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
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
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.

page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5 * page 6 * page 7

page 1:

Vol. 1, No. 4................... ........................................................... ......................................................January 1941

NEWSLETTER

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 and J.I.Chapman. 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)

page 2:
AMERICANEWS

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…
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 fan poll is still running, but here are the leading 10 to date ---
Ackerman - 497
Tucker - 395
Lowndes - 308
Warner - 276
Moskowitz - 252
Wollheim - 228
Wright - 129
Sykora - 115
Fortier - 106
Swisher - 104
The latest poll is of fanmags and so far some 22 votes have been received. Present leaders are Spaceways Stardust & Le Zombie.

-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-

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.)

MAGAZINE REVIEW
Famous Fantastic Mysteries
Dec. 1940

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 Saturn".

John C Craig

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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.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

There is a rumour of another fresh fantasy magazine to appear soon.
-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

"Fantasy News" has dropped its printed format and returned to mimeo.

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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.

readfuturianwardigesttheonlyfanmagproducedinanairraidohharktothosegunsmymy

GLEANINGS

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 follow.

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.

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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.

PERSONAL COLUMN
New address of James Rathbone is c/o Mrs Oldacre, 1 Queens Road, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey.
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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
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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.

page 5:
EDITORIAL

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 months running.

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."

page 6:
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 beautifully recorded.
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 invisibility machine
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 science-fictional slant.

page 7:
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.

(2) Fantasy

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 fantasy Shocker.
John Lambourne - "The Kingdom That Was" Cherry Tree) Twist in time dumps hero into unusual but quite delightful prehistoria.
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.

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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

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