AN END TO BANALITY
FROM FORREST J. ACKERMAN
July and August issues of Writer's Digest featured articles by Margaret St. Clair, science fiction writer, surveying the field from the viewpoint of the newcomer who wants to break into it and detailing the individual requirements of the magazines. The second article gives names and addresses of fan clubs and their publications, so that writers may "catch the spirit of what readers want and get the mood of the fan seated in his own armchair."
The July article advised new authors to pay particular attention to fan letters in the magazines. "The typical science fiction fan is young, male (though there are some de- voted feminine ones), literate, quite intelligent, interested in ideas. His mental horizon is broader than that of the average citizen. He is strongly aware of what his likes and dislikes are, and the writer who succeeds in pleasing him will hear of it, In my belief the science fiction fan is a definitely superior type, but I may be prejudiced."
Dealing with current trends in the medium, Mrs. St. Clair says: "Certainly the present trend is dead away from the aptly-named 'space opera.' Blood and thunder is more or less on its way out, though I suppose we shall never get rid of it entirely ... Of late, Astounding Science-Fiction has been going in rather heavily for stories about the post-atomic bomb world. They take but a dim view of the future which is probable for humanity, and on this point all thinking persons must agree with them. But desolation and death, no matter how likely, offer unsustainirg subject matter for an extended programme of fiction.
"What will the future be like? No one can see very far into it. It may be that at first we shall have a considerable enrichment in material things. Science fiction might, then, devote itself at least partially to an imaginative depiction of the impact of this enrichment on humanity, with increased emphasis on humour, on character, on human interest. The life and social sciences will receive more stress. I believe we shall have more domestic interiors and fewer space-ships, more people and fewer robots and captured suns. Anyhow, it's more darned fun to write."
[Please turn to Page 18]
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 2|
The Lovecraft Cult
By ARTHUR F. HILLMAN
It is just ten years since Howard Phillips Lovecraft, American writer of weird tales, died at the age of 47, to be mourned by a few devoted friends and the comparatively limited circle of readers who knew and valued his writings. To those who regretted his demise it is some
consolation that his fame and influence have grown, slowly but steadily, through the years.
Despite the condescending attitude which some were pleased to adopt towards this
self-confessed literary "amateur" and the humble origins of his work, its underlying brilliance is
now widely recognised.
FANTASY REVIEW (Incorporating SCIENTIFICTION and TO-MORROW--Magazine of the Future)
A Journal for Readers, Writers and Collectors of Imaginative Fiction BI-MONTHLY: SIXPENCE
Editorial, Advertising and Publishing Office: 15 Shere Road, Ilford, Essex.
Vol. 1, No. 4 Aug.-Sept. 1947
now familiar to a much larger public-than he himself ever visualised. These two fine books are not only out of print but such copies as do exist will never come your way except at prices
that may surprise and even shock you. But if you have not read Lovecraft, or have only a dim
memory of him from Weird Tales and want to read him again, you cannot do better than seek out a copy of the Tower Books collection of his "Best Supernatural Stories."
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 3|
channels into which his roving imagination delved. His secluded life and yet tremendous
erudition; his absorption with things of the 18th century and his affectations of the Georgian
period; his abnormal sensitivity to extremes of weather; the inherent reserve that made it
practically impossible for him to cope with the realities of a cruel, workaday world--glimpses
of all these peculiar features of his personality were always to be had from his stories. But of
his charm of manner, his infinite patience and kindly humour, his gentleness, one could gather
little apart from one testimony: the devotion that prompted his small circle of friends to ensure
that his name and his work should become more than a fading memory.
revolved around him. The casual reader, dipping into it, may be somewhat nonplussed by the peculiar variety of its contents and the narrowness of its subject-matter; for it is primarily a
select excursion into the realm of H.P.L. and his satellites, and the inexpert traveller may well
regret the absence of a guide-book.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 4|
one sees definite signs of partiality in the criticisms it presents. For the Sage of Providence had emphatic views on the pattern of the perfect weird tale. He considered that it should take a series of steps towards a hideous denouement, each with its quota of cryptic allusions which
slowly build up the cumulative force of the whole, and he gave perhaps an undue importance
to those tales which fulfilled these mechanics. His thesis, while contributing immensely to the
student's knowledge of supernatural fiction, thus artfully contrives also to propagandise the
ideas which he upheld and turned to such notable account in his own writings.
does not share all the enthusiasms of such a rabid bibliophile as Lovecraft, his analysis of the field as it has been developed is fascinating reading; for much of the charm of the essay lies in
the wonderful language he used so aptly and effortlessly.
Best Supernatural Stories of H. P. Lovecraft, edited with an introduction by August Derleth. World Pub. Co., New York, 60c.
TO DEVOTEES OF LOVECRAFT
we recommend these titles, which we can still supply to those who order without delay.
G. KEN CHAPMAN
(British Sales Representative, Arkham House: Publishers)
23 FARNLEY ROAD, SOUTH NORWOOD, LONDON, S.E.25
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 5|
Among the Magazines
The Birth of NEW WORLDS
By JOHN CARNELL
Although Britain's first post-war science fiction magazine, "New Worlds," was launched only a year ago, it has a story behind it which goes back several years. Editor John Carnell, who has long been associated with the efforts to establish such a magazine in this country, here tells the story of its inception and its progress up to the present.
The seeds of the present New Worlds were sown back in 1939 when, as editor of the Journal
of the Science Fiction Association, I used the title for an amateur magazine which published
short stories and controversial articles on science-fantasy. That magazine ran to three issues
before the war compelled the staff to abandon the duplicator and take to the shelters.
American science fiction circles. I expected our main difficulty to be shortage of stories, but within two weeks I was snowed under by manuscripts totalling more than half a million
words. It seemed everyone had been busy writing science fiction during the war years, and
with a dwindling American market MSS. had piled up unsold.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 6|
was negligible. The second issue, following three months later, was practically a sell-out. Between those two dates an intense sales drive was organised to introduce the magazine to a
wholesale trade which does not always take kindly to new publications--especially one
devoted to a type of fiction the public knows very little about. But a sales check in London
showed a sell-out within two days on most bookstalls which placed copies on view, and its
readers have left no doubt in our minds that the magazine is more than welcome.
In the Next Issue
LITTLE SUPERMAN, WHAT NOW ?
An Interview with A. E. VAN VOGT
new material by both old and new writers.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 7|
THREE NEW MAGS, COMING
By FORREST J. ACKERMAN
Three new American fantasy magazines are projected for publication in the near future. Two are being prepared by Donald A. Wollheim, editor Fantasy Reader, for Avon Publications of New York.
venture and the excitement of new worlds." The usual popular themes will be used in their most accepted styles, with action and tension the main consideration. Though the contents will
be primarily science fiction, a certain amount of weird and fantastic fiction will be featured,
including spooky or wacky tales of supernatural beings. and off-trail idea stories.
AMERICANS GO FOR 'FANTASY'
By NIGEL LINDSAY
I hear that letters received from American readers of our British Fantasy, of which No. 3 has
just appeared, are even more enthusiastic than those which have come from nearer home.
Some of our Transatlantic friends, it seems, actually prefer it to their own magazines. Which
must be very encouraging to Editor Walter Gillings; though to be restricted to publication three
times a year is enough to drive any editor frantic. Yet there is no hope of more frequent
appearance with the paper situation getting worse rather than better.
manner while still typically Coblentzian. There is an unusual story by the new writer F. G. Rayer, "Basic Fundamental," and other pieces by three more new names--Norman C. Pallant,
Charles Alban Crouch and E. G. O'Brien. Another article by Editor Gillings, "Are You There,
Mars?" deals with the possibility of interplanetary communication with the development of
radar techniques. The first of the promised series of "Famous Fantasies" also appears: "Menace
from the Moon," by Bohun Lynch, a condensed version of the book published in 1924.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 8|
standard of the stories they illustrate. But who does them we are still not told.
shocking words (I quote!) that will shake you to your soul.
C. A. BRANDT DEAD
Perhaps the greatest authority on science fiction in all languages, C. A. Brandt, who had been associated with its development in the American magazines since the early days of Amazing Stories, has died in New York at the age of 68.
Brandt and appointed him a literary editor of his new magazine soon after its launching in 1926. He introduced him as "the greatest living expert on scientifiction," and it was Brandt who
selected much of the reprint material used in the early issues, including translations of the
works of foreign writers. As the magazine progressed, he was also responsible for introducing
many new writers who became big names in the field.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 9|
America still discovering fantasy . . . "Science Fiction--More Fact Than Fiction," by Milton Cronenberg, gave field yet another boost in Canada's Magazine Digest. As usual, Astounding
got most of the kudos on strength of atomic predictions: "Hiroshima made s-f respectable.
Magazines in this field now have about 1,000,000 readers a month, the majority going to
Astounding. New issues are snapped up within a few days. 'Oh, if we could only get more paper!' sighs Editor Campbell." Gernsback, Heinlein, de Camp, "Skylark" Smith, van Vogt and
Willy Ley also mentioned. Fandom too, of course . . . And "Science Fiction--A Cult," book
page article in Newark Sunday News by Literary Editor Max J. Herzberg, dealt particularly with van Vogt's "Sian," fan organisations. "It is a movement only in part literary; it is also
scientific, technological, cultural and even spiritual . . . Their eagerness, fanaticism and often
profound knowledge . . . their deep devotion to their cult are likely to astound the uninitiated
bystander and awaken his admiration" . . .
[Continued on Page 19]
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 10|
Staggering Through Time
LINERS OF TIME, by John Russell Fearn. World's Work, Kingswood, 5/-.
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan
When Mr. Wells wrote "The Time Machine" sixty years ago, it probably never occurred to him,
much less to his wondering readers, that in due course others would write stories of
supertime-machines transporting passengers through the centuries on a luxury liner basis. But
we've come a long way since then; and Mr. Fearn, of all our modern science fictionists, was
never one to do things by halves. Indeed, in thin "Master Thriller Science Fiction Novel," as
the dust-jacket proclaims it, he does practically everything his predecessors and
contemporaries ever did prior to 1935, when he wrote it as an Amazing Stories serial and was busily producing even more astounding pieces--in the fashion of the day--for other magazines.
Planet Brain of the distant future that they are able eventually to waylay the villain, Master of the impenetrable Age of Problems, whose aim to stagger his surplus population through the
eons is a menace to the smooth workings of the time-line.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 11|
Williamson's Magic Lamp
THE LEGION OF SPACE, by Jack Williamson. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa., $3.00.
Reviewed by John Carnell
While enjoying the results of his ingenuity and industry as a writer, we have always had some
difficulty in reconciling the work of Williamson with the environment in which he began to
produce his wondrous tales of strange planets and even stranger civilisations. It is a far cry
from roping steers and bucking broncos in the dusty fastnesses of New Mexico to battling with
alien beings somewhere in the far reaches of galactic space, and the writing of futuristic fiction
would seem to demand something more inspirational than the smoky fumes of a kerosene
lamp. Unless it were a magic lamp.
the years, commencing with "The Metal Man" and including such brilliantly imaginative pieces
as "The Stone from the Green Star," "After World's End" and "The Legion of Time." All in all,
one and a half million words of science and weird fiction have appeared under his name in
various magazines since 1928; and there are few of his tales that have not enhanced the
reputation he quickly made as an original thinker in the medium.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 12|
of the unearthly Medusae.
original to bring it into line with present techniques, and it is every bit as fascinating as the latest examples the field has to offer. I hope we shall see the rest of this triology, "The Cometeers" and "One Against the Legion," between hard covers in the not-too-distant future.
Mr. Derleth Goes Astray
THE NIGHT SIDE: Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible, edited with an introduction by August Derleth. Rinehart, New York, $3.10.
Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman
This third in the series of horror anthologies edited by Mr. Derleth has ail the admirable
qualities of "Sleep No More" and "Who Knocks?" including the illustrations of Lee Brown Coye.
Yet there is a difference, which to me is rather disconcerting. For here Mr. Derleth has strayed
from the narrow twilight grove of cumulative horror into the broader meadow of fantasy, and I
am not sure his inducements are sufficient to entice me out with him.
distant tocsin of alarm in the reader's mind; and having once caught these notes, what glutton for punishment could ask for more? Their implications are more gruesome than a multitude of gory terrors.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 13|
DARK CARNIVAL, by Ray Bradbury. Arkham House, Sauk City, $3.00.
Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman
In this collection of 27 tales Ray Bradbury has achieved something remarkable in the
supernatural field. He has successfully discarded the traditional habitat of the weird tale, with
its sombre, neo-Gothic setting, and replaced it by oneI was going to say of the twentieth
century, but the twenty-first would be more apt. So far ahead are his conceptions, his style and
his brilliant expressions.
modern mould; their very foundations are laid in the minute now passing. The sparkling prose is not just an outward facade; it is the very bricks and mortar of each streamlined edifice in this book.
THE CHECKLIST of Fantastic Literature
After seven years of research and preparation, this important manuscript is now ready for publication.
OVER 5,000 FANTASY BOOK TITLES
* Complete library information. * Double-indexedby title and author. * Printed, permanently bound in modern, convenient size. * Definitivecompiled from the world's largest fantasy collections. * Accurateprepared with the assistance of the Library of Congress and the British Museum.
LIMITED This reference guide will be an indispensable aid to the book-hunter
SPECIAL OFFER This limited edition of 1,000 will be sold to libraries and
Pre-publication price: 25/- Earliest orders will receive preference. Send cash,
SHASTA PUBLISHERS, CHICAGO
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 14|
WORLD AFLAME, by Leonard Engel and Emanuel S. Piller. Dial, New York, 82.00.
Reviewed by John Carnell
The recent political events which have produced such headlines as "The Frightened Men in
Washington and the Kremlin" would seem to offer a portentous preface to this book, whose
subtitle is "The Russian-American War of 1950." In its treatment, it is entirely non-political,
though subconsciously it screams anti - Russian propaganda. While piously hoping that their
story will never be truly prophetic, the authors have plumped for Russia as the obvious enemy
of America (and a coalition bloc of allies including the British Empire) in any such "disastrous
adventure," and have painted a highly sinister picture of what the invention of atomic war is
likely to lead the world into.
and scarlet fever epidemics, paralysisthey have aptly termed it a "Pandora Box of Terror," out of which comes at length the inevitable radioactive dust. But they seem to have entirely overlookedor deliberately ignored-the factor of radiation areas around atomic bomb hits, except for a brief paragraph at the end of the book when the hideous possibility of mutations becomes apparent. And at the end, the war is still raging; there is nothing to offer but struggle and sweat and tears.
Liners Of TimeFearn: 5/-
E. J. CARNELL
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 15|
Fort Without Theories
FORGOTTEN MYSTERIES, by R. DeWitt Miller. Cloud, Chicago, $2.50.
Reviewed by Geoffrey Giles
You may recall that the author of this book was a contributor to Astounding ten years ago.
The stories he has assembled here are astounding, too, but they are not fictional. For Mr. Miller
is more interested, these days, in fantastic factsin collecting and collating them and
presenting them in mystifying array, much as Mr. Fort used to do. He is, in fact, a Fortean, and
has been dogging the Great Doubter's footsteps for 15 years or more, accumulating a mass of
pallid data on such things as the Devil's Footprints, death fogs, sea serpents and missing ships.
WAR IN HEAVEN, by Charles Williams. Faber, London, 7/6.
Reviewed by Alan Devereux
First in a new series of reprints of this writer's work, this particular piece is unusual in
combining the elements of a "whodunit" thriller and a religious fantasy. The theme is the
struggle for possession of the Holy Graal and the soul of a child between the forces of good
and evil. There is Satanism and black magic on the one side and esoteric Christianity on the
other, upheld by a young publisher, a bland but guileful archdeacon and a Roman Catholic
duke. There is also a mysterious dens ex machina who calls himself Prester John and who
saves the situation in the nick of time.
NORDENHOLT'S MILLION, by J. J. Connington. Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1/-.
Reviewed by John K. Aiken
There is a touch of tragic injustice in the fact that Professor A. W. Stewart, as well known to connoisseurs of the scientific detective story as "J. J. Connington" as to his academic colleagues as a distinguished chemist, should have failed by a few short weeks to live to see the republication of this, his remarkable novel. First published in 1923 and long out of print, it is an outstanding scientific fantasy, more than able to hold its own with the best of Wells and Stapledon. It suffers neither from the frustrated Utopianism of the one nor the philosophical naivete of the other; nor is it that anathema of the true enthusiast, a satire or tract masquerading under a thin sugar-coating of . fantasythough it has its
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 16|
pleasantly satirical touches.
and the lonely chemist in his deserted university laboratory, living on synthetic proteins and desperately racing against starvation to complete the alkaloid structure which had been his research. To the aforesaid addict among whose numbers the reviewer hastens to include himself the author's scope must seem very limited; earthbound, hardly venturing outside the British Isles. But his imaginative resource, his sense of proportion and characterisation, make "Nordenholt's Million" a work on the largest scale.
DOOR TO THE FUTURE
These books are the keys to tomorrow. Some of them are for the Scientist, some for the Engineer, some for the Rocket experimenter and some for the Dreamer! Taken all together, you might make a door out of them; hang the door on the hinges of possibility and probability, set it in the solid wall of inertia and ridicule. Then open these booksand peer into the Future!
Rockets, by Robert H. Goddard $3.50
All these books are obtainable through the UNITED STATES ROCKET SOCIETY, INC. Prices are based on market and availability. All books sent prepaid. Make cheque or Money Order payable to:
ROCKET ASSOCIATES, INC,
Box 29, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, U.S.A.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 17|
|Geoffrey Giles writes
News of American productions in the fantasy field must take precedence this time, if we are to enable our collector friends to keep cope with all that is coming from the other side of the Big Pondor what they may fish for in the hope of landing the best of the shoal. To gather in everything that is, or will be, available is more than the most energetic enthusiast can manage, especially in the face of the dollar shortage. But if you spread your nets wide, you may catch more than you bargain for.
AID TO BOOK-HUNTERS
Everett F. Blieler. With its advent, fantasy literature and fantasy book collecting will be transformed from a haphazard business of hit-or-miss methods to an organised science of classification and reliable information.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 18|
fiction in all its phases, to augment their comprehensive survey of the field from its very beginnings.
BOOK CLUB STARTS
full-length novel and eight short stories by the good Doctor, all hitherto unpublished. It will be in the same distinctive format as the Group's two previous selections, which are quite unusual
In the same issue was a letter from Paul L. Payne, Planet Stories editor, giving his ideas on
future trends, which are of striking interest in view of the type of material habitually featured
by this magazine. Mr. Payne says:
primitive adventure arena of the pulps to the pseudo-intellectual
level of the slicks. We shall see, I believe, the progressing relinquishing of the stereotyped
character and the banal plot. We may also see the introduction of non-fiction; is not Mr. Ley
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||page 19|
"The Green Man: A Visitor from Space," by Harold M. Sherman, culled from Amazing's recent files, reprinted as 25c. pocket-book by Century Publications, Chicago . . . Latest Burroughs book is "Tarzan and the Foreign Legion"; next film of the series, "Tarzan and the Mermaids" . . . Merian ("King Kong") Cooper planning a new Monster epic; "Moonride," set, in 1973, "The President's Husband" and "Cagliostro" also scheduled for Hollywood production . . . Another fantasy film will be based on Arthur Machen's "The Terror" .. .
Special Rate to Collectors: 2d. per word (5c. Canada and U.S.A.); minimum 12 words. To Traders and others: 3d.per word (7c. in Canada and U.S.A.). All Advertisements in this section must be prepaid. Box numbers 6d. (15c.) extra.
FOR EXCHANGE ONLY: Cummings' "Girl in the Golden Atom," Balmer & Wylie's "When
Worlds Collide," Black-wood's "Fruitstoners," Sherriff's "Hopkins Manuscript," Ertz's "Woman
Alive," Merritt's "Seven Footprints to Satan." What can you offer?Box 106, Fantasy Review.
|FANTASY REVIEW||Volume 1 No. 4||Back Page|
Ripley Printing Society Ltd., Ripley, Derbys.
This version of the magazine was assembled by Farrago & Farrago using a copy from the collection of the late Harry Turner, who created the cover artwork for the early issues of Fantasy Review.
All copyrights acknowledged, all articles and artwork remain the intellectual property of their creators.