NOVAE TERRAE #9 (December 1936)


Copytyping this issue by Rob Hansen.

NOVAE - - - - - - TERRAE

Dec. - Jan. 1936-37

Volume 1 --- No. 9

Produced by Chapter 22 of the Science Fiction League

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DECEMBER 1936------------ Vol. 1. No. 9


Editorial for December
Whither Ackermankind? by Forrest J. Ackerman
Trouble In Paradise by Edward J. Carnell
Plan for Science Fiction by Denny Jacques and Maurice K. Hanson
The '2's of Chapter 22 Get Together
Reviews in a Nutshell by D.R. Smith, M.T. Crowley, and the Eds.
This Side of the Atlantic by Maurice K. Hanson
The British Science Fiction Conference by D. W. F. Mayer
Classified Advertisments

Subscription Rates 2d a copy, 1/9 for 12 issues.
5 cents a copy, 45 cents for 12 issues.
Advertising Rates 1/2d (or one cent) per word.

Editors: Maurice K. Hanson, 95, Mere Road, Leicester, England.
Dennis A. Jacques, 89, Long Shoot, Nuneaton, warwicks, England.

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Editorial for December

You will notice that we include in this issue an article by Forrest J. Ackerman in which, he in some measure answers the, various criticisms that were levelled against him in a recent issue of NOVAE TERRAE.

The questions of whether Esperanto has any place in the science fiction field and whether there is any justification for the modification of the English language for the convenience of the imaginative fiction reader, seem both to be issues on which there can he little in the way of a compromise.

There will be numerous fans who hold differing views on each of the questions, but it is dubious so to whether any of the rival factions will completely persuade thair opponents as to the correctness of the views they may hold. Both sides of each of the two questions have already been adequately dealt with in the pages or this and recent issues of NOVAE TERRAE, so that in order to avoid needless repetition and redundancy some decision should be made as to the relevancy of any material relating to those two questions that may be considered for future publication.

Unless some point hitherto unmentioned or not fully dealt with crops up and is of vital interest to either of the questions, space for it in NOVAE TERRAE can be spared, but it would be futile to repeat time and again material that we have all already made acquaintance with.

In view of the nature of the questions under consideration we feel that perhaps this editorial is particularly pertinent and trust that it will prove of some value.

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by 'Forrest J'

Again has appeared an 'Anti-Ackerman' issue of a science fiction fan magazine. I refer of course to the Oct. no. NT. Which amusedly recalls to me early altercation in American Fantasy mag - also with a Smith. Many an impassioned paragraf was printed there, condemning my contention originally, but soon switching to, chiefly, charing estimates of my attributes. Error of an 'm' in 'charing' would make point quite paradoxical so be exceeding careful in reading same! Assuredly, accounts were acidic. I was slammed fiercely for an egotist, ridiculous one, daft, imbecile, radical, and notoriety- seeking clown. Even today, when I make weird fan's acquaintance, same seems apt inevitably to mention 'my pal' Lovecraft and wink knowingly - as tho' I should like to put poison in HP's potatoes.

To Mr. Smith, DR, I can comment only that it's a matter of opinion on portmanteaux. But that comment's important, I think. Combinations that are "clumsy, ugly, unnecessary, and hideous to pronounce" to him, are, it must be realised, exactly opposite to others. To myriads of modern Americans for instance. To progressive people anywhere! - Tho' I forsee you to latter that the telescoping tendency is retrogression, not progress! Evolution to Ackerman is devolution to DR. Impression: Theotocopulos of THINGS TO COME; as our White Hope Stanley G. Weinbaum put it - "The Point of View". DR Smith condemns; whilst important Englisher (Publicity Manager of London Films!) automatically added himself to my side recently when, of his own accord, responding to my request concerning stills from Wells' cinematic history of the next 100 years, he wrote: "I must compliment you on invention of intriguing new word, i.e., 'magascene'." "Intriguing", Mr. Smith, as contrasted with "repulsive"....

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As I've explained to many many correspondents ....... Scientifantasy Field -- in my case including imaginative fiction, films, dramas, broadcasts; as supllied, as subjects allow, to collecting, reviewing, and supplying other fans as salesman and endeavors Esperantic -- this field is so feverish that to be engaged in it energetically keeps me eternally over occupied indeed! And so it is that, when fingers fly, I employ all logical time-saving cuts I can. Meaning omission of many unnecessary indefinite articles, use of obvious abbreviations, simplified spelling to expedient extent, etc. Consequently has developt, day by day, my 'marriage mania' with words -- attitude unbecoming a Science Afflictionist; Un-Merrittiticious as you would (not) say, Mr. Smith. Marvellous! , The scientificombination, I mean. Scientificongrats! Ed Earl's reputation' would be another example. New scientificontest of authors` nams in conjunction (scientifi - !) with tune titles could be constructed. Sample scientificonstruction: "Where's my Wandrei-ing Boy Tonite?" Or -- "The Million Dollar Baby from the Five and. Taine Cent Store"...! (Now friend Smith has exploded of apoplexy!) It should be brot to lite, incidentally, that exclusive credit belongs to John Taine for 'fantascience', which he coined to describe his book "Before the Dawn".

No,I am not alone in this spelling system, combination craze. I mean aforementioned `moroniconstruction' is not confined to our Scientifantasy Field by any means! Matter fact, TIME, the well-known "Weekly Newsmagazine", undoubtedly does more damage (from Mr. Smith's standpoint) per issue than I could accomplish in a year! Consider its terrific circulation.- Say editors of this international 'institution' "TIME;s tempo and attitude are reflected in many time-chopping, space-saving devices, especially telescoping of two or more words to make one new. Some resulting contractions are as follows: newsbeat, cinemansion, radiorator, sexpert, slimelite. etc." These, it

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will be observed parallel in principle and appearance my "magascene", "autografoto", "cinemasterpiece", etc. And TIME influences TREMENDOUS audiences.

But what use to continue here? Obvious Mr. Smith and I are at an impasse. Like those who Love craft and those who hate. To some HP's "Mountains of Madness" was dullest drivel ever coutrived, lifeless as the Dead Sea; while others still enthusiastically acclaim it chef d'ouvre for the Ages. The concerned thot-variant tribes have one thing in common: each's convinced the other's crazy!

What's to be done about it? Can anything be done? I doubt it. So, filosofically, I shall carry on, actively introducing futuristic forms, to my mind "inevitable, intelligent, important"; sadly supposing Mr. Smith and those who see as he does continue campaigning against my "accursed and atrocious unorthodoxy". I only hope Mr.. Smith will dislike me a little less, as an individual, for devoting myself to this :frank and open statemant to him concerning the Shape of Spelling and Suc To Come, as I see, same ...........

Turning to critic Carnell now: Editor Hanson requested Esp article, which was why NT naturally received same rather than a scientifilmanuscript. Also, anything you may have heard rbout my writing scientifilm notes for World Girdlers' International Science League Correspondece Club was imaginary, inasmuch as no publication has appeared by that organisation nor have I prepared any picture paragrafs for same.

Be it known, to whom it may concern, that: contrary to the inference of your information E.J, we Universalinguists consider it scarecely short of miraculous that such an alien idea to the average mind, as ESPERANTO could acquire 5,000,000 adherents in its first fifty years of existence.

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It seems, unfortunately, one receives considerable erroneous information. Person who told you I never write article unless paid was uninformed or misinformed optimist!. I only wish it were true! Picture yourself in my position: Approx thirty amateur imaginative mags already in existance; new pamfs popping up frequent intervals. And pubishers of about every one of these periodicals writing me - friendly but fundless - requesting articles on Esperanto or fantascience films or allied subjects. What am I expected to do dear friend? (Do not take me sarcastically, nor sugar-sweetly, but sincerely.) Ten years now, I've bean effervescently enthusiastic about stf and, after college, commenced putting in practice idea I'd conceived some time long before - briefly that of "hanging out my shingle" as world's first professional 'Scientifictionist'! Meaning to make living as authority on scientifiction field. I've enlarged that since to scientifantasy field as outlined. But it's 'floppo'! for this pioneer in newest and most noble profession is expected to give away gratis products of time and 'training'.... As Esperanto: Its Relation to Scientifiction was. As my English-Esperanto autobiography to Marvel Tales was. As my film feature to 2nd issue Science=Fantasy Correspondent. As 4 years' feature writing for FANTASY MAGAZINE...!.

In conclusion, just want to warn any other fans reading this -- English or otherwise -- who, for reasons real or imaginary, dislike that they'd better watch out! 'Cause AKKA-man's ferocious follow --- I go out to KILL my 'enemies'!'(By making friends of them......)

(For comment on 'Forrest J` see the Editorial on Page 3)

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by Edward J. Carnell.

November appears to have been a black month in certain science fiction circles, according to my mail. The first knock came when I heard that Dan McPhail of Oklahoma had lost his job in the local prirting concern, and consequently, his mag, the SCIENCE FICTION NEWS was in dire danger of being seriously curtailed. The NEWS (which has been running for a long while as a carbon copied magazine) recently saw print, and was in its second issue last month. Out of the many printed fan mags now in circulation I favoured the NEWS and Olon Wiggins' SCIENCE FICTION FAN. (Denver, Colorado) as the two most promising to make a name for themselves. Too bad about Dan and his mag although it may still be possible for him to publish it, as he had a workng arrangement with his firm to produce it.

I haven't, as yet seen a copy of Willis Conover's SCIENCE FANTASY CORRESPONDENT, (Cambridge, Maryland), another of the new printed mags so cannot include it yet as a possible candidate for high honours, but, the line-up of famous authors and fans who are writing for it should make it a winner.

Another naw fan mag that has just arrived is the FANTAST FICTION TELEGRAM (Philadelphia) a neatly produced hektographed affair, which, I haven't as yet had time to peruse.

Then arrived the news of another New York break among fans, this time between the Independent League for Science Fiction and the International Scientific Association. Details are hard to sift owing to various New Yorkers belonging to both groups. It transpires that ISA members of the ILSF have now withdrawn exclusively to their own organization, leaving the ILSF somewhat depleted in moral and financial support.

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Several American fans have complained (?) that the "Scientijazz" competition in this magazine recently contained quite a number of English tunes which of course they wouldn't know. I agree with them there, but, as a direct thrust back, I ask "How can English fans hope to compete with any degree of accuracy, in FANTASY's latest film competition, compiled by Forrest Ackerman?" For, in the first place, many American film titles are completely changed for their showing in England, and secondly, some of them never reach here. So it's sauce for the goose........

Recently arrived...............a copy of the much discussed FLASH GORDON STRANGE ADVENTURES MAGAZINE. A new semi-science fiction product of the adventures of Flash Gordon, taken from the cartoons in the newspaper the "New York American'. It is a neatly produced magazine edited by Harold Hersey who wrote an article about it in the August SCIENCE FICTION FAN and selling at sixpence monthly. The first issue contains a sixty thousand word adventure of Flash entitled "The Master of Mars" (devoid of science) and three short-short stories, two authors being R.R. Botham and R.R. Winterbotham. Would. they be twins? First issue' in November and marked December.

The August and September issues of the SCIENCE FICTION FAN contained arguments between Don Wollheim and Julius Schwartz on the subject of hack science fiction authors. It is interesting to ask just what constitutes a "hack" writer?

America: New York beats Leeds in holding the first science fiction Convention, when members from the ISA in New York visited fans in Philadelphia on October 18th. Don Wollheim, William Sykora, Herbert Goudket and John Michel were entertained by Milton Rothman, John. Baltdonis, David Kyle, Robert Madle and others although the main business ((cont...))

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PLAN for Science Fiction.....
by Denny Jacques and Maurice K. Hanson

It is almost a truism among the more select circles of British science fiction enthusiasts tht science fiction as a movement is growing in this country. At the moment this appears to be the case due however, almost solely it would seem, to the vagaries of an economic system that has set Britain temporarily and ecomically in a minor boom. That the fortunes of science fiction are a true reflection of the economic prosperity of a country can readily be established from a study of the movement in the U.S.A. Prior to 1930 science fiction progressed rapidly, but during 1931-1932 was held up and baulked at many a turn until the very lowest depths of the depression were passed. Now that America is truly on the way to a more prosperous condition, and only now, is there talk of the monthly publication of the three diehards. One could elaborate further on this postulate but perhaps the point has been sufficiently emphasised.

Everyone has read and most people have sickened of the argument that science fiction is shortly to prove the greatest influence ever conceived in literature in paticular and the world in general. Even if at one time there appeared to be a grain of truth in this absorbing though complacent notion, the years have exposed the idea as being completely fallacious. Nevertheless, one might do well to dwell on the potentialities of science fiction, and it would be unusual if the enthusiast, with his notorious propensity for exploring the future, did not consider in some detail yet another possible wor1ld in practice perhaps even more fantastic than the usual copper clad world, world gone mad, or world at bay, namely the science fiction conscious world. Fantasy, and indeed science fiction, has proved a most

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valuable medium for the exploitation of any leanings to satire that an author may possess and many notable examples of both the anomalies of our modern civilisation and pointers to a much improved planet have surely been read by all. Science fiction, if it does little else but break with reckless abandon every known law of science and writing, does at least produce in its devotoes a profound contempt of many of our time-honoured institutions and organizations, and a commendable fanaticism in the interests of a more Utopian world.

Incredible as it may sound of a commercial film, "Things To Come" carried s real message that would indubitably receive some amount of recognition except in a community where noted film critics dubbed "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" a better production than "Things To Come" since "nothing could possibly be more boring" than the latter. Must one then retire into as undisturbed an oblivion as can be procured and wait for the day - THE DaY - to dawn?

Can there be any hope for a rising generation fed solely, apparently, on "The Victor", "The Terrifier", etc., in the case of the female element on the "Living In Sin -- or -- Dying In Love" type of twopenny mental opiate, or in a country where "Double Quick Bloodstained Detective Yarns" and "Dirty Bears and his Hell-Devils" appear to form the staple reading diet? In common with every other sanguine reformer one must clamour for secondary education for all - without that at the very least one can expect nothing beyond the speedy extinction and discouragement of any ill- advised idealists who rashly act on their ideas without waiting for this apparently infinitely distant occurrence.

To follow the habit of the incurable fan, who, where things are not as he would wish either assumes them to be different, or on the other hand politely ignores them. We will assume that secondary education for all does exist.

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It is said that the science fiction fan is born rather than made, a statement containing a modicum of truth today, though for those who themselves wish to see a science fiction conscious world it would be as well if it were not true. of tomorrow. Perhaps we should (grudgingly) admit that as we have been slowly growing more conscious of science fiction, since the middle ages, future generations may be even more promising than the most precocious prodigy we have to offer to a gaping world. But it is the work of the fan to accelerate this progress, preferably not by the judicious application of cosmic rays to the more sensitive parts of the cranium, but rather by methods at least a few degrees more practical.

The most promising idea would seem to be to flood the juvenile fiction market with works of the better class of action type of science fiction as typified by Hart Carse, John Hanson, etc. What small instinct to appreciate science fiction, that may lie dormant in the dimmer recesses of the cerebellum would then have a fighting chance of developing. An early acquaintance with the ideas o science fiction would go far to dispel the supercilious superficial condemnation that is its lot today. Having attained a general tolerance of science fiction, secondary education might go far in inducing a desire in the reader for more meaty material than he had formerly encountered.

A Science Fiction Syndicate with a lengthy imposing 'constitution' explaining the aims of the organization in great detail could not help but be a success. Unlike so many science fiction organizations it should be run by reputable executives out neither for personal gain or notoriety

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and who distinguish between the better and poorer types of science fiction. Apart from conducting heated arguments with any and every other organization the business of the Syndicate, which, incidentally, should be immeasurably ahead of any organization of today in integrity, influence, and finance, should be to flood cinema, radio and literature with reliable science fiction, appropriate in each class to its intended receiver. Simultaneously an active publicity campaign should be carried out so that that remarkable entity, the man in the street, can gather what is going on. Care should be taken, however, not to decry the merits of other types of good fiction since a philosophy of "no fiction but science fiction" should be rigorously avoided.

It should not be thought that a huge amount could be accomplished at once -- one can hardly imagine Aldous Huxley waiting with bated breath for the next instalment of a Campbell serial, or brother Julian feverishly scanning the Science Questions and Answers for the latest information on the nature of chromosomes -- but what is needed, and what is significantly absent today, is a general tolerance of the attitude of the science fiction reader. This, once achieved, (even if in only a fairly small measure), may well be the big step in the evolution of science fictnon and should lead -- through the mellowing influence of education -- to a world conscious of, influenced by, and acting in accordance with the ideas of science fiction.

Whether an organization like the suggested syndicate will ever come into existence is a debatable, point, but without it science fiction can do little but continue along the singularly unspectacular path it has been seen fit for it to pursue in the past.

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The `2's of Chapter 22 Get Together

On Wednesday November 25th, seven members of the Nuneaton Chapter of the Science Fiction League -- Chapter 22 - met at the Assistant Director`s house. The meeting commenced at eight p.m. when the Director, Maurice K. Hanson, opened with a review of the Chapter's achievements since its inception in July 1935. Denny Jacques then followed with an account of the Library's position, the number of books just falling short of the hundred mark. A scheme to buy all the current magazines was passed unanimously. The members were organized into a bloc, to check up on all science fictional matters appearing in any British newspapers or journals. It is hoped by such a procedure to have a complete Chapter file of science fiction events in this country. Maurice T. Crowley was placed on the science fiction review board for NOVAE TERRAE. The proposal that NOVAE TERRAE should be printed was outvoted since it appeared to be thought for the most part both inside and outside the Chapter that the magazine was progressing well under the present duplicating idea, The matter of finance was then dealt with, and the Director gave an account of the Chapter's financial standing and revealed that the Chapter was in a very sound position. It was decided that a penny a week dues would be instituted. The meeting concluded with miscellaneous general business in which plans for a continuation of the expansion of the Chapter were discussed. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday December 30th, 1936.

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Reviews -- In a Nutshell
(Compiled by D.R.Smith, M.T. Crowley, and the Editors)

December 1936

Cover Welcome brightness, unoriginal depiction

Illustrations Morey's sketch for "Uncertainty" is the best, and the rest for the most part are `poorly drawn and even more poorly reproduced.

Editorial-- Astrology Disjointed, though necessary condemnation of Astrology, numerology, etc., but the attack on water-divining is uncalled for.

Uncertainty by John W. Campbell Jr. GOOD
Old, old basic idea that is far outshadowed by refreshing typical Campbell scientific ideas which are rampant over human interest and all else.

The Time Control by Philip Jacques Bartol. READABLE
One of the more undistinguished time stories, taking place for a change, however,in Russia.

The Space Marines and The Slavers by Bob Olsen FAIRLY GOOD
The human interest and humour is forced, though nevertheless is fairly pleasing.

Devolution by Edmond Hamilton FAIRLY GOOD
Snappy title embodying an interesting idea, though replete with glib explanations.

Death Creeps the Moon by Wede GOOD.
Definitely the surprise of the issue; in the first few lines of it one begins to take notice. For once a story intelligently and amusingly written.

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When the Earth Stood Still by J. Arlyn Vance READABLE
Unconvincing and unplausible, what redeeming features there lie in a slightly different approach to an old stalwart.

Reviews Film and book Reviews are rather late, and excellent for those who consider a review should be nothing but a condensation of the plot.

Discussions More important things might be discussed to greater advantage.


Cover Unbalanced, nevertheless colourful and arresting.
Illustrations No better than they ought to be, Dold's exaggerations spoil his curious style, but Flatos shows some promise.

The Eternal Wanderer By Nat Schachner FAIRLY GOOD
Dold's wild ilustration well reflects the general wildness of the story. The science is unconvincing, though somewhat different from most.

Dynasty of the Small by John R. Fearn. FAIRLY GOOD
Definitely interesting and a new one for the human race, though the science would appear to be utterly fantastic.

Anton Moves the Earth by Ross Rocklynne FAIRLY GOOD
What others can't do, Anton can. Written with some gusto and an indestructible faith in the indefatigable Anton.

The Path by Raymond. Z. Gallun. FAIRLY GOOD
Pleasantly handled, little cause for comment.

The Last Selenite by A. Macfadyen Jr. FAIR
Nothing out of the way in many respects.


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We are pleased to include the first of a new series by D.R.Smith in this issue, the series representing the most detailed study of rays of every description ever made, to our knowledge. All types of the most common rays used in science fiction are dealt with, together with very nearly all of the unusual ones that have been suggested, the series as a whole probably being the most notable contribution made to this absorbing sideline of science fiction.

by D.R.Smith

Rays are the most important stock-in-trade of the science fiction author. Let the editors rave about new ideas, thought variants, psychological plots, and cry havoc on the hackneyed theme, the fact remains that nothing grips the reader's imagination more than a good old-fashioned space war with fascinating rays of rainbow-hued destruction.

The rays usually belong to the type that was once described as ether radiation as distinct from rays of materlal particles such as cathode rays. Of course, now that ether radiation goes along in chunks and streams of electrons behave as waves on occasion, such a description savours of antiquity, but most authors do not venture into modern physical theories more than is necessary. Mr. Campbell manipulates modern theories with such skill as to indicate that they are actually better suited to fictional purposes than the old ones, but others prefer ascribing wonderful. properties to unexplored octaves of the ether-wave spectrum.

Nevertheless these unexplored octaves have been used so much that it becomes a greater strain every time a new one is described to believe that it is theoretically possible. It is preferable to use a standarduized weapon than to make wild statements in the cause of novelty. The heat ray, for

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instance, a very popular weapon is still one which we can read about without mental perturbation for the destructive capabilities of heat are common knowledge while the problem of control is still the main objection, its very popularity makes it slice smoothly into the story.

The terrible rays of the 'Skylark' series used heat as the destcructive power. Campbell, while favouring the induction type because of the logical means of control, gives us the best description of a pure heat ray yet published in "Uncertainty", his latest story. The induction type is seen best in "Morale" by Murray Leinster, altaough no description is given Diffin in "Two Thousand Miles Below" used emerald green heat rays, Williamson pale blue in "The Alien Intelligence" and ruby red in "The Lake of Light", Schuyler Miller's Black Lem Gulliver flashed scarlet needle beams and Hawk Carse orange streaks. The pencil heat ray, an obvious development, also occurs in "The Venus Germ" by Starzl and Pragnell and "Brigands of the Moon" by Ray Cummings while "The Flying City" (H. Thompson Rich) spreads its heat blast, Dr. Bird, tracked a "Cold Light" apparatus down, and red cold rays flashed in "The Exile of Time" by Ray Cummings. The cold ray is of very doubtful qualifications. Festus Pragnell has a new idea in "Men of the Dark Comet" when he created a lens by a space-warp apparatus which focussed the sun's heat with devastating effects Heat rays appear in countless stories, in "The Exile of the Skies" by Richard Vaughn, "The Metal World" by Ed Earl Repp, "Proxima Centauri" by Leinster, "Slaves of Mercury" by Schacner, "The. Hammer of Thor" by Diffin, "When the Moons Met" by C. F. Beck, and many others. Even H. G. Wells' Martians used the heat ray which may, or may not, be the first appearance. In any case the heat ray has a most respectable pedigree, and it surely deserves its place of honour among the ranks of engines of destruction.

The next article in this series will appear in the January issue.

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Trouble in Paradise (Prolonged)

was the arranging of a fully planned Second Convention to be held in New York on February 21st 1937.

The January issue of the INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER (publiction of the ISA) bids fair to be another milestone in the history of science fiction, according to advance reports of its make- up. It will have a gold-covered cover.

London science fiction fans are still rallying to the cause of the BIS, since it arrived in London. Walter H. Gillings, England's premier authority on anything appertaining to scientifictional advancement, was recently elected on the newly-formed committee, while Arthur Clarke, another 'old-timer' in the country, has been made Secretary. Les Johnson, of BIS and science fiction fame in Liverpool, visited London for the day on November 15th and was entertained by members of the BIS.

I note that another "Ackermanuscript" is due in this issue in answer to several hard remarks passed about his previous article. I hope to have room to deal with it next month.

Whispering...... when you say "Happy New Year" to your fellow science fiction fans it will have a double meaning, for early in 1937 we know the result of over a year's work on the proposed professional magazine.

(See the Editorial on page 3 for reference to the current "Ackermanuscript")

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The science fiction reader


puts in much time looking out for British fantasy. It might be fortuitous for him to spend a few minutes here.

Some journals might justifiably heed this paragraph with a very imposing FLASH followed by ( at least ) three exclamation points since the matter is unique but unimportant. "Science fiction" under the aegis of the British Broadcasting Corporation from the Western Children's Hour to the National programme, (in more bitter moments one might feel that this is suitable copy for Ripley.) However it should be said that it is "science fiction" rather than science fiction, and only by a most charitable point of view can it be regarded as "science fiction", though in view of the lack of precedent in the matter perhaps a point may be stretched. On November 19th, Claude Hulbert and Bobbie Comber in their "Bigger Business" series gave twenty minutes of entertaining experiences encountered on a stratosphere rocket flight to Mars complete with mad scientist......................... The national press is to be complimented on containing one review of Benson Herbert's "Crisis 1992", (Richards 7/6). From the "News-Chronicle": "Science in Fancy's dress. Men in a projectile visit a 'planet mysterious as the moon. Done often before in fiction, but done here with satiric wit." ........... "Even a Worm" by J.S. Bradford (Arthur Barker 7/6) seems to contain a new idea. In it the whole animal world conspires against man -- thus grouse refuse to rise before beaters, racehorses refuse to race, and rats and snakes maliciously spread the bubonic plague............................................. Though perhaps it should not be menticoned here, weird readers (!) may be interested to know that the last ghost story ever written by the late Dr. Montague Rhode James appears in the November issue of the "London

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Mercury".............. Yet another new idea seems to be embodied in "The Machine Stops" by Wayland Smith (Hall 7/6), which gives an account of what would happen if all mechanical movement in England ceased................ In the November issue of the "Strand Magazine" "The Man Without a Soul" by Quentin Reynolds appears. This is another of the von Genthner stories a number of which have appeared amongst other places in the past in the "Story-Teller". They are nearly all scientific fiction, the current one dealing with the transmission of energy and an enigmtic robot ....... To add to the spate of Lord Dunsany books that have made their appearance recently "My Talks With Dean Spanley" has just come along. It is light fantasy and tells of the reincarnation of a man who in a previous life had been a dog. Lord Dunsany too, has a short story" "The Electric King" in this year's "Christmas Pie"........ (For the uninitiated, an annual publication price 6 pence, the proceeds this year going to the the King George the Fifth Memorial Fund............................................... "Wild Harbour" by Ian MacPherson, (Methuen 7/6) is another contribution to the branch of fiction that indicates what an uncomfortable time we are going to have in "the next war", be it in 1937, 1939, 1943 or as in this book in 1944. The eminently sensible thing to do in such a contingency is to retire from world. affairs, or such is the idea of the author the book which tells of the life of two people who go back to the caves under these conditions.................. ............................

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The issue of "Punch" dated December 2nd, 1936, contains an amusing feature "Illumination, 2036", purporting to be an account of the development of illumination sources during the next hundred years -- artificial moon rays, and dark rays to combat them, etc............... .. .............................. Eric Ambler's "The Dark Frontier", Hodder and Stoughton 7/6, is centred around a mid-European intrigue of atomic bombs and million volt electric discharges........................................... Thc B. B. C.'s production of "Scrapbook, 1908" contained a reading from H. G. Wells book "The War in the Air", published in that year.............. The scenario of H. G. Wells' third film (for Korda) aprears in the current issue of "Nash's Magazine" (as mentioned in this column in our last issue), and is a modernisation of the 'Faust' idea. It is typical Wells imaginative-fantasy type, with a greater emphasis on the love interest than Wells has produced in any of his previous films ................. .........

Reviews -- In a Nutshell (Cont.)

Macklin's Little Friend by H. W. Guernsey FAIRLY GOOD
A hectic few minutes monster-hunting in the library. Quite pleasantly gripping.

The Thought Web of Minipar by Chan Dorbett FAIR
The idea has been used much before. Spiders, unfortunately, generally add a touch of cheapness to a story.

Red Death by John W. Campbell, Jr. GOOD
Remarkable maintenance of interest even though all is science. What do the "no science in science fiction" legions" say to this series?)

Brass Tacks Assuredly needs reforming! (Note "We're . . . looking for Smith in 1937".)

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Arrangements for the conference are now rapidly nearing completion, and so far, besides those mentioned last month, the following prominent fans and authors, amongst others, have promised to attend: J. Happian Edwards (British Interplanetary Society Director of Research;, Eric. F. Russell (active B.I.S. member), H. O. Dickinson (author of "The Sex Serum") , Festus Pragnell (author of "The Green Man of Kilsona"). Two of the morning speeches have been settled. The speakers will be W. H. Gillings and L. J. Johnson.

There is little further news for publication at present. However, full details of the Conference together with a complete summary of speeches and discussion, will be contained in a booklet, published about January 15th. These booklets must be ordered AT ONCE, with the money (1/-)

May we also remind all British fans that they are welcome to attend the conference, but that those wishing to do so must apply for tickets as soon as possible. Admission is free, but by ticket only. For further details, or for tickets, send a stamped addressed envelope to D W F Mayer, c/o Leeds Science Fiction League, 9, Brunswick Terrace, Leeds, 2.

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