FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 5 (Vol. 1, Number 5) Feb. 1941

Starting on January 10th, British bases on Malta were bombed by both Italian and Luftwaffe planes, but the RAF had begun the year by dropping bombs on Naples and Taranto, as well as Italian bases in Libya. British and Commonwealth troops continued to have major battles with the Italians in North Africa throughout January. By the end of the month, 100,000 had been taken prisoner. Unfortunately, Hitler was not going to accept the ongoing humiliation of his chief ally for much longer....

Distributed with this issue:

COSMOS #2 - ed. J.Edward Rennison - 3 pages
FANTASY WAR BULLETIN #8 - ed. C.S.Youd - 4 pages
THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT (or The Snag in Michael's Mailing) - ed. R.G.Medhurst - 4 pages
THE GENTLEST ART #3 - ed. Douglas Webster - 4 pages
MOONSHINE #2 - ed. John F.Burke - 2 pages
page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5

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Vol. 1, No. 5................... ........................................................... ......................................................February 1941

"TALES OF WONDER" OUT SOON

As this issue goes to press, we learn from Walter H.Gillings its editor, that the thirteenth issue of "TALES OF WONDER"; though delayed; will be published in the near future.
The miracle has again occurred and Britain still has a science-fiction magazine!

The issue will feature John Beynon's "Wanderers of Time"; C.A.Smith's "Dimension of Chance"; a new story,"The Power Supreme" by Geo.C.Wallis, and "The Book of Worlds" introducing Miles J.Brauer, M.D., besides a story by Coutts Brisbane "The Law of the Universe" which had to be held over from the previous issue. There is a really good collection of "ideas" on the "Future of Man" with the inevitable contribution of Reader Robb; though the other prize-winners are first- timers! The next subject in this series will be "The Conquest of Time".

This issue will see the inauguration of a "permanent" cover specially drawn by "Nick", in the centre of which the principal contents of each issue will be printed.

Further issues are still a possibility: beyond that nothing further can be said. _____________________________________________

"Weird Shorts" now out!
Number 6 in Messrs Gerald Swan's series of "Yankee Shorts" entitled "Yankee Weird Shorts" was published recently. The same inferior format has been used but the tales are surprisingly good; and the booklet is worth the modest 3d. in these days. Main stories are: "Death of Julian Moreton" by W.D.Cockcroft, "Spider Fire" by Kay Hammond; and "Forbidden Waters" by George Scott.

BAD NEWS ON THE BOOK FRONT

During the City of London "Fire- blitz" last month, British publishers suffered badly. About half of London's famous book publishers had their premises or warehouses destroyed, so that repercussions on the fantasy book field will no doubt be great. One estimate says that about 6,000,000 books total went up in flames. The immediate result, as it hits us, is that apart from such stocks as remain in bookshops, perhaps the majority of fantasy books are now "out of print", and a good number will be absolutely unobtainable. When those worthy of it will be reprinted is very doubtful indeed, under war conditions.

From Manchester too, comes bad news. There, we hear, the Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. had its warehouse destroyed by fire; and we understand that this might mean a break in the issuance of the British Reprint Editions put out by this company.

Other Book News
Messrs Cape have just issued a new series of paper-backed books at 1/- each; and the first batch includes H.R.Wakefield's "A Ghostly Company" - the title is fully descriptive! A recent addition to "The Thinkers Library" is "The Twilight of the Gods" by Richard Garnett, price 1/3 - a selection of nine out of 28 short fantasy tales under this title.

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SAD NEWS

The sympathy of all fans in this country and abroad will go out to Sidney L. Birchby, whose home was destroyed and his mother killed, when a direct hit was sustained during a recent day raid. The house itself was reduced to a heap of rubble, and Sid himself comments re his collection ...
"Imagine my horror! The land's premier collection of "Weird Tales" scattered over the entire neighbourhood! A Brundage cover in every back garden! Can you wonder that I was forced to flee the vicinity when my dreadfu1 secret became known?

Three days, of frantic grubbing under the ruins led to the salvage of about 30% of the collection. Much of it was the worst 30%; stuff by the cheapjacks of s-f; while "lo!" and the best Astoundings went to feed the earthworms."

Moreover considerable SFA matter has been lost, including the notes for Sid's projected history of the Association; and will correspondents note that all Sid's letter files have disappeared.

OTHER FANNEWS

We also learn that Abe Bloom of Birkenhead, had, to evacuate his home for several days due to the presence nearby of an unexploded bomb. He is now reinstalled safe and sound.

James Rathbone left Leeds soon after the publication of the Jan FIDO and is now on the medical staff of a troopship seeing some more of the world. We fear this means the suspension of Dawn Shadows.

Talking of sheets, herewith an apology re the last issue of WARBULL, sent out with this mailing. It should have been in the last but arrived just too late for inclusion.

Incidentally, do people prefer all sheets in the 'mailing' to be stapled together as has been done, or to be folded separately.

Tailpiece: Sorry we have no room this issue for our usual depts.

TWO MORE NEW AMERICAN PRO MAGAZINES

Albing Publications of NYC are bringing out two new magazines which are under the editorship of the veteran fan Donald A. Wolheim. The first, entitled STIRRING SCIEINCE STORIES, will be composed of two separate halves; one devoted to sf, and the other to "fantasy". Several novel features are contemplated.

The second magazine COSMIC STORIES, will be entirely science-fiction. Work by authors C.A.Smith, D.Keller Charles Tanner,Isaac Asimov,Robert W.Lowndes,Clifton Kruse and Frank, E.Arnold is already lined-up.

oxoooooooooooooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

The October 1940 issue of FANFARE; organ of The Stranger Club of Boston, Mass; contained an article by Damon, Knight on the need for a truly national (American) non-feudist fan organisation. The idea has found favour and Art Widner Jr., of poll fame has decided to take the first steps towards forming such a society. Proposed details are, to restrict membership to active fans, no dues as yet, the society to co-operate with and unite existing fan organisations and the name to be:- "The National Fantasy Fan Federation".

Arthur Clarke, now in 'exile' in Colwyn Bay, N. Wales, but expecting an early call-up for military service, has decided to keep in touch. with friends by means of a circular letter which he has entitled FAN- MAIL. In all some five carbon copies are made and each is passed on to four or five fans, each sending it on to the next on the list, and adding any comments on an extra sheet attached for the purpose. All copies return finally to Arthur who includes any interesting comments in the next issue. Intended primarily for Londoners, the idea has been extended somewhat and at present 21 people receive the letter.

page 3:
BOOK REVIEW ........................................................... ....................................BY BERT LEWIS

I must crave the indulgence of my readers for my absence from this page for so long; however I'll try to do better in future, so far as the Government will spare me.

For the Wells fan there is one book, of note, which comes under the, heading of fantasy; and by this, I mean, that I can't possibly class it as science-fiction in the true sense. For the interested here it is: "All Aboard For Ararat" by H. G. Wells, (Secker and Warburg 3/6). He seems to use The Flood, as it were, as an archtype of world catastrophes, personally, I feel that when Wells has to resort to "stealing" his plots from the Bible , he is getting a bit short of plots; however you are entitled to your opinion, so there you have it!

Those who know their Joseph Jorkens, will be delighted to hear that he is still spinning his skyscraper-tall yarns at the Billiards Club, Those who haven't, as yet, made his acquaintance, will be advised to get hold of his new collection of stories, called "Jorkens Has A Large Whisky" by Lord Dunsany (Putnam 8/6). It is difficult to explain the exact charm of this great story-teller. Hear him discourse in his, in his inimitable way, on Ghosts; Elephants who shoot their hunters; Respectable folk finding satyrs in their back gardens; Men visiting Mars; Lions fighting unicorns; in fact, on the whole, a most delectable collection.

For the fan who does not disdain the idea of a fantasy book being considered "juvenile", so long as it is fantasy, I can recommend "The House in the Mountains", by Averil Demuth (Hamish Hamilton 7/6). She gives us fantasy on a background of actuality in spells of the Sorceress and the Witch, and, has a magic all her own, in its telling.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Another Suggestion - from Julian PARR

Now - how about' a 'FANDOM GPO'? This renowned object is the product of much thought on my part,and seems to be quite practicable, as follows; Each fan sends his letters, to other fans, or fan-mags in one big envelope (each letter in its own small enlvelope) to Michael Rosenblum, and encloses 1d for each letter. Mr. R, while publishing 'Fido' sends it out in a large envelope, enclosing, the letters received for him, to each fan. Thus, I am enclosing a letter to GA, Cosmos, Moonshine & Dawn Shadows. If the scheme was working, I should enclose 4d in stamps, & thus pay part of the postage. Other letters Would be sent similarly and Michael would send them, after 14 days or a month to the recipients. By including personal letters to fans in this scheme we could save both stamps & unnecessarily irregular sending and receiving of letters at the expense of a week or two's delay in the 'post'. Important and urgent letters would, of course, be sent direct. 'What do you think of this?

Well, so far as British fans are concerned, I am perfectly agreeable. JMR

PERSONAL COLUMN

Firstly I must acknowledge receipt of communications from E.F.Russell, R.E.Orme, W.H.Gillings, M.K.Hanson, A.C.Clarke, & Miss A.Feather, to which no further reply will be made.
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D.Doughty,31 Bexwell Road, Downham Market, Norfolk, Wants copies of Astounding, 34 to 37.,good condition, Send list and prices.
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Wanted - good condition, all issues Science Fantasy Review (War Digest 1-7), Postal Preview Nos 1, 17 onwards. Also issues of Astounding & Unknown. Send list first. D.Houston, 142 Ardington Road, Northampton.
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S'all there is room for this month.

page 4:
REPORT ON PROGRESS

Since the "SUGGESTION" published in last month`s FIDO a volunteer for the organisation and running of such" a "MSS circulation bureau" has come forward, and we are very pleased to be able to say that Doug Webster is prepared to tackle the job. Naturally, he will require the co-operation of us all in getting the scheme going and running it afterwards, especially from those industrious people who'have manuscripts available, that they Would be kind enough to loan to fandom at large, We hope that Doug will give details soon in his "The Gentlest Art".

A letter from E. F, Russell replies to the particular request re his mss: "Regarding Julian Parr's query, the story in question was turned down by Campbell on the ground that, it "`had a good idea but was too tough for our readers." But someone else may think otherwise. Its is still in U.S.A. and being submitted elsewhere...So the position is that I can hardly do anything for Mr. Parr until such time as the yarn is turned down by everybody and comes back.

The yarn has little to recommend it except that it suggests there may be reasons for certain types of lunacy, reasons from which science shies like a frightened horse.. However if the MSS eventually should squit with a slimy slurp through my letter box, I'll send it along and let the boys maul it."
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Received Recently

Instead of just listing and reviewing amateur magazines received, we think it would be preferable to mention the high spots of the month as they strike us. Of this month's bag, the finest item is the Dec. issue of ALCHEMIST (Lew Martin, 1258 Race St., Denver, Colorado) with 44 octavo pages well-mimioed , and really fine illustrations by Hunt, Bok and Knight. The mag is featuring long and well thought out articles on worthwhile topics, & this issue's offering, "Dead End" by R.W.Lowndes, discusses the reaction of fans to the escapist element in modern fantasy.

Australia is brightening up! During the month we have received usual FUTURIAN OBSERVER, number 6 of ULTRA (E.F.Russell - not our E.F.R -) and the first issue of Russell's emergency bulletin HERMES; the second issue of AUSTRA-FANTASY (Warwick Hockley 183 Domain Rd., S.Yarra, SE1 Melborne) and the first issue of the same gentleman's MELBOURNE BULLETIN. General verdict on these publications is that Australian fandom has not yet reached the maturity of both the British & US fan worlds so that their publications are not so well produced, nor their matter so good but the enthusiasm is present all right. Good luck to them!

Other magazines received include PLUTO; FANFARE; SUNSPOTS; IFA REVIEW; FANTASY NEWS; and SARDONYX - a FAPA publication from Louis Russell Chauvenet, unique for being entirely hand-written.

-0-0-0-0- 0-0-0-

ADDENDA to "Fantasy On The Cheap", published last month.

Bernard Newman - "The Cavalry Goes Through" (Cherry Tree Books) How the last war might have gone, with lessons in tactics for this one S. Fowler Wright - "The Secret of the Screen" (Cherry Tree Books) - with a little sf, but chiefly a thriller.

Also recomended though not science fiction "The Genius of Louis Pasteur", by Piers Compton (Cherry Tree Books)

page 5:
EDITORIAL

Janaury 26th; at this almost last moment, Edward Rennison has sent in three sides for his sheet COSMOS, thus giving me, an extra side to fill. You therefore, have him to thank for the eleventh hour inclusion of some of the departments I have already apologised for omitting; and in particular for this editorial of a sort. The only thing I can say about FIDO's litter this month is "Whoopee!" and I suspect you will be thinking the same. What with all these sheets plus a couple of suggested schenes we are becoming more like a club than a mere magazine; which is grand. Of course we want, more subscribers to, though the circulation has been coming along fairly nicely, so if you have a pal who ought to be getting FIDO .. tell him so! Two new sheets are on the point of breaking off (pardon the billiards metaphor, it just came) namely Doughty's " TIN TACKS"; and an art effort from Harry Turner.

_____________________________________________________________________________

J.M. Rosenblum BOOKLIST

Additions to February 1941

500 Air Bandits.....................................................David Lindsay
501 Which Hath Been...........................................Mrs Jack McLaran
502 The Murder Germ..........................................Captain A. O. Pollard
503 Gullivers Travels.............................................Swift
504 The Imitation Man..........................................John Hargrave
505 The Missing Moneylender..............................W.S.Sykes
506 Saurus............................................................Eden Phillpotts
507 Draught of Eternity..........................................H .M.Egert
508 The Television Girl..........................................G. de S. Wentwoth-Jones
509 The Green Ray...............................................William Le Queux
510 The Recipe for Rubber....................................R.Stock
511 A Woman - Or What..................................... Mrs Norman Lee
512 Dr. Nicola's Experiment..................................Guy Boothby
523 Twilight of the Gods....................................... Richard Garnett
514 The Cavalry Goes Through..............................Bernard Newman

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FILM CHATTER

A fantasy film has been careering round the country and if you have missed it so far, watch out for it at your local cinema. Entitled "Earthbound", 'Renny' comments as follows; Warner Baxter's soul (?) remained on earth after he died & he had to tell people who his murderer was. Not go good a story & how a man who walks through walls doors etc. as a natural occurence can sit down perfectly at ease on a form or chair is beyond me. Have you noticed that all adverts for the film "The Invisible man Returns" show a fully clothed man 'being invisible' whereas, of course, to be invisible the hero had to be entirely nude.

Introducing ................... .......................... No. 5

John Edward Rennison

About 6ft tall, wears glasses high forehead, brown (medium coloured) hair, sarcastic, argumentative, somewhat cynical, good sense of humour. Born 20th Septenber 1924. Read s.f. for many years, entered fan field in 1940, now editing our companion magazine COSMOS.

Hobbies; keen on cycling and swimming, sf reading likes pictures & variety etc.

Ambitions: to wander aimlessly about the world, and to be in the first spaceship to leave the Earth.

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