FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 6 (Vol. 1, Number 6) Mar. 1941

In February, the final phase of the Blitz began. The first phase, from mid-September to mid-November, had been aimed primarily at London. The second, from mid-November to early-February expanded the scope to take in major industrial and port cities. The third and final phase began with Admiral Karl Doenitz persuading Hitler to attack British seaports in support of the Kriegsmarine's Battle of the Atlantic. Hitler issued a directive on February 6th ordering the Luftwaffe to concentrate its efforts on ports, notably Plymouth, Barrow-in-Furness, Clydebank, Portsmouth, Bristol, Avonmouth, Swansea, Liverpool, Belfast, Hull, Sunderland, and Newcastle. This change in emphasis took the pressure off London and the other major cities, providing a much needed respite.

In mid-February, Australian troops arrived to reinforce the British garrison in Singapore, and Japan warned Britain against military movements in south-east Asia. Meanwhile, in north Africa, British and Commonwealth troops continued to hand the Italians defeat after defeat in battle after battle. Hitler could not allow this to continue. On February 14th, an advance guard of Afrika Korps landed in Tripoli, a panzer division commanded by General Erwin Rommel....

Distributed with this issue:

COSMOS #3 ed. J. Edward Rennison - 2 pages
THE GENTLEST ART #4 - ed. Douglas Webster - 4 pages
MOONSHINE #3 - ed. John F. Burke - 2 pages
TIN TACKS #1 - ed. Don Doughty - 2 pages
WITH THE ARCHEOLOGISTS... # (-) ed. Harry Turner - 1 page.

Of particular fanhistorical interest this issue is that in Leslie A. Croutch's column is what is almost certainly the first use in a UK fanmag of the word "fanzine"....

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page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................cover art by Harry Turner
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London-letter.......... ........................................................... ...........................................from Sydney L. Birchby


The news that despite the blitz London still has many fans left leads to the possibility of a new London branch of the SFA coming into being.

Cambridge student George Medhurst has given your reporter a list of half a score unknown science fiction fans, living in the London area, and I hope in due course, to get in touch with them, with a view to regular contact. Should any readers of FIDO know of any addresses please inform me as soon as possible.

If this project materialises London, will once again be able to carry on its fan activities, which have been, virtually nil since the Blitz began.

The last SFA meeting as such was in August 1939. Do you remember those blazing hot days, the last days of peace, when everything secure had not yet perished? Do you? I hope you do because I don't, since all my records perished in Our Explosion.

With the start of war, the SFA was suspended for the duration, but as everybody knows, regular weekly meetings continued to be held at the famous No. 88 Grays Inn Rd, until Christmas 1939, and after that, contact was still maintained through regular meetings at the adjacent "Red Bull".

Indeed, as Ted Carnell once wisecracked: "We've never had such good attandences as we have since disbanding."

In September '40 came the Blitz, & with it the cessation of all pleasure travelling. Meetings at the Red Bull ceased. Bill Temple and Ted Carnell were called up and stf. in London died.

Now in February '41, it has revived as we all know, and once again fandom rears its ugly head.


Charles D.Hornig, editor of the twin magazines "SCIENCE FICTION" and "FUTURE FICTION" has resigned his position; due apparently to the lowness of the salary attached. Yet a third of the New York 'Futurians' has assumed the editorial mantle in his stead, in R.W.Lowndes; the other two being D.A.Wolheim and F.Pohl. "Doc" - as Lowndes is nicknamed - is very well known in fandom having been an active fan since 1935 and publisher of several fanmags. For the last year or so he has been looking after the literary agency founded by Frederick Pohl.

Well-known American author Fred MacIsaac died, recently"

"Lest Darkness Fall" which was in a recent "UNKNOWN" is being rewritten by L, Sprague de Camp for publication in book form by the N.Y. firm of Holt & Co.

First of the Yankee fans to be affected by conscription is James V Taurasi who received a call-up notice for January 8th, later deferred to the 29th. He intends to use such spare time as available attempting to break into the pro mags and so to come out of' the U.S. Army a full-fledged author.

The tentative plans for a Newark conference to be held this summer besides the official convention at Denver, Colorado, have now been dropped, leaving the field clear for the "Denvention".

Next issue of Tucker's "Le Zombie" includes photo of 12 fans at Chicon.

This is an amateur magazine devoted to fantasy fiction, published monthly @ 3d. per copy, 2/9 per year postfree; by J. Michael Rosenblum, at 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7, England. Cover by Harry Turner. Other kind people produce accompanying sheets, many thanks to them!

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WANDERINGS................... ........................................................... ....................................BY WAYFARER II

Just recently, whilst wandering around our local market I came across a paper-backed edition of a rather rare fantasy tale, namely "A Spoiler of Men" by Richard Marsh, written many years ago. It was published by the Shoe Lane Publishing Co at 1/-. The story deals with a villainous adventurer who is also a chemical genius, and who develops various serums which he injects to cause idiocy and affection.

Contrasting that with a modern work, may I recommend "Saurus" - Eden Phillpotts (John Murray 1938, 7/6) which tells us about a mysterious egg arriving from space and hatched out on this planet of ours. Its inmate hatches out as a super-intelligent: fast-growing lizard-like creature, who is the peg on which hangs what he considers to be an entirely unbiased account of humanity, and very good it is too.

I have also been lucky enough to discover hidden away in a bookshop I haunt, a new copy of the now out-of-print "Skycraft" by Charles Clark. (Newnes 3/6). This is a boys book really all about a wicked pirate and a clever professor, two adventuresome lads and the wonderful skycraft.

Some 'remainder' copies of "What Not" by Rose Macaulay (John Long 2/6 ) have appeared recently. The book is placed in what was to have been the near future (it was written in 1923) and deals with a new department of State - the Ministry of Brains - and a somewhat involved love interest.

The Story of a Bomb!!................... ........................................................... .......moaned by Sidney L.Birchby

It was only a little one. Just about the smallest H.E. that is made, no doubt. But of its efficacy one could not doubt.

It arrived at a most inopportune time, at 12 a.m. on a Monday morning before I had completed my ARP for stf.

The plan was grand. Everything in one room and in that room, every- thing into drawers and trunks with the most valued posessions in the safast containers.

Unfortunately , I had only got as far as having everything in one room, and the bomb had to choose that room to fall in. Result: some valuables survived but much more basically useful stuff perished-- instead of lots of relative rubbish that remained intact.

How I can write a philosophic discussion on the destruction of my collection is beyond me. I feel more like howling. To think of all my SFA meeting notes and my fan mags and half the choicest collectors items - not to mention irreplaceable books and magazines is to start weeping, and gnashing my teeth.

But why linger over what has gone? Much of it is junk that I always wantad to be rid of anyhow. I'm more interested in the building up of a new collection and a start has already been made.

Its scope is much wider than that of the old one; which was mainly fantasy & speculation (Lo!, Problem of Lemuria, Day After Tomorrow, etc.)

If present trends continue, the new one will be literary, left, and technical; with an emphasis on science fantasy, and what; for want of a better word, we may term "world-knowledge".

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Just heard from three people after quite an interval. Ron Fishwick of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire; still a sapper D.R. now stationed at Clyst-Hydon, Devon. We've been worried about the lad, he was in France with the BEF but he got back all right. Then Roland Forster of the RAF writes from the arctic wilds of the Shetlands. Whilst Harold Gottliffe, former director of the Leeds SFL, sends a charity letter from that very nebulous neighbourhood 'at sea'. Almost stf. bereft, with mail only at long intervals, Harold isn't downhearted! Having found a printing press of sorts on the old hospital Ship he plans to issue soon "FUTURIAN IN EXILE" - an octavo four pager, print and stencil like the first "TOMORROW".

Congratulations go to artist Harry Turner of Manchester, and Marion Eadie of Glasgow, president of the Junior Astronomical Association, on their engagemant. More wedding bells in fandom. Best wishes to them.

Contributor Leslie Croutch is too modest to mention it himself, but he has just managed to break into print professionally with two acceptances and possibly more to come.

Gleaner Ron Holmes is now spending nights looking after air-raid shelterers with the Liverpool unit of the Pacifist Service Units.

Undoubtedly the most popular item ever in FIDOs "litter" was C.S.Youd's "Blitz" in last month's mailing. Which is distinctly funny because it has little apparent connection with fantasy - we only wish it were!!!


Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan at the Earth's Core" (Methuan 6d) Also if you consider them fantasy;- Sax Rohmer "The Devil Doctor" (Methuens sixpennies) do "The Mystery of 'Dr. Fu- Manchu." (Penguin)

by Leslie A. Croutch

'Tis said Ziff-Davies dropped some $10,000 on its PETS magazine. To help make up this loss, SOUTH SEA STORIES and FANTASTIC were dropped. Now I see FANTASTIC ADVENTURES is back, in all its blood and gore and rapacious thunder.

America's new magazine is UNCANNY STORIES, not to be confused with UNCANNY TALES, which is a different magazine.

Hank Kuttner and his wife, Kat, are still in NYC at last time of writing to me. 'Tis said that Kat supplies Hank with his ideas and he writes them up. Hank told me in his last letter that he is producing 65,000 words a month!

In Hollywood, we find even the movie people busting their intestines going science-fiction in a big way. Universal has "The Invisible Woman" with John Barrymore coming up; also a Lionel Atwill "Mysterious Dr.R"... Hal Roach studios is hard at work on another Thorne Smith "Topper" picture "Topper Returns" featuring Roland Young, Joan Blondell, and Rochester...Two on the boards at Paramount Pictures have Basil Rathbone as the star "The Mad Doctor" and "The Monster and the Girl".

Arthur Widner Jr., editor of the Strangers Club's FANFARE, is plugging the word "fanzines" to take the place of the Philadelphian's "fanag" and the usual "fanmag". Incidentally, FANFARE is the neatest, most legible, and cleanest of any hectographed fanzine I have yet seen. In two colors too, into the bargain.

If the readers of FIDO, wherever they may be, like this column, have suggestions, or perhaps brick- bats to throw, write me: Leslie A. Croutch, Box 121, Parry Sound, Ont. Canada. I'm always glad to get letters and promise to answer all, especially from fair young things.

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GLEANINGS.......... ........................................................... ..................................garnered by RON HOLMES

The issues of "Spaceways Anniversary Issue" which were posted to this country were destroyed by enemy action. Now they are tickling the fishes with their quips. I would like to appeal to all who have copies that they would part with. Send them along to Michael or myself and we will see that you get value for it and that fans interested will have the opportunity of reading it. Thanx.

'Twould seem that Don Wollheim is getting on very well. He's recently had an article entitled "The Legal Aspects of Vampirism" printed in A. Merritt's "American Weekly". This is a really tough mag to get into!

"Stardust" the magazine unique, has finally collapsed. The publication is posted as 'suspended', but I feel that it will be the finish of it. "Stardust" was the best fanmag which was ever printed, but I'm afraid it was far too good, and costly to make a profit out of Fandom. Its a pity really; bUt fully expected. One thing I'd like to know, was there any books in "Stardust" Science Fiction Service ????????

Oh yes. Eric Frank Russell recently sold an article to to Campbell, entitled "Prehistoric Trollrybus", about a trolley system which was installed in Malta even before the Egyptians. I see too, that Campbell changed the title of "Ticking Terror" to "Mechanical Mice".

Sully Roberds of Normal, Ill., USA, -- yeah "Normal!!!" - intends to issue the first edition of "The Fan Record" in Jan '41. The mag thing is what its name implies, a recorded fanmag. It contains news, cross- country gossip, short articles, guest speakers, "Pong's Platter Patter" and letters etc. All you have to do is shove the record onto a "Gram"., (or Phonograph to those guys) and listen to the mag.

The Editorial Offices of the Standard Magazines have now been moved to 10 East 40th. Street. New York City, NY, USA.
::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o ::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::o::
Received Recently

...one complete avalanche - no less than 31 amateur magazines & a Fantasy Amateur Press mailing of 15 pieces, within the short space of a month, making it hard indeed to decide what is worthy of mention. However, item No 1 is FANTASY FICTION FIELD, the illustrated news weekly. Illustrations consist so far of photographs of people in the news and photo-offset reproductions of forthcoming covers of the pros. It's an idea. L.B.Farsaci's beautiully produced "GOLDEN ATOM" comes to STARS will continue. Pity GA has gone tho' for it as the best collectors fanmag, & I, for one, will miss it. We welcome FANTASITE; a well-hectoed and mature metamorphosis of the rather juvenile SCIENTI-Comics put out by P. Bronson 224 W.6th St., Hastings, Minn, USA.


RGMedhurst would like to find a volunteer to tackle investigating the works of RWChambers to find out which are science-fiction.
WANTED - Ast. Jly 39 & Amazing Oct 34. A.Williams, 3 Victoria Dwellings, Clerkenwell Rd., E.C.1
Many thanks for letters received from Julian Parr, J.Briston, R.Lane, J.P.Rathbone, Derek Gardiner, F.D. Wilson (2), H.J.Ellis, R.E.Folkes, E.A.Thompson. Please accept this in lieu of a proper reply. Also the last 5 are additions to "Fandom's G.P.O."
WANTED - certain 36 & 37 Issues of Astounding. List & prices to T. Overton, 107 Thomas Street, Abertridwr, Cardiff Glam.
FOR SALE - American editions of Unknown: Mar, Apr, May, Jun, July. Astounding: Feb, Mar, Apr, May 1940. Fantastic Novels Sep 40. All @ 1/2 each, (back cover of FN missing) JEBurke.