gostak index SFN INDEX
Volume 1. A STOP-PRESS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL! Number 4
It will be noticed that there is a wide divergence of legibility in the fourth 'Science Fantasy News'. This is due not only to three different typists (and typewriters) having worked on it, but in a change-over of duplicator; the machine now in use we hope to use for all future issues, and in its present working order should have no difficulty in producing a monthly 'zine.
BUT ... after weighing the merits of the present size format (a foolscap page like this folded in half) and the quarto size which has been so widely used in other fanzines (notably 'Operation Fantast' before it was printed), we have come to the conclusion that although the former is more economical of stencils, and is a handier size, the quarto gives greater scope for better looking layouts, and is far easier and quicker to work with ... a decided advantage with the hard working editorial staff!
We are therefore going over to the quarto size in the near future, and those SFS members who wish to cut stencils for their own 'zines and have them produced in or with the SFNews should take note, and communicate with the 'Epicentre' before starting work, so that they can be informed exactly when the changeover takes place.
On Saturday, December 10th 'Nova Publications, the s-f reader-owned company that publishes 'New Worlds' held its first Annual General Meeting at the White Horse Tavern, Fetter Lane. Just under a third of the Company's shareholders (as apart from the Directors) were present to hear a very encouraging report given by the well-known author, John Beynon Harris, the Chairman of the Board. After emphasising the relative inexperience in the publishing world of the Directors, he said that they had learned a great deal during the preceding year, and, to quote from the report,
'The optimism which activated the formation of the Company has ... been justified, not by any sensational leaps forward, but by a record of steady progress towards objectives which were visualised and planned for'.
The first issue published under the auspices of 'Nova', No 4 of the magazine, had sold reasonably well against a definite lack of interest from professional wholesalers, who had the impression that the magazine was one of the 'one-shot' affairs that had occured at intervals since the war. When number 5 appeared, though, there was a definite change in tone; the issue was better distributed, and although the same amount were printed as No 4, it has now sold out, within two months of the date of issue.
Orders for number 6 already received justify a rise in the former printing of 12,000 copies of each issue, and if negotiations with U.S. wholesalers were successful, a very large increase might be made.
No 5 should be out in January, but at present no promises can be made for a definite schedule owing to technical difficulties with Paper Restrictions.
It was hoped that four issues would be produced during 1950.
For the present, any plans to produce another (sister) magazine or books, were definitely secondary and highly theoretical.
Turning to the accounts, Mr Harris said that most small ventures such as this were prepared to show some loss for the first year at least, and the fact that a small profit for the year was shown on the ledgers of the company was largely due to the generosity of the Secretary, Frank Cooper, whose office room and equipment had been used by the Company, and the spirit of the Directors, who had waived their fee for the year.
All the Directors, and particularly Ted Carnell, the Editor, and Frank Cooper, had worked extremely hard, and Ken Chapman's previous experience in company procedure had been very valuable. Mr Leslie Flood, who had been of very great assistance to the Company during the last year had been appointed to the Board of Directors.
Reporting on advertising, Mr Harris said that it was definitely part of the Nova policy to exclude advertisements of the physical culture and cheap merchandise school. Such adverts 'typed' a magazine in a wholesalers or prospective buyers eyes directly he saw it, and it was definitely the intention of the Board to keep 'New Worlds' above the usual pulp magazine class, and when this was established in the trade, it was to be expected that many advertisers would take the opportunity of appealing to the specialised type of reader catered for by this magazine.
The Company report and balance sheets were then adopted unanimously by the Meeting; no questions were put, and Mr Harris rose to say that it was company law that a director should resign at each meeting; a ballot had been held and he himself had been picked out. Mr Chapman than took over the Chair, and paid tribute to Mr Harris's handling of the Chairmanship, which helped to create the spirit of unanimity which had charactered the proceedings of the Board. Mr Harris was re-instated as Chairman by a unanimous vote, and the meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Board from shareholder Owen Plumridge, again carried unanimously.
The above report, is a paraphrase of the proceedings, and should not be taken as having the sanction of an official report.
Science Fantasy Society Notes
For the benefit of the British Fantasy Library members who will be receiving this sheet, and for new members of the SFS, this sheet is put out as a postscript to the Science Fantasy News, the official organ, which after a silence of some months owing to pressure of work from those fans who would like to have been active, is now on its feet again, and proposes to come out on a monthly basis during 1950. Owing to this lack of activity it has been decided not to ask for renewal of subscriptions until funds are getting low; this will, of course, depend on the amount of material produced or other activities. When the original members are asked for a renewal, all others will be informed of the amount of time their sub. has left. The subscription rates are 5/- per annum, and further information concerning the SFS can be obtained from the Secretary, Frank Fears, at 6, Ferme Park Mansions, Ferme Park Rd., Crouch End, London N.8. Subscriptions should be sent to Kenneth Bulmer at the Editorial address, given at the bottom of this sheet. Contributions to SFNews and comments thereon should be sent there addressed to A.Vincent Clarke.
Ye Ed. must apologise most sincerely for not replying to certain correspondents of late, in particular Norman Ashfield, John Wiseman, Norman Lindsay and Cedric Walker, their letters having been sent to a previous address and only reaching him latterly, when the various intricacies of two duplicators (one which refuses to operate correctly, and its replacement, whose idiosyncrasies have to be learnt) and the desire to produce SFN by Christmas, has occupied all of his spare time.
Information concerning the SFS Contact Bureau, for the use of members who would like to contact US fans, can be obtained from L.E.Bartle, at 16, Milford Rd., Walton, Stafford, Staffs.
Edited by Walter Gillings, former Editor of 'Tales of Wonder' and the late 'Fantasy', 'Science-Fantasy Review' is the foremost fantasy literature review in the world. Priced at 1/6d per copy, this printed quarterly can be obtained from 115, Wanstead Park Rd, Ilford, ESSEX.
'Operation Fantast', Captain Ken Slater's printed 'zine, featuring amateur s-f, articles and news in the inimitable Slater manner, can be obtained from that gent at 13 Gr., R.P.C., B.A.O.R. 23, C/O GPO, London.
SCIENCE FANTASY NEWS MINOR, for members of the SFS and BFL.
84 Drayton Park