearn threatened a libel action. Sam Youd, being one of Smith's most ardent disciples for many years, fell out with him because he showed no signs of sharing Sam's political view; Sam is like that. Doug Webster, I think, found the views of Smith too much to endure, probably because Don exhibited no social consciousness. We were all shocked at the name of D.R.Smith being entered in the B.F.S. rolls as secretary: the individualistic, unsociable D.R.S, notorious as the dead-end of letter chains, magazine chains; the lazy, annoying Smith! But there he is. It serves him right.

So far Don and I have not had hard words. We quarrelled in fanmags before we began writing to one another, so perhaps that phase is over. Doubtless if I were a budding politician or a sociologist I would find him intolerable. As it is, I find him tolerable.

No more than tolerable? Well, now . . . .

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Claude Hold 494 Carlton Street. Buffalo. N.Y.11, USA would like to get in touch with English fans interested in exchanging English magazines and books for American publications. Can supply fans with any prozines and fanzines issued since 1940, also before this date. If interested, list what you have to swap and what you want.

Ray Karden, 409 Twelfth St. Cloquet, Minnesota, USA - wants to swap current US prozines for British books and mags.

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CALLUP

of Terrence Overton of Cardiff took place on Feb. 17th., & Terry is now a stationed at Brecon, South Wales. Mr. Overton was a comparatively new fan, who was just making his mark on the Anglofan scene, a process which we hope will continue. He has shown considerable enthusiasm within the British Fantasy Society, of whose Weird Section he was Director, cooperated in the production of COLOSSUS, & attended the 1943 Midvention. His place in the Weird Club will be taken over by Arthur Hillman of 100 Corporation Road, Newport, Mon., who informs that he is planning "several intriguing surprises in the near future", and intends to keep it going as a really live-wire organisation.

A recent letter from Frederick V. Giles reveals. that he has been in the Navy for some while, & is now on HMS Cam as a steward.. Frederick as yet hasn't become known as an actifan, but he has aspirations in that direction.

BSFWRS

The Director of the alas-defunct British Science Fiction &c., John Meyer Cunningham (2050 Gilbert St., Beaumont, Texas) is still attempting manfully to tidy up the loose ends whilst in the US Army Air Corps, at Chico, California. He asks. that "all claimants to due S-F magazines from me through the subscription pals of BSFWRS please contact me thru' my home address at earliest possible moment. My files are not too accurate and I shall depend on the honesty & integrity of the British fans to give a. correct & just claim."

Please note that JMR has no idea of what magazines have been sent from USA, has no files on the matter, no responsibility, & was only a reluctant go-between. This finishes the whole matter as far as we are concerned.

CABELLIANA

In one "round" of the Bibliophile's Chain of the BFS was a dissertation by Arthur Busby on the works of James Branch Cabell, which was too good to let lie buried. So here is some interesting data on the works of this writer.

J.B.Cabell's main work is what he is pleased to call "Biography". This consists of fifteen separate books which fall into three sub-divisions: (a) non-fiction, (b) Lichfield-Fairhaven romances having their setting in Modern America, and (c) Poictesme novels. (There is a map of this hypothetical province provided in Carl Van Doren's book JAMES BRANCH CABELL: A BIOGRAPHY.)

Here are the books in detail:

BEYOND LIFE (non fiction, an introduction).

Lichfield-Fairhaven Group:

THE EAGLE'S SHADOW (Not read)
RIVET IN GRANDFATHER'S
NECK
(Not a fantasy)
CORDS OF VANITY (Nor is this)
SOMETHING ABOUT EVE (This is most definitely fantasy)
THE CREAM OF THE JEST (This, too, is fantasy)

Poictesme novels:

FIGURES OF EARTH (Fantasy; the first of the series, deals with the main character of the stories, Dom Manuel)
THE SILVER STALLION (Fantasy, and to my mind the most entertaining of the series. Deals with the adventures of the ten followers of Don Manuel)
DOMNEI (The sequel to JURGEN and just about fantasy. Originally published as THE SOUL OF MELICENT)
JURGEN (Requires no introduction)
THE HIGH PLACE (Fantasy, see below)
MUSIC FROM BEHIND THE MOON (Not read but I believe this is a fantasy)
THE WHITE ROBE (The same applies) ((But definitely fantasy --JMR))
THE WAY OF ECBEN (This seems to be on most booksheves, so will say nought)
CHIVALRY
GALLANTRY
THE CERTAIN HOUR
(These three books are all short stories and all have a medieval setting. Could be classed as fantasy.)
STRAWS AND PRAYER BOOKS (Non-fiction epilogue to the set)
FROM THE HIDDEN WAY (Details wanted myself)

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Don't tell me I can't count; I said fifteen to start with. Blame Cabell for he gives that number in STRAWS & c. from which I was quoting.

Other fiction works are:

  • THE KING WAS IN THE COUNTING HOUSE. Another novel of medieval times but unconnected with Poictesme
  • THE FIRST AMERICAN GENTLEMAN. Perhaps not fantasy but very enjoyable. Deals with the Spanish conquest of America and in particular the effects of Prince of Ajacan, the son of the God Quetzal (actually a renegade Spaniard), to preserve his Indian tribe from the ravishes of the invaders. Real Cabellian humour.
  • HAMLET HAD AN UNCLE. I insist on this being classed as fantasy. It deals with the adventures of what Cabell pretends to be the original history of Hamlet in the eighth century. The Devil makes one or two appearances to justify the category fantastic. Incidentally some of the dialogue passages make JURGEN read like a Sunday-School tract. How the censor allowed such delightful and diverting pornography to be published is incomprehensible, but very praiseworthy.
  • THE HIGH PLACE This is highly amusing and concerns Florian, a descendent of Jurgen & Manuel. While a child he falls in love with a girl sleeping under a spell. Later in life he enters into a bargain with the Devil and is able to release the girl and marry her. Amongst the others released are Hoprig, a priest whom Florian, thinking him dead, had worshipped as his patron God. How Florian fares with the earthly simulacra of his love and religion is worked out in true Cabellian fashion. The book abounds with what John Charteris calls "lewd Jurgenisms". Hoprig is a highly diverting character; by an error he is canonised as a Christian saint and appears complete with halo. This, is rather an unfortunate adornment as it makes him too conspicuous, but he manages all right!

PUB CONVERSATION - by The Very Young Man -

"Hello old man!"
"Hello old man!!"
"Got my copy of FUTURIAN DIGEST this morning old man." "So did I old man. I must say, old man. the arguments are getting quite complicated over the "what is wrong with the world" and "why don't they do this and that" business. Some of the younger fans are getting quite worked up about it."
"Yes, I see your point old man. It always amused me the way some young jerk - who probably has never had to work for his living, and whose sole knowledge of the world is gained through reading someone else's books on the subject - the way he will reply to a carefully worked out criticism with a curt answer to read such and such a book on the matter, old man."
"It is also strange to me, old man, how really little original reasoning they diplay. It no doubt baffles them that the world does not see the light and flop over automatically to one of the Logical Systems they are so fond of reeling off old man."
"You mean for instance old man, why people should put up with continually being bullied about, and tyrannised by their various forms of government? Why shouldn't they band together, old man, and work cooperatively for each other's good entirely and not support a percentage of parasites by the sweat of their brows, old man?"
"Precisely, old man!"
"Well, what is wrong mith that idea old man? I don't see why people should put up with it old man. I think it is quite right that these young champions of liberty and freedom from oppresion should desire to awaken the masses to a true recognition of their predicament."
"Whose predicament old man? The young champions' or the masses'?"
"The masses' of course, old man."
"Yes, of course old man. But assuming by some stroke of luck ("Good or bad luck, old man?" "Good luck I suppose, old man.") the peoples of the world found themselves suddenly divested of organised government, and so placed that they could work together for the benefit and enrichment of all, old man, with no parasitical Upper Crust preying upon them; what would happen old man?"

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"Why we'd have Utopia of course, old man ......"
"Yes I see old man. But what would happen if say a gang of people started getting uppish and forced some of the other people to work for them, and thereby lived a life of luxury themselves. There being no government old man, what would happen, old man?"
"Why the other people would of course band together old man, and presumably drive them away, old man; somewhere or other."
"And thereby start another war old man? But I thought this logical System would abolish war, amongst other things old man, and there would be happiness, generally."
"Generally there would be of course, old man, but anybody but a fool can see that human nature being what it is even a Logical System must have its faults, to be smoothed out old man when our young champions have succeeded in opening the people's eyes old man."
"Yes I see your point old man but I'm not used to being called a fool old man."
"But I didn't say you were a fool old man, I merely said that only a fool couldn't see that human nature being what it is a certain curtailment of human liberty is unfortunate for some but nccessary for the majority, old man."
"There you go again old man. I thought this was going to be a nice friendly argument over whether these young idealists are on the right track or not, old man, and not a slanging match."
"So did I, old man, but if that's the way you feel about it we'd better call it off for tonight old man."
"Very well old man; goodnight old man."
"Goodnight old man."

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BI-MONTHLY DIARY

The 1944 American News Trade Subscription Price Lists mention AMAZING, FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, ASTOUNDING, FAMOUS FANTASTTC MYSTERIES, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, STARTLING STORTES, PLANET, and WEIRD TALES. Which gives all the current stf with the exception of CAPTAIN FUTURE, which therefore looks as though it is due for discontinuance........ The February 1944 issue of LILLIPUT commences with the magazine's diarist "Lemuel Gulliver" discovering preparations for a rocket-trip to the moon, with the Secretary of the "Astromical Development Association". The plans are those put forward in 1939 by the British Interplanetary Society "which has since folded up" - saith the informant, Mr. Gatland ........ And the monthly magazine PREDICTION is running a series of short articles entitled "The Occult in Fiction", of which the March 41 issue is the sixth and deals with Howard Philip Lovecraft, The previous five include Rider Haggard & Montague Rhodes James. Can anyone supply your editor with the set? ........ Otto Binder has been in the US Army & is now discharged for health reasons. Present occupation is working for the comics........ Ted Carnall has been having trouble with his wrist, & been unable to deal with his correspondence & so on. Apparently an old trouble of over 12 months' standing, just located ........ Ted tells us that R.A.Heinlein is ill at the moment ........ Edwin Mcdonald has been wandering around in his RAF service. Last known place of call is Manchester (thence to Canada!) before which were Worcester & Stratford-on-Avon ........ The Amerifans in England at last manage to meet - Gus Willmorth & Johnnie Millard spend leave time together in London, sight & show seeing. Gus later meets Edwin Whitehead, new to fandom, who comes from Texas to London to meet his first fellow fans. Where is Raymond Van Houton who is said to be in Britain? And we learn that Canadifan & bibliophile Norman Lamb is in Italy, not Britain, alas ........ The matter of VoM's & Anglofandom appears to be cleared up - apparently they were sold with a large batch of other fanzines & the price adjusted accordingly. But we still feel strongly on the matter of keeping fandom a hobby, not a business.

Arthur Busby, 40 Brooklands Road, Birmingham 28, has quite a number of magazines for sale, notably 1930-39 AMAZINGs and ASTOUNDINGs. Send wants. Harry Kay 26 Hole St., Staines, Middlesex, wants to dispose of:- WEIRD: Oct-Doc/37; July-Nov/38; Mar-May & Aug/39. UNKNOWN BRE: Oct-Dec/40; Feb, July/41; Mar, Oct/42; Feb, July/43. ASTOUNDING, BRE: Nov, Dec; Jan-April; June-Aug; Dec, Nov; Jan, Mar, May, Aug, Oct. [No year mentioned here, but perhaps it will be intelligible, --DW] GOLDEN FLEECE: June/39. SCIENCE-FICTION; BRE: Dec/39.

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FANS GALORE!

Since the last issue of "Fido" your editor has been living a gay and hectic life! As the piece de resistance he (I?) went down to London. Rapid review of events follows, I deeply regret that I have neither the time nor space to deal with matters as they deserve. Arriving on Thursday Feb, 17th, made my way to 126 Finborough Road where the hospitality of the Medhurst family was marvellous even by fan standards, Spent the evening talking politics and so on with Mr Medhurst Sr till George came home, and very nice too. George and I talked. Friday, bookhunting till it was time to miss Gus Willmorth at Liverpool St station. Rang up Frank Arnold to find him not at work - apparently he was waiting for me at his flat at that very moment. Did a spot of wandering (I like wandering round strange towns at night!) then back to the Medhurst domicile to find Gus there, waiting for me. That finished Friday but Saturday began with a 1.30 a.m. Alert and bangs and bumps in the night. George slept thru it, I was escorted to a balcony to watch the fires, just too late to see the best. 9 a.m. met Gus (Itma, I've met him in Leeds, I've met him in Manchester, I've met him in London - its getting to be a habit) at an Oxford St bookshop. He came out broke (almost) leaving a wondering assistant behind, she couldn't believe it. He netted 37 books that morning, before his finances ran out (These Yanks will get into Poker games). After lunch the two of us went to Teddington and met people. I'll say. Those I remember were Harry Kay, a "new" American hight Edwin Whitehead from Dallas, Tex; who had replied to that letter Kay had published in Astounding (funny, an American getting to London to meet fans), Peter Hawkins (Forgot to say that I had lunch with Peter on the Friday) Don Houston, John Aiken, ? Gompertz, Gordon Holbrow, Fred Goodier, Art Williams, Syd Bounds, D. B. Powell, Frank Parker, Bruce Gaffron and others. We listened to various papers on the futures of various things, and I recollect particularly D.R.Smith on "The Future of Mechanical Engineering" (Don, wasn't there, his paper was read for him) and Harry Kay on "The Future of "Medicine". A communal tea was a high spot, a visit to some pub a jumble, and a trip back to town with the two Yanks, Williams, Bounds and Kay memorable indeed. I tried to expound the differences between people and fans (thanks for the "En Garde" disserertion, Ashley) to Whitehead and on the theory of Solipsist philosophy but I couldn't remember the name. Anyrate I talked. We gathered a nice little covey of servicemen around when we investigated (!) the bootcleaning machine at Waterloo Station. Return Chez Medhurst. Sunday morning to Bowes Park and the Chibbett menage, where the so-and-so made me an hour late for the 2 p.m. appointment with Willmorth and Williams. More talk, and we called on Benson Herbert in his flat, to his astonishment. More talk - I was beginning to get a little hoarse by then. Back to Medhursts where Edwin Whitehead joined us, and later Harry Kay. At 9.15 the Americans decided to leave us, and the Germans to pay a call. Wonder what sort of a journey they had amid the shot and shell. Art left just after, missing an HE bomb on his way home by one street. Harry and I talked. Later we learned of incendiaries down the street, one just outside, and one thru next door roof. All I can say is that I didnt hear them in

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spite of trying to work out just what the noises were. At 10.30 Harry left with the All-Clear, and I had a brief look at a fire down the road - number 186 I believe. At 12.30 George staggered in - he'd had to walk some miles due to stopage of one "tube", That brings us to Monday, when, at 10 a.m. Art Williams, Syd Bounds and I strood at Euston Station waiting the arrival of wartine policeman Fred Brown from Birmingham. He arrived, we had coffee and talked - I was cracking by then - and rang up Benson Herbert. We went round to see him, and his sec((unreadable)) then we had lunch with him. Then we left him and went bookhunting. Not being a Londoner I showed the others round. Evening back to the Medhurst domicile where George joined us and we - well, we talked. By that tine I was subsisting on throat tablets. Tuesday I came back to Leeds. Found a RAF cook, and a laundry salesman from Sheffield and Wakefield respectively, and we three squatted on cases in a corner (wartime travel - grrr) and - talked. Incidentally, I met a friend on the way down, and talked that journey thru too. Which about makes up for all those wasted hours alone in the midst of a field of cabbages, when I don't utter a word from 7 am till 5pm.

Thursday of the same week, who should walk in but Flying-Officer Allan Miles of Bristol. He's gone up one you'll notice, and is now not so far from Leeds getting to this noble city for 30 hour periods almost every week. I'll see him again the next week. And again during the weekend of March 5th. But this time he had been preceeded by John Millard of Jackson, Mich, who spent the weekend with me, and Ron Lane and George Ellis who slipped over from Manchester. We talked.

This is typed on March 11th. Next Sunday I, JMR, am going over to Manchester where in addition to the Manchester trio -- Lane, Bradbury and Ellis - I hope to see Edwin Macdonald. And Joan Lane of course. Possibly Allan Miles will come with me, possibly Ron Holmes wiill get there from Liverpool, possibly John Craig now stationed at Clitheroe, Lancs, will manage to get there. Which is all very nice, because I enjoy meeting fans.

March 16th. No, Edwin Macdonald will not be at Manchester. Because he is now stationed at Scarborough. However he hopes to get to Leeds to see me on Sunday the 26th. Any more for any more?

- - Canadian fan Norman V Lamb had one month in England and no leave, now CMF - -

THIS ISSUE, praise be to Ghu, is being duplicated and distributed by Ronald Lane of Manchester, with the aid of such mu - er - kindhearted people as can assemble, presumably sister Joan and George Ellis. We are very grateful indeed for this as otherwise there was little chance of the issue being out to time. And things are getting ever more desperate in so far as your editors spare time and energy are concerned. Moreover we hear of stirrings in the realm of famaggery - Gemini from Manchester, AFW thinking of a possible zine, Gus Willmorth ditto; and Johnnie Millard hinted of a scheme. SO IT OCCURRED TO US ... how's about some Of these people who feel that way inclined taking over Fido for an issue? Could be on two differing arrangements (a) just to duplicate and mail, having all stencils sent ready, or (b) how about taking the whole caboodle for one number and "guest-editing it". See what YOU can do with the thing (within reason). In either case I will supply addressed labels all ready, and all subscribers will get all issues naturally. Expences paid ~at this end too, so what are you waiting for? About 190 copies needed, Please form a queue to the left.....

- - New Year cards just received from ForryMorojo, Jack Speer and Slan Shack - -

A later bulletin from John M Cunningham is to the effect that he has added up the amount of unfulfilled subscriptions and finds they approximate to under 20 dollars; and of that more than half was due to Ken Johnson, ((unreadable))

The American branch of Penguin Books are going to issue a pocketbook of super-natural fantasy fiction at 25c, and have asked for "Mimsy Were the Brorgroves", outstanding yarn by Lewis Padgett-Henry Kuttner-Paul Edmonds.

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PUBLICATIONS

New British fan magazine to make its appearance recently is GEMINI, put out by Ron Lane, 22 Beresford Road, Manchester. The issues are a little involved; issue the first being all ready except for its cover which was to be a lino block cut, and was farmed out for actual execution. Meanwhile Ron, in fear of an almost immediate call-up, hastily prepared and published a second issue, which appeared in early February. Since then a third (second?) issue has been practically finished and should be out about the same time as this Fido. This latest issue is a tremendous improvement on the first published, in style, quality and format. Contents include an essay on Weinbaum bu Arthur Hillman, Ann Gardiner on education, the new "Sixth Column" by the "Pink Lensman", a letter section, and a photograph taken at the Manchester New Year convention.

Another new publication is "Transactions of the Cosmos Club", edited for that society by Gordon L Holbrow, 1 Pound Lane, Epsom, the purpose of which is to print articles of a more serious nature than appear in any of the club's other publications. It is hoped that these articles will be by authors who can speak with some authority on the subjects they have chosen. The first subject that has been chosen is 'The Future of Civilisation' and three papers read at a symposium held on February 19th are printed in the Spring 1944 edition. They are "The Future of Photography" by G.L.Holbrow, "The Future of Mechanical Engineering" by D.R.Smith and "The Future of Literature" which was given by Frank Parker. All three papers are competent and authoratative, setting up a high standard in this new type of fan endeavour. I hope that more such papers will appear in the future, especially the one read by Harry Kay at the same meeting on "The Future of Medicine".

Still being prepared, produced, and circulated by Arthur F. Williams (11 Kenbury St, Camberwell, SE5) is TRENDS, the fourth edition of which is now en voyage around Anglofandom. This is a one copy 'zine tastefully prepared and unique in style, including numbers of photographs and cuttings and plentifully bespattered with our Arfers cute little pictures and remarks. Included in this fourth issue are clippings on jet propulsion, and the fantasy field from a writers viewpoint, hydroponics and an excerpted review of the novel "Storm" by George Stewart, of which the hero is a meteorological disturbance; sundry fanfotos; a pictorial section; and all sorts of oddments.

BRIC-A-BRAC

Latest oddments and items just to finish off this ish of Fido: Ron Lane has received his calling up papers, and now that he has successfully qualified as a chemist, Mr Bevin gives him the opportunity to become the first fan coal-miner. Yes, Ron goes down the pit and is he happy . . . Can anyone assist S/Sgt Malcolm M. Ferguson with the US Army in England. He is particularly anxious to obtain "Madam Crowl's Ghost" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, actually for the collection of August Derleth. Besides this Malcolm would like information about E.E.Spright and GG Pendarves . . . BFS members who receive their copies of the April Bulletin with this Fido will discover that it's printed on the reverse of a photo montage which formed the front cover of the latest "Voice of the Imagi-Nation". The upper part is a still from the old scienti-film "Just Imagine", and the lower comes from "Deluge", joined together (why?) by Forry himself in uniform . . . your editor would like to apologise to those correspondents he finds it so difficult to answer in reasonable time. At the moment, in spite of my best efforts I have unanswered letters from the following on hand: Edwin Macdonald, Frank Arnold, Terry Overton, Rubin Abramowitz, Frank Parker, Arthur Busby, Roland Forster, Bob Gibson, Jessie Walker, Paul Searles, Len Moffat, Arthur Hillman, Norman Lamb, Peter Knott, Duane Rimel, P.W.Clark, J.M.Cunnigham, Andy Anderson,Langley Searles and Walt Dunkelberger. This weekend will, I hope see the amount lessened.

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BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY........................... ................................................................14th March 1944

BULLETIN No.15

New Members

Allan, Kenneth, 145 Shanklin Drive, Leicester (95); Gompertz, Teddington (96); & Lane, Joan, 22 Beresford Road, Longsight, Manchester 13 (94) (Full details of Mr Gompertz's initials and address are not available at the moment, but will be given in the next issue of the Bulletin.)

Is good. Is not so good that two of our members, Messrs Ron Lane and Arthur Williams, have resigned from the Society for reasons unknown.

Magazine Mart

This new venture, announced with the last Bulletin, has had the usual splendid start the members of the BFS give to new enterprises. According to the latest information from Walter Norcott two members have written, both of them wanting magazines dated during the last three or four years and neither having anything to offer for disposal. (To be quite fair - this excepts the fact that I have offered a number of mags for disposal.) It becomes immediately obvious that we are not going to have much of a success at this rate, but we will keep trying to oblige. The facilities are there for those who want to use them.

The following magazines are wanted by Walter Norcott personally.

Amazing Stories. June 1941 & Sept 1943 (Up to 5/6 per copy offered or will swap Weird Tales dated up to Jan '44).
Thrilling Wonder Stories. April, June, July, Oct, Nov, Dec, 1940. Jan, Feb, March, April, May-June 1941
Startling Stories. April, June, August, Oct, Dec, 1940. All six 1941. Jan. 1942. All except March, 1943.

The address is Walter Norcott, 41 St. John's Worcester.

Weird Section.

Owing to the call-up of Terry Overton the government of this has passed into the hands of Mr A. F. Hillman, 100 Corporation Road, Newport, Monmouthshire, to whom all enquiries should be addressed. Please note that Mr Overton's home address is now 107 Thomas Street, Abertridwr, Caerphilly, Glamorganshire. On behalf of us all I take this opportunity to wish him well in his new career.

Advisory Board.

No new volunteers for this have appeared, and of the original gallant three one, as announced above, has been temporarily, at least, lost to us. The Executive Committee is considering the possibility of revising the constitution of this body in order to make the scanty supply of officials go round.

Executive Committee

It is becoming increasingly evident to the Director and Secretary of this Society that they are not able to pay sufficient attention to the needs of the Society, and that it is suffering in consequence. The obvious solution is the transfer of these offices to persons with sufficient time to devote to them to make a success of the Society, and we would be very glad to hear of either volunteers or nominations for these posts. We would, in fact, welcome any suggestion for overcoming this difficulty, or for improving the working of the Society in general.

D.R.Smith

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Notes-

1) For those puzzled by the use of "Itma" on p.2 & 8, ITMA (It's That Man Again) was a wildly popular WWII radio comedy show.

2) BFS BULLETIN supplied by Robert Lichtman.

3) Having spotted a number of errors in the Cabell piece in this issue, Dave Langford has kindly supplied his own bibliographic notes - no point perpetuating errors, after all. Those interested in the matter will find them here.

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