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The ten-mile long ship flickered out of the hyper-inter-dimensional spatial plane and began to sink, lightly as a feather on its ravening drive tubes, towards the planet below. Defence was useless against such a monster ... the Terrans stood, numbed and hopeless, as the ship touched ground, burying its gigantic mass fifty yards deep into the reinforced concrete.

Colossal lock doors flew open, and a motley horde armed with sub-atomic deletron blasters vomited forth. Then came the monstrous fighting robots, and a whisper of despair went through the watchers, for each automaton bore an enigmatic bundle.

Yes, folks, it's another delivery of:-



We are glad to see another four fantasy titles appearing in the Kemsley 'Cherry Tree' novels, @ l/6d., and their improvement over the first quartette. These PB's are well bound, well printed and laid out, have now reasonably adult cover drawings, and the choice of titles is commendable.

Best of the new titles is 'SINISTER BARRIER' by Eric Frank Russell, the famous novel from No.1 Unknown! Reprinted in book form by 'Worlds Work' in 1941, it was lengthened and revised for the 'Fantasy Press' edition, which was reprinted to start 'Galaxy Novels' It is this last edition that has been reprinted again.

'SINISTER BARRIER', the best novel ever written on Fortean data and the theme "I think we're property", needs no recommendation from us; note also, the first reprinting of (Cartier's) illustrations in a pocketbook.

'THE LAST SPACESHIP' contains three of old faithful Leinster's TWS novelettes ... space-opera but good.

'GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE' by T.W. Tweed, was published here before the war as 'Rinehard', and is an interesting example of the s-f you'll never meet in a 'zine. It tells of J. Baralong Rinehard, U.S. President, who through a brain-injury is transformed from a scheming, opportunist politician to a sane (?), intelligent man with power to alter his country and the world.

'RALPH 124C41+' is the famous prophetic novel written by Hugo Gernsback, first s-f 'zine editor, in 1911. It is one of the old 'classics' of s-f, with the plotting and style mostly of historical interest only, but the extent to which Gernsback's future science has come true makes the book well worth reading.

We can guess the difficulties Kemsley face in reprinting cheap editions here, and we can only hope that they do not fall below the good average quality represented in this second set.


With little advance publicity, Clerke and Cockeran, small London publishers, have reprinted 'PATTERN FOR CONQUEST' by George O. Smith, and have announced the forthcoming publication of Fritz Leiber's 'Gather, Darkness!', both at 9/6d. Both stories were originally serialised in 'Astounding S-F', and have been published in book form in the USA.

'Pattern for Conquest' starts as pure space-opera, but GOS soon drops his two original hard-bitten spacemen heroes, brings up a third who discovers how Earth can win against alien invaders who have utterly defeated her. Good ... for space-opera.

The jacket drawing is reminiscent of the poorer l/6d PB's, but is rather worse.



Readers will remember that in the last issue of SFN, we noted that Ken Bulmer, whilst reading Russell's 'Star Watchers' at the Editorial EPICENTRE, was amazed, (if we may use the word) to find chunks of ceiling bouncing from the pages. As a result, we've had a procession of bowler-hatted gentlemen surveying the ceilings and tapping walls, surveying piles of s-f 'zines and tapping heads, and the verdict is given.


Yes, friends, extensive re-modelling must take place between these hallowed and crumbling walls (Walt Willis slept here!). So much must be done that it will be impossible for two to live here for some time. Therefore, yours truly A.Vincent Clarke will be wending his way to his parents home. Ken Bulmer will continue at the EPICENTRE as long as possible, but will be looking for an unfurnished flat ... or house.

During the last few weeks we've been dreaming about that house ... science-fiction from ground to attic (where there'd be beds for visiting fans) ... about 6 fans living in it, a large sitting room for library and meetings ... no trouble from landladies re tapping typewriters ... anybody got a couple of thousand?

Meanwhile, the Editorial Office of 'SCIENCE FANTASY NEWS' is moving, with Vincent, the duplicator and piles of paper, to:-


to which all communications to SFN or AVC should be addressed. Letters to HKB can be sent to 84, Drayton Park, Highbury, N.5., London, still, but if this 'zine should fall into your hands after April '52, we advise the Welling address.


Little did we realise, when we published the EPICENTRE ceiling item, that we'd bring to light a fiendish plot more far-reaching in its implications than the tentacles of Proxyboo, and representing a danger to ALL FANS! To think that all these years we have been unsuspecting! Have an ice-pick ready, for we are now about to freeze your marrow and congeal your corpuscles into corpicicles!

A letter from WALT WILLIS of Belfast:-

"Enjoyed your account of the ceiling episode, but you should write it up for publication as an awful warning to others. Strictly between ourselves ((sic)) the same thing happened to me once. You must have wondered how I got this way? I had no warning at all. I was lying in bed, face upwards, one Sunday morning, thinking my usual beautiful thoughts. When suddenly the universe imploded on me. Imagine it. A whole ceiling falling on one's face with me staring into space and not knowing a thing about it till it hit me. I think it was this experience that engrammed me into an active fan. An urge to get to the moon, you know, resulting from a misunderstanding of the phrase -- "My ceiling is domed". etc. etc. etc.

A letter from NAN PHILLIMORE of Gt. Tarpots, Essex:-

As a matter of fact it seemed almost too apt to be true that Ken should be reading science-fiction when the ceiling fell. Did he think the atomic wars, etc. etc. so often featured had suddenly arrived? I do honestly sympathise though. It happened at home once......

A letter from BOB SHAW, of Belfast:-

I never had the ceiling actually fall down, but one day I was sitting reading in the office and there came a muffled explosion from the region of the ceiling, and I was deluged with icy water. When I climbed up the hastily procured step-ladder, I was nearly washed off the top rung by the miniature Niagara that ensued when I pushed open the trap-door. The situation must have been roughly as in the little diagram marked Raisin 1. (Figs are on ration.)

I'm damned if I can remember what the story was though. It would have been great if it had been one of Russell's. Might be the start of a Van Vogt story this. ((Our u/l))

We've also been told by Ted Carnell of his own soul-shaking experience with a ceiling fall, and we'll be glad to publish further accounts, for it is our final extract that tied all these incidents together. Gentlemen, we quote from 'THE COMPUTATIONAL MOMENT'. 'C.M.' is the organ of a Los Angeles Dianetics Centre. Van Vogt, now President of the Hubbard Dianetics Auditors Association, is a member, and his wife, 'E. Mayne Hull', manages the Centre. 'THE COMPUTATIONAL MOMENT' says:-

'December 9, 1951 According to Hubbard in his lecture on the Theory of Epicentres, chiropractors gain their results because they destimulate past epicentres which have been brought into restimulation. This lecture will be given as part of the 'Effort' lectures, before Christmas.'



The 'London Circle' still continues strongly at the 'White Horse', Fetter Lane, E.G. 4, every Thursday night. Recent visitors included Dave McIlwain, author of 'Spaceways', old time fans Don Doughty and Lawrence Sandfield. Recent agitation to rename the group with a dignified club name has trailed off since no two members could agree on said name. Mike Wilson proposes to issue a hektographed 'zine for the Circle, tentatively called 'Smoke'. Recent attendances have averaged 30+.

John D. Roles, Vice-Chairman of the Liverpool Science Fiction Society, writes in to say that the club is 'firmly esconced' in a headquarters called 'The Space Dive' at 13a, St Vincent Street, Liverpool 3. Further details can be obtained from John at 28, Pine Grove, Waterloo, Liverpool 22. We wish the LSFS all the best.

The Nor'West Science Fiction Club helped publicise 'Day the Earth Stood Still' in Manchester, received a blurb in the 'World News' publicity handouts. Members attended a trade show; Frances Evans, 'pin-up girl' of the NSFC, had her photo taken holding Gort-the-Robot's hand, and appeared in the Manchester Evening News, 14th J. Write to Eric Bentcliffe, 47, Alldis Street, Woodsmoor, Stockport, Ches., or to Dave Cohen, 32, Larch Street, Hightown, Manchester 8, for details of Mancunian meetings.

Derek Pickles reports the Bradford S-F Club is now active, membership is around a dozen. A club 'zine will be distributed with Derek's 'Phantasmagoria'. A library has been formed too, receiving help from Dells of Bradford. The Club Secretary is in hospital; Derek (address page 12) is handling enquiries.

Belfast continues quiet.

Ken Potter, of 5, Furness Street, Marsh, Lancaster, is starting a club for teen-ager fans, also trying to contact British branch (?) 'Galilean Society'. Anyone know?

Anthony Thorne is forming a Medway Science Fiction Fan Club. Kent fans contact Tony at 21, Granville Road, Gillingham, Kent.


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During the Morley-Clarke duel in 'Picture Post', a letter appeared (& was commented upon in SFN) congratulating PP and signed by the Assistant Secretary of the 'British Science Fiction Association' . There's been no SFA since '39, so we killed a couple of birds by shooting down PP and asking them to forward a letter to the Ass. Sect., which they obligingly did. We then received the following:-

Dear Sir,

Further to your letter of the 6th inst., which I now have pleasure in answering more specifically by quoting an extract from our constitution:-

(a) To propagate in any fashion deemed applicable by the Board, views, opinions, data and literature, relative in any way to Science Fiction.

(b) To co-operate with all branches of scientific, interplanetary, engineering associations and bodies.

(c) To encourage scientific thoughts, to educate where necessary, and to aid and perpetuate mutual comradeship between Science Fiction Fans universally.

The membership fee is trivial, namely 3/6d per annum, for adult members, 2/- per annum for juniors, and is only charged to cover expenses.

Hoping that the foregoing sufficiently answers your query,

Yours faithfully, & etc.

'Sufficient' being about the last word we would apply to this, and passing over some confusion at the beginning of the letter, we wrote directly to the Ass. Sect. He lived in Romford; so does Cosmos Librarian Jim Donaldson. We were going over there to see Jim; we invited the Ass. Sect. to join us.

In reply we received a PC written by his wife; the Ass. Sect. was too ill to write, and had resigned his membership. He had passed our letters on to the Secretary Mr. L.W. Nowlan, of Plumstead, London.

We heard nothing from Mr. Nowlan, and were too busy to enquire, but sent him the Xmas SFN with a note requesting information. Nothing more was heard until SLUDGE arrived while we were preparing this SFN. Apparently, Mr Nowlan had a letter in the U.S. prozine 'Imagination', announcing formation of the BSFA.

We then wrote to Mr Nowlan offering help, and requesting details of the BSFA for publication, with a note, at the end saying that details as far as we possessed them would be published here. At the time of stencilling, three weeks later, nothing has been heard from the BSFA.

We know from (bitter!) personal experience that it's hard to keep a Society for s-f fans running smoothly; correspondence, too, gets delayed. Also, Mr. Nowlan is perfectly at liberty to start a Second Fandom if he wishes ... no member of the London Circle, with the exception of one dealer has heard from or of* the BSFA ... but until more information is forthcoming, we advise fans here and in the US to test the atmosphere first before stepping onto this new body.                                        AVC

* Owing to this page having to be re-stencilled after 40 copies had been distributed, there's some late news of the BSFA ... a letter from Mr Nowlan (Chairman) appears in the current 'AUTHENTIC SF' (No 19). Campbell asks for details. Original SFA, formed 1937, club zine the famous 'Novae Terrae', many members now 'pros' dissolved late '39.


reviews new fantasy films and asks:-


Based on the 'after the atomic war' theme, 'Five' tells how five people of different nationalities and social standards who escape the holocaust are forced to spend the rest of their lives together, somewhere in California. There is a girl, young, pretty, pregnant, a mountain explorer and general adventurer, an artist, a Negro doorman from a city bank, and an accountant from the same bank.

The film gives the reasons why each survived, and their reactions on being forced to live together. A good theme, but this attempt falls far short of the possibilities therein. True to form, Hollywood brings in racial prejudice and a sickening romantic triangle, and although some scenes showing the dead cities are fairly good, one gets the impression that the makers became scared at the last minute, and decided that the Public wasn't mature enough to take it.....

The best performance is given by the Negro, Charles Lamkin; we hope to see more of him. There is nothing outstanding in this film, which is produced and directed by Arch Oboler, who can and has done better. We'd say try again.....

According to publicity handouts, this film gives a Thrilling Glimpse into the Future. Personally, we'd prefer Vargo Statten. Everything you've heard about this epic, (and you've heard plenty), is perfectly true.

The plot:- American newspaper reporter arrives on remote Scottish island, called by old friend Professor, who's discovered approaching Planet X. A space-ship arrives and occupant is attacked by scientific type wanting secret of metal of which it is composed. The Man then hypnotises locals and Professor's daughter by means of Ray, is about to take off when hero directs humans away and helps blow up space-ship with bazooka fire. (The British Army brings the latter!)

It would have been nice if the Man's face hadn't looked like a 1925 carnival remnant ... the script writers appeared to think that any four-syllable word pronounced slowly sounds like a scientific formulae ... the Direction ... but why go on? The best thing that can be said for the film is that it introduces one Margaret Field to the screen. She seems to enjoy herself immensely ... which makes her quite unique.

After Michael Rennie's first class performance in 'Day the Earth Stood Still', we went to see him in this film with some interest. Sad to relate, neither our expectations of Mr Rennie or the film (a free, very free, adaptation of the play, 'Berkeley Square') were realised. Rennie appears at the beginning and end for a total of exactly 23 minutes, the rest being taken up by the adventures of atomic scientist Tyrone Power back in 1784. Power changes with an ancestor by means of the old, reliable lightning-flash method, which also turns the screen to glorious technicolor. On trying to introduce modern science and correctly foretelling the future, Power, who may be a scientist but is no psychologist, is thrust into an asylum, but not before he has met and fallen in love with Ann Blyth. And when he returns to the present via lightning flash, who do you think he finds back home? Yes, that's right. The things that Hollywood will do for a happy ending!

Again, a film with many possibilities that aren't taken. For instance, Power meets Doctor Samuel Johnson (surprisingly not carrying a small black bag). He thereupon quotes "Early to bed, early to rise," etc ... at this point, I gave up. The film is directed by Roy Baker.


The original date for its release was way back in January, but we were told that it had been postponed INDEFINITELY. No explanation given. At the same time, the BBC asked R.K.O. for a private showing of the film for the 'Younger Generation' broadcast. ((See 'Broadcast S-F')) The showing was given, but later the BBC were told. that they could not use any recordings from the film. When Arthur C. Clarke reviewed s-f films on the radio, he was given the same warning, still unaccompanied by an explanation. However, a two-page spread with stills appeared in the February BRE of 'PHOTOPLAY', one of America's leading film magazines. This went to press in January. And now, Mr. Davy Jones, head of the RKO publicity in this country, has issued a further warning that 'THERE ARE TO BE NO REVIEWS OF THIS FILM IN ANY FORM, UNTIL THE OFFICIAL RELEASE'.

That's the position as of 14/3/52. We've two weak explanations to hand. The first blames the Censor's 'X' Certificate. WHY? It's a well known fact that an 'X' is guaranteed to sell a film, regardless of how bad it is. 'The Thing' is very far from bad. The second explanation is to the effect that RKO wish to wait until all other s-f films are out of the way before showing 'The Thing'. WHAT OTHER S-F FILMS? Apart from one or two low budget fantasies (which could make no difference whatsoever to the takings), there are no other new s-f films in London. The next major release, George Pal's 'WAR OF THE WORLDS' is not due for some months.

Nevertheless, SOMETHING happened between 10th-31st January for RKO to take this attitude with what in the States has been one of the biggest box-office successes for years, but WHAT?? We have the following theory and explanation from a reliable source.

"In the last three months there has been an increasing number of eye-witness reports of FLYING SAUCERS. The U.S. Air Force, which until recently denied that such things existed, is now seriously investigating recent reports from Korea." ((See 'TIME', March 3rd)).

Our correspondent continues:- "The theory is that orders have been given on a high level to stop the showing of the film. The U.S. Government and ours might well reason that should there be any truth in the reports re. saucers, 'The Thing', (which features the landing of one with an alien monster on board) might start a nation-wide panic if one landed."

FANTASY? We're openminded. But we'll tell you one thing. The above is quite true. What do you think?


( (Could be key to Davy Jones' lock-out is forthcoming 'teaser' publicity campaign ED))

FORTHCOMING BRITISH BOOKS FOR SPRING '52 (Compressed * Title / Author / Publisher / Price / etc.)

SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY/WEIRD * Illustrated Man / Bradbury / Rupert Hart-Davis / 11/6d / June / Reprint, available as US PB * New Tales of Space and Time / anthology introduced by Gerald Heard / Weidenfeld & Nicholson 'S-F Shelf Series 1' / 10/6d / May * Weapon Shops of Isher / A.E. Van Vogt / Weidenfeld & Nicholson 'S-F Shelf Series 2' / 10/6d / May -- both foregoing reprints -- see SFN 2/2 US Books * Star of Ill Omen / Dennis Wheatley / Hutchinson / 12/6d May / Flying saucers + * Time Will Run Back / H. Hazlitt / Benn / 15/- / an optimistic l984 / * Other Side of the Planet / Capon / Heinemann / 12/6d / Sequel to 'Other Side of the Sun' NOW OUT / * A Pad in the Straw / C. Woodforde / Dent / 10/6d / May ... weird shorts / * Worlds Far From Here / Wheatley / Hutchinson / 17/6d / June; trilogy, contains 'They Found Atlantis' , 'Man Who Missed the War', 'Uncharted Seas' all previously published separately / * Complete Professor Challenger Stories / A. Conan Doyle / John Murray / 15/- / Anthology of classic adventure s-f / * Short Stories of H. G. Wells / Wells / Benn / 21/- / 65 stories reprinted / * Dangerous Waters / I. Williams / Gryphon Books Ltd / 8/6d / March; Navy & RAF versus Thing at bottom of sea / * Best of Saki / Selected Graham Greene / Bodley Head / 6/- / 37 reprints / * 8 Tales of Hoffman / translated Cohen / Pan Books / 2/6d / 1st cheap edition of these fantasies / * Out of the Silent Planet / C.S. Lewis / Pan Books / 2/6d / modern classic mystic-s-f interplanetary / * Place of the Lion / Wi11iams / Uniform Ed -- Faber / 10/6d / Allegorical fantasy reprint / * Child of Storm / Haggard / Macdonald Ill. Ed / 8/6d / Early 'Allan Quatermain' African fantasy / * Brave New World / Huxley / joint Heinemann-Chatto & Windus Vanguard Library / 3/6d / April / * Case of Charles Dexter Ward / Lovecraft / Gollancz / 9/6d / Weird / Out * Fearful Pleasures / A.E. Coppard / Nevill / 11/6d / Weird shorts -- reprinted from Arkham House Out / * No Place to Hide / Edited TED CARNELL / Boardman / * From Unknown Worlds / Atlas / 2/6d / *

RECENT REPRINTS: INFORMATION AVAILABLE * Moment of Truth / Jameson / * Gap in the Curtain / Buchan / * Doomsday Men / Priestley * Moonlight Traveller / Ed. Van Doren / * Lair of the White Worm / Stoker / * War of the Worlds / Wells / *

JUVENILE S-F, RECENT AND FORTHCOMING * Hurtlers Through Space / Burrage / Warne / 7/- / * The Flying Saucer / Sylvester / Ward Lock / 8/6d / * Dark Atlantis / Craigie / Heinemann / 9/6d / * Adventures of Captain 'Space' Kingley / Ray Sonin / 6/- / Interplanetary 22nd Century / *

NON-FICTION -- LITERARY * The Marie Celeste and other strange tales of sea / Lockhart / 9/6d / Hart-Davis / 9/6d / May / * Witchcraft / Pennethorne Hughes / 18/- / Longman / * Supernatural in Fiction / P. Penzold Ph.D / Nevill / 15/- / Psychological survey / * Fabulous Beasts / Lum / Thames Hudson / 15/- / Griffon, phoenix, etc / * Nostradamus / Laver / Penguin / 2/6d / First cheap edition-survey / * The Field of Nonsense / Sewell / Chatto & Windus / 15/- / survey of Carroll, Lear, etc. / *

NON-FICTION -- SCIENTIFIC OF GENERAL INTEREST * British Scientists of 20th Century / Crowther / Routledge / 21/- / * The Next Million Years / Darwin / Hart-Davis / 15/- / Future of human race / *Mathematics, Queen & Servant of Science / E.T. Bell (Taine) / Bell / 21/- * Dead Cities and Forgotten Tribes / Cooper / Lutterworth / 15/- / with 25 plates / * Atom Story / Feinberg MSc / Wingate / l2/6d / July / past & future physics / *

DOUBTFUL -- NO FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE * Slaves of Sumuru / Rohmer / Jenkins / 8/6d / * Possible Worlds of S-F / Ed. Conklin / 9/6d * The Blind Spot / Flint & Hall / * The Thing / Screen Play / Kernsley / * Best S-F Stories '52 / Grayson / * Prelude to Space / A.C. Clarke* Children of Hate / Creasey / Evans / *

WRONG SIDE OF THE MOON by Francis & Stephen Ashton (Boardman, 8/6d)

To call the style in this book bad would compliment it. -- "Poor Sheila!", I thought. "Poor lovely girl, must it always be the perversity of fate that those whom you love best must hurt you most?" -- "Ever heard of the stratosphere?" "Yes, it's somewhere up above where we used to go when we were on ops." Latter genius is RAF navigator! Told in 1st and 3rd persons; on maiden voyage of scientist's privately built rocket, it meets meteor ("a thumping great mass of rock as big as a cathedral"), is deflected from orbit. The gobs of science appear to have been accurately copied from the text-books. The imagination used is painstaking. Recommended to fanzine editors looking for humorous quotes and to 10-14 year olds for the sugar'd science. After 'What Mad Universe', this! We're disappointed in Boardman.                       AVC




Wilson (Bob) Tucker, editor of US 'S-F. News Letter', one of the foremost US fans for many years, author of several detective novels, has at last turned to s-f with 'City In the Sea' (pub. Rhinehart, $2.50), a unique yarn of the far future. Then, Britain is ruled by a matriarchy, an outpost of which is stationed in the USA to keep weak far-future Yanks in order! Then arrives a Conan-the-Conqueror type hero from the unknown interior ... and the story's away on some beautifully wacky adventures. Well worth getting.

Doubleday have now published Heinlein's recent Galaxy serial, 'The Puppet Masters' at $2.75. Written in his usual slick style, which gives plenty of new twists, even to the old 'parasitic monsters from space' theme, it tails off slightly at the inevitable end, becoming merely as good as most other authors' best.

'Science Fantasy Quintette', (FPCI $3.50) includes 'Triton' and 'Battle of the Wizards' by L. Ron Hubbard, previously published in one volume by FPCI, and 3 of Ed Earl Repp's yarns, including 'Radium Pool'. 'From Death to the Stars' (FPCI $3.00) is a Hubbard collection, with 'Death's Deputy', (From 'Unknown'), 'Kingslayer', 'The Beast' and 'The Invaders'. These have also been printed before by FPCI ... our guess is that they're binding unsold copies up together....

Prominent US fan Don B. Day has compiled a complete check-list of magazine s-f, to be published at $6.50. (pre-publication, $5.00). Contents index stories, authors, etc.

U.S. Publishers of educational, children's books, John C. Winston Co., enter the s-f field on April 14th with a teen-agers series, Titles are 'Earthbound', by Milton Lesser, 'Son of the Stars', By Raymond F. Jones, 'Find the Feathered Serpent' by Evan Hunter, 'Five Against Venus', by Philip Latham (R.S. Richardson), and 'Marooned on Mars' by Lester del Rey. All but Hunter's are space-adventure, his is time-travel. Booked for publication later in the year is Arthur C. Clarke's 'Islands in the Sky', a novel about space-stations. Jackets will be by Finlay, Schomburg, and other s-f artists.

Coming soon ... first humorous s-f anthology, 'Science Fiction Carnival' (Shasta), edited by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds. It will include 22 stories, one of them being Clive Jackson's 'Swordsman of Varnis' skit from 'SLANT'.

Another reprint from 'SLANT', 'Black Bart's Revenge', also by Jackson, will be published in the Ackerman-edited 'Coming Attractions' (Random House). Congratulations to Clive ... and we are now waiting for the 'SLANTHOLOGY' (Oblique House $5.00)!

Fantasy Press breaks new ground with 'Max Brand, the Man and his Work', by U.S s-f fan/agent Darrell C. Richardson. This biography stems from Richardson's 'Fabulous Faust Fanzine', devoted to Frederick Faust (Max Brand and many other pseudonyms).

For good British s-f, buy 'Galaxy Novels' ... latest 2 are Stapledon's mutantale, 'Odd John', Bill Temple's '4 Sided Triangle' which has received rave reviews in US. 'Nova Publications' could do worse than issue PB editions of Stapledon.....

Ronald Press Co., New York, announce '200 Miles Up', a non-fiction account by J Gordon Vaeth, (USN Special Devices Centre) of rocket-development etc. in USA. It's a little unsettling to read that new estimates show rocket-crews will require a foot or more shielding as insulation from cosmic-ray radiation poisoning. Who said 'space-suit'?

ARTHUR C. CLARKE'S 'EXPLORATION OF SPACE' HAS BEEN CHOSEN AS THE U.S NON-FICTION 'BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB' CHOICE FOR JULY (published June). Arthur's agent and publishers are slightly peeved at the calm manner in which Arthur is taking it. To be picked thus is the ambition of every US author, and the fame attached is slightly terrific. Arthur will be visiting the States for an indefinite period this summer, leaving us at the end of April.We give him our sincerest congratulations and best wishes on this success.


Latest, most curious U.S. reprint pocket-book is 10¢ Dell edition of Heinlein's 'Universe', famous ASF yarn supposed to be in 'Future History' series. One story for 10¢ seems dear, even these days. They might have included the sequel, 'Commonsense'.

'Galaxy's Gold threw space-gauntlet into arena in Feb, ish. editorial,which ran ... "Mr Stone also suggests borrowing certain outmoded art layouts from another magazine. His suggestion happens to coincide with several dozen angry letters asking whether we aren't equally angry over the 'shameless lifting' of our cover design by that same magazine. No, we're not angry, though we would like to know when we may have it back again. We are developing some other ideas; would the magazine in question prefer to have us send them over now, or wait and see how they work out after publication?"

These remarks are not astounding, but if we were editing GALAXY we'd be glad to give our interior illustrators away. GALAXY serial 'Demolished Man' by Bester ended in March; we'll pick this as one of the all-time s-f classics. Heinlein's 'Year of the Jackpot' in the same issue is also a remarkable yarn, and the Willy Ley dept. starts.

February 'ASTOUNDING' is worth getting for Tenn's wacky 'Firewater' and the two articles (symbolic logic and cosmology), but March, starting 'Cyril Judd' serial, 'Gunner Cade' is dullest of recent months. The 'ASTOUNDING ANTHOLOGY' is announced by Simon & Schuster; 23 stories; over 600 pages; $3.95 ... and what stories!

MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & S-F keeps in the top 3 for quality, is best for sheer good writing. April ish. features Nourse's 'Love Thy Vimp', 'SRL Ad', a Matheson fantasy, other stories by Linklater, Coppel, Boucher, Bowen, Graves, and others, plus a really funny one-page 'Letters to the Editor' reprinted from the University of California's 'Pelican'. Part of the letter column from "Fantastic Space Tales', it will turn fan humorists as green as shamrocks.


No. 16 AUTHENTIC SCIENCE FICTION featured the 'London Circle' and 'Atah Kark' ((See SFN 2/2)). We were informed that No. 17 would give the LC revenge for the pc. the Belfast Triangle sent them -- "The Belfast Triangle presents its compliments to the London Circle and if it starts contributing towards Mr. Clarke's chronometer now, could it come to Ecuador too please?"

In fact, No. 17 was F.G. Rayer's 'Coming of the Darakua', which built up atmosphere so thickly we fell asleep in the middle, but No. 18, 'Chaos in Miniature', starred one 'Willy Grant', Irish s-f publisher investigating disappearance of the Houses of Parliament, the Dail etc, ('The Irish ... surmised it must be some sort of veiled threat from a World Power'). He visits the 'Black Mare' ... "The main topic of conversation was the disappearance of the moon. One lean man who had spent his life working towards the fulfilment of the moon rocket wept quietly into a glass of orange juice". Unfortunately author-editor Campbell omitted any logical plot construction, and the end reads like a miss at bathos. Hamiltons may make Merry but the bombing of London won't be humorous for a hundred years or so. SFN had a complimentary review in No 16, and.a mention in 17, but we're cynical enough to try biting the hand trying to pat us. We're pleased to hear, tho', that AUTHENTIC will go NEW WORLDS size in format soon, with three interior illos. Science notes, reviews and readers letters continue interesting.

NEW WORLDS and SCIENCE FANTASY are now appearing regularly, and building up useful teams of authors and artists, tho' the quality of both vary wildly; major discoveries have been Ted Tubb's consistently good short stories and Mrs. Reina Bull's exotic cover-illo's. Article on the 'London Circle' by E. Frank Arnold brought several newcomers to the 'White Horse'. Editor Ted Carnell will introduce serials with 'The ESP Worlds' by James M'Intosh in the July 'New Worlds', is emphasising fantasy in 'Science Fantasy'. Note; standing outside a shop off Charing Cross Road recently which has started specialising in science-fiction ... US books, etc; two strangers came out with 'NW' and 'SF', and one said to other "I think we've got the best of the bunch here"....


A rival to SFN has appeared in quarto-sized shape of 'STRAIGHT UP' edited & published by Fred Robinson, 37, Willows Avenue, Tremorfa, Cardiff. Fred promises monthly publication (!) to keep fans abreast of news. We can't see how we can beat Fred's reviews of Vargo Statten ***** New s-f 'zine IF, 35¢ pocket size, now out in US, also STRANGE, 'factual mag of true mystery' (Fortean stuff); both published Quinn Publishing Co; on a level with IMAGINATION and FATE ***** BRE S-F QUARTERLY No 2 now out with 'Second Dawn' by A.C. Clarke etc; ***** Bill Temple's '4 Sided Triangle' almost certain for films; he's editing Hulton's DAN DARE SPACE BOOK, s-f annual (?) with Clarke, Cleaver, Campbell etc. contributions; ****** PICTURE POST ran A.C. Clarke article 'Liner to Mars' March 1st with full page 'ion rocket' technical illo. ***** COLLIERS intend to run an Interplanetary issue soon; watch for it ***** ESQUIRE Feb. '52 ran s-f 'Miss Medford's Moon' by Martin Gardner ... good ***** Les Cole, of the Les & Es Cole fan-pair, made front page of London EVENING NEWS with claim of mineral rights on Moon ***** PB author Dave Griffiths has joined RAMC ***** SLANT artist James White intends to visit Paris this summer for new SLANT series, 'From Belfast to Bal-Tabarin', or 'How do you know your Seine?' ***** "Greatest demand in the book world now is for (1) autobiography, (2) science-fiction ..." Columnist Thompson in DAILY HERALD March lst ***** S-F books from US since preceding page include INVADERS OF EARTH, 22 story anthology; TOMORROW AND TOMORROW (with 'Fairy Chessmen'); FOUNDATION, 1st 5 in the famous series; TRAVELLERS IN SPACE, expensive anthology with 16 fullpage/colour Cartier illos of extra-terrestrials ****

The 'Daily Herald' added another strip to its existing three on Jan. 28th., with 'Captain Universe', a deep-space hero who immediately plunged into adventure on a space station whilst trying to uncover an interplanetary smuggling gang.

Very few concessions were made to the 'Herald' readers unacquainted with s-f fans in some form, and except for the unforgivable title there's little naiveté. It's certainly the most mature s-f to appear in this medium.

Credit for the stories (which are scheduled to last 6-8 weeks) goes to H.J. Campbell, editor of 'Authentic Science Fiction'. Helping the technical accuracy of the strip is artist Terry Maloney, who is an amateur astronomer possessing amongst other equipment, a 2½ and a 10 inch telescope. Terry has worked on 'Dan Dare' and the covers for 1/6d s-f PB' s, including the Kemsley series, in which he also drew the interior adverts. His 'Captain Universe' drawings, as in the Ross and Smith type space-station depicted above, are well up-to-date in s-f theorising.

Odhams, publishers of the 'Herald', have plans for future ideas on s-f lines if sufficient interest is shown in this new venture ... so go to it, fans! Write in and let them know that we're appreciative. Lack of interest is death for features of this sort. Moreover, we've heard from Campbell as follows:-

.... "We also want fan ideas. This is a chance for the fans to get the kind of strip they want -- I can promise that their ideas will be used if at all feasible; an opportunity that's rather rare with national dailies. The fans can take a definite part in shaping this strip....."

So whether you've brickbats, bouquets or brainwaves, WRITE IN!


Amalgamated Press answer to Hulton's 'Eagle' appeared mid-February. 'The Lion' features strips and stories, with a smattering of science and believe-it-or-not articles for youngsters. Leading strip is 'Outlaw of Space', featuring one Captain Condor, of 3000 A.D., ace pilot of inter-planet space-lines, who's sent to uranium mines on Titan by Earth's cruel dictator. Yes, it's like that. The strip, by Frank S. Pepper, is reasonable on the artistic side, but neither so good or so well colour processed as 'Dan Dare' . There's also an interior strip, 'Jungle Robot', and an invisibility machine story series.


The 'Washington Star', in a series of notes, readers letters, etc. on its new strip 'Space Cadet', inspired by popular thrice weekly television serial of that name, revealed that Willy (Conquest of Space) Ley supervised technical accuracy of artist-author Ray Bailey. Quote "My work is to tell him what is impossible from engineering standpoint. My primary function is negative. I knock things out. I'm very much an eraser." Unquote. In spite of which, Bailey and Ley apparently get along together, were no doubt mutually indignant when science teacher wrote in to call it 'fodder for feeble minds' ... tho' if the Space Cadet did go through space on a 'rotor- jet', he's got a case......



DIMENSION X, U.S. s-f radio show, can now be heard on American Forces stations, at 7.30 GMT, (8.30. CET) every Monday evening; Frankfurt, on 344 m., Munich, 649 m., and Stuttgart, 271 m. Reception varies, tho' last-named seems to be the worst.

DIMENSION X features radio-adaptions of well-known s-f stories mixed with mediocre original stories. No acknowledgement of source, author or title is given (!), but recent plays included E. Mayne Hull's 'Competition' (ASF '43) and, on 3rd March, Ray Bradbury's 'Mars is Heaven'. Introductions, music, etc., are satisfyingly s-f-ish.

The BBC featured s-f in a 'Younger Generation' programme in mid-January. London Circleite Mike Wilson took part with 3 other teen-agers, plus Arthur C. Clarke and BBC resident astronomer Dr. J.G. Porter, as experts. Arthur's ' Sands Of Mars', and the films 'Day the Earth Stood Still' and 'Destination Moon' were discussed, and the programme closed with Mike plugging 'Day of the Triffids'. To the fan, the discussion was only of interest inasmuch as s-f was mentioned as such, and not as 'Wellsian scientific romance'.

In a later 'Younger Generation' programme, '50 Years to Live', concerning hopes for the future, both Mike and another L.C.ite, Philip Duerr, had small parts.

'SPACEWAYS', semi-sf play by old time fan Dave McIlwain (noted SFN 1/8) was finally broadcast in January. Intensely dramatic, it concerns a triangle situation on a rocket station where an artificial satellite, unmanned, is about to be launched. The wife of one of the scientists and the Other Man are missing after take-off. Has the scientist murdered them and concealed their bodies in the satellite? He stands trial, and offers to take up another rocket, guide it to the satellite, and bring the latter down to prove there are no bodies in it. The tragic end seemed to be dramatically unnecessary, but full marks for suspense, plotting and characterisation.

'Focus on Interplanetary Travel' was broadcast in Schools broadcast for 14-year olds in February, with an extra introductory programme showing how it was prepared.



He was obviously the intellectual type, clothes well cut but not too carefully worn, as if he had other things to think about than how neat he looked. A thick shock of unruly hair, which just refused to stay flat anywhere, topping a broad high forehead, made his cranium appear larger than it actually was. He wore glasses with horn rims, and compared to those present seemed a very serious sort of individual. I had noticed him earlier for the first time when he stood on top of the piano to ask a question during one of the tear-down-and-pull-apart sessions. His elevated position together with his own already quite considerable height made him an object difficult to miss seeing.

At the moment he was struggling with a portable screen for the film show which was to come later, trying to make it stay vertical on a somewhat rickety table against the wall. He wasn't succeeding at all. The equipment he was working with had a habit of refusing to stay put; the pile of books used to prop it up kept sliding off onto the floor, and when everything else seemed just so the screen would roll itself up, I had found out his name earlier, so I wouldn't be breaking any laws by helping him. I ambled up and asked if I could be of any assistance.

He understood me the first time I spoke. I began to like him immensely, and decided to help him in every way possible. But even with two extra hands on the job we couldn't get anywhere, though the feats of delicate balance and the starkly radical engineering techniques used were nearly miraculous. We let the whole unstable mass sort of settle onto the table, and stood back and thought.

"String," he said suddenly, waving his arm at a projection on top of the framework and at a nail sticking out of the wall higher up. "I wish I had a piece of string."

"Dead easy," I said, and to show my versatility and to give him an idea of my true nature I rapidly produced two brown paper bags, a green ballpoint pen, a shiny new chestnut, a few silver coins, an orange, already skinned, out of my right hand jacket pocket before reaching him a length of white string approximately three feet long from the same source. He gave me a queer look and accepted it with profuse thanks, and started lashing the screen to the wall, now and then glancing covertly to see how it was possible to store all that stuff in one pocket. It wasn't, of course, so he was a little puzzled.

After about ten minutes worth of tying and loosening knots the thing hung at a drunken angle from the wall and nothing to could do would make it stay level. It also bulged dramatically like the mainsail of an ancient windjammer in a stiff breeze. He was becoming a trifle brassed off. He made a prolonged cortical-thalamic pause, and spoke.

"If I had a nail, and another piece of string about so long ..." he used his arms "Could you ...?"

"Are you sure that's all you need! You do want to get this thing working? If I got a new screen, or a tin of white paint the wall nice and flat, we ..." I broke off. He took a poor view of sarcasm, but I just couldn't up and tell him. That's never allowed, in any circumstances.

"I just want a nail and a bit of string. Oh, and a drawing pin", he said, disregarding my previous suggestion completely. "Maybe if we asked somebody...."

He watched, fascinated, as I dug through my pockets and produced a drawing pin, a nail and another piece of string. I sighed. Some people are slow. Couldn't he SEE what was happening?

"O.K. now?" I asked.

"You're the right type to have around in an emergency", he said, rapidly making a neat job of fixing the screen flat against the wall. "Is there anything you can't produce at a moments notice out of there?"

"There are limitations of course," I said. I try to be modest.

He laughed politely at this apparent attempt at humour, but as he finished I saw he was looking very thoughtful, and knew he was beginning to get it. The deeply buried memories of his forefather were beginning to stir beneath the layers of mechanistic philosophy clogging the surface of his mind. Dimly remembered myths and legends heard by him when he was a child, came flooding back, assuming a new and startling significance. For a brief instant mixed emotions were mirrored sharply in his face, then realisation came.

Still visibly shaken at the discovery, he somehow forced a jocular tone into his voice (he couldn't as yet be completely SURE), when at last he spoke.

"Hah! Suppose I asked you for a brown shoelace, or a pair of scissors, or," this last with a studied tone of indifference, "a small bundle of large denomination bank notes?"

That does it, I thought, he knows now. But from him I expected a little originality. Smiling slightly to match his own bantering tone, I asked gently, "Why don't you ask for one of them and see?"

He started to speak, then thought better of it and fell silent. He was still deep in thought, looking very serious indeed, when I left him a few minutes later to look at a Moon Base painting someone was displaying over in a corner.

It's a pity, really, because I know the type. At the present time, and probably for many years to come, he is trying frantically to find the one thing that will ensure his complete and final happiness, The object on which to use his third and final wish.


We've been privileged to print the above extract from White' s monumental Festival Convention report ("24 closely written pages take him to 8.30 on the 1st night at the Epicentre"). WAW states '"This story is substantially true". No comment.



WALTER A.WILLIS,   Oblique House, 170, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, N.I. writes:-

So this is supposed.to be the 'really good review' you were going to give us ? Call this egoboo? Two statements of fact obvious without opening the mag., and two insults. No sooner do we get Merwin sent to Siberia than you take over. All right, Clarke, this is the last time I work my brain to the bone thinking up nice things to say about SFN and endanger my immortal soul by filling my chain of magazines with them, not to mention spreading the news of your existence around fandom in Q. You can just get in under that bushel again. Some obscure Yorkshireman has only to get himself married without any issue at all, and he gets half the magazine devoted to him. I suppose he's been bribing you in his usual lavish way. I admit I told you I couldn't take any new subbers., but I haven't joined Egoboo Annonymous yet. Of course it's obvious what has happened, from your reference to me as Sir. This could be taken of course as a proper mark of respect, but it is obvious to me that the refining influence of us saints and scholars wore off the Epicentre returning to its natural state of brutish ignorance. Mental degeneracy has set it. When we left you you were listening to BEDTIME WITH BRADEN and showed signs that after a while you might be able to understand some of the simpler jokes on the Saturday repeat. Apparently, however, you soon returned to your primaeval condition and have been wallowing in the morass of the Light Programme. It seems that in your headlong flight from the finer things of life you have already descended as far as EDUCATING ARCHIE. No doubt the readers of SFN, if any, will shortly be regaled with quotations from WORKERS PLAYTIME and HAVE A GO. No wonder the ceiling fell down. Any self respecting ceiling would.

And I WOULD NOT say "Old farther times keep rolling along". Or whatever that dreadful pun was before you made a mess of it with a strike over. I'm pleased to see that your typer preserves some self respect, even to the extent of trying to commit suicide when it found the conception past bearing. Looks like some of the 'weakish humour' in the Campbell article, wrongly ascribed to Ronald Bedford, has filtered into the rest of the inaccurate news items, not to mention the accurate ornes printed without acknowledgement to the Willis News Service.

*****We thank Mr. Willis for his gratifying and well thought out letter, some six pages of which we have had to cut. It is always a great pleasure for us to receive a letter from a distant land, and know that our little magazine brings some news of the outside world to those far from the centre of fandom.

We are afraid that we cannot agree with Mr Willis concerning the comparitive importance of our news, although we must confess that an attack of eyestrain brought on by the previous issue caused us to mention SLANT without actually going to the trouble of perusing it. We are always pleased to mention amateur productions, but cannot guarantee actually to read every one. Apparently the Irish translator of that 'Daily Mirror' article is at fault, as our copy ('Mr. Clarke has his passport ready .. Nov. 27th, '51) is clearly marked, 'says Ronald Bedford'. We hope Mr. Willis will write to us again, or drop dead.

CHUCK HARRIS of ' Carolin', Lake Avenue, Rainham, ESSEX, writes:-

I've been meaning to sub. to S.F News for months, but I've been terrified that you'd immedietly start publishing it spasmodically along with NIRVANA.

Walt Willis finally decided me. He told me you were advertising a blonde with every copy. A postal order is enclosed. I've always been interested in this sort of stuff ever since I was a kid. Very seldom do I think of anything else. Sometimes I even dream about it too.

If possible, I would prefer one about 5' 8" high, with a pleasant sort of personality and a complete file of ASF.

I would like a copy of the 'zine too.

((LATER LETTER)) Personally, I thought (SFN) was pretty good, even if I did get a one-line brush-off. In my 'zine, cash subscribers will be treated with the respect they deserve, and the infinitesimal egoboo department reserved for the vile pros & hucksters on the outer edges of fandom. Even Pickles got three times the space that I did, and he did nothing more than get married. Immediately I got the Thing, I turned to the last page where the letters are usually published, confidently expecting to see at least excerpts from my brilliant epistle and half a page or so of egoboo for Walt. Instead of this I find, of all people, Terry Jeeves -- a Slater adherent if ever there was one.

I took this pretty calmly and even Walt wasn't too het up about it. His next letter was headed Haute Pique House though.

***** Another lot of insults -- and a new subscriber at that. You're not writing for ½ inch thick US fanzines here, Harris. Only merit gets your name in SFN, or 6d per name insertion, as our Treasurer recently explained to WAW. Give 'im the 'blarney money, as the other Pickles might say.

DAN MORGAN, 'Hazelheim', 25, Park Avenue, Spalding, Lincs., writes:-

Many thanks for the copy of SFN. I am particularly pleased to find that your 'zine concentrates mainly on news items and reviews. I am of the opinion that fanzines can serve a far more useful purpose in this direction than by publishing mediocre fiction which has been spiked by the prozines.

By the way, your portrait of Lee Hoffman strikes me as a shade more libellous than Walt's -- does she really wear a fur wig? If she really looked like that -- which I am sure she doesn't -- her cooking should be submitted to careful analysis before consumption. The quote of ACC on 'Planet X' is a gem well worthy of preservation.

***** Sir, your critique goes to fur. Lee' s one of the nicest looking lady fans. We have no data on her cooking tho', except her alleged liking for cold potato sandwiches. SFN will print one good humorous fan story per ish., no more. There's a lot to be said for fanzines as author testing-grounds, but all editors should adopt the Willis way of sending full reports of criticisms to authors.

PETE CAMPBELL, 60, Calgarth Road, Windermere, Westmorland, writes:- .

It would never have done for GALAXY! That blurb on Page 1, I mean ... but if G. ever does run a space-western probably S. F. NOOSE will be the first to hang 'em for it. And another thing -- that illo of AVC in bed, belly upwards, is not pretty! On the whole the 'zine is bigger and brighter than I expected. Suggestion (I always make 'em, but nobody ever uses 'em) Let's have shorter film reviews -- after all, any fan will go to any stf film whether it's good or not.

Sorry to hear there's only two fans left in London. We're in the same boat at Windermere!

***** Water oarful pun. If you go to every film labelled as 'science-fiction', you're just encouraging producers to make things like 'Planet X' and 'Rocketship XM' .

NAN PHILLIMORE, Seamore, Gt. Tarpots, Essex, writes:-

The S.F News arrived on Xmas morning, and was about the only cheerful happening this Xmas, mainly owing to an unwanted present brought and presented by my mother on the 23rd. This consisted of one of the largest, wettest and sniffiest colds I've met for a long time.....

***** What did you say to the Doctor ... I had a cold and then in flu SFN, sir?

GEORGE. L. CHARTERS, 3, Lancaster Avenue, Bangor, Co.Down., N. I. , writes:-

Your Science Fantasy News reached me on Christmas Day. Many thanks: I enjoyed it all. In particular, I thought it was a neat compliment to Walter to have a picture of SLANTA Claus on the front page. A good sixpencework. Keep up the good worth!

***** These Irish puns ... could it be something in the eire? Thank you, sir.

PAUL ENEVER, 9, Churchill Avenue, Hillingdon, Middx., writes:-

... I was wryly amused by Capt. Slater's letter in SFN ((2/No.l)). We went through the same routine back in '34 -- flaming enthusiasm, hot endeavour, cooling ardour and cold ashes. I believe in fact that the Dead A/c dept. of the bank at Hayes still holds a few shillings -- all that is now left of the British Science Fiction Association, of which I was once secretary.

Noted, too, is Mr. Donaldson's plaint about the non-use of the library. Here we have a peculiar situation. Admittedly, to cover the SF field thoroughly would be prohibitively expensive ... PB's and BRE's alone cost somewhere in the region of a guinea a month and with hardcovers averaging eight and six each, one can soon spend too much on current stuff alone. How then can we hope to catch up on back numbers and USA originals, except through the co-operative effort involved in such as your library project? ((Not ours!)) And yet ... somehow, to me at least, a library is no solution. I like to own the books I have read, so that I can re-read. Consequently I keep myself poor, by constant purchasing of 2nd hand and reprint stuff, and every so often, knock up another shelf to the bookcase. How many fans feel as I do, that a mere reading of the good stuff is insufficient -- one wants them at one's elbow to dip into from time to time? Well, I will cut short now, as I must do the decent thing and write a letter of condolence to SLANT on the death of Dr. J.T. Alcock. I hope they don't print it.

***** Oh no. Not another SFA! Could we have details, Paul? We used to get that hopeless feeling about collecting, too, but now we rank as active fans we've got no time to read the stuff. Contact Ken Slater of 'Operation Fantast' for back numbered 'zines.

CAPT. K. F, SLATER, 13 Group, R.P.C., B.A.O.R. 15, writes:-

You misinterpreted my 'erratic' -- I didn't mean 'time' ((Why not? ED)) -- specifically -- but just 'irregular in movement, conduct, etc.' -- that is my dic. definition -- in other words, just generally erratic, specifically in this case getting Derek married a month or so too early! Most irregular conduct! The return hit was neat, tho, (I) was relying too much on printer's initiative! I only sent them the thing (('O.F.')) in December -- and when I saw them whilst on leave they told me they'd print the headings in future, so I just clipped one from the previous issue, and sent it to 'em -- they made it No. 7 alright -- but kept the same date!

***** At least you haven't got to worry about stencils disintegrating on your duplicator any more, as we have, (General Warning! Keep off 'Swallow Brand' stencils!) Newcomers to SFN or fandom please note that Ken will give you details of everything in British fandom.

DEREK PICKLES, 22, Marshfield Place, Bradford, Yorkshire, writes:-

Sorry to hear about the Epicentre packing. I suppose you'll have to borrow a spade and bury the long-dead London Group now?

***** Lend us a club, someone. Yes, we'll borrow your spade when you've finished following the ' White Horse', Derek.

DAVE WOOD, 4, Coverdale Road, Lancaster, writes:- (By Request)

In August 1950 I went camping with the local Boy Scout troop, and there struck up a partnership with Ken Potter. At that time I had been reading s-f for about 3 months; 'Futuristic' from Spencers and some of Fearn's.

I decided to tell Ken about s-f, told him a story from 'Futuristic' and also showed him 'Dan Dare'. He suggested that we make an s-f comic, so on return from camp we did so.

Our first effort was a rag called 'Triumph'. Front page space on this was taken by 'John Space' a super hero who in a couple of pics reached Mars, where he naturally met Martians; weird, tentacled octopus types. Of the 8 pages, 4 were taken up by 'John Space' and 3 others by the adventures of Prof. Puffle, a remarkable inventor, the last one being the Editorial.

'Triumph 2' never appeared. Many months passed before we tried again. This time the mag. was called 'Smash'. As it was Christmas, we bought a duplicator, one of the 6/-type, 'Smash' never appeared. The jelly refused to work. We spilt the duplicating ink and lost 6/-.

About June of '51, attempt 3 came out. This was more on s-f lines, as by this time I was a member of 'O.F.', and we tried to run it on the lines of 'O.F.'s mag. This issue was called 'Scientifiction'; the first was a flop, the second not much better; No. 3 was quite good. We put quite a bit of work into it to produce before the NECON, which we attended. After the NECON, Ken and I decided to turn out separate 'zines, and since then I have done 5 issues of 'Centaurus', and Ken's turned out 4 issues of 'Beyond' and 3 of 'Stellar', his present mag.

***** These 'zines are usually half-quarto size and hand-written, which tho' useful for presentation of art-work and coloured headings is sometimes difficult to. read. We hope Dave and Ken will graduate to typewriters in the near future, for their efforts show definite promise. We're glad to record that these lads are getting help from established fans ... Terry Jeeves with (excellent) drawings and stories, Alan Hunter with the same, and the next 'Stellar' cover is by Clothier! We only wish more of the youngest generation of fans were as active as Dave and Ken,

SFN COMPETITION No. 1. ('Suggest new titles to editor Wollheim on the lines of his retitling 'No Place Like Earth' = 'Tyrant & Slave Girl on Planet Venus', etc.) REPORT:- Quantity of entries was rather disappointing ... was it too frivolous? Wollheim, subtitling a PB 'Perelandra' as 'World of the New Temptation', doesn't think so. Discarding unprintables & gent who wanted.to re-name '4 Sided Triangle' = ' Venus Equilateral' , entries included 'Modern Love in Ancient Rome' = 'Lest Darkness Fall'; 'Temptress of Mars Valley' = 'Valley of Dreams'; 'Confessions of a Cosmic Cutie' and 'Venus was no Lady' = 'Lady from Venus'; 'Loves of Ptath'; 'Skylark in Space'; 'Love From A Super Woman' = 'Slan'; 'Lust World'; 'Night Life of the Future' = ' What Mad Universe'; & many others. Nearest to the spirit of the thing was Owen Plumridge, who gets the Bradbury PB. Honourable mention to Dennis Tucker who sent 10 titles to fit anything, including 'Red Witch of the Passion Planet' and 'Redhead among the. Beast Men of World Z'; we can see Wollheim commissioning someone to write yarns to fit those titles! **** SUGGESTIONS FOR/AGAINST FUTURE COMPETITIONS WANTED!


SFN, the independent newszine for British fans, 6d per copy, 2/6d per year, or one current US prozine for 3 issues. Your comments, criticisms, notes, etc. on s-f are welcomed.