STRAIGHT UP - Vol. 1 No. 3 - May 1952
VOLUME ONE NUMBER THREE
Surveying the stencils of this number before printing, I feel rather depressed, on the whole its a rather scrappy issue. Also it's late. This monthly schedule is pretty hard work and I'm not prepared to give up anywhere near the 100% of my spare time that it requires to produce a reasonably good issue as I did with the first two issues. Apart from that I have to contend with numerous difficulties on the production side. I don't type the stencils or print the mag at home, and my present typer and duplicator are pretty old cranky items. In this respect you can expect a number of changes in the next issue. This will I hope be a pre-convention issue. The size may alter, the type face will, in fact it will be a different magazine as far as appearance goes. You may notice that I am writing less of the contents myself. I believe this to be a good thing as each contributor is an expert in his particular field. As of the next issue I have pleasure in welcoming to these pages my friend Arthur F. Hillman. I have ready an article by him that should evoke a number of comments from readers and possibly publishers too. There may also be some book reviews in Arthur's usual immaculate style. Another new regular contributor will be Denis Gifford who will be writing a regular film column. Denis know more about films than anyone else I have come into contact with in this country so you may look forward to the latest in this ever expanding field. Of course the Belfast Triangle will be present as usual with the incomparable 'Comebacks' and Lee Riddle will give with the hottest news column in fandom, I'm expecting to read news before it happens soon in this column! In future issues I hope to be using more artwork. Terry Jeeves has done a number of cartoons for me, a series of spaceflight terms explained. I have recently come into contact with a new fan in this area who is an artist, no doubt you will be seeing some of his work in these pages soon. If I can bring the production side of mag up the quality of the contents I shall be at least partly satisfied, at present I am far from it. A personal note to finish on; If there are any readers of the magazine who are interested in photography will they please write me as I am now in the clutches of this hobby, and am anxious to contact any other fan-photographers.
To my contributers, thanks. To those who have written, also thanks, if I haven't replied yet. I will before long. To new readers, welcome, but please don't judge the standard of SU on this issue alone. Fancerely, Fred.
COMEBACKS FROM ERIN
The trouble with Vincey is that you don't know for sure whether or not he is trying to pan you. Look at the way he starts off his letter. Such finesse! Such subtlety! He starts; Bob Shaw is a liar. Then he goes on to say that during the showing of the film The Lost World he sat and watched Arthur Clarke juggling with the records. Well! I must say its all right for some people - nothing to do but sit and do circus tricks with ether people's valuable records. ((Didn't you hear that the '51 Con broke all records?)) After that he actually has the effrontery to call the large gloomy barn-like place into which he lured James and me during our London visit a bedroom! Hay, that's the last straw. I always thought that a bedroom was a place in which one kept beds. Not the dark and dusty accumulatien of busts of Napoleon, model Spanish galleons, split mattresses, rusty mimeographs, Ken Bulmer, and small heaps of orange peel to which we were subjected. I tripped on going in and a bust of Napoleon nearly bust my Bonapart. (( Can I believe that ? Of Corsican!))
Well within range.
I don't feel like writing anything, I'm having too much fun.
....The new bi-monthly promag SPACE, edited by Lester del Rey, looks like the most promising addition to the field since GALAXY. Line-up for the first issue is del Rey himself, Asimov, Kuttner, etc. Kuttner's story is outstanding ... The May 1958 MARVEL, now back to pulp size, has a novel by F.G. Rayer ... The claim to mining rights on the Moon by the Elves Gnomes and Little Men of San Francisco, reported widely here, was the West Coast's Counter to a similar claim by the Chicago Convention Committee, who are issuing all Conventioneers with deeds to a lunar crater each. Seems to me the Con Committee are leaning a bit too far backwards to refute charges that their Convention was going to be a dull pro-and-hucksters affair. They've certainly get some big names lined up ; Gernsback, Campbell, GOSmith (!); and Professor Urey was reported to be going to speak. I suppose Arthur C.Clarke might be there too. He left for America on the 24th April. Incidentally, from the sublime to the other thing, American fandom has been organising a fund to bring your columnist over, I understand the London Circle has offered to contribute to it if American fandom will promise to keep him ...Van Vogt's SLAN is being reprinted, complete, in FANTASTIC STORY MAGAZINE.
A magazine is shortly coming from Denis Gifford (see Address below), the title is SPACE PATROL HANDBOOK and it will be a 16 page, printed job with half-tone blocks and line drawings. Both fact and fantasy will be included in the contents. Among the items will be an Interplanetary Passport (ready stamped), a language glossary of space terms and many other items in its contents. The price is only l/6d post free.
From the same source will soon come (if sufficient support can be found) a tape recorded zine. All fans interested in tape recorders are advised to get into touch with Denis at 16 Sydenham Park, Sydenham, London SE 26.
We regret to announce that this is the last year of that old established news-mag The Science Fiction Newsletter. Bob Tucker has announced that it will cease publication in about twelve months time.
From down under the publication has been announced of a bibliography of the works of Clark Ashton Smith. This is to be professionally printed and the proofs have been read by CAS himself so the contents may be relied upon. It will be obtainable from T. Cockcroft, 3 Stilling St., Melling, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. The price to sterling area fans is unknown but to US fen it is 20 cents.
The first quarterly competition has ended and now I can announce the winners of the title Fanzine of the Quarter. To be more precise this should be Fanzines, because after much consideration I have decided to split the competition into two parts. These are for the purely fan produced mags (hand printed and mimeo etc) and Pro-duced mags (photo-litho etc). All mags have been judged on Size-Appearance-Layout-Artwork-Fiction and Non Fiction, for the photo-litho mags and in addition legibility and poetry (none in the others) for the amateur produced mags. To come at last to the important item, the Winners! In the amateur section the first place is a tie between Phantasmagoria 4 and Mezrab 7, each scoring 27 points. Winner of the pro-duced section is The Bradbury Review scoring 24 points. Any mags dated to come into the first quarter and not yot recieved will be judged with the next competition and all Winners will be judged at the end of the year for the annual title. For the benefit of other editors to whom thanks are due for sending in their mags, here is a list of the score for other mags -
Q.I7-I5p.-QI8-30p—SFHor?s !?aroh«I9p%« Littlo C- 33p.-Sludso 3-28p.-Curront SP l-I5p.- lOndulum l-38p.«SBhlp I6 SIKL Jan-i7p.SONL Mar .lop.-Cosmas/SSD 23p,-03? II.I5p.-SPAdTo?i .-I6», A8 oansoo thoro Toro somo prot ly closo runnors up, bottor luc noxt Iah» I«d livo to stato that no PAPA-UAPA-SAPS otc mars 7ill bo includod i» the compotition or ill bo ro-riotod, but I 7III gladly oxohanoo sith thorn and liVo to ta-o this opportunity of thanVinp the oditor s of thoso 3ho h in so far, the avoran-o standard of roducion of thoso mags ia vory high
THE RAY BRADBURY REVIEW. Ed. Wm. F Nolan. 50 cents.
This is without doubt the finest fan edited mag your editor has ever seen. The excellence of both contents and production leave nothing to be desired. Nolan announces that (depending on reader support) this will be the first of a series of similar productions each dealing with a different author, the title changing of course with each issue. I feel that this brings it into the definition of a fanmagazine and that is why I have allowed it into the competition. Details of the production were given in SU3 but I would like to correct one error, then I stated that the price was $1.50, it is in reality only 50cents. Having now read the mag I feel that I know more about Bradbury than he knows about himself. I've seen anyone so analysed. The complete checklist of all his published works, together with all reprints and radio and TV scripts is a masterpiece of compilation. A worthy Winner. I for one sincerely hope that the editor continues the series.
PHANTASMAGORIA No 4. Ed. Derek Pickles, 22 Marshfield Place, Marshfields, Bradford, Yorks. 3/ - for 4 or 9d each.
The expected 40pp half foolscap pht turned out to be a 20 pp foolscap one. Cover by Alan Hunter helps it to be the best ish of pht yet. Fiction is of very high quality, Testing Ground by H. J. Campbell I found very entertaining, Alan Hunter contributes the The Eternal Conflict, a fine satire. Pro Author E.R. James' Wisdom of the Hyprians is well above the usual standard of fan fiction. The weakest piece was I think Clive Jackson's story. Poetry too, of which there is a considerable amount, was of high quality. To my taste the short untitled one by Pete Ridley is the best, but the other five ran it close. As usual WAW contributes the Outpost which for once strikes a semi-serious note. If there is any fan who is not yet a subber to Pht this is an omission which should be repaired in short order.
CURRENT SCIENCE-FICTION No. 1. March 20. 10cents each, $4 a year, UK mags and books accepted as exchange.
I am bothered and bewildered, not to say bewitched, to find not merely another regular newszine, not merely a monthly one but a WEEKLY one.The first ish runs to 16pp and is 4to in size. It is published by Ron. S. Friedman, Intergalactic Publications, Box 1529 .Grand Central Station, New York 17, NY. The editor informs us that 1100 copies of the first ish were distributed and that he already has 628 subbers. The mag is mimeoed quite neatly (an achievement in itself) and contains a phenomenal amount of current news plus numereus ads. Quite frankly I don't know how they do it but I hope that they continue to do so.
SCIENCE FICTION NEWS LETTER March 1952. 7/6d a year frem Ken Slater.
An excellent cever by Lee Hoffman this ish. Tucker discusses at length the new spelling in the Galaxy serial The Demolished Man. There is little that one can say about a newsmag except that it is good or bad; this one is excellent. Biggest laugh I've had recently is brought up by Tucker when he states the he read that there was to be a Galaxy Novels edition of his recent book City Under The Sea, in Taurasi's Fantasy Times, before he even knew about it himself.
THE PENDULUM Jan 1952. Ed. Bill Venable.
Welcome to a new zine, a fine first ish too. The sombre looking cover is by Donald Susan and illos Poe's famous The Pit and the Pendulum. The contents page reveals that this is very much an international zine. There is a long story by Pete Ridley of fair quality, the title is Heads or Tails and there is a twist in the tail. News flashes from Britain are supplied by Derek Pickles. Of course WAW is present with some of his finest work to date, this time he writes about films. British promags are well reviewed and there are a number of other items including three poems of very good quality. My only real criticism is of the mimeoing which is if anything worse than that in SU. This could become one of the top zines in the field with a bit more care on the production side and providing that the contents are kept at this level.
SPACESHIP Feb. 1952. No. 16. Ed. Bob Silverberg.
The cover of thish is best left unmentioned. However the quality of the contents makes up for the shortcomings of the artwork. The issue opens with a very serious discussion by Lillith Lorraine under the title of Science-Fiction and Civilization, it is nice to see something of so high a literary quality in a fanmag now and again. Morton Paley discusses promag contents and Charlas Morris in The Survivor has an average quality fanzine story. Roger Dard, surely one of fandom's most active members, reports from Australia, and there is a review of the movie Flight to Mars. Also in the issue are two poems, one by Orma McCormick, though short, is worthy of special mention. An average edition of a high quality mag. No U.K sub rates are quoted.
Cempleted:- Abbott and Costello have finished making JACK AND THE BEANSTALK ... The Arabian nights type fantasy THE MAGIC CARPET, starring Lucille Ball, Patricia Medina and John Agar (Columbia) ... Another movie on the same theme also starring Pat Medina is ALLADIN AND HIS LAMP (Cinecolor) from Monogram.
Its ta ta to Tarzan's mate - in the next Tarzan story to be filmed, Jane who has played Tarzan's 'wife' for so long is to be killed off ... Producer Sol Lesser has renewed his contract to make Tarzan movies for a further 20 years.
George Pal's version of Wells' WAR OF THE WORLDS stars 23 year old Ann Robinson, a redhead, playing opposite her is Gene Barry who is alse starring in Paramount's ATOMIC CITY.
THE THING has been shown in Australia - minus 500 feet the censors had. Previously titled MIRACLE FROM MARS, RED PLANET MARS, starring Peter Graves and Andrea King, tells the story of two scientists who establish radio contact with Mars.
Latest Jungle Jim epic to be filmed is titled VOODOO TIGER.
Among the latest Oscars to be awarded recently one for Special Effects went to WHEN WORLD COLLIDE, and one for the best film story went to SEVEN DAYS TO NOON.
Watch out for STORM OVER TIBET, a weird film. The backgrounds are authentic, being taken from films made by a recent expedition to the area. Plot follows a crashed American flyer who steals a religious charm and is cursed for it.
LOST CONTINENT (Lippert) ... THE MAD MONSTER ... FLIGHT TO MARS (Monogram), all to be shortly released here.
FILM REVIEW by Denis Gifford
FLIGHT TO MARS
A step, nay - a rocket, back to 1936 and FLASH GORDON, with few trimmings for the fen. Opening rocket sequences are fair, but wait till you see the meteors! There's a discussion on the macro- and micro- cosmos in midspace (artificial gravity to save bother and expense of low gravity effects) which comes as a pleasant and unusual interlude in this mediocre movie. There's also the added idea of little rockets shot back to Earth from space contaning data when the ship is beyond radio contact. Crash landing on Mars, and the planet's surface is good, but those Martians! They know our language of course (the next time I read or hear that aliens learn our language via radio, I shall eek loudly! Why don't they punctuate their English with static?). Remember how us Brits compared to the rest of the world in the Olympics? In respect of dress I mean? That was nowt. Wait till you see how the US spacesuits compare with the superdoopersuits them Martians wear! There's an interesting, but obvious, model underground city, and we don't see much of Mars' hydroponic foods, but we do see a lot of Marguerite Chapman's legs! In fact her heels are so high that she tends to totter! Fans of certain promags cover cuties will woof with glee. There's the usual intrigue and a horrid three way love tangle straight from any B-film you could mention - and the chase, fight and take-off at the end are too ludicrous. But go and see it anyhow, and pray that the projected sequel VOYAGE TO VENUS will be more space-worthy.
FROM US TO SU.
by Charles Lee Riddle PNCA, USN.
Greetings once again. What with a recent attack of some miserable virus and pressure of official duties keeping me pretty close to home, I haven't much hot news for you this time. However, let's take a look at what we can dig up:
WITH THE PRO WORLD:: Rumors are hot and furious concerning a yet new science fiction magazine to hit the markets sometime next month. No-one can seem to tell anything definate about it, but several dealers have been approached by its advertising agents. It will be approx 7x10 in size and slick finish. This, however, is not to be confused with the soon appearing Rocket Tales, which will be a companion to Space Science Fiction ... Speaking of Space, their first issue is now out. Digest sized, trimmed edges, and edited by Lester del Rey, who, incidentally, wrote the lead-off novel. Definately a worth while newcomer, even though it has the 35 cent price tag on it ... Donald A.Wollhiem is no longer vith Avon, and they have discontinued the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Readers. It is known, though, that they will continue with another sf mag, but no further details at the present time ... Street and Smith are not saying anything yet about the proposed change in size of Astounding, only that it is still in the 'discussion stage' ... And here's another new sf magazine announcement! Space Explorer is the tentative title of a tabloid type zine to be distributed through local grocery stores! One 3000 word yarn has already been purchased. It will be a two-color job and will try to be bi-weekly (that's right, I said bi-weekly) ... Standard changes cover format on Thrilling Wonder and the rest of its prozines with the August issues. I've seen it and it's darn good.
THINGS NOT TO COME :: I said that Frank Sinatra would be replaced this month by a science fiction television show, but it appears that I was wrong. When the powers that be at Columbia Broadcasting Company saw a preview of the proposed program they turned thumbs down, saying it was 'too adult' for the average viewer.
FAN-VETS CONVENTION:: The Fantasy Veterans Association, of which I have the honour of being secretary, is an organisation devoted to supplying the fans in the armed forces with science fiction and fantasy. We receive the largest amount of the magazines and books to send overseas from interested fans and publishers, and our main expense is postage costs. To meet an ever increasing number of requests for magazines and books, we had to raise funds, and decided to hold our 2nd Annual Fan-Vet Convention in New York City on the 22nd of April. The turn out exceeded all expectations, and the cooperation we received from the editors and authors in the field was marvellous. Thanks to the fans and pros, the Fan-Vets are now one hundred and fifty dollars richer, and this is a small way of saying thanks to a lot of them. If you readers in Britain would like to donate any prozines or magazines, send them to me. and I'll see that they reach the hands of the fan in the armed services in Korea who needs a bit of relaxation.
That does it for this time friends. Thanks to those whe have written me - your comments and suggestions are still welcome. Until next month then...
Charles Lee Riddle, PNCA, USN, US Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut.
As previously reported the London Science-Fiction Convention 1952 (as it is to be known) will take place in the Royal Hotel, Bloomsbury over Whit weekend, May 31st- June 1st. Con Secretary is Frank Arnold, Chairman Ted Carnell, Treasurer Charles Duncombe, and publicity is being handled by J. Ratigan.
Fees have been provisionally fixed at 5/- a day exclusive of buffet. Convention society membership entitling holder to all published gen on the con may be obtained by sending 2/6d to the con Treasurer c/o The White Horse Tavern, Fetter Lane, London EC4. POs and cheques crossed and made out to C. Duncombe.
This space donated by SU as a gesture of support for the con.
The O. F. Library went into operation again on May 1st. New operator is Fred Fairless of Taxal Edge, Whaley Bridge, Stockport, Cheshire.
Several US radio and TV stf shows have gone off the air, they include Dimension X - 2000 Plus - and Out There. A fan club has been formed for the purpose of petitioning the radio networks to bring them back.
All fans interested in Flying Saucers are asked to get into touch with Jim Schrieber, 4118 W.l43rd St. Cleveland 11, Ohio. who runs an international club to investigate them.
S.U. offers congratulations to TLMA founder and Master Monster Lynn Hickman on his recent engagement and forthcoming wedding to Carole Hustwick of Napoleon, Ohio.
Congrats too to Medway fan Tony Thorne and his wife on the birth of a daughter on April 31st.
Speaking of Tony Thorne, he has recently opened a shop dealing exclusively in stf items. At present it is only open evenings and Saturdays but Tony reports that business is brisk. The address is The Medway Science and Fantasy Centre, 78 Canterbury St .Gillingham, Kent. As well as selling books and mags a library is in operation and a postal sales service is to be organised.
It is with regret that I announce the death of Whipple McClay, editor in chief and founder of Proof Inc. of Hollywood Cal. This was an organisation dedicated to helping editors of "Little" magazines.
AFN have announced the forthcoming broadcasting of the US stf programme '2000 plus' . In view of the recent suspension of this show in the USA these European prgrammes will presumably be recordings.
The title story of the forthcoming anthology of British stf stories has been announced. It is "No Place Like Earth" by John Beynon, from the pages of New Worlds. Several other stories from this magazine are also included in the book.
For the second consecutive year the Magazine of Fantasy and Stf has won an award in the Magazine Show of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
A new semi-professional zine titled Fantastic Worlds is announced. 36 pages, planographed, quarterly, 25 cents a copy, $l.00 a year. Editor Ed. Ludwig.
ENGLISH AS SHE IS SPOKE
Acknowledging an article: - "I have recieved your article and much like it."
Acknowledging a book :- "I have received your book and will lose no time in reading it."
Proposing a vote of thanks:- "I listened very intently to the lecture and so far as I could gather it was all sound."
Men should not be vain in publishing their knowledge whether orally or by writing, neither should they be cunning in secreting what they have acquired, but be generous and free in communicating the facts making them as comprehensive and simple as possible.
Pocket Book Reviews.
SPACE WARP by Vargo Statten.
A star increases its magnitude from tenth to first magnitude in a few hours, not by any means an uncommon occurence, but on three successive nights an increasing number of stars are involved.
Astronomers decide that Earth is heading towards an area where ether has ceased to exist, or at least, as it normally exists.
The story deals mainly with the fate of various people when the Earth comes into this Space Warp. The atmosphere is seriously affected and the temperature rises to fantastic heights. Rays from the sun become so strong that they shine through solids, including Earth itself. As a result of the disturbance in the ether, radio contact is made with Mars, wheron are living people who have been abducted from the earth in order to be educated into the highly scientific and contented way of life of the Martians.
After several days with the Warp the Earth finally moves into ordinary space and presumably life returns to normal.
THE ECLIPSE EXPRESS by Vargo Statten.
Discovery by a young photographer of a force which is generated within the umbra shadow during an eclipse of the Sun results in his inventing a stratoplane-spaceship which will be pulled along in the umbra shadow by this force, thus enabling better photographs of an eclipse to be taken than had hitherto been possible. His blueprint is accepted by the Government and plans are carried out for the trial to be held during a total eclipse which is imminent.
The story goes on to a subsequent flight to the moon and the discovery of a planetoid the other side of the Moon to which the Selenites had emigrated aeons ago when the Moon became highly radioactive in the course of the natural evolution of a planet.
A Dr. James who two years previously had endeavored to reach the Moon and was presumed dead is found on this planetoid. The survivors of the Selenite race have degenerated into a primitive way of life, but can still receive radio broadcasts from the Earth directly into their brains.
Forty-eight of the original emigrants are later found in suspended animation, and in case they wake and have ideas of conquering Earth, one of the Earthmen destroys them, and the party then travels back to Earth.