FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 4 (Vol. 1, Number 4) Jan. 1941
On December 1st, Joseph Kennedy resigned as US Ambassador to Britain. No friend
of the UK, he had earlier in the year advised the President not to give us any
aid since Hitler would be marching up Whitehall by the autumn. Later in December,
in one of his 'fireside chats', FDR announced that America was ready to become
"the arsenal of democracy".
December was a bad month for the Italians. Having had their invasion of
Greece defeated and rolled back the previous month, they now suffered a complete rout at
British hands in the Western Desert, with the defeat and capture of 30,000
troops. Things were only going to get worse for them....
Distributed with this issue:
COSMOS #1 - ed. J.Edward Rennison - 1 page
Thanks are due to Greg Pickergill for scanning, OCRing and copyediting this issue, one of those I am missing.
He will also be doing this for issues later in the run.
DAWN SHADOWS #2 - ed. James Rathbone - 2 pages
MOONSHINE #1 - ed. John F.Burke - 2 pages
THE GENTLEST ART #2 - ed. Douglas Webster - 4 pages
page 2 * page 3 * page 4
* page 5 * page 6 * page 7
Vol. 1, No. 4...................
F a n - n e w s - another 'blitz’ victim is William F. Temple, whose Wembley
home has been damaged by ‘enemy action’. Luckily William himself, who has
been called up for military service, was then stationed at Whalley, Lancs
with an RA Signal Training Regiment whilst Mrs. Temple and the already-famous
Anne are evacuated to Cornwall. R.G. Medhurst recently appeared before a
C.O. Tribunal at Cambridge, who have postponed the entire matter until R.G.
has finished his present course. From America comes the news that William S.
Sykora and Frances Alberti were married a little while ago. Both are members
of the Queens SFL. We wish them the very best of luck in their venture. We
also learn with regret that Harry Warner has been ill and hope that he is
now in good health once more.|
Sudden shocks and surprises. –
James Parkhill Rathbone arrived in Leeds on Dec 27th .with no warning whatsoever.
Unfortunately, however, he is here awaiting posting to an overseas unit. So at
the moment he has no definite address. Jimmy’s P.S. to his sheet is definite,
and the future Mrs Rathbone is also here in Leeds at the moment. Congratulations
to Jimmy from all of us!
At long last, No 3 of Dave McIlwain’s "GARGOYLE” has appeared. And its continuance
is a distinct possibility. This issue isn't as good as the two previous, but we are
truly grateful for it all the same. Dave, please note; I produce FIDO during air-raids now.
SPECIALLY LARGE NEW YEAR NUMBER
With contributions also from James Rathbone, D.Webster, Johnny Burke, EE Rennison
and R.G. Medhurst.
ANOTHER NEW MAG
F. Orlin Tremaine, former editor of "Astounding" is nov at the helm of a new American
Fantasy magazine. Priced at 20 cents, with 128 pages, trimmed edges, and entitled "COMET"
the first number was December 1940. The magazine, which is a monthly, will feature work
by a number of the oldtime authors, whose names bring back memories. There will be a
readers dept called "Rocket Mail”, an editorial, and the Editors Note-Book each issue.
Here are the lineups for the first two issues… Dec 40, cover by Morey, 3 novelets "Lord
of the Silent Death" , Robert Moore Williams; "The Oversight” by Miles J Breuer;
"Bratton's Idea" by Manly Wade Wellman; and no less than 7 shorts by P. Schuyler Miller,
D.L. James, R. R. Winterbottom, Eando Binder, Clark Ashton Smith, Raymond Z. Gallun
Jan 41; cover by Paul, stories are "Message From Venus" R.R.Winterbottom, “Yesterdays
Revenge” H.L. Nicholls, "The Way Back" Sam Moskowitz, "The Vibration Wasps" Frank Belknap
Long, "And Return" Eando Binder, " The Lightnings Course" John Victor Peterson, "The
Twilight People" F. E. Arnold, “Luna Station" Harl Vincent, and a couple of short shorts
by Lowndes and Charnock Welsby respectively.
(Courtesy, FN and FFF)
Art.Widner has just announced the final results of his Author Poll -
in which a total of 157 votes in all were cast after eight months.
It is curious to note that Campbell figues twice in the list as some
people voted for him under one or both names. Here are the first 30
authors, with their total votes…
The fan poll is still running, but
here are the leading 10 to date ---
Campbell - 804
Weinbaum - 718
EE Smith - 677
de Camp - 610
H G Wells - 443
Williamson - 405
Merritt - 400
Lovecraft - 381
Taine - 265
Keller - 257
Burroughs - 229
Binder - 220
C L Moore - 193
Stapledon - 173
Hubbard - 151
Coblentz - 154
Stuart - 136
C A Smith - 113
Heinlein - 104
Verne - 100
Bond - 97
Leinster - 85
Van Vogt - 82
Schachner - 73
Simak - 73
Kuttner - 71
del Rey - 65
Howard - 63
T Smith - 59
Gallun - 56
The latest poll is of fanmags and so far some 22 votes have
been received. Present leaders are Spaceways Stardust &
Ackerman - 497
Tucker - 395
Lowndes - 308
Warner - 276
Moskowitz - 252
Wollheim - 228
Wright - 129
Sykora - 115
Fortier - 106
Swisher - 104
L. Ron Hubbard, the popular author, is also a scientist of repute. He and his wife were recently
chosen by the US government to lead a scientific and surveying expedition into polar regions.
However latest news is that his ship "Magician II" was shipwrecked off the coast of Alaska and
Hubbard is returning home by land.
(continued bottom of next col.)
Famous Fantastic Mysteries
Feature booklength novel by W. McMorrow is "The Sunmakers" and it is concerned with an
invasion from Venus by a far more advanced race with the laudable object of creating a
new sun, to warm the other side of their non-revolving planet by throwing the earth and
moon together. It must have been quite a good story when it was first written but nowadays
its not so hot. A very early Ray Cummings yarn "The Other Man's Blood" is the issue's
novelet and this is the finest of Cummings tales I have ever come across. It deals with
the transference of personality by means of a blood transfusion but its developement
and denoument are drawn with a literary mastery seldom met with in the 'pulps'. One short
story - "Sleep of Ages" by Stuart Martin, very mediocre, completes the issue.
THE ARGOSY, there has been the third W.G. Beyer 'Minions' story "Minions of Mercury", about
his best I think and a Jack Williamson novelette - "The Buccaneers of Space" - mediocre,
and I have the opening part of a new serial by Kline and Hoffman Price called "Satans of
John C Craig
Another state stf organisation has been formed in the Ohio Fantasy Association. There is a
trend in the States towards this type of society and it may be all for the best, if they form
a firm basis on which to build a stronger fandom than that depending on mutually antagonistic
organisations. An organ "The Ohio Fan" is projected.
There is a rumour of another fresh fantasy magazine to appear soon.
"Fantasy News" has dropped its printed format and returned to mimeo.
RECEIVED RECENTLY - or The Month's Fanmaggery !!
FANTASY FICTION FIELD - a new weekly newsheet published by Julius Unger 1702
Dahill Read, Brooklyn NY, USA; an old aquaintance to readers of the old FUTURIAN
and one of the oldest fans there are. Four pages of US fan-news selling at 5 cents.
LE ZOMBIE - combined Sept-Oct issue fron Bob Tucker, P.O. Box 260, Bloomington,
Ill., USA. This time in two parts and Bob is in the best of form in the first part
- general fan-news and articles; second half is devoted to accounts of the "Chicon"
by Morojo and Dale Tarr.
FANFARE Oct. 40, No. 4; is the organ of the STRANGER CLUB and co-edited by Art Widner
and Earl Singleton. A really beautifully hectographed 28p quarto size magazine worthy
of congratulations! With contributions by Moskowitz, Knight, Gilbert, Widner etc. And
may I hope "Unite or Fie" may have some effect.
FANTASY NEWS - W.S. Sykora, P.O. Box 84, Elmont, NY, USA; old faithful at last back
again in its old mineo fornat once more. Hard to think of fandom staggering along
without FN! Fan and Pro news in profusion.
FUTURIAN OBSERVER - No 20, Sep. 40, edited by Bob Castellari at 10a Sully St, Randwick,
Sydney, NSW, Australia; another couple of sides (foolscap) all about Aussie fan doings.
SUNSPOTS - organ of the SOLAROID CLUB, published fron 31 Bogert Place, NJ, USA, biggger
and better than ever, 22 quarto pages for 5c, not so mature but plenty of enthusiasm.
Brings back memories of a less sophisticated era, and thoroughly enjoyable.
garnered by - Ron. Holmes
STARTLING STORIES has begun to print Biographies of Fans and to each there
is a photo of the particular Fan. The latest is SaMoskowitz -- and he looks
like a Negro. The engraving process must have gone wrong. Anyway, it seems
SaM will never be able to live down the cracks of "Old Black Joe" and
"Little Black Sambo". Pic of Harry Warner will be in the Jan. '41 iss.
I hope it does him justice - or is it mercy?
The "Ghost Train" - that old pseudo-weird Thriller of the stage - is
being filmed at London. The Detective-Hero is being played by none other
than Comedian 'Big-Hearted' Arthur Askey. Of course, his pal 'Stinker"
Murdoch and he is inseparable, so a special part has been grafted into
the original play to include
him in the cast. My personal opinion is that
the story has no place for "funny men" - but we will see. Another Film
at present before the camera is Wells' "Kipps".
Tales of Wonder No 13 is due about the end of January according to an
official statement. It will have a new standardised "economical" cover
designed to be used for all subsequent issues - if any. More details to
The Jan '41 issue of FANTASTIC NOVELS is scheduled to print Farley's
"Radio Beasts" and Merritt's "People of the Pit". The former will be
the feature novel and will have the cover illustration, which will be
by Finlay. Interiors by Finlay and Paul. Feb. iss. will feature "Spot
of Life" while Merritt's "Snake Mother" is scheduled for early reprinting.
A SUGGESTION ?
Saith Julian Parr:- "I don't suppose it would be possible for Ron Holmes to
lend out that short of E. F. Russell's to fans - or if possible, how about
duplicating copies at so much each". Edwin Macdonald goes so far as to implore
me for the loan of the said MSS.
So far as I can see, the latter alternative is hardly practicable so the only
thing is to consider the former providing Mr Russell is so kind as to loan his
story. And that opens up a vista! Would it be possible to borrow similar MSS
of un-accepted stories from both the authors and those fans who have attempted
to crash into print, and circulate them amongst fandom? There should be sufficient
available to make the scheme a success especially as some of the finest tales from
our point of view do not suit the promags. But the prime requisite is an organiser
- if we can find a volunteer then we can start talking!!
Introducing - |
DOUGLAS W. L. WEBSTER
Editor of "The Gentlest Art", poet, literateur and collector. Some 20 years old,
missed being born on all-fools day only by a couple of days. In Dougie's own words
"Aberdonian born & bred - received excellent education at a Grammar School and am
now at 'Varsity - science - tho' expect, due to War, to finish a course in jail. Not
tall, nor dark, nor noticeably handsome. Don't drink or smoke; vegetarian too -- what
a collection of vices !
Hobbies; - besides s-f, collecting books on diverse subjects; films; stage; science;
classics; rugby; tennis; etc; and etc..."
At present on a farm due to tribunal 'sentence'. Seeking solace in a more active
fannishness. Another grand letter writer.
Answers to correspondents.
Edwin Macdonald. "Imitation Man" available at any decent bookshop. Tanks for
"cheque", now how about a real subscription.
New address of James Rathbone is c/o Mrs Oldacre, 1 Queens Road, Belmont,
For Sale - Sieveking's "Ultimate Island", fair condition, 1/6 postfree
R.G.Medhurst, 126 Finborough Rd, SW10.
Wanted -- following S & S Astoundings. All issues prior to Oct 35; Dec 35;
Jan, Mar 36; May 37; please send list (price & condition) -to J. Bristow,
Post Office, Morden, Surrey
In the market for -
- Satellite nos. 1 & 2 , Vol. 2 No 5
- Fantast No 1
- Novae Terrae before Aug 37
- Sundry old issues of the Big Three
D.Webster "Idlewild" Fountainhall Rd, Aberdeen
Wanted - Following Astoundings
- 30. All except Mar
- 31. Jan, Mar, Apr, June
- 32. February
- 34. Apr, May, July, Oct. Dec
- 35. Mar, June, July
JMRosenblum, c/o FIDO
For Sale - copies of SCOOPS No 3. Price 6d. each postfree. JMR.
Hooray, I've managed an editorial this issue, but only because it is rather a
bigger issue than usual, after being crowded out at the last moment, for two
From comments received, it would appear that we are making the grade satisfactorily;
for which I am truly grateful; and also (especially with this month's impetus)
"Fido's Litter", is fast becoming something worthwhile in fandom. And I have good
news on the paper front. At the cost of temporary bankruptcy I have been able to
lay hands on enough paper to ensure the continuation of FIDO for a year at least;
the rate of 6 sheets per issue being used. This is the size I hope to be able to
continue, and with the help of Messrs. Webster, Doughty, Rennison, Medhurst & Rathbone,
and possibly some others too, it ought to come off.
In the last issue of "LE ZOMBIE" to reach me, Bob Tucker describes an interview he
had with a reporteress about the "Chicon", and stf in general. You have my sympathies,
Bob; but I have had an even worse ordeal - namely an official visit from a C.I.D.
(detective) inspector who was aware that I am a pacifist - ergo, FIDO would quite
likely be some sort of secret seditious paper. He also wanted a description of fans,
fandom & fantasy in one sentence for his notebook! I think he went away with the idea
that we were reasonably harmless, but I should love to see his report.
Don't be hard on Jimmy Rathbone's "Dawn Shadows" - the poor fellow will use wax
stencils and what the post does to them!! Incidentally I want to remind you to
support Doug & "Renny" with your ideas and views, and also Donald Doughty who wants
to run a sheet dealing with Astounding. (details in FIDO3).
Best wishes for the New Year to you all.
NO MORE "WARBULL"!
Owing to the numerous objections levelled at the political and ethical rather
than fantastic tone of FANTASY WAR BULLETIN, C.S. Youd has decided to withdraw
it from publication with FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST. He wishes to remind readers that
there is still a possibility of FANTAST itself re-appearing.
It should be emphasised that this is not in any way due to friction with the
other editors of FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST".
We were sorry to receive the above statement from Mr Youd, & hope that he will
reconsider his verdict very shortly. MeanwhiLe we can assure him that it is
impossible to please everybody and we are grateful for the pleasure he has given
to some of us at least.
He appends a further statement from which the following is taken:
"In extenuation of the withdrawal of Warbull, and - to a degree - in reply to
the critics, I should like to bring up 2 points. In the first place how on
earth did readers expect me to be in a positon to "talk science fiction" when
promags (and only 2) reach me at quarterly intervals, when I have only one one
American penfriend left, and when Harry Warner seems to be the only philanthropist
still sending his fanmagazine over. It would have been possible I suppose, to
discourse intelligently on past history, but even that would probably be rather
tedious. In the second place it is a little surprising that fans - those
intelligent, interlectual, progressive fans; should have found political and
ethical discussion boring. The more so when the greatest war is so palpably
present. I realise that the large percentage of pacifists among active fans
may have resented my occasional criticisms but they must have known that these
had no personal basis."
FANTASY ON THE CHEAP
by R. G. Medhurst, with interpolations here and there by ye editor.
Be independent of the American "pulps" and buy the classics of the Fantasy
Field at a tanner-a-time (to Americans; that means sixpence).
As follows:- Author, title, publisher, and a brief description.
(1) Science Fiction
Neil Bell – “The Gas War of 1940” (Collins ‘White Circle’ novels.) Author thinks
nations are going to go to war and awful atrocities will ensue. Crazy, isn’t it?
J. D Beresford - "The Camberwell Miracle" (Penguin Books ) Interesting story of
a doctor who developes strange faculties.
- do - "The Hampdenshire Wonder" (Penguin Books) Superman mutation - his reactions
Samuel Butler - "Erewhon" (Penguin) One of the classic Utopias. Some very fine stuff,
notably 'The Book .of the Machines' and the Erewhonian Professor on the
Rights of Vegetables.
J.S Fletcher – Three Days Terror" (John Long's 4 Square Thrillers) Anarchism, attempted
dictatorship of the world, scientific terrorism, a little mysticism, and thrills. In
short a hotch-potch.
Major Charles Gilson - "The Lost City" (Wren Books) Lost civilisation in the Sahara.
J.B.S. Haldane - "The Inequality of Man" (Pelican Books) Includes short story "The
Gold-makers", besides first class essays of considerable stf interest; whence Hamilton lifted
one of his stupendousest plots!
John Hampden (Editor) - "Great English Short Stories" Vol. 1. (Pelican) Includes
Fitz-James O'Brien's classic short "The Diamond Lens"
John Hargrave - "Imitation Man" (Big Ben Books) Fun with artificial manniquin.
Sydney Horler - "The Formula" (Hutchinson's Crime Book Society 'Pocket'
Library) Thriller dealing, but only just, with a cure for cancer.
- do - "The Man Who Shook the Earth" (Hutch. C. B. S. Pocket L) Master crooks and
the splitting of that much-battered atom.
Julian Huxley - "Essays of a Biologist" (Pelican) Includes "Philosophic Ants", stf.
short - Galilean revolution in thought of Ant philosophers.
Fred McIsaac - "The Vanishing Professor" (Sovereign Thrillers) high jinks with an
Bernard Newman - "Armoured Doves" (Jarrold's Jackdaw Library) League of Scientists
smashes war, saving humanity from Destruction. Bit too late. Edgar Allan Poe - "Some Tales
of Mystery and Imagination" (Penguin) Cheap edition of this famous work.
Captain A. O. Pollard - "The Murder Germ" (Hutchinson's "M" Series) Primarily a murder
mystery, secondarily poor stf.
George Bernard Shaw - "Back to Methuselah" (Penguin). One of the greatest bargains in
stf - all four plays and the preface complete - the wild Irishman takes a flying leap down
the ages from Lilith to the age when men and women spring ready-made out of eggs and grow old,
if ungracefully, very, very loftily.
Olaf Stapledon - "Last and First Men" (Pelican). The other greatest bargain in stf.
- the English Stf. fans Bible - and to what heights does it tower ever the U.S. Bible "Skylark" !!!
Jonathan Swift - "Gullivers Travels" Very nice old stf. classic in the fine unexpurgated
Penguin Classics edition. Avoid the horrid White Circle "film edition".
W. Stanley Sykes - "The Missing Moneylender" (Penguin) murder mystery with a
H.G. Wells - "The Invisible Man" (Penguin) Another choice morsel from an Old Master..
-do- "The Shape of Things to Come" (2 vols. Hutchinson) Lengthy peep into the future revealing all the things
that don't appear to be coming.
Dennis Wheatley - ''Black August" (Hutchinson) Tale of a Communist rising in Britain. 'Orrid propaganda.
-do- "Such Power is Dangerous" (Hutchinson) More 'popular' stuff with new inventions thrown in.
S Fowler Wright - "Dawn" (Cherry Tree)
-do- "Deluge" (Cherry Tree)
-do- "The Island of Captian Sparrow" (Cherry Tree)
-do- "Power" (Bay Tree)
Four good stories by a competent writer, first two dealing with a suddenly flooded Britain, third with a
mysterious island, and the last with a years dictatorship of England and a disintegration machine.
Algernon Blackwood - "The Centaur" '(Penguin) Exquisite little fantasy.
James Branch Cabell - "Jurgen" (Penguin) Allegory, but for adults only.
G.K. Chesterton - "The Man who Was Thursday" (Penguin) Wild and rare fantasy of a medley of
policemen and anarchists.
Charles Collodi - "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (White Circle, Collins) A naughty puppet in the great
world, humble source of Disney masterpiece.
W.A. Darlington - "Alf's Button" (Collins Blackout Thrillers ) A fragment of Aladdin's wonderful lamp
gets loose in the last war.
Claude Houghton - "The Passing of the Third Floor Back" (Chevron Books) 'Pepped up' version of Jerome K
Jerome's moral fantasy - wherein boarding house clientele is regenerated by visit of disguised Christ.
Margeret Irwin - "Still She Wished for Company" (Penguin) Girl of today sees company of 18th century
ghosts, story then narrated from point of view of dwellers in 1879, to whom girl is ghost out of the future.
M. R. James - "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary" (Penguin) Collection of pedanticised spooks.
-do- "Seven Famous One-act Plays" (Penguin) Includes W.W. Jacobs "The Monkey's Paw - a celebrated
John Lambourne - "The Kingdom That Was" Cherry Tree) Twist in time dumps hero into unusual but quite
Emanuel Swedenborg - "Heaven and Hell" (Penguin Special) Also published in 6d paper back form by
Swedenborg Society. Fantasy - to a non-Swedenborgian - tour of the hereafter via visions.
Violet Tweedale - "The House of the Other World" (John Lane) Ghost story by 'expert' on psychic phenomena.
Dennis Wheatley - "The Devil Rides Out" (Hutchinson) Story of modern-day satanism in England.
S. Fowler Wright - "Beyond the Rim" (Cherry Tree) Discovery of descendants of Puritan emigrants in
hidden country in Antarctic.
Note - Hutchinson pocket library has had price increased to 7d in some shops.
If you know of any books we have missed l'll be pleased to hear of them. JMR