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
page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5
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
Vol. 1, No. 5...................
"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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
....................................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.
- 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
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.
D.Doughty,31 Bexwell Road, Downham
Market, Norfolk, Wants copies of
Astounding, 34 to 37.,good condition,
Send list and prices.
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.
S'all there is room for this month.
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."
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.
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)
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 BOOKLISTAdditions 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
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.
.......................... 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 &
Ambitions: to wander aimlessly
about the world, and to be in the
first spaceship to leave the Earth.