THE SECOND CONVENTION REPORT (1938)

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The Science Fiction Association

SECOND CONVENTION AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

held in the A.O.D. Memorial Hall, Lamb's Conduit Street, London W.C.1.
on April 10th, 1938

Convention Chairman: Ken G. Chapman
Master of Ceremonies: E. J. Carnell

CONTENTS

Cover Design by H. E. Turner:..................................................1
Explanatory .............................................................................3
Report of the Afternoon Session...............................................4
Evening Session........................................................................6
Professor A. M. Low, Leslie J. Johnson...............................6
I. O. Evans, Walter H. Gillings.............................................7
John Russell Fearn.............................................................13
The Memory of a Supper........................................................15
Messages From Overseas.......................................................18
Impressions............................................................................20

Compiled by: Maurice K. Hanson, in collaboration
with Ken G. Chapman and Eric C. Williams

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EXPLANATORY

Within a few pages an attempt has been made to capture the spirit that pervaded the second conference of British science-fiction readers and with the reagent of recorded speeches to polymerise it into a plastic form which might be moulded into a permanent record.

The formal business of the afternoon session which constituted the annual general meeting of the Science Fiction Association has been briefly mentioned. A precis of the speeches of the majority of the evening's speakers has been included. This condensation can scarcely do the originals justice, but the attempt has been made to convey their essence. One speech, perhaps the one of greatest general interest to readers, has been included in full, and comprehensive extracts given from another, of scarcely lesser interest.

There has been included as well an impression written with a pen dipped in alcohol, apparently, Of the informal supper hold after the evening session, which many enjoyed, as well as any other part of the proceedings. Extracts from messages from enthusiasts, writers and publishers, to the Convention also appear, and there has just been room for a few of the impressions that the gathering made upon individual conveners.

Little more can be done but hope that the reader will find the result edifying, and reflect upon the next stage of the progress of tha S.F.A. from a theosophical hall in Leeds to the shadow of Stonehenge in Bloomsbury.

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Report of the Afternoon Session

After the various S.F.A. visitors had arrived and introductions had been effected, the whole assembly adjourned to the room where the meeting was to be held. This was the 'temple' of the local branch of the Ancient Order of Druids, suitably disguised with dim lights and the conveners were appreciably impressed by the bizarre surroundings. The Chairman and the M.C. took the table facing the assembly, and the meeting was declared open.

The Chairman, Mr K. G. Chapman, in his opening speech welcomed the many visitors and asked in which the business of the Annual General Meeting of the S.F.A. had to be carried out. This was commenced with the Secretarial report of the Association, givan by Mr D. W. F. Mayer.

It took the form of a chronological table of the various steps taken in the building up of the organisation from the first British Convention on January 3rd 1937, and concluded with mention of the change of Headquarters from Leeds to London. The S.F.A. was portayed as an ever-spreading network of fans linked together in growing harmony, and confidence was expressed in the future career of the Association.

Mr E. J. Carnell who was elected Treasurer some few months before the Convention took place, read a report on the financial position of the S.F.A. and disclosed a pleasantly solvent position. The Library Report from Mr E. C. Williams followed, which dealt with the slow but steady way the Library was being built up largely with the aid of members in Leeds and London. At that date more than a hundred books had been accumulated and the Library Fund showed a balance in hand of 10/-.

Mr Warnes, whan called upon as Chairman of the Leeds Branch of the Association to give a report of the activities of that Branch, admirably side-stepped the responsibilty by saying that better reports than

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he could deliver were printed each month in "Novae Terre". However, he mentioned the interesting and profound debates that were held each month; and dwelt for a few minutes upon the other side of their Branch activities -- that connected with the producing of "Tomorrow", "Amateur'Science Stories" etc.

Mr Chapman, Chairman of the London branch in his report pointed out the increasing spheres of activity of this Branch and stated that the change in Headquarters of the Association would not mean any slackening of the interest in it that had characterized the Leeds control. He concluded with the earnest wish that all provincial members would some day find their way to a London Branch meeting.

After a few minutes break, the session was resumed with the matter of the Constitution. Copies of the propsed Constitution were distributed. and the proposed form was discussed clause by clause. After some discussion then and a certain amount of amendment, the matter was settled to the satisfaction of the assembly and work has now been put in hand on the production of copies of the finalized form which will be circulated to all S.F.A. members in due course.

The subject of an Association emblem was brought up by Mr. Mayer and he exhibited several designs already submitted, though no definite decision on the subject was arrived at.

The final consideration for the afternoon section was the ballot for President of the Association. The nominations were John Russell Foearn, Walter Gillings, John Beynon Harris, and Professor A. M. Low. Each member recorded his vote in a secret ballot, resulting in the eloction of Professor A. M. Low.

The afternoon session was then adjourned.

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EVENING SESSION

Professor A. M. Low.

was the first speaker in the evening session, and he expressed first of all his interest in scientific fiction as an amateur author and remarked that he hoped to learn a lot from the professional authors present. He further remarked upon the honour he felt at being invited to the Convention, and would, he said, gladly have acted as door-keeper.

In a witty and absorbing speech he elaborated some of the, reasons for his interest in science-fiction; in it he saw a valuable instrument for eliminating stupidity and prejudice and he recalled in this connection an occasion when before the war the newspapers announced that he had made television possible he had received dozens of letters telling him not to be ridiculous! Science-fiction prepared the mind for the unexpected so that it could be appreciated that, for instance, it was only an accident of time that we had no gramophone record of the Sermon on the Mount. Furthermore it did valuable work in depicting the horrors of future warfare, though he expressed the interesting sidelight that war is often a stimulant to human progress in that it drives man to the maximum of his powers.

Upon completion of his speech Professor Low received a great ovation.

Leslie J. Johnson

gave a topical and interesting discourse of Man's everlasting search for something better in life, his continual search for tomorrow. In this epoch Mr. Johnson elaborated the ideas that had formed the basis of his story "Seekers of Tomorrow" which, as is well known, met with wide acclaim. The speech is published verbatim in the current issue of, appropriately enough, "Tomorrow", and it would ungrateful to give here extracts which may be much better appreciated in their original full context.

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I. O. Evans

discusseed the evolution of science-fiction. He mentioned the early interplanetary fantasies of Lucian and dwelt at some length upon the remarkable works of Francis and Roger Bacon; one of the inventions the latter claimed to have made, he stated, was a device a few inches long with which men could easily escape from any prison. This seemed to indicate researches in the 4th dimension, though it appears it didn't enable Bacon himself to avoid inprisonment in his later life. Mr Evans continued with his appreciation of the part played by the work of Poe, Verne and Wells in the history of science-fiction and concluded with a plea for authors to pay more attention to sociological elements in stories. Far too often stories contained characters, of planets and times different from our own, who acted in all ways as we do. You would not expect to find Venerians wearing a bathing costume at all, much less the conventional terrestrial kind that most authors would dress them in without hesitation. Women, too, he considered had been neglected a rightful place in science-fiction. (Professor Low endorsed this idea by remarking that he had no doubt whatever that hundreds of years hence men would look at a lump of jelly, bald, and with inches-thick glasses, and say to each other "Isn't she lovely?" - Laughter!)

Walter H. Gillings

traced very fully the experiences he had met with in trying to persuade various publishers to consider the idea of a British science-fiction magazine. He described how, after pestering numerous publishers with dummy copies of magazines, authors' manuscripts, etc., he had in January 1935 persuaded G.Newnes Ltd. to consider the subject

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in detail. After he and several British authors, however, had spent much time and money in discussing and solving various problems with Newnes' representative, the scheme had collapsed in December 1936. Further liberal expenditure of time and energy did finally result in the first issue of "Tales of Wonder", the success of which everyone knows. Mr. Gillings also made interesting mention of an organisation for science-fiction enthusiasts that he had initiated as far back as 1929 with the co-operation of Leslie Johnson -- the Science- Literary Circle, which had a successful career, being addressed on one occasion by the British author J. M. Walsh.*

Douglas W. F. Mayer

in a very forceful speech drew attention to the conception now being discussed amongst fans of science-fiction as a sociological benefactor. He contended that science-fiction for science-fiction's sake was a very poor motto and a rather useless idea. Rather, he considered, fans should unite to develop the very real force of science-fiction as a world- enlightenment movement, to point out the advantages of a social system in which the new knowledge of science was devoted to the happiness of all.

Benson Herbert (verbatim speech)

Firstly, I would like to express my great enthusiasm for the results which the S.F.A. and. other similar associations have accomplished in a comparatively short time.

Men of all ages and countries have written forms of science-fiction, but popular science-fiction on a large scale is purely a product of the 20th Century. Like all of you, I have read countless stories which have sullied the name of science-fiction, I have been disheartened by them. Because of them I have sometimes given up science-fiction in


* Over the years Gillings made several erroneous statements about his earliest days as a fan, but it's startling to see he was getting this stuff wrong so soon after the events occurred. He and Len Kippin started the Ilford Science Literary Circle - the UK's first SF group - in October 1930. This in turn inspired Les Johnson to start the Universal Science Circle in Liverpool. However, these remained strictly local groups and were not part of a larger organisation. Britain would not get a national association until the formation of the SFA in January 1937. J.M.Walsh addressed the Ilford group on 20th July 1931. An account of that meeting can be found here.

- Rob Hansen

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despair for months at a time. Then I come across a genuine specimen of the type and suddenly I feel the same old thrill which I experienced when a schoolboy on turning over the pages of the Meccano Mag I was first introduced to stories of the future. All fans have felt this thrill, the feeling that we are standing on the brink of a new era in human development. Science-fiction has given us a new faculty, it has brought to our attention the vast unexplored depths existing within our own minds. I believe that science-fiction together with other experimental forms of literature is a revolutionary movement symptomatic of the age. The thoughts that motivate writers seem to proceed in cycles. Interest alternately widens and narrows. The metaphysicals of the 17th century reacted against the established modes of the previous age; restlessly they sought out new paths in science and in other branches of thought. Similarly in the 19th century, the romantics reacted against the established commonplaces of the 'age of reason'; and now the symbolists, the surrealists, and we ourselves are reacting against the habits of thought of the Victorians, in so far as they judged the world to be ruled by the laws of ballistics and common-sense. I think the restless analytical spirit of the 20th century has much in common with that of the metaphysicals. "The new Philosophy calls all in doubt" wrote Donne in 1611. We can repeat the same words with much greater cause for cynicism when we remember how hardly a decade passes now without some startling revolution in theoretical science. Science-fictioneers in particular take great delight, in calling even Einstein in doubt, and in the mountains of published magazines we have enough theories to construct several hundred entirey distinct universes'.

From the beginning the staple diet of science-fiction fans has been tales of the future. Why is this? I fancy the answer will bring to light an instinct which perhaps has not yet been fully recognised. We enjoy more leisure than men of a previous age, more time in which to think of the nature of time itself, the most fascinating problem

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which the universe has given us to solve. Personally I have always been tormented by this puzzle. Time will not let me alone. I cannot grasp it though I realize my whole being is bound up with it. I'm certain that I'm normal in this respect because of the popularity of time-travel tales and the endless discussions about time in the readers departments of the magazines. I think it is good for authors to try and understand the workings of this time-defeating instinct, if they wish to make profit from it in their stories. I welcome anything which helps me to defeat time. J. W. Dunne's theory of the Serial Universe helps me to do this, so does good swing music with its careful avoidance of natural rhythm. But neither of these help me so much as science-fiction. A good writer can bridge a gap of a thousand years with a few deft words; our instinct is thus satisfied, we have conquered, time, our imagination for a moment is freed from its lifetime burden; we return to the world refreshed but the effect is far more than one of mere escape; if it were that and no more very few of us would have troubled to attend this meeting. When we lay down this hypothetica perhaps, being conscious of time at two widely-separated points; we see objects as they really are, extending into the past and the future. Instead of a meagre and deceptive cross-section we observe the world as a four- dimensional Whole. It needs an imaginative effort and nothing can bring it about so effectively as imaginative fiction.

This restless urge towards the future, this instinct to which science-fiction appeals I propose to call by the concise German word Zukunftsstreben. Zukunftsstreben is the motive of 20th century life. It has invaded our books, our cinemas, our architecture, our social life, even our politics. It has arisen through our intelligence waking up to

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new wonders of science, and as intelligence is likely to go on expanding I think the instinct will remain with us. Therefore I do not fear that science-fiction is a passing craze. In other words there's a future for the story of the future.

Is any one type of story better than another? I reckon not. Any story which captures the imagination and appeals to the Zukunftsstreben is good science-fiction. It is wrong to make a rigid distinction between good art and fiction for the masses. All good fiction should have a wide appeal. Any copy of 'Astounding Stories' contains one story at least as good as the early, cruder, efforts of Wells. Why then, may one ask, has Wells found a permanent form for his work while other writers have to be content with pulps? Simply because Wells made his name in the days when few writers were competing in that style. Now the field is full of new writers all clamouring to be heard. The mere mass of modern output makes the existence of the pulp mag imperative. Cheapness in itself has nothing to do with merit. Cheapness and mass production are no more than further signs of the age. Shakespeare himself would have said that the best art should have the widest appeal, should be popular, and therefore cheap. The radio brings the cheapest possible entertainment to every home but no one would condemn it for that reason alone . An author is a fool if he despises the popular magazine. "The purpose of a writer is to be read", said Johnson - and to have a story marked 1/9 on every bookstall is better than having it marked 8/6 if it is hidden away on the shelves of the town library. Even Wells has allowed his "The Shape of Things to Come" to appear in two volumes of a 6d series.

How would I define a bad science fiction story? Apart from questions of style, I would point to bad science as the worst fault. Be as imaginative as you please but don't run counter to established facts. Give us fantasy not falsity.

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Theories can be thrown to the winds, but facts are sure things. I have no objection to that much- maligned force-ray so frequently used in fantasy magazines, even if it acts through the 11th dimesion and turns people into stone; but I sigh with despair when a writer talks of the difficulty of walking on Neptune because it is 16 times as heavy as the earth, which is rubbish since gravity on Neptune is just three-quarters that on earth; or when he confuses velocity and acceleration.

Is there a higher proportion of bad stories being published now than in the good old days? I think not. Firstly, the author has less excuse now than ever before for ignorance of scientific facts and principles, if only becauae of the numerous scientific articles in the magazines. Secondly it is growing increasingly difficult to hoodwink the reader by stringing together a number of pseudo-scientific phrases and calling the result a story. Authors are relying more and more upon the appeal of action and character. All this is to the good. The most effective story is one which strikes a balance between fantasy, action, and character. In the old days a good, scientific idea was enough to make a story. Now we are less liable to be thrilled by fantasy on its own account. Science-fiction is leaving its childhood behind. Consequently authors are compelled to write better and shift the balance 8somewhat from the science to the fiction. While we have such writers as Thomas Calvert McClary and Arthur J. Burks we need not fear that science-fiction will fall into disrepute.

I defined Zukunftsstreben as a sign of increasing intelligence. Of course, the Zukunftsstreben instinct is more fully developed in tha States than in this England. The inference is obvious. It is the duty of this Association to develop Zukunftsstreben in this country to the level it has reached in America, in other words to educate the masses out of the lethargy which is the English heritage. We are the goad which must drive the British cow to wider pastures. In this I am certain we shall succeed.

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John Russell Fearn (extracts from his speech)

Since I was not present at the last Convention in Leeds I've no means of knowing whether this one is an advancement or not. Being in the capital of the world it ought to be - and those fans and enthusiasts who have not turned up can never any longer convince us of their real love of scientific progress.

As to myself I see no particular reason why I should be made the guest of honour at this meeting. I can only assume it is because I've told more lies in print than anyone else. Bernard Shaw has said that the real test of a writer is his ability to tell untruths convincingly. By this I don't mean to imply that science-fiction is all untruths - basically, that is the exact opposite of its fundamentals - but story writing in any form is the trick of telling lies so well that an Editor believes them. Prolificity of output depends, of course, on how much time one has to write. For my own part I do nothing else except write yarns - save of course for the time I spend in cinemas, writing letters, making amateur films of Blackpool, being secretary-chairman to a writer's circle and duplicating all my work in new stories under a different name. Otherwise, my time is pretty much my own.

I've been asked numberless times to tell my critics what I think of them. I haven't done so for one very good reason - they're not worth it! Here and there a really accurate criticism comes up and I read in with interest, but the blah-blah of dozens of fans is so much drivel. Just the same, I like it to go on, because so long as there's a row about me - good or bad - I'm being noticed. When nobody says anything I shall start to really worry.

I do admit that the science in some of my yarns has been haywire, particularly "The Blue Infinity", which got out by mistake more than by design. But remember I've never been trained as a scientist.

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I started off in the cotton trade and didn't know an atom from a football. All I've done I've learned for myself and the parts that went screwy were through actual lack of knowledge only saved, I presume, by story interest. One writer said recently that the Fearn of 1933 is not the Fearn of 1937; the methods are so improved. I only hope he's right. All the same, you critics, the editors can't all be wrong. 'Amazing', 'Astounding', and 'Thrilling Wonder' take my work almost without rejection so who is wrong? The Editors, the author, or the critics. I'm trying my best and with that I'm satisfied. And since trying my best fills my bank with honest dollars I don't care....

The sorest point of criticism seems to be "Mathematica" or rather, as some would have it, "The Voyage of the Adding Machine". If it was so screwy I ask the critic who makes the assertion to write 28,000 words disproving what I said. He won't manage it, because, no matter how strange it appeared, it was the best and most logical story I ever wrote. As a matter of fact a headmaster in a Surrey school wrote saying he was going to use it to express in words, instead of figures, the basic principles of mathematics.

All literature, even as all life, must evolve. Present day literature is at saturation point The demands of film and radio, and shortly television, have produced more than reason can provide. In 1926 science-fiction first appeared in a regular form. In those dozen years it's had had its ups and downs but it has definitely survived; that very survival through the worst stages of its career proves that it will go on to greater strengths in the future. We have the added advantage that science-fiction is backed up by a world increasing science around us. Television will give it anothor upleap; three dimensional colour flims will do it again, and in two years these will be with us to stay... Films - and I see every one that comes along - are getting increasingly poor. The old pivots of love, crime,

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musicals are falling to pieces, worn to shreds. The horror film, the first babbling effort to transmit science-fiction, has been banned throughout the U.S.A. and Britain, and rightly, for from it has emerged the more sensible type of science-fiction in the form of "Things to Come", "Night Key", "Man Who Made Diamonds" "King Solomon's Mines"; and though you may not see it my way, Walt Disney has paved the way to pure fantasy with his "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Now other producers are taking his cue and using fantasy for their ends. "Lost Horizon" was a gem in a wilderness, and others like that are coming. The one flaw that science-fiction film producers still have to master is the old elemtary one of 'man who conquered the world' theme. They always think a guy must rule the world if he's a scientist; "Night Key" showed that a scientist can have humanity and not seek these things. A year ago a "Night Key" or "Lost Horizon" would have been unknown; that they are here now is proof of the growth of science-fiction knowledge.

Then again, because of this, writers are bound to see for themselves in time thae vast fields of open conquest there are in fantasy, idealism and science. The present upheaval of risque dramas, crazy comedies, sex triangles and other bunk, will dry themselves up. There remains only one field open for new exploration - fantasy! And the next five years in literature and films will see enormous developments in this field on both sides of the Atlantic. Exactly how I haven't the time to tell, but it will certainly come about. At present the old ideas, the primary ideas that started the great science-fiction racket of today, are the only things producers are going on. Later they'll look further, and when they do science-fiction will be as well acknowledged, if not more so, than all the sex-drivel ever written!

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THE DIARY OF A SUPPER by William F. Temple

Trying to recall the supper party at the Convention of some weeks ago the first thing that floats across my mind is a side-table laden with sandwiches, cakes, and sausage rolls of such a weird shape that they involved John Russell Fearn and myself in a discussion on surrealism.I think we both agreed it was berhunk. My memory is not clear, for I'd stopped (some time) at the bar on the way to the supper, and had a wet argument with Erb Warnes about Finance and Education.

Fearn was a real surprise to me. I'd imagined him as being rather snappy like the brainy scientists in his stories but he turned out to be a smiling, pleasant personality, modest, and. with a balanced outlook on things. Everyone liked him. I congratulated him on the amount of work he turned out, and he explained that he planned his working hours, writing between 9 and 12 in the morning and 6 and 9 in the evening. He spends many of his afternoons in cinemas, for, like me (I like discovering points of similarity between me and the great) he's a rabid film-fan.

Just then, I'm sorry to say, the rum began to take effect. John faded into a mist and presently I came out of a sort of pipe dream to find myself in the midst of an argument between Arthur Janser and Benson Herbert on methods of government. Mr. Janser is a monarchist. Benson Herbert wasn't, nor was I. (Again similarity with genius, please note.) We argued over the Austrian situation, at that time acute, and Herbert displayed. quite a wide knowledge of international politics and history. Janser, being Viennese, gave us some inside dope on how the Nazis were confining his friend, Sigmund Freud, the great psychologist. After that things took a stf. turn and Herbert told me he could never write the quickfire, tearing action stuff some of the U.S. mags demanded.(And now I see he's crashed THRILLING WONDER!). The ardent monarchist broke in again, and I, disgusted with a scientist for

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letting traditional sentiment over-rule reason tried to expound my own theory of a State governed by a board of humane, tolerant, sympathetic scientists, engineers, artists, and educationalists, and got into another frightful muddle, which became another confused pipe dream.

Woke up to find myself sitting at a table with John Beynon Harris and eyeing him blearily across a glass of brown ale. Apparently we had been discussing everything under the sun: Wells, the F.P.S.I., Prof. Joad, the theory of physics and the practice of flat-hunting; music and typewriters, blues, slips, carpet tacks, Gamages and things. John B. said he detested writing (like me - good!) and always sat down at his desk with a sinking feeling, and all through his labours kept trying to think of an excuse to stop and go out and have a cup of coffee. He's a fine conversationalist, full of amusing anecdotes, and a bit of a thinker too. I tried to get him to open up on the "Wot's-the-use-of- living" philosophy he brought into "Sleepers of Mars". But he said it was only a passing mood that everyone gets sometimes. He thought "The Venus Adventure" (WONDER, April 1932) the best of his yarns, and was rather contemptuous of "The Secret People". (I wasn't.) Arthur Clarke's Ego, closely followed by Arthur Clarke, entered the conversation here to agree that "The Venus Adventure" was John B's best, and tried to tell of a scene in that story that always stuck in his mind. But he couldn't remember it.

Then F. Vic Gillard came along touting bound copies of the three issues of AMATEUR SCIENCE STORIES at 1/- each, and after a spot of brilliant sales talk persuaded John B. to buy one. Arthur Clarke's Ego and myself made a simultaneous pounce on John B. to point out to him that both of us had stories in it that were well worth reading. This struggle for recognition developed into a disgusting melee, and John B. wriggled out of it somehow and got clean away. I mooned about disconsolately after that among the busily thawing jaws of Messrs. Hanson,

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Williams, Chapman, Gillings, Carnell and other dull souls with no ideals beyond food, found the bar and got all muzzy again. I have a dim memory of arguing with Albert Griffiths about some fool named Temple, of gloating with alcoholic admiration over the drawings of H. E. Turner, and of waving goodnight to Mr. I.O.Evans.

Then another period of mental blankness, and came to again to find myself in the homeward-bound train, with both feet on the opposite seat, a half-eaten ham roll in one hand and a crumpled copy of the Constitution in the other. "Good ol' Constitootion" I burbled, and in a fit of generosity gave my Convention supper - all of it - to a porter standing on the platform at London Bridge. I'm still not sure whether he wanted it, but he happened to be standing outside my compartment window, and the wind was blowing in his direction. He shouted his thanks as the train moved off. He sid it was "Ruddy fine". Or I was. Anyway it sounded something like that. He was a nice man.


MESSAGES FROM OVERSEAS

On the subject of the Convention Dr. John D. Clark wrote from Philadelphia:
"I send my congratulations. Science-fiction is new, but it will, I think, grow in time to an important branch, of literature. Not important, perhaps, in the educational sense - for education cannot be sugar-coated - but important in the opportunities it will give to imaginative writers, and in the enjoyment which it will, I hope, give to imaginative readers."
Leo Margulies, editor director of THRILLING WONDER STORIES wrote:
"The publishers of T.W.S., the editorial staff and myself join in extending our best wishes for the success of your Convention. I have been following with great interest the work of your English

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writers -- John Russell Fearn, Eric Frank Russell, Polton Cross, P. A. Cleator and Benson Herbert. Some day I would like to meet them all personally instead of just across the Editorial desk. I have yet to see a group so responsive to the activites of a foreign magazine, so vitally concerned about its policies, as are the members of the S.F.A."
Raymond A. Palmer, now editor of "Amazing Stories" wrote from Chicago:
"I am very much interested in the activities of your Association and would be very pleased to keep in touch with your group. Undoubtedly the fans in England are now the most ardent in the world, not excepting even America."
Astronaut Dr. Otto Steinitz wrote from Berlin:
"I beg you to give your members my best wishes, and say that I am always interested in all questions of science-fiction, especially the technical."
Oliver Saari wrote from Minneapolis:
"I wish you every bit of success with your Convention. I should like nothing better than being present in person, but there is a small matter of several thousand miles and ths fact that rocket tranports haven't yet been invented. So I'll just say "hello" from far off Minesota and let it go at that."
The author of "Martyrs Don't Mind Dying" etc., John-Victor Peterson, wrote from New England:
"Have you ever stopped to realize that in us, the promoters of interest in future science, rests the future peace and happiness of the world? Science - intelligent Science, properly applied - will one day be the panacea of all human life. And to that glorious end we must all dedicate ourselves, that our children and. their children even to the nth generation may arise and extol man's transcendental, glory to the farthest stars."
And finally, perhaps the most vivid message of all, separated temporally from the Convention by only a few hours, the cable --from the Los Angeles S.F.A. branch:
"Salutations! Congratulations! Constitution all X"

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IMPRESSIONS

various visitors at the Convention have been good enough to write saying how the event impressed them.
of I. O. Evans

Recognizing as I do the value of science-fiction not merely as an art form, but as a direct influence towards social and scientific progress, I was inpressed by the recent Convention. The members were obviously enthusiastic for their subject and had given it original thought. I was glad. to meet and exchange ideas with other s-f enthusiasts.

of E. G. Lane

I much enjoyed the day and the novel surroundings of the place of meeting gave one the impression that Time had either moved forward or backwards. It was good to meet in the flesh fellow members who previously had been names only.

of L. J. Johnson

My most pleasant memory is in having met old friends and acquaintances in mental substance to those formerly but names. I was impressed by the hall's mystic atmosphere almost under the shadow of Stonehenge. Prof. Low's stimulating wit, John Russell Fearn essentially practical, and. Douglas Mayer surprisingly oratorical.

of Benson Herbert

I was greatly impressed by the large attendance and the air of enthusiasm. For the first time I realized we are becoming an influential body. The happy omen of T.o.W. No, 2, the presence of Professor Low and Mr. Fearn combined to make the occasion most memorable.

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