NOVAE TERRAE #23 - Vol. 2 No. 11 (May 1938)



Also published by the SFA this month:
  • TOMORROW #5 - (first litho issue, incorporates Gillings' SCIENTIFICTION)
Copytyping this issue by Doug Bell.

Cover by Harry Turner.
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Volume 2
Number 11
New Worlds


The British Fan: No 2, Ted Carnell William F. Temple
Revudenews Ted Carnell
Science Fiction Association Executive Committee Report
Editorial Note
Arise Fans! D.R.Smith
Happy Encounter D R. Smith.
The Fantastic Muse Arthur C. Clarke





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

Cover Design by Harry Turner

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The British Fan in his Natural Haunt
- a series by William F. Temple
No. 2 Ted Carnell

In the first place I must apologise to Ted (or he must apologise to me) for the distractions that interrupted my inspection of his den. Particularly that NUISANCE, Les Johnson, down from Liverpool. The NUISANCE thrust a card into my hand as soon as he saw - "V.H. Johnson for Science-Fiction Service. Represented by L.J. Johnson." And thereafter he followed indefatigably at my heels, spouting sales talk, trying to get an order. I trod on his toes and kicked him in the face a few times, but he liked it.

Ted's place is, of course, 17, Burwash Road., Plumstead, the London Branch of the Johnson Service unfortunately. The den is an attic under the inverted "V" of the roof, and you have to climb up a step-ladder and heave yourself through a trap-door to get into it - a fine opportunity for a bit of Johnson face-kicking which I didn't miss.

Ted indicated a shelf with a row of ASTOUNDING STORIES on edge - a row two yards long.

"A complete set of Astounding from No. 1", he announced proudly.
"Unique!" I breathed.
He waved a bundle of horribly mimeographed paper at me.
"A complete set of Novae Terrae from No.1".
"Unique!" I breathed.
He waved a bundle of highly coloured paper.
"A complete set of Modern Wonder and Scoops from no. 1"

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"Exceptional!" I breathed, thinking it time for a new one. My eye alighted on a tremendous collection of AMAZINGS and WONDERS on another shelf. "Ah!" I said, striding over eagerly. "Why didn't you mention these?"

The voice of the NUISANCE become urgent in my ear. "All this belongs to the Johnson Service. Can I interest you in – "

I stabbed him there and then, and left him to bleed to death in the corner. Ted, crouching like a dog in the opposite corner, was disinterring fan mags by the hundred. He has, almost certainly, the biggest collection of them this side of the Atlantic. The SCIENCE FICTION FAN - CRITIC - COLLECTOR - I had never imagined there were so many industrious amateur editors.

"Here's a curiosity", said Ted, handing me a stubby little yellow book. It was about an old friend, "Flash Gordon vs. The Emperor of Mongo" (Dell Publishing Co., 10 Cents.) The story was complete in the one volume, and it was profusely illustrated with some of the best black and white action pictures I've seen.

But Ted is not a collector of books, and apart from this one, he had only four books in the house. (Four! - when I think of Eric Williams' second B.M. Reading Room!) These four exceptions were: Prof. Low's "Adrift in the Stratosphere" (presented by the Author), Burroughs "Warlord of Mars", Stapledon's "Star Maker" (a proof copy), and Cleator's "Rockets through Space".

Ted had cut out all the Stf. and fantasy stories that had appeared in the PASSING SHOW. I remembered most of them as I riffled through them, but one, dated 1936, was a new one on me – "The Alter of the Moon" by Francis Dickie. My eye wandered from these to some WEIRD TALES and other horrific American mags. that were lying about. I could not help my eye from wandering like this, but it would not wander back. In fact, I seemed to have lost control of my eye altogether. For

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on the cover of these mags. were menacing but beautiful female vampires – apparently confirmed sun-bathers – and female inhabitants of other planets dressed in birthday suits and a bit of ribbon. Of course, I expressed my disgust at this sort of thing being in a Stf. fan's library, and Ted was shocked and contrite and couldn't imagine how they got there. We blamed it on the body in the corner. Ted opened a window, and after I'd had another distainful examination of the things, we flung them contemptuously out. They slid down the tiles and came to rest safely in the gutter, from which Ted could quite easily rescue them in the morning. The view from this window was grand. No. 17 is on a hill, and we could see over the grey Thames and over the squat buildings of Woolwich Arsenal, and far out across the flats of Essex, in the direction of Ilford, where lies the home of Walter Gillings. Remote but bold in the misty dusk stood the twin cable pylons at Barking, lit with great red warning lights. Each towered over a hundred feet higher than St.Paul's, and at this range looked like erections in some mystic future city. The whole scene would have inspired any Stf. artist possessed of feeling and imagination. And in the middle distance was a nice little gas-works.

"The bloke who owned this house before us was nutty on astronomy", remarked Ted. "He had a telescope stuck out this window". He showed me the metal fittings, still there on the sill, where the telescope had been fixed. Glamorous nights! Glamorous Saturday afternoons, too, for in the body corner, beside a pile of B.I.S. literature, reposed a duplicator, the duplicator on which this sheet of NOVAE TERRAE was smudged out. For once a month, on Saturdays, Maurice Hanson comes down from London to turn the handle that produces N.T. The machine looked a bit rusty, but maybe that was the NUISANCE, who had been anything but anaemic. There were photographs stuck all

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over the place, of Ted Carnell (looking very Anthony Eden-ish) but there was also one of Dan McPhail of Oklahoma, and a fantastic crayon drawing by Jack Baltadonis of Philadelphia. Ted knows some fans, I can tell you, and what's more he keeps a collection of photographs of them. I turned over the pages of his thick album and came across many familiar mugs (including Ted Carnell's) each neatly inscribed underneath with its prison record. There was a group taken at the inaugural meeting of the London Branch of the BIS, and I counted 9 faces that have never shown up there since. And there was a tiny photograph showing poor Stanley Weinbaum grinning happily. Ted thinks Weinbaum was the peer of them all.

You ignore the step-ladder in leaving this place, for there is a vertical metal rod, like the thing firemen slide down in a fire-station. I gaily exeunted this way and slid door to the top landing. A spectral figure was waiting for me at the head of the stairs. It was the ghost of the NUISANCE, and it had some ghostly magazines under its arm.

"Can I interest you in these?" it said in a sepulchral voice. "Our Service has some remarkable SUPERNATURAL STORIES."

A Johnson SCIENCE-FICTION SERVICE announcement

We regret that owing to a distribution error the June issue of


will not be published in Great Britain. We are therefore making arrangements to obtain a supply direct from USA. Further details will be available next month.

For Science-Fiction with Personal Service
always use the
45 Mill Lane 17 Burwash Road
Liverpool 13 LONDON S.E.18.

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REVUDENEWS a Pro-Mag Survey
by Ted Carnell

Having been chased all over the Time Line by most of the fiends of the universe, including Work, just arrived back in 1938 to discover a new American pulp awaiting criticism (courtesy of Don Wollheim).

Marvel Science Stories

a 15 cent bi-monthly product of Postal publications first issue dated August, appears to have hit the news-stand unheralded and unsung.

Ever since Richard Tooker wrote three sex-science-fiction yarns in MYSTERY ADVENTURE in I936, I've been expecting some smart American publisher to cash in on scientifiction as a background for sex trash. THIS IS IT. The one redeeming feature is the welcome return of Paul the artist, who has done three interiors. If you are a mouse and not a man you'll buy the mag for that alone -- if the reverse, place mag in an ice-box..... get in with it. Maybe you'll keep your blood below boiling point for more reasons than one.

The "science" is in the stories - - if you can unearth it from voluptuous curves, lustful glances and exotic perfumes.

Story line-up: SURVIVAL, a 50,000 word novel by Arthur J. Burkes, telling of the rebirth of America after a devastating war. Best of the issue and could easily have been a sequel to "The Golden Horseshoe".

AVENGERS OF SPACE, a "sizzling" story by Henry Kuttner. The heroine gets striped in the first chapter, on Earth, ever afterwards ditto on each planet visited, by various loathsome critters....she must have hated wearing anything at her wedding to the hero..... if they were married.

THE DARK HERITAGE, a non-sex yarn by R.C. Kenyon. A not-too-bad Time novelette.

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THROUGH THE TIME RADIO by Stanton A. Coblentz is a non-sexual short. MONSTERS OF THE MOUNTAIN by Leon Byrne, a keep-your-seats-please effort of a crazed scientist who drops the heroine to foul monsters when she refuses to do his bidding. What bidding? You read it!

Cover by Norman Saunders is a refreshing but not outstanding effort. Readers are invited to drop a friendly note to the editor, giving their reactions and helping to mould future issues.

Let me Cool off and give you the line-up for


Four yarns already slated for publication: C. F. Hall's THE MAN WHO LIVED BACKWARDS, THE WORLD‘S EIGHTH WONDER by E.F. Russell, H.O. Dickinson‘s THE GIANT BACILLUS and colleague Les Johnson's SATELLITES OF DEATH. In addition there is the cover yarn, a new Edmond Hamilton epic, THE HORROR OF THE TELESCOPE, and two reprints from WONDER STORIES of John Benyon Harris's "Spheres of Hell" now entitled THE PUFF BALL MENACE and THE LAST LUNARIANS, better known to older readers as THE MOON DEVILS which latter is my favourite Harris yarn. In addition there is a science article by I. O. Evans called CAN WE CONQUER SPACE? Can we? Ask Ego Clarke!

"Nick" has again done the cover which again depicts a scene on a distant plane as seen through a telescope (look for the circular cover drawing). Best news of all is that Harry Turner of Manchester has SEVEN interior decorations to his credit....that's what comes or drawing for NOVAE TERRAE covers.......

The Reader's column is again present with a beautiful "puff" for No. 2 by Ken Chapman.... and a terrific brickbatting by Comrade Sam Youd.

Passing back across the Atlantic, we encroach upon the new:

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edited by Raymond A. Palmer.

Probably you have all been fidgeting because you haven't received your opium this issue. I can tell you officially that there has been a mistake in distribution, owing to a transfer of distributing agents, and it seems extremely remote that the June issue will be published in this country. August is the next slated to appear here -- and will probably be out earlier than usual.

RAP mailed Walt Gillings a copy, one of the few in the country, which appears as a distinct change from the former AMAZING. Carrying a technicolour posed cover the make-up of the mag is good, though the interior illustrations are not up to standard.

Mentioning changes brings to mind the under-current of mutation new proceeding in


while Editor Campbell continues to ballyhoo mutant covers and story mutants, there appears to be plenty happening to the mag not on the schedule. June issue brings another small change and another artist, Coughlin, whose drawing I fancy it is for Norman Knight's ISLE OF THE GOLDEN SWARM. The sketch would suit any jungle scene in any adventure mag, and is the first non sf drawing I've seen in ASTOUNDING for many a moon.

Cover - -similar to February mutant but showing Mars instead of sun, as seen from moon Deimos; an improvement? How about one of the spiral nebulae in Andromeda, Mr. Campbell?

The issue is not particularly outstanding this time, carrying two serials still, second part of Williamson's LEGION OF TIME and final of McClary's 3000 YEARS. This latter yarn doesn't even compare with REBIRTH; only saving grace appears to be in its excellent humour. MEN AGAINST THE STAR by Manley Wade Wellman is the best little

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interplanetary yarn I've read for years. SEEDS OF THE DUSK also a much better Gallun yarn than usual. (Gallun, by the way, is in London – somewhere. An exhaustive check by Ken Chapman failed to elicit his hideout. Even passports were scanned at the American Consulate without success. Harry Walton's BELOW ABSOLUTE, D.L. James' PHILOSOPHERS OF STONE and Norman Knight‘s yarn seemed very poor. But the two science features, THE GREAT EYE by R. de Witt Miller and WITNESSES OF THE PAST by Willy Ley interested me more than most recent ones.

In BRASS TALKS Editor Campbell takes the biggest rapping ever from James S. Avery of Maine, for his policies concerning the mag., offset by a boost from T. Bruce Yerke of Hollywood.

– Executive Committee Report

Headquarters: 59a Tremaine Road, Anerley; London, S.E.20

PRESIDENT: We greatly regret to inform members that our much respected President was recently taken seriously ill with pneumonia. The latest bulletin of a few days ago gave us to understand much to our relief that Dr. Low is now well upon the road to recovery. Members will join us in wishing him a speedy return to good health.

LIBRARY: Last month the Librarian announced a scheme for issuing "typed files" of famous stories. The first of these has just been completed and is now in circulation and has met with such universal acclaim, that the success of the scheme is assured. We are therefore glad to announce another scheme, an improvement, even, on the last one. Copies of magazines in bound form have recently been purchased for the library. These magazines are all old ones, mostly quarterlies, and contain some of the cream of science-fiction. They will be issued for borrowing at regular intervals, and more

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additions will be made from time to time. The first of these series is now available and application should be made as soon as possible, as the waiting list is already considerable. The title which will take the place for the time being of "The Skylark of Space" will be "The Black Star Passes" by John W. Campbell Jr. and "A Modern Prometheus" by Cyril G. Wates – both contained in one book together with several short stories. The ‘Skylark' file will be issued in the early autumn. Librarian: Eric C. Williams, 11 Clowders Road, Catford, London, S.E.6.

NEW MEMBERS: We are delighted to welcome the following new members: Frank D. Wilson (Southport) and Harold Penfold (Hammersmith).

TOMORROW: Members will have received their copies of this magazine by now and we trust that you are all suitably impressed by them. To remain in the present printed large-size format the journal must sell well and members are therefore asked in their own interest to sell a dozen or so copies to their friends. Those extra copies may be obtained from our Publications Department at Leeds or from the above office.

ASSOCIATION EMBLEM: A postal ballot to determine whether the majority of SFA members wish to have an Association Emblem will be run during August. If the answer is in the affirmative a committee will be formed to investigate the matter thoroughly.

CONSTITUTION: Work on the production of copies of the official constitution, as passed by members at the recent Annual General Meeting, for distribution amongst members is now in progress, and copies will be sent to every member as soon as possible. It is expected that this will be issued by the end of August at the very latest.

LONDON BRANCH REPORT: The meeting held on May 8th was one of the most successful held to date by this Branch. Proceedings commenced when Eric Williams read a paper entitled in "Time in Science-Fiction", in which he made a detailed examination of time travel theories. Ted Carnell followed with his customary "Fans and Fan-Mags" talk which preceded a few words by Chairman

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Ken Chapman on the future policy of the Branch. It was decided, owing to the casual attendance of some members to stop sending official notices of meetings to any but the regular supporters, leaving others to obtain their information regarding Branch meetings from "Novae Terrae". The monthly short-story reading followed - -"The Musical Box" by Branch member Leslie Smith being greatly acclaimed by all, as was a manuscript written by Jack Williamson and read by Ted Carnell. The final item was a debate "That Fans should Encourage to the Utmost the S-f Sociological Tendency". Maurice Hanson proposed against Wally Gillings, and after some argument the motion was carried by a one vote majority. The next meeting will be held at A.O.D. on June 12th at 3 p.m., for which a Special Entertainment Agenda has been devised.

LEEDS BRANCH REPORT: On April 24th the Branch received a visit from member E.S. Needham of Manchester. There has recently been some reorganization of officers: Chairman and Librarian - D.W.F. Mayer; Secretary – C.K. Macklin; Treasurer and Steward - G.A. Airey; Assistant Librarian - W.G. Stone. The amenities of the club-room have been increased by the addition of a radiogram. On Sunday May 22nd Messrs. Gillard, Mayer and Miller represented the Branch at the inaugural meeting of the Manchester Branch. The Branch has recently been successful in obtaining excellent write-ups in the "Yorks. Observer", "Yorks. Evening News" and "Leeds Free Press". Chairman: D.W.F. Mayer, 20 Hollin Park Rd., Leeds 8.

LOS ANGELES BRANCH: We wish to acknowledge receipt of current issue of "Imagination", organ of the L.A. Branch. We recommend members to subscribe to this admirable production containing 20 large pages of matter by such personalities as F.J. Ackerman, Don Wollheim, Allen Glasser, L.H. Morrow, Otis Kline, Karel Capek, etc. FULL PARTICULARS from HQ or direct BOX 645, Metropolitan Station, Los Angeles, Cal, U.S.A. We wish also gratefully to acknowledge the receipt from Forrie J. Ackerman of a copy of the new "Marvel Science Stories". Thanks a lot!

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MANCHESTER BRANCH REPORT: The inaugural meeting of this Branch, held on Sunday 22nd May, proved a great success, being a veritable Convention in miniature. Leeds was represented by Messrs. Gillard, Mayer and Miller, London by Messrs. Hanson and Clarke, and Liverpool by Messrs. Johnson and Bloom. The meeting commenced at 3.30 p.m. when a congratulatory message from the General Executive Secretary, Ken Chapman, was read, followed by an address by Douglas Mayer on the evolution of the SEA with special reference to the Leeds Branch. Maurice Hanson followed and asked members present to co-operate in the SFA special appeal on the question of a companion magazine to for THRILLING WONDER STORIES. A lively debate ensued on this point, and a host of titles, some appropriate, some not, were suggested. When peace was restored Arthur Clarke outlined recent London SFA activities and Leslie Johnson assisted by the irrepressible Abraham Bloom dwelt upon the future expansion of the Johnson Science-Fiction Service. Thereafter the meeting was more informal in nature consisting amongst other things of a scientific argument between Messrs. Clarke Mayer & Hetherington that lasted intermittently until the meeting broke up, refreshments, and a display of artist Turner's handiwork.

Secretary-Chairman: Harry E. TURNER, 41 Longford Place, Manchester 14; Treasurer — Fred Tozer; Librarian – S. Davies.


It is conceivable that an editorial will be written for "Novae Terrae" before long. Meanwhile, I must be content with the expression of the hope that the fact that four of the six main articles of this issue are distinctly humorous will not offend any of the more earnest readers of SCIENCE-FICTION.


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Arise Fans!
by D. R. Smith

The clarion call to action has Sounded Scientific fiction sheds its thin disguise of idle entertainment and appears at last in its true colours as "weighty matters", to be read carefully and discussed respectfully. It Bears A Message. A Message that will Save the World. Already it gives a "growing consciousness" that the world is ‘very ill', something we should never realize without its aid. Soon it will become an ‘actual force', a force that will sweep the world into the Golden Age of Science. Heil, Science-fiction Heil Griffiths! For the leader of the space-shirts is none other than the heroic-philosopher. He it is who realizes fully the awesome power deep hidden in scientific fiction. He it is whose merciless logic sweeps away all opposition. He it is who sponsors the laudable ambitions of the uncouth cousin of fantasy to enter into its true field as a great sociological force. Realizing with calm insight that scientific fiction is just one of forces working to save civilization, his fiery enthusiasm yet sets out to make it the most important of these forces. Heil! Beware, you carping critics! You sneering sceptics who would say Wells "World-Brain" contains more practical sociology than all his fantasies, who would prefer the dull reality of "The Brothers" to the magnificent idea of "Star-Begotten", who consider G.D.M. Cole a better sociologist than Olaf Stapleton, beware! Quote not the cheap sneers of "Brave New World" against the scientific ideal; nor think to pit your puny whims, your ill-conceived objections against the irresistible scientific ideal.


This article is in reply to Albert Griffiths‘ "Ideals and Ideals".

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Beware of the enervating influence of merely entertaining scientific romances. The Utopias are the true flower of the tree of fantasy. Study them seriously, beginning with the dullest one of all, "Looking Backwards". If you find it and its companion works boring and nonsensical you should strive to eradicate the faults in your mental vision, for there are no defects in scientific fiction sociology. How is science-fiction to accomplish its ends? Wait and see, my little ones! First, we must increase the proportion of sociology in the stories. This will make the romances so unpopular that immediately they will be recognized by other artistic cranks as great literature. It will become ‘art' and the vast influence ‘art' has on the sordid practical world of today is immeasurable. The day will come when the scanty indomitable band of science-fiction fans will create their World Government, and, with the superb practical wisdom of the dreamer will solve all the world‘s problems! Meanwhile the sordid politicians will no doubt continue to keep civilization together.

The Johnson SCIENCE-FICTION SERVICE has pleasure in announcing that MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES the latest new American science-fiction magazine will be available to clients early in June. To avoid disappointment, ORDER YOUR COPY NOW price 1/2 post-free. A bi-monthly publication with a bigger "kick" than weird fiction. Reserve your copy direct with London: 17, Burwash Road, Plumstead, LONDON, S.E.18.

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Happy Encounter
by D. R. Smith

He was short and fat, and his face was an unhealthy white and his little eyes were watching me closely as I moved away from the book shop, turning idly through the pages of the latest Astounding.

"So you're another fan, chum" he said, falling in beside me.
"Obviously" I said coldly, loathing him at sight.
"What else could induce me to walk through the streets carrying this hideous thing?"
"Don't you like the covers pal? Of course Brown's not a patch on Wesso....."
"Brown is infinitely preferable to Wesso. At least he is sometimes unintentionally amusing. Wesso, whose cover it happens to be, is always blighting."
"Ah well, it's the words we want, isn't it cully? Some good stories in this month. Who's your favourite Author?"
There are few questions that annoy me more. "Mrs Gaskell" I said. He stared in stupid surprise.
"Ah, you've got me there old man, I haven't been reading long. I mean, among recent authors. Mine‘s Eando Binder"
"I can well believe" I said heavily "that you haven‘t been reading long." Sarcasm was lost on him.
"You mean there were better authors in the early days? Maybe so, but you'd go a long way to find a better story than "Life Eternal"
"On the contrary, the following story was far better in style, plot characters, science, everything."
"Do you think so? What story was it?"
"I haven't the faintest idea."

It was like throwing a ping pong ball at a cow.

He considered the remark for less than ten paces before leaving it as unsolvable.

"We do get some grand stuff, don't we? Makes you wonder why more people don't read the mags.

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Perhaps "they don‘t realise what they‘re missing, but I think it's because only one or two like us have enough imagination and education to enjoy such idea."

I stopped and gazed at him in awe. He was too superbly obtuse to be annoying, and, regarding in the light of a scientific specimen, I decided to examine him still further for signs of mentality.

"I don't suppose you read much of authors like Dickens, Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Goldsworthy or anybody else?" I murmured, walking on.

"Nah" with deep disgust, "No life in any of ‘em. In fact, between you and me, scientifiction‘s the only thing worth reading, and even it gets dull in books. Wells isn't so hot when you compare him to Schachner, for instance, and Stapledon‘s just bunk, I think. Course, you got to be a pretty good critic before you believe that strong enough to say so, but I think that when you get really to appreciate the points of style you begin to see how good these magazine writers really are. And when you come to add on the marvellous imagination, science and originality of authors like Eando Binder........."

At this point he walked into a lamp-post and nearly stunned himself. Before he could recover I had jumped on a bus and was home ten minutes later, where I sat down and soothed my feelings by reading Fowler‘s "Modern English Usage" for two interrupted hours.

The EDITOR announces

That back numbers of "Novae Terrae" from February 1937 are now available. All issues from and including that date are available – Volume 1, No. 10 onwards. Price 3d. a copy for 1937 issues, 2d. a copy 1938 issues, post free from

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

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The Fantastic Muse
by Arthur C. Clarke

Poetry, as everyone knows, is the third greatest of the Arts, being next in order to the composition of symphonic music, which in turn is surpassed only by the production of science-fiction -- the apex of all artistic endeavour. Yet, strangely enough, little progress seems to have been made in the writing of fantastic poems, in spite of the fact that verse is probably a better medium than prose for expressing the ideas of Fantasy and Science-Fiction. Perhaps the dearth of such poetry is due to the great difficulty of writing verse which is even readable, let alone good, and the greater difficulty of getting it printed when produced. True, some of the American fan mags have from time to time published what purported to be fantastic poetry, but the less said about that the better. Most of it was certainly fantastic.

Here and there among the classics, however, are fragments to delight the poetically-minded fan. Their very rarity gives then an added attraction, and when found they should be carefully transferred in best copper-plate to a note-book which should be kept in some secluded spot away from vulgar eyes.

Tennyson, as might have been expected, provides us with the most numerous tit-bits. Famous though his "Lockley Hall" prophecy is, it can well be repeated here:

"When I dipped into the future as far as human eye could see;
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonders that would be.
Saw the heavens fiIl with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained a ghastly dew
From the nation's navies grappling in the central blue.

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These lines, which become more vivid every day, were written in the early part of Victoria's reign. What poet of today has shown half this imagination? Here is Tennyson‘s description of interplanetary Space:

The lucid interspace of world and world,
Where never creeps a cloud, or moves a wind,
Nor ever falls the least white star of snow,
Nor ever lowest roll of thunder moans.........

And listen to this:

The hum of men,
Or other things talking in unknown tongues,
And notes of busy life on distant worlds
Beat like a far wave on my anxious ear

One wonders what Tennyson would have written had he lived today. He would probably have given a lot of free publicity to the BIS. We have to come down to our own age for a description of interstellar travel. Here is Masefield in "Lollingdon Downs", without his tall sip but with plenty of his other necessity.

I could not sleep for thinking of the sky,
The unending sky with all its million suns,
Which turn their planets everlastingly
In nothing, where the fair-haired comet runs.
If I could sail that nothing, I should cross
Silence and emptiness with dark stars passing;
Then in the darkness see a point of gloss
Burn to a glow, and glare, and keep amassing,
And rage into a sun; with wandering planets
And drop behind; and then, as I proceed,
See his last light upon his moon‘s granites
Die to a night that would be night indeed,
Night, where my soul might sail a million years,
I nothing, not even Death, not even Tears.

This picture, I venture to say, has never been excelled by the authors who have specialised in describing such happenings. It gives a better description of astronomical space then pages of text-books could.

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Only those who have heard the BIS Director of Research in full peroration can realise what opportunities for poetical artistry the Moon presents, yet few can fail to be impressed by this passage of Laurence Housman's:

There life is changeless, and time without worth
There nothing dies or is brought to birth;
Her day is done, she is filled with dearth;
Old she looks to the young green Earth,
Old as the foam on a frozen shore,
Old -- for nothing can age her more.

These few examples -- and there are not a great many more –cover a pitifully small part of the field of fantasy. Surely there are poets today who could profitably turn to this most fertile of all sources of inspiration, a source which cannot conceivably be exhausted. We are tired of the old stories that have been sung since the time of Homer. Let us have some new themes -- let the poet follow the author into the realms of fantasy. He will not regret it.

Most fans are under 20. Many of them will therefore write poetry since this is one of the more regrettable symptoms of adolescence. Well, let them try their hands at fantasy poems when they have got tired of finding rhymes for whatever the name may be. There must be thousands of science fiction fans, and with luck there may be one or even two, who can write poems worth reusing. If so, I hope the results will not be lost to the world.

I will finish this disjointed anthology with two lines of Tennyson, again from "Locksley Hall", which will need no comment from me:

Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime
With the fairy tales of science, and the long results of Time .......

"Novae Terrae" Panel of Critics

Report on questionnaire No. 3 (January 1938 issue)

60% of those replying saw some point uin a monthly editorial; 56% wanted to see "This Side of the Atlantic" revived. There were amongst the repliers 1 fascist, 2 militarists, 22 paxcifists and 17 socialists. The average number of questions for a questionnaire worked out at 12.8. It is therefore as well that only 12% of answerers were superstitious, and most of those through habit and not innate belief. Regarding the Clarke-Youd controversy, 48% agreed with scientist Clarke, 20% with Youd, the remainder being non-committal. 44% don't want NT covers to illustate articles. The best story of 1937 was easily "Forgetfullness" on the vote obtained which got three times as many votes as the next - "Galactic Patrol". This was followed by "By Jove" and "Seekers of Tomorrow". The features in the issue of NT were placed as follows: Ivgottit's "Phantamania" - 55 points; Wollheim's "Commentary" - 42 points; "Mr Youd Replies" - 41 points, and Smith's "Drift from S-f" - 31 points.

Report on questionnaire No. 4 (March 1938 issue)

67% have no objection to running articles serially. 53% want to see more stories of the "When Space Turned Green" type. 62% thought the cover an improvement on the previous one. In the Smith-Griffiths argument 63% agreed with Griffiths at that stage. Least-liked British author J.R.Fearn netted 78% of the votes. 47% habitually read weird fiction; many more on occasion. 75% support interplanetary societies, in theory if not in practice. The features in the issue were placed: 1st part of Cosmic Case No. 3 - 52 points; Griffiths' "Ideas and Ideals" - 50 points; London SFA Report - 21 points.

Questionnaire No. 5. will appear in the next issue of NOVAE TERRAE.