gostak index SFN INDEX
"Why don't nobody tell me dese tings, hein? (I suppose it is slightly more official than Brian Varley's?)!"
"I have only Walt Willis' word for this, but presuming it is a fact, may I offer you both good wishes and congratulations."
"Hear from a hitherto impeachable source congratulations are in order"
"Is it true what they had in HYPHEN about you two?"
THE CAMPBELL'S A'GOING......!
Biggest British prozine news of the year (and SFN's exclusive scoop) comes with the report that Bert Campbell, one of the most colourful and bearded characters on the s-f scene has relinquished his editorship of AUTHENTIC SCIENCE FICTION, and London fan-proauthor Ted Tubb has taken the vacant position.
Bert Campbell's first love has always been scientific research, as numerous articles scattered throughout AUTHENTIC have shown, and now he is devoting his full time to this pursuit. Fans will view the departure with mixed feelings; Bert committed several gaffes in his relations with fans which provoked criticism, but he did at least give fandom publicity on his pages and provided more than his share of the enjoyment of Conventions when he ... er ... let his hair down. We hope that we'll still see plenty of him, in person and in print.
We all know Ted Tubb; it's a safe bet that articles will be less and the quality of the fiction better in his AUTHENTIC, but what the future holds is, oddly enough, unpredictable. Ted's first number will be the February issue. We wish him all the best.
QUOTES NOTES NEWS & REVIEWS
A "digest" version -- gastrically shortened.
ANY MORE FOR THE MATRIARCHY? London fandom now has more active female fans than males in its ranks with the arrival from Bournemouth of Shirley ('the girl on the Convention room floor') Marriot and Frances (Houri) Evans of Manchester as permanent residents. Joining the British femme fans' Mecca in the New Year will be Ethel Lindsay frae Glasgow, and also expected in Town is Bobby (Roberta) Wilde, new fan from Slough who'll also be a permanent resident, she hopes.
On the other hand, Mike Wallace sent and struck an odd note with a declaration that he'd tried to get to London and failed to find accommodation ... come, come, Mike! Another Mike expected in shortly is Mike Wilson, ex-London fan late of Australia, and Arthur Clarke, the old fan's Patrick Moore. Arthur's sold several more books in the US, has been deep-sea diving off Australian coasts....
John Newman, prolific article writer for all the prozines in the last 18 months broke into the national press last week with two articles on space travel in the DAILY HERALD. John will have other articles on different science subjects in forthcoming issues; betting in the GLOBE is that he will eventually become the Herald's science correspondent. Christopher Samuel Youd ("John Christopher") made his first appearance (?) in PUNCH with an article on the declining of BEMs in s-f. Is nothing sacred?
Meanwhile, the first fan edited pro-anthology on this side of the Atlantic ... come to think of it, on any side of the Atlantic, has been announced; Helen Winnick, letter-writer extraordinary to FEMIZINE, has compiled an s-f anthology stressing the female in the future and the feminist point of view, to be published by Reinhardt in the spring.
In the prozine field we hear that BEYOND, after lingering in suspended animation for some months, has now been folded. Another good fantasy 'zine gone ... thank heavens for MoF&SF ... Larry Shaw's new prozine INFINITY will have a cover for a Bulmer story on its second issue ... AMAZING is rumoured to be issuing a special 30th. anniversary issue with nearly 300pp next spring....
YKS, a German s-f fanzine to hand; the editor and publisher is
Klaus Unbehaun, of Wuppertal-Elberfeld, (Germany) Adersstrssse No
34. Most of it in Deutsch, tho' Julian Parr has a hand in it.
"You seem to think Woman's place is in the distillery ..."
This article condensed by permission (Joy's) from the forthcoming EYE No 6, Xmas.
THE SCIENCE FICTION books announced for the winter show little variation in the usual formula for this type of publishing; partly reprinted American anthologies or new British titles which, from their very newness show their non-acceptability to the US reader. For who, to paraphrase the Bard, would bear the whips and scorns of a sterling market when three times their value in the mighty dollar, could have been obtained? The old-time s-f reader looks at the newly published British book with a very sceptical eye, only slightly softened by the thought that the home reader might be getting something not considered suitable for the Great American Public because of its political content.
In addition, the enthusiast can obtain from the States the pocket-book editions of hundreds of first-class s-f books at an exchange value of about 3/6d each. The British publisher's hardcover edition, when it does appear, is likely to cost from 9/6d upwards and in spite of the (slightly) more durable binding is not generally so attractively presented. Many British publishers still do not realise that numerous s-f readers also collect books, and want good-looking volumes on their shelves.
There are several ways to avoid the impasse. An intelligent advertising campaign to interest the general public in s-f and to dispel some of the sneers directed against it as a whole by some widely read -- if dogmatic -- critics such as Cassandra of the Daily Mirror, would help to create larger sales and enable publishers to spend more in the US for reprint rights. The present quality of advertising in the s-f market is abysmally poor.
Another idea has already been tried by one minor British publisher who simultaneously issued the same title in hard covers (for libraries) and, using the same printing, in soft covers, paperbacked form, for ordinary sale at the usual pocket-book price. Could not the same method be used to issue better bound editions for those who want to keep them whilst issuing a cheap paper-back for the read-and-throw-away type of reader or the man who'd buy a pocket book when he wouldn't dream of purchasing a properly bound one?
At least one British publisher has brought down his book prices, even though these come under the category of "cheap reprint". WEIDENFELD & NICHOLSON announce 5/- editions of A.E. Van Vogt's classic Slan, Asimov's equally famous Foundation, Conklin's Invaders of Earth, and two minor titles, Stranger from Space and Prize Stories of Space and Time. In addition, the W & N list contains City, Ahead of Time, Mutant, Nine Tales of Space and Time etc., all in the region of 10/6d. Non-fiction of particular interest to s-f readers includes I Looked for Adam, by Herbert Wendt (30/- but 576 pp), concerning the origin of mankind and The Men Behind the Space Rockets by Heinz Gartmann, with details of the German pioneers and some speculation on such projects as a trip to Mars.
SIDGEWICK & JACKSON appear to be turning away from the Conquest of Space type book for the present. They announce instead the new "PSI LIBRARY", the object of which is to "provide the public with both accurate and vivid illustrations of the psi faculty" and start the series with two autobiographies of "sensitives". On the fiction side is announced Beyond the Barriers of Space and Time, a 19-story anthology (reprint) edited by Judith Merril, at 10/6d. All stories therein deal with "Mind and its possible manifestations".
For bringing up your child in the Right Path we can recommend a book from LUTTERWORTHs "Space Adventure" series; all at 6/- each, the present titles include such eye-catchers as Kidnappers of Space, Destination Luna, Escape from Gravity, Adam Troy, Astroman, etc. Authorship is mainly divided between Patrick Moore, Mary Patchett & Hereward Ohlson. A non-fiction juvenile, Your Trip into Space is also a Lutterworth production ... though we notice that Werner Laurie's Space Annual, published the year-before-last, has made an appearance on the counters of chain-stores at a reduced price.
NEVILLE SPEARMAN make their bow in the fantasy field with a reprint of Merritt's Burn, Witch, Burn, one of the master's lesser fantasies. SPEARMAN, in their catalogue, say this is "published in England for the first time," apparently -- or perhaps willingly -- ignorant of Methuen's pre-war edition at 1/-, in contrast to the new (and exorbitant) price of 11/6d. They also announce further Merritt titles, including the famous Ship of Ishtar, for '56. As the last edition of the latter was eventually remaindered in the States for 98¢ it will be interesting to see what its new price will be. Also on the list is Tomorrow Revealed, the "true history of the world from 1960 to 3750 ... this book based on actual documents ..." It appears to be a survey of s-f which includes Sinister Barrier and Kraken Wakes. The book is announced at 16/-. Seems to us that there is something wrong with the copy-writing and the pricing depts here.
Spaceships and Spacetravel is the clumsy title (must have 'space' in the title, ol' man) of a new non-fiction effort from MUSEUM PRESS; Author Frank Ross Jnr., the mixture as before, the price 12/6d. Museum's s-f, always good as Ted Carnell has a hand in the editing, include Heinlein's Assignment in Eternity, McIntosh's Born Leader and World out of Mind, Russell's Startling yarn Sentinels of Space and other titles for younger readers with Patrick Moore present again ... Master of the Moon, Frozen Planet, etc.
ARCO have a new book alleging the finding of the ruins of Atlantis at the bottom of the North Sea -- Atlantis, the Mystery Unravelled by Jurgen Spanuth, and The Case for UFO, Jessup's collection of Flying Saucers and other oddments in an incredible melange, much of which is Charles Fort at very second hand.
Brian W. Aldiss, up-and-coming s-f author has had a book of his experiences as a bookshop assistant published by FABER, "The Brightfount Diaries". Included therein is some sidelight on "Dave, the s-f fan and bookshop assistant". BOARDMAN's list is brilliant, and their BIG BALL OF WAX by Shepherd Mead is outstanding ... see EYE 5.
"The Man With Only One Head" by Densil Neve Barr --
"what happens when society finds that in their (sic) midst
there is only one man capable of creating life" is a new novel
from RICH & COWAN, and WINGATE's first s-f is Split Image, an
interplanetary by Reed de Rouen.
They weren't obtrusive about it. Everything in the best of good taste. Just a big, black monster of a car, with a calm faced man at the wheel, and the sub-machine guns held out of view of any inquisitive passengers. They even let a few friends down to see us off -- the F.B.I. is quite human these days.
We'd had a party the night before in Dave Kyle's apartment, where, in the open-handed generosity we had found to be a catching phenomenon in the U.S., we had been staying during our New York visit. K.G. Kindberg, editor of Hapna; Bob Sheckley; Phil Klass; Dick Ellington (with the baulked but still eager menage of Maison Dinglesnaff); Dave Kyle, himself; Dick (The Girls) Wilson and Larry (My herooo) Shaw. We'd drunk, and laughed, and watched Art Saha drink the coffee machines dry at the Broadway cafe we patronized. We'd fallen into bed around umptitty o'clock, and there we were, getting up at some ungodly hour, packing, leaving messages, being escorted down to Pier 90 or was it 92? in time to dash madly through red-tape and scramble aboard all of a flurry and then to stand for three-quarters of an hour on the deck saying goodbye to the gang on the dockside. The two Dicks, Dave and Larry made sure we left America. The F.B.I. needn't have bothered.
Eventually ropes and things fell into the water and we noticed that the U.S. of A. had started to slide into the Pacific. We watched the buildings go by, our gasworks, the television mast, the Empire State, and even a hint of Campbell's office crouching under the Chrysler -- although that and the U.N. building were figments of my imagination, according to Pamela. The folks on the dockside dwindled and grew small and finally resolved themselves into a coloured blur. It was cold. The Hudson was a steely grey, and ferries and flat-cars made fussy soapsuds of it. A few eager-beaver gulls wheeled overhead. And then, I suppose, came the realization that we had visited America and I felt like shouting "Hey, come back -- I didn't realize where I was." But, like the sound of a supersonic jet, the fact had gone before the realization hit us.
The good ship M.V. Britannic cleared its tubes, made turn-over and plonked itself into an ungainly orbit aimed at the southern tip of Ireland. We felt miserable. Our only consolation was the warming thought that we were going to see Walter A. Willis and the Triangle -- expanded now, of course -- and be gently indoctrinated into the ways of Anglo-fandom.
The Saxonia out of Canada had run into some rough weather, so our gallant captain detoured his ship fifty miles to avoid the gales. It was a thoughtful gesture. We staggered manfully around the decks and found them too cold; the saloons were too stuffy. We heard afterwards that the ship had 57 first class passengers and 500 of us tourists. If this sort of information had leaked out during the voyage there might have been a mass invasion. As it was we made landfall in atrocious weather and various poor folk made preparations to land at Cobh. We hung outside off and on all evening, then went round in circles all night, unable to get in. The ship had a moebius strip built into it after some of the contortions she went through. Talk about things that go bump in the night. We had a cabin directly above a screw -- we felt every damn revolution, as though our bunks were turning in sympathy. I know my stomach was.
Eventually they gave up trying to reach Eire's sunny shore and doddled along to Liverpool. We were hanging on to our bunks by this time -- Pamela was reasonably active but I was so under the weather an H-bomb wouldn't have budged me. Came Saturday morning, and after some eyelash-fluttering at the Customs we erupted on to English soil. One suitcase had been smashed in the process -- it was the case that Lee Hoffman had bought in New Orleans to take her loot back to Savannah. We felt like wrung-out dishcloths. We didn't go to see Walter -- which disappointed us all and for which I owe apologies to Walter. But we didn't have the guts to get across that ol' Irish Sea again. Our ship was 37,000 tons and was doing a mamba in the seas. The ferries are 2,000 tons and were, we were kindly informed, "standing on their heads."
After an interesting interlude wherein Eric Frank Russell was dragged out of bed in order to discuss esoteric symbols, we crawled on the train. Eric is writing this up for Hyphen, provided the censors don't catch him first, so I'll leave that account to him. But don't believe it all -- only some of it.
We went back to Tresco, travelling with an Indian nuclear physicist who was interested in sf and who pulled Dave McIlwain's "Timeslip" to pieces as juvenile -- a point we were too far gone to argue. We'd been to the U.S. of A. We'd seen Pogo. We'd been to the top of the Empire State. We'd heard Bob Bloch and Bob Tucker speak, and had played with the Tucklet. We'd finagled two fan romances. We'd heard Doc Barrett's car. Yeah, we'd lived, all right.
Right then all we wanted was a cup of tea. HKB
++++++ THIS IS SFN, Vol 2 No 14 Xmas 1955 Best wishes ++++++++++