gostak index SFN INDEX
The lumberjack strides up to the mighty tree. His axe flashes in the sunlight. 'CHUNK!' The tree shivers. Presently it falls. It floats down to the saw-mills. It's sawn up. Fed through hoppers to a grindstone. Chemically cooked. Shipped to the paper mill.
Esparto grass is gathered on a plantation. It's shipped to the paper mill. It's pulped. Added to the wood-pulp in a beater. It's beaten. Colour's added. And size. It's refined. Goes to the Foundrinier, on the wire shaker ... under the Dandy roll ... couched to wet felt ... pressed ... reversing press ... dry felt ... drying cylinders ... Nips ... de-staticised, slit and reeled ... chopped to Dble FCap ... through the Salle ... wrapped. It's despatched to the merchant. Cut to foolscap size. Sold to the stationer. Sold by him. Then WE start on it. All that, and what do you get?
NEW READERS BEGIN HERE
In 1948, KENNETH F. SLATER, enthusiastic fan who also works for the army, decides to form a SCIENCE FANTASY SOCIETY, during a leave co-opts a COMMITTEE. This Committee, all old fans in whom the first fine fever has all but died, try to raise ENTHUSIASM in the COUNTRY, but cannot obtain working co-operation. The Committee gradually dissolves, leaving one VINCENT CLARKE, editor of the infrequent JOURNAL to also serve as acting Secretary, Librarian, etc etc. By a stroke of insane cunning, he unloads the post of Treasurer on to the shoulders of H. KEN BULMER, but unable to find other suckers, decides that no one cares for a Society as such. He asks members their opinion.
NOW READ ON
Those two rosy glows in the sky are Ken Bulmer and self blushing. Of the letters received, hardly any thought that the SFS need continue if we kept on the 'S.F. News', and we've received a number of compliments on same. Therefore, the NEWS will stay, on a slightly more personal and irresponsible basis, will continue to be independent of any organisation or commercial enterprise (tho' we'll give publicity and other help to such organisations), and will continue to supply fans with quotes and notes on the latest news and reviews. We should like to record here that we do appreciate, more than our synopsis might imply, the efforts of Committee members and other fans, but we do hereby declare the Science Fantasy Society to be dead ... and lying down.
Now, we'd love to enlarge our egos by broadcasting our stuff hither and yon, hand out SFNews to all who wanted it, etc. Unfortunately, that lumberjack at the top of the page has to have his flapjacks and coffee, so we've arranged that every time we use his services, we'll pay for his eats. We're sure you'll want to help us in this worthy cause. Ken Bulmer's worked out that 6d per issue will do, has further calculated that 5 issues will cost 2/6d. We're therefore fixing the Subscription at that sum, (or one US prozine for three issues, or on exchange with other fanzines).
Help our Fund for Hungry Lumberjacks by sending 2/6d to * 84, DRAYTON PARK, HIGHBURY, LONDON, N. 5. * (but please address to A. Vincent Clarke or H. Ken Bulmer, as our landlady used to be a lumberjack and we're helping her enough already.)
POLICY CHANGE SFN will welcome not only articles, news, quotes, and your letters, but will take short humorous and/or satirical s-f stories too ... but until we go printed, please write under 1,500 words ... if possible. AVC.
S.F. NEWS. EDITOR:- A. VINCENT CLARKE SUB-EDITOR:- H. KEN BULMER. ADDRESS AS ABOVE *
T H E N E C O N !
Derek Pickles, well known Northern fan and editor of 'PHANTASMAGORIA', (known as 'pht' in London circles), announces that a North Eastern S-F Conference will be held in Bradford on Sunday, October 14th.
Guests of Honour will be Joyce and Ken Slater, who are staying with Derek for a few days at that time. He hopes that 50 to 60 guests will be present, including several authors, and the usual auction will be held. Amongst donations already received for the latter are NEW WORLDS original illustrations, an ASF original, books, (including autographed copies) and magazines.
The NECON fee is 2/6d, which includes attendance and all the usual benefits. a souvenir programme will be sent to all members. Derek's sister Mavis is acting as Con. Secretary, and all contributions of cash or material should be sent to her at 41, Compton Street, Dudley Hill, Bradford, YORKS.
Incidentally, Derek announces that the NECON will (definitely) show that famous film METROPOLIS !
Local newspaper reporters are expected to be present.
Astonished Londoners heard him declaiming Shakespeare in Elizabethan English, substantiating his claim (in 'Language for Time Travellers') that Scottish and American accents would be more intelligible to the Bard than current Southern English. Startled Anglo-Saxons heard the reason for the 'Vishnu' series being set in a Brazilian-dominated future; the Brazilians consider that if present power-politics end explosively, their vast, rich, undeveloped country is most likely to be the next world-power. Also, it's an answer to those critics who complain of the eternal Anglo/American leadership common to s-f stories of the future.
Surprised s-f fans heard something of the internal working of the field; heard a conversation that ranged from double-stars to Roman ruins; wandered dizzily into the night. De Camp proposed to pay another visit to the White Horse on Thursday, Sept. 13th, also a farewell one at the end of his tour.
Eyebrows will be worn arched this month, and underneath them a beam of welcome for the astounding Sprague de Camp!
GALAXY CHANGES OWNERSHIP?
According to latest U.S. reports, GALAXY, whose rocketing rise has been a major feature of the s-f magazine field during the past 18 months has temporarily ceased publication. It is said that a foreign financing company withdrew their support from the publishers, and the magazine is now for sale. It is fairly certain that 'G' will be continued under a new ownership, but what effect this will have on its general policy, word-rates (highest in the field) and other details it is impossible to estimate.
Practically any change, unless in the art department, is likely to be dangerous to its present high standard, and we hope that whoever publishes the zine in future will alter it as little as possible and retain H. L. Gold's able editorship.
Hit by the suspension is British author Bill Temple, who had just had a novelette accepted, whose '4 Sided-Triangle' (highly praised in 'G's book review) might appear in Galaxy Novels ... let's hope we'll still see them.
SUPER SCIENCE TOO!
We are informed that 'Super Science', revived in late '48, has again ceased publication. Opinions as to its merits vary very widely, some fans classing it immediately after the Big Three, but certainly its friendly approach to fandom, superlative art department and its usually interesting and sometimes highly original stories will be missed.
* THE MAN WHO DISPOSED OF THE MOON *
When 'Picture Post' took half-page ads in the 'Radio Times' and London evening papers, generally splashed an Astonishing Article, '48 Million Mile Journey Into Outer Space' (11th August), fans expected something out of this world. They weren't disappointed. Illustrated by one Edgar Ainsworth, who is not so expert as Chesley Bonestell (by about 48 million miles), the article, by Derek Wragge Morley ((B.Sc., Ph.d., tho' it isn't mentioned)) stretched over six pages without mentioning the Moon, space-satellites, astronautics by that name, the work of the British Interplanetary Society, Venus or step-rockets.
It noted that '... Very few people realise that the greenness of Mars is now believed ...' to be illusory, there being two cloud layers that cause the green. 'In the same way, we now know' ((our underline)) that there's practically no moisture, that the 'canals' are like 'immense Colorado canyons'.
It mentioned the hazy surface of Mercury, the surface temperature of Saturn, that Phoebe was its brightest moon, that no space-ship could travel through such a mass of fast moving satellites and yet survive. The 'highest yet' rocket had risen 100 miles, a speed of 6 miles a second is necessary to escape from the Earth's atmosphere, that rocket speeds of 4 miles per second have been achieved in small scale experiments, and some day we might find living organisms on one of the nine planets.
We can't quote all the article, but the above gives a fair idea of why many fans spat on their hands (being too refined to spit elsewhere), and wrote in. We might mention Philip Duerr here ... he bogged down on his third single-space typewritten foolscap sheet, being struck by a sudden doubt as to whether 'P.P.' would publish it. What they did print ('We Are Attacked') was a 500 word extract from Arthur C. Clarke's letter, beginning "I would like to draw attention to the more important of the numerous errors in your article on space-travel ...". Arthur C. courteously pointed out a dozen or so statements he thought were in error, also mentioned a few omissions, signed the letter as a B.Sc., F.R.A.S., and Chairman of the B.I.S.
Morley thereupon came in swinging, standing firm on some of his 'facts', ignoring others, inferred that Mr. Clarke didn't know what he was talking about, called the B.I.S. a 'society of dreamers' who mislead the public through being unaware of the actual data in their particular field, in answer to another letter explained that he hadn't mentioned Venus because it was too hot for human habitation, and what point was there in visiting a dead Moon?
There was a strained silence for the next couple of days as friends awaited the dull explosion that would be A.C.C. blowing his top. Actually, things were getting serious. One mustn't say that a public society is misleading people, nor cast doubts on the scientific integrity of an authority on a subject, especially if the nearest elementary text-book will agree with him. Further developments are wrapped in secrecy.... Morley has since admitted the usefulness of the Moon, in another article on September 12th. Indeed one might say he rather overdid it. Concerning a 'Lunar Power Station', he prophesied 'When space-travel has brought the Earth's satellites into man's service ...' Apparently, Luna will have some babies ... and If This Goes On, so will some serious minded fans.... AVC
POSTSCRIPT Dredged from the correspondence in 'Picture Post' (lot of free advertising this issue), we found a congratulatory letter from someone (a press agent?) comparing the space-ship in Ainsworth's illustrations to that in 'The Man From Planet X' ((both have a sphere and a spike)) 'whose makers claim((sic)) to have taken the highest scientific advice' ... one Alastair Dunlop criticised PP because there is no 'resisting atmosphere' in space, 'thereby ruling out the possibility of propulsion from one planet to another' ((a point Morley had overlooked)) ... and the Assistant Secretary of the Science Fiction Association sent in his congratulations. Filled with curiosity, we've written to the SFA ... not because of the congratulations, tho' they add a certain piquancy to the thing ... and are awaiting details with understandable interest....
Production of the first model Space-Ship kit in the world, based on the model in 'When Worlds Collide', has been announced by Wilmot Manspur & Co. The kit includes a pre-formed hull and a Jetex jet motor. It's being advertised in connection with WWC. No price or other details have been announced, as yet, but our reporter at the Model Engineering Exhibit reports favourably on its appearance.
QUOTE '"Looking through lonely letters I received in 1950, I find that most came from men and women. ' DAILY HERALD.
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Produced by George Pal for Paramount. Cast includes Barbara Rush, Peter Hanson, Richard Derr. Technical Adviser: Chesley Bonestell. Technicolor.
The Story South-African astronomer Professor Bronson discovers a star, 'Bellus' and a planet, 'Zyra', which are heading towards Earth. Zyra will pass near, Bellus will collide. He sends his data via special courier Dave Randall (central character) to Dr Hendron in New York, who checks, predicts end of the world in nine months. With a staff of six hundred technicians, Hendron works to build a rocket-ship with which to land on Zyra, financed in part by a fear-stricken millionaire.
Zyra passes, causing tidal waves, earthquakes, etc., that delay building. The day before Bellus strikes Earth, a draw is held to determine which 40 men and women will make the trip. The others riot, but the selected crew leave, see the collision from space, and land on Zyra where the atmosphere is found fit for human consumption.
SFN Comments As WWC and its sequel are accepted s-f-book classics, the above is printed in full to show how nearly the main film plot coincides, tho' secondary details vary widely and unreasonably. The film has its points, is of course a 'must' for fans, but is no 'Destination Moon'. Scientific accuracy is partly sacrificed for human interest, and the latter is inevitably concentrated on the romantic troubles of the hero (who disconcertingly resembles Danny Kaye), rather than the spectacle of cosmic collision and the efforts to escape from under.
The assorted disasters during the passing of Zyra are interesting, far too short, (we seemed to recognise one volcanic eruption from 'Aloma of the South Seas'!) but thereafter the rest of humanity is almost ignored. No mobs besiege the building site.
The spaceship take-off, from a highly spectacular if scientifically questionable ramp under a hail of bullets and a lurid, orange sky, is so well done that the actual landing, in scenery reminiscent of Paul's 'Fantastic'/'Amazing' back-covers rather than the usual detailed Bonestell, is something of an anti-climax. In the book, the fate of at least two space-ships and a plentiful killing of characters sustained suspense. Here all the organisms are in one basket, and it just has to get through! We have no news of any intended sequel at the time of writing (11/9/51), and probably the difficulties of setting up an alien landscape will make it impossible.
PRESS COMMENT Only comment available is from 'Picturegoer' (July 28th) which ran a page review, half in pictures. The critic (?), quoting U.S. reports on the film, completely missed the main point, the escape, called it 'fantasy laced with fatalism', 'plain doom', and sighed for a 'Martian Betty Grable', ((Love to see his face when 'Five' is shown here ... that wipes out everyone except that number!))
The 'London Pavilion', which premiered 'Rocketship XM' will soon show 'The Man from Planet X'. According to reports, the films are of the same calibre. The Man, an unpleasant creature with a head about 2'6" in diameter, arrives here in a spaceship that would make a good addition to Festival architecture, attempts to conquer Earth, curiously enough doesn't succeed, ******* 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', coming here soon, resembles Harry Bates's famous ASF story 'Farewell To The Master', features robot ambassador to Earth, is apparently on fairly adult level. ****** Odd 12-part serial now running where serials are shown is 'King of the Rocket Men', King being a scientist with a personal rocket apparatus strapped to his back who has the job of tracking down a traitor scientist. The latter has one of those handy gadgets which show far-off scenes without benefit of transmitter, can transmit a voice without a receiver. The effects are well done, but we doubt if they'll ever show New York being shaken to the ground as per their posters. Pity. Bloodthirsty, that's us.
'The Man in the White Suit' is a scientist who constructs supposedly indestructible cloth, shows the effect on industry and finance. The remarkable theme music should become an s-f anthem. Sociologically-minded fans may like to ponder the fact that tho' the colour question, V.D., alcoholism, insanity, etc., are treated seriously in the cinema, current economic policy can only be criticised with a sugar-coating of farce, as in this film and Chaplin's 'Monsieur Verdoux'.
'Valley of the Eagles' features a scientist who starts by turning sound into electricity. It's non s-f.
QUOTES FROM 'WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE' PUBLICITY Originally planned as De Mille epic in '34 -- -- Pal bought it from Paramount 2 years ago, sold it back and joined company as producer ++++ rocket section 100 feet long, 55 feet high built +++ For earthquake, set 30' x 30' mounted in wheel, buffered by springs, hit by 18 ton pile-driver +++ Astronomer s-f author Richardson ('Philip Latham') 'came in for story material ... left with enough ... to last him a year' +++ Bonestell painting of Zyra 15 feet long, 5 feet high **********
SF BOOK REVIEWS
Robert Heinlein's 'Green Hills of Earth' (Shasta $3.00), 2nd in the 'Future History' series, has arrived, exhibits again the smooth, immensely knowledgeable, realistic style that took him from 'pulps' to 'slick' 'zines.
In its 256 pages, 'G.H.O.E.' includes an appreciation by Mark Reisenberg, 'Delilah and the Space-Rigger', 'Spacejockey', 'The Long Watch', 'Gentlemen, Be Seated', 'The Black Pits of Luna', 'It's Great to be Back', 'We Also Walk Dogs', (included in the series for the first time), 'Ordeal in Space', 'Logic of Empire' and the cover yarn.
Only two of these are from ASF, the rest are from 'SATEVEPOST' and other 'slick' sources. Cover by Rogers.
'Space on My Hands' (Shasta, $2.50) features 9 of Fredric Brown's wackier pieces of s-f in its 224 pages, including the famous 'Star Mouse', 'Nothing Sirius,' (the only good story 'Capt. Future' ever published), others from TWS ('Pi in the Sky' etc.) and more off-trail sources, plus a genuinely funny jacket by Malcolm Smith.
Noted detective author Brown admits in the introduction that s-f gives him more satisfaction in writing than any other fiction. These particular stories are on the whole 1st class 'zine stories, but whether they have the lasting value deserving of hard-covers depends on how much $2.50 means to you.
'Beyond Infinity' by Robert Spencer Carr, (Fantasy Press, $2.75), is the result of a SATEVEPOST author descending to s-f. That is, writing slick as oiled ice, Russian villains, science sub- more than super. Best of the 4 stories included is the cover yarn, concerning a FTL space-ship. All the stories have elements of originality, but Van Vogt needn't worry ... nor need any other s-f writer.
'Seeds of Life' by John Taine (Fantasy Press, $2.75) is reprinted from the Fall '31 'Amazing Quarterly'. The plot stands up well, but frequent 'author-intrusion' dates the writing style to an even earlier era. Minutely detailed, it tells of a clumsy laboratory assistant whose blundering with a super X-ray machine turns him into a coldly logical genius, and of his experiments in artificial evolution and degeneration, radio-transmission of power, etc. Nobody goes further from Earth than a top floor, the villain gets the girl, and the story's still interesting after 20 yrs.
Amongst future books announced in the US are the following reprints:- 'Black Star Passes' (J.W. Campbell, 'Amazing Q.'), 'Red Peri' (Weinbaum, ASF etc), 'Conjure Wife' (Leiber, 'Unknown'), 'Gray Lensman', (Smith, ASF).
Future new books include Sprague de Camp's 'Lost Continents' (non-fiction) and 'Beyond These Walls', by one Rena M. Vale, announced by Shasta as the 's-f discovery of the decade'!
BRITISH BOOKS AND REPRINTS
'Day of the Triffids' (Michael Joseph, 10/6d) by 'John Wyndham' (John Beynon Harris) was Daily Graphic Book of the Month for August, is so good that even the other reviewers commented favorably. A well told yarn whose plot, of mobile vegetables who become a deadly menace when the human race is suddenly blinded, is original if slightly overloaded with disaster, it should now be reposing on your bookshelf. Definitely recommended!
'The Star Kings' (Museum Press 8/6) by Edmond Hamilton, a better-than-usual space-opera reprinted from '2 Comp. Science & Adventure Books' (or SCAB), is also available in a pocket-book edition (U.S.).
'Princess of the Atom' (Boardman, 8/6d) by Ray Cummings, was terrible when first printed in '29, and now it shows its age too. Also available in a P.B. ed.
British publication of 'The Martian Chronicles', retitled 'The Silver Locusts' (Hart-Davis, 12/6d) by Ray Bradbury, brought an 850 word essay from Christopher Isherwood in the austere 'Observer', on Bradbury and 'Science Fiction' (in caps) (Sept 16th). Additional material links the separately published stories of Mars into a fairly continuous narrative which is either heavily overwritten or refreshingly stylish, depending upon the reader. This book is completely reprinted in a U.S. pocket book edition. You takes your choice and you pays your money....
GROUNDS FOR AN ARGUMENT DEPARTMENT "To rival Wells in this line is not an uncommon ambition, and it seems curious that both authors and public fail to realise that the bottom dropped out of the market in 1914. The element of "science-fantasy" really played quite a small part in the success of Wells's novels; the real point of them was a wrenching disturbance of ordinary life.... Wells's success ... has never been repeated, and can now never be approached." ('New Statesman' Reviewer)
• QUOTES • NOTES • NEWS & REVIEWS •
CONGRATULATIONS to Joyce and Ken Slater on the arrival of a young fan in the family, and our best wishes to Joyce on a quick recovery. Young Michael Slater was the reason why J. & S. couldn't come to the International Convention, but we'll forgive him.... Also in the list for SFN's metaphorical christening gift (silver spoon with embossed BEM's) are young sons of SFS member Bernard High and Editor H.J. Campbell, to whom we also send congrats.
Ken Slater has also recently produced the 'Operation Fantast Handbook', a directory of dealers, organisations, etc., invaluable to the newcomer to fandom and useful to the old-timer who wants to keep all his addresses together.
Recent change of address has been that of Britain's oldest s-f dealers, S-F. Service of Liverpool, who have now opened a shop and run the 'Milcross Book Service' from Brownlow Hill, Liverpool 3. Best wishes to Leslie J. and Frank M.
Alan Hunter, of 124, Belle Vue Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth has organised a Fantasy Art Society for fantasy artists, collectors and enthusiasts, will also produce Fantasy Calendars, postcards, bookplates, etc. The Society has just issued its first leaflet, dealing with the newly established Art Bureau. Write to Alan for full details.
Bradford Central Library has asked Derek Pickles to arrange an exhibition of s-f there from October 1st till after the NECON (Are YOU going?). As far as we know this is the first time this sort of exhibition has been arranged in Britain, tho' the Public Libraries in the vicinity of Fantasy Bookshop in London have terrific amounts of U.S. s-f, and the Oxford St. bookshop where fan Eric Williams is employed had a window display of s-f lately.
First meeting of the 'winter season' at the 'White Horse' on Sept. 13th saw over 40 'London Circle-ites' present, including 6 new visitors. Amongst those present was 'Wonder' editor Mike Tealby, guiding E.E. Smith around London. WHO? No, not Dr. ... this was Elizabeth Evelyn of New York, fan who is familiar to us under an improbable pseudonym. Attempts by smitten Londoners to waylay guardian Mike in a dark corner and slug him were unsuccessful. Another out-of-town visitor has been Fred Robinson of Cardiff, at present working on the 1st (?) Welsh fanzine, and RAF regular George Glover got a crafty 48 from his Somerset drome in time to see de Camp on the 8th.
Reports from the US state that the Dianetic movement is splitting into a number of splinter groups, that the Los Angeles (central) Foundation is folding, that L. Ron Hubbard is being divorced by his second wife, who alleges that he is insane ... (so did his first) ... and whole set-up is collapsing in a mess of engrams.
Our deepest sympathies to brilliant Slant artist James White, suffering from eye-strain. Funny ... it was brother artist Shaw who did recent cartoon of Walt Willis for 'Quandry'
ARTHUR C. CLARKE
In re. 'future developments' on page 3, we can now state that 'Picture Post' will run a lavishly illustrated review of ACC's forthcoming 'Exploration of Space' (Temple Press 12/6d) tho' unfortunately none of its 4 colour plates will be reproduced in colour. Illustrated by R.A. Smith and Leslie Carr, the book is somewhat less technical than ACC's 'Interplanetary Flight', is a superlative effort which should get this year's Fantasy Award in non-fiction. It should be out within two or three weeks.
We have no news regarding the publishing of ACC's s-f 'Sands of Mars' at present, tho' its US publisher announces their edition for early '52.
A.C.C. had a long article in 'Sunday Times' (Sept 16th) in connection with the recent 2nd International Astronautics Congress, arranged in London by the B.I.S. Extensively reported in the national press, one hopes it will have removed forever the mass ignorance concerning I.P. flight and indeed, astronomy in general. (Len Borston reports that a hotel-receptionist gazed open-mouthed at the working model of the Solar System in the Dome of Discovery, asked him whether they really existed or were they something like this spiritualist business?)
Several s-f fans, including Messrs Bulmer, Clarke, Duerr, Temple, Rattigan, Nan Phillimore, and of course, officials Gillings and Fears, attended the Congress during the summing-up sessions on Sept. 8th, saw exhibition of astronautic photos and models organised by 'Daily Express', plus 8 ft high map of Moon. Tone of the Congress was generally technical, but delegate from Spain broke down and mentioned s-f. and Lt. Commander ("I am here only as a private individual.") Durant of the 1,500 strong American Rocket Society, praised the technical soundness of 'Project Mars', story of 1984 (sic) by German rocket expert to be published in Germany in New Year, later in U.S. or here.
Most distinguished visitor was Professor Hermann Oberth, one of the great pioneers of astronautics, designer of space-ship for 'Frau im Monde'.
For sale at the Congress were post-card pictures from 'Conquest of Space', 'Exploration of Space', 'Destination Moon', of an A4 rocket on mobile launching rack, craters on Moon and Earth from 57 miles altitude. Information re. the BIS can be obtained from Secretary, 157, Friary Road, London, S.E.15.
Noted: good write up by Charles Davy in 'Observer' ... he also had article on s-f some months ago ... fantasy reader or open-minded?
Newcomer to B.R.E.'s, 'Marvel Science Stories' reprints recent US edition complete to readers letters, at 2/-. The now-pocket-size U.S. ed. has shown great improvement lately, last ish. to hand (August) having novels by Jones and Latham, other yarns by Van Vogt, Leinster, Neville and Peter Phillips, plus another symposium (Judith Merril, Willy Ley, William Tenn debate objective of first space-ship) ... all this and a Bok cover too!
BRE 'Mechanix Illustrated' (No 10) features Tinsley illo'd article on 'How Men of Other Planets will Look' ((ans: Awful!)), quotes extensively from J.W. Campbell but manages to remain 3rd rate. Also noted:- LOOK, August 2nd, with Bonestell illo'd article on artificial satellites. Incidentally, we dated the ish. with s-f article wrongly in last SFN ... should have been May 21st. This does not co-incide with our International Edition of that date.
Welcome back to photogravure section in ASF, also extra size. helping us bear increased sub., now $5.00. per year ... 3/- per ish. or 2/6d per ish. on two-year rate. Once again:- You CAN get a sub. at these prices by applying to your local P.O. for an Application-Form-For-An-International-Money-Order. Send it with definite proof (contents page) of amount required to the address the P.O. will give you. If you wish to study writers market, or science articles, give that as reason. When approved application is returned, take to P.O. and shell out. They'll send it for you. Then notify 'zine to which you're subbing that your money is on its way. There'll be a 3-month delay before your 1st issue arrives, but you should get acknowledgement sooner. The last issue of a sub. contains a renewal form, which can be used as proof when going through the routine again.
Also noteworthy ... Sept. issue was ASF's 250th (totting up, we find 243 in the collection, are losing hope of getting remainder!).
'Science Fiction Monthly' has gone back to old title (No's 1 & 2) of 'Authentic Science Fiction' with current ish. (No 13) ... mighty inconsiderate -- we can't contract it to ASF!
Sign of the times ... 'News Chronicle', on Aug 20th, started a week serial, 'Fugitive City', by Ritchie Calder, concerning super-scientific city under Antarctica.... replete with pre-1935 plot, all the latest headline inventions from atomic submarines to controlled mutations. Not labelled, 'For Children Only', but it should.have been....
FORTHCOMING ... Kemsley space-opera Pb's forecast in last issue of SFN should be out end of this month (September). *** Ted Carnell is editing new 10-story British anthology for British book publisher *** Gnome Press announce resumption of 'Fantasy Calendar' in 1952 *** Expect two new British s-f zines in the near future *****
NEW AND FORTHCOMING BRITISH BOOKS
The following are announced for publication:- "Men of Other Planets', by Kenneth Heuer (Gollancz, 12/6d), semi-scientific survey of probable life that may be encountered Elsewhere.... Groff Conklin described US edition as 'containing a great deal that is plain nonsense' (technically, 'morleying') **** 'The Last Revolution', by Lord Dunsany, (Jarrolds, 9/6), fantasy of machines revolting ***** 'What Dreams May Come', (Carrie, 10/5d) collection of Cynthia Asquith's ghost stories ****** 'Dragons in Amber', by Willy Ley (Sidgewick and Jackson [beginning to be our favorite publishers] at 21/- ((!))), subtitled 'Further Adventures of A Romantic Naturalist', follows 'Lungfish and the Unicorn' on the side of zoology that borders mythology ***** Hamish Hamilton announce another collection of Charles Addams's gruesome cartoons, 'Monster Rally' @ 12/6d ****** 'The Arm of Mrs Egan' by the late W.F. Harvey, collection of 16 weirds coming from Dent @ 9/6 ***** 'More Than Meets the Eye' (Evans, 12/6d) by James Langham, with a foreword by Dunsany, is a non-fiction work on ghosts, poltergeists, telepathy, other extra-sensory, extra-physical phenomena ***** 'Fearful Pleasures' by A. E. Coppard, weirds already published by Arkham House, here by Peter Nevill @ 11/6d **** 'Rockets and Jets', by Marie Neurath, astronautics for the kiddies (Parrish 6/- and 7/6d) **** Bell & Son announce for the New Year, 'Mathematics, Queen and Servant of the Sciences', by Professor E.T. Bell, (better known in s-f circles as 'John Taine')
Derek Pickles (what, again!) is getting married 22nd December, thus obtaining another co-worker for 'pht' ... we wish the happy pair all the best and happy duplicating ****** Robert Conquest, (see last ish. letters), writer of s-f poem for 'Listener' won poetry prize in Festival competition ***** former actifans C.S. Youd and John Burke have new s-f novels published soon **** semi-London Circle-ite Madeleine Montalban has a s-f cum mystic serial ('War Lord of Venus') running in 'London Life' *****
R A P I N E A N D M U R D E R, Y
O U A R E W E L C O M E T O O ..."
SFN COMPETITION No 1.
Editor Don Wollheim of 'AVON FANTASY'; 'AVON S-F', '10 STORY FANTASY', etc., has a predilection for cover pictures commonly known as 'sexy', We admit that this art-form has its points, and stops the 'zine from looking bare, but recent editorial title changes ... 'Flight on Titan' reprinted as 'A Man, A Maid, and Saturns Temptation', 'No Place like Earth' as 'Tyrant and Slave Girl on Planet Venus', etc., etc., are obviously aimed less at followers of the American way of Life than of La Vie Parisienne.
'S.F.N.', always ready to spread s-f, even amongst pornography hunters, would like to make Wollheim's task easier. We therefore offer a small prize (a Bradbury P.B.) for the best set of four well known stories, short or booklength, retitled in the Wollheim manner ... e.g., 'Alice in Wonderland' as 'A Maid in a Fantastic Underworld', 'Galactic Patrol' as 'The Kinnison Report', 'Children of the Lens' as 'Their Love Spanned the Universes', and that famous classic, 'Lust and First Men'.
Closing date is November 1st, all entries should be printable, and a copy of the competition report will be sent to Wollheim. Results and report next issue.
CLEAN UP OF OLD SCRAPS DEPARTMENT (or QUOTES WE CAN'T FIND ROOM FOR OTHERWISE)
"Act 3 finishes with Big Foot's admirers covered with blood and falling to the floor in a faint. After universal and unprecedented success in the lottery in which all the characters, including the Curtains, become millionaires, Act 4 ends with the fumes of chipped potatoes filling the room until complete suffocation follows".
Roland Penrose's synopsis of Picasso's play 'Desire Caught by the Tail'. ((The 'Curtains' referred to are, of course, the Stage Curtains. ED.))
"Williamson began each story by putting his hero in the approximate position of a 70 year old paralytic in a plaster cast who's required to do battle with a sabre-tooth tiger ... and, there being no place to go from there, kept him in the same predicament throughout the story, only adding an extra fang from time to time."
Damon Knight, reviewing 'Humanoids' in 'Worlds Beyond' RIP.
PEACE IS A RED PLOT (Doubt No 30)
S.F.N. LETTER SECTION
Captain Ken Slater of BAOR writes:-
Let's put our backs to the wall and face it.... Comfortable? You surprise me!
As founder member, etc, of the SFS, let me be one of the first to admit that it has been a glorious ... flop. Perhaps it would have been more successful if the 'flaming enthusiasm' (thanks for them kind words) with which I originally conceived the thing had continued to keep it warmed up, but the long-range at which I should have had to handle it prevented me from even trying to do it myself.
I still recall the afternoon we (the original com.) spent hammering the table in Owen Plumridge's house. Actually, I can recall the excellent tea Mrs Plumridge gave us with much greater ease than any of the conversation, but still I recall we had doubts, even then.
That is where I handed over (?) the SFS to its foster-parents. 80 odd member at 5/- was the score, I think. Not bad for a start. But unfortunately most of the original committee had demands on their time and persons that prevented 'em operating, and the SFS staggered, wabbled and wilted into the hands of you two folk. Well, you've done your best, I know. Eight NEWS and sundry bits. The best thing you ever did was the ASF sub-scream.
But I agree that apart from the 'Good Thing To Have' feeling, there is little to it. Frankly, I am surprised that it has held together so long.
Let me admit that I am not without blame -- I have openly and blatantly ignored the existence of such an organisation, after my first frantic endeavours to start it. That is a fault of both omission and commission. ((Ouch! ED.))
Nope. British fandom flatly refuses to be organised. Chapman and Smith both warned me. So did many other folk. But there ain't no proof like tasting, and brother, it tastes foul!
So let's hide the body, shall we?
But let me say that I have solved the secret of 'organising' fandom, in OPERATION FANTAST. You don't 'organise' them, you just tell 'em. Then they either do, or they don't. It is simple -- I've found fans who glory in work, and so they work -- for their own and other people's benefit. All O.F. does is 'liaise'. See our HANDBOOK for full details. There is Derek Pickles, assisted most ably by sister Mavis, distributing, news-clipping and book-researching. Alan Hunter in Bournemouth, frantically trying to dig up the British fanartists and put 'em to work. Fred Robinson in Cardiff, binding. Binding books and mags, not just binding, of course. Peter Hallifax, surrounded by index files and cards, trying to find fans with mutual tastes, and putting them in contact. (Not always mutual, at that. Seems there are some male fans who want to know female fans, and female fans who want to know male fans. Those are opposite tastes -- or are they?)
Okay, and I've made something of O.F. (I think and hope) at the expense of energy I should have put into the SFS. Well, to pay for my crime, if there are any SFS members who are not also OF members, and who would like to drop me a card, I'll put 'em down for a year's free membership of O.F. Frankly, I can't do it for all the folk who are both SFS and O.F. members -- I ain't no millionaire, but at least that is a token offer to ease my conscience (says he).
From fans who are willing to work, for little or no profit, I'd like to hear. Especially those with typers and/or duplicators. I've an immense amount of material that requires stencilling for distribution to fandom. Checklists and so on. I'll supply the material, and they'll get a share of the profits, if any. At least they get free membership in accordance with work done.
Guess that closes it, so adios. Fantastically, Ken.
((Many thanks, Ken. The secret is, then, to organise ... but only half-a-dozen. We live and learn. Your offer of free membership is appreciated, tho' there must be very few fans who are not in contact with OF in some way. See you at the NECON? AVC.))
DURING THE STENCILLING OF THIS SFN., WE'VE FOUND A NEW METHOD OF COLOUR REGISTER. WATCH FOR IT IN FUTURE ISSUES !
During its life the Science Fantasy Society did much to carry on the work of the BFS and antecedent societies, the 'gospel' has been spread and many useful 'converts' to the field have been contacted. However, owing to circumstances detailed elsewhere, the Society has now ceased, and as Hon. Treasurer I must present the finalised accounts to you.
I am sorry to have to report that the SFS has paid out during its life the sum of £31-1-8d, and received in the same period the sum of £23-9-8d. This means that Vincent Clarke and myself have made up the deficit, to the amount of £7-12-0d, from our own pockets. We do not regret this, please understand that, and are not particularly interested in recovering the amount at present.
I must, as retiring Treasurer, (Hon.), pay tribute to Owen Plumridge, who, until pressure of business forced him to resign, handled the accounts with commendable skill, and to other Committee members of the Society who during its early stages were able to give their time so willingly.
Vincent and myself have had some fun and plenty of headaches, and help has been forthcoming generously from the regular 'old guard'. But now we must look to the future, and give all possible help to the SFNews, which as a private venture under the aegis of the 'Epicentre' is now the only s-f news 'zine published in England.
Thank you all for your support. Any further information will be gladly supplied from the 'Epicentre'.
H. Ken Bulmer. Hon. Treasurer.
Owing to Ye Ed. obtaining new employment, which, temporarily, means 2½ hours travelling per day, this 'SFN' has been finished about two weeks after 'deadline', the first 4 sheets having been duplicated in the first fortnight of September, this final 'Stop Press' is being typed on October 3rd. We have therefore regretfully decided to curtail the letters section, (tho' non-dating ones will be published in the Xmas issue) as we feel that we must finish this issue before our earliest news becomes entirely out of date. We do appreciate hearing from those of you who have written, and will reply as soon as this News is posted out.
Several 'forthcoming events' forecast within have now taken place. The most interesting is probably the appearance of the l/6d Kemsley PB's ('John Carstairs' 'Flight Into Space', 'Kid From Mars' and 'Sunken World') as announced in our last issue. Again we must regret that better stories could not have started the series.
Arthur C. Clarke's 'Exploration of Space' has now appeared, as has the review in 'Picture Post'. The latest BRE is now 'Future Fiction' No 1, at l/6d. completely reprinting the US edition, and another 'Weird Tales' BRE has also appeared. 'New Worlds' No 12 is now out, also a number of mediocre PB's.
'Prehistoric Women', a film about them, was unable to get a West-End showing, but has been seen in the suburbs by strong-minded fans. 'Man From Planet X' has been delayed in its West End showing.
'Galaxy' has been bought, and Gold retained as editor ... general format will be as usual for a few issues, then 'improvements' will be instituted. No comment. Meanwhile, unless you're a completist collector, don't bother about 'Galaxy Novels No 6', 'The Alien', by Raymond F. Jones, which gains the Null-Oscar as the worst-printed, worst written yarn by Raymond, worst written for Galaxy and most-uneven story we've ever read in a reputable 'zine.
'GO', 3/6d. 'zine for the travelled, leisurely, (and wealthy) classes, reviews the latest s-f novels in its October-November issue in an article 'STF, or The Spacemen Are Coming To Town', by Leonard Russell. Russell got some facts from the 'White Horse' (which is mentioned), some from the 'LIFE' article, writes a reasonably good description of the field as a whole, tho' some facts are inaccurate.
Bill Temple's '4-Sided Triangle' has had another terrific write-up in the US, this time in ASF....
The two projected British 'zines are already reduced to one, which is now a virtual certainty. It will be similar to the 'Magazine of S-F and Fantasy' in policy, reprinting stories by established authors, and new efforts by modern masters.
Eric Bentcliffe, (47, Alldis Street, Woodsmoor, Stockport, Ches.) writes to say that 'Astroneer', a new fanzine issued by the N.S.F.C. is nearly ready. Eric waxes enthusiastic over the art-work. News of this and other fanzines is always welcome in SFN (The Independent News Zine!)
Some news from the 'Science Fiction Association' has come in, but not enough to publish. More next ish.
ERRATA in this SFN. ... Use of blue paper for interior ... sorry, everybody, but we didn't know it was so poor. Never again (for interior, anyway!). Bottom of fourth page, for 'mounted in wheel', read 'mounted on wheels'....
**** PUBLISHED AT 'THE EPICENTRE'. KNOWN TO ITS NEIGHBOURS AND
THE P.O. AS