FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 15 (Vol. 2, Number 3) Dec 1941
The HMS Ark Royal, flagship of the Royal Navy, was sunk by an Italian torpedo in sight of Gibralter in mid-November. In North Africa, British and Commonwealth troops - newly restyled as the Eighth Army, and nicknamed 'the Desert Rats' - scored significant successes against the Afrika Korps.
The most important events of this period, however, involved Japan. Ignoring US proposals to improve relations, General Tojo announced that the conflict which began when they moved into French Indo-China would continue with the 'purging' of Anglo-American influence in the Far East. Responding to such threats, Churchill warned that if Japan went to war with the US, a British declaration of war would follow within the hour. On December 7th, Japanese aircraft attacked the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor....
Distributed with this issue:
COSMOS #5 - ed. J.Edward Rennison - 4 pagesOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ .....................................
AMERICA AT WAR
But how will you in America be affected? The first result may be something of a blessing in disguise, namely, the drastic reduction of the number of fantasy magazines. We venture to suggest the almost-immediate halving of the field with then a gradual pruning down to about a quarter of the present spate - about five magazines in all. Certain authors with service connections and younger writers of call-up age are sure to withdraw entirely from stf ken, but the mean standard of writing will undoubtedly improve as the competition gets keener for the smaller number of pages to be filled. But USA will not have the paper problem Britain, having to import her complete supply, has had, and the fantasy magazine is hardly likely to disappear entirely.
Fan productions are in another boat entirely. So long as some paper, ink and stencils are available, as they surely will be, the primary consideration will be the continued presence of the amateur publisher. And here we are somewhat pessimistic. We fear that many of the foremost figures in American fandom will be snatched away rapidly by the clutching claws of conscription. Though quite a few have been rejected already for medical reasons we imagine these verdicts will soon be reviewed in some way. So very soon, the 20-25 age group of fandom will be drastically depleted; leaving fandom in the hands of a few, very few, older people - largely withdrawn fron active participation - and the up-and-comings.
Therefore we would prophesy a continuation of fanmaggery, though with a drop in standard; in brief a return to an earlier and less sophisticated state of fandom. But a real diffference will be the measure of control effected by the recent tendency towards rational organising of fandom as an organic whole.
In any case you have our best wishes. Long may fans read, write and correspond.
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
________________________________________________________________ Vol. 2, No. 3; December 1941
An Amateur Magazine devoted to fantasy fiction.......................................................................................................
Published monthly at 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7.......................................................................................................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Editor; J. Michael Rosenblum
Price: 3d per issue, 3/- or 75 cents per annum-----------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reciprocal Exchange Welcome
And so we try an entirely different method of producing "Fido" a method sans elaborate dummying - not that we ever did anything very involved - which will enable us to get on with the job at those odd intervals available throughout the month, whenever sufficient suitable material is available. Thus we will never know just what will be in the completed copy, or indeed, what it will look like, but we shall, we sincerely hope, have a little more time to ourselves. Your indulgence is requested, but we feel certain our position will be fully understood by all our friends.
And if the finished product is somewhat similar to Bob Tucker "le Zombie"; as we have a sneaking suspicion it might be, we apologise!!
SUBSCRIPTIONS TO AMERICAN PROZINES
Messrs A.R. Bird. 66 Chandos Place, London W.C. 2 , are able to place subscriptions to the following half-dozen fantasy magazines; Astounding Science Fiction, 16/-; Famous Fantastic Mysteries, 7/6; Weird Tales, 8/6; Amazing Stories,19/-, Thrilling Wonder Stories, 16/-; and Startling Stories, 9/6. All prices are for a years subscription. There is no limit to the orders they can take, and it will probably take about eight or nine weeks after placing an order before you receive your first issue. Don't all rush at once.
LONDONLETTER "Men About Town Dept"
Bill Temple, with Joan, visited London on his last leave, camping out in the debris of their Wembley home. When Snaghurst and I met him, he was still complaining bitterly about army life. Can't understand why. Me, I'd just passed a delightful afternoon washing down walls and cleaning out the lavatory. Later we picked up Harry Chibbett, dropped him hastily, ran into Frank Arnold in a Fleet Street milk-dive, apologised and stayed till after ten pm. while Snaghurst told us about sex.
Londonletter, and its scribe, nearly came to an abrupt end last week, when lorry I was on decided to lose control on a hill, run up a banking, climb a telegraph pole, and miss another lorry by about a second, scattering the load on to the tarmac with nice resounding thuds. Load was five tons of bombs.
Sidney L. Birchby.
Change of Address: A. Dewick is now at 3 Boy Lane, Wheatley, Halifax.
This Month's Howler: A slight mix-up in his knowledge of British Fantasy has caused Donald Tuck of Hobart, Tasmania, to give C.S. Youd promotion. In his fanzine "Profan" Don refers to the pre-war British prozine "FANTASY" and mentions Youd as its editor. No, Don, our Samivel has only edited his own fanzine "Fantast", or maybe you are being prophetic!
S.O.S. Dept: Renny Rennison very anxious to get back his copy of the Ann-issue of Spaceways, sent "on the rounds". Who is the culprit?
AND THEN THERE WAS --- ONE LESS
Ken himself is a comparatively new and young fan, although he has been reading science fiction for quite a while. Actually he came into the wondrous circle of Anglofandom about a year ago, the sad result of recieving a sample copy of "Fido". In that short time he has rapidly worked to the fore as a competent all-rounder - publisher, writer, artist and literateur - of proved ability. He has suffered one of the greatest possible, of all blows under which a stfan can stagger when his entire collection - together with his home - was blown to bits during one of the blitzes. Recovering gallantly, Ken plunged into the whirl of active fandom, and all will be sorry to see him go for a while.
STAR PARADE has formed its own niche and developed its own personality till it was perfectly capable of standing on its own feet as a separate production; in fact superior to quite a few issued in America, and alleged by their perpetrators to glorify the sacred name of fanzine. Another casualty will be FANTASY POST, whose first issue proved the need of a reprint digest to keep Anglofans in touch with contemporary thought across the water. More, the breakup of the rapidly developing team of Arthur Williams and Ken Bulmer may have repercussions on the former's productions as well.
As usual, on behalf of all our clientele, we wish our would-be warrior all the best of luck, good reading and happy landings.
Cover Comments from Woof Temple : These "Dream Landscapes" of Harry's are real little works of art. Tell him to let his imagination have an even looser rein - and see what happens! Images, symbols, forms, shapes, beyond our comprehension - and - why should the viewpoint be straight-forward? Go off level, look from below or any angle, or even from inside! Or do I know what I 'm talking about?
JUST RECEIVED from Los Angeles is a most interesting little booklet entitled "The Discovery of the Future". It is a transcription of the recording of Robert Heinlein's speech at the Denver Convention. Copies enough have been sent to cover a fair proportion of British fandom; which fact alone is enough to tell you that it is produced by Forrest Ackerman. Half-foolscap format, it contains in 18 pages a word for word account; produced with the aid of Walt Daugherty's recording, of Heinlein's advice to stfans and evaluation of the sociolocal significance of science fiction.
Which leads us to quote a brilliant suggestion by the Smith; "I think the best way to acknowledge what he (Ackerman) has done for us, and is doing for us, would be to wait until things have settled down a little after the war and invite him over here as our guest, payng all expenses. Providing that the post-war depression hasn't hit us too hard, it should be within the bounds of possibility to raise the wind from amongst the elder fans, for it is a far more worthy cause than the usual piffling little trifles (editorial aside - this b- machine is up to its tricks again) with which we concern ourselves. There are, of course, so many things that might happen to interfere with carrying this plan into execution that it would be folly to
make any promises now .. but it might be bourne in mind". Sounds a
very good idea to me, Do Ray Smith, and one which ought to be within
the bounds of possibility.
Julian Parr sends the following communique; (a) All recipient-members of the BSFWRS who wish to dispose mags recieved through it (because (i) they've already read them, or (ii) they've read them and do not intend to save them) please send 'em to us, and we will see that they are redistributed to needy fans or to the SFExchange. (b) Johnny Cunnningham tells me that fans may pay for their mags "merely by sending me 1 or less than 1 shilling in unused G.B. stamps of any denomination ... that stamps will be sold to collectors."
TIN TACKS RETURNS
Yes my dears, TT is coming back; but this time ander the aegis of L/bdr Carnell, E.J, otherwise known as Ted. He wants me to inform all you lucky people that he hopes to have a couple of sides in the next mailing and is as usual requesting material - controversial chunks concerning the twins, and any other matters. Ted also appends; "Had an interesting meeting with Art Clarke last Sunday. He is stationed about 20 miles from me, and came over to this camp on a bike. Spent most of the day with me, mainly in the office where I am working for the time being. Shades of the Past - but it was good to see him. We want to know if this is the first inter-station meeting of any fans in Britain." Well I'm not quite sure, Eric Moss whilst despatch riding met an ex-member of the Leeds SFL in Plymouth last year, but only for a moment.
Ex-Tin-Tacker Don Doughty has now got to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, what is the Navy up to, these days?
Ken Bulmer informs us that Olaf Stapledon's "Starmaker" has now been published at 2/-. Thanks Ken, we were not aware of it.
What about those chain-letters re the proposed Futurian Society of Great Britain? How can we get any further forward if they are not sent back? So far only three out of seven have been returned to the fold, guilty chains being the Fido-coeditors, South Coast, Lancashire, and Scottish. Please send them on, whoever has them.
Another change of address. James Parkhill Rathbone is now to be found c/o Mrs Briggs, 34 Clapgate Road, Buckey, Herts. He hopes to be informed of any fan happening in the London area.
Horace Vella, of 17 Altreave Street, Farringdon Road, London W.C.1 states that he is always willing to hear from anybody, anytime, who is willing to sell books or magazines, relating to science fiction or fantasy.
Now as to this issue of FIDO - 'tis a poor thing but mine own, seems to be about the best thing I can say about it. 'twas produced in a couple of short sharp rushes, for I seem to have had even less time than usual this month. About this matter of time, the date of publication of FIDO is being altered to later in the month from now on - probably about the 15th; this is so that it will no longer clash with two other end-of-month responsibilities I have. So now you know. Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of A.C. Clarke, D. McIlwain, J. Parr, T. Overton, E.C. Williams (5), J. Gibson, and A.V. Clarke. Please renew promptly & help me.
Amongst my Postbag Deeply regret that the following letters can not
be answered individually and so must trespass upon the collective space.
D.R. Smith, no need to send anything to 4e but you can send a book etc direct;
E.F. Russell, thanks indeed for letter, haven't heard from your Yank as yet;
W.F.Temple, glad to know you are still living; R.G. Medhurst ( pc } Thanks,
where's my Bib3?; Julian Parr; D . Tucker, sub recieved, thanks; D. Houston,
thanks for birthday greetings, have rewritten HW re S; A.W.Busby, best of
luck with the MoI, expect other enclosures when I remember; R. Johnson, sorry
couldn't reply to your interesting letter The rest of you I hope to deal
"After This" by Ryland Kent (Hodder & Stoughton, 1940 8/3) What awaits us in the world beyond? Makes one think of "Outward Bound" doesn't it? And so does this book all the way through. A shipload of humans are hurled into eternity by an explosion and we learn the afterdeath experiences of quite a few individuals caught in the catastrophe. The work is stated not to be in support of any religious or occult doctrine and it obviously tries hard not to offend any, with the expected result of extreme wishy-washyness. All are good, really; and everyone is on the way. But where is glossed over. Still it is a brave try for tolerance and civilisation, somone with a message still in advance of today is trying to help the world along. But I wish he hadn't chosen to do it through the medium of fantasy.
STOP - PRESS
Latest news and second thoughts received on Dec 3rd. and crowding out some reviews of Yank fanzines. Both Ted Carnell and Renny Rennison have been having a good solid think about their respective publications. After revolving matters for a considerable time in that mighty dome of his Renny has come to a fairly definite conclusion. "From now on, "C" leaves FIDO. It becomes an independent 'Zine (Heavens, that's 2 - following ZENITH's example, what are we doing to fandom?) ..feature stories articles poems etc. and NOT news and reviews. The latter will still appear in a two-side COSMOS SUPPLEMENT with FIDO which will continue to appear as long as possible". Only two issue of new 'zine to appear, 10 sides, full size 'cap and sell for 3d per copy. Further details will be appearing later.
Now for Ted; "Firstly, I'm not going to continue TT, either by nane or as Don used to run it. I feel it was his and anything I did would not be the same ... Therefore it has to be different, and I might as well start off with all my own ideas. Here it is -- SANDS OF TIME; A sheet dealing mainly with the Street and Smith twins. My nickname for it is S&S which is where the title originated"'
Getting quite exciting, all this fanzine activity. Though I would like to say that FIDO's sheets are dwindling ominously. Some newcomers look like being very welcome, eh messrs Birchby, Gibson and Tucker, or anybody else who would like a go at any time. Which reminds us. Some copies of FIDO this month will go out with Heinlein's Denvention speech - will those people receiving same be so kind as to enclose the extra postage involved with their next letters to me?
New chum and participator in FGPO is Ron L. Bradbury of 34 Chorley Road, Swinton, Manchester. Gosh, another Mancunian!
And that ends the broadcast for this month. Lets hope for more news next month, and a Happy Christmas to all !!!
The feature story of the October 1941 issue, '"Palos of the Dog Star Pack" by J. U, Giesy, rather disappinted me to tell you the truth. It is a tale with a great reputation but whilst good, it isn't that good. To those fond of what it unblushingly is - fantastic adventure - I should highly recommend it as reminiscent of some of Burroughs' best. 'Tis a tale of intrigue on another planet, to which the hero introduces our civilisations great gifts in the shape of offensive armaments, so that Right can triumph, and his lady love be won. Lovecraft's "Colour Out of Space" seconds this offering most ably and "The Readers Viewpoint" includes another bulletin from Frank Edward Arnold, Science-Fiction Association (sic) .
The December '41 issue brings us the third in George Allan England's bright trilogy. Following "Darkness and Dawn" & "Beyond.the Great Oblivilion" we are treated to "The Afterglow" a tale of the re-establishnent of civilisation by a man and woman who have survived a terrific natural cataclysm, remaining in a state of suspended animation for some thousands of years, and then leading the scanty and barbarous decendents of the Americans back to their lost heritage. We found it most interesting but slightly irritating at times. "The Lost Garden" - Max Brand was merely mediocre, but "Crimes of the Year 2000" - Ray Cummings was astonishingly good.
FFM is keeping up quite a good standard especially by the use of the longer, and therefore better built-up and developed stories, though it is certainly surprising how disapointing the early classics turn out to be (though that does not mean they are not good) in comparison with quite a lot of todays much-maligned output.
1) In his 'Londonletter' column, Sid Birchby talks of encountering Frank Arnold "in a Fleet Street milk-dive". Milk bars, an American idea which had flourished during Prohibition, sold a variety of milk cocktails marketed at adults. The first English milk bar opened in Fleet Street, London, in 1935 - this may well be where Sid and Frank met - and their numbers increased with the stationing of American troops in Britain during WWII. My (Rob Hansen's) grandmother worked at the Milk Bar in Cardiff until the mid-1960s, so they certainly carried on for a while.
2) Also published this month was Harry Turner's ZENITH #3 (New series).