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"....
page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5
.....................................cover art by Harry Turner
...........................................from Sydney L. Birchby
A NEW LONDON FAN GROUP?
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
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
Now in February '41, it has revived
as we all know, and once again fandom
rears its ugly head.
LOWNDES REPLACES HORNIG
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
Well-known American author Fred MacIsaac
"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
....................................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
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".
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
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!!!
"FANTASY ON THE CHEAP"
Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan at
the Earth's Core" (Methuan 6d)
Also if you consider them fantasy;-
Sax Rohmer "The Devil Doctor"
do "The Mystery of 'Dr. Fu-
CLIPPINGS FROM CANADA
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
America's new magazine is UNCANNY
STORIES, not to be confused with
UNCANNY TALES, which is a different
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
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.
..................................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.
...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
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.