Originally distributed with FUTURIAN WAR DIGEST #18



No 3...............March 1942

The footprints herewith are engraved for posterity by Ted Carnell. Your only chance of hitting the target is to shoot a line to; 17 Burwash Road S.E.18.


RATINGS FOR THE best 10 yarns in ASF for 1941 are to appear in Brass Tacks with the February issue. We think its a smart idea to try out a little gallup and have a pohl of our own - that is, with your co-operation, Edward Elmer. So we'd like you to send us your favourite ten yarns in ASF 1941 (to the above address and not to Leeds) on a postal will do if you're that rushed. American fans and British hibernators please ignore. For the fans who have only been able to obtain the reprint issues, please send in your votes, and mark the top "Reprint". That, at least, will give us something to go by that will be a little different from other polls. Votes should be in by April 20th for inclusion in the May SANDS. In the April issue we will give our best ten, having had a short leave to look up the filing system.


ONE OF THE BEST stf Quiz Contests has just reached us in the May 1941 issue of FAN-ATIC, a New Jersey pub opened by Charles Belling. From the Question and Answer columns the following pseudonymns are revealed, which we re-publish for your further confusion.

Chan Corbett = Schachner
Gordon A Giles = Eando Binder
A.R.Steber = Ray Palmer
Yvonne Eclair = Harry Bates
Bradner Buckner = Ed Earl Repp
Tom Erwin Regis = Mort Weisinger
Polton Cross = Thornton Ayre
Anthony Gilmore = Desmond Hall & Harry Bates (as if you din' know)
Calvin Peregoy = Thomas McClary
Derwin Lesser = Charles Hornig
Clyde Crane Campbell = H.L. Gold
John Jessel = Stanley Weinbaum
Norman Bean= Edgar Rice Buroughs
S.D. Gottesman = Cyril Kornbluth
Kelvin Kent = Henry Kuttner
Amy Worth = Dr David H. Keller
David V. Reed = Dave Vern
Ray King = Ray Cummings
John Bristol = Jack Speer

So now you know. In our next issue we will include another list of names we know are also pseudonyms (from our cathedral-like archives). At long last the news has been released in USA so we might as well tell you that both Anson MacDonald and Lyle Monroe are pseudonyms of Robert Heinlein.


THE GARGLE of the Sphinx comes to us in a cryptic message from Bill Temple, scribbled, incidentally, on the bottom of a letter to somebody else, and chivvied round the country until it reached Devonshire. He scribbled "Why don’t you marry 'Bob' Heinlein?" Which was truly a beautiful thought, children. It didn’t exactly surprise us, though - this seeming sarcasm from the Great Brain. We rather expected many more such lullabies - after all, we have rather used the floods on Bob lately, and we intended fading out such remarks as from the last issue. But, William, you prompt us to render one more little crack…

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… ASF reader Vincent Scullin, writing in the Feb Brass Tacks lists his 10 best 1941 yarns, 1. "Methuselah's Children" - Heinlein 2. "The Microcosmic God" - Sturgeon 3. "The Stolen Dormouse" - de Camp. 4. "Nightfall" - Asimov. 5. "Sixth Column" - MacDonald. 6. "Logic of Empire" - Heinlein. 7. "Universe" - Heinlein. 8. "Jurisdiction" - Schachner. 9. "Solution Unsatisfactory"- MacDonald. 10. "Common Sense" - Heinlein. !!!!!!!!!

H'm - are we in the wrong then? If Heinlein can walk off with six out of the best ten yarns in a reader's opinion maybe we are a better judge than Will thinks - considering that he doesn't read ASF now!


JUST AS WE HAD finished congratulating ourselves on that masterpiece of a title for this sheet, slap comes the usual bubble-burster from Doug Webster presuming that we had derived the title from the story. Much correspondence flowed until it dawned on us that he referred to P. S Miller s "Sands of Time" which we had entirely forgotten mainly because the yarn wasn't even average. No, MacWebster, the title came from S&S - maybe we were too subtle. We should also like to inform our readers chat Doug is the only Scotsman we have yet met that lives up to the lie that Scots are tight-fisted. We swap an envelope with him which has been re-sealed with labels so many times that it costs 3d to mail - or rather, it did! We stripped it down to the base recently (without finding any of the original envelope at all).


THE SANDS OF TIME trickle down the hour-glass and bring us once again to that old familiar topic of the might or blight of Doc Smith. As "Second Stage Lensmen" comes to a smashing galactic close, we lean back in the Captain's favourite chair, and await with pleasure the vitriol and roses that will pour forth.

EE Smith has our personal admiration for the mightiness of his stories, even if we fail to allow him top marks for his efforts. At least, he does present a standard of writing and plot formation which is always high - the rest of the criticism is entirely the readers' viewpoint according to whether their brains grasp any of the magnitude Smith works in. Obviously one has to get outside the smallness of Earthly measures and think BIG! We have yet to read his latest effort, which will be taken at one gulp on that next leave, and we hope to give our opinion in the next SANDS. In the meantime, here are a few cracks from the Feb 'Brass Tacks' written by a Sam Salent of Brooklyn, New York…

"How can you dare to print the drivel that is the work of Dr. Smith in a top-flight magazine such as yours? Not that his writing is so bad - personally I think it is surpassed only by Heinlein - but his plots - or should I say plot - can surpass only that of the opera…some authors at least vary their formulas a little, but Smith does not even do that…Smith, to me, represents the last of a valiant but doomed race - the writers of the Buck Rogers-Flash Gordon school." What do you think about it and him?