The constructive criticism which FANTASY REVIEW has afforded the field over the past two years, its reliable news and informative articles, and, not least of all, its capacity to survive, continue to evoke genuine appreciation from readers, writers, editors and publishers. Among its larger contemporaries who have given it encouragement, Startling Stories has been most bountiful, pronouncing it "Just about the most adult, alert and informed gazette in the entire field—with a surprisingly Transatlantic viewpoint." The comments of readers are far too numerous—and flattering—for us to quote, but they reflect the impatience with which our subscribers await every issue and the keen interest they find in it. So far, so good.
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BOB FRAZIER recalls the
FIRST OF THE FANTASTICS
The oldest readers of science fiction will be able to remember when their taste for the fantastic was satisfied by their favourite "blood," whether it was 'Chums,' 'Boys' Magazine,' or the transitory 'Scoops.' An authority here relates the history* of what was perhaps the first of all periodicals to feature such stories, which catered for the young Americans of Jules Verne's day and gave them many glimpses of things to come.
It is safe to say that no collector has a complete file of the first regular periodical devoted entirely to scientifiction. Indeed, it is probable that not one in a hundred has ever seen a copy, in spite of the fact that hundreds of thousands were circulated through the newsstands 35 years before Amazing, Wonder and Astounding appeared. It was an illustrated weekly and usually consisted of 16 pages, exclusive of covers, but sometimes special editions were issued carrying as many as 48 pages. The covers themselves, though not printed in colours, were very similar to those of the fantasy magazines of to-day, featuring drawings of marvellous machines, weird scenery, fearsome creatures, and daring heroes. But there were no shapely heroines in Daisy Mae costumes; in fact, the cuties were not only kept off the covers but, to a great extent, out of the stories as well.
Such was the Frank Reade Library, started Sept. 24, 1892, by Frank Tousey, New York publisher of low-priced literature. It sold for five cents a copy then, but three to five dollars is the average price paid for them by collectors today. Every issue was dedicated to the adventures of Frank Reade Jr, and his friends. Frank was an inventor, years ahead of his time, who conceived, constructed and operated airships, submarines, amphibious vehicles, tanks, electric searchlights, oxygen diving suits, robots and terrible weapons, equipped with which he travelled all over the world and into the ether, explored the deepest ocean depths, and on one occasion bored his way through the Earth from pole to pole.
*Condensed from Necromancer, 1619 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, Md., U.S.A. Copyright by David A. McInnes.
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contrivances might have been written of the inventions of modern times
of them. Probably to avoid being thrown out of the church, tarred and feathered by the Parent-Teachers' Association, and denounced by the newspapers, he wisely wrote all his stories for the Frank Reade Library under the pen - name of "Noname." He corres- ponded with Jules Verne, who admired him for his wonderful imagination ; and, incidentally, he managed to find time to marry and raise a family.
Please turn to page 6
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Among The Magazines with KENNETH SLATER
The Arkham Sampler continues to give the impression, which we feel is hardly intended, that it is only an excuse for keeping up the stream of Lovecraftiana. We like Lovecraft and enjoy much of his work, but he begins to take on the aspect of a Messiah and we question if this worship is either necessary or beneficial. The No. 3 (Summer '48) issue has another article on H.P.L. by Samuel Loveman and a letter from him to E. Hoffman Price, neither of which are of outstanding interest except to his most ardent disciples. There is also another instalment of his "Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," which, we'll admit, is the best thing the Sampler has given us yet.
NOVA PUBLICATIONS WILL REVIVE 'NEW WORLDS'
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But August Derleth's Lovecraftian novelette, "The Whippoorwills in the Hills," didn't appeal to us; we could guess what was coming right up to the final "Ai Yog-Sothoth!" This theme is about written out by now. Best of the shorts: Ray Bradbury's "Fever Dream" and Ed. Hamilton's "The Watcher of the Ages." Eric Frank Russell's short-short, "Displaced Person," was amusing. Next (Nov.) issue presents "The Perfect Host," by Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch's "The Indian Spirit Guide," and a Seabury Quinn story, "Such Stuff as Dreams," with others by Stephen Grendon, Carl Jacobi and Russell, who comes up again with "The Ponderer."
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issue features "The Ghost Planet," by Murray Leinster; "Fruits of the Agathon," by new author Charles L. Harness, concerning a death-predicting machine, and "240,000 Miles Straight Up," in which L. Ron Hubbard foresees the possibility of the U.S.S.R. racing the U.S.A. to the Moon.
FIRST OF THE FANTASTICS [Continued from Page Three]
popular results that might be achieved.
*Says Prof. Bailey: "Love in this fiction is always pure; social attitudes are conservative. Whatever their value as literature, these juveniles doubtless diverted many a weekly allowance from soda-pop to the newsstands. The health of America, in body and mind, was not threatened . . . "
When Frank Tousey died in 1902, Senarens became editor of all the Tousey publications. In 1911, while still holding down this job, he began to write photoplays, and sold about 60 to various film producers. He then brought out Moving Picture Stories, a weekly, which he edited for more than a decade. In all he is credited with writing some sixty million words, all done in neat, microscopic longhand with a pen. For years he was treasurer of the Brooklyn Writers' Club, as well as belonging to many other clubs composed of authors, playwrights and actors. He retired in '23, and died in Brooklyn during Christmas week of '39, at the age of 74.
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Walter Gillings' FANTASIA
News of new magazines: Select Science Fiction (P.O. Box 4171, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.), to appear monthly at 50c. in pocket-sized, 5,000-copy edition, will give unpublished writers chance to see print; invites stories, critical letters, from subscribers . . . Robert N. Webster, Editor Fate, new occult-scientific interest quarterly, preparing to launch semi-slick science-fantasy one-shot to see regular issue if sales warrant . . . Editor Alden H. Norton ready for revival of wartime Super-Science Stories, considering material by van Vogt, John Aiken, the de Courcys and others . . .
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|Geoffrey Giles writes
If you are one of those who have spent years searching in second-hand bookshops for rare fantasy items, you will probably have collected a lot of suspicious looks from their keepers, if nothing more; especially if you have ever told them—or tried to tell them—what you were searching for. There are a few dealers who have acquired sufficient appreciation of fantasy-fiction to know that such books command higher prices, and who now mark them accordingly. But, generally speaking, they would seem to have little understanding of the field—until you educate them in it, and make your wants clear to them, whereupon you find you must pay for their enlightenment. At least, they recognise the fanatic-collector!
MORE SHAVER BOOKS
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reprint of a Chester S. Geier novel which was highly praised, even by the severest critics of the Ziff-Davis magazine, when it appeared in Fantastic Adventures. Other volumes in preparation include a complete reference work on the Shaver Mystery compiled by Geier, and a Shaver Omnibus.
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Mr. Shaver's Memories
I REMEMBER LEMURIA & THE RETURN OF SATHANAS, by Richard S. Shaver. Venture Books, Evanston, Ill., U.S.A. $3.00.
Reviewed by Alan Devereux
Almost inevitably, the stories which gave rise to the controversy known to fandom as the Shaver Mystery,* and which gained Amazing Stories a host of new readers while alienating the last remnants of its old army, have now begun to appear in book form. Since the publication of "I Remember Lemuria" in the March, '45 issue, the fan magazines have been full of acid comment concerning what was at once construed as a deliberate attempt by Editor Palmer to capture the interest of a larger fraternity—the religionists and occultists of America's "lunatic fringe," which according to one critic comprises five per cent of the entire population, or no less than seven million people. Science fictionists, resenting the implication, refused to accept Mr. Shaver's "thought records" and "racial memories" as factual rather than fictional. But none has been able to deny the success of the Lemurian Hoax, as they preferred to define it.
*See Fantasy Review, June-July, '47,
from a fairly objective viewpoint. In his Foreword, he makes quite clear the claim that they are based on his own memories of a past life in a remote age, when the Earth was inhabited (so he says) by giants and weird hybrid humans who eventually had to flee to other worlds to escape the evil effects of the Sun's rays—which is, at least, a new idea. He further claims that the descendants of those who didn't get away still live to-day in a subterranean world, and are able to influence our lives. He maintains that the sounds of our alphabet are the remains of their "universal space language," which is "proved" by a glossary based on such premises that the letter C means "see," B "be," U "you," and so on. It reminds me of children's backslang; and in spite of his assertion that from it has sprung all Earthly languages, it seems to me to work only with English.
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friend, if you please, has dainty, clicking hooves and a lovely bushy tail which she wags at him! And we are expected to absorb pieces of Greek and Nordic mythology all mixed up in a kind of stew, together with all the usual stock-in-trade of space-opera: interstellar cruisers, death-rays, hollow planets, and what have you.
The Influence of Campbell
WHO GOES THERE? Seven Tales of Science Fiction, by John W. Campbell, Jr. Shasta, Chicago, $3.00.
Reviewed by D. R. Smith
Few names are more respected by the readers of pulp magazine science fiction than the name of John W. Campbell—unless it be that of Don. A. Stuart, [Actually devised from the name of his wife, Dona Stuart.] under which pseudonym all the stories in this volume were originally published in the magazine he has edited so successfully for the past decade. His influence on the moulding of the medium towards the type of story represented by Astounding Science Fiction [See " The Story of Astounding": Fantasy Review, Jun.-Jul. - Aug.-Sep. '48.], which is not entirely an insult to the intelligence nor a sop to the emotions, is generally conceded by all except, perhaps, Mr. Derleth. The preponderance of Astounding and Unknown material which has been and is still being presented in more permanent form, for the delectation of old and new readers of fantasy, is sufficient excuse for the claim (made by the present publishers) that the name of Campbell is as important in this field as Newton's is in the realm of physics.
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succession of increasingly mature and entertaining stories.
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The Rebellious Hack
PEOPLE OF THE COMET, by Austin Hall. Griffin & Fantasy Publishing Co., Los Angeles, U.S.A. $2.00
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan
The name of Austin Hall is synonymous with that of Homer Eon Flint, that other giant of American pulp fiction of the latter days of World War I and the early twenties; -a halcyon period in the evolution of science-fantasy, pre-dating Amazing Stories, which produced the Munsey "classics" of Merritt, Cummings and Garret Smith. Besides turning out hundreds of thousands of words which saw print in the mystery and adventure magazines of the time, Hall and Flint, separately and in collaboration, wrote a score of fantasies for All - Story Weekly and Argosy, a selection of which was presented to a new generation of fans in Famous Fantastic Mysteries not so long ago. [Hall's reprints in FFM: "Almost Immortal" (Nov., '39), "The Man Who Saved the Earth" (Feb., '40), "The Rebel Soul" (Aug., '40), "The Spot of Life" (Feb., '41), "Into the Infinite" (Oct., '42).]
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too much of a type with Sora, daughter of the stars, to sustain my curiosity over the enlarged digit except as a duty. However, the choice of this particular story for the purpose of this unpretentious volume may, we suspect, have been Hobsonian. At the least, it is an indication that a master of yesterday's fantasy who deserves some recognition has not been entirely overlooked.
Diversions in Utopia
BEYOND THIS HORIZON, by Robert A. Heinlein. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa. $3.00.
Reviewed by John K. Aiken
When that highly irrational, dangerous and profoundly unpleasant process known as Love has been replaced, as a means of infant-production, by deep study and control of human genetics, which has also served to eliminate such deleterious tendencies as those to cancer, infectious disease, nationalism and trading for private profit—then we shall have arrived at the Utopia conceived by Mr. Heinlein. To reach this blissful era we first have to pass through the Atomic Wars which lie on our immediate horizon, then the still deadlier Genetic Wars; but he is not concerned with these. His story begins three centuries hence, when not only are parents selected but the very genes which decide the make-up of their off- spring are picked out to ensure the best possible children in the best of all possible worlds.
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No Stowaway to Mars
THE PURPLE TWILIGHT, by Pelham Groom. Laurie, London, 9/6.
Reviewed by Geoffrey Giles
Having written ten thrillers around the character of Peter Mohune, one of those ex-RAF types who fall naturally into the role of "debonair adventurer," ex-R.A.F. officer Pelham Groom looked about for an idea for his next book. A friend called Archie came up with the suggestion that the versatile Mohune, this time, should take off into space; should fly, in fact, to Mars. Archie, we strongly suspect, was a member of the Combined British Astronautical Societies, and knew whereof he spoke; he convinced Groom that it wasn't such a bad idea at that. At any rate, Mohune's creator was moved to do much reading of the works of Ley, Oberth, Esnault-Pelterie and our own Mr. Cleator, as well as to consult various other literature appertaining to rocketry, such as the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a paper on "Space Flight and Atomic Power," by our old friend Dr. Janser.
*"The Rocket to the Moon," by von Harbou (World Wide, New York: '30), and Gail's "By Rocket to the Moon" (Sears, New York: '31), were both based on the ideas of Hermann Oberth, German pioneer of astronautics.
In Print and Available:
WHO GOES THERE?
Seven novelettes by the editor of Astounding Science-Fiction, written under the Don A. Stuart pseudonym. Includes `Twilight,' 'Night,' 'Dead Knowledge,' and the classic title story of weird antarctic horror. Wrapper in colour by Hannes Bok.
SLAVES OF SLEEP
A novel of thrills and high adventure from the pages of Unknown. This is the story of Tiger, pirate and rogue, who lives two simultaneous lives---one in the prosaic here and now, the other in the fabulous world of the Jinn. Wrapper in colour by Hannes Bok.
Forthcoming Fantasy Fiction:
THE WHEELS OF IF
The author of "Lest Darkness Fall" in a collection of madcap fantasy whackier than Thorne Smith at his best! The title novel, plus seven superb fantastic novelettes, including "The Gnarly Man," "The Merman," and "The Warrior Race." Wrapper in colour by Hannes Bok.
E. J. CARNELL
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Box 2019, Middle City Station,
". . . AND SOME WERE HUMAN"
THE MISLAID CHARM
LORDS OF CREATION
N O M A D
*Sole British Representative:
E. J. CARNELL
hesitant reader for the real plunge into the void, for which we became somewhat impatient.
THE SUNKEN WORLD, by Stanton A. Coblentz. Fantasy Publishing Co., Los Angeles, $3.00.
Reviewed by Kerry Gaulder
When "The Sunken World" was written, very few readers of what was then known as "scientifiction" demanded much more than a novel, fairly plausible idea from a story. Style was purely negative, sometimes no more than an absence of flagrant grammatical and orthographical errors. The positive virtue of good writing only became
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important when the supply of new ideas ran out and plots had to be developed with an eye to human emotions as well as the function of the gadgets in a story.
Leaves to Turn
THE PURPLE TWILIGHT
ALAS, THAT GREAT CITY
THE SUNKEN WORLD
BEYOND THIS HORIZON
E. J. CARNELL
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SCIENCE OR SUPERSTITION?
Having been inactive in writing of recent years, and entirely out of touch with the fan and critical press, I found FANTASY REVIEW fulfilled a long-felt need. I am learning of American plans from it, in many cases.
MR. DERLETH vs.
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not, as Mr. Moskowitz intimates, to take advantage of the current boom in s-f, which will be quickly sated when sufficient titles are made available to readers to permit of discriminatory buying.
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.
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Ripley Printing Society Ltd., Ripley, Derbys.