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Have been momentarily distracted by two issues of New Frontiers that Vin¢ enclosed: these were Benson Herbert projects, edited (anonymously) by Sam Youd and Joyce Fairbairn (his first wife). First ish was Jan 1947, the second April-May, after which Benson lost interest, either because of lack of profits or black-market paper supplies dried up, or both. The first ish got a general raspberry from fans because of coverage of "psychical research, occultism, Spiritism, astrology", and had an article on Spiritualism by fan Ron Lane. I found it as grotty as I remembered it!
I'd forgotten all about the second issue, which included a reprint of the Maurice Hanson story from Zenith 5, and a redrawing of my back-cover illustration from the same ish, plus a splurge of fannish names on the contents page ranging from Eric Frank Russell (Fortean Society), through John Burke, Bill Temple, Jack Banks... and readers letters from stalwart fanwriters of the day D.R. Smith and Julian Parr. Which suggests that most of the material in the first ish was inherited from Benson, but that the second reflected changes by Sam and Joyce.
It reminds me that at this time, I'd only recently returned from India and been discharged from the RAF, had started working again at the Anchor Chemical Co., was getting used to having a 2-year-old son disrupting the household, and searching round Manchester for a new home and having to face up to the idea of buying it: Which maybe explains why I recalled so little of that second more-promising issue.
The advertising of the Joan The Wad, Gypsy Petrulengro, the Rapidism Institute, Lionel Stebbing 'Dynamic Manhood' and Hutton's Brand Gland Tablets variety (wot no Rosycrucians?) probably dried up with the lack of response from the readership...
I was taken by surprise by the cover design for NF. In my mind's eye I had an with image of a design printed in dark blue, a solid square with some wording reversed out, surmounted by a strip with an illustration of a landscape, over which a one-line title stretched. The actuality was in red, a surrealist high-horizon landscape, leading to low hills, over which peered two eyes, one shut, the other open the pupil a sun shining over the hills and illuminating the perspectivised title on the left. I remember it now I've seen it again, but am left with the problem of my original confused memory.
Fortunately there is a small ad in the first ish for OUTLANDS 'magazine for adventurous minds', published in Liverpool, whether by Benson or a rival I can't recall, which is what must have stuck in my mind. A trivial matter, but I'm glad that's sorted things out! ■
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