NOVAE TERRAE #25 - Vol. 3 No. 1 (August 1938)


Also published by the SFA this month:

Copytyping this issue by Joe Patrizio.

Cover by Harry Turner.
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Volume 3
Number 1
New Worlds


Two-Part Editorial.............................................................3
Quo Vadis?.......................................................................5
Dream talk with H. G.......................................................11
Celluloid Resurrection......................................................15
In the Grand Manner........................................................21
The British Fan: No. 4......................................................25
Why fandom?...................................................................29
Worth-While Science-Fiction............................................36
Et Tu Brute?.....................................................................43
Important Announcement................................................. 44
Science-Fiction's Longest Novel.......................................46
News Review...................................................................47

Editor: Maurice K. Hanson, 25 Bernard St., London W.C.1., England.
Associates: Edward J. Carnell, Arthur C. Clarke, William F. Temple

Cover Design by Harry Turner

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I - After Parc Lorentz

We published a magazine. Articles, stories, interviews, news -- they all filled its pages. Articles about books, articles about magazines, articles about fans and editors; articles about science, about philosophy, and sometimes nothing at all. But we published a magazine. It was a good magazine, some said. Some liked the news and interviews and articles; they liked the articles about magazines, about philosophy, but most of all they liked the articles about fans. They liked to read about fans; about fans in London, about fans in Leeds, in Liverpool, in New York and Los Angeles.

Some liked the magazine but many grumbled. Those that grumbled didn't like the printing, didn't like the spelling or the errors in typing. We tried to please them; we worked harder and longer and still they were displeased. First of all we printed the magazine in a garage and in summer the wax of our stencils melted; we printed it in a garage and in the winter our fingers froze. We worked hard in that garage but time moved on and soon we could print no more there.

So we went to an attic. There our stencils did not melt in summer, nor were our fingers frozen in winter, and we went on publishing our magazine. Still some were not pleased though our magazine went out to Australia, out to Rhodesia, out to Texas, to Aberdeen and Nova Scotia. Our readers increased; some liked the magazine and said so. They said it was a good magazine and praised us. But our readers increased and others said it was not a good magazine for the printing was not good. So we sweated and strived and worked and strained.

We worked by night, sometimes by day and often on Saturday afternoon. The world went about its pleasure, but we worked. Hour after hour we strived, printing and typing, writing and printing, typing

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and writing, and printing. Our readers paid tuppence and bought our work. We worked for hours and sweated and our readers paid tuppence. We spent our tuppence and we bought stencils, we bought paper and envelopes and stamps. Our tuppence was gone but we had paper and envelopes and stencils and stamps so we worked again, and again.

Our magazine came out in March, in April, May and June and all the rest of the year. It came out all the next year and the year after that. While the world went about its pleasure we published our magazine. We worked on its interviews and articles, we worked on its news and stories. Some of our readers were pleased, some were not, but we published a magazine.

II - Two Announcements

On page 31 of this issue you will see the first one of the two features that appear in the pages of NOVAE TERRAE for the first time. "Scripsi" -- "I have written" will consist of a few pages set aside for readers to argue amongst themselves about themselves or the magazine or science or anything they like. In the article in the issue Jack Speer asks for discussion among fans. It is hoped that fans will avail themselves of the opportunity.

Further, with this issue NOVAE TERRAE embarks on a policy of finding out things about scientific fiction. A policy of discovering facts of vital importance to the fan. One might style them the facts of life of science-fiction. With the co-operation of its readers who, as a body, represent the most important group of fans in existence it will carry out a kind of mass-observation of the fantasy world. It will snap its fingers at Beachcomber and distribute questionnaire after questionnaire. Turn to page 19.

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by Douglas W. F. Mayer

Like most other things, science-fiction waxes and wanes in cycles. And we are now on the verge of a new cycle.

Last year, 1937, saw the birth of a progressive science-fiction era. The first British Conference had been held in January, and had resulted in the formation of an influential, reliable, world-wide, non-commercial organisation, The Science-Fiction Association. In science-fiction circles, a new world had been called into being to redress the sins of the old. And, inspired by the example of their united, co-operating European colleagues, the American fans began to set their own house in order. The International Scientific Association, which for some time had been in danger of decomposing through internal intrigues, was brought to a dignified conclusion, and several of its retiring officers launched a noble campaign to clear up this dreadful mess of American fan mags by rounding most of them up into the corral of the Fantasy Amateur Press Assocation, leaving the main field clear for three or four comparatively worth-while publications.

Fans soon began to realise that science-fiction was worthy of being more than a battlefield for petty rivalries, and month old bickerings and "staple-wars" gradually died away into obscurity. Conferences were organised; new groups were formed on saner lines than their predecessors; various evils of the science-fiction realm, such as the remainder and back-number profiteering, were exposed and discussed.

In England, science-fiction books appeared faster than fans could read them, culminating in the almost simultaneous publication of the three outstanding science-fiction masterpieces, "Star Maker",

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"Star Begotten", and "Sugar in the Air". British fans toured the country, meeting one another, exchanging ideas; the long-awaited TALES OF WONDER triumphantly appeared, and for the first time in history a science-fiction group was formed in London.

At last some of the more thoughtful fans decided to take stock of their position. Why were they spreading science-fiction? After much thought and argument they reached their conclusions, and "Michelism" was born. Science-fiction fans drifted into two groups. One group went on collecting every scrap of science-fiction it could lay its hands on, pestering editors, authors, and publishers, and religiously arguing the merits of Brown or Wesso, of Winterbotham or Kuttner. The other group realised that science-fiction was more than an entertaining narcotic--it was a stimulant; and thus stimulated, they wanted to set out and change the world. Such was the 1937 era, which may be said to have come to a close with the London Conference this April. And just as the Leeds Conference had started one era, so, I believe, has the London Conference started another.

Shortly before the Conference, ASTOUNDING STORIES was taken over by John W. Campbell, Jnr., and changed its name to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION. Furthermore, after nine years of sober survival in the hands of T. O'Coner Sloane, AMAZING STORIES was sold to the Ziff-Davies group. Despite the fact that the magazine was now edited by fan and author Raymond A. Palmer, fans looked upon the metamorphosis and the "human story" policy with suspicion. Then came the biggest surprise of all - the appearance of MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES, with a superb novel by Arthur Burks and sizzling stories by Henry Kuttner. Finally, to round things off, came the announcement of FANTASY for Newnes, and of a companion to THRILLING WONDER STORIES.

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And whilst witnessing the birth of a new era, whilst watching the magazine enthusiasts sending up their thanks to Allah, and hearing the moans of the Michelists resigning themselves to a spate of sex, super-science, and "cosmic wild-west stuff", I think the time has come for us to ask ourselves, "Where is science-fictin going?" Science-fiction , the editors tell us, is marching on. But they omit to tell us where it is marching to. And though I have no intention of taking on myself a Wellsian mantle and trying to help them out - since science-fiction, like female fashion, is a fickle thing - I am willing to go as far as sketching the main trends, and thus leaving the reader to form his own conclusion.

There is no doubt that the increase of the number of science-fiction magazines to seven will have a large effect on the destiny of science-fiction. It is too much to expect that many fans will regularly buy all seven, and Donald Wollheim's estimate of 30,000 people who regularly subscribe to all three American magazines will certainly suffer a severe drop when applied to the two new ones.

In England, for the time being at any rate, most fans will support both British publications, and the effect on the American sales in this country will not be too great, though it is possible that there may be a reversion to remainder buying. Should the British magazines begin to appear bi-monthly, it is probable that American sales will suffer severely, and should the magazines ever take to appearing monthly, then it is probable that some readers, unable to afford purchasing both, will desert one in favour of the other.

A similar thing will happen in America. Apart from a few collectors and casuals, the English magazines will be completely neglected. For a time, most of the 20,000 "regulars" will struggle with all five.

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Again, a lot depends on the frequency of publication. At present, ASTOUNDING is the only one appearing monthly, whereas three others appear bi-monthly, and the T.W.S. companion will no doubt also appear bi-monthly. On this basis, the annual bookstall cost of the magazines $6.30., or about 25/-, which is not so bad considering that British fans are already paying 28/- a year for only four magazines, and are getting eight copies less. It must be remembered, of course, that AMAZING will probably go monthly in the near future, which will affect the pockets of fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is no doubt that if this increasing of the frequency of appearance continues, American fans too will desert some magazines in favour of others. Which magazines will be supported and which deserted it is impossible to say, since three magazines, AMAZING, MARVEL, and the T.W.S. companion, are at present more or less unknown quantities. But I feel safe in saying that ASTOUNDING will be last to be deserted. This, at the moment, seems to be the foremost magazine. It is certainly the most "scientific", and so long as it does not try to stick too rigidly to one policy, to the exclusion of an occasional Keller yarn or Coblentz satire, then I see no reason why, for some time to come, it should not rule the roost in America.

But of course, there is another aspect of the magazine increase to be considered, and that is, the drain on the authors. In the "good old days" authors used to average about one story a year. Now, many of them average one a month. Judging from the latest ASTOUNDING editorial, this magazine is already feeling the pinch. In England, at present, the position is pretty bad, though it would be much worse if

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the magazines appeared more often. we have at present less than a dozen authors to draw upon, but matters will no doubt get better as new authors are attracted to the new field. Whether many new authors will come to light in America remains to be seen.

Next to ASTOUNDING in America there is the unknown quantity MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES. Although making a "shocking" start with its sexy stories, there is no doubt that "Survival" was a real gift from the gods, and the announcement of a sequel to this, of stories by Williamson, Keller, and Coblentz, of a cover illustrated by Paul, and of interior illustrations by Paul, Wesso, and Binder, suggest a very promising future for the magazine.

I cannot wax very optimistic over THRILLING WONDER STORIES, or over its companion, which will probably be of a very similar nature. The use of "thrilling" in the title, the type reminiscent of the old Clayton "blood and thunder" ASTOUNDING, and the incorporation of the Zarrak strip gave the magazine a very poor start, from which it has never satisfactorily recovered. Although at times it has appeared to be on the up grade, it has never progressed far. Unless some radical changes take place within the next two or three years, T.W.S. will probably be entirely ignored by science-fiction fans, and will be relegated to the level of some of the super-scientific detective or horror mags.

AMAZING is another uncertain magazine. Unless the editor realises that all good stories are not necessarily good science-fiction, this will probably be also relegated out of the science-fiction field, and will become something almost akin to MODERN WONDER. Slap-bang adventure with stereotyped characters is not "human interest." It is the "Rebirth", "Survival", or M. Schere type of story that combines human interest and good science-fiction. It is this type of story that ASTOUNDING and MARVEL will no doubt try to feature, though it is, unfortunately, not a type

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that can be churned out overnight by "hack" authors. Apart from this, and possibly numerous imitations of the "Ra for the Rajah" story, and the M. Schere type of tale, I do not forsee any other outstanding developments within the next year or so, as far as themes are concerned.

Turning now to the realm of books, I am afraid that the position is not too satisfactory. The brilliant 1937 cycle, which presented us with merely a dozen outstanding science-fiction books, died out last November, since when there has not been a single noteworthy science-fiction book published, with the exception of Marvel's "Minerva Man." And apart from Maurois' "Thought-Reading Machine" I do not think there will be any more worth notice until 1939. The juvenile "stratosphere plane" type of story will be still represented, of course, as will stories set in the immediate future, which deal almost excusively with the next war. I did think last year that Stapledon's "Star Maker" and Shiel's "Young Men Are Coming" might have started a cycle of books with "cosmic" themes, but nothing seems to have developed so far, and I hesitate to prophesy anything definite.

In films, the situation is a little more encouraging. Although the cycle of "Lost Horizon" fantasies predicted by J.R.Fearn has not yet begun, and although most of the super-science in modern films is of the humorous variety, the fact that out of the dozen or so films recently re-issued five of them have been science-fictional, indicated clearly that these films have some intrinsic appeal which may set harrassed producers on another "Thing to Come" cycle.

I could continue to comment on possible developments in the fan field, but as this article has already assumed unwieldy proportions, I bequeath the topic to some other writer, leaving Time to support or ridicule my remarks.

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by Eric C. Williams

"Thank you, H.G., I will take a little 'something.'"

That ws the pleasant start to my talk with H.G.Wells. He stood at the sideboard in his cosy study, and measured out what he considered to be enough for a youth of my age. Then, after giving the syphon a vigorous jab, he brought the resulting fizz over to me and seated himself in an armchair opposite.

"Now," he said, "this is not a recreation I indulge in very often, giving interviews to young men - for that matter, any men - but with an hour to spare, one might as well spend it in the most different way one can think of."

"Diferent?" I fumbled vaguely.

"Different in that I've never before met a Science-Fictionist - that is what you call yourself, I believe? I've met people who liked my earlier fantastic stuff, but nobody who liked nothing but this scientifically flavoured fiction."

"Oh, come," I said. "We like other types of literature."

His podgy hand waved this aside.

"But your main interests lie in this science-fiction, this unleashed imagination stuff. There is something in it which is deeper than love of thrills. You - all of you - are frustrated. That is the ultimate answer, I am sure. Something in your mental yearnings is being frustrated, and if you wish to get the best out of life, you must find what that obstruction is, and what is being obstructed."

"Something of the sort has been conjectured by us science-fictionists," I said humbly.

"And were any decisions reached about this frustration?"

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"Vague ones," I replied. "Some say that we are progressive people who want to see a better world."

"Do you?" he interjucted bluntly.

"Why yes, of course."

"In what way?" He thew this out so quickly that I had no time to ponder.

"Well, we want peace, for one thing."

"That is an innate desire in everybody. What else?"

"A sane use of scientific discovery in industry and other places." This came to me handily, and he nodded his head several times in a curious way.

Encouraged, I went on.

"Education for everybody, you know, in Biology, History, and World Affairs."

He smiled briefly at something, but nodded his head again.

"A world that gives everybody the chance to show his best."

"In fact," he finished for me, "you want a world where there is nothing to worry you; where goodness and order abound?"

I nodded.

"And have you any plan for accomplishing this turn over in the world? Some policy or other?" He stared at me in a friendly sort of way as though he knew the answer already, and pitied me.

"Only that by featuring what these better worlds might be like in our fiction, people will gradually change their attitude to things, and want these other worlds."

"I have tried the same thing all my life. But the first necessity is to have a fairly concrete vision of what is wanted to make a new world, and for your authors to stick to it. Is there any movement amongst your authors tending to fix the aims of this future world? Have they settled on the work of Mankind? Have they got the world worked out?"

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"No," I apologised. "So far attempts at the portrayal of future civilizations have been purely individual efforts."

"Do they intend to work this thing out together?"

"I don't know. So far the idea has not been broached to them."

"You meant to say that it is not the authors' idea, this writing sociology into their stories, but simply your own?" He was plainly puzzled.

"Yes, it was only recently we habitual readers decided that science-fiction should become a great power in remodelling the world."

"And the authors know nothing of this yet?"

"Not many."

"And do all the readers want this change?"

"Most of the thinking fans," I replied.

"And what proportion of the whole are these thinking fans?"

"A very small proportion, I'm afraid."

"Ah!" He blew out the air from his cheeks, and looked me over quizzically. There was something of disappointment in his eye.

"And the publishers and editors, what do they say about it?"

"Nothing as yet."

"Do you expect them to fall in with the suggestions of your small minority. A small chance, don't you think?"

"Yes," I admitted. ""But still there is the chance."

"Um!" he said in a very faraway tone.

"The thing is worth trying," I pursued in an attempt to regain my waning enthusiasm.

"Oh quite," he murmured distantly.

There was a silence as we each gave ourselves up to ruminations.

"It is the same with every progressive person I meet," he said suddenly. "They are frustrated.

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At every turn they are frustrated by the inertia of the mass. They must labour and grind away at one spot, whereas the whole thing ought to be accomplished in one effortless unit. One thing at a time, year after a year they pound away, until suddenly the masses turn round on them and say: "Of course, this thing should be so; we don't have to be told a million times." And they are free to attack their next point. World mending under the present conditions is a slow business. Progress is the striving of a few men to alter the conditions, and the world follows on. You, my friend, will have to be patient. Build your fortress of propaganda slowly and thoroughly. Don't rush and have the world prejudiced against you. Think the world out first; make your authors see it so; instil them with the workings of this new world, then sprinkle your books and magazines with wisdom. Let it seep slowly into the mass - then it may pass the editorial stage."

"That is what we intended all along."

"Even so, we have not unravelled the mystery of why you like this 'science-fiction'."

I shrugged my shoulders. "Why do some people like art and some loathe it? Might not the answer be in a matter of taste?"

"The expression means only the result of frustration. Somewhere inside you there is something that is frustrated. What can it be? What can it be?"

I left him pondering over my frustration.

A Planet...
is said to have passed quite close to the Earth last year. Have you thought what might happen if a planet came into contact with the Earth? Read THE MIGHTY MILLSTONE by C.H.T.Cosier. (Stockwell, 7/6.)

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by William F. Temple

The secret "strong arm" branch of the SFA got busy recently, and coerced the London cinema managers into reviving the stf. film classics - "or else." (We had threatened a boycott by the entire membership of the SFA, and a mass chalking of rude words in foyers. The managers quailed.) So for a fortnight the metropolis gloried in a flood of the old fantasies. As the roving reporter, I went the round of them to record my impressions for NOVAE TERRAE.

KING KONG was drawing great crowds in the Edgware Road - there were queues as long as those for SNOW WHITE - and Ego Clarke had to pay top price. Old man Kong was as spritely as ever; a bit too jerky in his first walk on, perhaps, but maybe he was highly strung, like Ego. We liked the monsters, but pointed out to each other superiorly that actually the brontosaurus was not carnivorous and couldn't walk on land (it broke both rules in the film) and also that the other reptiles were probably voiceless (they kept screaming almost as much as Fay Wray). And we were a bit disappointed at not seeing Poppa Kong land in the street when he tumbled off the Empire State Building. We wanted to see what happened to the people who were in the way.

Bravely I went to see DR. JEKYLL AND MR.HYDE all alone. The opening shots, seen through Dr. Jekyll's own eyes, remain an original and effective piece of direction, but the rest of the film dates a bit. One scene is unconsciously funny, with Fredric March reclining on his back on the floor being rocked by sweetheart Rose Hobart, declaiming emotional dialogue at the same time. The audience

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cackled unfeelingly. But Fredric's simian transformation (whilst he panted like a little dog out of breff) "got" the audience again, and I noticed several women gazing studiously at the floor, afraid to look at the screen.

Oscar Deutsch was on our secret list, and so the big Odeon in Leicester Square had raked up THINGS TO COME. But they had cut chunks out of it. Mr. Wells must have been annoyed, but it certainly speeded up the action of the film. The rather boring dualogue in the cellar between John Cabal and Rozana was removed entirely, as was the Boss's banquet ("Who wants books any more?") There were other smaller cuts, not quite so discriminating, but my favourite piece of the film, the smashing air raid at the start, was untampered with. And again I wished there was a gramaphone record obtainable of the "Machine Music" accompanying the scenes of the building of the new world.

The other Wells film was revived in that quaint cinema under the railway arches in Villiers Street, the Forum. Mr. Fotheringay, THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES, was working 'em for all he was worth, with the aid of the old "stop camera" business (it could have been done with more care) while the trains rumbling overhead provided thunder which was quite atmospherically effective. But that Wellsian dialogue again! Full of sense, yes, but over-full. Again Wells had tried to bung too many of his ideas into one film at once, and the result was somewhat indigestible. People do not talk or act like that, and few of the characters came even remotely alive. As a Wells fan, I regret that he is sacrificing humanity so completely on the alter of propaganda. (Nicely put, lad, nicely put.)

I saw LOST HORIZON again at Tussaud's, and came away wondering a few things: Who did the housework in Shangri-La? How did the High Lama come by a Middle-West accent? Did the

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thousands of pigeons who were constantly fluttering around Shangri-La treat that noble temple in the manner that pigeons treat park benches and the steps of St Paul's? Did Chang ever have to remark to the High Lama: "But they say it's lucky, you know."? But it's easy to be hypercritical, and most of the highbrow critics had come down like a ton of bricks on Capra for "popularising" it too much. Certainly Edward Everett Horton's familiar brand of comedy made one almost expect Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to suddenly pop from behind one of the pillars and do a tap-dance along the shining, art-strewn corridors. But I should like to see one of those fastidious critics make a higher-class rendering of the story, without slipping into long patches of boredom.

FRANKENSTEIN and THE INVISIBLE MAN on together at the Leicester Square Theatre was a programme which overawed me. I managed to persuade Editor Maurice Hanson to come with me and hold my hand in the more terrifying sequences. But it wasn't really necessary, although they had labelled both films "Horrific." FRANKENSTEIN, to me at least, appeared to creak along. The dialogue was as trite as the acting, the Grand Guignol stuff was mechanical, and the ceremony of the hoisting of the corpse out into the thunderstorm for no apparent reason was just ludicrous. (Yet when I saw the film years ago I thought it good.) I think the main trouble this time was that I couldn't believe in the Monster. It was just old friend Karloff gone all rheumaticky. (Dear old Boris, who literally wouldn't hurt a fly in real life, and who tried so hard to be a tough gangster in SCARFACE last week - and failed dismally.)

THE INVISIBLE MAN was on a much higher plane. The same director, though in better form. I liked Claude Rains's voice, and the manace he infused into it; e.g. the scene where he is about to bump off Dr. Kemp:-

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"I'm afraid there's going to be a nasty accident in a minute - a very nasty accident." The famous unveiling scene caused its usual stir, though this time I watched with a knowing eye (having lately absorbed a lot of the technicalities of camera magic) and saw through it in more ways than one. I deplored certain faults again: the usual caricature of the British policeman ("Hah, wot's all this 'ere?"); the radio announcements (high speed dramatics in the best Radio City manner, but most un-BBC-like); and the American locomotive which the Invisible One wrecked in England - will these Yanks never learn?

Afterwards, Maurice and me wandered about the West End discussing a peculiar similarity shared by the power-drunk Griffin, the neurotic Frankenstein, and the harassed Dr. Jekyll - they all have girl friends who keep wailing about them being absorbed in their experiments ("I haven't seen him for weeks - he looked so ill - I'm so worried" etc.) And all these girls implore their heroes not to meddle in things he didn't oughter - ("There are boundaries we aren't meant to cross"...etc.) And then these psuedo-scientists, after a dose of monsters, generally repent on their deathbeds, and gasp similar sentiments before rolling up their eyes.

Why this preaching of conservatism in films? In future we demand cinematic scientists who realise that it's their duty to "meddle." And hearing that THE LOST WORLD is about to be remade, we are despatching our strong arm branch post-haste to Hollywood to prevent Professor Challenger gasping in the last reel that he shouldn't have meddled with monsters.

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At a recent London SFA meeting a discussion was held of unusual interest. "Why do YOU read science-fiction?" those present were asked. The not very profound conclusion was reached that most people read science fiction for the same reason that they ate fish and chips - because they like doing so. The discussion then became centred around the question why some people read science-fiction and others abhorred it.

If this question could be satisfactorily answered it would be a material step towards the realization of the fan's dream of a literary world in which science-fiction occupies an important and acknowledged place. No one, we believe, has ever seriously set about finding an answer to this question. Some say that cosmic rays make fans; others perhaps attribute their interest in science-fiction to the fact that they always have kippers for breakfast, or that they have been brought up in a household of liberal views.

By an investigation as soundly scientific as we can make it, we intend to find this out. The attempt will need the co-operation of every reader of s.f. who has sufficient interest in it to wish to see it progress, of all who aspire after truth itself. We have no doubt that every reader of N.T. will help by answering the questions detailed below. But that will not be enough; if he wishes to do his utmost to further this research the reader will get the friends he lends his magazine to, to do the same. We trust all S.F.A. branch secretaries to ensure that every member of their groups lends his aid to this project.

We are setting out to discover what it is that causes you to read science-fiction while the man next to you does not. We are assuming that there is at the bottom some tangible physical reason, not fire from Heaven or being possessed of a devil, but rather something that may be explained in terms of genes or calories.

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A liking for science-fiction may be a characteristic inherited from one's parents, or it may be a characteristic impressed upon the mind by the physical world in which it grows up, or more likely, a combination of the two; finally there is the possibility that science-fiction readers may be biological 'sports'. In one of those directions lies the reason why you like science-fiction. It may not be -- probably is not -- the same reason for everybody but it seems probable that there will be reasons that apply to a majority.

The questions below are designed to elicit information that will indicate what part heredity plays. Reports will be given of the conclusions reached from the answers we receive, and the arguments on which they are based. You will be able to watch the research as it progresses and check up on its results.

All information received will be treated as strictly confidential so far as personal details are concerned. Your replies are urgently needed and should be sent to

Arthur C. Clarke,
88 Gray's Inn Road,

It is important that this address be strictly adhered to.

I Your Own Idea

  1. To what do you attibute your liking for scientific fiction?
II Yourself
  1. Have you a liking for fantasy in general or only scientific fiction?
  2. Is there any type of s-f that appeals to you more strongly than the rest? For example?
  3. To what extent are your interests of a technical-scientific nature?

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In the Grand Manner
by D.R. Smith

Brilliant astronaut though he was, Steven Ross had none of the characteristics of his hard-boiled class. His fresh compexioned, clear eyed countenance had still the gay irresponsibility of boyhood. Yet in his blue eyes, deep down in their depth, dwelt the celestial calmness of those who have dared death in the many terrible forms in which it comes to those who navigate space.

So thought the man who eyed him coldly, calculatingly, over the ornate platinum desk. Portly, pompous, absurd of figure and of thin high-pitched voice was this man, though his vast fortune gave him power immeasurable.

"I am sending an expedition to Riolax, planet two of system 9979-37" he squeaked in his shrill voice that was like the shrieking of the rusted hinges of some vast medieval fortress. "Professor Carsconni will be the leader, and as assistants will go Professor Hubert Rennie and my daughter, Dr. Madeleine. The vessel will be N-53-6. As the distance is so great, but one more may go as your assistant. I suggest you select him yourself."

"I suggest Astrogator Patrick Ane, sir."

"Good enough. You will start at ten hours on Thursday the nineteenth."

The three days that remained before the start were none too long for Steve and his gigantic Irish friend to reassure themselves as to the conditions of the immense atom powered ether impellors which occupied three quarters of the immense interstellar vessel, the N-53-6. By dint of great exertion

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they succeeded in completing the task to their satisfaction when the hour came for departure. The scientists arrived punctually and the astronauts shook hands with jolly faced Hubert Rennie, bowed courteously to the stately though vivacious Madeleine of the red-gold hair, and eyed the sallow-faced nastiness calling itself Carsconni with scarcely-veiled contempt.

"It's not I who'll take orders from the spalpean" growled Pat in his friend's ear. The menacing rumble reached Carsconni and he shot a poisonous glance at the pair.

At a million metres per second per second they accelerated away from the Earth, the terrible pressure making even the space hardened pilots gasp for breath. The speed of light was exceeded in a few minutes, and, as a consequence of the inexorable working of the Fitzgerald Contraction the space-ship passed into a weird existence where everything was negative. The first few days were nerve-racking even for those experienced in such conditions. To move forward it was necessary to step backwards, the voices of the passengers came from their ears and to hear clearly it was necessary to open the mouth, as the vocal chords received the sounds. The marvellous adaptive qualities of mankind soon adjusted the occupants to the abnormal conditions, except for Carsconni, whose fiendish temper made him absolutely intolerable. To Steve's delight the sallow-faced Professor's engagement to Madeleine was brought to a sudden end when she heard him cursing the ship's pet tortoise fiendishly after the animal had knocked his foot from under him. She said it was a crime to blame the poor animal for rushing about, for how was it to escape the effects of the negative conditions? Moreover the ship's parrot, until now a singularly pure-minded bird, was listening with

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open mouth and great interest. Carsconni tried to squirm out of the mess by pointing out that, due to the reverse conditions, the bird would actually remember and repeat phrases of great piety under normal conditions. Madeleine said it was the principle of the thing, and went on to reflections on the character of Carsconni's ears and the horrible voice that proceeded therefrom until Carsconni fled with a venomous glance.

"It's a lucky man ye are, an' her the heir to millions the likes of us 'd never believe in" commented Pat when Steve told him of the clash.

Came the landing in a great open space in the midst of the mile high ferns of a primeval forest where distorted colossi bellowed and fought through the long hot nights and the longer, hotter, days.

"Obviously the Carboniferous Age" Carsconni said pompously.

"My dear fellow" laughed Hugh. "The dinosaurs belong to a much later age, Mezozoic."

Carsconni gave him a poisonous look.

"Let us go outside".

Outside they went, all five of them armed with deadly lethal guns. Something glittered on the alien blue-green sward not fifty yards fron the ship. Intensely intrigued, all save Carsconni rushed forwards.

"Why it's only a cog-wheel" cried Madeleine. Steve gave her a glance from which love and respect were conspicuously absent.

"A left hand helical mitre gear" he said, with emphasis on the last word. "Involute tooth form, helix angle about twelve, ground after hardening" he went on didactically.

"What does all this mean?" cried Madeleine hysterically. Steve regarded her irritably.

"It means that I know more about gears than you do."

"But where did it come from?"

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"That, I can tell you" said Carsconni, who had been forgotten in the confusion.

"Do not move please" he went on smoothly, with flat murder in his voice as the party whirled to face a powerful atom blast gun. "I will satisfy your curiosity by saying that I put it there, to attract your attention while I got the drop on you. You insulting fools have gone too far on this trip. At the count of three you die."

His voice was soft and almost musical of tone as he counted slowly. He was quite mad, but his dark eyes were almost benign as he gazed at the petrified group, for he knew that the twitch of his finger would free him from the constant irritation their existence caused him. He delayed after the 'three' had died away on the breathless air, savouring the pleasure of the moment. Suddenly a harsh voice rent the still air.

"You sweetly scented white moralist!"

Startled by the mysterious ironist Carsconni half-turned to face the voice, and in the instant Steve and Pat sprang into motion. The madman whirled back again. Only a fortunate chance saved that party. Madeleine's slender form was in the path of the accelerating giant Irishman, and the impact hurled her forward like a bullet. The delicate-boned Carsconni was smashed by her weight against the adamant side on the space-ship, with immediately fatal results.

"You clumsy oaf" gasped Madeleine as the men picked her up solicitously. "Sure, it's apologizing I am, though it's the best deed I ever did in all me born days though coming from kind-hearted Connemara itself" said Pat sympathetically.

"You certainly saved our lives" said Hugh cheerily.

"It seems to me I deserve a little praise" suggested Madeleine with some acrimony. Then she caught sight of the parrot standing on one leg in the doorway, surveying the surroundings critically. Her womanly heart was touched.

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"It was he who saved us" she declared. "And it was the miserable Carsconni's own phrase, happily reversed that he spoke. Pretty Polly den" she went on, stooping painfully over the bird. "Scratchee poll poll? Bessums little voice den" and much more besides.

"You talk like a bloody fool" said the shrewd old bird and waddled back to the ship, knowing full well the value of a good exit line.

The British Fan in his Natural Haunt
by William F. Temple
No 4. Maurice K. Hanson

If at any S.F.A. meeting where Eric Williams is declaiming speeches from "Things to Come", Ken Chapman and Ted Carnell are whispering rude jokes to each other and sniggering, A. C. Clarke is having hysterics on the floor, and W. F. Temple is psycho-analyzing himself at the top of his voice, you notice a quiet and silent figure in the corner wearing a detached far-away expression, that will be Maurice K. Hanson. A reserved bloke, with a deep and thoughtful intellect. Yet he's got a keen sense of humour -- I know because he laughs at my jokes sometimes.

His favourite book is Stapledon's "Odd John", and that's because he was an infant prodigy himself. He amused himself in his cradle by working out the quotient of the curve of the hood above his head, and his first words were not the conventional "Da-da" but "Hail, paternal progenitor!" When I interviewed him in his 'den', a bed-sitting room in Bernard St., W.C.1.,(which he shares with a school-friend from his home-town, Leicester) I was cunningly palming the New Oxford Dictionary so as not to be at a loss. But, as usual, he said very little.

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I looked at his book-shelves first. The top one was just his current reading. It held all the recent science-fiction mags and 7 books. It shows you the mental grasp of the fellow -- he was reading them all at once. Among them were De Quincey's "Opium Eater", More's "Utopia" and Wells, Haldane and Pascal. He had No. 3 of AMAZING STORIES in the cupboard, but most of his collection is in Leceister. He has stacks of the Big Three there, but not one complete set. He's thirty copies short in all.

It was a warm and close evening, and the hand of Maurice's clock thermometer pointed to 70. The land-lady came in and said "It's a warm evening isn't it?" We agreed. And then M.K. dug out his files. Gosh! you never saw such a conglomeration of indexes! He files everything, even his nails. (Yes, I'm aware the jest is superannuated.) No wonder he has been to see "The Index Play" so many times. (That's new). There were files (abandoned) of every stf. story he'd read until recently, of books he'd read, music he'd heard, plays and films he'd seen, and jokes Ken Chapman had told him (some marked with a "?"). There were files of F.P.S.I. literature, of John Bull X-words, of articles cut from "The New Stateman" and lots of other things I can't decipher from the notes I took at the time. (It was a warm evening.)

More interesting was a thick pile of little cardboard folders, each neatly labelled with its contents: "Art", "Beauty", "Science", "Reflection", "Quintessences", "Music", "Countryside" and what have you. Each contained sheets of paper with cuttings and photos from mags. and papers pasted on them, illustrating the classification of the label, often quirkishly. Like the LILLIPUT magazine. This is Maurice's odd way of filing his opinions and impressions.

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I examined one labelled "Humour" and found several "Beachcomber" articles that I thought unfunny, and some letters chosen for their unconscious humour. Maurice had received them in all seriousness from correspondents whose names I dare not reveal. (But forward me 6d. in stamps and I'll send you a list.) Strangely enough, I could discover no humorous articles of mine in this file -- only a serious one which had evidently got into the wrong file by mistake. Perhaps it had strayed from the next one which was labelled "The Great". There was just one letter in that, from Olaf Stapledon in his own writing.

Another file was labelled "Why Socialism?" and showed a big private mansion surrounded by thousands of acres of parkland ("Trespassers will be Prosecuted") contrasted with a picture of one of the worst slums. This was illustrated in actuality before us, for Bernard St. is a street of prosperous houses and hotels, yet from the open window of No. 25 I could see a street of slums opposite filled with shrieking, dirty children.

It was evident that Maurice had deep feelings about these things, and I had to admire the way he kept them under control. Despite his sensitiveness he was always quiet and reserved, with a slow, deliberate speech, and an imperturbable air that an earthquake would not unsettle. Really a self-controlled gentleman. Just then he dropped a packet of photos on the floor, and cried in a loud and terrible voice: BLAST! The windows rattled, the landlady came in again and remarked that it was a warm evening, and we said yes.

One of the photos was taken at the first S.F.A. Convention on a wet Sunday afternoon in Leeds, and showed Eric Frank Russell towering over a group of "kids".

But of course Maurice is most known as the Editor of NOVAE TERRAE, and this room was where he edited. The typewriter held a half-cut stencil, Turner and Dobby covers were lying about, there was

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a pile of MSS. in the raw, and the W.P.B. looked suspiciously full. "N.T." is one of the most popular and widely read of the fan mags., and yet, you know, I managed to dig out of Maurice the reluctant confession that he was tired of editing it.

With my vast knowledge of psychology, I pounced on the reason like lightning. It was lack of response. For no one (with the exception of D. R. Smith and one or two other stalwarts) bothers to give their opinions of the issues. The issues of NOVAE TERRAE sent out might just as well be blank sheets of paper (some of them are amost blank sometimes anyway) for all the response received.

Well, to return. We put our feet up on the absent friend's bed, and I told Maurice my ideas on philosophy and what makes a stf. fan tick.

"It's a cardinal point --" began Maurice.

I told him my life story.

"It gives one food for thought -- " tried Maurice again.

I told him my future life story.

He said "Um".

So you see, I could not get a word out the deep and taciturn fellow. As we came down the stairs we met the landlady and she said: "My! isn't it a warm evening?" We said we hadn't noticed it.

It is not generally known..........
That Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, featured in the forthcoming TALES OF WONDER, is of German, Swiss and Swedish ancestry, that he was born in Pennsylvania in 1910, and before taking up writing as a vocation worked as a paper-box manufacturer.

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by Jack Speer

Some time back this writer penned an article which recently appeared in a Comet Publication as "Why Science-Fiction?" which asked for a philosophy of science-fiction that would cover all things that we consider indispensable to our avocation and yet indicate where the emphasis should be placed. Since writing it I have formulated one of my own, which is here submitted for your consideration.

Turn Fandom into a Forum. There are some that won't like this. I extend my sympathies. But the old days are gone for ever. The fan is now at an age when he is philosophizing about anything and everything. In fandom he has learned to express himself. Then -- let him! Let anything from the education of very young children to the superiority of the cell rocket over the step be discussed.

Of course, the thing would be very dull without some variety. There remains, therefore, the science-fictional news, and humour along science-fiction lines. Though there should be no restriction on the range of controversial essays and such, news and humour should keep near the old fantasy grazing grounds. We need fear no dearth of subject matter for them.

Meanwhile let the more serious fans and the fans in their more serious moments debate anything and everything and profit by this self-expression and by the counter arguments. There is no reason why the opinions of a man at twenty-three should be irrevocably set. If a concept turns out to be false, drop it, but keep plugging ahead until you have a really satisfactory picture of what things should be.

Meanwhile, it is even permissible to test political tricks on the fan world. While queer characters

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like most of us are don't make the ideal proving grounds it is pretty certain that if a thing can't get by with the fans it can't get by in the outer world, and vice versa -- more or less.

Argue for your own sake as well as to convert the other fellow. Listen to what he has to say. Of course, I deplore any group so set in its own ideas that its only aim is to attract others to its standard, but the leaders of this fandom will soon outgrow it. In the meantime, it provides a stimulus of a sort, though the ever-present threat may hamper frank discussion.

But -- express yourself. And listen to the other fellow. Yerke said: "It is not the destiny of SCIENTIFICTION to reform the world to what it should be, tho I have little doubt scientifictionists will have no small part in the struggle. I agree with him entirely. There are many brilliant minds in fandom that, if not too far perverted, will certainly play a large part in the readjustment to come. Since we don't know who it will be, anyone that wants to can pile into the debates. Even those of us destined to plod along our small ways would do well to have a guiding light. The vote will always hereafter remain, and it is a crime not to vote intelligently.

That, I think, covers all things worthwhile, and at the same time indicates the proper emphasis. The views of any others on the subject will be welcome.

Whose theory of time has provided much material for discussion among those interested in that kind of thing, develops his ideas further in "The New Immortality" published by Faber and Faber on 21st July.

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(See Section II of Editorial)

What Started it All - From S. Youd, Eastleigh, Hants.

With regard to the lack of constructive criticism of NOVAE TERRAE, I'm afraid the the fault lies, partly at least, at your door. The curt termination of controversies with the third article (and this has happened twice to my knowledge) would seem to indicate that you were not enthusiastic for prolonged or intense discussion. I think that the best way to improve the present state of affairs would be to include a regular letters column in which you could publish short and pertinent extracts from various letters. Starting with a few old stand-bys, such as Smith, Williams, Griffiths et al., others would soon write if only for the debased thrill of seeing their names in print.

The First Blast - From Bert Lewis, Preston Lancs.

May I make a little suggestion (or perhaps a few suggestions) to one D. R. Smith who has so kindly condescended to write for your valuable magazine. Apparently Mr. Smith is under the impression that he is the critic of the age, judging by his article entitled "Arise, Fans!" one would think that he knew all the answers. Judging again, by his flow of long-winded words I would have imagined him doing his swotting from the local library dictionaries. Perhaps he is one of those 'fans' who gets his 'mags' from the remainder stalls at 41, then writes to the editors telling them how to run a science-fiction magazine. I would suggest first of all that he offer his services to Mr. Gillings in the production of our English science-fiction magazine. I am sure Mr. Gillings could use such a powerful brain to improve

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the output of his magazine, and I'm sure Mr. Smith considers it 'improvable'. Then I would suggest he offer to take Prof. Low's place in the S.F.A. Surely the Professor would be only too glad to stand down to one, who alone, could build up Utopia that would dwarf those of Bacon and Rousseau. Then again, the B.I.S. is looking for men who would be able to surmount obstacles that beset their progress in Interplanetary Affairs. Finally if Mr. Smith's articles cannot be better than the two in the May issue I suggest that he write one more piece of drivel and then forget how to write.

The Other Side - from Jack Speer, Comanche, Okla.

D. R. Smith's delving into "The Future" was distinctly unusual. It has seemed very strange to me that in a bunch of young fellows as confident as we are in the possibility of predicting future trends, that there have been so few attempts to forcast the future of science-fiction or fandom. Of course, the prophets of doom have said that newsstand science-fiction won't last two more years in its present form, but no one pays any attention to them. Perhaps the prophets have shied away from science-fiction and fandom because they're so new, with so little accumulation of data, but D.R. has ploughed courageously ahead, and while his forecasting is indeed long-range, he's probably right.

Cover and Other Things - from D.R.Smith, Hartshill, Warks.

The cover of the June issue is fancier than ever. Has Mr. Turner been re-reading the old 'Science Wonders' lately? The figure in the foreground and the city in general seem reminiscent of Paul, but 'spatted' wheels for aircraft are already being replaced by retractable undercarriages (as see the'Hurricanes' and 'Spitfires'). The windows on the buildings appear small, too, for an open air, light loving future race.

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There was a rather interesting device described in the "Engineer" a few weeks ago, consisting of an arrangement of mirrors to catch the sun's rays and divert them down a suitable shaft into the heart of a building 'block', thus giving natural light where before artificial light was the only possible illumination. A system of ingenious heat-sensitive switches, simple devices using mercury and its expansive properties to control the motors which move the mirrors in pace with the sun. It is a French invention and is actually in use.

To return to NOVAE TERRAE -- do not think I am disparaging Mr. Turner's cover. As a study in perspective it is excellent.

I could not quite decide what Williams was in favour of, more popular or more 'artistic' scientific fiction. I can't see why he objects to laughter at the A.R.P. clowns either. No doubt it is a serious business and all the rest of it, but it serves excellently to show the incapacity of the people who have placed themselves in charge. To continue with Mr. Williams, I think he is overmuch concerned with the fact that all men are not alike. He should realise that a large portion of the population read nothing at all except the newspapers, which cuts down the definite opponents of scientific fiction a great deal. And why the opposition to to writers writing for money? "The man who writes for anything but money is a fool" - Dr. Swift.

Where does he get his 'intelligent classes' from? There is no class-line in intelligence, although intelligent men are rarer in the 'truck driver' and 'football fan' class than the more idle classes. At any rate, with scientific fiction expending as it appeared to be, there will soon be room for all classes, from the very uplifting, written-with-a-purpose stuff down to the most blatantly commercial stuff. Somewhere half-way between will be my mark, I believe.

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by Momus

Many and varied are the excuses and reasons brought forward by those who wish to explain the remarkable fascination which science-fiction possesses for its readers. These sophisms cover an extaordinary range, from the cynical statement that fans are fools, unmitigated and far gone in foolishness, to the idealists' conception of fans who combine the erudition of an Einstein with the imagination of a Lovecraft and the foresight of a Wells.

But the most plausisble argument advanced by these probers is the "Escapist" theory, and it is probably this which has the greatest following. Advanced as a complete theory by Lowndes (for some reason known as "Doc" Lowndes) it states that stf. fans are merely dreamers who, defeated by a hostile, inimical world, take refuge in a world created for them, largely by science-fiction, in their minds. Stf. to them is a means whereby they may forget the inevitable disappointments of a mad world, and for a few minutes relax. It is a sort of drug which allows its addicts to escape from this hard, matter-of-fact world into a land of dreams.

A beautiful theory. Especially when one realises that the desire to escape from this world, even for a few moments, is not uncommon. When one looks around and sees the really frightening conditions surrounding us:- wars and threats of wars, skies already dark, in anticipation, with fleets of giant bombers, hoardings which admonish us to "Keep Fit" (and make better cannon-fodder, one surmises) and "Join the Modern Army" (become a scientific killer), then the desire becomes understandable. One does not need to be a "defeatest" to wish to escape, even mentally, from a world which is so mad that it passes beyond comprehension.

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To say that stf. fans are remarkable in the fact that they wish to escape is silly and futile, for in exhibiting this desire they are simply exhibiting a universal desire.

Why do films which deal with the "glamour" of night -life and with entirely spurious emotions and false sentiments, achieve a remarkable popularity? Why does the radio pour out apparently endless volumes of dance music and musical comedies? Why do the authors of "thrillers" enjoy steady incomes? Why do music halls, dance halls, public-houses, churches, and lunatic asylums exist in commendably large numbers?

The answer is simple. The existence of these things is merely proof that the urge to escape, whether by music, reading, alcohol, religion, or downright insanity, is universal.

Most fans are escapists, but no more that most persons, and in many cases less so. They differ from the norm in that they choose a medium for their escapism which is transparently escapist. Normal persons choose mediums which are not regarded as escapist, but which are, nevertheless.

This is the only difference I have been able to detect, so far as "Escapism" is concerned. Fans may now regard themselves as being normal. They may, in fact, congratulate themselves on this unique fact.

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A Letter to the Editor


The undersigned must confess that he hoards a large collection of s-f mags. from 1926 onwards, as well as some volumes. He has no intention of parting with these before his translation to another Dimension. Some of these stories are variations only of older ones; but some I can read over and over again:- here are three titles only: "Spacehounds of the I.P.C." "A Voice Across the Years" "Exiles on Asperus."

May I venture to add to the criticism already expressed of the new MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES. "Survival" is probably based on a careful reading of similar stories which have already appeared in considerable number. "Avengers of Space" I do not care for, nor its cover illustration and erotic passages. Besides, admitting an age of 19,000 days, I may be Victorian in outlook. I think readers will admit that the English and American viewpoint is different. Lucas Malet in one of her novels makes an American say that there is something obscure in the English character.

But what we need is work by authors who have a real interest, beyond the necessary payment, in the story that they write. Do they, can they, live with the characters in the surroundings they have created? If Bohun Lynch, for example, could have told us more of the life while there of the Terrestrians who reached the Moon in 1620 only to perish. If S.F. Wright could have told us more of the colonists of Antartica in "Beyond the Rim." In the Eyrie of "Weird Tales" (July, 38) we read

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"Contrary to what one would be led to expect from his fiction, H.P. Lovecraft was a confirmed materialist." Did he then write with his tongue in his cheek, as manifestly does Jaques Spitz in "Sever the Earth" (an excellent story) with convincing (?) astronomical and other details. Capek's "War With the Newts" is in the same style.

Do you think, Mr. Editor and readers, that substantial prizes open to the authors in the British Empire would produce worth-while science-fiction novels, of 300 pages say?

In conclusion, Olaf Stapledon would have written a finer and more cheerful "Last and First Men" if he could have adopted a Theistic basis. The Supreme Being of his "Star Maker" is unworthy of the attention even of mortals like you and me.

FRANCIS H.P. KNIGHT Walsall, Staffs.


I. An Appeal from the Librarian

or God Save the Library!

If you were to look through the books piled and shelved in the numerous book-cases I have in my bedroom, you might think I was a most extraordinarily ardent collector of science-fiction novels. You would see Stapledon, Wells, Burroughs, Wright, Capek, Verne, Shiel, London, Merritt, Wheatley, Hamilton etc. etc. almost ad nausiam, but that is the misfortune I bear through being the Librarian of the SFA for these books are not mine; they are yours. As members of the SFA they are your rightful heritage.

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Ever since the library was formed out of a few tattered copies of Verne and Wells some time last year, there has been an ever-increasing influx of books into my home from interested members, until today I can count (after much effort) about 130 novels and 20 scientific books but through, I suppose, a lack of enterprise on my part, the circulation of these books has never risen to the heights it should have done. These few lines are an endeavour to see the library rise to its proper place in the scheme of things.

Now I put it to you. You are readers of science-fiction; you presume to know something about science-fiction, but have you kept up with the science-fiction novels that are being issued in this country today? When anybody says to you "Have you read 'Man's Mortality' by Michael Arlen?" do you blankly shake your head? To stick to magazine science-fiction is to lose half its possibilities. "They Found Atlantis" has ninety per cent of magazine fiction beaten for thrills and description. "Odd John" and "War With the Newts" have them all beaten for significance.

This library should be your life's blood. It should gush books out to all quarters of the map, suck them in again until I grow grey hairs with overwork.

How about it? Have you been too lazy to write in for a list? Well, with this issue of N.T. you will find a complete list distributed. Look it over and let me hear from you. The only snag in it is that you have to lend one book to the Library for circulation, but it is only in this way that the scope of the Library can expand. Send a book along to.

11 Clowders Road, Catford, LONDON S.E.5. and 4d. to cover postage on the book you want, or 1/- for a batch of 4 (1/6 for a batch of 6), then settle down to discover what's what in science-fiction.

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II. Executive Committee Report

Headquarters: 23 Farnley Road, Norwood, London, S.S.25.

Congratulations! On behalf of the President, Council, and Members of the Science-Fiction Association, we wish to tender our earnest congratulations, as well as our sincere appreciation, to Editor Maurice Hanson and his entire staff, upon the occasion of the Anniversary Issue of "Novae Terrae". We wish to acknowledge the enormous value the publication is to the Association, and express our cordial desire that the magazine will continue to go from strength to strength.

Congratulations too, to Member John Russell Fearn for breaking into "The Passing Show" with his excellent little "Glass Nemesis" in the June 18th issue.

Change of Headquarters Address: Members have all been informed of this by post some time ago, but are reminded that the above address is now the sole office of the Executive Committee and Council of the Association.

New Members: We are delighted to welcome the following new members: F. Tozer (Manchester); J. L. Pope (Church Crookham); F. J. Arnold (Hatch End); Wyndham Lewis (Garnant); Dale Hart (Highlands, Texas); F. C. Lennox (Gateshead); G. Ellis (Manchester); D. Black (London E.); and H. Griffiths (Southport).

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the following: "Baroque Bagatales Brobdingnagian" and "Marvel Science Stories" August 1938 (Member F. J. Ackerman); "Marvel Science Stories" (K.J.Thorn, Manager Atlas Publishing and Dist. Co. Ltd.); "Imagination" for June and July 1938 (Los Angeles Branch); "Journal of the British Interplanetary Society" (B.I.S.); and the weekly "Science-Fiction News Letter" (R. Wilson Jr.).

Convention Report: Copies of this publication have now been on sale for several weeks, and stocks are constantly diminishing. Members wishing to secure a copy are urged to apply to the above office at once, to avoid disappointment. It costs 6d. per copy.

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Association Emblem In respect of an official emblem the Executive Committee invites members to take part in a postal ballot to ascertain the attitude towards same of the membership as a whole. You are asked to send a post-card to Headquarters answering the undermentioned questions:

  1. Are you in favour of the adoption of an official SFA emblem?
  2. If so, do you wish it to be displayed upon only the official publications and letter headings, or
  3. Do you also wish a coat-lapel button, bearing the emblem to be adopted?
  4. Would you be willing if necessary to agree to increased subscriptions to cover the cost of the adoption of an emblem?
  5. Would you suport the sale of coat-lapel buttons?
All post-cards must arrive here not later than the last post on Friday September 16th next. An Investigation Committee will consider the matter at length, if the membership show they are sufficiently interested to cast their votes. We regret, however, that unless at least 60% of the membership does vote, we cannot promise to undertake the cost of such a Committee. So it's up to you....

Constitution: The production of members copies of the official Constitution is now well under way, and we are confident that the date previously given for their distribution will be adhered to.

Members: will regret to hear that Councillor Leslie Johnson has recently been indisposed. We Understand that he is now well on the way to recovery, however, and wish him a quick and thorough return to health.

Note: If I may usurp a little of your valuable space, Editor Hanson, I would like to proffer my appreciation of the generous gifts sent to my wife and I from our very good friends at the London

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SFA Branch, the Leeds SFA Branch, and my esteemed colleague Treasurer Ted Carnell (and Irene), upon the occasion of our recent wedding. Thanks a million.


G. Ken Chapman (Executive Secretary).

III. Branch Reports

LEEDS The recent stock-taking revealed theat the Branch has in its possession over 800 science-fiction, fan, and science magazines. We should like to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of a copy of "Stampede" from the Manchester Branch, also several copies of the M.I.S. Bulletin from the Manchester Interplanetary Society.

During the past month Branch visits have been made to see the s-f film revival "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and instalments of the serial "Flash Gordon Visits Mars" now showing at a local cinema. We can recommend the latter to any fan in search of a good laugh.

On June 26th Mr. F.W.F. Dobby gave a talk entitled "Relativity". On July 23rd the Semi-Annual General Meeting was held. An election of officers took place with the following results: Chairman - D.W.F. Meyer; Secretary - F. V. Gillard; Treasurer - G.A.Airey; Librarian - A. Miller; Club-Room Steward - W.G.Stone. After a lengthy discussion it was decided that henceforth that the Branch's activities will be organized on a monthly basis, with the Library and Club-Room open on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Committee is now engaged in preparing a programme of activities for the autumn and winter. The meeting to inaugurate new activities will be held on 21st August, and it is hoped to make it a really special event.

Chairman's Address - 20 Hollin Park Road, Leeds 8.

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London Branch: held a General Meeting at the A.O.D., Lamb's Conduit St., on Thursday evening, Aug. 11th. Eric Williams gave Part 2 of his talk on "Time Travel in S-F." He brought forward various conceptions of time and Religion, without, however, disclosing his own personal opinions, and ended with an idealistic and very well-written extract from Cummings's "Exile of Time." Ken Chapman gave biographical sketches of Hyatt Verrill and Oliver Saari (probably the oldest and youngest of living s-f authors). The information he had collected was certainly new to most present. Amid a great crunching of potato crisps, Arthur Clarke arose to give the main lecture of the evening, on "The Fourth Dimension." He had brought models of tetrahedra, a hyper-cross and a tesseract with him, and during his discourse twisted a cube about so complicatedly that the audience feared (or hoped) that he might accidently rotate it through hyper-space and suddenly vanish with it. He didn't, though, and brought his lecture and the meeting to a successful conclusion.

Manchester: Owing to members being on holiday no meetings have been held.

New Branches: We confidently anticipate the inauguration of new SFA Branches in both Liverpool and Southport, Lancs. within the course of the next few weeks. Liverpool members have already held a meeting proposing this, and anyone in the district interested should get in touch with Leslie Johnson, 46, Mill Lane, Liverpool, 13.

Southport enthusiasts who wish to help build a local Branch will find Frank D. Wilson is already working towards that end, and should accordingly get into touch with him at 16 Pilkington Road, Southport.

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NOVAE TERRAE readers have had the opportunity of hearing fans' views on Communism, so it is interesting to hear a Communist's view on S-F. Listen, then, to our respected contemporary, THE DAILY WORKER (Aug. 8th, 1938.)

"Nonsense in Big Doses."

"Howard Spring knows more about books than I do, but that does not mean that he has more commonsense. In giving his reasons for choosing Shaw Desmond's CHAOS as the best book of the month, he starts off by being eccentric. But then, hidden by a great deal of arrant nonsense he describes the book as 'an authentic and appalling vision of what Europe my well be drifting to.' The description he gives gives of the book makes it clear that it is the most awful drivel, a fantastic account of a war upon Britain by an unknown aggressor from another world. H.G. Wells at his worst could not beat this.

"Still, it is all in line with the political outlook of the Evening Standard. Shaw Desmond expresses the view that a world war will probably never come to the West. It is comfortable doctrine for the friends of Fascism. 'There will not be a war; we cannot define the aggressor; collective security is no use.' But it is not nearly so mystifying as we are led to believe. And more and more people are beginning to understand that fantastic pictures of the future are not going to help solve the problem of the present."

Did we hear Wollheim & Co. crying "Et tu, Brute?"

THE DOOMSDAY MEN (Heinemann, 7/6.) is a new J.B. Priestley novel anout "fanatics intent on wiping out the human race by means of the latest discoveries of physicists.".

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We have pleasure in announcing that Messrs. Clarke and Temple are throwing open their "den" in their flat for use as a London clubroom for all SFA members each Thursday evening from 6 p.m. onwards. The address is No.88, Gray's Inn Road, W.C.1. (The entrance is a few yards below the junction of Gray's Inn Rd. and Theobald's Rd., towards Holborn. Look for the sign over the door, "FOOT CLINIC.") This arrangement starts Thurs. Aug. 18th. It is hoped to transfer the library to the den shortly. No business will be transacted at these meetings: they are informal, and for fostering acquaintance between members. Please bring your own sandwiches, chocolate, booze, etc., if you wish to feed on the premises. All members who can get to these weekly meetings are genuinely welcome.

THE NEXT GENERAL MEETING will be on Thursday evening, September 15th at the A.O.D., Lamb's Conduit St., at 8 p.m. It is hoped to arrange a screening of the film, METROPOLIS.

by Eric S. Needham

Walls and ceiling, whitewashed and bare,
Heavy girders, bathed in the glare
Of strong electrics, starkly stare
Down on a power plant, well aware
That in those field coils, armatures, motors,
Turbines, flywheels, pistons, rotors,
Bus bars, power leads, insulations,
That as each dynamo screams its ditty
Here is the life-blood of the City.

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by Frank Edward Arnold

The average fan is content with the ordinary 70-page novel in a Quarterly, of the usual 300-page book in the library. It would probably surprise him to know that some of his favourite literature comes in samples quite as long as the notorious "Gone With The Wind" and other rib-crushers.

A few years ago two Americans, Viereck and Eldridge penned a three-part immortality epic that commenced with "My First 2000 Years." This novel, which runs close on a thousand pages, is a new slant on the Wandering Jew theme. It's a roaring, rushing, swash-buckling sort of yarn, full of barbaric pageantry of the type that delighted Robert E. Howard fans, and has imaginative appeal besides. The two following stories are "Salome, the Wandering Jewess", and "The invincible Adam", both a continuation of the first and in the same vein. It's a pity that you rarely see them except in the windows of the pornography shops in Charing Cross Road, for they are real good stuff. But they are, after all, three separate novels.

Some of Jules Verne's reached tremendous lengths. "The Mysterious Island" is almost invariably sold in three parts. "The Steam House" and "The Giant Raft" in two parts. "Voyage to the Moon" is sometimes sold in two volumes, sometimes bound in one. And some of his other stories have been divided into two volumes.

The longest science-fiction novel of all, however, is probably "Limanora, the Island of Progress" by one Godfrey Sweven, an epic that dates back to 1902 and was reprinted thirty years later.

It is the story of an archaeological expedition that is continually visited by an apparition from the future, who tells them tales of the wonderful island of Limanora. Many of the mechanical marvels

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are described in detail, and sound a little old-fashioned in principle, but the wonders accomplished by the super-human inhabitants of Limanora are some of the greatest conceptions in literature. If you can wade through nearly 2000 pages of it, you will be well rewarded for your efforts, though admittedly they are efforts.

INVESTIGATION (Continued from page 20)

III. Your relatives

  1. Have any of your relatives -- especially your immediate family -- a liking for
    (a) fantasy or (b) scientific fiction?

  2. Have they marked technical or artistic interests?

by Ted Carnell

(Ted wrote a fairly long article, but owing to the exigencies of space -- for what can one do with only 48 pages? -- this has been severly reduced)

Silently drifting along the quiet streets of London, I was idly meditating the futility of life to the tune of Lambeth Walk, when I discovered that I was surrounded. Editor Hanson had made one of his rare visits from his editorial 4th-dimensional office. "What about it?" he spouted. "About what?" stammered I. "Your usual column -- you've had something in nearly every one of the previous twenty-four issues."

So here it is.

Here's to the fiftieth issue!

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President Prof. A.M. Low has just had published SCIENCE FOR THE HOME (Nelson, 5/-)... Arthur Ego Clarke got a letter into the DAILY EXPRESS, July 29th, extolling the B.I.S. Said this well-known SFA member: "We do not guarantee isolation even in Mars, which in a couple of centuries will be about as far away as Czecho-Slovakia"...."Kent Casey" is the pseudonym of Captain Kenneth C. MacIntosh, late of the Supply Corps, U.S. Navy ...It is a coincidence that the Newport R.I., Torpedo Station where Kent Casey was originally stationed, is now the business address of author John Victor Paterson... B.B.C's London Regional programme transmitter carried "Atlantis - The Lost Continent" on Sat., Aug. 6th: that Atlantis probably existed was the conclusion reached after good counter-arguments had been put forward...Same programme is broadcasting, on Aug. 20th, an Eden Phillpotts fantasy play TERROR FROM THE SEA, about monsters which almost obliterate mankind...John W. Campbell is reported to be seriously thinking of starting a column in ASTOUNDING listing fan-magazines, prices, editors, editorial addresses, etc....SFA's April Convenetion had a big write-up in August issue of THRILLING WONDER STORIES....October WEIRD TALES scheduled to print a s-f novelette "The Isle of Abominations"....Author Eric Frank Russell unexpectedly turned up in the middle of B.I.S. meeting on Sunday, July 17th, at the "Duke of York's", London. His fund of (commercial) travellers' tales was as inexhaustible as ever...Artist Harry Turner was also present....Midshipman Truax, U.S Navy and member of American Rocket Society was the lecturer at this meeting. He brought along a rocket motor of his own design...Thornton Ayre

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has just sold AMAZING a 14,000-worder, "Circle of Life"....The Jersey City "First National and Fourth Eastern Science-Fiction Convention" drew no less than 125 enthusiasts, breaking SFA's last April Convention record of 43 delegates into small pieces....A fantasy play, ON BORROWED TIME, has seen over 175 performances on Broadway, New York City....The Los Angeles SFA Branch are thinking of going on the air; "Thru' the Halls of Time" will be the title of the programme; artists being members Ackerman, Hodgkins, and Barrera....New novel ANTHEM by Ayn Rand (Cassell, 6/-) deals with an ant-like community of humans in the distant future after some unnamed catastrophe has destroyed our civilization...Shaw Desmond's CHAOS is yet another "next war" novel, with descriptions of ultra-scientific weapons, and the usual collapse of civilization.... John Russell Fearn has twenty plots all worked out, and all original as far as he knows. Intends to make the coming winter a record one for production, on return from his holiday. His next for AMAZING is a novelette "The Black Empress." He is also writing a book....Author Raymond Z. Gallun, now in Europe, will probably winter in London, England....It was author R.D. Swisher who suggested the July ASTOUNDING cover design for Arthur Burks' yarn, "Hell Ship"....SFA member William F. Temple's story in the forthcoming TALES OF WONDER is called "The Smile of the Sphinx". Editor Gillings thinks it may cause "a mild riot." Author Temple accordingly retiring to country.... N.T. cover-artist Harry Turner sent some of his drawings to FANTASY for consideration. Editor Sprigg liked them, said he would probably use them if FANTASY continued.... Arthur Clarke slated to give lecture on 4th Dimension" to "The Probe," well-known psychic research society....

(NOTE: For certain of the above items, our thanks are due to American fan-mag., IMAGINATION.)