FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 19 (Vol. 2, Number 7) Apr 1942
Early in March, it's announced that 100,000 Japanese-Americans are to be sent to internment camps on the US West Coast. Among these is a young George Takei, who will later achieve fame as Ensign Sulu on the TV show Star Trek. This same month, the Nazis begin the deportation of Jews to the concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland.
RAF Bomber Command inaugurates its terror bombing campaign on the 28th with a major raid on the Baltic port of Lubeck, an industrial and shipbuilding centre. This is the beginning of a round-the-clock offensive against German arms factories and industrial production.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY: PRELIMINARY BULLETIN #2 - ed. J. Michael Rosenblum- 1 pageOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ...........................
This is the April 1942 issue of . . .
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
______________________________________________________________Vol. 2, No. 7; Whole Number is 19
Being an Amateur Magazine devoted to and dealing with British Amateur Fantasy Fandom. It is published monthly from 4 Grange Terrace, Leeds 7, by J. Michael Rosenblum. Price 3d per copy, 3/- per annum. America 75 cents, preferably remitted in prozines. Exchange welcome. Nicknamed "Fido" and the accompanying sheets produced by fellow enthusiasts are called the "litter".
BSFWRS NEW POLICY
Latest letter to arrive from the originator and US organiser of the British Science Fiction War Relief Society, John Meyer Cunningham of Beaumont, Texas, contains this announcement;
"Notice: NEW POLICY; henceforth all magazines sent through the BSFWRS will be latest. In perfect condition, NEWSTAND (EVEN NEWER)! I am purchasing magazines at DEALERS rate, from local American News Company, and get them for 25% less than newstand cost. This is through the very considerate help and encouragement of Standard Magazines Inc... They wrote to headquarters of American News Agency in New York, and got them to let me purchase the mags at dealers rate: thereby making it possible for me to purchase magazines in quantity at a low price, and to carry on the BSFWRS more extensively".
On behalf of British fandom we therefore wish to convey our deep gratitude to, in particular, Mr H H. Oschay, Sales Manager of Standard Magazines, and also to another helpful person, Mr H.G. Strong, Circulation Manager of the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company.
A further comment from John Cunningham says "Sorry; but Unknown Worlds CANNOT be sent through the BSFWRS, because it is not registered as second class matter through USA Government post office."
ON FANDOM 'CHANGE
This month's bulletin of Fan Gyrations starts with some news of two ex-Leeds SFL members. Librarian once but now Signalman Eric Moss departed overseas, complete with tropical kit, on March the 31st bound for parts unknown. He spent a goodly proportion of his embarkation leave with us, and naturally we thoroughly enjoyed it. An airmail letter card from 7519116 Sgt Harold Gottliffe, RAMC, No 2 General Hospital, M.E.F. told us that that gentleman is still in existence. Moreover he is still in touch but only just with things science-fictional. And still he hopes to bring out his long-planned "JESTER IN EXILE" (the reference is to the Green Jester Press, publishers of THE FUTURIAN) and the latest effort is a scheme to produce it on Airgraphs by duplicating, which feat Harold intends to perform as soon as Airgraphs are extended to USA.
We learn that Sapper Ron Fishwick, once of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, is now actually in Cyprus, has been there some months now but is settling down. Eric Frank Russell writes while on short leave at his home to say that he will be going to Cranwell soon; in fact he will be there by the time you read this. That will make three fans at that resort, the others being Roland Forster and Dave McIlwain. Eric also mentions that famous Angeleno stf fan Fred Shroyer is now in the US Army Air Corps. Julian Parr can now be found c/o Miss Rowlands, 13 Springfield Road, Blackpool.
Two C.O. stfans report parallel treatment. Osmond Robb of Edinburgh, who was given "non-combatant service" by his local tribunal and Arthur Busby of Birmingham who was granted conditional exemption have both received enrolment notices for the National Fire Service which they will be joining in the near future, We hope this will leave them both enough spare time to become active in fandom. After trying Padgate, Filey, Kirkham, Cosford, Redcar in less than eight months, ACI Eric Needham drops us a discouraged line from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
Some interesting items sent along by E. Everett Evans. After mentioning that he had sent along copies of Astounding with "Second Stage Lensman", autographed by Doc Smith, EEE goes on...
He (Doc Smith) already has the first draft of the whole first instalment of the next story done, and part of the second instalment, besides having done all the plotting and planning for the entire story. It will be the last of this series and is to be called "BOSKONIAN WAR: CONCLUSION. A report by Christopher Kinnison." Doc's name will not appear as author at all, except that the editor will, of course use it in his blurbs. But Doc tells this from an entirely different angle than the first three books and refers to those in the story as "Dr Smith's History of the Universe". Christopher, of course, is the son of Kim and Clarissa, and wait until you meet his four sisters - two sets of identical twins a year apart in age. All five of the kids have Third Stage Minds (the Arisians, Doc estimates, are about Fifth Stage). The girls have all of their brother's mental abilities, but none of his training as a Lensnan. They absolutely cannot be controlled; they do as they darned well please, and HOW they please to get into things. But they are certainly four swell red-headed sweethearts. You'll love them, and be as afraid of them as we are; because, with their mental powers, they can't be quite human, and yet they try so hard to be.
We are working on our second issue of NOVA (a first-class newcomer to the fanzine field - Ed) after considerable delay. Our back cover will delight you, I am sure. It is a SIX-COLOR picture done with airbrush. Ashley and I worked about eight hours yesterday afternoon and night and have three of the six colors done. But we really think we will give Fanzinedom a jolt when they see it. You probably read in some of the other mags about our artist Wiedenbeck breaking his wrist and back, so we won't have very many illustrations this issue, but will have more the third as Jack is much improved & getting better right along.
By the way, seeing you are a member of the National Fantasy Fan Federation, I received a letter from (present president) Chauvenet a couple of weeks ago, stating that he was NOT going to run for President this next year, but for Sec-Treas. instead, and asking me to run for President. I was flabbergasted as I had never even thought of the idea. But I talked it over with several people, and they all seemed to believe that I could do some good in the job... so will run for the office. I haven't heard yet who will be my opposition.
Have been planning my vacation lately, and expect I'll go to Bloomington, Illinois, to visit Bob Tucker (Hoy Ping Pong) and his wife, Jane. They've been after me to do it for some time, and I think it will be fun... I had been planning to go out to the coast for the Pacificon, but I guess that will be postponed for the duration, and, anyway with our new taxes etc I wouldn't be able to make the trip the way I wanted to. I had planned to take a month off and see a lot of the West, as I've never been there before.
E.E. Evans, Batle Creek, Michigan
to us in Britain is a copy of "Spectra", emanating from Arthur Louis Joquel II of Los Angeles, and this is why. Sometime last March Art Joquel read a newly arrived issue of FIDO and was struck by the references to "Chain Letters", so he decided to try an American example. He picked a select coterie of recipients, drafted a brief introductory epistle and off went the package to Joe Gibson. Harry Warner, Julius Unger, Arthur Widner, Bob Tucker, Donn Brazier & Phil Schuman, Roy Hunt, Joe Fortier, Tom Wright, & Forrest J. Ackerman, who each of whom dealt faithfully with it. The letters are diverse and entertaining, topics discussed including music, Merritt and Miske, Astounding and fanzines. Having gone right around the chain, the whole caboodle has been reproduced and published as a fanzine.
Am 23 years old; 5 ft 9 ins in height. rather thickset; with brown hair, grey-green eyes one of which is practically useless and necessitates my wearing an eye-shield. Sax Rohmer's "Fu Manchu" series helped to create a craving for 'unusual' fiction; thence via ERB, Wells etc to magazine stf, which I discovered in early '38. A letter to "Tales of Wonder" brought a suggestion from John Morgan that I should sub to FIDO, which, a year ago I did. Science Fiction Exchange was started at the same time - since when it has processed quite nicely, thanks to various kindly disposed fans. Work midst a bevy of females at the local Co-op. Have a profound faith in true Christianity which is not the type generally preached. As time goes on I tend towards a Socialistic outlook. Education up to H.S.C. standard. Favourite authors; Stuart, E.E. Smith, and Heinlein; favourite story: "Forgetfulness". Like music by Puccini, Schubert, Romberg, Lehar and that ilk, I almost forgot to mention that I was permanently exempted from military service.
BOOK REVIEW.........__________________________.........................................................Edwin MacDonald
(Readers Union edition pub at 2/6. also original edition at 8/6) This is an amusing fantasy of the "Unknown" wacky type, of the days when knights were bold. Herein we read of Merlyn turning the Wart into a fish, a bird, and an animal and his adventures as such; of King Pellinore & the Questing Beast; of Merlyn's battle with the witch Madame Min, in which they change themselves into all kinds of creatures in their efforts to destroy each other; of God and the Embryos; of the Anthropophagi, who wrap themselves in their ears & cover their heads with their lower lips when it rains, & use their one huge foot to shade themselves when its sunny; of the Giant Galapas; and finally of the sword in the stone. Quite crazy. Sequel - "The Witch in the Wood"
is again a dedicated one - to Jack Gibson, our Science Fiction Exchange organiser, for reasons which he will wot of! And once more our thanks are due to our American friends for the supply of paper used for FIDO proper; a nice little selection giving you an idea of some recent US fanzine covers. And hurrah, we are working up a "mailing" again; This month sees the start of Dennis Tucker's DELIRIUM TREMENS - we hope it will have as long a life as namesake Bob Tucker's "Le Zombie". SANDS 0F TIME runs to four pages (we hope) and there is another BFFF Bulletin.
As we have a line or two to spare you may be interested in FIDO's latest circulation figures. Dealing with the last issue, March 1942, our records show that 75 copies were sent to British fans, 45 to overseas ditto; i.e. Australia, Canada and USA; and another ten were sent out as samples to a number of possibly interested people we have the audacity to hope to draw into fandom. Then there was a special Aussie edition on thin paper of 20 copies.
New Subscribers, there are two old friends to welcome once more, Miss A. Feather of Rhosneigr, Anglesey; and Dr W. A. Gibson of Bathgate, West Lothian, and one new one, A. Longton of Leyland, Lancs, Subscriptions expiring with this issue are those of A.W.Busby, W.R. Gibson (that name again) & L.B. Herbert.
Have you heard the voice of old-time stf writer Fletcher Pratt on the radio recently? Pratt, who is by way of being a military expert, has given two recorded postscripts to the news, dealing with the training of American tank crews and the U.S. army vehicle maid-of-all-work the "jeep". John F. Burke, now in Dudley on a RAF course, has a new home address to announce, namely 118 Princes Road, Liverpool 8. Best wishes and regards to British fandom are sent by Leonard J. Moffatt of Ellwood City Penn, and John M. Cunningham of the BSFWRS in Beaumont, Texas.
ON THE 'PHONE
'Phone call number 1 was a long-distance from Birmingham. But not from Brumites Busby or Hughes, nor even from John Burke, stationed quite near at Dudley -- but instead from that errant Macabrist -- James Parkhill Rathbone. Seems that Jimmy has settled down somewhat and is once more in contact with civilisation (fandom). He is to be reached c/o Sandfield Childrens Home, Clent Grove, Clent, Stourbridge, Worcester Beginning to look as though Birmingham is becoming a fan-centre in its own right.
Second call was from a bird of passage, namely Leslie J. Johnson, again changing trains at Leeds City Station. He had little to tell us save that he had met Eric F Russell when both were on leave, and his wife & child were doing fine. Latter is six months old now.
Cryptic postcard received April 7th from DONCASTER and George Medhurst, and marked (Strictly for publication)
Dear Mike; In case I can't persuade these crazy people, Sid and Joyce, to go on to Leeds, it occurs to me to announce that I am here. I feel dying: I feel like a mug who's lived through icy Hell, hundreds of stormswept miles of it, on the back of a lorry, and then "slept" on a sofa. That's what I feel like. And that with variations, is approximately how I always feel after being forcibly racketted around by those tramps, Eric, S and J. Let this be a warning to you: never be dominated by tramps Appended are three footnotes, one from Sid informs ... George is lying - too many eggs for breakfast. Since he came to Yorkshire he has been steadily eating his way into Stupidity, & he now weighs nearly 18 stone with corresponding fatty degeneration of the brain.
And I would very much like to know just what this PC means. Probably Eric is Eric Hopkins, but how come this quartet of Londoners to be in Yorkshire? Sid of course, is Sid Birchby and Joyce is Joyce Fairbairn.
Another Question - Who sent me a 3/- PO issued at Kingston, & without a word?
And to any American who is considering sending any prozines. Been looking through wartime issues and find I have the following blanks in my collection, Astounding Nov 40: Unk, Dec 39, Apr may jun jul Dec 40, Apr Oct 41; Astonishing Jun Aug 40, Jun 41; Super Science May Jul Sep 40, Mar July 41; SF Quarterly Nos 2 3 & 4; Future Fiction All Vol 1 except Nos 1 and 5; Science Fiction Vol 2 Nos 1, 2 & 3, Planet Fall, Winter 40, Spring Summer 41; Cosmic SF May 41. Any help will be appreciated.
Fandom down under is now in an even worse predicament than we in this country were ever faced with: and we fear, badly equipped to deal with it, to boot. Conscription has come suddenly and as a blanket; not leaving any opportunity to pass responsibilities on down the line and judging from an outsider viewpoint, the internecine squabbling hardly permits the co-operation so essential for dealing with the situation. Nevertheless let us hope that in some way or another Aussie-fandom will get over all these manifold difficulties.
Our last communications from the Antipodes were dated January and even then a sad state of things was evinced. Bert Castellari announces his almost immediate call-up when he will be joining a machine-gun regiment, his application for the Air Force being unsuccessful. As Ron Levy, his sidekick, is now fully occupied with a university course, this means the end of FUTURIAN OBSERVER, besides Levy's own publication ZEUS. From Melbourne comes the news that Warwick Hockley's AUSTRA-FANTASY and MELBOURNE BULLETIN are to be suspended. We also learn that Donald Tuck of Hobart, Tasmania, is now in Melbourne, having obtained work there, and we must presume that this means the end of his PROFAN. Too, too bad.
Just a word to the Aussies, FIDO will continue to be sent to those of you who would like it providing its receipt is acknowledged. I just can't go on sending it into the blue so just drop me a PC or something.
From Sigmn Eric Williams, 2359768, c/o 11 Clowders Road, Catford.
It is my pleasant occupation to send you greeting from the M.E.F and to pile thanks upon your head for sending me those VoMs and Futurians. I received the mags via my mother who despatched them in November - it is now March, but even last years news is FLASH stuff out here. "Here" is a desert with a blade of grass every hundred miles and a booby-trap mine every yard or so; drinking water comes out of petrol cans, and petrol comes when it can. It blows sandstorms two days of the week, rains the next; and the rest disappear in a blaze of glory. Time stops short at the edge of the desert as days weeks and months run on unobstructed by paydays church parades or bath days which separate the weeks out in civilised parts. Language, for the most part, becomes built up from a mysterious two word base called "bully beef" - everything derives from this except a conjugation which is called "biscuits". Only other animal life on the desert is something called "the enemy" which manifests itself now and again with loud bangs and rumblings in the night. That is a small part of "here" and so you can see your news of "over there" was very welcome indeed. I was glad to hear all the old boys were still in contact and would like to send my greetings to them all. Also I would be obliged if you would manage to pass on my profound thanks to 4e for the VoMs. I have received letters along with the mags from Eric C. H. and Art Williams and I'd like to hear from a some more of the boys who can spare the time.
And that brings to an end my energy and inspiration, S'long, Eric.
which comes from 2349492 Sigmn Rivlin, No. 1 Coy, Base Depot, Royal Signals, M.E.F., ex of Leeds.
I am keeping O.K. and am rolling on as usual. I happened to meet a relative of Harold's (Gottliffe) and I have his address and shall endeavour to see him in the near future. I met my brother Monty and I was really glad to see him after nearly a years absence. .. I have visited the Sphinx and Pyramids, and the dragoman who took us around for the day told us a lot of yarns, some true but mostly fairytales, kept on burning the old Magnesium, the sort of stuff we used to buy at Reynolds & Bransons (a firm of Leeds wholesale chemists - Ed) inside the dark passages of the Pyramids and raising the price of the tour with each strip he burned. But it was interesting if nothing else.
FOR SALE, Don Houston 142 Ardington Road, Northampton, wishes to announce that he has a number of English fanmags for sale or exchange for certain pronags. Thank you!
This is the first issue of the new SSS and is noticable for an entire change of format. Tis a larger size and is apparently modelled rather on the American "comic book" format than the usual pulp style. But I believe this is due to the fact that Don Wolheim and his publisher have been unfortunate with their printer. However the essential feature - the tales - retain their high standard and the policy of a science fiction and a fantasy section remains succesfull. Stories are, SF "Perfect Invasion" Gottesman, "The Giant" Basil Wells; "Blind Flight" M.V.Gordon; & "The Day Has Come" Walter Kubilius - all enjoyable. Fantasy, "The Golden Road" Cecil Corwin, is definitely good; and the other four stories by Hugh Raymond, W.O. Morley, Kenneth Falconer & Martin Pearson are all up to standard. The pure fantasy of this magazine is quite unique, very enjoyable and highly commended.
BRITISH FANTASY FAN FEDERATION___________________________ Preliminary Bulletin ......2
Although no voting or nominations have yet been asked for, certain prominent persons have been suggested for various offices in the organisation. As this coincides with the need for some sort of arbitrarily established committee to take over preparations for putting the society on a normal footing. I am therefore constituting the following as the "Ad Hoc Advisory Board".
E. J. Carnell, J. Gibson, J.M.Rosenblum, D.R. Smith, D, Webster. All these have been suggested as officials and have signified their willingness to serve in some capacity. With the exception of Ted Carnell who is, as yet, unasked. We do hope though that he will raise no demur. It seems quite a representative quintet, both geographically and in view of the various stratae of fans.
Nominations can now be sent in by members, in preparation for a voting list, which I hope will be complete for next month. So far we have the following nominees who are willing to stand.
Secretary - Donald Raymond Smith of Nuneaton.
Membership list to date.
J.M. Rosenblum, 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7come on, the rest of you. We want a membership of at least 50, once we get going. Don't be too lazy to send your application in.
A volunteer worth consideration is Arthur W. Busby who is a Chartered Accountant by profession and is willing to give any help or assistance he can on the secretarial or financial side of the society's work. We hope other people who have special qualifications in this manner will not hesitate to inform us of them. And we want your ideas and suggestions in full measure. Please remember to use a separate sheet of paper for BFFF matters.
J. Michael Rosenblum.
1) On page 1, Rosenblum refers to "Airgraphs", a WWII postal innovation I'd never heard of until recently when Bill Burns found a fascinating site devoted to them: - Airgraphs
2) Also published this month was Harry Turner's ZENITH #5 (New series).