FEMIZINE #1 (Summer 1954)
OCR/retyping this issue by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer.
Note: This issue is unusual in being half-foolscap size, stapled on the short edge. Later issues were all quarto.
This first issue is free.
Future issues will be 9d each, or 2/6 per year (four issues).
Material printed will entitle the writer to a free copy of the issue in which it appears.
Exchanges with other fanzines welcomed.
MSs and subscriptions can be enclosed in a letter to me, but watch the postage. An envelope with a 2½d stamp will travel by sea-mail, taking roughly three weeks. One with a 6d stamp will travel by air-mail taking roughly three weeks.
Cover, inside illos and miscellaneous items by yed. Reason for quantity of same is given in the editorial. Please take note of it.
Femizine is starting as a quarterly. With the usual luck we will probably end up as an annual. Other members of the organisation are Ethel Lindsay and Frances Evans. Edited and printed by JWC on behalf of all femme-fans. Addresses on the inside of front cover. The next issue should contain at least thirty pages, with smaller type.
The poems on pages 6 and 12 are reprinted from Starlanes by permission of the authors.
An editorial for the first issue of a new fanzine is a very difficult thing to write. Those we have seen invariably rhapsodise about the aims and intentions of the fan group originating the particular zine.
Our aim is to produce a fanzine! Not too serious, but not 'frothy'.
In various groups and clubs in the UK, the femme-fan is in the minority. Femizine is designed to unite these minorities in order that they can get a better hearing in the fan world.
With one exception, all the material used will be written by femme-fans but we hope men will still subscribe. The exception will be our letter section 'Mail and Female' in the next, and subsequent issues. We are looking forward to receiving, and printing, comments from the males.
The rather large quantity of editorial material in this issue is mainly due to the lack of any other kind. We have no intention of continuing this way. For one thing, it involves too much work. Don't criticise too harshly just send something better we can print. At the moment, everything is experimental. Your letters will formulate the broad outlines of our policy.
Our cover is mainly for the men. Take a long last lingering look. Wave a fond farewell to the cover girl. From now on, we join Frances Evans in her campaign for 'more beefcake'.
Hope you have a good time at the 'Supermancon' wish we could be with you...
Joan W Carr
by Ethel Lindsay
SUNDAY: Ma tried out Venerian fried eggs for breakfast. We don't know if they were bad or meant to taste like that! Met Jan and went to watch the video-church in the park. Saw the new Krishnan preacher. His third eye just seems to hypnotise you. We met two Daryans who took us to lunch, but afterwards they got awful fresh and we dumped them. They have too many arms for us to handle for long anyways.
MONDAY: Dreary day at the cafe. Only bright spot was when some spacers came in. I hardly let on I saw them; they are a conceited lot. All the girls chasing after them. I don't see the fascination myself: runty, I'd call them. I bet their uniforms are padded too. I showed them I wasn't interested anyway. I just dumped their Venustew in front of them and flounced off.
TUESDAY: Had the usual argument with Ma when I got back from work today. Someone shipped to her about seeing me and Jan with those Daryans. Said all her usual my daughter isn't going to etc. Pa joined in too when I said what makes her think Terrans are so hot? He said he was a Terran wasn't he? It sure distracted Ma; she started on why couldn't he make as much as the Daryans. I went to bed and left them arguing about it.
WEDNESDAY: Went to the gyro-race with Jan and bet on nearly all the wrong ones as usual. Won on my favourite though Teni Rarl. He looked veeney as he flew by and I screamed and screamed for him. I'm quite hoarse now. Saw some ArIs from Aldebaran III. (Weird.)
THURSDAY: Temm, my Sirian friend, brought me a present into the cafe today. It's a real Sirian houra and I could hardly wait till I got home to
try it on. When I did, Ma nearly hit the galaxy. I said if it was good enough for Eena Tamal to wear on video, it was all right for me. She said Eena was married to a Sirian and everyone knew what that meant. Then young Jonnie had to butt in and say it didn't suit me anyway. He should have been atomised at birth, that one! So I just said I was going to wear it and if she didn't like it, I'd go and live somewheres [SIC] else. Then I walked out and met Temm. We went dancing at the Arlpalais. He said I looked just like Eena Tamal.
FRIDAY: Temm is on ten days' leave. We went up to the space swimming pool after work and sat in the middle bubble. I told him all about Ma and her old fashioned ideas. Space! Her notions went out in the Dark Ages. I told him how we were on holiday on Mars last year and she hardly let me out of her sight. As if anyone could get interested in a vegetable. But I'm 16, and of legal age to make decisions now.
SATURDAY: Day off. Went with Jan, Temm, and his pal Torri to the Sky Hotel for the day. We went to the Zero-Gee section. When we had lunch, I had an awful job not to laugh at the waiters. You would think they were walking up the walls. I didn't want to let on I hadn't seen the place before, though. Went to the games room and tried flying. I was hopeless at first, and Temm had to help me. (Nice!) But I soon got the hang of it. Then we watched the zero-gee basketball. At night we went over to the dancehall in the other section, and I was glad to get back to almost normal grav again. Temm is a veeney dancer and he showed me the new Krishnan step. A pretty good week.
- = o 0 o = -
Conversational Interlude (1)
There were four of them grouped round a heap of bleached bones.
'I feel sorry for our two friends,' said the Android. 'They haven't had any food for two days now.'
The Robot nodded. 'It's a good job we don't need any,' he said. 'This is just the place for me. There is so little rain my body is still bright and gleaming. All this sand is a nuisance, though. I could do with a spot of oil.'
Just then, the Android happened to look round. 'Ha, your oil!' he said and he pointed to an Egyptian who had just appeared over a sand dune.
'Better than nothing,' muttered the Were-wolf, climbing to his feet. 'Tally-ho, yoicks and so on.' The Vampire made a pretence of consulting his watch. 'I say fellows, the bar is open,' he said. 'I think I'll have a quick one.'
Exit the Egyptian running, closely followed by the remainder of the cast.
The derelict rocketships drift
by Crystal Kalmeer
by Joan W Carr
Spice Times, as you must all know, is the official organ of the Mid'East Fantastic Science Club. The following items are reprinted from the JanDec 1953 issue, which has just appeared. (We wish the editor luck in his gallant attempt to get back on schedule.)
' The Mid'East Fantastic Science Club recently embarked upon one of its most ambitious projects to date. A research team, consisting of David Cohencidence, Brian Varlet, Sandy Dadsboy, and Frances Hades, set out to find what makes real people tick.
Unfortunately research was limited by lack of funds, but two people were interviewed. There was no intention of furnishing a Kinsey report on the fan-world. Brian proved disappointed at this stated aim, and Sandy threatened to resign there and then; but concord was restored. We take great pleasure in presenting the first of these two reports in this issue of Spice Times. (In order to avoid embarrassment to the person investigated, some names have been slightly altered.) '
Meet the People! No.1: Venus
Armed with a solitary photograph, and some meagre knowledge of the Venerian reading habits, the team started out to secure their first interview. They decided that the quickest way to come across their quarry would be for them to make a tour of' the local newsagents. It wasn't until they had been mentally classified as insane, and physically thrown out by three irate shopkeepers, that they gave up trying to be gentlemen and pushed Frances in
first. Unfortunately she met with no greater success. They stopped for a while to think of some easier method of coming upon the Venerian, and after Sandy had pondered, Brian had thunked, David had worried, and Frances had spent half an hour gazing into the window of a dress shop, it was decided that this was the only avenue open to them.
The avenue in question was Plymouth Avenue, and it was indeed here that they were successful in their quest. As they were about to enter the fifth newsagent's shop, the Venerian came whirling out through the door, about four feet from the ground. Sandy was the most amazed, and annoyed, because he dropped the whisky bottle he had been nursing.
'Good HIC!' he said. 'Never knew the natives of Venus could fly.'
'We can't,' bawled the Venerian from the gutter. 'I was being thrown out!'
'Join the club,' said Frances sarcastically, and before you could say 'KEN SLATER', Brian had produced his pen, note-book, and cash-box.
While the Venerian was being enrolled as a member of the MFSC, Frances subjected him to the same intense stare with which she had favoured the dress shop. Her reason for being in the team was to provide the women's angle and that, naturally, was mainly concerned with clothes. The Venerian was dressed in what he claimed was a 'quiet' suit. It consisted mainly of a Wellington boot soled with boneless kippers, a knee-length knail [SIC] shirt covered by a potato jacket, and hoods of woven glass which covered each of his four heads and acted as hothouses to help his hair to thrive. At every opportunity, Frances questioned the Venerian for details of the latest styles on Venus, and her report is full of items which would be of great interest to our women readers. Lack of space prevents me from doing anything other than to draw their attention to the article 'Pampas Grass and Plimsoles on Planet Venus' which appears in the latest edition of The Femme's Home Guide.
Brian, wondering how large a sub he could stick the Venerian for, was the first to enquire about his occupation. QESTLOQWADL, known affectionately to his friends as QESTLOQWADL, replied
The Venerian kindly consented to visit the home of a member of the team for a few days in order that better understanding might be promoted. He was released from the home at the end of a week, but poor Sandy is being kept in for further Roscharch [SIC] tests. During his stay, QESTLOQWADL was housed in an electric light bulb and, except for an occasional evening stroll through reinforced concrete, he spent his time reading and greeting the odd visitors by standing on one head and waving the other three.
David was mainly interested in the social set-up of Venus. He found
that, on the whole, things were worked on a democratic basis, with the brainiest people at the top. All the natives of Venus were graded as to their abilities, and in order to move to a higher grade a long series of tests had to be passed. QESTLOQWADL was in the middle of one series, and at the end of it he hoped to qualify as an Assistant Deputy Sub-Inspector of General Semantics on the Walls of Conveniences. (I cannot help but think that, at this stage, the entire matter should have been handed to Sandy for him to deal with. However, as he was probably still trying to make up his mind whether six assorted blobs of ink reminded him of the inscrutable smile of the Sphinx, his brother with measles, or a Finlay illustration without the background nude, his failure to take charge of the proceedings is quite understandable. Very carefully keeping away from the subject of General Semantics, the remaining three members of the team pressed steadily on.)
Brian's report was the hardest to decipher, but when I had worked it out, and discounted the more obvious alcoholic ramblings, it appeared that he was responsible for the sudden termination of the research. Brian has always maintained that he was motivated solely by scientific curiosity, but I have my doubts. He said that he only poured a double Scotch into the Venerian's electric light bulb in order to see how long it would take him to get lit-up. Whatever the reason, the result was electrifying! Within two micro-seconds the Scotch had disappeared (both Sandy and Brian have been trying to beat this record ever since), and QESTLOQWADL was running up and down the inside of the walls counting the atoms. After this there was no holding him. The Venerian went on a binge the likes of which not even a Convention Committee could contend with, and he was last heard of in Scotland where it was rumoured that he was trying to engineer a big deal for Venus. (It is believed that he is STILL at it.)
Thus ended the first investigation of the MFSC Meet The People Research Bureau, and, according to Brian, one important question still remained unanswered. He stressed the fact that no attempt had been made to check on the Venerian diseases. However, no member of the team has yet developed any strange symptoms. Perhaps it is of no consequence earthereal.
Conversational Interlude (2)
The angel and the devil stopped opposite each other. The angel looked round and pulled out a cigarette. "Could you oblige me with a light?" he said and pushed the cigarette through a gap in the barbed wire.
"Why, certainly," said the devil, snapping his fingers. There was a slight roll of thunder, a flash of lightning, a smell of brimstone, and the angel took a drag.
"Boring job, this," he said, puffing out smoke.
"Yes," said the devil. "It's a heaven of a life."
"I say, steady on!"
"Sorry," said the devil. 'Didn't mean to offend. Well, better be getting on. Wouldn't do for the Boss to catch us fraternising.' And away he walked.
"Scared!" sniffed the angel, stubbing out his cigarette.
There was a trumpet call at full blast, about two and a half inches from his right ear. The angel stood rigid.
"You!" bellowed a voice. 'What's your last three?'
"Seven-one-eight, sir," said the angel.
"Well, you're on a charge!" the voice went on. "Contravention-of-Section40-Heavenly-Host-Act-as-amended. In-that-while-on-active-service-you-did-fail-to-carry-out-your-orders-as-laid-down-in-Standing-Orders-for-Perimeterpatrols. Report to the guard room when your tour of duty is over!"
The trumpet blared out again. The angel shouldered his rifle and continued his patrol.
"This is a hell of a life," he said.
//Crazy like a fan...//
A sort of preview to "MAIL AND FEMALE":
" Please can I have half a dozen marriage licenses? Well, I can't be bothered coming here every
" I am loath to mention the name Stan Kenton here since, every time I do, someone gets the idea that (he) is an obsession with me. It is not so "
" Strangely enough, fans are humans "
" Can picture you in a spacegirl costume being pursued by Sandy the BEM, being pursue by a flock of wog bootblacks who just joined in for the fun of it "
" It is much simpler to write a crazy letter than a serious one "
" I understand that the London "mob" are filling up their water-pistols in an effort to make it wetter in June. Rumour has it they may fill them with paraffin which, lit, would bring the Manchester Fire Brigade on the scene "
" But my brain flags. I feel like the beginning of a Horlicks advert. "
" When the day arrives that sf is the literature of the masses a lot of the fun of being a fan will be gone. It's far more fun to be one of the select few than just one of a crowd "
" I suppose I ought to clean the type on this machine but lack the energy. Hope you don't mind "
" Solemnly announced that a talk on "How I Became A Pro" would go down well and couldn't understand the skittish remarks this provoked " " Around town this week is the film Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I can't quite decide whether to go and see it or just to have a cheese supper instead. Either would give the same result I imagine "
" suggested that we include a half hour feature at the convention entitled "Why I resigned " and then everyone can up and say his piece "
"Down the side of the silent sphinx the sergeant's sweetie stole
" Don't be tempted by these bods to read every bit of tripe that is dubbed "science fiction" life is too short "
" Personally I am a schizophrenic (I cannot spell either) " " Monday night was perfectly innocuous in that I only went to the table tennis club and relieved my feelings by batting a ball around instead of a woman "
" don't blame me if you get a lot of circulars offering the latest sf anthologies, Joan the Wad, or "Have-a-Body-like-Mine" courses "
" You'll find a motley collection of types ranging from innocent, shy adolescents actually reading sf mags, to hard-boiled, cynical editors swilling beer and mentally undressing the dames that pass "
" for Ghu's sake, don't judge a fan by his writings "
from Ina Shorrock
The amount of ridicule we women have had to put up with down through the ages is really surprising. Nowadays we have a fairly good foot-hold, and we mean to further our gains in every way. (Without losing our feminine charm too.)
Nothing riles a man more than to be beaten at his own game by a woman. That is why, if we join them in their games or work, they tend to look down on us as if we were stupid. Even in 'this modern age', the majority of men try to keep us down, though they won't admit to this.
Therefore we the feminine side of fandom must start to push much harder than we have been doing in order to equal the men in science fictional affairs. I wouldn't like to say that we will eventually pass them in this sphere of activity, but we must, no, we will have a really good try.
Up to now women in Great Britain have done very little (if anything) in fandom. There are a few, though, who would like to change that little into a great deal. This means that YOU must help as well. Every little thing you do counts. Don't be afraid of doing an article for us. Everything will receive attention. If it is considered to be below standard, we will tell you why. There's no harm in that, is there? If you are an artist, then you can also be of great value to our fanzine. So please introduce yourself to us. Even if you feel you can't do anything, we will still be pleased to meet you.
This is the very first time I have ever done an article for a fanzine, despite the fact that my husband, Norman, is one of the co-editors of Space
Diversions. Some of this may be scrapped. In fact, for all I know at the moment, all of it might be scrapped. But I wouldn't mind, for at least I know that I have tried to help. I feel sure there are some amongst us, perhaps not yet known, who can do much better than I. >
SO LET US BE HEARING FROM YOU!
As most of you will have realised by now, this first issue is an advert. Perhaps not one of the best, but the best we could put together before the Convention. The whole idea of a fanzine for women was only thought of a month or so ago.
Life has been somewhat hectic of late, but we love it. And I'm not just using the Editorial 'we'. I mean Frances and Ethel, who were really the originators of the idea, and Ina and the others like her who have already shown that there is a genuine need for Femizine, as well as myself.
We can't carry on, though, as a small core of active femmes. There must be a large audience, and, more important, a large number of writers. We'll have to fill 30 pages next issue, and with smaller type. I can only repeat: LET'S BE HEARING FROM YOU!
The scene is the garden outside the Mess. Time: 9.00pm. Props: table, two chairs, and large full moon.
SANDY: That zine you have been mapping out looks pretty good, but why on earth did you put those Conversational Interludes in?
MYSELF: Well, they rather amuse me.
SANDY: That must be nice for you! But what about the readers?
MYSELF: Readers? Do you mean to tell me people are going to read them?
Sandy is too dazed to reply. There is silence for a few minutes. Then:
MYSELF: The moon is so large I feel I could reach out and touch it.
SANDY: Yes, you wouldn't think it was just under a quarter-million miles away. With an escape velocity of seven miles per second it would take a rocket...
MYSELF: Statistics! With a moon like that he has to talk about statistics! To hell with statistics!!!
Enter a devil groaning. "Oh no, no, not that! I'll go to heaven rather than that."
Enter an angel in full equipment. "Over my dead body! I'm not doing any more jankers if I can help it."
Enter the Android, Robot, Were-wolf, and Vampire.
Exit everyone else.