FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST - Issue 20 (Vol. 2, Number 8) May 1942
Early in April, the Japanese tried to repeat their success at Pearl Harbor with a similar surprise raid on the British air and naval base in Columbo, Ceylon, but this time the defenders were on alert and the Japanese suffered heavy losses. Two weeks later they got a nasty surprise when American B-25s bombed Tokyo in a raid that inflicted more psychological than physical damage.
At the end of the month, enraged by the RAF's devastation of the Baltic port of Lubeck, Hitler ordered the bombing of targets that would inflict the maximum number of civilian deaths. To this end towns and cities that lacked strong defences were targetted including Exeter, Bath, Norwich and York.
Distributed with this issue:
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY: PRELIMINARY BULLETIN #3 - ed. J. Michael Rosenblum- 1 pageOCRing and copyediting this issue done by Greg Pickersgill.
page 1:............................ ................................................................ ...........................cover by Arthur Williams
And we proudly present the May 1942 issue of . . .
"FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST"
Being an Amateur Magazine dealing with and devoted to British Fantasy "Fandom". Published twice a quarter from 4 Grange Terrace, Chapeltown, Leeds 7, England by J. Michael Rosenblum. Price 3d per copy. US. 75 cents for 12 issues. Reciprocal exchange welcome. Vol II. No.8: nicknamed FIDO and including sundry bric-a-brac perpetrated by fellow-spirits under the generic title of "the litter..
--- to announce that forthcoming publication, at least in the immediate future, will be at six-weekly intervals approximately; in lieu of our previous monthly appearance. We have felt this coming for quite a while but were extremely reluctant to cross the Rubicon.. However we offer the following couple of facts; paper went up another 10% to 20% in cost at the beginning of May and (quote from Tucker s Le Zombie) of the 80 odd titles listed in the 1941 Fanzine Yearbook only ten U.S. publications claimed to be "monthlies". And of those ten not one managed to appear 12 times during the year. LeZ and Voice of the Imagi-Nation led the parade with nine issues each. Excepting the news-weeklies then, there two led the field. (Quote ends) Why should we continue to show up the Americans? Incidentally, Tucker listed FIDO with 10 appearances in 1941 but adds - "others perhaps lost at sea". We came out the full 12 times, Bob, and if you (and other Yanks) will notify us of the missing leaks, we'll have another try at getting them across the pond till our supply of back numbers is exhausted.
Coming back to the point, proposed publication schedule is to appear twice each quarter, i.e. eight times a year, in the well-known Spaceways manner. Expect FIDO then on the 1st of July, 15th of August, 1st of October and thusly. Mebbe next winter we can go back to monthly issues when your editor may not be quite so pressed. for time. Alternatively, get the war over. However we do offer the minor consolation of possibly larger issues and for the nonse, the price per issue will remain the same.
This column, missing for a month, comes back in double strength. Yours truly returns to the fold...pen, rather...after, among a lot of things, much visiting of fans far & near, & oh. boy, the gossip I've gathered! It'd make SWINE green!
Item No.l, is that I've been trying to put out a fan sheet for Fido, to see what it's like. In spite of my SFA apprenticeship. I managed to ruin two stencils & a new suit of battledress. There is still no fansheet, dear friends.
Item 2, we would like to draw the attention of readers to the cryptic postcard reprinted in the Last Fido. And we would LIKE to give the full story of how George Medhurst hitch hiked from London to Doncaster on the back of an open lorry in search of a certain (censored) Tut! I knew it wouldn't be passed. Full details on request in plain wrapper. State age.
Talking of plain wrappers, what fan recently was chewed off by his irate employers for receiving pornographic books thru the post, to whit a volume entitled "Soiled Souls", postmarked Aberdeen, but addressed to him, care of G.E.C. Ltd, in the writing of a certain London fan? And were his frantic denials of all knowledge believed?
Have just heard that Dave McIlwain is coming up to London this weekend. He also reveals that for three months last autumn he & I were daily in the same building ... he was on a radio course and I was learning Russian. And we neither of us ever knew it. There were, I remember, vague rumours that he was stationed somewhere near London, but nobody knew where. What a small world ...
And this is all. I still haven't said anything about a just past leave which was spent travelling a distance of over 1200 miles, visiting fans. Anyhow, it was good fun, wasn't it, Michael, Douglas, Eric, Dave, & Roland?
Sidney L Birchby.
Canadians are now becoming fairly well-supplied with fantasy by their own magazines. These latter are largely filled with tales reprinted from the U.S. mags although they do not seem overzealous to acknowledge their debt. Both "UNCANNY STORIES" and "SCIENCE FICTION" bear no relationship to other magazines of similar titles published in U.S.A. but the latest addition to the Canadians fans literary diet is an out-and-out reprint edition. We have on hand numbers one and two of the Canadian ASTONISHING STORIES dated respectively January and March 1942. The tales in the January issue were new to us and consist of "Wings of the Lightning Land" - James MacCreigh; "Daughter of Darkness" - Ross Rocklynne; "Retreat to the Stars" - Leigh Brackett; "The Last Drop" - De Camp and Hubbard; "Man who Didn't Breath" - Harry Walton; "My Lady of the Emerald" - Wilfred Owen Morley and "Machines of Destiny" - Ray Cummings. But the March stories we recognised as the total contents, minus one short, of the November 1941 "SUPER SCIENCE STORIES" (Astonishing's sister pub). Tales are "Lost Legion" - Lyle Monroe; "Tumithak of the Towers of Fire" - C.R. Tanner; "Red Gem of Mercury" - H. Kuttner; "Monster of the Moon" - Ray Cummings and "The Biped, Reegan" - Alfred Bester. All are of reasonable quality but none outstanding. What did astonish us, however, was the complete refit of art-work apparently by an anonymous Canadian artist. Here is a new cover bearing no relationship to the interior, and consisting of an enormous robot striding thru a futurist city whilst rocket-ships (?) zoom around. But the interior illustrations, taking up the full double spread and slightly reminiscent of Finlay, are undoubtedly superior to the Yankee originals on which they are based. Which gives one to think.
On Sunday April 19th a Manchester contingent consisting of Ron Lane, George Ellis and Ron Bradbury arrived in Leeds, only 25 minutes late, and were met by a slightly frozen J.M.R. En route they had managed to pick up a cinema operator, name of Bob Kyle, home in Leeds and now working in Manchester, who had never come in contact with fandom tho he had read stf for years. The five adjourned to 4 Grange Terrace and inspected the various magazines and books which litter up that abode. The rather dazed Kyle left then. The afternoon was spent in various discussions. and we were particularly interested in Ron Bradbury's interesting hobby of making fantaster models and drawings and then photographing them. We hope a method may be found of presenting his work in FIDO. In connection with it he mentioned the following anecdote - He enclosed a photo of a drawing of an "Atomic Power Plant" (sic) in a letter to U.S.A. only to have it returned by censor with a sternly worded admonition that photos of buildings, plants, and machinery were not allowed to be sent out of the country. Tell it to Campbell, somebody.
The following Saturday, who should look in but Londonletterer Sid Birchby, on leave and shuttling between Aberdeen, Doncaster, Leeds and Cranwell. We talked - and talked - and talked. The only result being that Sid has definitely promised to be a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding this August which offer was gratefully accepted. Whilst at the station making sure Sid went, a momentary conversation was held with Joyce Fairbairn who had been in the district too.
FLASH! FROM "RENNY"
FFM GOES MONTHLY!! ......16 EXTRA PAGES!!!.....TRIMMED EDGES!!!!.....MORE ILLUSTRATIONS!!!!!.....PRICE RAISED TO 25c TO MEET INCREASED COSTS!!!!!! With the June 42 issue FFM goes monthly. and many improvements are instituted. June issue contains Merritt's BURN WITCH. BURN. and BEYOND THE POLE. July issue will contain POLARIS OF THE SNOWS, and Francis Steven's SERAPION. Munsey's are starting to improve the mag. gradually, instead of rushing it as they did before & failing badly. Extra pages will enable longer stories to be featured. JULIAN PARR and your correspondent spent Sunday walking up and down Blackpool promenade. and holding a long & interesting confab. on all subjects that one could think of. Will see him again May 17th. A good time was had by all (I hope!). Could insert notice in "F" asking (a) for copies of FANTASY and TOW - any number of any issue; (b) if all fans who have seen CITIZEN KANE will write me with their opinions of it. If enough people are interested I might publish the result.
J.E. Rennison, Blackburn, Lancs.
Commonly called Zeus. The origin of this is lost in the mists of antiquity though I strongly suspect that Doug Webster had something to do with it (as usual). Born March 1908 (Yes, '08) Temperament like the March winds and quite intolerant of intolerance and injustice. Believe that conflict (not necessarily armed) is the basis of Homo Sapiens' existence. Educated - At a private school for the "Sons of Gentlemen". Ha! Ha! Learned most of what I know empirically.. Profession, Surveyor, Municipal employee. Rebellious by nature and disgustingly inquisitive. So interested in most things that I am a dilletante and find it hard to concetrate on one hobby for long. Married -thoroughly - one son - Philip, aged 3, whose passion is cars and engines. Calls me Johnny, the disrespectful little devil.
The Boys Own Paper, Jules Verne and Rider Haggard plus the lesser lights Herbert Strong and Charles Gilson form the early basis of my fantasy enjoyment. Earliest recollection of American S.F. is looking at an All Story Weekly of my brother's. There was a golden sphinxlike creature on the cover. Opening the book I read. One phrase sticks in my mind to this day. "The ring was in motion!". Guess. It was the Metal Monster by Merritt. Then I remember Flint, and the Man in the Moon - and so onright to be called Zeus.
John C. Craig. Ilford. Essex.
BOOK REVIEW.........__________________________......................................................by Bob Gibson
By the author of "The Memoirs of a Stomach". Like so many of the older fantasies it turns out to be a dream, but apart from the means of reaching the sun, that is not unduly apparent. There are a few tinges of satire, but that mostly concerns former things. Perhaps if I had read it 80 years ago that would have been more noticeable. The author had a sense of humor and a wide education. Greek and Latin poets and modern - then - scientific experiments were all grist in his mill and he must have been a keen student of nature. He describes solar birds, beasts, insects, fish and plants of many sorts, and develops some surprising forms of commercialism, but only one thing that was benefited by the death of another creature. The universal building material was minica - solidified air - and he cites experiments concerning liquifaction and freezing of air to show it could be done. The sun's surface is not hot. Do you remember the theory of calone? An intangible element on the amount of which a thing's heatability depends. The solar surface and atmosphere are lacking in it and the radiated energy does not heat it. Most of the surface is ocean-covered. The continents - sunspots - have a thin layer of velvety turf which cuts off most of the glare, except when removed. Lighting is from below - but the plants stand up in terrestrial fashion. Machines and vehicles of all sorts are used. The particular continent visited was of the highest moral starndard - anyone with any evil or selfish traits being exiled to other continent until they reformed.
is devoted to Leslie J. Johnson of Liverpool, ex Science Fiction Service Secretary and Vice President of the British Interplanetary Society, now an R.A.F. corporal. We thank him for the gift of a ream of paper. New subscribers this month are Mr J.E. Gillot of Birkenhead and Ron Bradbury of Manchester. Subscriptions expiring are those of Jack Gibson, D. Tucker, J.C. Craig, D. Sadler, F.W. Ward, R.J. Silburn, R.E. Orme, J. Briston, H.K. Hanson, J. Parr and T. Overton. Pleez renew
Approximately 25 stfans attended the Second Annual Boston Science Fiction Conference, the Boskone, on Sunday, February 22, 1942 at the Ritz-Plaza Halls, Boston, Mass. Bob Jones of Columbus, Ohio and Joe Gilbert, Lee Eastman, and Harry Jenkins Jr all of Columbia, South Carolina, came from the greatest distance. Jack Speer represented Washington D.C. Charles Hidley and Mr. and Mrs. Will Sykora represented. the Queens SFL of New York. Bob Madle, Rusty Barren, came from Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. Gert Kuslan came from West Haven, Conn. And the Stranger Club of Boston and Cambridge, Mass was well represented by its members Harry Stubbs Jr, A. L. Schwartz, John Vazakas, L. Lopez, J.L.Lazar, Bob Swisher, Art Widner Jr, Chan Davis, Tom Gardner.
Art Widner Jr. revealed that he is a married man of four months standing, having married Miss Ruth Cashin on October 12, 1941. They are now living in Quincy, Mass. Art met his bride-to-be in 1938 when he purchased a typewriter at her place of business, where she was employed. The acceptance of a yarn of Art's by WEIRD in March 1941 which he had sent in at about the time of meeting, decided things and when the check arrived, they were married.
Jack Speer requested the conference to discuss the coming World stf Convention. The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society holds some doubt of the feasibility of holding the Pacificon owing to the war situation, although they feel they can put it across. They are not certain of fan support in one case, and the possibility of government intervention (limitation of rail trips) in another. Speer announced the LASFS will circulate a questionnaire to the feasibility of holding the Pacificon owing to the war situation, although they feel they can put it across. They are not certain of fan support in one case, and the possibility of government intervention (limitation of rail trips) in another. Speer announced the LASFS will circulate a questionnaire to obtain a cross-section of fan feeling, and if the fans desire the Pacificon will be abandoned in favor of a mid-western or eastern convention. Philadelphia and New York fans put in a strong bid for Philly as the convention city if LA plans fall through. and promised a large Philly conference after the Pacificon if it is held.
Courtesy, Fantasy News
Since last I wrote, I have got a temporary deferment into 2A which means "necessary employment" until July 24. That is, four months to go. I got it on the score of Arkham House (the name under which Messrs. Derleth and Wandrei have been publishing "worthwhile" books.). Mr. Wandrei went into service a week ago; so I am the only one left to take care of the business, and we are planning to publish Clark Ashton Smith's OUT OF SPACE AND TIME this summer - our last book before the war is ended. However, since I have a hernia, I may be given a 1-A-Deferred, which means that I will be called into army service only when the limited service men are called, or when rehabilitation begins. ............I want to finish six books, all serious save a new Judge Peck mystery, before my time is up. I have one past the 100,000 word mark, a second past 25, 000, and am collecting material for a third. A fourth has just been begun; in ten days now I will have completed the longest of them, and will then get down to the only non-fiction yet to be done -- a book on the Wisconsin River history, legend, people etc. in the well-known Rivers of America Series, published by Farrar and Rincharo over here.
OOo . . oOo. . . oOo. . .coo. o . oOo. . .oOev9 »oOo. . .oOo. . .oOo. . .oOo
Arthur Williams reports a new abode located at 102 Fortess Road, Kentish Town, London N.W.5. Perhaps that will explain to sundry worried correspondents of his, why their letters have been unacknowledged as yet. Frank Edward Arnold writes from 14 Crawford Street, London. W.1. He reports that Ken Chapman will be home on leave in the near future and a meeting has been arranged at his (FEA's) home on May 16th.
The smiling gentleman at the right is none other than Forrest J. Ackerman of Los Angeles, who introduces you to FIDO s new feature -- fan photographs. We believe that FIDO is the first British fanzine to present photos and our grateful thanks are due to Derek Gardiner of Worthing, Sussex, whose suggestion it is and who alone made it possible by his devoted work. Next issue we intend to present two of the Gibson clan —Jack and Bob.
A rather qrimmer note about next issue is that as we go to press our (JMR) future has yet again become unstable. Our position has changed rather suddenly and we are quite likely to be moved away from Leeds. But rest assured that FIDO will be produced if at all possible, tho any attempt at a regular schedule may have to be entirely abandoned.
Just before we change the subject entirely, our guess is that your guess will be that that man Webster had something to do with stenciling the previous four pages. Well, you are wrong. T'was very kindly done for us by Miss Barbara Horne, whom we thank most sincerely.
More addresses and such, continued from overleaf.
Coventry's Ralph Orme is now at 153 Farren Road, Wyken, Coventry; where he hopes to remain stable for the duration at least.
Contact has at last been established with 390767 Corporal Edward White 2 Cdn Light Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Overseas. Ted White belongs to Toronto & took an active part in the Toronto Science Fictioneers before being sent to Britain. He says he would have got in touch sooner, but how was he to know that he would land up in hospital, where he now is. When he gets out he hopes to use a leave visiting fans over here & is particularly anxious to experience a fan-meeting over here. Invitations invited.
And AC1 Erik Needham has a new home address to mention -- 21 Ayres Road, Brooks Bar, Manchester 18. Poor Erik's service addresses are too bewildering to report - his average stay at one station would appear to be somewhere in the region of a fortnight.
The March-April issue of "Esperanto Internacia" which title is self-explanatory, contained the first instalment of a story by veteran stfan and collector Dr W. A Gibson. Entitled "Sola sur la Tero" - which we can just manage to translate as "Alone on the Earth" - it is a science fiction yarn Arthur Gibson wrote for his own amusement many years ago. A sequel was written in English, but an Esperanto version is now being prepared to follow in the same magazine. Yet a third tale in the series is partially written whilst a fourth is sketched out.
An unexpected addition to this mailing consists of a photo cover from "Voice of the Imagi-Nation" kindly provided. by Forry Ackerman which has just managed to arrive in time. Forry also informs; FUTURE FICTION will publish "The Time Twister" by Francis Flagg and Weaver Wright.....Charlie Hornig ordered to C.O. camp with cinemactor Lew Ayres.
Lets try & squeeze in some adverts.. A. W. Busby, 40 Brooklands Road. B'ham 28, offers for sale - Astounding 37 Nov; 38.Sep Oct Nov; 39 May (rest BRE) Aug Sep; 40 May Jul; Unknown 39 Sep; 40 Jan Aug-Nov BRE, Amazing 35 Dec; 36 Apr Oct; 37 Oct; 38 Aug Nov; 39 Feb Jul, Wonder 35 Oct; 39 Jun; Fan.Ad 39 May
BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY____________________________________ Preliminary Bulletin ......3
First thing to mention, however, is that the title "British Fantasy Society" has now reached and surpassed the previous leader in the field of public favour, namely "British Fantasy Fan Federation". Voting on this matter will have to stop sometime, so the final and definite result will be taken concurrently with the closure of voting for the Executive Committee.
Several more people have expressed interest in, and a desire to join the Society, including FEArnold, THughes, Sid Birchby, WFTemple, GEllis, R.Bradbury and LJJohnson. Eventually the whole of British fandom will be dragged in -- or at least, so we hope. And Forrest J. Ackerman, American fan No, 1, in an airmail letter to your editor, states that he, would be pleased to be considerad as a member.
It has been decided by the Ad Hoc Advisory Board set up last month, that the entrance fee of one shilling, overwhelmingly voted for by the general clientele, should be asked for at once, and the Society be officially commenced as from the commencement of office by the people at present standing for election to the EC. Will all members and intending members therefore, please send in 1/- with their votes.
Now that the Society is really starting, don't forget that a little co-operation from you will be a great encouragement to the officials. And that qoes especially for all those people who just hav'nt found time as yet to attend to the matter. Pease remember that all matters concerning the Society should be written on separate sheets of paper to those on which personal letters to the addessees are written.
And now the voting.....
Appended hereto is a voting form; to be torn off when filled in, and sent in to D. R. Smith, 13 Church Road, Hartshill, Nuneaton, Warwicks. The last date for receiving votes will be June 10th, so make sure you get yours in well before that time.
The possible holders of the various essential offices have by now fallen pretty welll into line without much controversy. We had hoped for rather more nominations and offers to serve, though it must be admitted that everybody is pretty busy these days and few people at all secure in their location.
Sorting round the suggestions that have come in, and disregarding the nominees who wouuld prefer their names not to go forward the following list has been evolved....
With the Advisory Board itself we are in the awkward position of only having one nomination to date - S. L. Birchby - so that election thereof will have to wait a while.