Items from Fanzines & Letters.
January ... Eric Williams called up for army.
At end of month had a note saying records had been destroyed in the blitz & had to complete new forms. (The months passed and after the May blitz, this was repeated and yet another set of forms filled in...)
Letter 5 January: Been in touch with Mike Rosenblum who's struggling to keep fans in touch with one another by issuing the only British fanmag and I've got job of designing some covers and cartoons... Doug Webster is at present working on a farm while he devotes his leisure hours, which seem to be many, to writing long letters to fans.
URANIA January 1941, Journal of the Junior Astronomical Association
Cover art: Harry Turner, also "Concerning the Asteroids" article by H.T.
"How Our Eyes Deceive Us" article by Marion Eadie
Letter 2 February: Had word from Arthur, who is at Colwyn Bay, expecting call-up papers. He is circulating FAN MAIL, a sort of chain-letter among fans, the idea being that several sheets are sent to 5 different people, who fill in any news and pass it on to the next on the list. When the sheets eventually return to Ego, he writes a resume on the next set of circulars he sends out, and so on...
Letter 9 February: I've been drawing a cover for Fantast, Sam Youd's fanmag. This was supposed to have expired last July owing to Sam's lack of spare time, so I was surprised to receive a card from him on Friday last asking me to rush through a cover... My drawing shows a futurist landscape rising from the smoke of the blitz—no doubt a reaction to the Christmas bombing.
...Used on the March 1941 issue. (Edited by Sam and John Burke. Sam expects call-up within six months. JB did duplicating, collating & mailing. Had my "Creed of an Atheist").
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 5 February 1941
ToW 13 out soon: featuring Beynon and C.A. Smith.
News of Sid Birchby's home being bombed and his mother killed / Arthur Clarke now at Colwyn Bay but expecting call-up papers, has started Fan-Dance, a news sheet; five carbon copies are sent to five fans to add their comments before passing on. Sheets eventually return to Arthur to extract items to start the next mailing. Currently reaching some 21 fans / James Rathbone now on the medical staff of a troopship.
Litter includes: Rennison's COSMOS 2, (Webster ses "the best product of sf is fans") / Gentlest Art 3 / Medhurst's The Fly in the Ointment or The Snag in Michael's Mailing / Last issue of Sam Youd's Fantasy War Bulletin Vol 2 No 4 plus BLITZ, a 4-page account of the blitz on Southampton.
Letter 19 February: Our romance was front page news of Ego's latest Fanmail, ("Glasgow's Marion Eadie ... almost certainly Britain's first active female fan and apart from having poetry and fan-fiction in a number of fanzines including, from its first issue in April, Turner's Zenith, also sold professionally to Tales of Wonder" ... Rob Hansen's THEN 1) so we'll just have to get married now... And Art's got the famous record collection with him now - he recently got hold of the first and second Sibelius symphs and the Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. Wonder if he still entertains with Mossolov's Steel Foundry? - did you hear it when in London? Should make the local inhabitants think the invasion's started
... Sid Birchby's home bombed and his mother killed.
URANIA February/March 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner, also "Concerning The Asteroids" part 2 by H.T.
THE FANTAST Vol. 2 No. 2 (9) March 1941 (incorporating THE SATELLITE)
Edited by C.S. Youd & John F. Burke.
Cover Harry Turner - New city/blitz.
John F. Burke: The Survivors -2 Burke & McIlwain survive in Liverpool, waylay Ron Holmes and Les Heald in the library, and set off for Nuneaton in a convenient hearse... Finding smith gone and evidence of Youd's presence, they carry on to London and 88 Grays Inn Road.... "Bring out your dead!" carolled McIlwain merrily... bounding up the stairs.
"Wait a minute!" howled Burke. "The door opens outwards you mug..." He was too late. McIlwain hammered on the door, which was jubilantly flung open, precipitating him down half a flight of stairs. As he scrambled up a jug flew past his ear and crashed into Burke, who cursed fluently.
"I've been wanting to do that ever since you mucked up one of my articles", said Arthur Clarke's voice, tinged with happiness. "Now come on up."
(Part 3 is to be written by Bill Temple).
HET: Creed of an Atheist
CSYoud: Monty (poem)
John B Michel: Inquest (poem)
DRSmith: The Road to Fame ... another serial starting for those who know their sf - Smith
has fun with Seaton & DuQuesne, Arcot, Morey, Wade, Tarzan & John Carter, Kinnison the Grey Lensman, etc.
William Harris: Fantasy as seen by the ordinary man with a typewriter.
Arthur Ego Clarke: Letters to the Secretary of an Interplanetary Society.
LETTERS: DRSmith - The cover does not seem so good as Turner's previous efforts either in design or execution, but the verse appealed to me immensely, forming part compensation, as well as enabling one more readily to interpret the hazy symbolism of the picture.
Editorial - C.S. Youd: "...our translation into uniformed slavery within the next six months" means we spend our time producing as many issues as possible. Mentions material in hand, including ESN in list... Thanks to John Burke for duplicating, collating and mailing, Doug Webster who volunteered to help with stencilling, Erik Needham who generously offered "If funds are low could I send you something to help with the good work, say 10/- or £1, or so?", and Harry Turner who nobly rushed a cover at extremely short notice...
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 6 March 1941
Cover poem The Unknown Sea, pic by Harry Turner.
Sid Birchby reports that fan collection destroyed when bomb fell on home. Mentions that regular weekly meetings were held at 88 Grays Inn Road, after the suspension of the SFA, until Christmas 1939, when they were transferred to the Red Bull nearby. Even those meetings stopped after the blitz in September 1940, and fanac in London expired when Bill Temple and Ted Carnell were called up.
The NEWSLETTER reports Roland Forster in RAF Shetlands / congratulates Harry Turner of Mcr and Marion Eadie of Glasgow, president of the JAA, on their engagement / Ron Holmes is with L'pool unit of Pacifist Service Unit looking after air raid shelterers / Sam Youd's BLITZ most popular item in last month's Litter.
Les Crouch in Clippings from Canada reports Art Widner Jr, editor of the Strangers Club, FANFARE, is plugging the word 'fanzine' against 'fanag' to replace the usual 'fanmag'.
Litter includes: Rennison's COSMOS 3 / TINTACKS 1 - Don Doughty has letter from John Burke remarking on grim coincidence of BRE ASTOUNDING with the cover story 'Coventry' appearing on the newstands just after the blitz on the town of that name / Webster's Gentlest Art now dubbed LES TART gives a boost for FANTAST / Page of cartoons by HET - Archeologists and St. Peter & astronaut.
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 7 April 1941
Cover - robot cartoon by HET from suggestion by JFB
Arthur's chain-letter has been linking scattered Londoners and others, but his call-up, at the beginning of April, raises problems. / Resuscitated FANTAST appeared, jointly edited by Sam and John Burke / GARGOYLE 4 put out by Dave McIlwain / Ron Holmes in GLEANINGS says that UNKNOWN on way out.
Litter includes: ZENITH 1, 3-pager with Marion's First Man on the Moon and cartoons by Art Williams./ Gentlest Art 5 / Ron Holmes' He Said has letter excerpt from Bill temple in Lancs: "I'm thoroly browned off with training now, and am in the final three weeks of it - unbelievably intense, both physically and mentally. Have been laying miles of cable today and trying to grasp the complicated ditherings of an Artillery Field battery 'deploying'. Tomorrow I have to deliver a lecture on radio communication"./ Tin Tacks 2 by Don Doughty.
April 1941 ... Arthur called up at beginning of month and Sam Youd takes over Fan Mail.
Later Doug Webster takes over Fantast (reactions to Atheist creed from Russell Chauvenet and Julian Parr) *** Met Ron Lane.
THE FANTAST Vol. 2 No. 3 (10) April 1941
Now published irregularly by Douglas Webster from Aberdeen.
Cover Harry Turner - The lady on the pedestal that upset the US postal authorities...
Osmond Robb: Creed of a Sceptic
DRSmith: A Fable of isch-Masch
DRSmith: The Road to Fame 2 Editorial note: it was intended that a series of writers should complete the story, each making things as difficult as possible for the next. DWebster made his instalment so complicated that, indesperation, it was decided that DRS should have to write the whole story himself.
LETTERS: EFRussell: Turner's creed bit interested me - I'd like to argue with him in a boozer some time. Forteanishly, I am a hyper-atheist, and thus think that atheists are merely Roman catholics walking on their hands. A choice subject, this, and one well calculated to start some bottle-busting over sundry nuts, with a general riot to end the evening.
Someday, please Allah, I shall have to tell you about the creed of a Fortean. Usually, I find the effort much like trying to explain marmalade to Martians. But it can be done, given gentle patience on the one side & a modicum of intelligence on the other. /
Russell Chauvenet: Turner's views are in remarkable parallelism with mine, although it goes without saying that if I were to present my philosophy of life in Fay, I would go about it differently, and diverge from Turner in certain respects. In spite of my enthusiasm over Turner's views... his article... does not appear to be organised at all. /
Julian Parr: The best phrase in this article is the valuable "what should the purpose of life be?" I compliment Harry on that, and wholeheartedly approve. If a man enjoys life, he justifies his living, if he purposely makes life harder in order to help others, or to make others enjoy life, then he still justifies his living, and if he should happen to be in a state or position wherein he cannot enjoy life, he will justify his living by doing so without promulgating his distress or propagating it, but by bearing it with moral strength. If to enjoy life is to obey every instinct, or urge, then to enjoy life is not the ultimate aim, the ultimate aim is to control and restrain one's urges in order that he does not infringe on the rights of others, and thus to be a help, and not a hindrance, to society.
URANIA April 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner
"The Occultation of Aldebaran" article by Marion Eadie
Members A.C. Clarke, G.E. Forsyth and R.C. Smith all donated funds to the JAA.
May 1941 ... Don Doughty and Ken Chapman report to Navy.
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 8 May 1941
Cover by Art Williams, stencilled by Harry Turner.
Ken Chapman called up for Navy, after being War Reserve Policeman / Arthur Clarke now AC2 at RAF Bridgenorth, Salop, and circulation of Fan Mail taken over by Sam Youd / Don Doughty had medical and accepted as telegraphist by Navy / Dave McIlwain and Harry Turner also on 'condemned list'.
Litter includes: ZENITH 2 with cover cartoons and poem The Atlanteans by MFE / Ron Holmes' HE SAID 2 / Gentlest Art / Tin Tacks 3 Don Doughty, has pome by Eric and quote from letter (see ESN file).
June 1941 ... Dave McIlwain reports to RAF... Owing to records suffering in May blitz on Manchester, I fill up yet another set of forms (suspect German plot to keep me out of forces)
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 9 June 1941
Harry Turner cover
Our Wandering Boys - Bill Temple finished training and waiting posting / AC2 Clarke moved to London for about 4 months (sounds like radio course) / Eric C. Williams called up in January, Royal Corps of Signals.
ToW 14, dated Spring 1941, appeared this month, and UNKNOWN
Fantasy Fiction changed name to Unknown Worlds.
Litter only has Doughty's Tin Tacks.
URANIA June 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner
Donation to JAA funds from Mr. H.E. Watson.
Notes from Mr. T.L. MacDonald, in response to H.T.'s articles on asteroids, suggesting that Saturn has Trojans.
Debates And Discussions Corner : Speculation from A.C. Clarke about "a flat universe in which disc-shaped planets revolve round flat suns".
July 1941 ... Sam, currently in the Home Guard, registered for military duty on 12 July; turned down for flying duties in RAF because of eyesight. Selling his collection.
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 10 July 1941
Cover made up from old stencil snippets.
Newsletter: Bill Temple now in Field Regiment at Monmouth / Eric Needham and Eric Hopkins meet in London / Harry Turner meets Ron Lane for first time recently / Dave McIlwain called up in RAF.
Review of Rex Warner's The Aerodrome (Bodley Head 7/6d) by bert lewis / Collected works of Charles Fort - Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo! and Wild Talents) - published as a single volume in the States.
Litter has Tin Tacks 3 and Gentlest Art 8 (the last, alas!).
In Les Tart, EFR writes: "You've missed much if you've not read Fort. He isn't just a scientific heckler. He's decidedly atheistic as well, and his wit is bitingly malicious. You'd enjoy his very lurid description of the Mont Pelee disaster, perhaps the worst in the annals of the human race.
After devoting a couple of paragraphs to powerful sketches of falling trees, boiling seas, the onward rush of lava, the roar of falling masonry, the howls and screams of 30,000 parboiled bodies, etc, he casually ends up 'somewhere, a sparrow fell and according to conventional theologists, this was noted'.
He enjoys himself with that time South African farmers spent months praying for rain, at the end of which time, according to Fort, God got fed up, told the angels to see to it, and they, knowing no better, sent the whole three months supply in one dollop. A couple of lakes and an ocean dropped, sweeping away thousands of cattle, bursting bridges, wrecking towns, leaving a death-roll of several hundreds.
His malice is sweetest when recording the advent of Einstein's theories, and how those astronomers who favoured Einstein looked at the sky and found evidence to support him, while those against him looked at the sky and found evidence against.... Us guys don't just tackle science and no more.
Firstly we draw differences between Science and Dogmatic Science - a few scientists are Forteans. Second, we're constructive enough to have plenty of theories of our own, with data to back them. Third, we don't offer our theories as God-given facts....
You'll find that most of the world's basic inventions and discoveries have been made by unknown, independent, and unrecognised research-workers having no connection with 'official' science, and that usually these workers have received more scorn than kudos from scientists until the truth of their discoveries could no longer be denied - whereupon the detractors have stolen their thunder by listing them as 'scientists' and thus giving 'science' credit it never deserved.
Daimler and Benz, inventors of the internal combustion engine; Marconi wasn't a scientist at the time of his first successful experiments nor Edison, nor Bell, nor the Wright brothers.... An ancient trick culled from the religious world which, finding a heretic successful in his heresy, despite victimisation, then canonises him and claims him as their own, long after he is dead and unable to deny it."
And later: "Travelling salesman and author - For about 15 years I've visited this fair Isle of Man some four, five, and sometimes six times per year. It is my haven of rest, with fair women, good beer and knows nothing of science fiction. Leastways, I've never been able to discover a Manx fan."
URANIA July 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner
Also "The Lunar Mystery" an article by H.T.
Debates And Discussions Corner : A method of photographing markings on Mars suggested by Douglas Webster and a counterblast to A.C. Clarke's piece from Edgar Blyth.
2 August 1941 ... Eric Needham reports to RAF Padgate, then Filey for 5 weeks training
Weekend visit to Burke residence & meet Sam (see letter and John's account))
Arthur Busby of Birmingham given conditional exemption at tribunal and put on full-time CD work.
Marion comes down to work in Manchester, and is actively coopted on to Zenith editorial team.
Letter 4 August: Quite an enjoyable weekend was had by all at the Burke residence. Accomodation slightly cramped with a couple of visitors and I occupied the settee at night - still, very comfortable. Don't think I've had such a talkative weekend - we did nowt but gas and I've nearly lost my voice... discussed fans in general and fans in particular, fans we liked and fans we abhorred, fans who were amusing and fans who were boring.Then
we compared notes on blitzes before getting around to reconstruction and the architecture
of tomorrow; then the position women ought to have in society, and going on to
DHLawrence, pornography and pulps, from sf to books and literature generally... you'd
have enjoyed the rows and cracks passed when John and sam got down to comparing
notes about the novels they are at present writing...
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 11 August 1941
Further news of the Fort Omnibus from EFR: "It is very doubtful whether any individual reader in this country will be able to obtain the book from the USA, owing to restrictions on the export of cash... Import licences can be got by bona fide publishers, so I'm arranging for a number of copies to be imported and distributed on behalf of the Fortean
Society by King, Littlewood & King Ltd of Fishery Rd, Bray, Berks."
Dave McIlwain at Wilmslow being inducted into RAF life / Arthur Busby of B'ham registered as a CO and has been given a conditional exemption by local tribunal - fulltime civil defence work. /
Sam Youd will be spending a fortnight with John Burke at Liverpool, starting 4 August /
Roland Forster transferred from Shetlands to RAF Cranwell on wireless operator course, has visited Mike Rosenblum /
Ron Holmes transferred from Liverpool to London on his Pacifist Service Unit work /
Eric Needham reports call-up notice dated 2 August for "a dump called Padgate". /
Wally Gillings, after being turned down by two
tribunals, is now a trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps, and stationed at Tidworth, Hants. /
Arthur Williams ill and in hospital... the doc warned him he was heading for a nervous breakdown. Means an end to Science Fantasy Fan (material sent to me for ZENITH).
Mike asks about forming some sort of loose federation during the present emergency... say a Futurian Society of Great Britain?
Notice that first issue of Zenith as a full-blown zine should be out for middle of August.
Litter includes: Dawn Shadows Vol 1 No 3 James Parkhill Rathbone / Six pages of Fan Dance 1 from C.S. Youd. Now Fantast has been passed over to Doug Webster, and The
Gentlest Art is no more, Fan Dance would like to take the place of the Gent... It will be devoted to the activities and mental workings of fans.... Sam registered for military service on 12 July but turned down - eyesight - for flying duties in RAF... presently Home Guard corporal. Sam offers collection for sale in view of impending call-up ... pummels Stuart Chase's book on semantics.
NOTE - Gap in correspondence around this time as Marion decided to come and work in Manchester. I'd registered for the forces and had a medical on 19 December 1940. Usually call-up papers came around a month later but I gained a reprieve because of the Christmas blitz, receiving a note at the end of Jan 1941 saying that records had been destroyed and sending new forms for me to complete. The same thing happened after the May blitz and I began to think...
FIDO Vol. 1 No. 12 September 1941
Harry Turner cover - Fall of Atlantis.
Letter from EFR taking Sam to task for comments in Fan Dance./ Eric Needham at RAF Filey for five weeks.
Litter includes: STAR PARADE 1 - Ken Bulmer.
Tin Tacks Don Doughty 4 pages.
URANIA September 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner
"Who Invented the Telescope ?" an article by Marion Eadie.
"What art the markings on Mars ?" an article by T.L. MacDonald, M.A., B.Sc., F.R.A.S.
Donations to JAA funds from D.A. Pratt and R.A. Richards acknowledged.
17 September Don Doughty called up in Navy.
21 September ... informal meeting in London attended by Hanson, on leave, Arnold, Canadian Bob Gibson,Art Williams, Carnell,etc. Next day joined by Craig, Chibbett, John Wyndham, Ken Bulmer. Some talk about the revival of the SFA...
October 1941 ... Eric (Needham) posted to camp near Preston...
Correspondence apparently carried on old SFA notepaper, when the SFA no longer exists... / refers to rumour that "a number of blue-nosed puritanical 'fans' boycotted Zenith after reading Web's announcement in August Fay. / Ron Holmes of Liverpool, in the October VOM tells 4SJ "the artwork is doubtful (I'm no prude but I read Stfn mags for Stfn - I can always find that elsewhere)".
The doubtful artwork consists of what 4SJ calls ' Vomaidens'. These are uncovered samples of (more-or-less) youthful female human beings, shown from a (more-or-less) discreet angle. One wonders just what is the that to which our puritanical Liverpool friend refers...
Wed reveals that his travels have shown that HET uses orange correcting fluid; MFE white; CSY bright red, while he uses blue Correctine, occasionally violet; Maurice Hanson pink, while JMR doesn't use it at all.
[This ish has a back page missing - apparently a nude by HET - who also did headings for Fantocracy and Road to Fame, with bits and pieces in between].
ZENITH #2, October 1941
contained HOT AIR, an overflow of readers' letters about ZENITH #1:
From E.F. Russell:
Most outstanding feature of the mag was, of course, the illustrations. I could share a bed with the lissome tart on the front cover - is the model on hire? // Yes, but not for all purposes // Back cover, too, was remarkably well executed, especially considering the additional difficulties of making such a sketch suitable for duplication.
Only criticism of the job is that the seated figure looks to me like a Cambodian temple-dancer, while the joss is more like the top of an Ojibway Indian totem-pole - and I don't know that the redskins have anything in common with Cambodians apart from mutual enjoyment of animal functions.
Still, it is possible that the redskins did have wider connections than have been suspected, especially with the ten lost tribes. I deduce this from the letter sent to the editor of Collier's in which he was offered fine ties of genuine Navajo Indian pattern, woven in their native tepees by real Navajo Indians, guaranteed one hundred per cent pure wool, with extra discount for orders of one dozen lots.
Signed, yours truly, Chief Sitting Bullstein.
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 1 October 1941 
Harry Turner cover Dream Landscape - 1
Don Doughty called up into Navy on 17 Sep / Canadian fan Bob Gibson meeting up with fans in London (in Canadian Army) / AC1 Les Johnson stationed at Goole in Yorks / AC2 Needham now stationed near Preston / Note that I am still awaiting call-up papers.
Sid Birchby reports London SFA "reunion" - over the weekend 20-21 September, some 14 fans got together in London. At Saturday lunchtime a party gathered to welcome Maurice Hanson, who had wangled leave from Somerset. After bookhunting in Charing X Road the party saw Fantasia.
On Sunday, fans assembled in Liverpool St station waiting room and converted it into a magazine mart, then went to Holborn to meet author John Beynon Harris, had tea, and held London's first open-air meeting of fans in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where they discussed what fandom should do after the war.... Present at one or both meetings were Frank Arnold, Ted and Irene Carnell, Maurice Hanson, Art Williams, Hal and Lily Chibbett, John Craig, John Beynon Harris, Ken bulmer, Denise Laws, Sid Birchby and Bob Gibson of the Canadian Army. (Bill Temple couldn't get there as leave had been cancelled).
18 October ... visit by Doug Webster: led to Manchester meeting, hastily organised by Marion & me, at Longford place, on Thursday, with Julian Parr (Stoke); John Burke (L'pool); Mike Rosenbloom (Leeds); Ron Lane (Mcr)., at which Mike tried to rouse support for for a new fan organisation, but met with too much opposition. Indeed, probably sparked off the first stirrings of the fanarchist movement! Doug squeezed in a visit to Lpool and Leeds, and return visits to Mcr & Lpool before returning to Aberdeen.
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 2 November 1941 
Northern Rendezvous or The Work of the Webster: The invasion of England by Douglas
W.L. Webster during the week of 18 October was made the occasion for a hastily-organised gathering at Manchester on the Thursday of the week. Apparently Northerners
were jealous of the London SFA "reunion" held the previous month!
Be that as it may, a hasty note sent out the previous Sunday brought together at the home of Harry Turner, fans Julian Parr (Stoke), Marion Eadie, John F. Burke (L'pool), JM Rosenblum (Leeds), and Ron Lane of Manchester, besides Harry, of course, and the Webster. One by one, we turned up at Longford Place, and in the usual fan manner discussed anything and (almost) everything under the sun. Various impedimenta - recent fanzines, fanfotos and signatures - were passed around and inspected and in one of the more rational moments an attempt was made to discuss the suggested British fanorganisation; but this was doomed to failure amongst the welter of conflicting conversations.
We saw the originals of many Turner illustrations for ToW, including some not as yet published, and succeeded in enjoying ourselves throroughly. Unfortunately time passed, as it does, and a bevy of fans wended their way towards the ruins of Manchester's Exchange Station in one of the ruins Manchester calls trams, to see off the first of the departing tribe - ye Ed.
We did our best to miss the train, in vain; for arriving at 10.18 to catch the 10.10, we discovered that there was as yet no sign of its appearance. One of the sights we (ye Ed) will remember to our dying day, is that lovely little circle of fans on that cold railway platform all waving goodbye.
As for Doug Webster, in one week he managed to squeeze in one visit to Leeds, and two each to Manchester and Liverpool, staying successively with JMR, Harry Turner and John Burke.
Our October Visitors: There was a phone call at 6.30 one evening, announcing the presence of Les Johnson - once of Liverpool - at the Leeds City railway Station, with a couple of hours to spare. Apparently he'd been given embarkation leave and then spent a fortnight waiting for a ship, only to be posted instead to Snaith, near Goole, in Yorkshire, which is not so far from Leeds.
During that and a later visit he expressed the hope that he'd be able to take a more active part in fan life. Next arrival was Doug Webster, who spent his time in the fair city visiting bookshops, seeing Fantasia, minus the evolution sequence for its provincial tour, alas, and turning the editorial collection of fanzines upside down. And of course we talked. Overlapping the Websterian invasion was a leave for Eric Moss, ex-SFL Librarian in Leeds. Eric is still in Somerset, still a despatch rider and still a
Sam Youd was due to report for service in the Royal Corps of Signals on 23 October but is at the moment in a civilian hospital on 21 days sick leave from his unit.
EF Russell is now an AC2 stationed at Boscombe, Bournemouth.
Ron Holmes has left the Pacifist Service owing to the death of his father, and is currently working at Liverpool Royal Infirmary.
So far only 3 of the 7 chain-letters sent out about the proposed British Fan Society have returned to the fold.
Litter includes: COSMOS 4 and Bibliophan 2.
November 1941 ... Mike Rosenbloom sent out seven chain letters canvassing opinions about the proposed new British fan society but complains that only three of these made the rounds.... Ken Bulmer called in Royal Corps of Signals
THE FANTAST No.11 November 1941 Doug Webster editor.
DRSmith: Continues the old Novae Terrae series COSMIC CASE No.5
DRSmith: Road to Fame - 3
C.SYoud: Broadside! Portrait of the Artist as a Young Flop. John Frederick Burke lived until recently at 57 Beauclair Drive, Liverpool 15. A callisyllabled address and the place does its best to live up to it; if the artist is forced to live in suburbia I suggest that Beauclair Drive be colonised forthwith. It runs discreetly off the main Wavertree Road out of Liverpool and is edged by regular, handsome trees and lawn grass.
The numbers run backwards with charming inconsequence, and past the lower end rumble the grre-and-cream couriers of Liverpool Tramways. When the sun shines the houses look sleepy, and when a Lancashire rain-gale slashes along the street they make you realise how nice it is to be within their protection against the vagaries of nature. They are a wonderful anodyne for misanthropy.
The fact that John rejects these surroundings for the harlot attractions of rose-esconced cottages at Rye (an undeveloped village on the south coast) is sufficient indication of the perverseness of his nature.
There he is, beautifully balanced on the outskirts of England's third greatest city, barnacled to the pipe-line of literature by excellent Boots and Argosy centres and innumerable satellites (selling everything from the works of Addison to Pleasures of the Torture Chamber (unexpurgated), near enough for a plunge into the front line should he desire to acquire virility for his writing and yet just outside the heavily-bombed area, twenty minutes from Lime Street, and ten minutes walk from Childwall. That
he should prefer a tourist-haunted beauty-spot to this!
The perverseness of John is his salient feature (always excluding his jaw), and the only
point of similarity between him and Eric Russell. Both have reverted to Roman Catholic
science, and constructed the universe about the Betelgeuse of their egos, both have grown
so used to sneering at the face of authority that they dare no longer look in a mirror.
But John, being younger, is more intolerant, more completely self-centred, more determined
that he will answer only to the delphic oracle of his own conscience. And like a true Sybil
his conscience is ambidextrous, proffering a righthand answer with its lefthand tightly
closed on what is at least an alternative.
Thus you may say that John is a young bigot. You will be only partially right. In many ways he is bigoted: hear him on prostitution, monogamy, the British government, the theatre, or Rye, and you will recognise this. But everything, even his bigotry, is subordinated to his writing, and in his first novel - I Promised Nothing - there are few indications of his personal narrowness of character. It is rather surprising to find in the last chapter that Adam, the only character with anything like guts, turns patriot as the Nazi planes churn up one of Rye's may belles locales. The aforementioned village of Rye is, indeed, the hero and heroine of the story, pleasantly masquerading as Jury.
It is a good first novel. If I were a publisher I shouldn't touch it with a literary critic, but I should endeavour to secure an option on the author's future work in anticipation of the happy unrationed days ahead. There is a sureness of touch about I Promised Nothing which impresses more than the uninspired phrasing, the insubstantiality of Sheila and Leonard, or the callous oblivion accorded to Anne. John is not a word painter, and makes no pretentions in that direction; the time that the rest of us waste wrestling with hostile words he uses to get on with the job which is, as always, the delineation of your character's reaction to life.
No one without an interest in writing could survive John's company for long. By this, I do not mean that his best friends have been too reticent, nor that he is himself boring. The reverse is the case. It is merely that although he can bring himself to discuss other things it is always from a writer's standpoint, and the conversation always gets back to writing in the end.
A mention of the Spanish War is an introduction for Hemingway's For Whom the Bell tolls (which, I agree with John, is possibly the best novel of the last ten years), and a mention of contemplation drags in Charles Morgan. Attack him on writing, or swing if you have enough guts, and he will smash you conclusively; attack him on politics, ethics, and especially his own shortcomings as a citizen, and he will wriggle feebly in a chair and smile inanely as you cut him to pieces. He is an example of specialised evolution: the crustacean writer.
Do not I beg you, regard him as an emotional cod-fish; in fact he is subject to the usual crazy impulses of his type, and dare not go within fifty yards of a bookstall without inevitably wasting his substance. He paid 25/- for Ulysses! To play Monopoly with him is to risk browbeating of the most outrageous character. When he introduced me to the game I immediately put my analytical intellect to bear on it, and evolved a novel method of swindling that was not definitely barred by the rules.
The first time this happened he countered by basely stealing money from the Bank; on the second occasion he roared at his fiancée so Bashanly that I slid under the table in fright. Shaw at his wildest could not be more appalling than the sight of that fierce prognathous face, the brown eyes converted into flame, the dark hair loose along the superior forehead.
The sight of Joan and John together would wring the heart-strings of any Tin Pan Alley lyric writer. John tells the world to go to hell while he gets on with his writing, and Joan ignores it altogether while she looks after John. John says something particularly Johnesque and, if she is near enough she will put up a tender hand and pat his face - just - like - that.
If she isn't near enough they exchange those glances so well calculated to penetrate the ersatz-armour of semi-hardened cynics like myself. This is young love par excellence. You feel that only a couple of Disney doves are needed to complete the effect.
Another facet of John that is worthy of mention is his fondness for walking. I cannot remember sitting down for two consecutive seconds the weekend Harry Turner was over; and Harry himself, a self-confessed hiker, was as unsympathetic as John.
On Sunday morning I tottered between them over a five-mile circuit into the wilds surrounding Liverpool. On Sunday afternoon I was inveigled into a ferry trip across the Mersey and back, which should have meant a two-mile walk, and turned out to be nearer six.
This was due to John's poetic abstraction which supplied an imaginary sea-front to the dock-edged waterline of Birkenhead. So we walked four miles through the tripe-ridden atmosphere of Cammel Laird's southern suburb.
Remote on the cratered sands of New Brighton we gazed at Liverpool's sky-line across the water, and replanned it. Two more years of blitzing, we reckoned, would appreciably thin the chaos out, and render it almost suitable for skyscraper planting. Harry and I wanted to plant skyscrapers; John would rather house the Liverpudlians in unhygienic thatched cottages with roses round the door and bugs in the attic. Somehow the conversation switched round to art.
Harry made disgusted comments on the suspected anatomy of Lancashire girls (he should see the pistons of the Southern Belle!); and I suggested that one reason for the decline in standards of nude art might be that the old masters really did paint their young mistresses, while the modern artist contents himself with a hack model from an art school who, if she inspires any feeling at all, must inspire boredom. The ancient Greek fell in love first, and when he sculpted from his lady he was moulding a part of himself. Unless pictorial art is gone for good, I can see its regeneration only through a return to the primitive.
But I am losing John. This is his portrait, scanty and distorted as it must be. Distorted it certainly is; John is a personality and won't be varnished in words. What do I think of him, in brief? I think he is self-centred, selfish, anachronistic, wholly likeable, and with such a positive drive towards writing that it is not humanly possible for him to fail. I profoundly envy him. And what does John think of me? He recognises, above all, that I have no concrete personality; I am not me, I'm about fifty other guys with only a vacillating laziness in common. A mental butterfly sucking spiritual opium from Home Guard and public house; a potential writer damned from the start; a person with occasional good
ideas and perennial laziness to prevent their fulfilment. I disagree with 50 per cent of it.
You will have guessed that I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday.
(Other Youd mags - Blitz, War Bull, Fan Dance...)
Webster editorial: In a recent issue of Spaceways Harry Warner officially adopted 'fanzine'
as nickname or abbreviation for 'fan magazine'. We are perverse. We dislike 'fanzine'; we
dislike 'fanag' much more. If 'fanmag' was good enough for English fandom five years ago,
and three years ago, and a year ago, we reckon that it's still quite efficient... / Thanks
Rosenblum, Turner and Burke for their excellent hospitality when we visited them
recently... (See 'Web's Wanderings').
Fantast's Folly: EFRussell claims to be the only stf-ite who has kept up the Gernsback tradition by inventing something. Dodged an afternoon's drill today by sitting in the Squadron office making out drawings and a full specification of my brain-wave - which has been approved by the Flight Sergeant, the Warrant Officer, and the Commanding officer.
It is now going to be forwarded to the Group captain who may or may not forward it to the Air Ministry, who may or may not pass it to their technical experts who in all probability file the documents and forget them. I'm not permitted to give you details of the Russell wheeze, but it is nothing so spectacular as a purple ray which destroys planets at the press of a button...
Zeus Craig enthuses over Fantasia.
Maurice Hanson found some slight interest in Sam Youd's Home Guard musings but confessed to being sick and tired of the HG and Bang It Up Lulu. Nevertheless I would like to read a volume of Youd's reminiscences in about forty years time. In fact I look forward to it as one of the more exhilarating experiences of my old age, should I be blessed with one.
LETTER from US fan CABeling: FANTAST... had been opened by the US Postal Inspection, beside your censors. Enclosed was a notice that Turner's cover ordinarily wouldn't be allowed to pass, but since it came from a foreign country, and since the artist probably didn't know the regulations concerning pornography, they would make an exception to the rule. Thus, I read Fay. Except for the extraordinarily dirty cover, I liked Fay.
URANIA November 1941
Cover art: Harry Turner
"Disney on the Screen" an mental reconstruction of the script of Fantasia by A.C. Clarke.
ZENITH #3, December 1941
E.F. Russell writes in Hot Air, the Letter Section, commenting on the contents of #2:
Sketch inside the cover is a flop. It's okay you drawing yourself as a space-rover, but the other guy is a very poor pic of Arthur Clarke. Sure you could have drawn Ego better than that?
Burky and Youd, I left alone. If I was God I'd mate them.
As for Who? well, who? Yoo-hoo!
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 3 December 1941 
Editorial message to American fans on AMERICA AT WAR.
Ken Bulmer due to join the Royal Signals on 27 November. Entered fandom a year or so ago. Home -and collection - blown to bits during the blitz.
L/Bdr Carnell, E.J. "Had an interesting meeting with Arthur Clarke last Sunday. He's stationed about 20 miles from me, and came over to this camp on a bike. Spent most of the day with me, mainly in the office where I am again working for the time being... We want to know if this is the first inter-station meeting of any fans in Britain."
Litter: COSMOS 5.
FANTAST No.12 December 1941
John F. Burke: The Spirit of the New Age - Christopher Samuel Youd.
In March 1939 I received a letter from Christopher Samuel Youd - 'Sam' to the multitude - saying: "To be be brief, blooming and brutal, I am at present negotiating for the purchase of a duplicator wherewith to put out a quarto-sized monthly, to be named, as I threatened, The Fantast.
"This was the first announcement of what was to be the finest fan magazine ever produced in this country, and one that has always been equal to, usually better than, the American fanmags. As well as working on this noble enterprise, Sam, under the name of 'Fantacynic', wrote for the Satellite, giving it an infamous reputation and incurring the wrath of the SFA Tories.
As a pacifist, Sam tore patriots apart in the early issues of his own magazine; as a patriot he devoted the later issues to slandering pacifists. He is quite unashamed of his frequent and sudden changes of mind, which he considers healthy in that they keep his brain from stagnating and his ideas from becoming fixed. "The reactionary Beaverbrook Press..." "Even the Beaverbrook Press is taking a left slant..." "No, Johnny, I never read the Daily Express".
Doubtless one who goes round in circles is justified in saying that he is moving. Sam is nevertheless annoyed when accused of "frantically seeking a philosophy." When I was seventeen he informed me that I was at the stage he had been at when he was fifteen. I am evidently going backwards, unlike Sam, who is flitting from flower to flower in search of the pollen of Truth. Apropos of this, one may note his letter of the 17 January 1939, which says: "I don't quite understand your criticism of the Skylarks... You violently condemn the love interest - it has been widely
praised. You equally violently condemn the characterisation - Smith used it as an
illustration of good scientific fictional character work..."
Some time last year or early this year Wiggin's SF Fan published an article by one C.S. Youd, condemning the over-praised Skylarks, and using all my arguments to do so.
In June of the same year he said: "If you are mentally unbalanced, you have a blood-brother in me... I come from working-class parents and proletarian surroundings (probably accounting for my distrust of communism - I have no sympathy with the People)... there is little prospect of my ever returning to the cow-like multitude."
About this time he sent a card to Michael Rosenblum declaring himself a "social-misfit", and confessed in a letter that in a psychology test he had scored 15, when 0 - 25 indicated an introvert. He informed me that I was "nearer the community in spirit" than he was. As he quite rightly pointed out recently, there is no reason to condemn him for changing his attitude and becoming more civilised of late, but I cannot see that square pegs should take running jumps at round holes, and Sam's terrific efforts to like his fellow human beings are all wrong. He should accept his character and not try to twist it to suit the world. "The beauty of life is that each should act in conformity with his nature and his business."
As a poet Sam has appealed to many. He himself admits that he is most fluent when he has nothing to say. Dissatisfied with the adolescent romanticism of his earlier efforts, he is continuing along new lines, but makes the mistake of pretending that his earlier work was somehow a mistake, and not a product of his own mind at all.
It is foolish to be ashamed of one's earlier efforts in any sphere - it is fairly certain that they were essential in one's development, and can no more be wiped from the memory than one's first long trousers, first girl friend, or even the first sf magazine. Sam need not blush for The Dreamer or other
poems of that time. To see the faults in those youthful attempts and to learn from them is one thing: to dismiss them completely is another and very foolish thing altogether.
This fluency in verse is equalled only by fluency as a letter-writer; unfortunately this ease and grace does not appear in such fiction as Sam has tackled, and although he has toyed with the idea of becoming a professional writer, his dissatisfaction with his efforts to date and his present mood of intolerance towards intellectual pastimes tend to turn him away from the path of literature.
His dislike of 'intellectuals' - a class which includes a surprisingly varied assortment of people - has led him to become an inverted highbrow,
praising the tastes of the general public and treating the less popular forms of art and
entertainment with scorn. He experiences great difficulty in reconciling this attitude with
a liking for good music, in which he is beginning to take an interest.
"I dislike emotion", he says he says, and tries to explain away the fact that he cannot resist Wagner. With a great deal of talent, Mr Youd may never become the writer he deserves to be because of his lack of application and his inability to make up his mind as to what to do with his life; he is less likely to succeed than many of his acquaintances with inferior taste and few talents, but more determination. I have heard it said that he may become a political commentator, and at the moment this seems to most likely future, taking into consideration his love of sending letters to editors and keeping them continually aware of his existence.
The foregoing are characteristics rather than faults. If he has a fault, it is a tendency to be susceptible to the flattery of the mighty - a tendency which he will deny. A radio speaker or an editor has but to reply courteously to one of Sam's indignant letters to turn Sam into a supporter for life. Edward Hulton has assured World Review and Picture Post of at least one constant reader by being polite to Sam.
We come to the personality. He is well-built, having filled out surprisingly in two years. He accuses me of not taking enough exercise, but complains that I walk too much. He has a cherubic countenance, spectacles, and once wavy hair. As I write this he is in hospital, minus the hair. His voice is mellow, ideal for reading melancholy poetry. He affects a cynical smile which deceives nobody.
A weekend we spent at Maurice Healy's turned him into a confirmed drinker. Liquor evidently sharpened his perceptions: he spent ten minutes
in front of a door philosophising, working out all the implications of turning the handle,
and endeavouring to bring his scientific intellect to bear on the problem of getting hold of
the handle in the first place.
I remember... his wandering through Birkenhead with Harry
Turner and myself, expressing astonishment and pain at the sight of a Labour exchange
with two doors, marked Men and Employers. If ever he discovers that lavatories in the East End of London are marked Men and Women while those in the West end are marked Ladies and Gentlemen, he will probably break his heart.
While he was in Liverpool, we saw him change his mind - a process that has much in common with an earthquake."No," says Sam, passing a bewildered hand across his innocent brow, suddenly furrowed. "No, I don't mean that at all. What am I talking about? I think just the opposite". The subject was women, their intelligence and subjection. Sam knows all about women, but cannot persuade any woman to believe this.
I remember how he slunk behind my wife (then my
fiancée - happy days!) and myself, with a female friend of ours shamefully carrying her umbrella, which he hastily thrust behind him whenever we turned to see how he was getting on; he hates to be thought chivalrous. Yes, I remember quite a number of things about Sam, for he is good company and talks as entertainingly and forcefully as he writes, even though one tires of the repetition of the phrase, "Oh, my God, Johnny!" Perhaps it's noy so bad if your name is not John.
When Sam decides what the purpose of living is, he will bring to bear an acute mind and a wide general knowledge acquired through his manifold activities that will ensure his success. No-one could fail to be impressed by his complete sincerity - a sincerity none the less intense from having been impelled to attack a viewpoint he has fanatically upheld a week before.
If he would weigh every opinion carefully before adopting it, attacking it with every weapon, every critical faculty, first, seeing if it will stand the test, he would find himself in fewer inconsistent attitudes; he has been advised to do this directly by R.G. Medhurst and indirectly by the writer whose book inspired this series.
I recommend Mr Youd, my much-respected comrade, to William Hazlitt. let him read On Consistency of Opinion, which says: "I cannot say that, from my own experience, I have found that the persons most remarkable for sudden and violent changes of principle have been cast in the softest or most susceptible mould. All their notions have been exclusive, bigoted and intolerant... they have been of all sides of the question, and yet they cannot conceive how an honest man can be of any but one - that which they hold at present. It seems that they are afraid to look their old opinions in the face, lest they be fascinated by them once more".
May Samuel find his philosophy before he is too old to profit by it.
DRSmith: Road to Fame serial still progressing, but...
Arthur C. Clarke: A Short History of Fantocracy - 1948-1960 starts a new serial, in which war officially ended in 1947 when one of the invading British armies was turned back by the French customs; fighting ceased for all practical purposes after the occupation of Berlin by the Russians, and Moscow by the Germans. Ego Clarke who had been testing bombers in America, returned home in one, after picking up Colonel Ackerman at Los Angeles: the two were determined to set up a new order in Europe, and their first step was to gather together the old guard of British fandom.
Sqd/Ldr Clarke had chosen his home at Ballifants as a rendezvous: Aberdeen, Manchester, Liverpool, Nuneaton and Leeds were showered with leaflets. Maurice Hanson was first to arrive followed by Flying Officer Turner in a Typhoon equipped (allegedly) with rockets.
Sgt Temple arrived with family, in a gipsy caravan, Prof Medhurst, DRSmith, Doug Webster leading a Highland pony laden with Fantast stencils, Frank arnold in a 250-ton tank, Lt. Birchby, and EFRussell, a Physical Training Sergeant. Fortifications were thrown up round Ballifants, which was renamed Fanopolis, as defence from roving groups of hot gospellers and fundamentalists. Then came news of a vast army approaching from the south, which proved to be 500 troops under command of a bespectacled generalissimo in Home Guard uniform. A message arrived announcing Sam's intention of conquering Europe...
Sid Birchby batters the expressed creed of Eric Williams in The Beliefs of Hell
Raymond France: The Creed of a Communist
Footnote by Web: British Society for War Relief of starved American Fans... Now that the US is at war, stranded without the very life-blood of their existence (Tales of Wonder) he proposes to help our starved US friends by sending them TOW - piles of TOW - and asks for contributions to the BSWRSAF funds!
SWINE: Swillings from the Trough - a new column, which attacks Frank edward Arnold for his jingoistic messages to American fans, including a letter to Famous Fantastic Mysteries
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 4 January 1942 [Inside says Vol 2 No 3 !] 
Cover Art Williams (space scene)
IN & OUT OF THE SERVICES: Which is practically all fan-news today consists of... Julian Parr due to be called up by RAF about middle of January. Eighteen years old, Julian has come to the fore in the last couple of years, taking a leading part in the organisation of British fandom. Member of the Stoke-on-Trent SF Club, the only sf organisation still in existence at this side of the Atlantic.
Six feet tall, blue eyes and brown hair; interested in biology, medicine and astronomy; dislikes geology and botany; socialistic and Wellsite./
Arthur Clarke is now at No.2 Radio School as an instructor / Roland Forster is at no.1 RAF Signals School... he visited Grange Terrace just before Christmas and the latest fanzines were investigated / Mancunian William Shelton, now with an RAF Maintenance Unit detachment in Egypt and only too remote from sources of sf, sends best wishes to all friends especially Harry Turner /
More news from the Middle East comes from ex-Leeds SFL
director Harold Gottliffe, now RAMC sergeant... has left Hospital Ship, local rumour has
it that he's in Palestine on the staff of a POW camp.../ Jack Banks has not been as lucky as Doug Webster and myself in persuading tribunals of his sincerity / Author Benson Herbert "I am a back-number at the moment... convalescing from an appendix op. Above is the evacuation address of Faraday House Elec. Engineering College where I lecture in physics...
Forthcoming ToW ("Gillings has had a fortnight's leave and has been correcting proofs for ToW 16") will contain a Herbert story, as well as tales by two new authors - Marion F. Eadie and John F. Burke.../ EFRussell has now managed to get stationed in London.
Litter: Carnell's Sands of Time and Medhurst's Bibliophan, concerned with the compiler of the Strange Papers of Christopher Blayre. The supposed author resists RGM's approach...
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 5 February 1942 
EFRussell stationed in London on 4 months RAF course (in civvy billets at 38 Hillmarton Road, N7). / After long stay at Okehampton, Devon, MKHanson now arrived in Swansea, s. Wales / Ken Bulmer left Catterick and moved to Hendon. / Sid Bounds now at RAF Slough / Ted Carnell now at Tiverton, Devon.
CALL-UP John Burke has been active fan for five years. With Dave McIlwain and drummer friend, clarinetist JFB formed a swing trio, and some months ago he and the trio's singer, Joan, married. Now stationed at RAF unit near Boston, Lincs. / Andrew Salmond is expecting RAF call-up in February.
Joyce Fairbairn reveals the existence of an SF club at her firm (?).
Latest news from Wally Gillings is that World's Work plans to divert paper to a monthly production, did not get consent of paper control. ToW 16 should be appearing on 13 March, with Benson Herbert's Earth Shall Die, CASmith's Flight Thru Time, Miles Breuer's Breath of topia, and Marion F.Eadie's Beast of the Crater.
February ... Andrew Salmond of Glasgow to RAF ... John Burke sent to RAF station in Orkneys.
25 February 1942 ...Julian Parr reports to Padgate ... Bill Shelton with RAF maintenance unit in Egypt.
13 March TOW 16 due for publication: includes stories by Marion and Benson Herbert, but proved to be last issue owing to paper restrictions. There was a letter of March 16 from Wally Gillings to Marion paying for the story in TOW 16 and advising demise of mag.
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 6 March 1942 
Bill Temple: I'm at Larkshill, on Salisbury Plain, a couple of miles from Stonehenge. Ego Clarke is round about 20 miles away at an RAF camp at Yatesbury, but the almost
impassable wasteland of vast artillery ranges lie between us and so far I've been unable
to bridge it. Had a couple of nice leaves with Joan and Anne at Wembley recently. EFR,
George Medhurst, Art Williams, Joyce Fairbairn and James Rathbone came to tea, which made it even nicer. The BIS rocket ship getting publicity in Cassandra's column in Daily Mirror, London Evening Standard, and Flight... thanks to R.A. Smith. He's doing this from his hospital bed, owing to a serious illness.
Julian Parr reported to Padgate on Wed 25 Feb / Edwin Macdonald expecting to report to RAF soon./ Eric Needham visited DRSmith last month / Visits to Leeds by Eric Hopkins & Ron Lane didn't materialise, but Roland Forster managed a weekend / John Burke moved from Boston to Dudley, Worcs for about 9 months / Dave McIlwain and Roland Forster met at Cranwell / Sam Youd at Trowbridge.
Report from Wally Gillings that World's Work have appealed to Paper Control and got permission to safeguard their Short Stories and West mags at the expense of Mystery Stories, War Adventures and ToW. So, no more issues of ToW after 16, for the duration.
Litter: Carnell's Sands of Time [check] "Zenith February 1942, No.4 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 times, 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 something 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 humorous artist. As usual Harry's drawings are superlative."
April ... Cranvention Russell, McIlwain & Roland Forster meet!
FANTAST No.13 April 1942
Cover: Facetted portrait, and several 'in text' illustrations for Sid Birchby's Some Dope on the Underworld, Smith's Road to Fame, 4e's Nude Gels, Arthur's Short History [pic of Sam on charger]... QUERY: did I print the cover, as it's on the blue paper I had available at the time, and did I fit the illos into the space left on Doug's stencils? The cover for the following ish was definitely done on the Zenith multi-colour duplicator, black, red and
Arthur Clarke: Short History of Fantocracy - 2 tells how the famous document, Declaration of the Rights of Fans, was written and signed by 4e, Arthur and Sam, on 15 december 1948. England became scientifically organised country ruled and administered by benevolent Fantocracy by 1955... the time then came to confer the benefits of fandom on the rest of humanity.
Forry Ackerman: Nude Gels. "A letter from Reggie Medhurst preceded my receipt of the November Fay by a day & he prepared me for Beling's broadside by quoting the corry CAB received via
the good(?) ship Censor (Censorship) relating to "the extraordinarily dirty cover" on the ish bfor. (Be informed I thot it beautiful). "Just what" askt RGM "is the official US attitude towards Uncladamsels?
The nude in question seems quite an ordinary nude. Is it really the 'rule' of your authorities that nudes are 'dirty'? If so, how in the world do you explain Vomaidens?" ... nice nudes are NOT dirty pix. I abominate that appelation in connexion with type art Turner turns out, finlay features, & has not been surpast (to my taste) by the repro of Paule's Mutant maiden gatefold in the Black Flame VOM...
DRSmith expounds on women's hats, and Joan Burke denies that women adorn their heads with weird and wonderful erections for the express purpose of attracting the mere male's attention - when buying a hat, one rarely thinks of the boy-friend's reactions, but rather of the girl-friends'.
SWINE: Second helping of Swillings from the stf Trough. Nauseated by the VOM antics of GK Chapman... smearing great slabs of yellow, slightly 'off', butter-substitute over that "charming fellow", that sweet personality, Frank Edward Arnold... In a previous VOM we
wept over another "dear comrade", Edward J. Carnell. / Later paragraph: I see that J>
Michael Rosenblum, in ... Futurian War Digest, has kindly expressed approval of my few observations on the "charming fellow" Frank Edward Arnold...
FIDO Vol. 2 No. 7 April 1942 
EFRussell writes that he will soon be going to Cranwell, making three fans there. / Eric Needham after trying Padgate, Filey, Kirkham, Cosford, and Redcar in the space of eight months, drops us a discouraged line from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. /
Two CO fans 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 join in the near future.
June ... British Fantasy Society announced... Mike Director, Carnell president, DRSmith secretary.(and editor of BFS Bulletin in FIDO. Simultaneously, the Fanarchists announced their existence, stressing they were not "organisation men"...
*** See THEN #2, p.48-9 for references to "British fans resistance to being organised".
FANTAST 14 July 1942
Cover: Cog and docile masses. Printed in black (title) red (mechanicals) and green (figures) on blue paper - obviously turned out on the Zed duplicator! In-text pics for Chibbett's Poltergeists..., Fantocracy 3, & Road to Fame.
Erik S. Needham: In Search of a Sage. One wintry day, having a 36-hour pass, I went to B'ham to spend the evening skating. After a night at the YMCA I hitch-hiked in ankle-deep snow which had fallen during the night, to Coventry to view the bomb damage. The ruins were bad enough, but did not compare with Liverpool and London's East End. However, sloshing about in the snow I beheld a bus bearing the legend 'NUNEATON' and in a moment of - well, call it inspiration, decided to call on DRSmith.
Arriving with sodden boots at Church road I felt that for Do Ray to describe his dwelling as Nuneaton was exaggerating slightly. He lives, with his mother, brother and sister, in a small row of houses miles from anywhere, on what is, to my city-bred mind, a bleak depressing stretch of uninviting uninhabited country. Here, truly, is a haven for hermits.
Not knowing the number, I made enquiries and was rather astonished to discover that in a row of five houses, four of the families were of the clan Smith. Of course, I found the wrong three first. When I pounded morosely on the door of No.13, I was confronted upon its opening by a tall, well built, good looking bloke of about 27. this was not D.R. Smith, but his big brother Leslie. Leslie invited me in and indicated his brother submerged in an armchair. Here, at last, I found the Sage of Nuneaton.
So all these rumours about DRS being the pseudonym of a famous fan are shattered, dissolved. I located DRS. I spoke to him, even borrowed books from him. Indisputably, he is real.
As DW wants this article to be short, I can only dwell on DRS, and so must only mention in passing the rest of the family. Leslie I have already mentioned, but his sister Freda, I haven't. She's about 18 years old, seems to be a non-fan, and is treated shamefully by both Les and Don. Mrs Smith is a really likeable old lady, and is one of the only two women fans I have ever met, the other one being John Russell Fearn's mother. I must thank her in these lines for those delicious tea-buns and the way she coped with my intrusion. Many thanks, Mrs Smith, and I certainly hope to meet you again some happier time.
D.R. is perhaps the most typical fan I have ever encountered. Formerly the prize was divided between Arthur Clarke and Maurice Hanson, but D.R. is even more fannish than those two, which is saying something... He wears spectacles and a preoccupied look. Affects unconventional clothes. His hair, a rich mouse in colour, dangles limply over his forehead, and the general contour of his face is longish-oval. Runs to about 5ft 10ins in height, and moderately well-built, possibly 150lbs.
Sorry, D.R., if this annoys you: DW asked for it! Don speaks in quick jerks, almost like a road drill, and also has an odd laugh which is a curious cross between a gurgle and a guffaw. Like most people in the Midlands, he has no appreciable accent. [Sid Birchby pointed out when he read this account, it is
significant the Erik the Needy is also a native of the Midlands]. So there you are. Maybe D.R. will retaliate some day by letting you know what he thought of me.
The little house is full of books. Books are everywhere and the few bookshelves are crammed. D.R. certainly varies his reading. His collection covers practically everything readable - fictional, classical, technical and pornographic. There were even some sf books there. He told me he had a collection and a typewriter, but I never got around to seeing them. Anyway, every fan has a collection and a typer, except me. I just have the typer.
I stopped for dinner. And tea. With the family I discussed big cities and small towns, and at intervals tortured the family cat, a lordly monster, who remained lethargic and indifferent throughout it all. Never have I seen such a morose or apathetic mouser as the one at Smith's. With D.R. himself the discussion veered to fans, societies and conventions, about all of which D.R. is slightly sceptical. Also told me how he was roped into sf, by once being in hospital, and whilst there reading a Wonder stories announcing the formation of the Nuneaton Branch of the SFL.
When I came away from No.13 I carried with me two of the latest Astoundings, the first two parts of Second Stage Lensman, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. As I rolled back to Wolverhampton on the bus, I felt almost at peace with the world.
Incidentally, if this article ain't so hot, remember I'm not Woof Temple.
[Followed by an Editor's note - Mr Smith writes "I repudiate at once Erik Needham's imputation that I read pornographic literature. I did point out a set of Burton's translation of the Arabian Nights to him and mention that the Encyclopedia Britannica refers to it as a "masterpiece of pornography", but I believe that I added that I rather disagree with this view, and that in any case I haven't waded through the whole thing.
In any case, as Burton says in about fifteen different languages at the front of each volume, "to the pure all things are pure". Shame on you, Erik! What have you got to say for yourself, you bad boy? PS: Hey, Don, when can you persuade your brother to lend us Burton?---DW].
Charles Rowlands: Rationalism (He goes on about women's hats SWINE serves up more Swillings, and throws all his weight behind the fan society in process of being organised by Michael Rosenblum, editor of FIDO... one reason being... that G. Kenneth Chapman, edward J. Carnell, and Frank Edward Arnold... decided, on no shadow of authority to formulate the attitude of a defunct organisation (the SFA) towards Rosenblum's society...
There was a fear, it seems, that when they attempt to pump life into the SFA corpse after the war, Rosenblum's society may decline to pass peacefully out of existence. The situation appears to SWINE hypothetical. That flaccid body, the SFA has, I suggest, an expectation of life comparable with that of Hitler's New Order, or of Churchill's Old Order.
I gather that these surviving representatives of a forgotten association decided that they could NOT give J.M.Rosenblum permission to use the name Science Fiction Association".... even, I suppose, if they were asked... Rosenblum, with a small group of followers, split off from the SFA in its Leeds days.
Thereafter, he seemed to be regarded by the executive (even after it became the "Ted-Ken-Frank" triplet) as "a very poor show". This projected new society probably seems to these gentlemen an inexcusable piece of pushful vulgarism. Their decision, I am told, is simply to ignore it, in the hope, presumably that it forthwith goes purple round the ears and dies of shame...
Who sent a letter to what Manchester fan magazine editor, over what Preston fan's signature, from what London fan's address, written on what Aberdeen fan's typewriter, addressed in what London fan's handwriting? And how did it come to include an extract from Swine's rejoinder to Frank Edward Arnold (hitherto unpublished) reply to my original attack? And over what London fan's name does Harry Turner intend to print this effusion?
FREE ADVERT! FAN'S -- BOYCOTT ZENITH!!
The current issue of Zenith has just arrived, & we are disgusted to see in this fine magazine, which has held so high a place in our esteem, a section aimed at consigning to Hell all these activities--forming mutual admiration societies, making a religion of sf, the new-formed British fantasy Society--which have always been the life-blood of fans & are now accepted unthinkingly by all true members of fandom.
We are surprised at Mr. Harry Turner and hurt by his low anarchist tendencies. Come, Comrades!--Strike quickly, for we must strangle this insidious Fanarchy before it spreads abroad and disturbs the tranquillity of the minds of fandom. It must not survive. Aux armes, citoyens!
BOYCOTT FANTAST !
We were with the editor of The Fantast when he first read the news. "Good ol' Hairy!" he yelped, leaping out of his deep arm-chair. It was nauseating. Still mouthing "My ol' pal Hairy..." & "Woe that he's got his oar in before me" he dived for the typewriter, obviously with Cthulu in mind. So Fantast is with them as well; gather round and fight hard, Comrades, for the powers of Darkness are upon us...
And alas, alas, but Cthulu teems with Fanarchy. But be of good heart, men, for the flame still flickers, & if we form clubs quickly, perhaps, even yet...
Tying Up Loose Ends Dept: ...To explain the "Free Advert" on p.29--we left the stencil in the machine while we went to the flicks, & Miguel got to work. Recently malicious rumours in FIDO have besmirched our good reputation, but we must state that we are most definitely Fanarchist.
H.T. writes: I was a non-person, feeling that bureaucracy had lost track of me, as the months passed without any call-up papers materialising. Marion & I were both part-time ARP wardens in the local group. Eventually, we decided to get marriedmy call-up papers arrived dated the week before we'd arranged to go to the registry office... so there was a mad scramble to bring forward the wedding before I left for the RAF at Padgate in July. (Just noticed that my call-up papers were signed by "A. Turner")
Wrote from Padgate: originally accepted in RAF as instrument repairer, but no vacancies and had been put down for training as wireless mechanic... Also officially converted to Christianity since atheists and Jews seemed to cop all the fatigues in lieu of church parades! Read Good Soldier Schweik (essential reading, for anyone going into the forces...)
July 20 BFS members listed.. Arthur Busby treasurer and fanarchist Webster as "cordinator of the BFS advisory board".
FIDO Vol 2 No 9 July 1942 
Editorial: The British Fantasy Society officially commences operations from 1 July...
Goes on to mention: A new movement in fandom being launched at the same time and apparently to be reckoned with as a power in British stfdom is "Fantarchy". It appears to be an organisation organised by people who object to being organised. Charter members are Marion F. Eadie and and Harry E Turner and that man Devil Will Love Webster of Aberrrrrdeen.
It has been suggested that Fantarchy might with advantage be incorporated in the BFS as a sort of opposition within the movement to keep it level-headed and to debunk all theories of the the genius of fandom. This suggestion will undoubtedly cause considerable perturbation in the bosoms of the noble iconoclasts involved. Anyrate we believe that it's going to be great fun".
Per Ardua Ad Astounding: When three old-time sf fans, McIlwain, Russell and Forster, found themselves together at No.1 Signals School it was inevitable that they should look with sympathy upon the lot of thousands of their fellow countrymen and allies and determine that these should not remain ignorant of the benefits of sf. Publicity was the immediate need and the campaign was commenced by placing in the NAAFI an artistically designed poster appealing to sf fans. Immediate results were so gratifying that it was proposed by author Russell that a Cranvention be organised.
This highly successful event at which subjects were discussed ranging from the relative merits of British and American authors to the question of whether after The Revolution high walls should be allowed to remain around what is now private property, was followed by a more informal meeting in a Technical laboratory, when the Army's representative, Cpl Birchby arrived two days after the Cranvention proper. Since that time events have moved with incredible rapidity.
Meetings, in the form of sf suppers, are being held twice a week, and an sf and fanzine lending system has been established. The first issue of Cranwell's own fanzine, The Cranfan, published in London for the Cranwell group, arrived last week and was enthusiastically received. Produced in two colours, the mag contained fan news,book and music reviews, and a political commentary. One outstanding piece was a heart cry in lurid red of "Harry Kay! Where Art Thou?".
Knowing what Forrest J. Ackerman has done for fans in this country during the war and of his collection of stf rarities, it was unanimously decided to forward as many copies as possible, accompanied by a letter in Esperanto, to 4e as a small measure of gratitude for his services to British Fandom. Thus it is probable that Sid Birchby is now the only British fan in possession of a copy.
Affairs being so satisfactorily organised, it was decided that comrade Clarke, struggling against difficulties at No. 2 Radio School, should have the benefit of our experience at No.1 Signal School in the organising of a fan group under active service conditions. (After all, No. 1 was a growing concern when No. 2 was nothing more than smiling meadows in the heart of Wiltshire). To this end it was decided to send to Arthur E.A. (Jim) Atwell, Cranwell's Canadian representative, formerly of Ottawa, and there is no doubt that under his expert guidance No.2 Radio School will soon produce its own flourishing fan colony.
In conclusion, a new maxim for those in or about to enter HM Forces is:
"Join the Army for mud and blud. For Fantasy join the RAF!"
On the Move: EFR has finished his course at Cranwell and departed to the wilds of Northern Ireland. Maurice Hanson has left Swansea for Glasgow before being sent elsewhere...
LONDONLETTER: Sid Birchby visited Manchester and caught Harry Turner and Marion F. Eadie guiltily trying to forget that another Zenith is due... People planning visits to London during July and August, name of Webster and McIlwain and Turner and Eadie. Why can't some of you others come along too and make an affair of it?
STOP-PRESS DEPT: As this paper has very kindly been provided by Harry Turner (with ½-page ad preprinted in black/red/green on Zed duplicator) it is a good place to review that gentleman's super-fanzine so here goes...
ZENITH Issue 5, dated April 1942, issued two months behind schedule for numerous and well-merited reasons easily discoverable by anyone endeavouring to indulge in fan activity at this time and place. Well worth writing for, nevertheless.
As per usual superb artwork is the outstanding feature but even without that, the firstclass mimeoing & fine format, the fanzine would still be outstanding for solid worth. Highlite of ish is Doug Webster's Web's Wanderings wherein the consummate Caledonian recollects with witty abandon his recent visit to civilised England. And pages of Hot Air -- readers' opinions -- a satirical short by MFEadie, discussion by Ted Carnell as to how US fandom is accepting war conditions and a cliché critique by Maurice Hanson are other good things within the 26 quarto green pages of Z.
Of the illustrations we don't know whether we prefer the cartoons, the cubist illustration of a verse by Coleridge, or the superb fantasy The Intruder wherein one of Disney's animated toadstools from Fantasia has apparently strayed into the chessboard land of Alice thru the Looking glass.
Future plans... June issue is now well in hand and there will definitely be an enlarged Anniversary issue in August.
Doug Webster relates that Fantast will have to be suspended through the summer tho Web is considering the issue of certain supplementary publications.
BULLETIN NO.1 of the BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY... officials listed include an Advisory Board whose Co-ordinator is D.L. Webster! And I'm listed as a member!
LITTER: Trivia No*1* J.E. Rennison, who asks where, oh where is Zenith? (And if you say DYKTAWO, Harry, I'll go nuts!)...
Letter from Marion 26 July 1942: ... the doorbell rang and in walked the Webster and Sid Birchby having hitch-hiked from Aberdeen and intending to hitch onward to London. They were surprised and disappointed to learn that you'd already gone. While I entertained them to coffee, bread & marmalade and biscuits, they entertained me with tales of their travels and of lorries smashing up on the roads o'night, mysterious soldiery hiking in the direction of Carlisle with their boots on their hands, and a driver on whom they put a jinx because he wouldn't stop for them; they later passed him three times stranded at the wayside with engine trouble. They said Joyce Fairbairn might be over to pay me a visit some time, week after next. She's intending to hitch to Doncaster with Doug, then pop on here.
They went off to call on George Ellis in Salford, then bus to Altrincham, where they hope to pick up a lift Londonwards. We all foamed at the mouth over the bust-up of our hopes and the smash of the London visit, but tried to console ourselves with hopes of some other meeting.
H.T. Letter 9 September 1942: I wrote from Redcar to say I'd finished training and was due to transfer for a radio course at Birmingham... I've been moved from a billet in Henry Street to a house in Turner Street. What does this signify?
Letter 2 November 1942: An airmail letter from the Rock... Sam [Youd] predicts the end of the war by by May 1943, if not before! He ses it's a cheering thought that of the three bachelors who walked along Liverpool's leafy lanes only a little while over a year ago, he alone remains in solitary grandeur... ■
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