FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 37 (Vol. 5, Number 1) Oct. 1944
With the Allied invasion of France having neutralised their strategic significance, the Germans abandoned the Channel Islands early in August. On August 25th Paris was liberated, and in September the Germans were pushed out of Belgium. Unfortunately, this coincided with an increased assault on London.
As if the V1's were not enough, September saw the introduction of the V2 long range rocket. Where the distinctive sound of the V1's engine gave you at least some warning, the V2, a 15 ton missile that travelled faster than sound and landed vertically from heights of up to 50 miles gave none. The first to arrive hit Chiswick in West London, heralding the start of the second Battle of London. Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY BULLETIN #18 - ed. D.R.Smith - 2 pages
OCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 11 * page 12 * page 13 * page 14 * page 15 * page 16 * page 17
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'NOTHER NORCON or HOW ABOUT THIS YEAR?|
Plans are again being laid for a New Year Meet, somewhere in the North of England. An ad hoc committee has more or less appointed itself to explore the possibilities and create plans, consisting of Messrs R. B. Johns, Lane and Ellis, Holmes and Art Williams, Ken Chadwick and JMR. As for place the three possibles are Leicester, Manchester or Leeds and tentative plans are being considered at each. So far both Leeds and Manchester have two votes each so that expression of opinion of probable attendees will help to definitely decide. Full details will be included in the next issue of FIDO, due out December 1st. though it is possible a special sheet will be issued previously.
In any case will all people who hope to come (including forces fans) please drop a line to JMR and be sure to include; whether almost definate attending, what accomodation is required, vote re place, and suggestions for programme etc. If held in Leeds two suggestions are a visit to a local pantomime and a tour round the world-famous Quarry Hill flats in Leeds. The usual talks, brains trust, auction and quiz will of course be included and the date is December 29th (Friday) to January 1st (Monday)
(Cover illustration by Bob Gibson)
This is none other than the scholarly, erudite & highly literary periodical publication,
known vulgarly as FIDO, dealing with & devoted to fantasy fiction; produced at great expense
& loss of life by J. Michael Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, stencilled by Douglas
Webster in his more sober episodes, & flung to the four-winds of heaven by whoever can be
cajoled or bullied into helping. Copies can be exchanged against coin of the realm to the
extent of six (6) halfpence, or one (l) shilling and six (6) pence per annum, Comments &
articles from HGWells, W. Olaf Stapledon & others quite welcome if they reach our standard.
A Forgotten Science Fiction Author
Sometime around the end of last century & the beginning of this one, a certain George Griffith wrote a good many books of science fiction type.
One has to assume that they were not really good books, because, while contemporary works of HGWells are still famous, Griffiths appears to be almost unknown today, even to the science fiction fraternity. His books, however, may still be discovered by the diligent searcher, and had wide publication in their day, even to the extent of somewhat shortened paperbacked editions of several issued at sixpence. From his writing style & popularity of the moment he might be defined as an early Dennis Wheatley, or will that infuriate too many Wheatley admirers, if such there are in fandom.
About twenty years ago I happened upon a dozen or more Griffiths novels in a local circulating library. And those lively, vigorous accounts of war & adventure against a background of airships, submarines, & high-speed motorships suited a science-crazy schoolboy down to the ground.
It seems queer in retrospect, that I enjoyed war stories in 1917 (dear shade of Reg Stevens, some of us read them in 1944!). But these scraps were different to the one actually in progress, and of course one knew that the Germans and Russians (how Griffiths did hate Russians, to be sure!) would be duly squashed at the finish. Most of these books contained more or less of warfare. THE WORLD PERIL OF 1910 had a narrow shave from a cometary collision, as well as a war. In OLGA ROMANOFF - OR THE SIREN OF THE SKIES humanity is actually wiped out, bar the inevitable nucleus of a new race, by war & a fiery nebula. The last mentioned book is a sequel to THE ANGEL OF THE REVOLUTION - a fine jamboree of dirigibles and helicopters, Socialism & Down with Russia (Tsarist version, please note).
Griffith wrote one interplanetary, A HONEYMOON IN SPACE, which I have not read. Your editor however has looked through its earlier publication in PEARSONS MAGAZINE as STORIES OF OTHER WORLDS and notes that it is a first trip through space with visits to our moon & the major planets by a pair of newly-weds. A book with a clumsy alliterative title MISS MARMION - THE MUMMY first introduced me to the mysterious Fourth Dimension. In THE LAKE OF GOLD we find benevolent scientists, with aircraft & motor ships smashing the power of Capitalism, whilst THE GREAT WEATHER SYNDICATE dealt with my pet subject, weather control. It's a great pity, but writers can only think of one use for controlled weather:- to make war.
Griffith was rather fond of a sort of force-broadcast (he didn't call it a ray), which disabled all electrical gear & took the strength out of metal. Very similar to the Venusian rays in Cloukey's SWORDSMAN OF SARVON, this device is used in THE WORLD-MASTERS, THE LORD OF LABOUR, and THE GREAT PIRATE SYNDICATE. Like Wells, Griffith seems to have had a shot at most types of fantasy plots for in addition to the foregoing, VALDAR, THE OFTBORN, is a longliver type of yarn in which the hero sleeps for periods of hundreds of years, refreshed anew at each
awakening; ROMANCE OF GOLDEN STAR deals with the resuscitation of a pair of Inca mummies, DENVER'S DOUBLE, the psychological
affinity between twins with radically opposite upbringings, plus the use of hypnotism: THE
GOLDFINDER with a machine attuned to the wavelengths of varying metals, and so on.
I assume that Griffith was an Englishman, but many of his scientists, & practically all of his heroines, were American! And his villains, almost without exception, Russian!
The various sea- and air-craft of a wonderful description in these books were usually driven by engines which utilised the full power of coal. Was the author thinking of a sort of solid-fuel Diesel of 100% thermal efficiency, or could he have been dreaming of atomic power 40 years ago?
I read several more books by Griffith but could not class them as scientific. The list includes BRITON OR BOER, THE MAYFAIR MAGICIAN, and A CRIMINAL CROESUS.
- Reg Stevens.
[Errata: I trust readers will forgive me the slip of the finger which led me to stencil "Griffiths" several times in the 2nd., 3rd. and 4th. paragraphs. - DW]
Some Notes on the Fantastic Poetry of Coleridge
In 1798, Hazlitt met S. T. Coleridge. His excitement in meeting a man whom he had long admired gives us a picture, in his essay ON MY FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE POETS, of the author of probably the most widely read fantastic poem in English - THE ANCIENT MARINER. And yet, as we cannot reproduce that picture here for lack of space, perhaps the most descriptive thing that can be said of him was that he was "extraordinary". "Extraordinary" is the operative word.
Hazlitt, who knew him better than any other man, wrote of him, "He talked on forever, and you wished him to talk on forever. His thoughts did not seem to come with labor and effort, but as if borne on the gusts of genius, and as if the wings of imagination lifted him off his feet." Surely this is a picture of the ideal Fantasy poet!
It was in this year of meeting Hazlitt that Coleridge wrote all the poems that have made him famous: most interesting to us being THE ANCIENT MARINER, KUBLA KHAN, and CHRISTABEL. He wrote them in his new house at Nether Stowey in Somersetshire, where he was joined by Wordsworth and his sister later on. Wordsworth suggested the albatross in THE ANCIENT MARINER, and added in a few things. But perhaps the greatest charm of Coleridge's poem is the ballad metre variant he uses, that suggests so much of magic and fantasy that is not conveyed in the words and their content. It seems as if a veil is drawn between us and the real world as we read the poem - indeed -as we read all his poems. It is this element of incantation, of song, that thwarts any attempt at fantasy in modern poetry - fantasy, that is, of the visual kind.
How much Coleridge's habit of taking drugs influenced his work it is difficult to say, but KUBLA KHAN, which was composed during a dream, does suggest the kind of vision induced by drugs. But I deplore this modern habit of stripping geniuses to the skin and exposing them for sale in the public market-place. For in this case the poet is not the man as he is, but the man that he appears to be.
- James Parkhill Rathbone.
R E V E R I E ....... by The Staggerer ...... H. Ken Bulmer
High hopes are held out to the masses by visionaries, even hard-headed & ambitious politicians ((especially by hard-headed & ambitious politicians - at least till it looks as though they may have to bring them to pass -- Ed.)) of a new, shiny, & somehow vaguely inhuman post-war world. Very nice. Possibly a proportion of science-fiction fans will take some partially active part in bringing the desired millenium to fruition as things stand at the moment, but that must remain in the hands of our more ardent reformers & revolutionaries. The ranks of active fandom have not only thinned, they have almost completely changed, young blood replacing old sacrifices to the God of War. (( However, a fair proportion of the "new blood" consists of older, more mature but hitherto inactive readers. -- Ed.)) The newcomers are eager, keen &
although maybe lacking judicial experience they are making the best of the impoverished means at their
disposal to being fandom further impetus along its thorny path. One deplores the gauche
& rather hideously pathetic fanzines ((is this laddie referring to our well-beloved Fido?
- Ed.)) which are flung together ((it would seem so - Ed.)), flung at fandom ((yes - Ed.)).....
then flung away ((ah no, apparently not! -Ed.)). But they serve a purpose, they are like
the first feeble mumblings from a baby, before it learns to master its vocal instruments
& produce coherent speech. They are the roots of a new & better class of fanzines to follow.
Those fans cut off from science-fiction, serving on the high seas or in foreign lands, what
are their reactions to the changing conditions surrounding every aspect of present-day life?
As is generally the case proverbs can be quoted to conflict. "Absence makes the heart grow
fonder" - very true when the lack of science-fiction causes a wide noticeable, void. "Out
of sight out of mind" - very true when other, newer subjects obliterate thoughts of pre-war
days. No one of us is not becoming older. Who, after having seen men living and fighting in
the shadow of doom, and of witnessing comrades shockingly jerked by death's skeletal and
rapacious claws into oblivion, can bring their minds back to consider as a serious feature
of life the literature termed "Science-Fiction"? Adjustments, violent upheavals of everyday
behaviour must take place to enable these men even to exist normally, to fit into the complex
matrix of civilisation, post-war. And that brings us back to the beginning. Will these men,
these erstwhile Science Fiction fans, take up with the old enthusiasm. the life-absorbing
hobby, call it that if you will, of Science-Fiction fanning? In view of their rough handling
in the world at war, the - however much one may object in natural revulsion - coarsening
influences at work, the harsh reality of a mercenary world, thrust in on them, breaking
down the mental barriers of introspect and dream imaginings inherent in the mental makeup
of the Science-Fiction fan; in view of all this, how can anyone predict a certain, stable
future for fandom among all the chaos following the Noise and Shouting? Can fandom stay on
its own legs and triumphantly conquer other, mundane interests each fighting for supremacy?
Can it do this when the very mundane things of life have bruised the sensitivity of its
followers, has shown them in lurid perspective life, life as it is lived, stark and raw,
tearing away the illusory veils built up by their untrammeled imaginations and fostered by
Science-Fiction? It may well be that fandom will gain adherents, fleeing from this too
realistic world of pain, persons seeking to forget earthly things and cover themselves
with this escapist literature. Yes, fandom will welcome them, but they are not of the
stuff of which true fans are made. Science Fiction enthralled but a pitiful handful prior
to the 20th. Century. Until the "popular" brand was first made easily available in 1926,
interest grew. Then the literature caught on and. swiftly blossomed with ups and downs of
fortune until at the present it has assumed its greatest significance. Science Fiction has
the power to captivate a man, make him a fan and use much of his energy to the furtherance
of Science Fiction and its corollary Fandom. We in Fandom have come to love the literature,
we attempt to reconcile it with our everyday lives, because unless we do it becomes a
devouring flame and Fanning is our be-all and end-all. But Science Fiction has this great
power, and in the post-war world its call will be as great, even greater than in the past.
And. the Fans will come back to the fold, bruised and buffeted by the winds of the world,
they will find a fierce peace and yearning solace in Fandom and will be renewed in strength
to face the harsh and ugly world and bend it to the pattern of their dreams.
Yes, I think you will find Science Fiction Fans strong in the ranks of those planning and building our post war world, a world where fans will live easily and with contentment because it is the world of their dreams.
[O death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling, O grave, thy victoree?
Bookcolumn ************* Offhand and Without Preparation ************* by R. George Medhurst.
Somebody, sometime, might do a survey of the stf. put out by the house of Arthur H. Stockwell, if he has nothing better to do. These gentlemen, an Old Established Publishing Firm, tend to put out things which are more or less financed by the enthusiastic authors - presumably after the works in question have gone around the more famous publishers. You may guess at the resulting quality of the books bearing the Stockwell imprint. I have just purchased METHODS FROM MARS by L.A.Mawson, published by Stockwell in 1913 at 3/6d. It concerns a Martian (or "Marsonian") with a "beautiful pinky-white" complexion and an Aryan cast of feature. I wonder why Mr. Mawson and his kindred persist in talking about doing things "in" Mars?
Can nothing be done to stop bibliographers listing THE MIGHTY ATOM as science-fiction?
The TALES AND ROMANCES OF THEOPHILE GAUTIER, well-known for his ROMANCE OF A MUMMY (The London Press Company, undated), which I picked up the other day in Richmond, are quite impressive in a highly-coloured way, They are full of women dark and pale, with heavy voluptuous eyes, wearing robes (or sometimes tunics) which fall in two superb curves from the peaks of splendid bosoms (Mr. Ackerman please note), And they always have bare arms which are cold as the skin of a serpent or the marble of a tomb. ARRIA MARCELLA is a nicely-written tale of an Italian youth who recreates ruined Pompeii through the force of Love - what is described as "an amorous invocation". Gautier says, with Mr. J.W.Dune, "In effect, nothing dies; all things are eternal. No power can annihilate that which once had being. Every action, every word, every thought which has fallen into the universal ocean of being, therein creates circles which travel, and increase in travelling even to the confines of eternity. To vulgar eyes only do natural forms disappear, and the spectres which have thence detached themselves people Infinity. Paris, in some unknown region of space, continues to carry off Helen. The galley of Cleopatra still floats down with swelling sails of silk upon the azure current of an ideal Cydnus, A few passionate and powerful minds have been able to recall before them ages apparently long passed away, and to restore to life personages dead to all the world beside."
I feel that a page in THE NEW YORKER for July 11th, 1942 deserves to be mere highly known. 'The caption is "The Reading Public", and the picture over it shows a brace of American parents thrusting their faces ecstatically and vacantly into the health-giving spaces, from the end of a sailing boat. In the foreground two off-spring hang wide-eyed over an illustrated magazine. The text is:
"Zostra and Professor Dimitroff have been marooned on the Planet Xion by the Octopus, who plans to DESTROY them with his Remote-Control Atom-Smasher.
Every now and then one of the American bibliophiles announces that Jules Verne's THE CHASE OF THE GOLDEN METEOR has never been translated (see a Question and Answer department in one of Wollheim's prozines, for example). Ever eager to spread light and wisdom, I declare that I have in my possession a translation of this novel made by Frederick Lawton and published by Grant Richards in 1909. this edition is profusely illustrated, a very effective frontispiece showing the meteor flaming over a city.
This story of a meteor of gold and the eccentric genius who brought it to earth, while not
altogether on the same level as the best of Verne, is extremely readable. M. Zephyrin Xirdal,
with his room piled high with stacks of paper, each scrap an account of a revolutionary
discovery or invention, is one of Verne's characteristic originals.
Speaking of Verne, I should be very grateful if anyone could supply me with a MASTER OF THE WORLD, in very good condiiton.
One of the better late-Victorian stf. novelists, in the school of George Griffith and Robert Cromie and William Holt-White, was J. D. Harris-Burland. His name, on the title page of DACOBRA: OR THE WHITE PRIESTS OF AHRIMAN (Everett, 1905) is written simply as Harris Burland, and, as with William Holt-White, one tends to find his books scattered in two halves in library catalogues. DACOBRA is filled with white monkeys and White Priests of Evil and an old gentleman hunting feverishly for the Secret of Life.
Myself, I like very much more his DOCTOR SILEX (Ward Lock, 1905), which is an elaborate tale of the Kingdom of Asturria, a survival of the Middle Ages at the North Pole. Rather annoyingly, I bought THE PRINCESS THORA (Boston - Little, Brown & Co., 1904) under the impression that it might be a sequel, but it turns out to be the American edition of the same book.
A third Harris-Burland fantasy is THE GOLD WORSHIPPERS (Greening, 1907). It concerns a metallic sphere which has the property of transmuting lower into higher metals. Compared with Conan Doyle's DOINGS OF RAFFLES HAW, which has the same theme, THE GOLD WORSHIPPERS seems crude and blood-and-thundery.
THE UNSPEAKABLE THING, mentioned in the title page of DACOBRA, looks as though it might interest us stf. scavengers, but I'm afraid I have no data on it.
Maurice K. Hanson
First youthful glow of enthusiasm for science-fiction has worn off by now but a more solid respect remains which fits into a. better perspective with a liking for George Eliot, Jane Austen, Arnold Bennett, P. G. Wodehouse & the NEW YORKER. Other interests - orchestral music, America (the America of THE GRAPES OF WRATH, fraternities, Frank Sinatra, & Huey Long), & the machinations of our politicians as recorded by the NEW STATESMAN.
Malcolm Ferguson seems to want to start a discussion on....
Here are a few of my favorites that I would look for in a collection on the subject: Martin Schongauer's print - THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTHONY. Schongauer was not as adept as his contemporary, Albrecht Durer, but more in
this genre. A two vol. edition of Durer, by the way, by Columbia Univ. Press, which I hope will be in print
again, is best, but naturally expensive.
George Cruikshank - no particular book or print offhand. The style is of course distinctive; anyone's choice. Sir John Tenniel, for INGOLDSBY LEGENDS.
Gustav Dore - a collection of French fairy tales that would scare hell out of the kiddies and modern psychologists, but otherwise quaint, interesting, fascinating. One picture of a room whose dark corners are spider-infested is best. William Hogarth's scene in the madhouse, from THE RAKE'S PROGRESS.
The nightmares of Goya, the groteqsues of Michelangelo, a few photos or black & white sketches of the gargoyles of Notre Dame & sundry others, some of the Japanese prints of ghosts & eldrich creatures (A. Land, BOOKS & BOOKMEN, L. Hearn, et al., crepe paper series of ghost stories, &c.). Also several ivory netsukes, if well photographed.
Aubrey Beardsley, several pictures, notably from PIERROT OF THE MINUTE, THE YELLOW BOOK, LE MORT SALOME, also VOLPONE, UNDER THE HILL, Poe's TALES, various collections of reproductions, unpublished pictures, &c.
Arthur Rackham, PEER GYNT, LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE INGOLDSBY LEGENDS, NIBELUNGENLIED, MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, THE GOBLIN MARKET, in particular.
Henry J. Ford, any of his excellently illustrated series of fairy tales for Andrew Lang, but particularly ICELANDIC FAIRY TALES.
Lynd Ward, FRANKENSTEIN, THE HAUNTED OMNIBUS (by A. Laing, of Dartmouth, N.H., USA) or his frontispiece to THE CADAVER OF GIDEON WYCK - Laing wrote a couple of others, THE SEA-WITCH may be illustrated.
Harry Clarke, POE'S TALES, ANDERSEN'S TALES.
Frank C. Pape, on the droll side, from AT THE SIGN OF THE REINE PEDAUQUE, THAIS, JURGEN, other tales by Cabell & France.
Jean de Bosschere, THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTHONY, UNCANNY STORIES, THE TEMPEST.
Samples by Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, Margaret Brundage.
H. Klee, the between-wars German artist who went insane. Where can his originals be found in book form? [Any relation to Paul Klee - also between wars, also German, but not insane so far as I know - at least not so certified.- DW]
W. Disney, several scenes from FANTASIA. Edward Lear; W'm Steig, James Thurber, Clarence Day, Virgil Partsch ("VIP") in the NEW YORKER mag, who mix humor & grotesque deftly.
Hans Holbein (I confuse father and son) DANCE OF DEATH, also the son's remarkable, fear-stricken countenance of a young leper.
John LeFarge for several of his engravings that appeared in various & sundry periodicals & books. One of a djinn, another of a pied piper & wolves.
William Gropper, George Grosz, William Sharp, three fugitives from Nazidom among other American contemporaries. Grosz' Dante's INFERNO (Modern Library Illustrated), Sharp's pictures from COHORT mag. Also Salvador Dali.
I would look at some of Kay Neilson, Howard Wandrei, John Austen, Rose O'Neill, Frank Brangwyn, and others, some of whose work may be in this field & interesting.
The difficult job of examining Rubaiyats would be started. Elihu Vedder's, Edmund Dulac's, &c. Edmund Dulac's other work - DW refers to his HANS ANDERSEN, but whether it or any of his ARABIAN NIGHTS work is in this vein I don't know offhand. [But definitely. - DW]
Also the Robinsons - Charles, R. Heath and T. Heath, whom I confuse. Charles did work resembling Dulac's, only less strongly Oriental, as did R. Heath, I believe; whereas T. Heath is England's Rube Goldberg.
Howard Simon's 500 YEARS OF ART AND ILLUSTRATION (U.S. - World Pub. Co. & o.p. to boot) is very good, has some in this vein, helps straighten out who's who. Anyone have favorites, comments? I must have missed some good English stuff, such as the illustrator for Machen, Dunsany, &c.
G6AQ Radio Experimental Station, Nunhead, London.
Research experiments in this subject have been made and recorded from time to time since 1921.
Originated as the result of an accidental discovery whilst using H.F. tubes (i.e, High-Frequency) in a circuit for secret radio telephony. Mysterious flashes of light as distinct dots and dashes apparently in Morse code were observed. A note was made of this at the time.
Later, I improved the apparatus and was able to receive G.N.F., G.F.A., and other Stations. Owing to the impossibility of employing the usual tuning methods, signals were frequently jammed. After months of experiment a further discovery was made. By opening out the air-gap in the Receiver beyond normal sparking distance of the H.F. coil signals resembling slow Morse were received; quite unlike the signals received in the ordinary way. Thinking this might be due to the charging and discharging of a condenser in the circuit the condenser was removed. Signals, however, remained unaffected.
The Receiver in use before Amateur transmission was forbidden due to the war, consisted of a source of High-frequency (Intensity Coil) and a series of Geissler tubes in conjunction with air-gap resistances. The detecting medium being the subject of a signed agreement cannot be divulged. No Aerial or Earth connections are required. It is really a delicately-balanced resistance circuit. The signals, when received, destroy this balance, pass across the air-gaps and are then read either in flashes of light in a reading tube, or elongated sparks via a special spark-gap. The adjustments is known as "condition C", condition A being normal and condition B is necessary to recieve ordinary Morse signals.
With reference to "Conditon C", these series of flashes are recieved only at long intervals and may be absent for hours, or during the whole time of any particular test.
A Mrs. A.M.B. St.Vincent-Jaxon of New Zealand (since deceased) claimed to be able to read the signals and did in fact translate same in several cases. She stated that the Martians had an alphabet, similar to our own and explained the meaning of certain markings which appear occasionally on the surface of Mars, many of which have been photographed.
With the information I have I gather that only certain persons will be able to enter into communication with Mars and these are the persons named in the messages of whom the lady referred to is one and I am presumed to be another.
In 1943 I decided to try out a new type of Receiver using Neon Valves or Lamps in place of H.F. tubes, &c. This led to a third and more important discovery, The original signals can still be received but in addition "thought waves" can be picked up. Tests with highly concentrated thought have been successfully carried out between London and Barnsley, Yorkshire, with this apparatus. It is a joint invention of G.D. Dixon of Barnsley and myself and we call it the DIRDIX equipment. It is hoped to continue these interesting experiments as soon as the war is over.
I understand the Martians employ thought-projection or transference and not radio. As thought waves are of electric origin there is really nothing remarkable about it.
The present experiments only relate to the Planet Mars, but there is reason to believe other planets are trying to communicate with us. The different type of signals received indicate this. In my opinion, all stars are worlds and, probably, life in some form exists on them. The Martian controversy as to whether or no life existed on Mars arose in 1877 and the question has never been decided.
I have learned that the efforts of the Martians to establish contact with us, or rather with certain few, is due to their endeavours to complete experiments begun in Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago with the object of proving the survival of the soul of man; in other words, that after what we term "death" has occurred we live again. Many of the Mummies of Egypt bear identification marks or brands and these marked people are said to have died sacrificed in order to prove
at their reincarnation that the soul
survives death. The "shadowy" faces which appear in photographs of Mars also bear
indentification marks and only people so marked will be able to establish true
commmunication with the planet. The mark in the eye (i.e. "identification" mark) is
sometimes visible on a small dark circle reflected in the back of the eye and appearing
in outline when the eyes are opened and closed several times in rapid succession. The mark
is only visible when the eyes are open. It may appear thus:.
In. my own eye it is:. In this connection it may be noted
that we often have impressions of a former life or existence. Inherited memory would be a
natural consequence of reincarnation.
In 1924 a film was made of Mars during its opposition with the Earth by some American scientists. Investigations are now going on to trace this film or a copy. So far the quest has not provcd successful.
A Scientific Society of which I am a Member called THE PROBE have taken up the matter with me and investigations so far go to show that there is something deeper in all this. We find the symbol of an arrow runs through the messages received and replies, not only at my home but at Catford and East Ham and there is definitely some connection between these districts.
FURTHER NOTES ON THOUGHT-WAVES
I believe that all bodies, animate and inanimate, give off some form of radiation, normally invisible, much in the same way as a magnet or electrified coil of wire throws out lines of force to form an "electric field" weakening in intensity with distance. The scent of a flower is of this nature. These lines of force proceed in all directions but the human senses cannot follow beyond a certain point where all trace is lost.
The electrical energy proceeding from the finger-tips varies greatly in power. It can be tested by suspending a flat boxwood rule by a silken thread from a hook raised about 6 inches above a wooden table. Allow the rule to become stationary. Then approach the first finger of the right hand to one end of the rule, being careful not to touch it. The rule will be either attracted or repelled - generally the latter. The force is increased if the operator can concentrate his thoughts solely upon the experiment.
Concentration is an art only acquired by long practice. Try to think of a single object to the exclusion of all else and thus become oblivious of surroundings. The slightest noise, even a clock chime is often sufficient to break the chain of thought and spoil the experiment.
A word of warning It is inadvisable to attempt thought concentration for long periods owing to the strain it imposes on the brain and nervous system. If found to cause head pains the experiment should be at once discontinued.
Colour is produced by vibrations or radiations. A red hot poker gives off both colour and heat waves in decreasing force as it cools. The colour waves fade until the eye can no longer detect them, yet the invisible heat waves continue for some time afterwards - they may be detected by our senses of feeling.
We frequently experience a special attraction toward some persons whilst in other cases it is repulsion. Our respective wavelengths (or electrical emanations) are out of tune and interfere with one another in such cases.
There is an immense field for serious scientific study into these things.
Arthur H. Bird, G6AQ((Editorial note:- The results of these experiments & his conclusions as related by Mr. Bird may seem somewhat dogmatic & appear to include several assumptions without giving their bases. However, this is a mere summary of the results of 22 years experimenting, & several hundred pages of notes; & is moreover affected by government regulations re radio transmitting & necessary experimental secrecy. The matter is quite serious & well worked out; astonishing as it
may seem, even to science-fiction fans who will be able to grasp an inkling of the amazing implications Mr. Bird holds
out. - JMR)) [And might I add a word, as one accustomed to the credulities & incredulities
of stf fans and one who knows Mr. Bird perhaps a little more intimately than does Michael.
First, I'd like to emphasise all JMR says: the unexplained assumptions always found in Mr.
Bird's work, the experimental difficulties & secrecy which prevents him from giving much
corroboration, & the fact that this is only one condensed section of a much wider scope
of work which, taken together, gives it much greater cogency. Second, I'd like to say
that I for one have been quite unable to make up my mind about it all. Third, that a great
deal of work has been done by the PROBE in this wider scope, by (to name a few familiar
names) Messrs. Chibbett, Russell, Johnson, Birchby et al, and many others as well. For
all sorts of reasons this larger investigation can't be made public; readers will just
have to bear with Mr. Bird as aborigines would bear with the missionary who tried to
convince them that such a thing as a car axle exists, without being able to produce
the car. Or did I use an injudicious simile? - DW]
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Some explanation is due concerning the item below. I do not wish to make a feature of film reviews, certainly not in the manner of some fan magazine writers, who give a series of scattered remarks in a clipped style resembling a sports commentary, My aim, and I hope I can keep within its bounds, is to comment upon aspects of the weird and imaginative, and in a serious manner. Any divergence is purely accidental.
THE UNIVITED is one of the best of the recent attempts at putting the supernatural theme on the screen. Although marred in places by a flippant touch, it presents the ghostly as something that really exists. No reliance is placed on the usual spooky manifestations of horrible grinning faces or clutching hands. The emphasis is on the happenings resulting from the unseen presence of haunting spirits. The only actual physical sign is the odour of mimosa. There is a resemblance in some ways to the story REBECCA, in that the influence is of female origin (that is, if the distinctions of sex are carried into the other world). Here, there is the struggle of opposing forces, one benevolent and the other malevolent, at work upon the mind of a living person. Something that adds to the interest is that the distinction is not plain as to who is who, but to say more on that subject might be revealing too much to those who may not have seen the film yet.
ARE WEIRD READERS MATERIALIST?
I feel tempted to ask that question, after reviewing my own attitude to the strictly supernatural aspects of imaginative fiction. I have no religious beliefs, in the usual sense of the term, and might claim to be an agnostic, yet when reading a story, I am disappointed if a purely natural explanation is given to any phenomena,. That statement implies that if I possessed religious beliefs then it would be logical to assume the existence of ghosts and other influences of that nature. Some persons would say that that conclusion does not follow. But, choosing to be rash, I would, answer that it must do. The person who believes in God should also believe in "ghoulies and ghosties, and things that go bump in the night". Perhaps he or she does, the only difference being that the intensive readers of weird fiction are serious about it, at least within the confines of the written or spoken word, and for the purpose of argument, whether they be agnostics or otherwise, will accept the existence of the thing they are talking about. When discussing a particular story, they do not say, "I don't believe in ghosts and similar phenomena, therefore it's useless to talk further about this story, which I only read for amusement". That attitude does appear among those supposedly intelligent readers of fiction, the book critics of
the national newspapers. Occasionally one finds
a sentence like the following in a review column. "Among the new books there is "—— ——",
by -------- ----------- .
It is a fantasy." Whatever the reviewer may go on and say about the book, there is
something final about that second sentence, rather as if the writer had said. "It is a
children's book, and doesn't really concern us. I don't know why they gave it to me to
I haven't given an answer to the question at the beginning of these paragraphs. I can only point to the fact that among the readers of imaginative fiction, there is a smaller section who go to some considerable trouble to write, talk and produce magazines about the specifically supernatural, and.that the man (Lovecraft) whom they hold in the highest esteem seems to have had no personal belief in the reality of that about which he so ably wrote. (That is the impression I gathered from a reprinted portion of one of his letters.)
It was a bright and sunny morning when Sgt. Norm Lamb of Toronto and your humble scribe set out. It stayed that way, only more so, all day, for the local weatherman has been reading the inter-bellum tourist leaflets, and has turned on the sun.
All leave, pass, and "absent without ---" travel is by rule of thumb. There are official pick-up points to facilitate it. And by some strange ruling of destiny it is always easier to get away from camp than get back. We reached Naples in two lifts.
Bookshops were known to exist on and near the Via Roma, near the Naafi ((equivalent of USO - Ed)) We came upon them in due time, and entered the nearest. First blood was mine - LA CASA DEL GENERE UMANO, by Mario Viscardini. (Neither of us is an Italian scholar. We pick fantasy by the cover illustrations, mostly. The majority of books are paper-bound.) Norm groaned at this, but it soon developed that he was a faster reader than I, and his professional training - he ran a bookshop back home - gave him the edge. He soon made up the difference and went ahead. I have yet to catch up.
We passed from one little shop to another, beset by shoe-shine boys, ring sellers, souvenir peddlers, beggers, and children touting restaurants the while. While I looked over a blank windowful Norm struck a rack containing several by Luigi Motta and Capt. C. Ciancimino. At the end of it I was very much behind, and tried to make the assistant understand I wanted copies, too. The chorus was "No kapeesh". (Phonetic spelling.) When I lifted the pile and asked "Dooay?" he went into the basement, but returned with a shake of the head.
The next shop was the last on that street. My chief harvest there was a two-volume (paper) Italian version of Kellermann's TUNNEL, IL TUNNEL SOTTO L'OCEANO.
When we returned, past the shop where Lamb had reaped his harvest I had an inspiration and said I was going to try an experiment. I had copied the names (of Lamb's books) down, and showed the list to the man. Then I added "Etcetera". It clicked. He led me into the cellar and pointed out a couple of shelves. I wondered where Norm had got to and began to look them over. I found other copies of most that Norm had aquired outside. Shortly, he entered. And lo - I found that I was a sump of duplicity, who had left him to bake in the boiling sun, while I revelled in a nice, cool cellar full of BOOKS! Seems he didn't think I'd be in long enough to matter until I was. (When I mentioned that I was going to write this he commanded me to confess my treachery in the matter. Orders is orders!)
At the end of our time I had twelve books, Lamb about eighteen. (One of these was non-fantasy. Kipling's PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS. Another was by Jack London, but I had it in English, so wasn't tempted,) All in all, a satisfactory trip. We got a kilo of oranges to help us bear our burdens, oiled up our thumbs and set out for camp. Took us seven lifts to get back.
Now if only the language wasn't Greek to us we'd have lots of reading matter. But readable or not, this week we are going to Naples again... if the thumbs hold out.
In all we have made three trips. Books that sold at L5.00 (lire, not pounds) new are sold at an average of L25.00
second-hand. We've been asked L250.00, but it didn't
take. When the Lamb was asked that for a hard-shelled book I'd got for fifty I could fairly
see the spikes of his moustache smoke.
My score is 29 Italian (all of which Norm hasn't yet acquired), one German and two English. His must exceed 40 all told, and he has 13 I still want, including the prize of the lot. Grifone's DALLA TERRA ALLE STILLE.
Bob would be willing to try & obtain some of this Italian fantasy for anyone desirous of such on a swap basis - TALES OF WONDER or FANTASY welcome.
August Amblings, - - or this month's bric-a-brac of news items.
One goes, one comes. Temporary loss to British fandom is John F. Burke: now in France with the British Liberation Army. We have a suspiscion that Eric Frank Russell is there but are not sure of this. However, you will remember that Roland Forster and Canadifan Al Godfrey are already at the other side of the channel. Our visitor is another American, Edward C.Conn of Peoria, Illinois, who is known more familiarly as Ecco. He is a moderately new acquisition to the ranks of fandom, a member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, and possibly best known to us for his letters in Voice of the Imagi-Nation. We certainly hope to make his acquaintance personally.
Whilst in Bradford Terry Overton slipped over to Grange Terrace a couple of times and said hello, but we've heard nothing more of him since then. Johnny Millard, our RCAF friend, was here the same weekend and has since been trying to meet London's Peter Hawkins, stationed at Catterick. Only other visitor so far has been Allan H. Miles who has popped over from Selby way on his motor-bike a couple of times. Allan was home for a weeks leave in between the visits. Other visits he made during the month were to odd spots in France, Belgium and Germany - and he takes the books he borrows from us along with him! An unexpected phone call announced that John Craig is taking a three weeks course at Halifax, and hopes to get over to Leeds for the first time, whilst he is so near. To completely bamboozle us our RAF member Julian Parr writes from HMS Hilary, now what does an aircraftman do on a ship? Another airgraph from Edwin Macdonald continues the story of his adventures in Canada, where he has been in Moose Jaw, Regina, Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
Our sympathies go out to Osmond Robb of Edinburgh whose mother is seriously ill; and to Arthur H. Bird, author of the article on interplanetary communication in this issue. Mr Bird had a near escape from a flying bomb which has left his room sans window, door, and a large portion of the roof with resulting confusion among his papers and belongings.
Second issue of the "serious" Cosmos Club organ "Transactions" appeared. Much thinner than the first, and giving reports on two papers read before the club. "Future of Surface Chemistry" by D.B.Powell and "Music Fantastic" by Paul B. Pereira (B. Gaffron, 11 Erridge Rd, Merton Park SW19).
Quite an amount of American news too...
The Bart House 25 cent edition of Lovecraft's "Weird Shadow over Innsmouth" & four other stories, duly appeared and has reached this country. Particular thanks are due to members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, who sent between then several copies of this opus to various fans over here. A very nice gesture.
Bart House now have a science fiction novel on the stocks in the form of a reprint of "Rebirth" by Thomas Calvert McClary, and promise more fantasy publications if this and the Lovecraft book sell well. Already planned is a second Lovecraft anthology.
Avon pocketbooks who are steadily working through the novels of Abe Merritt, announce their
August offering, as "Dweller in the Mirage", at the usual 25 cents,. This is one of the
Merritt works which has been published in book form in this country, as unfortunately, are
most of the other Merritt paperbacks Avon has brought out so far. The two exceptions are
"The Moon Pool" & "The Ship of Ishtar".
Published in May 1944 by the American "Penguin Books" at 25 cents is an extremely good anthology of sheer fantasy - stories really out of this world. The authors range from Lord Dunsany to Nelson Bond but are the upper bracket of fantasy writers - Saki, John Collier. Eric Knight, Stephen Vincent Benet, Oscar Wilde, etc, with a complete reprinting of Jack London's very fine after-catastrophe yarn "The Scarlet Plague". As an introduction to pure fantasy it is comparable with the Wolheim pocketbook's similar function in regard to science fiction.
Killed by a shellburst whilst serving as correspondent for Harpers in Italy was Frederick Schiller Faust at the age of 51. Not known to you? Well Faust, otherwise "King of the Pulps" was also Max Brand, David Manning. George Owen Baxter, Even Evens, Nicholas Silver, Hugh Owen, Frank Austin, George Challis, Walter C Butler, John Frederick, Peter Henry Moreland, Lee Bolt, Dennis Lawton, Frederick Frost. He started writing at 23, as Max Brand, selling his first story to Argosy and is responsible for some 30 million.words - 115 published books & at least 350 stories. Faust topped the combined output of Oppenheim, Edgar Wallace, J.S. Fletcher and "Nick Carter" in his incredible literary career.
Current president of the Authors Club of New York is our old friend Fletcher Pratt, and a member of the Executive Comittee is G. Edward Pendray (Gawain Edwards). Another note on pseudonyms culled from FFF - Howard Wandrei, brother of Donald, wrote for the Tremaine Astoundings under the names of Howard W Graham PhD and H. W. Guernsey.
The next book to be reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries will be "The lost Continent" by C. J. Cuttliffe Hyne. Two others scheduled for subsequent appearance are also fairly easily available at.this side of the Atlantic and are "The Machine Stops" by Wayland Smith and "In Search of the Unknown" by Robert W. Chambers. This isn't quite the type of book you might expect - it is in fact one of the finest satires I've come accross with absolutely the most deliciously impudent foreword.
Some fan news; congratulations to Arthur Lambert Widner & spouse on the birth of David Bruce Widner, 11.04 a.m., July 6th, their second child. Another sort of congratulation to Jack Weidenbeck, artist inhabitant of Battle Creek slan shack, who managed to get himself married to Ella B. Tyrone of Dallas, Tex; as Ella is a WAC, this is one tangible result of the Ashley policy of using the shack as an unofficial "USO". Third set of congratulations goes to Sergeant Forrest J.Ackerman. The Los Angeles gang war seems to have quietened down and we hope that things will soon be peaceful in Shangri-La. In the intervals of his film career (he is playing a paratrooper in "Objective Burma" - besides being stand-in for Errol Flynn, Walter Daugherty has put a 24 quarto page "Directory of Fandom" which includes amongst its rolls British fandom of about two years ago.
Sent by V-Mail from Algiers to FFF was the result of Jack Speer's poll of the top 15 fans as given by the last Widner poll. This effort was to ascertain possible differences to the "general" poll. Results are thusly:
Ten top stefnists; Tucker 226, Ashley 200, Widner 166, Warner 153, Ackerman 147, Speer 128, Rosenblum 127, Bronson 92, Laney 86, Unger 84.
Five fanzines; Le Zombie 93, Fantasite 70, Acolyte 51, Sustaining Program (Speer's FAPA pub) 44, Fan-Tods (Nother Fapa pub) 40.
Prozine three; Astounding 75, Famous Fantastic Mysteries 64, Planet 16.
Magazine authors; Van Vogt 178, Heinlein 168, Campbell (& Stuart) 163, EESmith 132,
Kuttner (including Padgett) 120, de Canp 109, Weinbaum 108, Merritt 93, Williamson 92,
CLMoore 87. etc
Book authors; Stapledon 38, Wells 75, Burroughs 40, Taine 39, Thorne Smith 30, Merritt, de Camp (& Pratt) MacArthur, Lewis Carroll, S. F. Wright 15. Others named once each.
Ten stories; Slan 111, Last & First Men 77, Odd John 75, Final Blackout 67, Sinister Barrier 60, Ship of Ishtar 55, Dwellers in Mirage 54, Mimsy Were the Borogroves 48, Spacehounds of IPC 46, Methuslahs Children 45. 12 others named twice or more, 51 mentioned once.
Artists; Finlay 100, Paul 66. Bok 62, Schneeman 46, Dold 31.
Worst steffnist; Degler 40, Schmarje 16, Russ Wood 14.
These results are substantially the same as given by the Widner poll.
POST WAR PLANS
As I type this on September the ninth it looks as though the last act of this tragic drama of this present war is already being played, and that what passes for peace may soon be upon us. Of course I refer to the war in Europe, for the far-eastern war even whilst it continues, will not impose upon us in these islands the heavy and intimate burdens we have perforce borne during the last five years.
That being so, the time is opportune to refer to the immediate future of myself and this publication once the war ends. Now in all probability I shall be fully occupied in other directions for quite a while, which besides taking up my time, will be largely of a mental nature. Hence I shall lose the necessity of an intellectual hobby to balance the merely physical work I now perform. For these reasons FIDO will be discontinued as soon as practicable. Issues already in process of preparation will appear, but after that...
There may be plans made or agreed to by Anglofandom generally, by referendum or at that post-war convention; which would render my arrangements out of date, but here is the position as I see it.
The first need of fandom here is for a regular and dependable magazine which will serve as the central focus and organ. I hope that such a publication will appear as soon as possible and am willing to give it all the assistance and backing I can. Such a publication should (a) cover the fantasy field in general for those without other means of information, (b) provide news of Anglofandom and fans to all interested and (c) provide a forum and means of literary intercourse for Anglofandom. It may be possible for two organs to interweave their publication dates and COVER THE FIELD BETWEEN THEM (whoops - sorry ). I hope all FIDO subscribers will be willing to support such publications also and in that belief I shall only return unfulfilled subscriptions to such people who request such action. Send me a PC when the last issue of FIDO appears if you want your balance of cash back. Unless I hear from you to the contrary I shall retain all names and pass them over to FIDO's successor so that this zine starts off with a fair clientele and your subscriptions carry over without a break.
At some indefinite future date I shall probably again put out a fan magazine but of a somewhat different type to FIDO, although of late this magazine has willy-nilly been tending in the direction probable. Rather more serious and literary, printed if at all possible, it may be a much enlarged BROWSING, or the old FUTURIAN may be revived. I should be grateful to hear from people interested in such a venture from any aspect.
To other fanzine editors; I want to continue to receive your papers so if you feel I ought to subscribe, tell me & I will do so.
And this, dear readers is actually the fourth anniversary issue of FIDO, with which we
enter into our fifth year of publication. Hardly seems as though the old mag has been
running for four years, does it. Anyrate we've made no fuss about the matter, but somehow
or another something in the nature of a gala issue has managed to create itself. Thanks
are due to all our contributors who are doing a lot those days to raise the general and
literary standard of FIDO rather above the level it has wavered around for so long.
Prospects for the December issue too are good, Messrs Medhurst, Banks, Ferguson, Burke
and Arthur Clarke having offerings at hand.
Announcements : - Frank Parker of Teddington wants to let people know that due to the very heavy demands his new job is making on him, he has had to make a temporary exit from the ranks of the actifans, and he hopes in God's good time to reply to all these patient fellows who are wondering whether he ever received their last letters.
Terence Overton, 107 Thomas St, Abertridwr, Cardiff wants Canadian stf. fantasy and weird. Offers US proines, various dates, also books etc.
And from JMR; From the present issue (No 9) of my Fapa publication BROWSING, it is available to non-members at a price of 2d per copy postfree. The magazine is a six or more page publication devoted mainly to fantasy in book form and includes book reviews, chatter and notes. Persons co-operating in various ventures will continue to receive free copies though. The idea of this departure is to ensure that anyone who is interested in the zine will be able to obtain it, instead of the whole thing being left more or less to chance as previously. I also want to hear as soon as possible from anybody who wishes to be placed on the list to receive copies of the page-per-book Bibliography now being commenced. This will never be finished but distribution of sheets to date will take place from time to time. Financial obligations will depend on the number of sheets distributed, generosity of publishers etc, but are likely to be small if not negligible. Speak now or for ever hold your peace, as when the scheme is actually under way numbers of sheets will be limited and unlikely to be enlarged.
A new "chain" available to BFS members and already in existence will circulate American fan magazines around fandom here. The first batch coritans 4 issues of VOM, two of ACOLYTE, one each of CENTAURI, TOWARD TOMORROW, and BUAP together with the "Polaris" announcement of the death of Freehafer. Apply to JMR for inclusion. Only obligation one way postage and punctuality. New juvenile stf book recently published is "Mariners of Space" by Erroll Collins (Lutterworth Press 1944) - Story deals with contact of civilisation on Venus, Mars and the Moon with a World Federation on Earth. Mysterious attacks on Earth, spaceship duels, clash between good and evil and so on.
Back in Britain is Eric Hopkins, Sergeant RAF, and temporarily at Harrogate. When the BBC broadcast Conan Doyle's "The Poison Cloud" they omitted from the last episode the description of the drive to London by the five survivors in the world of dead. Was this because of the Mars panic in USA some years ago? Would anyone just hearing this part of the broadcast, and its description of devastation, have applied it to the flying bombs business? We wonder. Will Sykora informs that three of his fan friends are now in England, namely Mario Racie who used to do the radio notes in Fantasy News, Thomas Whiteside and Raymond van Houten. Johnny Burke asks, "Did you know that Walt Disney has bought the film rights of "The Ill-Made Knight" by T. H. White, for production after the war?" It ought to make a grand cartoon film, but why this and not " Sword in the Stone" and "Witch in the Wood" by the same author, which I should have considered even more suitable. All three books are highly recommended to all.
presents an addendum to his article on The Weird and Grotesque in Art, and emphasises a point in modern psychology:
"I wish you'd add the name of Pieter Brueghel to my art article - somewhere near that of his predecessor, Martin Schongauer. His "Luxuria'' is a satiric, wanton demon revel of detailed licentiousness - a hellfire sermon of an unpopular type. Romanticism in the moonlight is dandy but a well-rounded diet seems to need one type or another of realism. That of the Russians like Dostoievsky is lifelike and vivid; that of the Victorian era dire, sordid but often vague, hiding under taboo such matters as venereal diseases; further back is the grim specific realism of Hogarth, Defoe, Swift and the earlier Butler (the latter two particularly were not above scatology to drive a point home). We have today idealised in such pretty pictures as the Petty girls a pleasant phase of the pleasures of female company, have overlooked many cogent complications. There are times to remember; if only to allocate one's "mad money" and general resources, and to catch sight of what is let loose at nightfall. The unwillingness to pay the piper is a form of terversation in present life that the army agravates."
Change of Address
Mr and Mrs W. R. Gardiner and their progeny, daughter Anne and son Derek (now in India) announce their new home address as 96 Lavington Road, Worthing.
of bits and pieces; Thanks are due to George Ellis and Ken Chadwick for their assistance in assembling and preparing this Fido for the mails. .. other visitors here have been Terry Overton for a third time, F/O Allan Miles, we've lost count of the number of visits but he's very welcome, and Maurice Hanson for an evening... September 30th we hope to be in Manchester, with luck we shall see Frank Parker, Benson Herbert, Mancunians Lane, Bradbury and Ellis, just possibly Art Williams and Ron Holmes. Sort of sudden conventionette... Add to acknowledgement of magazines sent by John M Cunninghan to DRS, made in the "Beefasbul", the safe arrival hereof a further three packages of assorted prozines "for the fighting soldier"; these will be distributed as occasion offers...Wanted particularly by Rosenblum:- the fantasy works of William Hope Hodgson, especially "House on the Borderland", "Boats of the Glen Carrig", "The Nightland"; also the first FFM Finlay Portfolio... In production at the moment is an anthology cf fan poetry, being put out by Messrs Ron Holmes and Arthur Williams, no further details known yet. Incidentally Arthur is in Liverpool at the moment; last known address being 236 Aigburth Road, Aigburth, Liverpool... Wally Gillings is doing quite a spot of writing just now, recently published were an article on postwar transatlantic rocket-travel in ANSWERS and one on weapons of the next war in WEEKLY TELEGRAPH; whilst coming up in LONDON LIFE (of all magazines) is short stf. tale written and illustrated by himself. And - the acme of literary success - Wally has an article coming up in the next issue of FIDO... During the month we learned of the death of the "stamp-edging and string" genius W. Heath Robinson; Britain's premier exponent of whacky machinery...Johnny Millard has spent a leave up in Aberdeen with Doug Webster... Back cover this issue formed the front of Phil Bronson's fanzine Fantasite, and the BFS Bulletin shares a sheet with a lithographed interior illustration from Fan Slants... At long last Dennis Tucker has found it impossible to continue with the production of a Directory of British Fandom, which he undertook on behalf of the British Fantasy Society, so all papers have been turned over to JMRosenblum (me!) and I shall try to get the thing out as soon as possible... Also, in conjunction with Arthur Hillman, Director of the BFS Weird Section, I hope to put out in the near future, a "file" of' discussions on weird and horror fiction.
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
................................................................Sept. 18th 1944
Gooding, William, 145 Lutteworth Road, Leicester, (100) (yippee) Lazenby, Norman, 16 Whinlatter Gardens, High Fell, Gateshead 9, (102); Tubb, Edward C., Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, London W.9.. (101).
Three new members, in a Bulletin is something of event these times. Mr Gooding is a new fan won over is the cause by Roy Johnson, Mr Lazenby is an author, Mr Tubb an ex-S.F.A. member. Assez bon.
Delightful Recurrence of Activity on the Part of the B. S-F W.R.S.
In addition to the July '44 Weird mentioned in the last Bulletin the following magazines have been received for the Library from the noble Cunningham.
ASTOUNDING S-F. May '44; FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES Aug. & Oct. '42, June '44; WEIRD May, July, & Nov. '42; SUPERSCIENCE STORIES Nov. '42; PLANET STORIES Summer '44; STARTLING STORIES Summer '44; CAPTAI FUTURE Spring & Summer '41; FANTASTIC ADVENTURES Jan '42; SCIENCE-FICTION QUARTERLY Summer '41.Quite an assortment, for which we are truly grateful.
In the last Bulletin I stated that only Jack Gibson had volunteered for this, but a reproachful gentleman from Leicester, one Johnson by name, called to say, amonst other things, that he had volunteered as well, The addition of Arthur Hillman, already Director of the Weird Section and heir presumptive to the BFS Beyond, brings the number of volunteers up to three. It is not a large number, but it is an improvement, on the previous state of affairs, and something may be done now.
It way be remembered that a proposed amalgamation of the three main public fantasy libraries, the S.F.A, the Cosmos Club, and the BFS, was put forward in the previous Bull. Since then the reactions of the Cosmos Club have come to hand via John Aiken, and while thinking that the times are out of joint for putting any such scheme into immediate operation they make some interesting points, substantially as follows:-
Paging a Big Pal of Mine
Who, from a London address, sent me two '44 Astoundings recently with no indication of his identity. Thanks exceedingly, o fair unknown, but who are you and what do I owe you?
D.R. Smith (Sec.)
1) There are blank spaces in the paragraph at the top of page 9 where the symbols referred to were presumably intended to be added to the printed version by hand. Unfortunately, these remain blank in the copy this online version was taken from.
2) When I was researching THEN in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Sid Birchby sent me a copy of The Probe Newsletter, so the group was still going at that time. However, a quick websearch shows no online presence at all. I wonder if it's still going?
3) BFS Bulletin courtesy of Al Durie, via Greg Pickersgill.