FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 9 (Vol. 1, Number 9) June 1941

By May the Blitz was winding down, but the Luftwaffe still had one nasty surprise for London. On the night of the 10th, in brilliant moonlight, a force of 550 planes dropped hundreds of high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiaries on the heart of the city. The chamber of the House of Commons was reduced to rubble and the Lords chamber was also hit, though it remained usable. Big Ben was scarred - though the clock continued to keep perfect time - the roof of 12th century Westminster Hall was set ablaze, the square tower of Westminster Abbey was destroyed, and St. Paul's Cathedral was hit. None of the capital's main railway stations escaped damage and there was another building lost, too: Druid's Hall, site of the 1938 and 1939 SF conventions.

Also on the 10th the Germans also launched an airborne invasion of Crete, and Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess - in one of the odder events of the war - flew to Scotland where he was taken into custody. On the 15th, the first British jet made a successful first flight at RAF Cranwell, and on the 27th the Royal Navy succeeded in sinking the Bismark, pride of the German fleet.

Distributed with this issue:

THE GENTLEST ART #7 - ed. Douglas Webster - 4 pages
TIN TACKS #4 - ed. Don Doughty - 2 pages

page 2 * page 3 * page 4 * page 5 * page 6 * page 7 * page 8 * page 9

page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................cover art by Harry Turner
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NEWSLETTER

OUR WANDERING BOYS.

This month seems to have been a month of changes and here is a collection of latest addresses:

Having finished his first period of training, William F. Temple is now due to be moved anywhere, so he wants all correspondence to be sent c/o Mrs Joan Temple, "Trevose", Goonown, St. Agnes, Cornwall.

"Mount Melleray Rides Again, or Sweet Hell in Old Jewry" is what Sid Birchby has to say about the news that AC2 Clarke A.C. (alias Ego) has landed in that part of London; and will be there for about 4 months - he hopes.

R.E.Orme of Coventry has been "bombed out" & is now to be reached at 111 Hinckley Rooad, Walsgrave, Coventry. Hard Luck, old man: deepest sympathies from all of us.

And yet another. Eric Needham sends a brief note to say his present address is 71 Warwick St, Salford 7.

Whilst no less a person than the long missing Eric Williams drops us a line saying that he was called up in January, is in the Royal Corps of Signals, has been in Birmingham, and is to be reached c/o his home address 11 Clowders Rd., Catford, SE6.

We also learn that probably the first US fan to be directly affected by the war is Captain P.J.Searles of the US Navy Air Corps, whose last communication to us came from Bermuda where of course there is now a US air base.

NEWS ITEMS

K.Bulmer & A.Williams to produce 'fan book' with 70 pages & spine (presumably on style of SPECULA). 2nd issue of Frontiers will contain RHolmes article "Fritz & Blitz". SNIDE not sunk as rumoured -- silk-screening of 3 colour cover delayed issue. Les "Charnock Walsby" Heald's story "Last Man" & FEArnold's "Twilight World" both appear in COMET 2 for Jan. Les Heald's MSS was originally sent to Ted Carnell for NEW WORLDS, who sent it on to USA When that mag was sunk. Eric Needham sporting a new typewriter cos his old one was smashed up by a shell splinter during a recent raid. Morojo of course publishing SATAN & Guteto, the latter to proagnte Esperanto in fandom per FAPA. RHolmes via DMcIlwain.

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FIDO FANS ROMP HOME' IN "TALES OF WONDER" SEARCH FOR IDEAS

"TALES OF WONDER" number 14,dated Spring 1941, appeared this month. 4 stories only are included though all of a high standard. The paper shortage is hitting all magazines badly now, and the continuance of old faithful ToW is little short of a miracle.

The Tales are "Death from the Skies" - A.Hyatt Verrill; "Murder in the 4th Dimension" - C.A.Smith; "The Red Spheres" - Geo O.Wallis; & "Child of Neptune" - Miles J. Breuer M.D.

But the most interesting point is that FIDO subscribers are so well represented amongst the Search For Ideas prizewinners; K.Bulmer taking the first prize, Don Houston second, and Terence Overton the fourth. A fine record indeed. Congratulations, gentlemen.
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"Synthetic Man of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs has just been published in this country (Methuen 7/6). Why have these publishers issued, "Master Mind of Mars" & "Synthetic Men", says R.G.Medhurst, "and not the chronologically intermediate 'Swords of Mars', and 'why on earth don't they bring out MOON MAID"?
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The second issue of "The Science Fantasy Fan" (A.Williams 3 Victoria Dwellings, Clerkenwell Rd., E.C.1) the only other regular British fanzine, duly appeared; a worthwhile venture.

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CLIPPINGS FROM CANADA

Beginning February, fantasy dark ages descended on Canada for us fans. All pulp magazines containing non-serious fiction, whatever that is, were banned from Canadian newstands . I mean all American magazines. This then means no more science fiction, fantasy or weird magazines for the Canadian public. The only way for us Canadians to get our reading matter is to trade for it with American fans. This move was taken by the Canadian Government to conserve foreign (distasteful word in this case) exchange which is needed badly for the purchase of munitions. Hitler told his people "Butter or guns" and they got the guns (poor blighters). We were told "Magazines or munitions" and we gave up our reading. However in the future, I believe what will happen is what happened years back when a similar ban was on - the big American houses will either contract Canadian publishers to print special editions, or else establish Canadian branches. The Canadian editions have, in the past been equal to the American ones except for one small detail - "Printed in Canada" at the bottom of the contents page in very small letters. During the last ban Amazing Stories was the only American magazine printed here, and, of consequence, had the field to itself. I think it will be a vastly different story this time, but we must just wait and see.

Out at Universal in Hollywood, Lon Chaney is working on the latest weird- horror film entitled "Man-Made Monster". Universal is also making "Horror Island", starring whom I don't know. The success of Walt Disney's "Fantasia" has spurred him on to make another fantasy feature in technicolor the new one to be named "Tha Reluctant Dragon". It will be released some time this Spring by RKO. Monogram filmed Boris Karloff in "The Ape", and Bela Lugosi is in "Devil Bat".

"Lost Horizon" has been revived, tho in black & white, not technicolor. It makes a surprising difference to the film, however it is still a wonderful thing to see.

Leslie A Croutch,
Parry Sound, Ont., Canada.

"UNKNOWN FANTASY FICTION" CHANGES NAME, FORMAT AND PRICE!

After, the August issue of "UNKNOWN Fantasy Fiction" the name of the mag will be changed to "UNKNOWN WORLDS", so as to explain its contents better. It will become 8 1/2" x 11" in size, containing 128 pages and 105,000 words which means that the present contents can be published, plus a long novel, like the old days. The new price will be 25 cents and the magazine will be cotinued to be published bi-monthly. Thus the first issue in the new size will be the October 1941 one. The cover will remain the same as it now is, only the cover paper will be thicker.

This raises the interesting speculation as to whether ASTOUNDING Will follow Its sister magazine's example.... FANTASY NEWS ________________________________________
THE LATEST NEWS of the "Denvention", (Denver Stf Convention) is given in the second issue of the,"CFS Review". Besides telling of the COMET award announced in the May FIDO, it gives some details of membership of the Colorado Fantasy Society - the sponsoring organisation. The 100 or so members include "Doc" & "Honey" Smith, Mary Gnaedinger, Malcolm Reiss, J.W.Campbell and many prominent fans.

Incidentally, will all British fans who would like to join in a message to the Denvention, please send me their signature etc., & any special message on a piece of paper (gummed) 3" x 2".

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CHARLES SCHNEEMAN artist of Astounding and Unknown was drafted and is at present in the US Army. Ed Cartier is likely to follow him in the near future. .....F.N.

Anson MacDonald, new writer in Astounding, (that mag again!) Is now revealed to be in reality none other than Robert Heinlein. This author it is reported is the second to obtain the rare "Nova" award for a serial tale, namely "Universe" in the May Astounding about a civilisation in a spaceship that missed its goal. FFF.

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SCIENCE FICTION EXCHANGE Bulletin No.1

A number of fans are concerned over the safety of the Exchange, well they needn't be, this :is a fairly safe locality, indeed it is (or I should say "was") an "Official Evacuation area", and although recently we have had a few bombs near, it is still reasonably safe. Another point which also arises is whether or not yours truly is likely to be called up in the near future; I would like to set their fears at rest, yours truly did not pass the Medical Examination, and is permanently exempt from all Military Service.

I have decided to throw open certain parts of the SFX. to all who desire to borrow mags. There will be no charge at all; of course, borrowers will have to pay all postage. Thanks are especially due to the following for their kind help and for contributing books to the main pool;- Don J. Doughty, Art Williams, John Morgan, Derek Gardiner, A.W.Busby and Dennis Tucker, (I must ask the forgiveness of any and all missed out).

233 mags are now available through SFX as well as 16 novels including Wells "Time Machine" & "Tales of Mystery & Imagination" - Poe, for both of which I am indebted to Edwin Macdonald.

J.T.Gibson
7 Belmont Rd., Parkstone,Dorset.

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Jack Chipman Miske, alias The Startreader, and noted as the most egotistic of U.S. fans makes another "final" appearance in the April issue of FANFARE, organ of the Boston Strangers Club. Unfortunately a large proportion of the issue deals with analyses of this gentleman's behaviour. But of special interest is the fact that he offers copies of his 1 issue "super" fanzine - BIZARRE absolutely free to all & any Britishers who request same (except contempible Pacifists). Address is 5000 Train Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

We are very pleased that this gentleman has at long last offered something to British fans for so far he has been conspicuous by his absence from the gallant band to whom we owe a debt of gratitude - Warner, Tucker, Wright Searles, Rothman etc., and of course 4e Ackerman. We feel sure that Miske will be grateful that we give his offer publicity where it will be most useful, and he will be pleased to do something for those who are fighting for the cause for which he believes every Britisher ought to lay down his life.

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POTPOURRI by 4e: Burroughs' first novel was written on the backs of envelopes & spare sheets of paper. Lovecraft, too, it would seem from Derleth's revelation re the "Ward" ms., rote all over the place. So, hoping to emulate these 2 acknowledged masters of fantastic fiction, & become famous, I am composing this column from odd scraps of paper accumulated from hither, thither & yither: notes from all the pockets of my coats & in my pants & from my adres bk & (a la ERB) on the backs of envelopes, & (in the manner of HPL) on the reverse side of letters (circulars: Rosicrucian, Subscribe to Esquire, Is There Life After Marriage? etc). All sorts of items intended for Fantasy Fiction Field's Spotlite andor The Calif Mercury which I just never got around to submitting. This pg this time will serve for editorial & to introduce what is to be a regular feature: --the happenings of the Los Angeles-Hollywood set in the several wks prior to publishing Vom. Vom is very late this ish because this baby has been burning the neon tube at cathode & anode.. For the sake of the records, will say our job required us to work the equivalent of 6 wks during Jan, while Feb saw in the naborhood of 90 overtime hrs put in. Now this, chums, is not our idea of living; so we had no alternative but to resign. This may mean the end of the Litho Era of the Voice; & we have no choice but to suspend, 'angeling' The Damn Thing. My English & Aussy pals will understand, I trust, if I go bust, that no more mags arrive for awhile. But, in thend, I bliev it will be betr. ' ' Another Voice, alredy underway, ought to be in your hands within a month. After that--depends. Primarily, of corse, it is of first importance to me to attend the Denvention, & this I am determined to do at all costs. ' ' Fandom First! is my motto... Am trying out a little thing with Teddy Emsheimer (our Vomultilither, who also resignd from the Academy, to have more time for his interests, several of which are learning Esperanto & fixing to attend the Denvention. Myt even publish his own fm.)--am trying out a little idea with TE & his wife, which myt turn into a Big Idea (a la Cummings). 'S'Called... Assorted Services, so if U noe anybody who wants some stenciling done or a party pland or to borrow a bk or be reminded when it's their favorite Aunt's birthday-- just send 'em out to Calif & we'll fix ;em up; Now to give U the news: First off, some real super-stuff we shoud like to've run in giantype, lithoed in red; have to stencil it instead but our hearts are behind it. EARTHMAN TO MARRY MARS- PRINCESS! BOY GETS BARSOOM GIRL! WALT DAUGHERTY TO WED ELEANOR 'DEJAH THORIS' 0'BRIEN! DIRECTOR OF LASFS & BRIDE-TO-BE PLAN DENVENTION HONEYMOON! Now ain't that sumpin?! ' ' Hitchike to Shangri-LA: William Dewey, stfan from Everett, Wn, was in LA one, day recently, thumbing his way down to Mexico, Spent an afternoon with Bradbury, talkt with 4e on the fone, Latest imagi- native to join the LASFS is J. Arlo K. Richard.s, 3d prize-copper in AmS' recent "Planet of Errors" contest. Watch for work by Richards (fiction, fact articles) in Astra Pubs & others. ' ' Spectra to be hekto'd! First of its kind from LA since first IMAGINATION!. ' ' Specula #2 will feature a piece of Northern Cal fan fiction in "Me & the Mite", emanating from the vicinity of Berkeley, North Meets South! ' ' 4some Sees Fearsome Film. Walt Daugherty & fiancee, Virginia Laney & Forry recently took in together a local revival of the old Chaney opus, "Fantom of the Opera", by Gaston` Leroux. (Gad! What won't Ackerman call news next?)' After fan-working at 4e's flat one recent Sunday, Walt, 'LN-or' & Morojo went out & rustled up some vitamins & the 2 gals prepared suppers for the 2 guys & themselves, Work done primarily was on dummying of the Denvention tion Shangri-LA,which will he dedicated to an overseats fan. References were made to 4e's pro & art collection for a novel type of illustrating for Carnell's sequel to "Art! I Choke!". ' ' Insiders' letter in latest Weird has brot in 2 inquirys about L1ASFS & 4 visitors, one fellow from Iowa & a lady from Detroit. ' ' Incidently, it no longer'll be the Brown Rm at Clifton's. Was all set to start a Club Column called "It Hapnd in Monterey" when we moved to rm of same name; but we have left Clifton's & may go out to Exposition Pk for our meetings. Calling to your attn. "Cashing in on Fantasy" on pg 568 of Pop Mechanix for Apr. Fan pictured is LA's own Ray Harryhausen (Hon Mem LASFS) who came to our notice when he attended, a revival of "King Kong" at a theater where imagi-native Roy Test Jr was working at the time. Stills loand by me to the theater attracted Ray to me & hence to the Club. I'm proud to be the owner, by the way, of that original of the Jupiterian Monster pic on 569, ' ' Art Joquel new Club Librarian. In this Connexion, our Library needs the following mags, on which we have the fo1lowing quotations, & if any fan can better them, for ppd copys in good condition, contact Art at once at 1426 W 38 St, LA: AmS #1, $2.50; #2 $2; #3, $1.50; #l, Ast, $1.50. ``Not one mad-scientist but 3 Were seen in a school play concocted by T, Bruce Yerke, with cast including Yerke, Welles, Brown ,& Gershon. ' ' C U2 8 DENVER! 4e
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ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Most of you will be wondering somewhat, by now; so here is a little explanation. Firstly, the issue is dedicated to that truly "top" American fan Forrest J (4e) Ackerman; who, not being satisfied with sending British fandom parcels of pro mags and copies of the Los Angeles fanzines, has sent us no less than four parcels of paper in the last month. So we decided to use most of the aforesaid paper for this particular issue of FIDO and thus conserve our own stocks, especially as the size of these sheets prevents them from "mixing in" with ordinary issues. Pages 2 & 4 contain adverts for "VoM", page 5 consists of gossip from a recent edition of that magazine which will be of great interest to most people, and page 8 is also from VoM. We thank you, Forry.

Now as to other items. As we go to press we are aware that there will be no "Zenith" or "He Said" this month, due to the preoccupation of their respective editors. Neither will there be a "Gleanings" as Ron Holmes has been fully occupied this last month as a member of a Pacifist Service Unit in much-bombed Liverpool. They all ought to be back next month, in fact we are promised a double- size "Zenith".

And we conclude this almost-an-editorial by stating what you all ought to know, namely that this is the June 1941 issue of FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST (nicknamed FIDO) published by J. Michael Rosenblum from 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7, England. Rates are 3d per copy, 3/- a year; Americans 75 cents cash or promags to that value. Reciprocal exchange welcome.

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WANDERINGS by Wayfarer II

Here we are again! And this time, for a change, I am going to devote the whole of my space to fantasy novels published by Messrs Hodder & Stoughton in their "Yellowjacket" series at 2/- each, and which do not seen to be as well known as they ought to be.

Firstly,"DARK FRONTIER" by Eric Ambler; a beautifully ironical tale of a physics professor who identifies himself, after a motor accident, as a fictional wonder-detective, and acting under that impression foils a nasty scientific plot and leads a democratic revolt. Highly reccomended.

Another good yarn is "THE ONE SANE MAN" by Francis Beeding. Alleged to be a thriller, it deals with an attempt to forcibly solve the problems of Europe (pre this war) by threatening obstreporous nations by means of a weather-controling machine.

"BY THE GODS BELOVED" is, I believe, Baronesss, Orczy's only real Venture into fantasy. A lost city in the Sahara - forerunner of Egypt - visited by modern-day adventurers. Original when written but now fairly hackneyed.

And to conclude, here are a couple of roaring blood-and-thundery, yet very enjoyable stories by "Ganpat", namely "MIRROR OF DREAMS" - almost a Shangri-La tale, about a hidden monastery in the Himalayas in which initites train and meditate so as to be able to bring culture to a purged humanity after a coming ice-age - and "FAIRY SILVER" - adventure, chivalry & romance in a lost land somewhere near Tibet inhabited by an ancient race, ruled over by the descendants of a medieval French expedition to Tartary.

So if you are feeling the pinch of the lack of American magazines, there are five first-rate yarns to tackle - try your local library for them!
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We wish to thank the following for extra copies of their fanzines, which will go the rounds of fellow-FIDOers; F.J.Ackerman (VoM), P.Bronson (Fantasite), A.L. Joquel (FMZ Digest), W.Hockley (AustraFantasy & Melbourne Bulletin) and D. Tuck, (Profan). Other fanzines received this month include Zeus (2 issues), Fanfare, Alchemist, Futurian Review, Le Zombie, Fan-Atic, Sunspots, Fantasy News &, FFF.

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THIS CHAIN GANG BUSINESS, or notes on contemporary phenomena!!

Probably a rather unexpected result of the wartime situation of British fandom has been the rise of a system of chain-letters. That is to say, letters are sent out from a central source with an attached list of people, each of whom passes the package on to the next on the list, thus enabling intercommunication to be kept up with a minimum of trouble and expense. Actually the first to appear was not an stf. one proper but an emergency continuation of the psychic research organisation THE PROBE.

But this and the S.F.A. had many common members, including the secretary H.S.W.(Hal) Chibbett. So inevitably, the Probe Newsletter percolated through fandom.

Next on the field was Arthur C.(Ego) Clarke's FAN-MAIL, originally an attempt to keep in touch the various members of the London S.F.A. but soon engulfing others to the total of some 24. Now that Ego is in the RAF, C.S. Youd is continuing the series for the nonce.

This month a third "chain gang" made its bow when Eric Frank Russell sent his "American Malange" wandering round Britain. The idea of this is to supplement FAN-MAIL by containing news from the States plus one or two recent fanzines. Not quite "pukka" chain gangs are the associate editors of the FIDO mailing to whom second copies of exchanges circulate, and we have yet to see if Jack Gibson's "S F Exchange" develops as such.

All-in-all, we seem to have something new and potentially very useful.

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It's happened at last, we just knew it had to happen! A true "digest" of fanzine articles and pictures has appeared in "FMZ" (pronounced 'Femmes') Digest. Apart from a brief letter section the whole of the contents of the issue consist of reprinted matter; and very good it all is too. And that's not entirely due to the fact that the back page consists of the March FIDO cover - poem by Harold Gottliffe illustrated by Harry Turner - and a condensed "They" by D. J. Doughty from "Cosmos" No 2. Enterprising publisher is Arthur Louis Joquel II and the high quality tells us it's Los Angeles pub.

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ANSWERS TO LAST MONTH'S QUIZ.

  1. J.R-Fearn,G-Edward Pendray, and J. W.Campbell of course.
  2. Eando Binder, David H. Keller
  3. W.H.Gillings, H.Gernsback, Gernsback.
  4. Skylark 3; Spot of Life; Ayesha.
  5. The Hampdenshire Wonder - Beresford.
  6. The first "thought-variant" was "Ancestral Voices" by Nat Schachner in the December 1933 Astounding.
  7. Novae Terrae; The Time Traveller.
  8. "The Diamond Lens" - Fitz-James O'Brien.
  9. Ralph Milne Farley, Lewis Carroll (bet this fooled some of you) and "Miles".
  10. John Bristol (Jack) Speer; Forrest J. Ackerman, Bob Tucker.
Well, how did you do at it? Some people told me this quiz was too easy and asked for harder ones, much to my surprise. Next month I hope to have a quiz compiled by A. W. Busby.
PERSONAL COLUMN

Many thanks for letters received from; S.Birchby W.Temple, R.Forster, J.W.Banks A.W.Busby (sorry, no room for your article), J.T.Gibson, J.C. Craig, R.Holmes, A.Bloom, R.G.Medhurst, D.R.Smith, A.G.Skeel, J.Briston, Marvis Manning, (why not send some promags - I'd be pleased to send FIDO in exchange) and Eric Needham. Probably a few more by the time this is despatched. Also some new subscribers who, of course, are now available via FGPO. S.A.Beach (Aberystwyth) E.C.Williams (Forces) T.Hughes (Birmingham) D.Sadler and F.W.Ward (Derby) A.W.Busby (Birmingham) and H.Vella (London). I feel sure that you will appreciate that whilst I would very much like to write to you all, lack of time effectively prevents me. Very sorry! But I am always very pleased to hear what people think about FIDO.

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page 9: (This page was a late, carbon-copied insert on typewriter paper.)
SOME P.S.s together with assorted late news....................................................................June 29th

Saturday morning, just 8 hours after the last of FIDO's stencilling was completed, several interesting letters, were received.
One from Richard George Medhurst insisted that a note must be put in F. somewhere to say that he has now gone back to his London address - 126 Finborough Rd, West Brompton, SW 10 - otherwise people will probably be sending his letters to Cambridge still, where they will probably be irretrievably lost. He also wishes to have noted the publication in the Guild Sixpenny series of "The Beast With Five Fingers" by W.F.Harvey - all dripping mobile hands and so forth - and Brown & Serpell's "If Hitler Comes".
And he also comments that the recent death of Sir Hugh Walpole has an stfical significance due to this author's "Four Fantasies" omnibus; "Portrait of a Man With Red Hair" and so forth.
Another letter came from John Frederick Burke to say that the duplicator that printed FANTAST and MOONSHINE has now gone, (in a blitz) and therefore the latter sheet is no more. With the "retiring" of Ron Holmes from active fandom that means the end of the Liverpool branch who showed such promise.

As this is stencilled "HE SAID" and "Zenith" (Whoops, that should have been in capitals as well) have not put in an appearance though both were promised a while ago. I hope they arrive tomorrow (Monday) but even then they will throw the mailing a little late. It may even have be despatched without one or both of them.
You will notice (if you are a British subscriber) that at long last some copies of FUTURIAN REVIEW have turned up and are being distributed with this malling. We thank Bert Castellari sincerely for them, and also for the reciprocal distribution of FIDO's Australian edition.
We also wish to thank Forrest J. Ackerman (yes, again) and Walter J. Daugherty of Los Angeles for more most welcome paper which arrived this week . . . Angels is the right word!
The postage problem is becoming a little awkward and I'm wondering what to do about it. Should any of you note that your postage does come to over the usual sum due to the weight of the mailing, I'd be grateful if you would slip in an extra stamp to that value next time you write to me. No hurry about it though. One halfpenny isn't much and you won't begrudge it, but 110 halfpennies throws the whole finances of Fido into a mess. Thanks a lot.

Notes-

1) The issues of VoM (VOICE OF THE IMAGI-NATION) the pages were from that appear in this issue have now been identified, courtesy of Robert Lichtman, who comments below:

  • page 5: "The same page appears as the penultimate one in VoM #12, March 1941."
  • page 8: "This is an incomplete version of the cover of VoM #14, May 1941. My copy notes that the artist is 'Howie Lowe, Chinese Fan,'on a strip of 'Dymo' plastic tape, and there's a 4-line poem above 'Black Flame.'"
2) Page 9 - also supplied by Robert - is a late insert that was missing from my copies of this issue.

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