NOVAE TERRAE #20 - Vol. 2 No. 8 (January 1938)


and: Published by the SFA between this issue and the next: Copytyping this issue by Jim Linwood, from xeroxes supplied by Andy Sawyer.

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Volume 2
Number 8


Mr. Youd Replies...................................................
by S. Youd
The Drift Away From Scientific-Fiction...................
by D. R. Smith
by Ivgotit
Commentary on the November "Novae Terrae"......................
by Donald A. Wollheim
The Science Fiction Association Report...................
by the Executive Committee
Astounding Stories" - February 1938..........................
reviewed by Edward J. Carnell
Advertisement Section..................







Editor: Maurice K. Hanson, 25 Bernard Street, Russell Sq., London WC1, England.
Associates: Edward. J. Carnell, Arthur C. Clarke

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Advertisement Rates:2 words a penny.
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Mr. Youd Replies

Having read and digested Mr. Clarke's well-constructed attack, in the November "Novae Terrae", I feel obliged to defend myself and justify my well-meant remarks about the science content in fantasy.

My assertion that many fans consider style inferior to science has been attacked on all sides and I agree that it needs some modification. Still, I can bring up one or two arguments to support it. Firstly there is the Glasgow world-wide petition for either absolutely accurate science or tip-top literary style. I see no reasons why the Glasgow fans should be unique in this respect and I was assuming that a fair percentage of fans share their views. My second point is more important. Mr. Clarke and others have repeatedly said that splendid writing cannot redeem scientific inaccuracies. I disagree. Surely 90% of' fantasy, while it cannot be proved impossible, is improbable to the highest degree. (The "Skylark" stories beloved of our ultra-scientific brethren, are good examples; Dr. Smith even admitted one of two impossibilities in the earlier stories.) What does it matter then, if a writer slightly 'alters' natural laws, with a resulting gain in story-interest?

Mr. Clarke attacks "Colossus". Now, in my opinion, this is one of the few very good stories Wandrei has turned out, and it is certainly the only one that could possibly be described as beautiful. As to the violation of the Lorentz-Fitzgerald Contraction Theory, does that really matter? After all, to followers of those two latter-day Aristotles, Russell and Fort, said theory is merely another example of scientific

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incompetence and ignorance – all true Russellians know that Alpha Centauri is a cosmic glow-worm and that the moon is made of fused wire-staples. (Or am I thinking of Tuckerites?) But seriously speaking, Mr. Clarke must remember that the Lorentz-Fitzgerald. Contraction is only a theory and this century has seen the explosion of many such.

I still maintain that science and literature cannot go together. Of course, there is an audience for stories of "The Mightiest Machine" type but it is a very limited one; ultra-scientific stories will never appeal to the general public and only to a small percentage of fantasy readers. The faults in Campbell's story are best shown by comparison with his "Conquest of the Planets" which ran at the same time in 'Amazing'. Jeans, of course, is a non-fiction writer and therefore not concerned with the maintenance of story interest while the main object of the fiction author is to hold the attention of the reader.

If Mr. Clarke insists on calling Lovecraft's "creeps" bunk I shall be reluctantly compelled to call "The Skylark of Space" bosh, for after all, they are of the same order of probability. I venture to say that there was nothing basically weird or horrible in "The Shadow Out of Time" – Lovecraft only did as C.A.Smith before him, i.e. he portrayed human reactions to alien things. I question Mr. Clarke's use of Weinbaum as a scientific author. I rate "Pygmalion's Spectacles" second among his novelettes and that contained no science at all.

I have no intention of defending "thought-variants" which are undoubtedly the worst thing fantasy has, been guilty of. A story can seem convincing even if it is absolutely impossible (vide G.K.Chesterton) but badly written fables that strain our over-worked imaginations to the breaking points, cannot be tolerated.

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In conclusion I would like to draw attention to the return of Brass Tacks to "Astounding". What were the most 'important and influential section' of fantasy readers doing to let that happen, Mr. Clarke?

S. Youd, Jr.

On being shown the above article our respected Associate Editor exclaimed "Who is Mr. Youd and what have I done to annoy him?" We gently reminded him of his attack on the said gentleman, and on seeing the original articles, Mr. Clarke recollected everything with really remarkable speed.

"Mr. Youd makes four points in his last article" he said, "and it won't take long to deal with all of them."

  1. "I object to impossible science, such as the method of propulsion used by Haggard's monster in "From the Vacuum of Space". Between impossibilities, of any degree, and actual impossibilities there is a world of difference. There are exceptions to most rules and Smith can be partly justified when he deliberately uses impossibilities and owns up about it. He didn't ought to though....

  2. "I objected to "Colossus" because if my memory serves me Wandrei made the Lorenz-Fitzgerald, contraction do things it shouldn't. If he had ignored it and postulated a Wandrei Expansion, everything would have been alright.

  3. "I called Lovecraft's creepy-creepy passages "bunk" - using the word in the friendliest fashion because I can burlesque them so easily. This, I think, proves conclusively that they must be at any rate, bosh.

  4. "Mr. Youd's shattering conclusion merely shatters itself. No-one ever objected to Brass Tacks and 'the most important and influential' section of science-fiction is pleased to see them (it?) back again as anyone else".

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At this we left Mr. Clarke making notes in the enormous card-index-cum-engagement book which is so often the only thing between him and social disaster. It is no good Mr. Youd writing again at this late day, and we must appeal to all writers who start exchanging Irish confetti with Mr. Clarke to get the argument over as quickly as possible, otherwise he will carefully forget all about it.


The Drift Away From Scientific Fiction
by D.R.Smith

The association of scientific fiction with the loftier ideals of sociologists is a fantasy for which we blame the many creators of Utopias whose books have been ruthlessly conscripted to swell the scanty numbers of scientific romance. Certainly many such books are good reading, no doubt all of them may be called scientific fiction, but to deduce from this that advanced scientific fiction must be sociological is as absurd as saying that "Kipps" is an advanced type of Wellsian fantasy. The best part scientific fiction can play in sociology is to act as a collar in which the mind can shelter from the 'strafing' of the Left Book Club, Upton Sinclair and other proletarian writers and the imperialist and capitalist authors opposing the former.

Advanced thinking and high ideals are not the 'monopoly' of fans either. Members of the Oxford Group, Pacifists, Junior 'Imps' and bitter 'Reds' to name only a few likely to be found in the normal

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circle of acquaintances, all have ideals they hold equally high, and with more reason because they are many and the scientific Utopians are few. The best opponents of all for an instructive and constructive debate are those few who strive to acquire enough economics to form an independent opinion. These are not likely to be scientific fiction fans.

It is said of politicians that they cannot see the wood for the trees. The fans do not see the wood either, because they are not looking at it, but at the stars overhead. Eventually they walk into a tree of fact and thus have the wood forcibly brought to their attention. Being intelligent they realise the need for guidance and instruction as to the means of penetrating the bewildering confusion before them, and seek the aid of intrepid economists and sociologists who have studied the problems involved. In the interest and vital emotion of this study many will realise the oft-quoted truth that "the proper study of mankind is man" and forget the pastimes of mental immaturity.

It happened to Wells, and will happen to others who ago strong enough to face bitter facts without the occasional anodyne of fantasy. Only those of us who still need to bathe their mental wounds in the soothing waters of imagination's magic river will remain, despised and despising. The stalwarts are putting aside the toys of childhood and are going forth to the war that really is to end war, and all other forms of man's purposeless suffering. Ave atque vale.

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by Ivgotit

I wouldn't reveal this to most people, but I've got a mania, and unless some of you others don't look out, you will be catching it too. I'm going to tell you all about this mania, not because I'm proud of it (far from it, it's a curse!), but because so far as I can make out, quite a lot of you nice young chaps are heading straight down the slippery path I trod, and believe me, once you slip on that path you glissade right into the mad house.

This mania is phantamania. It catches you quite young, and develops to its fullest extent around the age of twenty-two. Once you pass this age and none of the symptoms that I am going to tell you about appear, then you can consider yourself free from the engulfing ravages.

My own case will serve to illustrate the various phases this curious, and as yet obscure, affliction takes. The thing is insidious; you don't know that it is creeping into your life until, at last, you discover that your views and opinions are absolutely alien to those of normal folks. And then you don't care. It evolves by insignificant stages - all accumulating - then, presto! you slip, and. down you go into the last tumultuous convulsions of the mania.

At the age of eight or thereabouts, when you have attained some ability in the art of reading, you take to reading the more violent type of ghost story. This is not always a symptom and in some cases this early phase never appears, but always there comes a time when ordinary stories of school life and cowboys are discarded in favour of the doings of castaways on mysterious islands, to the plots of

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mad scientists to destroy the world, to the fantastic inventions of schoolboy inventors. Those, I know, were my preferences - much to the distress of my parents. Then from this violent period, the mind shades off to the marvels of Jules Verne. Here for the first time, perhaps, the unfortunate youth discovers to what lengths the fantastic element may logically enter his world. Those things can be so, he thinks, to the Moon in a. shell! Round the heavens on a comet! to the centre of the earth, by foot! These are things worth living for! He talks about them, flaunts them in the face the skeptical, he satisfies a certain innate desire to defy the world at large.

Then he starts on that long insatiable search for further and greater fantasies. Wells he discovers soon enough, as I did, all the miscellaneous, cheap, shallow imaginative conjuring tricks written by authors with little ability to write deep, lasting stuff. He reads them all. Huxley and Stapledon he finds later, but before that stage, sometimes right at the very beginning, the magazines which cater for this fantastic element enter the picture. They are the rope stretched across the slippery downward path. He trips, and down he slides into abysmal depths of distorted values and theories. Once he is addicted to these magazines, there is little hope for him. If he sees the light and wishes to recover the sanity of a humanitarian outlook, he must struggle mightily – but this advice should rightly come at the end of this warning.

The beginning of the end is collecting. In this lies all the fixation of all those forces with are pulling him down. I had a room of my own (confiscated now) where I stacked all these books, all these magazines, all these papers. A wilderness of imagination! All was imagination, heaps of it, mounds of

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it, castles to the ceiling. A curious musty smell of oozing fantasy filled the room; it acted on my senses like a drug, like a "new accelerator". I panted when I entered amongst those avenues of latent possibilities; my blood pounded enough to fill my ears with the roar of a machine world. This room was my world. I ceased to live in the everyday world of 193- A.D., and. sprang into the Utopia of 3000 A.D. I even spoke a galactic tongue; I dressed in what I considered to be the colours of a future world; I spoke casually of things that were not of this century; I outraged every custom that humanity has built itself, simply because it was fantastic.

And then my mind burst as was inevitable, and the ghastly nightmare of my mania was on. Can you imagine all the impossible creations of fiction parading before you? the loathsome alien monsters, every nerve-shattering ghost, the wild fantastic worlds and. scenes? That was but part of my vision. Universes whirled around and God stretched out a million hands to the Suns of Space. There arose a vast pattern of Time, Space and. Energy which twisted and drifted about labyrinthian laboratories and machines. Man battled in the air and. beneath the land; he crossed. Space and died in blinding ray battles; he suffered horrible tortures on unendurable planets; he traversed. Time and changed his past; everything that was possible and. impossible, all in that flood of misery.

They took me away and. treated me kindly, and after a time I recovered a little of my balance. But it came again. Anything that is unusual serves to set me off, and. while it lasts I am a yammering helpless lunatic.

Beware you science-fictionalists; intersperse your reading with draughts of sanity. Keep to the Earth, and keep sane.

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Commentary on the November "Novae Terrae"
by Donald A. Wollheim

I was very greatly pleased by the November "Novae Terrae". It was one of the most encouraging signs of science-fiction awakening that I have seen so far. However it screams aloud for comment.

The Peace Pledge Union Folder enclosed with it is fine but alas suffers as do all purely pacifistic and socialistic writings with an utter inability to understand the nature of the problem. My only big point of disagreement is in the use of the term "non-violent resistance." There is no such thing. It is impossible to employ non-violent methods of persuasion in cases where you are actively opposed by the Strong Arm and. the Iron Hand of those in power who are going to maintain that power.

No overthrow of any existing system, no creation of a new system (even as no creation of a new baby) can occur without meeting open violent resistance from the followers of the old. And unless that new system is prepared to fight its way into the world, it will be killed in birth. The realization of these .fine ideals - the realization of a scientific socialist World-State, of the institution of a sane and unselfish world order, of world disarmament and an end to violence and animalism - can and will be achieved only by the growth of a party pledged to rigid discipline and straightforward action when the time comes. When the present system has lost control and chaos is setting, or when it begins to throw aside its shell of "democracy" and institute fascist crystallization of the old, then (and not before) those practical idealists united in almost military order will be the ONLY FORCE LEFT which will be able

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to save civilization from barbarism. There must be no wishy-washy disagreement. There must be definite political and. social aims and objectives so that in the struggle all will not be lost. And when the struggle is accomplished there must be continual vigilance against the return of barbarism. The world must be re- educated to the greater standards; it must be taught to think anew and live, not as British and Americans, not as Bosses or as Workers, but as Terrestrials and human beings all, and as equal inheritors of civilization. The only such force today, the most powerful force alive for the World State and the only organization that will ever achieve this result is the Communist Party and the Communist International.

I hardly expect to make converts immediately. But I do ask that all open-minded and intelligent fans do me the decency of investigating for themselves into Communism. I advise first and foremost the reading of that excellent volume "The Coming Struggle for Power" by your own economist John Strachey.

My greatest compliments to Mr. Williams and Mr. Griffiths for their two fine articles. Here are two fans who understand thoroughly what science-fiction is and what it is for. Mr. Eric C. Williams has hit the nail so thoroughly upon the head as to drive it through the boards. After years of hearing the old Gernsback idea that science-fiction's only purpose was to a drive people to scientific careers, we have at last realized the fallacy of this assumption and that this idea does not answer in the least the tremendous drive to read science-fiction. The real purpose of science-fiction in this world, and the real answer to the strange driving force that distinguishes it from all other forms of literature and fantasy is that it prepares the mind to accept the fruits of civilization, and points the way to the future, and crystallizes ideals. Its only genuine function is its sociological function.

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Here in New York, where fans have been active for years, we have realized this fact more and more. As fandom was aware, New York was the hot-bed of science-fictional quarrels and wars for years. What they did not realise was that this was not in mere childishness but derived its vigour and intensity from the fact that we in New York have always recognized that there was a greater object in science-fiction than the mere reading. It was directly due to that that our fights with other organizations arose. We felt and knew that such silly organizations as had for their motive nothing but spreading science-fiction as a form of bad writing and reading science-fiction for science-fiction's sake were worthless and a waste of time. For that reason we fought them. True, our belief had been for years that it was "science-fiction for sciences' sake". The end of the International Scientific Association early this year was the realization of the failure of that theme to prove itself. Now, we seem again embarked on a struggle. This time under the banner of Michelism.

Michelism derives its name in honour of John B. Michel of Brooklyn who was the first amongst us to state clearly the new concept. We define it as follows:- MICHELISM is the belief that-science-fiction followers should actively work for the realization of the scientific socialist world-state as the only justification for their activities and existence.

MICHELISM believes that science-fiction is a force; a force acting through the medium of speculative and prophetic fiction upon the minds of idealist youth; that logical science-fiction inevitably

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points to the necessity for socialism, the advance of science, and the world-state; and that those aims, created by science-fictional idealizing, can best be reached through adherence to the program of the Communist International.

MICHELISM is the theory of science-fiction Action.

In practice, Michelism permits very wide deviation so as to take in any who honestly believe that science-fiction has those aims. In that sense Messrs. Williams and Griffiths are definitely Michelists. So, I feel, are a great and growing, number of fans. And we of America hold out an eager hand to grasp yours of Britain as we shall march forward together towards the future.

We have a fight to wage. We have to clear away the rubbish and out-moded notions still besetting many fans; we must remove the obstructionists and evasionists from our midst, the Ackerman sycophants of Esperantic muddle, the Sykorist Holy Science Reactionaries, and the Russellian scoffers. You may not favour the Communist outlook but if you keep your mind clear and watch the world, in two years you will be with us. Meanwhile let us work together. SALUD, comrades!


"Is Humour an Anti-Cultural Influence?" With this promising title we are able to announce the appearance of the third 'Cosmic Case' by D.R.Smith. Running in two parts, the first will appear in the next issue of "Novae Terrae".

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Headquarters: 20 Hollin Park Road, Roundhay, LEEDS, 8.

HONORARY MEMBER: WE have much pleasure in announcing that Mr. John W. Campbell, Jr., otherwise known as "Don A. Stuart", and who is now the editor of "Astounding Stories", has accepted the invitation of the Council to become an Honorary Member of the Association. Mr. Campbell states that for some time he has been following the activities of our organization with interest and appreciation, and has promised to mention it in a forthcoming ASTOUNDING editorial.

WE have also received a letter from Mr. F. Orlin Tremaine, assistant editor of "Astounding Stories" and an Honorary Member of the Association. He asked us to extend to all SFA members his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

EMBLEM: SEVERAL enquiries have recently been received regarding the adoption of a society emblem. Our intentions in this matter are to defer a selection of the emblem from the variety of designs received until a large body of our members may meet together and vote upon them. Such a meeting will occur during the next three months at the Second British Conference, and until then we will gladly receive any further designs which members may care to offer.

PUBLICATIONS: THE December issue of AMATEUR SCIENCE STORIES, containing three excellent stories, was recently published, and is now obtainable from Headquarters for the price of 6d (in U.S. coinage 15 cents.)

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The Executive Committee has for some time now been considering means whereby the society's additional publications (BIBLIOGRAPHY, AMATEUR SCIENCE STORIES etc.) and notepaper may be obtained with minimum difficulty and delay. It was recently decided to place a separate officer in charge of such items, and henceforth all orders and despatching will be personally supervised by Mr. F.V. Gillard of Leeds.

In addition we are hoping to arrange a system of approved agents in different parts of the world, especially in America. Further. Details will be announced as soon as possible. Meanwhile, all London and south of England members should note that they can obtain the above supplies at meetings of the London Branch and at other times, from the Branch Chairman, Mr. K.G.Chapman; 59A Tremaine Rd.,Anerley, S.E.20. The publications are priced at 6d. per copy; notepaper at 1/- for 50 sheets or 1/6d for 100 sheets post free.

READERS LIBRARY: SEVERAL American members have asked us if we could secure for them copies of science-fiction books published at 6d. each by the Readers Library Publishing Co. of 66-66A, Gt. Queen St., Kingsway, W.C.2. These included "Metropolis", "Planetoid 127", "Bride of Frankenstein" etc. However, we are informed that the only science-fiction published by them still in print is. "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells - copies of which are obtainable price 7d. each post free.

ASSOCIATION LIBRARY: Various new books have recently been added to the SFA Central Library. These include Wells' "The Camford Visitation", Low's "Adrift in the Stratosphere", Hamilton's "Horror on the Asteroid", etc. Full details may be obtained from the librarian, Mr. E.C. Williams, 11, Clowders Road, Catford, London, S.E.6.

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LETTERS: MEMBERS are reminded that all letters to Officers or to Headquarters should be accompanied by return postage when replies are required.

BOOKS: MEMBER E.Longley of 115 Lake Road, Portsmouth wishes to hear from anyone with copies of the following books for disposal: "Voyage to Arcturus" by David Lindsay; "The World Below" by S.F.Wright; and "Underground Man" by G.Tarde.

NEW MEMBERS: WE are delighted to welcome the following new members: A.G.Dunn (Hull); D.C.Moore (Charlton); B.A.Scarff (Brighton); L.L.Harris (Bletchley); E.S.Needham (Manchester); S.Conning (Southsea); C.H.Macklin (Leeds); W.G.Stone (Leeds); W.W. Crafer (Haggerston); D.Webster (Aberdeen).

"TOMORROW": WE regret that, owing to unforeseen delays, the Winter issue of TOMORROW may not appear until the middle of February, instead of the beginning, when due.

CONFERENCE: ARRANGEMENTS are being made for the second British science-fiction conference to be held in London on April 10th, 1938. Fuller details will appear in our next issue.


Leeds Branch: After the meeting on December 19th, Mr. G.A.Airey gave a talk entitled "Science and the Human Soul". Following the talk a discussion was held on Life After Death. Another recent lecture was "Constructive Thinking" given by Mr. H. Warnes on January 1st. As a change from ordinary talks, debates and lantern lectures if possible by outsiders are to be arranged, and the possibility of holding another film show is being considered. Films shown in the past have included "Metropolis" and "The Blue Light". The Xmas 'Bring and Eat' party held on December 25th and not

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restricted to mere eating proved a riotous success. Branch visits were recently arranged to see fantasy films "Topper" and "Lost Horizon" and. "Night Key" featuring Boris Karloff. In connection with the sociological movement growing in s-f circles, it was decided at a meeting on Jan. 1st that a group be formed to contain persons who seriously believe in the 'Basis' of the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individua1s with the object of considering means of diverting the energies of similarly-minded fans into constructive channels, with the ultimate aim of effecting the economic and social reconstruction outlined in the Basis. Further details of the Group which has already been very active, will be published in due course. Chairman: H.Warnes, 62 Thorne Grove, LEEDS 8.

Los Angeles Branch: At a meeting on November 18th, a discussion was held on "Which is superior, scientific or weird fiction?" The final decision was that the ideal forms of each were not debatable. On Nov. 20th a party of members attended a public lecture of "Mathematics' Contribution to Philosophy" given by E.T .Bell, author of the recent "Men of Mathematics" and under the name John Taine of many s-f novels. On December 16th the group's second. Annual Xmas Party was held. The 28 members and. guests present signed a petition urging THRILLING WONDER STORIES to issue a Quarterly. Chairman: R.J.Hodgkins, 1903 W. 84th Place, Los Angeles.

London Branch: The January monthly meeting was held on January. 9th with sixteen present. Mr. S.L.Birchby reporting on the progress of the Amateur Authors Circle read an extract from part of a story already written by this group and described the completed plot. The Branch's 'Cover Contest' was introduced, pictures having been drawn for the occasion by A.C.Clarke and E.C.Williams

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around which a plot or complete story was to be constructed. Mr. Clarke's picture was chosen as the first 'masterpiece' for consideration. The Science Lecture of the month was given by M.K. Hanson on "The Mathematician and the Science-Fiction Fan", dealing with the philosophy of mathematics and mathematicians. Mr. W.H. Gillings, Editor of TALES OF WONDER read out a short story submitted to him for that publication, and the feature proved so popular that it was decided that some old classic of science fiction would be read at each meeting. Lovecraft's "The Colour out of Space" was selected for the February meeting. This meeting will be held on 13 February, 1938 at three p.m. SHARP a further attraction being a gramophone recital of science-fictional music. Chairman: K.G.Chapman (address as above).

reviewed by Ted. Carnell

Introducing the first 'mutant cover!' An actual pic of the sun, showing corona, with foreground drawing by Brown of a Mercutian landscape.

Burks' descriptive scenes are excellent. Remember "The Golden Horseshoe" in November? This yarn is as written, but in Antarctica.

Take away the Jupiter setting and – presto! just an ordinary adventure yarn. FAIR

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WAYWARD WORLD by Gordon A. Giles.
WHY do authors' best yarns appear under pseudonyms? This story will stand out in 1938 as did "The Diamond Planetoid" in 1937. EXCELLENT

THE ANTI-WEAPON by Eando Binder.
Just another war story – but with a good climax – the hero gets his! FAIR

Terrific – THE outstanding yarn of the issue, with that little extra that others haven't got. FOUR STAR EXCELLENT

The cover story. Would have been far better as a straight science article. As a story it is POOR

THUNDER VOICE by Dow Elstar.
Again a pseudonym story turns out better than under his real name. There's a neat twist to the climax. FAIR

GALACTIC PATROL (1-6) by E.E. Smith.
"And so ends 'In Town Tonight'". As a Smith yarn – not so hot. Best episode was in January – the whole serial appears to have been cut in places and ends so abruptly that Helmuth dies right into an advert. All the same it was VERY GOOD

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE by Herbert C. McKay and Willy Ley's second Power Plant article HARNESSING EARTH'S HEAT are two Science features you can list for yourselves.

IN TIMES TO COME – Excellent new Editorial feature, lists FLAREBACK by Kent Casey and FLIGHT OF THE DAWN STAR by Robert Moore Williams for March, as well as THE MASTER SHALL NOT DIE by de Witt Miller and Dow Elstar's SOMETHING FROM JUPITER which will be the cover story. Congrats to S.Youd, Eastleigh, Hants. for making the grade to "Brass Tacks" with an excellent letter. That's all.

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ALL science fiction readers should subscribe to :-


The British Fantasy Review.

If they want to see more attention paid to this medium by British publishers, and keep in touch with all new developments in this field.

During the past year, hundreds of fans have found this little magazine of immense value and absorbing interest. Among those who have given it their support are such well-known fantasy writers as Olaf Stapledon, M.P.Shiel, John Benyon Harris, Festus Pragnell, Benson Herbert, John Russell Fearn, and others, who frequently contribute to its pages.

It brings you reliable news of what is happening in the sphere of fantasy, interviews with you favourite authors, reviews of latest books, advance information of science-fiction magazines, and articles by experts on all aspects of the subject. It has been acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as the best fan magazine ever produced.

Its Editor, Walter H. Gillings, is also Editor of the first British fantasy magazine, TALES OF WONDER. Undoubtedly, it is performing a useful function it attracting attention to this long neglected literature. But if it is to accomplish its task successfully, it needs the support of all those enthusiasts who have not yet discovered what a boon it can be.

Won't you join its band of appreciative readers? Send sixpence for a specimen copy, or three shillings for six bi-monthly issues, to SCIENTIFICTION, 15 SHERE ROAD, ILFORD, ESSEX, and see for yourself how interesting – and essential – it is

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ASTOUNDING STORIES for February 1938 or TALES OF WONDER No.2, the former incorporating John W. Campbell Jr's latest idea, 'mutant' covers. Feature story is Raymond Z. Gallun's "Mercutian Adventure".

To avoid possible disappointment subscribe NOW for both these magazines.

Any current science-fiction may now be obtained at single-issue subscription by sending required cash in advance of publication. Any issue ordered will be in your possession on or before publication date.

Write to our LONDON ADDRESS enclosing 1/2d. per copy for any current AMERICAN science-fiction magazines, or 1/8d. for WEIRD TALES (unused English stamps to value will do). TALES OF WONDER will be supplied from either of our addresses.

Write for Free Catalogue of Publications and Price List.

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LIVERPOOL 13."Science-Fiction Service" London, S.E. 18.


"Wonder Stories Quarterly" Fall 1929, Spring and Fall 1930, Winter 1931. "Wonder Stories" January 1931. "Amazing Stories Quarterly" Spring and Fall 1928. All must have covers intact.

"Science and Invention" (with or without covers) All issues containing "Dr. Hackenshaw's Secrets"; Ray Cummings' stories "Tarrane", "Into the 4th Dimension" etc. WILL PAY VERY GOOD PRICES FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE. J.Stevenson, Oxford Terrace, Oxford Street, HULL.

For those interested in such matters, a 1938 V.H. Johnson Science-Fiction Service catalogue can be found here. At the end of the catalogue I've added a page tabulating prices for a single magazine - AMAZING - across the short run of Science-Fiction Service catalogues in the Vince Clarke Collection.
"Novae Terrae" Panel of Critics

It is regretted that many readers did not receive Questionnaire No .2. Accordingly the last chance to become a member of the Panel of Critics is extended to this month. The many readers who have already returned previous questionnaires will need no further invitation; we trust that other readers also may wish to complete the current questionnaire and return it to

Maurice K. Hanson, 25 Bernard St., Russell Square, London W.C.1., England.

Questionnaire No.3.-January 1938

  1. Do you consider there to be any point in a monthly editorial?

  2. Would you like to see "This Side of the Atlantic" revived?

  3. In the generally accepted meaning of the terms are you:

    (a) a socialistand/or(b) a pacifist
    (c) a fascistand/or(d) a militarist

    (Strike out whichever do not apply if you consider the question not too personal.)

  4. How many questions should one questionnaire contain? 5, 10, 15, 20?

  5. Which idea in this issue do you most disagree with and why?

  6. What feature in the issue appealed to you most and why?

  7. What feature in the issue appealed to you least and why?

  8. If possible, place the features in their order of merit.

  9. Regarding "Mr. Youd Replies", do you agree with Mr.Youd or Mr. Clarke?

  10. What story in the 1937 magazines impressed you most?

  11. Should our cover illustrate article in the issue?

page 2:
  1. Are you a follower of the late Charles Fort?.

  2. Do you habitually buy 'remainder' magazines?

  3. Are you superstitious?

Report on Questionnaire No. 1

November, 1937. Exactly 30 answers to this questionnaire have been received to date (28.1.38). 63% of those who sent them do NOT want "Novae Terrae” to be printed if this entails double cost and bi-monthly appearance (the emphasis being on the bi-monthly appearance). 53% like surrealist covers. 73% do not want illustrations in articles. 73% believe there is a sufficiency of news-articles in. the magazine. 64% like to see pure science articles (though these should. have a scientifictional trend.) Only 57% want magazine reviews, but 80% want book and film reviews. By allotting points for the number of times an article was placed first, second and third and by deducting a proportional amount for each time it was placed last the articles have been placed in order of merit as follows:

E.C.Willliams' "Are You a True Sciencefictionist?" 62 points; The Paragon's "Criteria of the Fan" 58 points; A. Griffiths' “The Future" 32 points; A.C. Clarke's "Science-fiction v. Mr. Youd" 26 points.

93% of readers like articles with a sociological trend. It was suggested with great good sense that the amount of space for SFA news should depend on the amount of news -- the average figure worked out at 2.93 pages. The identity of The Paragon ranged from John Russell Fearn to D. R. Smith, though the greatest number suggested -- correctly – M.K. Hanson. At least 17% of readers disclaimed possession of a soul. The co-operation of those who returned questionnaires has been greatly appreciated -- your help will be welcome in future.