Postscripts and random thoughts batted out for the amusement and enjoyment of Sandsman Ted Carnell; which is why we refuse to include any mailing address. Suckers please note. Friends look through the Postal Directory.
NOVEMBER'S FURLOUGH of three weeks eventually faded away, but brought forth another ten days over the Christmas vacation. To which many fans will quote "Lucky swine". Unquote. Maybe we are lucky, but it depends which way you look at the luck side of everything. Soon after writing Sands for December we had that free-for-all at Frank Arnold's joint. It creaked. Present, or among the also-rans, were Harold and Lily Chibbett, Frank, and the inimitable Sid Birchby, shortly to marry and woo-hoody-oo-woo, although the two do not naturally go hand-in-hand. Ask Webster.
Also we had the pleasure of taking Gus Willmorth along - and just to finish the gang off, none other than Harry Kay crept in, hurriedly hiding his bike from prying eyes, so rare is scrap metal these days. PO Clarke regretted not being able to hitch-hike the 300 odd miles from the south, and also quoted that it was undignified for an officer and gentleman to thumb his way. We wonder where he read about gentlemen unless it was on a washroom door. Gus arrived at the editorial address with Sam Schwartz, a non-stf colleague of his from camp who was very curious to know just what kind of people fans were who fanned across half a world and were willing to take under their wings any other half bake without a formal introduction. We were browsing in a very interesting stfictional joint known as the "Star" when we received a telepathic message from Irene recalling us to do the honors, so burst in on Sam and Gus like a whirling dervish. We found them very typical of the thousands of Americans that we've met during this war. Interested and interesting, enquiring as to conditions in this country, and genuinely keen on understanding the British outlook.
Gus was far quieter orally than his correspondence would have you think, but this is quite an asset as we could leave him in a corner and. know that he would be happy, just soaking everything in. Came the evening, and London put on a typical fog to cloak everything in, but we managed to reach the Arnold apartment, accompanied by the drone of a couple of bombers and an ack-ack barrage. We were all for digging ourselves a slit-trench in Baker Street, but it was too dark to see, and in any case they weren't open. Sam went off to dance at Hammersmith (ah, halcyon days of our youth), and eventually Irene, Gus and your Sandsman groped their way Burwashwards.
The next day we had to dump Gus on George Medhurst, who was grounded with an appendix, and went off to visit Kenchap, who had slid out of Grand Bass without a permit specially to greet us. We fell violently in love with his daughter, Linda, and have decided to buy ourselves one just like her. All other means failing.
SO WHAT DOES 1944 BRING US? Taking a look-round the various fields that are
still open for speculation, we are pleased and surprised at the way fandom is
still blossoming. The projected: Conventions for the New Year are very
commendable items of interest. Whether great crowds will gather or not doesn't
really matter. The fact that conventions are planned in Britain means that
there are spirits looking after the. Devil's own. Our greatest praise goes to
the members of the Cosmos Club, who have very quietly been making a place for
themselves in the forthcoming scheme of things.
WE HAVE MANGED to do a little ASTOUNDING reading during the past month, and to top it all the new-size November issue has just arrived, which is liked by us as much as we liked the large size. We presume that we will have to like this wartime measure - but doesn't it play havoc with the bookcase?
The illustrations have now reached a new low and are more like spirit drawings, alcoholic ones. We haven't yet read any of the script, but for several issues the stories have been well below par. One of the best yarns since "The Weapon Makers" seems to be Leiber's "Gather, Darkness," and even this isn't up to the standard of the usual Future Races - neither is Moore's "Judgment Night".
There's something missing in all these yarns - as if the life-spark that used to make them tick over has been extinguished. Also, there are far too many war stories and war themes creeping in. Maybe it is hard to get one' s thoughts away from such a topic, but it was done in peacetime - why not now?
So Unknown FOLDED with the August 1943 issue, we hear. If anyone happens to have spare copies of any of the 1943 issues and wants to sell or swap them, we'd be more than obliged.
AN AIRGRAPH FROM Canadian Bob Gibson states that he regrets missing us on our recent disembarkation leave, but he'd gone away. We have a very strong suspicion that the convoy which dropped Bob off 'somewhere in Italy' was the one-that later picked us up somewhere in North Africa. Here' s hoping that we shall have a grand re-union in 1944 with all the gang that have gone overseas and that Bob will step off in Britain on his way home to Canada.
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS we are still amazed at the number of readers of stf we keep coming across. On our recent world cruise we found many shipmates who preferred fantastic literature to most other types, and a recent hookup with Ken Chapman mentions the same thing. Ken has quite a lending library at the station he is on, and there appears to be quite a waiting list for his magazines. We wonder-just what could be done in the magazine line if a really super-advertising scheme could be brought out - for a super magazine, of course.
WITH THESE CLOSING lines we wish to wish all our readers a woozy New Year. Especially to all our readers overseas - those fan pals of ours in places East, and the many in places West whom we haven't heard from recently, or written to for even longer.
In BFS BULLETIN #17 (27 July 1944), Ted had an article on the state
of fandom and SF: FAN - THE EMBERS!
(If link doesn't take you directly there, click on 'page 12'.)
FWD #38 (Dec 1944), carried this happy announcement:
Congratulations to Irene and Ted Carnell on the birth of a son, hight Michael John Carnell. All best wishes to them and him in the future.