In discussing the disproportionate production costs which hamper any publishing venture catering for a limited circle of readers, Mr. August Derleth, editor and publisher of The Arkham Sampler, announces the imminent suspension of that valuable periodical. Which prompts us to point out that, had it been launched as a profit-making proposition, Fantasy Review would long since have given up the struggle. Only the continued support of its advertiserswhich made it possible in the first placehas enabled it to survive and, encouraged by the tangible enthusiasm of its comparatively small number of subscribers, develop into something more substantial than it was in its first two years of life.
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THE " LONCON"
TABOO OR NOT TABOO ?
A Bad Day for Magazine Editors
It was the warmest Easter ever known. The famous shadow of St. Paul's might have been a sanctuary from the fierce sun which beat down on St. Martins le Grand, had it not been as good as deserted. The windows of the upper room of "The Raglan," usual haunt of busy City men, were open to admit a slight breeze. But the atmosphere was still heated: some seventy fans were assembled for the "Loncon," first Convention of the new British Science-Fantasy Society, and were earnestly discussing a vexatious topicthe editorial policies of their favourite magazines.
of fantasy, had been cooked up by the Committee especially to provide an opportunity for visiting fans to air their pet peeves. This much Chairman Walter Gillings admitted, hardly expecting that the mover of the resolution, story-writer William F. Temple, would fire most of his broadside at him.
*Especially those in fan magazines. In Novae Terrae, progenitor of New Worlds, he lampooned his friends of pre-war days in a series on "The British Fan in His Natural Haunt." Following last year's "Whitton," he reported on it in a souvenir booklet in a way that had everybody in fits.
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stablemate, Temple, prepared to lend weight to the assault on all editors who tended to become hidebound.
He omitted to mention Editor Carnell's "warning" to readers that New Worlds would "from time to time experiment with different types of stories, ever pursuing a policy of publishing the best British science fiction available."
Seeking to justify editorial policies, R.A.F. officer Harry Kaye, who had thrashed out such matters with Temple before in the days of the S.F.A., contrasted the thoughtful, adult content of Astounding with the "guff and bilge" of Amazing and Planet Stories, while stressing the necessity of catering for an audience of regular readers who would keep the magazine running whatever the type of stories it featured. Editors, he considered, might experiment here and there, but were wise to keep within definite bounds if they wished to maintain subscriptions.
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Startling and Wonder, with their intermediate policies, had presented some good material which did not require much effort to appreciate. Of late, however, Astounding had lost whatever policy it had, which was why it had degenerated and its authors had run dry of new ideas. "What we need today is not more or less policy, but more authors with more fertility."
SCIENCE OR LITERATURE ?
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Walter Gillings' FANTASIA
Saturday Review of Literature (whose Associate Editor, Harrison Smith, is "enthusiastic reader of science fiction and fantasy . . . who says . . . that the magazines bewilder him") considered "The S-F Phenomenon in Literature" in article by Claire Holcomb focussing on Astounding's "leadership in the . . . field,' Editor Campbell's atomic prophecies, stories by contributors Heinlein, Asimov, Cartmill, Tenn, etc., illustrating typical themes . . . Reviewing Stanley G. Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey and Others" (Fantasy Press, $3.00), Time reproduced artist Donnell's end-papers, reported on "hungry fans" and fanzines, current "speculation about the reasons for the s-f fad" . . . Arthur Leo Zagat, veteran Wonder contributor who made come-back in Astoundingunsuccessfullylast year, died at 53 . . . Arthur J. Burks to address World S-F Convention on "Lost Races of the Amazon" . . . Science fiction exhibit by Los Angeles S-F Society at local hobby show, valued at $500, televised . . .
Please turn to page 29
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GEOFFREY GILES, interviewing RAY BRADBURY,
Fantasy-fictioneer Robert Bloch recently defined "the seven ages of fan," tracing the career of the typical addict through all the stages of his increasing activity, from reading and collecting magazines to writing for the fan journals, thence through authorship to become, possibly, publisher of a "pro." Bloch himself is one who has followed this road at least as far as to become one of the most successful authors in the field. Another is Ray Bradbury, perhaps the perfect example of the teenage fan matured into a writer who has brought to the science-fantasy and horror story a touch of genius, and whose work has evoked the praises of staid critics on both sides of the Atlantic.
Books of To-day appraised his "unrivalled ability to make flesh creep and hair to rise," found his stories "as good in modern literature as was Edgar Allen Poe's horrific output in the 19th century." For other critics' reactions, see FR Feb.- Mar. '49.
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young Bradbury fed the vivid imagination which had been nurtured by much poring over Burroughs stories and "Buck Rogers" cartoons. Until then he showed signs of becoming an artist rather than a writer, though from the first his creations had an horrific quality: he remembers a crayon drawing of a skeleton with which he tried to scare his parents and the little girl next door-without success. His early encounter with Paul's illustrations influenced his juvenile hand towards scaly Martians and rocket-ships, to the despair of teachers who tried to discipline his scrawls; while the Tarzan cartoons and Dick Calkins' interplanetary strips also left their mark.
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de Balzac and Ambrose Bierce, toobut he has never read a word of Blackwood, Machen, Chambers or Coppard for fear of unconsciously emulating them.
"I believe that a writer can achieve most in his chosen field by studying what has been done in others," he explained. "His outlook will be all the fresher if he turns his mind into opposite channels for relaxation. There's nothing snobbish in my attitude towards the fantasy mags.I just don't read them to ensure that I'm not unwittingly influenced by my fellow contributors. I don't confine myself to fantasies, now, but I still write them because I've always liked them and I think a sincere feeling for the sort of stuff you write makes a big difference to your work.
VAMPIRES FOR MILADY
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As Others See Us
IMAGINATION RUNS WILD
By RICHARD B. GEHMAN
Articles on the increasing trend towards fantasy-fiction continue to appear in the American press. This recent survey [Condensed from The New Republic, 40 East 49th Street, New York, 17, U.S.A.] of the enlarging fieldand of those who have grown up with itis by the former editor of the Oak Ridge Journal, official organ of the atomic bomb project, who attempts to explain the phenomenon in terms of to-day's frustrations coupled with current technological advances.
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Mr. Gehmann's self-confessed difficulty in distinguishing science fiction from weird fantasy, which ne lumps together under the "broad phrase" of "science-and-fantasy," has obviously led him into mistaking the nfluence of Love-craft on the modern weird tale for an equal influence in the development of science fiction, to which he contributed little compared with his work in the supernatural and horror field. Though the Cthulhu Mythos may rank as a science-fantasy concept, the names of such American writers as George Allan England, Garrett P. Serviss, Victor Rousseau and Austin Hall, who followed in the wake of Wells and other British exponents of true science fiction, are much more applicable in this connection.Ed.
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old dark house in Providence, Rhode Island, he was influenced to some extent by the eighteenth-century writers of "Gothic" novels, and by Poe and Dunsany. As fantasy writers go, his output was not large; he published only one small book in his lifetime ["The Shadow Over Innsmouth": (Visionary, Everett, Pa.: '36).], and most of his stories never reached an audience beyond that of Weird Tales. But in creating the "Cthulhu Mythos," a series of legends concerned with cosmology and prehistoric races, he provided himself and other writers with material to draw upon for years to come.
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THE GREAT OFFENSIVE
How Gernsback Organised Fandom
One of the most notable of America's early fan-mags., which are now rare collector's items, was The Fantasy Fan, which between '33 and '35 tried bravely to champion the special cause of weird fiction, assisted by contributions from such top-liners as H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard and August Derleth, only to give up when it discovered there were not enough genuine enthusiasts to support it. It was the editor of this, Charles Derwin Hornig, who suddenly found himself, at the age of 17, entrusted with the managing editorship of Wonder Stories and the implementing of the "New Story" policy with which it sought to stimulate its flagging sales at the end of '33.
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five-page blurb dinned home the fact that, although there were "literally hundreds of thousands of adherents of s-f throughout the civilised world," the movement was still in its infancy. "The public, and indeed many parents, still look upon s-f as something bordering on a mixture of dime novels and Nick Carter stories . . . (They have) as yet not discovered the great and fundamental truth that s-f is highly educational . . ."
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suggested it should "do its part in purifying s-f by condemning weird stories"; but the Directors drew the line at that, finding that "weird fiction has its place in literature just as much as s-f." A more constructive notion came from Director Schuyler Miller, who advanced the project of a comprehensive Bibliography of Science Fiction. This was not proceeded with, however, by special request of Professor J. O. Bailey, "who asks us to wait until his bibliography . . . is completed, before we go ahead and publish one of our own": the first intimation of the work whose preparation was to outlast the SFL by at least two years. ["Pilgrims Through Space and Time" (Argus, New York), reviewed Oct-Nov. '47 issue.]
(To be continued).
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'New Worlds' MAKES NEW READERS
There's good news of New Worlds, the fourth issue of which has proved successful enough to warrant its new ownersthat's us!going ahead with a fifth, which is scheduled to appear next September. The intention is to publish on a quarterly schedule henceforthuntil it can be issued bimonthly. The next number will feature another John K. Aiken story, "Cassandra," the long-promised sequel to "Dragon's Teeth," which came out on top in No. 3. John Beynon will reappear with a tale of dying Mars, "Time to Rest"; Peter Phillips, who has made such a hit in Astounding, will contribute "Unknown Quantity," a robot story; and F. G. Rayer will be present with "Necessity," an interplanetary. Another new British writer, Sydney Bounds, will make his bow with "In Another Place."
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among the shorts are pieces by William F. Temple, Cleve Cartmill andnaturallyRay Bradbury.
Please turn to Page 19
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ALL ON ONE SHELF
To confine a science fiction library to a single shelf of books can be more of a problem than that which confronts those enthusiasts who boast of collections of 2,000 volumes filling their cupboards to overflowing. But if you were compelled to live in a caravan and get rid of all your books but a score, which would you choose to hang on to? Or, if you wanted to persuade an interested friend of all the delights to be had from science fiction without putting him to too much expense or giving him the run of your library for ever, what twenty books would you recommend to him?
A PLACE FOR VAMPIRES
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Legends." He insists, like Padgett, in including several other weird fantasies: Endore's "Werewolf of Paris," Machen's "Strange Roads," and David Garnett's "Lady Into Fox," which serves with Thorne Smith's "Night Life of the Gods" to cater for his sense of humour. Padgett even lists such frankly Gothic items as Stoker's "Dracula" and Peake's "Titus Groan," with the works of Cabell, Eddison, Hodgson and others, on the ground that "Dr. James had antiquarianism, which slides from science over toward art, and I think fantasy and science fiction are equally fluid."
With Editor Payne to support them, Moskowitz and Ackerman endorse Balmer and Wylie's "When Worlds Collide"; Editor Merwin backs Ackerman's choice of Taine's "The Time Stream," and the fans combine to do justice to Weinbaum with "The New Adam," "Dawn of Flame" and "The Black Flame." The last title and "Slan," van Vogt himself assures us, are the two best in the field for women readers; he also records his own vote for "The World of Null-A," and tells us how he would have improved on Trevarthen's "World D," which I would certainly have on my list. But I would think twice about McLeod Winsor's "Station X," which he read twenty times or more in Amazing before discovering it had appeared in book form in '19.
KORZYBSKI AND KINSEY
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recent British Utopia by Peter Martin, "Summer in 3000." But there are more questionable items among the nonfiction titles which four of the selectors insist on including. After offering George Gamow's collection of stories, "Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland," and Capek's "War With the Newts," Mr. Sturgeon puts forward Korzybski's "Science and Sanity" with "The Books of Charles Fort" and the Smyth Report, which seem reasonable enough as basic stuff; but the Kinsey Report is another matter, which might divert our attention from more pertinent volumes or give our uninitiated reader an entirely wrong idea.
AMONG THE MAGAZINESContinued from page 16
June Amazing was much better. Though Alexander Blade's "Dynasty of the Devil" was only resurrected Ghengis Khan, atom bombs and spies and men-who-can't-be-killed, George Grauman's "Supermen, Incorporated" proved an excellent story with an intriguing theory on the Flying Saucers and a neat idea on split minds. Robert M. Williams' "The Land of the Golden Men" might have been longer; Guy Archette's "Twisted House" made good use of the co-existent universes theme, and Ruppert Carlin's "I Murdered You," though short, was very well done. "Death's Double," by Grover Kent, a black magic tale of witch dolls, was fairly enjoyable, too.
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Mr. Derleth's Doctrine
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON, selected and with an Introduction by August Derleth. Pellegrini, New York. $3.75.
Reviewed by Arthur F. Hillman
It is symptomatic of the growing popularity of science fiction that the founder of Arkham House, who was once wholly concerned with the weird, should turn his attention as a compiler of anthologies to the other side of fantasy. Let us say at once that this second collection of "masterpieces" in the genre is a worthy successor to his previous science fiction anthology, "Strange Ports of Call," [Reviewed FR Aug.-Sep.' 48.] to which it is intended to provide supplementary reading, and that it fully upholds the standard of literary quality which he maintained throughout the compilation of his four weird story volumes ["Sleep No More," "Who Knocks?" "The Night Side," and "The Sleeping and the Dead."]. For whichever section of the field he is dealing with, Mr. Derleth's first consideration is quality: indeed, it seems it is to be his sole consideration.
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explosion full of undertones which rouse every humane instinct. Russell's fantasy of "Spiro," the Martian mimic, is one which was revised for Weird Tales after appearing originally in Tales of Wonder, and is well worth reading again.
And the Green Grass Grew . . .
GREENER THAN YOU THINK, by Ward Moore. Gollancz, London. 12/6
Reviewed by John Beynon
The Grass, cynodon dactylon, already a bane to gardeners, underwent a mutation at the hands of Albert Weener. And why not? Albert Weener is, as the author remarks, all of us; and if you were loaded up with a heavy tank of what you thought was a new kind of grass fertiliser, would you trudge miles into the country on the chance of persuading a farmer to use it, or would you collect a few easier dollars by trying it on the first needy-looking lawn? So did Albert-and from that time there was no stopping the Grass.
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bubble-fortune in disaster's faceand refusing to recognise the face.
DeCamp At His Whackiest
LEST DARKNESS FALL, by L. Sprague de Camp. Prime Press, Philadelphia. $3.00.
Reviewed by John K. Aiken
It is easy to jump to the conclusion that fantasy must be easy to write. For so it iswith no stipulation as to quality. It is as easy for a writer to conceive of a planet composed of rubber, on which the elastic inhabitants bounce about in an atmosphere of pure spoofium, as it is for a critic to imagine wistfully that his pen has changed to a seven-foot scimitar and that he has a free hand to use it to start a new and strictly pragmatic school of criticism. But as to plausible fantasy, that is another matter. The fabric of a realistic novel is tough enough not to be unduly distorted by minor inconsistencies; in a fantasy, a quite trifling inconsistency or error of judgment on the author's part may bring the whole frail structure of credibility tumbling down.
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in book form [Holt, New York: '41.], and been taken relatively seriously even by such blasť periodicals as The New Yorker.
The Versatility of Sturgeon
WITHOUT SORCERY: Thirteen tales by Theodore Sturgeon, with an Introduction by Ray Bradbury. Prime Press, Philadelphia. $3.00.
Reviewed by Kemp McDonald
Short story writers, as a rule, do not collect very well. They have developed their own style, found the theme and methods which suit them best, and settled down to use them; and to read a succession of stories so related but differing in characters and locale is akin to eating a massive meal whose numerous dishes are all concocted of the same basic foodstuff. Of the overripe Camembert of H. P. Lovecraft, the exotically spiced and honeyed wine of Clark Ashton Smith (rather thin on the palate), or the thrice-baked cracknels of his namesake George O. (extraordinarily difficult to swallow, and lacking in nutriment), it is a question of personal taste which is the worst when constituting the only item on the menu. All are pretty bad; and yet, in a well-balanced assortment, all can be quite tolerable.
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TRITON By L. RON HUBBARD
The mad, magical tale of a man's misadventures in the realm of Neptune. 16/6
WORLDS OF WONDER By OLAF STAPLEDON
The presentation of "Death into Life," "Old Man in New World" and "The Flames" in one volume. 16/6
PLANETS OF ADVENTURE By BASIL WELLS
Fifteen stories of science, mystery and adventure on Earth and other worlds. 16/6
DEATH'S DEPUTY By L. RON HUBBARD
The grim and powerful story of a man accursed. 16/6
FANTASY PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., 8318 Avalon Boulevard, Los Angeles, 3, Cal., U.S.A.
"Artnan Process" and "Two Percent Inspiration," there is a tendency to sacrifice credibility to humour or the chance of an unforeseen twist (occasionally, one so unforeseen that the author himself was taken by surprise), but much can be forgiven such exuberance and ingenuity.
*Though he corresponds with a few other fantasy writers, including British A. Bertram Chandler, Sturgeon is something of a mystery man in the field. In this Introduction to this volume, Ray Bradbury gives the impression that he is difficult to meet, expressing the hope that he will one day find him writing beneath some secluded bridge, having spotted his hiding-place "by the pure shining light of his viscera making a light you can see across the furthest night meadow and hill." He has Scottish connections, but lives in New Yorkwhich did not prevent him winning a £250 short story contest run by Britain's Argosy two years ago, with a weird tale entitled "Bianca's Hands."
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A Multiplication of Skylarks
SKYLARK OF VALERON, by Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. Fantasy Press, Reading, Pa. $3.00
Reviewed by O. R. Smith
It is said there was once a royal sucker who undertook to pay for the shoeing of his horse at the rate of one penny for the first nail, twopence for the second, fourpence for the next, and so on, thus learning the hard way that once you start multiplying the size of things progressively the result soon becomes too big for comfort. The "Skylark" series, of which this is the third and last member, is another illustration of the same law. Our hero, Seaton, started off, in "The Skylark of Space," in a globular space-ship forty feet in diameter on a fairly lengthy trip through interstellar space. In 'Skylark Three" [Reviewed FR Dec. '48-Jan. '49.] he finished far out in intergalactic space in a vessel some two miles long. The "Skylark of Valeron" is again globular, but it is no less than a thousand kilometres in diameter and starts its flight from a point much more remote from Earth than the cosmologists of to-day would consider possible in the amount of space they allow for the universe.
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his friends into the fourth dimension in their flight to escape the annihilation which threatens even the mighty "Skylark III" under the onslaught of the Pure Intelligences. The inhabitants of that strange realm manifest, inevitably, a mild hostility to the interlopers and suffer more than somewhat for their temerity in the tooth-andclaw battles ensuing, until the Seaton party proceeds to make its way back through normal space to the far-distant galaxy where the humans of Valeron are losing their desperate fight against the marauding amoeba-like Chlorans. Meanwhile those who, like myself, appreciate the villainy of DuQuesne rather than the nobility of Seaton will find that thirty-minute egg living his finest hour as he applies paratroop tactics to the task of capturing a first-class battleship of the dreaded Fenachrone from under their repulsive noses.
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Twenty Years of Fillers
NOT LONG FOR THIS WORLD, by August Derleth, Arkham House, Sauk City, Wis. $3.00.
Reviewed by Geoffrey Giles
The industrious Mr. Derleth has come in for much criticism by some sections of fandom for his attitude to science fiction as opposed to the type of fantasy to which he has devoted most of his energies as a writer, a publisher and an anthologist. But none, on one side or the other, can say a word against his integrity. Rather, his honesty borders on audacity when he offers a third volume of reprints of his own tales from the weird magazines and openly declares in a Foreword that they are not really worth the money.
Monsters of Myth
THE CIRCUS OF DR. LAO, by Charles G. Finney. Grey Walls Press, London. 10/6.
Reviewed by Alan Devereux
Walk up, walk up, ladies and gents, and see the Greatest Show that Never Was! Here are fabulous mythological monsters and mermaids, all alive and in the flesh! See the great Sea-Serpent from the ocean's depths, and the Roc's Egg that hatches out right before your eyes! See the lovely Medusaand be turned to stone! Here we have the only Werewolf bitch in captivityshe metamorphoses nightly!
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Here you can see the Chimera, which has no fundamental orifice, but burns up its food in its fiery insides! See the Peepshow, for men only, with the nubile Nymphs and erotic Satyrs in a non-stop performance; also the Negro Fertility Dance from darkest Africanow run away, you boys! No, not you, ladieshave your fortunes told by the great and wise Apollonius of Tyre, and see the spectacular Grand Finale with its panorama of living sacrifices of genuine, guaranteed Virgins to a Brazen God!
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The Judgment of Zoom
ADDRESS UNKNOWN, by Eden Phillpotts. Hutchinson, London. 9 6.
Reviewed by Thomas Sheridan.
A few years ago Mr. Phillpotts added to his considerable list of novels of interest to fantasy lovers a scientific whimsy to which we took quite a fancy ["Saurus" (Murray, London: '38).]. It concerned an intelligent iguana which, coming from one of the Asteroids as an egg, hatched out and lived its little life on Earth without ever discovering why it had been so cruelly condemned to the Mad Planet. Having spent all but three of ninety years here himself, Mr. Phillpotts is still fascinated by the problem of man's supreme idiocy as it would appear to a more rational being, and is evidently not yet certain whether we would seem to justify our existence.
Walter Gillings' FANTASIA Continued from page 5
Silent film of "The Lost World" revived at South Kensington Museum for lecture on prehistoric reptiles inspired by barrage of questions following recent radio serial . . . H. S. ("Moons, Myths and Man") Bellamy lectured Atlantis Researchers on "The Moon Capture Theory of Hoerbiger" . . . Egerton Sykes' plan for expedition to seek remains of Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat brought accusation from Pravda of intent to "spy on (Russian) territory"to which he retorted "Rubbish!" in The People . . . Harry Harper, writing in Tit-Bits on telepathy, asked: "Would You Like to Talk to a Martian?" . . . Sunday Graphic ran children's page picture serial by Gilbert Dunlop concerning "village of the future" attacked by Lunar invaders . . . American Tomorrow had article on juvenile mags. "From Deadwood Dick co Superman," with reference to Frank Reads Library . . .
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THE YEAR'S BEST
The latest project of American fandom, for instituting Fantasy Awards for the best annual performances in the field by authors, artists, editors and publishers, has been abandoned through inadequate support. In view of this, and of the desirability of making such awards, it might be worth-while for Fantasy Review to consider sponsoring this scheme.
THE SOVIET VIEW
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we need not look as far as the Soviet Union for harsh opinions about it. Let Mr. Clarke canvass his own street with a dozen copies of any s.f. magazine to get a normal reaction. If not so detailed as the Comrades', the ordinary Englishman's comments will compensate by their colour and terseness.Frank Williams, Highbury, N. 4.
THE QUERY BOX
THE SHAVER MYSTERY
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Fantasy Review, 115 Wanstead Park Road, Ilford, Essex. Published by
Walter Gillings. Printed by 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.