"I have thought of my story," announced Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. "Pass the marmalade, dear. "
Percy Bysshe looked vaguely around the breakfast table. "Marmalade? Ummm-lade.... laden" He looked at his scribbled notes. "Ah! Just what I wanted.. 'That orbed maiden with white fire laden, Whom Mortals call the Moon, walks. ..no, flies - no....ummmm. " He lapsed into silence.
"Allow me, dear Mrs. Shelley," Lord Byron passed the marmalade and shook a curly head at Percy. "Tush, Percy!, Tush! You'll no more go a'roving by the light of the Moon, for the sound of revelry by night ill becomes a married man. But pardon, dear lady; you have decided to enter our little contest of horrifying tales?"
"But yes! And I have a tale that is horrifying indeed. I could not sleep last night, and my imagination, unbidden, possessed me, going far beyond the bounds of reverie....I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the Thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful!"
He shuddered, and tea dripped into the marmalade.
"His success must terrify the artist; he would rush away from his odious- handiwork, horror-stricken. He would hope that its transient life would fade; he might sleep in the belief that the silence of the grave would quench the hideous corpse for ever. ..he sleeps, but he is awakened; he opens his eyes; behold! the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains, and looking at him with yellow, watery, but speculative eyes......."
Lord Byron nodded reflectively. " Almost,' he murmured, you might; be describing
BULMERS FLEE COUNTRY
H.Ken Bulmer, voted by Transatlantic Fan Fund subscribers as the British representative at the Cleveland 13th World S-F Convention this Labour Day left in a cloud of typical fannish confusion from Dublin on July 25th., accompanied by his wife Pamela, beautiful editor of UGH and FEMIZINE ...if this last comes as a shock, read on; we ain't called SFN for nothing.
Originally scheduled to leave on August 20th., it was found that the original ship would get Over There too late. An earlier boat sailing between the 6th and the 10th was booked instead. This one was put forward a mere three weeks, there was some confusion over the booking of a ship reservation to Dublin, the take-off point, and eventually it boiled down to the fact that on Wednesday the 20th they had precisely 4 days in which to got fully packed and away.
By a combination of miracles the Bulmers were despatched from Euston on the Saturday night; Walter Willis had been informed by phone, airmail letters had been sent to the States, and the last news available comes in a card to Joy Goodwin and ye Ed., dated Monday 25th., postmarked Baileatha Cliath, from Pamela:
"We are safely (?) aboard. Sailing 5-6 this evening. Lovely cabin with three portholes! Food excellent. Could you turn the immersion heater off - I left it on. Ruined skirt of best suit, it fell off bed into pool of water last night. I had to wring it dry...."
So to the wringing of skirts the Bulmers sail ...
or, if this is the sort of boat that has pools of
water in the cabin before it leaves dock, start to
sail. We expect to hear further from them around
August 6th., when they'll probably arrive in New
York and be met by US fan Don Ford, Stateside
organiser of the Big Pond Fund. With three weeks
to fill in before the Convention proper the
imagination boggles at the Bulmers wandering
through the Land of the Unobtainable Dollar ...
but knowing fans, we reckon they'll get through.
Stay tuned in to SFN for further accounts of the
bigger and better Odyssey...........
Quotes, Notes, News & Reviews
The 13th World Con, to be held at the Hotel Manger, Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 2-5th, promises to be another of the slick, organised US Cons, business and sericon during the day, whoopee at night. The hotel guarantees to have 325 rooms to be filled with smoke. In the first 300 Con members appear the names of Bob Bloch, Tucker, Ackerman, Asimov, HL Gold, Campbell, Bradbury, Boucher, assorted Smiths, most of the BNFs and Pros of the past few years. Guest of honour will be Willy Ley. They're also advertising a Mystery Guest "who has done a great deal to make this and other Conventions a success," are holding a guessing competition as to who it is. Jules Verne?
New York's in the running for bidding for the site of the 14th World Con.; a possible London bid is held up by lack of volunteers for a Committee so far in the future, but it's possible that an International Con will be held here next year in any case.
FILMS "Man in Space" is the title; Walt Disney's the maker; Ley, Haber and Braun are scientific consultants. A full length, serious cartoon on the possibilities of space travel. Already shown to nearly 100,000,000 Yanks on TV networks, we're keeping our fingers crossed that it'll appear on British cinema screens. Is this a US Government sponsored job to reconcile tax-payers to an estimated $1000,000,000 + expenditure on space-stations? It's hush-hush ... and Disney was sure to jump on the space-flight bandwaggon some day.......
Going the rounds are CONQUEST OF SPACE and THIS ISLAND EARTH. The former, with Bonestell in charge of trick photography, George Pal directing, and a full splurge of all the Colliers-type space-travel stuff that can be bought flops with a dull and sickening thud. ..tho' it's one of those things you have to see. The second film, from Raymond F. Jones' book, one step removed from Thrilling Wonder Stories, is a rowdy yet slick space opera. It hasn't the airs and graces of CONQUEST ... and for our money it's a far more entertaining film ... recommended for fun........
BOOKS "Angels and Spaceships", Fredric Brown's second collection of shorts, has been published here by Victor Gollancz (of all people). 9/6d gets you a worthy companion to "Space on my Hands'. Nothing much else during the past week ... and you do want up-to-date stuff, don't you?
FANZINES Sergeant Joan Carr's found FEMIZINE too much to manage Way Out East, and Pamela Bulmer's taking over editorship and publishing. Joan's sent over her last issue on stencils to be published in England. They, all 58 of them, arrived three days after the Bulmers departed. So if FEMIZINE's slightly delayed, you know why.
PLOY 3 is out, full of stuff by A.V.Clarke so it isn't commentable upon here. Mal Ashworth's working on the 5th and penultimate BEM. Rumour says that George Gibson will be reviving the SLANT of Leeds, ORBIT ... two or three OMPAzines are expected to go on a subscription basis as well before the end of the year. ... EYE 5 is expected out shortly, featuring a symposium on the holding of future Cons in Britain and amongst other things, the first part of a Trufan tale serial.
PROZINES INTERAVIA, European aviation magazine, (published in Geneva, available in this country at 3/- per issue) features "Spaceships, Satellites.." in its July '55 issue, with details of the Disneyfilm 'Man In Space', the 'Mouse' project, the ''Flying Bedstead', etc. A four-colour photo cover features a rocket approaching the Moon.
NEBULA is held up till early September, after which it'll be regular bi-monthly and hopes to go monthly soon afterwards consequent on getting a new printer. SCIENCE FANTASY is held up till August 15th.
LILLIPUT July ' 55 featured a leading article asking "Have We Landed on the Moon" by S.L. Solon, said to be oldtime s-f enthusiast just returned to this country. EUROPEAN May '55 featured a 11 page article on s-f by one Gerald Hooley; an enthusiasts article one would never expect to see published in a prozine, mentioning over a 100 Astounding stories (man's an enthusiast) and others, plus a fairly well-balanced survey. Only drawback is, EUROPEAN is the leading Fascist organ in this country. Do we want to know Hooley or not?
Larry Shaw, oldtime US pro and fan, is editing a new s-f magazine, name as yet unknown, Looks as if the tide may have turned again for s-f.......
THE BIG NEWS The DAILY MIRROR headlined it "A Trip Round the Earth in an Hour-& a-Half," but gave the smallest coverage. DAILY MAIL hailed the "First Step to the Moon", with very good coverage and drawings from Braun, Clarke, etc. DAILY EXPRESS, with "Flying Saucers - Official" came second only to the Mirror for misleading headings, and moved its space-cartoon strip to the front page in honour of the occasion. "All Aboard for the Moon" trumpeted the DAILY WORKER, which after 5 sentences swung into "in April this year the Soviet Academy of Sciences sat up a special commission to co-ordinate all work on the problem of mastering cosmic space and inter-planetary communication..." with a sub-headed story "Soviet Space ship will tap the Sun's energy." The TIMES (bow down) gave it 35 column inches of well-informed material, and the DAILY HERALD scooped the lot by virtue of having Peter Philips on its staff with an article "This Way To The Stars" on that very morning.
On Sunday the SUNDAY EXPRESS wanted to know what Britain was doing in the "Space Race".........
There were a few mentions of science-fiction...but only a few.
There were no comments from Arthur Clarke.......
RADIO The BBC still slips in an s-f play, with minor apologies, every now and then, but only notice of s-f as such recently was an 'Appreciation' in the Third Programme as part of a Literary Magazine feature. We took it down on tape, but it wasn't worth it ... 6 minutes of high-flown, classic-quoting sentiment on the Quality of the Imagination, 4 minutes spirited defence of the long-haired boys attacked by Edmund Crispin in the Great S-F Stories anthology, which was the only book mentioned.....
We hear that AFN are running another fantasy playhouse series late Sunday nights, but haven't any up-to-date data on same. ______________________________________________________
Helen Winnick is now manageress of a bookshop. At least, as Helen puts it, she is the senior 50% of the staff. The address in case anyone wishes to contact her is : Books and Careers Ltd., 151 Moorgate, E.G.2. Tel: MET.0921.
Daphne & Ron have just bought themselves a 20-year-old motorbike as their car has broken down (again.) The first time they attempted to make the GLOBE on it, they ran out of petrol and had to push. Seems like whatever transport the Buckmasters have has to be pushed.
We have heard that no-one has gone to the Convacation but this is not yet confirmed. If it is true, it seems rather a pity, tho' understandable as Torquay is, to say the least, somewhat expensive.
Ron Bennett passed through town on Wednesday evening staying the night at Vince's, on his way to the Twerpcon. I went over, too, and we made up a tape recording, consisting of the Plonge and Hallowe'en Party recordings, together with quarter-hour of nattering from Vince and me giving the Twerps all the current news.
AMERICANS IN BRITAIN; Alfred Bester of "The Demolislied Man." fame and fan Jesse Floyd. Jesse we understand is up North somewhere and hopes to come to London later. Alfred, returning from Italy with Italian haircut and sunbronzed face rolled up at the Globe on the 14th July with enough anecdotes to keep everybody in gales of laughter. He gave Burgess details of places he ought to visit (this is, of course, transcribable as 'he told him where to go') ... Brian is on the Continent carrying out instructions.
Alfred passed on to Ted Carnell the news that he could be in England until the New Year and hopes to visit the GLOBE regularly during that period. He is working on the script of "The Demolished Man" for filming and there is a strong rumour that Humphrey Bogart is to play the lead. This will be a must when it is eventually screened.
STRANGERS IN TOWN DEPT.; Recent visitors to the Globe have been...
21st July... Beard Campbell and his wife, Eileen. Bert has now finished his studies that occupied so many of his Thursday evenings, and it is now hoped that he will visit the Globe more often.
28th July... Paul Enever, making the second of his regular 2-monthly visits. He just comes up to get copy for the next Orion. (Next issue due August 8th). Ar-chee Mercer, in town on holiday, making his way to a riverboat shuffle. Connie Mackenzie looking very fit after a week's holiday... brought a letter from Cyril Fleischer who is now touring Scandinavia.
MISSING, BELIEVED DROWNED: One good skirt, finder please dry and return to Pamela Bulmer, c/o Hotel Manger, Cleveland.
Either I'm psychic or my mind runs on s.f. but when I was asked to guess what the news on Saturday morning, bright-girl-here says "We've landed on the moon." Good try, anyway. One paper wasn't enough - Vince and I made our way to Welling proper and collected newspapers - anyone seen any spare Manchester Guardians lying around. Couldn't get one. We bumped into Helen Winnick who was doing the same thing - she hadn't been able to got one either. After gloating at our intelligence in being s.f. fans, we separated and Vince and I went to phone up Ted Carnell.
Ted, of course, was bubbling at the news. He had received it Friday night about 6.45 p.m. when some-time-s.f. author Peter Phillips rang up from Amsterdam, to get his opinion about it. For those who had the Herald, you'll see Ted was quite blase about the whole business. "'It had to come' he said". The news has come just in time for Ted to write a new editorial for the next issue of NW. There's only one fly in the ointment - where are the comments of Arthur C.? Or is he still under the waters telling the fishes what he thinks of it? This is bound to give rise to another boom in s.f. There is little doubt that films, TV and radio will play it up much more strongly than heretofore and, maybe, this boom will be a permanent one. In fact, as in "What Mad Universe" we may find s.f. will be just ordinary adventure stories.
SHORT NEWS DEPT;.. Dorothy & Jim Ratigan have a telephone now... Pamela Bulmer is now editor of FEMIZINE. Joan feels that owing to delay with mails it is not right for her to edit FEZ. She has therefore handed over to Pamela and it will, Joan hopes, now be possible to got columns and letters that are not quite so dated. Joan, of course, is not losing touch with FEZ herself tho'. Next FEZ will be a 60-page zine and will be out as soon as Pamela's editorial is received from the States after she lands end of next week ... David Thurlby, to be married 3rd September at noon, has sold his first story, to Nebula. Congratulations on both counts ... Authentic's latest factual mistake is to credit Walt Disney with the creation of Popeye -- someone is going to be wild about that......
OFF TRAIL MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION
Elections for new officers are now being held for
OMPA, at the start of its second year of
operation, and it looks as if, for the first time
in s-f fan history, an amateur publishing
organisation is going to have an all-femme
Committee ... Pamela Bulmer for President, Joy
Goodwin for Association Editor, and Daphne
Buckmaster for Treasurer are the only candidates
for these posts. Membership has now been extended,
and 45 is the current Association capacity. If you
would like to know more about the Association,
write for a copy of the Constitution to Joy at 204
Wellmeadow Rd., Catford, SE 6.
SCIENCE FANTASY NEWS Vol 2 No 6 Whole number 13, August '55, published irregularly from 16 Wendover Way, Welling, Kent, edited and published by A.Vincent Clarke and Joy Goodwin. You are getting this issue because (a) you're a subscriber (remember?), ( ); (b) you ought to have it ( ); (c) you're a contributor ( ); you're Keeper of the Printed Books at the British Museum ( ); (e) There's no one reason ( ). *****