FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 18 (Vol. 2, Number 6) Mar 1942
On February 1st, the US Navy attacked Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, America's first direct military response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, the Japanese scored a major victory when they took Singapore in the middle of the month, depriving Britain of her only major dry dock between Durban and Pearl Harbor.
In Norway, Nazi puppet Vidkun Quisling was installed as Prime Minister by his German masters, ensuring his name would for ever after be a synonym for 'traitor'. In London meanwhile, Sir Arthur Harris was appointed head of RAF Bomber Command. He was to prove a controversial figure.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY: PRELIMINARY BULLETIN #1OCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ...........................cover by Arthur Williams
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
________________________________________________________________ Vol. 2, No. 6; March 1942
Being an Amateur Magazine devoted to the.......................................................................................................
keeping in being of British Fantasy Fandom.......................................................................................................
......................................................................................................................Editor, J. Michael Rosenblum esq.
Published monthly at 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, at 3d per copy, 3/- or 75 cents per annum. Exchange with any other fan publication arranged. Other sheets produced by fellow spirits willingly distributed with the F.W.D.
Three days after the February issue of "FIDO" had been mailed out the following letter from Forrest J. (STFORRY) Ackerman of Hollywood, arrived; with his reactions to the suggested scheme to bring him over here after the war as a guest of Anglofandom in appreciation of his many services to us.
15 Jan 42.
I just've finisht reading the yr-end ish of Fido & wish to comment on an item which has affected me deeply. To think there exists a group of persons somewhere in the world that holds me in such esteem as to wish to "import" me, so to speak... it is to bring the tear near to the eye. And above all that the proposition shoud come from D.R.Smith. Smith, who 5 yrs ago called for an outraged fandom to rise in righteous indignation and destroy the yngvidious assault of novacious spelling re-forms (& incidentally, their perpe-traitor )! Does my memory of the matter magnify the enormity of it out of proportion? Let me refer, then, to the original article: - NOVAE TERRAE No 7, Oct 36, quote -- Hands Off English. The latest atrocity is beyond endurance and it is being committed by the very people who supposedly hold the honour of scientific fiction in highest esteem. -- I refer to this craze for portmanteau words... 'Scientifiction' was allowed to slip in...Scientifilm, scientificircle, scientificartoon -- clumsy, unnecessary, ugly to read and hideous to pronounce...-- One could not dwell on this subject without mention of Ackerman. The apostle of a new, simpler language, he renders English more complex even as he pleads the cause of Esperanto..... On Ackerman, must our attack be chiefly directed for it is he that creates the greater proportion of this "Ackermanese"...--Yes, we must declare war!.. British fans, defend your native tongue against these transatlantic marauders; American allies, attack them at closer range Hammer then, tear their tongues out!... these words are....more repulsive than rotting fish... Erase them from our thoughts until dislike of them is as instinctive as dislike of insanity." And today Do Ray (I like that musical moniker) puts forth the proposition that U guys get up the "wind" to blow me across the Big Pond one day when the Big Fuss blows over.... Now it sometines is difficult to determine, in riting, when one has one's tongue in one's cheek, is intending to be sarcastic, etc, so, that there can be no misinterpretation, I wish to say, as openly, as directly & as ingenuously & sincerely as I noe how that I greatly, genuinely, no malice abearing, do appreciate Smith's suggestion. It's fullfillment seems rather more than I'd deserve & l'm not certain I could accept, as Morojo will bear me out it was not a wk ago I said. thinking ahead to when it woud be possible to come to England that I shoud wish to be "well-heeled", which is our current slang for having a sufficiency of money, to be able to pay my way & not impose on any of you. I meant pay my way around, over there, among U; naturally I always intended to get my own passage together somehow. Another thing I wish to make clear, simply bcuz Smith's idea has been put into print, British Fandom shoud not feel in any sense obligated to act upon it, if postwar
conditions shoud not prove conducive to such a course. Ofcorse, as Heinlein said, "you and I may
not live to see the end of it". Or maybe you will but I shan't...& that very effectively woud
take care of that! But, granting a half dozen Big Ifs, I'll be seeing U Big Stiffs yet, so.
...All X! Chums up! V for Valeron! Set the Rising Sun! &... Don't Give Up the (Friend)Ship!!
WILL TEMPLE SAYS
"Dunno whether I mentioned it before, but I'm at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain, a couple of miles from Stonehenge. Ego (A.C. Clarke) is round about 20 miles away, I judge, at an RAF camp at Yatesbury. But the almost inpassable Wasteland of the vast artillery ranges lies between us, & so far we haven't been able to bridge it.
Had a couple of nice leaves with Joan and Anne at Wembley comparatively recently. Eric Frank Russell, George Medhurst, Arthur Williams, Joyce Fairbairn & James Rathbone came to tea which made it even nicer.
Noticed the publicity the B.I.S. rocket ship has had recently, in Cassandra's column in the "Daily Mirror", in the London "Evening Standard", & of course in "Flight"? Good old Smithy! (R. A. Smith of the BIS, Ed). He's doing this from his hospital bed, you know, where he's been stuck with a serious illness."
AND JULIAN PARR
wants to apologise for the non-answering of letters sent to him fairly recently He reported to the RAF at Padgate on Wednesday February 25th. This removal from normal surroundings means that he is no longer able to continue looking after the English side of the British Science Fiction War Relief Society. His duties have therefore been deputed to William Robert Gibson, late of Edmonton, I believe. Now to be reached with the following address - M3020 Gnr Gibson W.R, R.H.2, 11th Cdn Army Fld Regt, R.C.A., Canadian Army, England. Bob comments "Its odd that a Canadian should stand between Britain and the United States in the matter, even for a time."
Scottish BSFWRS representative Edwin Macdonald, who is also expecting to be called up for the RAF sometime soon, has a report to make about the working of his side of the organisation. To date he has received 22 recent fantasy magazines, 1 quarterly, 3 older mags,. and 6 SF series booklets - the equivalent of 27 magazines in all. These have been distributed to the only other Scots member and 3 each to two Englishmen, Edwin having retained six for himself. In return they have sent 4 British mags, 6 six-penny fantasies, 2 shilling novels and three books; making in all the approx equivalent of 14 US mags.
Another Londonletterer is John Craig of 3 Sackville Gardens, Ilford, Essex who comments on several items:
Have you seen the latest issue of "Pic" to reach this country? Friend Campbell has broken into it with a middle double page spread called "The Conquest of Time" set in a fanciful surround illustrated by Hubert Rogers. "Argosy", I am sorry to say, is in decline. They have gone the current fashion in large size and started putting film stars on the cover as well as two lurid articles of the sensational type per issue.
Asking for the use of our columns "Zeus" Craig informs, "I want issues of Astounding for 1935. Also any numbers of Air Wonder Stories. Also what I presume is quite impossible, Nos 1 & 2 of Amazing & 1 of Wonder. Good collectors prices given. For disposal I have "The Hesperides", "Sever the Earth" "Houseboat on the Styx" J.K. Bangs, "Out of the Silent Planet" Lewis, Amazing Quarterly Summer 1931 & a few others. Prices on application."
And now we present the original LONDONLETTERER Sidney L. Birchby....
Arthur Williams has promised to turn over his duplicator to George Medhurst, so perhaps some day George (or myself) will turn out something regular for Fido. Incidentally the machine came in the first place from Eric Williams and when we chaffed Art about it he said "Oh, Eric won't mind, He's gone abroad" and calmly said that he'd been overseas since last June. What the Hell!! It's the first any of us have heard. Why doesn't someone tell us these things? So it seems, and Fido's readers may be interested, that one of the SFAs founder members is now making eyes at Arab wenches or languishing in a Japanese prison canp in Malaya. Does anyone have any news?
Talking of missing people, one of the long-lost came to light last week. Some of us were in a London bookshop talking about space travel & the shopkeeper said, turning to a customer who came in at that moment "Here's someone who can tell you all about it, he's vice-president of the British Interplanetary Society".
"Yes," said the stranger, "my name is Janser!" He wishes to be remembered to all the old gang, especially Arthur Clarke, Bill, Maurice & Ted. Janser was B.I.S. librarian too. Our meeting him in a booksellers leads us to suspect that a horrible fate has befallen the library. Can he be living on the proceeds? Have we here another Harry Kay? What is this lust that seizes librarians? It's about time we jogged memories and a certain gentleman's conscience. WHERE IS HARRY KAY? Come back you absconding sawbones! What have you done with the SFA library?
Fido readers, have you formed opinions about Snaghurst? Have you a mental picture of a bookish intellectual sitting in a study full of dirty old books? Do you see a man, quiet, thoughtful, yet sly of humour? Be warned then that he recently attempted to climb up the lions in Trafalgar Square after a drunken sortie in the West End during the course of which he (a) displayed fiendish accuracy at pub-darts (b) had eyes made at him by fallen women and (c) patronised a machine showing for a penny, a film entitled "She Asked for It!", He is reported to be gathering material for a book on SIN.
Admirers of Aunt Joad, of the Drains Trust (He means that able & erudite philosopher C.E.M. Joad - Ed) will be glad to know that space travel, if not impossible, is most improbable, and even if we did get to other planets we won't live, and even if we do, there'll be nothing worth annexing.
ERIK THE RED
Home on 14 days leave, Erik Needham of Manchester, now in the RAF, found time to drop us a few lines and let us know that he is still alive. When last we heard from him he was at Preston, or near there, but now he tells us that he was able to drop in and see Nuneaton's Donald Raymond Smith last month. We understand a full report of the proceedings will be in the next FANTAST.
Terry Overton of Cardiff, Glam. writes to say, amongst other things, that he and Maurice K Hanson arranged a meeting on Feb 28th, which was successfully carried out; a goodly chat was had and a combined visit paid to a picture show. He also informs that, in case any subscribers via A.F. Bird should be worrying, he received his first two FFMs just 3 and a half months after sending off the sub. Plenty of time for everyone yet.
But what will happen to Spaceways and other fanzines from now on is a moot question. American fandom has been affected much less during this first month than was British fandom during its first month, I'm pretty sure. At least, we have your example to follow over here, and can be careful not to make the mistakes that British fandom made, like the first feeling that all fan activities would be ended in a few weeks. You had nothing to judge by. The war has caused only one US fan to stop his fan activities, that one is Arthur Louis Joquel, who suspended all activity at once....Whilst from the FANTASITE, organ of the Minneapolis Fantasy Society, we cull the following paragraph;
The MFS has lost one of its staunchest members, Doug Blakely. Uncle Sam has grabbed him up. The MFS is fearful, also, of losing another of its prominent members -- John Chapman. Cyril Eggum, charter member is somewhere with the army and Morrie Dollens isn't quite certain whether he'll be taken or not. Looks pretty bad for the good ol' MFS, all right!
BOOK REVIEW.........__________________________.............................................................Bert Lewis
I'm afraid this review is going to be limited to be limited to one book; sorry but that's how it is fans!!
You'll probably remenber the review of J.D. Beresford's book "What Dreams May Come" in which he sketched out a picture of a Gentle Utopia! Well he has given us another book in which it comes to be. His new book is not classed as a serial really, tho some may even go so far. The book is called "A Common Enemy" (Hutchinson 8/6) The war is raging at its worst when the Celestial bodies take a hand in the business. Then come frightful storms followed by earthquakes of unprecedented violence. All thought of war is forgotten in the common danger. The result is a wholly changed England with a new civilisation founded on a real brotherhood slowly emerging from chaos. Mr Beresford makes everything seem possible, but his vision of the future is not strikingly different from those which other novelists have given us before.
Some other books published recently are "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis (Bles 5/-) and "Darkness and the Light" by W, Olaf Stapledon (Methuen 7/6). Another that Roland Forster informs us about is a British edition of "The Passionate Witch", the last work of Thorne Smith's, left unfinished at his death and now concluded by Norman Matson.
"TALES OF WONDER" SUCCUMBS AT LAST says Editor Gillings.
Readers will remember that our last bulletin from Wally Gillings anent the magazine he has piloted so faithfully through the vicissitudes of the last four years, mentioned that World's Work Ltd, the publishers, had unsuccessfully applied to the Paper Control for permission to use paper allowed for Tales of Wonder in others of their publications. Now, however Wally regretfully writes as follows.
"I've heard from World's Work that as a result of another appeal to the Paper Control they have apparently got permission to safeguard their magazines "Short Stories'" and "West" at the expense of "Mystery Stories", "War Adventures" and "Tales of Wonder". Or, as they put it, the only periodicals they may publish while the war lasts are the two monthlies, and the three quarterlies have to be discontinued.
Which means that, after the 16th issue, due out shortly, there will be no further issues of T.o.W., at least for the duration. For they do hold out hope of being able to take up the mag where we have left it, when peace comes again. But, of course, one never knows...
So that is that. It seems that nothing can save us now, for the Miracle which has kept us surviving is about played out, and this decision is definite. Ah, well! They can't say the thing wasn't a success, or that it died a natural death - or went into suspended animation voluntarily. And we can still share the publishers' hope that it may yet see the light of day again, when it may be able to do better in every way. For myself, I'm not too disappointed, because it's something of a relief not to have to go on struggling to bring it out under circumstances which bind one hand & foot as far as proper development of it is concerned."
WEIRD TALES REPRINT
Messrs Gerald G. Swan Ltd.. who have already issued two nos of "Yankee Science Fiction" in their series of Yankee Shorts have decided to publish an English Edition of "Weird Tales". The first issue is now on the stands and contents are as follows "Seven Seconds of Eternity" - Robert H. Leitfred, "The Valley of the Un-dead" - Helen Weinbaum, "Heart of Atlantan" - Nictzin Dyalhis; "Sea Born" - Edmond Hamilton and one of H. Bedford Jones' "Adventures of a Professional Corpse" besides a couple of poems by Maisie Nelson. There is a blue and white reproduction of a Weird Tales cover but no interior illustrations. Continuation is hoped for but will be dependent on the success of this issue.
to ye editorial home. A get-together weekend during the month was foiled entirely by unpropitious circumstances. Eric Hopkins found himself unable to get a pass; John Morgan, we are sorry to say got himself confined to bed with a nasty cold (we sympathise we have one too) whilst Ron Lane of Manchester managed to be sitting an exam in London. Roland Forster did manage to spend a weekend with us though, and we talked and talked and talked. Saturday morning a systematic bookhunt took up the time till dinner but 'twas the only excursion managed. John Morgan did manage a visit earlier on in the month.
Fans in the Midlands may find themselves visited at some time in the near future by John F. Burke who has now been moved from Boston to Dudley, Worcester and is apparently likely to remain there for about 9 months. And Signalman Youd, Chrishtopher Samivel, is now at Trowbridge, Wilts. Dave McIlwain and Roland Forster have now met at Cranwell.
is dedicated to Edward J. Carnell, who has provided the cover sheets used for the majority of the edition. We thank you, Ted. We also thank him for SANDS OF TIME ENCLOSED WITH THIS (whoops, sorry) Fido; and deeply regret that we have descended to a single sheet - that is if you don't count the Bulletin on the other side of this sheet. Buck up, one or two of you, puleese! Various bric-a-brac which has made its way here from the States is distributed with Fido. Thanks go to Forry Ackerman as per usual, to Julius Unger for 50 copies of Fantasy Fiction Field complete with preview cover-photo, and to Bert Castellari for the continued arrival of his Futurian Observer And whilst we thank the half dozen of so people who have refunded excess postage on their enclosures, we would like others to follow their example. After all the fanzines are costing you nothing. Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of A. Bloom, J.Morgan, R.E.Folkes, H.S.W.Chibbett, L.J.Johnson, G. Ellis, S.A.Beach, A. Gascoigne. Prompt renewal is a definite help to Fido. Thanks.
February 1942, number four keeps up the good work of its predecessors. The magazine will be creating a legend for forthcoming fan generations for it must now have reached the ultimate in mimeograph possibilities in production and format. 'Twould be outstanding enough, in ordinary tines, but nowadays 'tis little short of the miraculous. I have been watching the Yank fanpress to see what they say on meeting Zenith; which puts so many of their efforts to shame, but the only comment I've come across so far is by Harry Jenkins in his FAPA pub. JINX who says "the artwork is one thing that must be raved about. Oogle biggle bop!". Contents this issue are by A.C. Clarke, C.S.Youd, J.F. Burke and Marion Eadie, together with another Dorothy Morton poem whilst Bob Gibson (our tame Canadian Sojer) reveals himself as a humourous artist. As usual Harry's drawings are superlative (H.Turner, 41 Longford Place, Manchester 14)
D. Houston, 142 Ardington Road, Northampton, has for sale some issues of Wonder Stories, Nov 33-Apr 36 bar odd ones @ 1/- & TWS 36 - 39 bar 1 or 2 @ 6d. Marvel Nov 38, Feb, Apr, Aug 39 @ 6d; AmS Feb37, Jul 39 @ 6d, some 6d, books; Princess, Gods, Warlord & Chessmen of Mars, Pellucidar & Burn Witch Burn @ 9d; various Wells; and Jovial Ghosts - Smith @ 3/- M3020 Gnr Gibson WR, RH2, 11th Cdn Army Fld Regt RCA, Canadian Army England wants stf stories that have been published in such mags as Strand, Pearsons, Windsor, Idler, Royal, Blackwoods, Chambers, Passing Show, Chums, etc. If you have such magazines with stf tales in them drop him a line.
ANOTHER BOOK REVIEW
"His Bote Upon the Watter" by Joseph Stamper p Hutchinsons 7/6, 1933. It is an out and out fantasy of a rather unusual type. The author is having some grand fun with himself, and incidentally getting rid of a few repressions. Not being a success with the ladies in ordinary life, he uses his imagination to construct a "bote" wherein he sets sail with six maidens of his own choice, whom he has kidnapped and concerning whom his intentions are most dishonourable, The ship is equipped with two remarkable modern conveniences, a time machine attachment so that any era can be chosen and an "atom re-distributor" which remakes the craft according to requirements. Good !!
Can anybody tell me anything about "Song of Renny" (quiet Mr Rennison) by Maurice Hewlett. Fantasy or not? It certainly mentions a "Lancelot''.
BRITISH FANTASY FAN FEDERATION___________________________ Preliminary Bulletin ......1
Though quite an amount of enthusiasm has been displayed regarding the society, the rather disappointing number of only 16 replies have been received to date (March 9th). We hope many more will come in soon.
In general the answers to the questions asked will be used as a guide for the group who get the society into active being. But here is a resume. Title voting was British Fantasy Fan Federation 6, Futurian Society of GB 4, British Fantasy Society 5 ; which is scarcely conclusive and latecomers may alter this first result.
12 people are in favour of fundraising by "taxation" and 2 are against and the suggested annual limit runs the gamut from 3/- to "the sky" with a mean of about 8/6.
Tests or other qualifications for membership are out. 8 against to 5 in favour, those against being most definite.
12 to 0 in favour of a "Bulletin', ditto that it should be distributed with FIDO.
Other interesting points are that 7 people with some time available have been discovered, 5 typewriters are presumably at our service and one person is against the idea of an advisory board to look after the society.
Three distinct points of controversy have been raised upon which I should like to dilate. Viz..
(a) Possible friction after the war with the Science Fiction Association which will be revived then. Comments, don't want or intend to hurt this organisation, agree there is no room for two societies in Britain, BFFF was suggested as a wartime measure and this can be stressed. Sensible thing is to incorporate BFFF (if there is something worth incorporating) with the SFA when this starts but that is not up to us. Suggest a wind-up Convention for the BFFF co-inciding with a revival Convention for the SFA. Meanwhile sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.Membership List so far; addresses will be given at some future date.
1. JMRosenblum 2. Terence Overton 3 Jack Banks 4. John Morgan 5. Julian Parr 6. Douglas Webster 7. RJSilburn 8. Donald Houston 9. Edwin MacDonald 10. Dennis Tucker 11. WR (Bob ) Gibson 12. Derek Gardiner 13. Roy Johnson 14. Jack Gibson 15. Donald Raymond Smith 16. C.Roland Forster
When people make suggestions for, or comments about the BFFF, will they please do so on a separate sheet of paper to that on which other topics are dealt with. This is so that a speciaI file of matter dealing with the society can be kept.