BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY...........................
...............................................August 21st, 1946.
R.J. Daniels, 6 Whitmore Park Road, Coventry, Warwks (130); Clifford Russell, 193 White Horse Hill, Chislehurst, Kent (132); Anne Gardiner, 96 Lavington Road, Worthing, Sussex (80 - a return to the fold celebrated by a sub of 5/-).
Fireside Chat, Very Important.
The British Fantasy Society is now two months into its fifth year of existence, and approaching a climax in its affairs. After four years of struggling to perform some useful function under the difficulties of wartime existence the time is coming when conditions are getting much easier for fan activities of all kinds, and when science-fiction itself is enjoying unusual popularity. Everything favours the expansion of the Society to a size much greater than the present, with corresponding increases in the advantages of membership to the individual.
In many ways its activity is increasing as it ought to, as for instance the meetings of the London fans and the library. Nevertheless the position is not satisfactory, so little so in fact that in my opinion there is the grave danger of collapse, or at least of gradual decay through the notorious inertia of fans allowing the society to lose more and more of its functions.
A Society of this type, composed mostly of people separated from each other by considerable distances, needs an executive body of great driving power with a loyal and energetic Secretary to transmit its requirements to the members concerned, and a large, regular, and well-produced magazine containing, in particular, every scrap of news of interest to the fan that can be gathered by any means. At the present time the BFS lacks both these requirements practically in toto.
Concerning the executive I will only repeat what I have said many times before, that it is impossible for a committee to deliberate successfully and efficiently by correspondence. For the rest, I will not deny that it would be possible for one person to be a good Secretary and also to write, edit, stencil and gather in the news for a bi-monthly magazine of reasonable size - if he were prepared to devote the whole of his spare time to the job, having no other outside interests. I myself have many other interests, and would like to have more, and am certainly not prepared to give more than one-twentieth of my spare-time to the BFS.
In previous years about this time we have called for nominations for election to the various Executive positions in the BFS. I do so again, only as a formality, for never have any turned up in previous years. I repeat in particular nominations for Secretary - or Secretary and Editor of Bulletin - must be found, for I hereby hand in my resignation. It will take place immediately my successor is appointed. If not, then it will take place on Dec. 31st. 1946, and not a day later.
Though I seem to have mislaid most of the correspondence on this, you can take it from me that this is in full working order and holding regular meetings at, I believe, fortnightly intervals. Sixteen fans were present at the first meeting, including Walter Gillings, Ted Carnell, Bill Temple, R.G. Medhurst, G.A. Chapman, Edward C. Tubb, Harry Chibbett, Eric Hopkins, M. Hugi, B.L. Sandfield, Fred Brown, John Newman, and John Sibley. E.C. Tubb, 7 Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, London W. 9, was elected Secretary and anyone interested should write him or Fred Brown, 255 Burges Road, East Ham, London E. 6.
Ya wanna read the latest science fiction and fantasy?
Then why not join the Subscription Magazine Chain as described in the previous Bulletin? We are now recieving current issues of Astounding, Startling, Planet, Weird, Thrilling Wonder and Famous Fantastic Mysteries for circulation on this scheme, whereby for the payment of a mere pittance of 2d per issue you may receive any or all of these within a few weeks of publication. The sooner you apply the higher up the list will be your name and the earlier you will receive the mags. Apply to Nigel Lindsay, 311 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon.
The grateful thanks of all benefiting from this scheme are due to Mr Nigel Lindsay who runs it and Mr A. Bertram Chandler, who arranged for the subscriptions for us.
And talking of A. Bertram Chandler...
This notable member of the BFS, finding himself in New Zealand in June, improved the shining hour by addressing Napier Rotary Club on the more sombre possibilities of atomic-energy warfare, a lecture which won well-merited recognition from the local press. After drawing a comparision to Hero's well-known near-invention of the steam turbine as an instance of a similar cross-roads in the history of the world when man had the possibility of two vastly different futures acording to the use he made of the invention, and giving a precis of Heinlein's "Solution Unsatisfactory" as a fictional instance of the present real problem, he described how the atomic bomb made it possible for even a small nation to deliver an enormously destructive blitz in a single night on any other unprepared nation which would lead to a world-wide frenzy in which every country would be showering atomic bombs on every other. Exit civilization.
(If I may digress a moment - this picture is similar to Campbell's editorials on the subject and is at least a possibility, if not a probability. But would it necessarily be a Bad Thing? After all, it would only be the white races who would suffer seriously, because they, having the techniques for making atomic bombs, would be the targets for them. And is the civilisation of the white races a success? Not if we judge from their rulers. On the other hand, no other races seem any better - so is humanity as a whole worth worrying about?)
ABC, "seaman-author", also gave an interview to a Wellington reporter in which he was able to shoot quite a line about his science-fiction activities and about ASF - described as "an American pulp magazine which had a scientific background". From this I glean the interesting information that one of his stories -"Giant-Killer" is my guess - was rated third best story of 1945 by the American fans, and that in another poll he was listed among the ten best writers of s-f. Good enough.
Most of you will have seen a copy of this, the first post-war British science-fiction magazine. In my opinion the best story, though it is not s-f and hardly even fantasy, is William F.Temple's "The Three Pylons". It is a neat, well-printed magazine.
Pendulum Publications Ltd., whose address is 10 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn. London W.C.2, - issue other book and periodicals of interest to the fan, such as "Fantasy" (somewhat like Unknown used to be), "Weird", a "Spacetime Series" and scientific books, all under the general heading of the "Pendulum Popular Library" at 2/- per volume.
Our President, Mr Walter Gillings, puts forward the suggestion that it might be feasible at the present time, in view of the widening interest in fan-affairs, to produce a bi-monthly printed magazine devoted to news of developments in the field on both sides of the Atlantic.. (As you were, for "fan-affairs" read "fantasy".) In the main it would feature book-reviews, news of existing and coming publications, and similar items calculated to be of service to the ordinary reader of fantasy, and collectors in particular, for obviously it would require much wider support than could be obtained from the hundred or so fans in this country. A particular feature would be advertisements for buying and selling of any description in this field - a very valuable feature too if one may judge from the surprising results obtained by advertisements in this Bulletin only.
To produce such a magazine would involve a considerable amount of expenditure as well as work, and Mr Gillings would like to hear the opinions of all interested, so that he may form an estimate of the chance of success. In particular he would like to hear from any who would be interested enough to contribute book-reviews, news, and items of general interest regularly and promptly, and from those who would wish to advertise. He regrets that for reasons of time he cannot enter into a prolific correspondence over the matter, but he hopes that all interested - for or against - will let him have the benefit of their opinions. His address is 15 Shere Road, Ilford, Essex.
The British Interplanetary Society.
If the state of a society may be judged from the quality of its publications - and though for the sake of the BFS I would it were not so yet must admit that usually so it is - then the BIS is doing very well indeed. At first the Bulletins were scruffy little things, hardly legible and containing nothing of interest, but unlike a certain other society which shall be nameless, the BIS did not rest content with this state of affairs, and their latest bulletin - July 1946 - is an excellently duplicated quarto-size magazine in stiff paper covers with printed title on the front and contains some interesting items.
It is not, even so, worth the l/- that would appear to be the price to non-members. But the Journal, a thirty page printed magazine, is probably worth its 2/6 (to non-members) by the standards of such publications. At the very least it is a good first issue under the present regime, and promises well for the future.
Probably by this time many of you will have heard from the publishers of this latest proposed venture in the British fantasy field, for they are circularising, as far as possible, all known fans. "Outlands" they say "is for all who seek wider fields of Thought and Imaginations, and who aren't afraid to face facts that run counter to accepted beliefs." That's us all over - within limits. Anyone interested who hasn't had a communication from them should write "Outlands Publications" 19 Richmond Avenue, Liverpool 21.
Science-fiction made easy.
It's an old scheme. You take a book that s-f readers are unlikely to have read, and copy it out with different names and eras. Few have done it so brown as van Vogt is now doing it in ASF with Robert Graves' "I Claudius", - the resemblance is so close it's painful.
F/O Edwin Macdonald, c/o 25 Dochfour Drive, Inverness, wants but little here below, but he would like to hear from some of his old correspondents who have been quiet so long.
Arthur W. Busby, 40 Brooklands Road, Hall Green, Birmingham 28, offers the following for
Harry Manson, 52 Harbour Street, Irvine, Ayrshire, offers for sale:-
Wonder Stories Quarterly, Fall 1931 perect condition 7/-; ditto Spring 1932 slightly
tattered 3/-. Amazing Stories Apr & May 1928 4/- each; ditto July 1928 (minus cover) 2/-;
ditto July 1931 (minus cover) l/6;
Wonder Stories.....Jan 1935 to April 1936 (perfect) 50/- the set;
Thrilling Wonder Stories......Oct 36 to Oct 39 ( ditto) 45/- the set;
Wonder Stories Nov& Dec 1931 3/-; Dynamic Stories Feb 7 May 1939 2/- each; Startling May
March July 1939 2/- each; Science Fiction June. Aug. 1933 2/- each; Fantastic Adventures
May 1939 2/-; ditto Jan '45 2/6d; Thrilling Wonder Fall 1945 2/6d; Astonishing Oct 1942 2/6d.
Arthur Hillman, 100 Corporation Road, Newport, Monmouthshire wants :-1930/1 Wonders containing "The Rescue from Jupiter" and "The Return from Jupiter" by Gawain Edwards; Nov 1934 and 1941-1943 Astoundings. Will buy or exchange F.F.M.s and modern Arkham House books.
Nigel Lindsay, 311 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon, wants all or some of the Astoundings of every year from 1930 to date - except 1938 - and Unknowns from Nov. 1939. Also Tales of Wonder....Nos 14 and 15.
D.R. Smith, 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, wants the following Astoundings:- Jan, Feb, Oct 1930, April 34, Nov Dec 39, Jan. to Sept. 1940 and Dec 1940; Jan, Feb, April, May, June 1941. Preferably to buy, but exchange considered.
Correction. Mr Bert Lewis regrets that in his description of the Anatole France de luxe editions which he advertised for sale in our previous issue he erroneously gave the published price as 21/- instead of 16/-. The mistake was due to his having been incorrectly informed on this point at the time when he bought them.
Michael Rosenblum is now safely married. So I was informed by one of the guests, one Douglas Webster, who visited me soon after on his way round fandom. To him I am indebted for news of the greatest tragedy of all fan-time - Forrest J Ackerman, indefatigable Conventioneer, unable to attend his own, his very own Pacificon onaccounta 'flu. Angels - or at least Angelenos - wept. Amongst those recently released from the Services are Nigel Lindsay and Eric C. Williams - the donor of the £5 sub. Fred Brown has been distributing Pacificon booklets to all and sundry, and tasty souvenirs they are too.... most agonising publication I have seen is our old friend Gus Willmorth's "Fantasy Advertiser" - such rare treasures - but so far away! The pity of it....
THE END. DRSmith (Secretary)
1) Scans of this issue supplied by Al Durie, OCR/proofreading by Greg Pickersgill.