THE BRITISH FANTASY LIBRARY
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CURRENT ISSUES DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR
ADVANTAGES OF MEMBERSHIP
CURRENT ISSUES DEPARTMENT.
ABOUT THE B. F. L.
During the ten years before World War II there was much activity among those interested in Fantasy Fiction. The subject was a common ground upon which idealistic people with an interest in science and the future met. There can be little doubt as to the value of this interchange of thought between the members of the various societies, at meetings and through the post and periodicals.
As the need for news, criticism and other frms of expression grew, many ameteur magazines on the subject were printed regularly, Those of us who recall such titles as NOVAE TERRA, SATELLITE, NEW WORLDS, FIDO and GARGOYLE, do so with pleasure. Such magazines were milestones in the progress of the hobby, together with the annual Conventions in London, and the many local meetings and outings.
But at the height of keen activity the war called away the enthusiasts, many never to return; fan-mags struggled. for existence, then vanished from sight. Meetings were discontinued and the remaining fans fell into a lethargy.
When it seemed that the star of Fantasy was on the wane, a champion arose in Michael Rosenblum of Leeds, who formed THE BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY. It's purpose was to hold together the rapidly diminishing remnants of Fandom - and succeeded. While handicapped by being a purely postal affair, it grew to an amazing size. It's activities included a Library and the circulating in a 'chain' of those magazines which were sent by friendly Americans.
The termination of hostilities found things
somewhat different, the actual work of the Society was
being done by four individuals only - each beleiving
in the value of the work. Whilst still enthusiastic
two had to give up activities due to other matters
which called for their full attention.
Officially tho Society was wound up, but the two remaining enthusiasts combined the Library and 'chain' into what is now the B. F. L. It is perhaps, the last struggling effort of organised Fantasy Activity in this country; or the first brick of a now structure.
The B. F. L. aims at keeping alive the interest in fan activities, to keep enthusiasts in touch with each other. We hope to create with your help a new and energetic band of enthusiasts who will reach new triumphs of activity, new fanmags and conventions.
The recent flowering of the professional field in this country has helped to revive the old spirit. Many Fantasy publications are appearing (albeit a poor crop), the regular publishing of NEW WORLDS and FANTASY show the awakening of public interest. While the printing of semi-fan publication FANTASY REVIEW lead the way to those who wish actively to follow their hobby and reap its reward, of fellowship and pleasure.
We have high hopes for the return of fandom and we aim to help it in every way we can.
THE B. F. L. AND YOU|
The library is not run for profit, it only just keeps its head above water. We depend largely upon donations of books, magazines and cash from those who feel enthusiastic enough to help.
At the and of the year the accounts are made up and may be examined by any member who wishes to do so.
We depend upon mutual co-operation, you need the library, and the library needs you. Not only can you derive benefit from borrowing, but you can give pleasure to others by donating items; or, by donating cash, put us in a position to purchase those items which are beyond the reach of the individual.
The library contains items which the average fan could not obtain --- 'New Adam', 'Time Stream', 'Who Knocks', 'Hounds of Tindalos', and many other rare and valuable issues. Yet we may all share these and many others for a small outlay each--that is our principle--to put you in reach of the best of your favorite literature.
The work is done by two men, who, in their spare time, and for no other recompense than the pleasure of it, see to the general business of pleasing you. They do it beccuse they think it is worth while., but you can help if you so wish.
Can you write? We need reviews of books in the library, news, articles. Have you a duplicator? Why not produce a Maggette to he circulated with Booklist? If you can help, please do; it°s worth while.
THE BRITISH FANTASY LIBRARY.
NUMBER OF ITEMS.
CURRENT ISSUES DEPARTMENT
The library subscribes to all the current American. S.F. and Fantasy magazines. You can place an advance for current issues and receive them regularly, before they become part of the library stock. An extra charge of 2d per issue is made for this service - though it should he noted that postage is paid one way only.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS.
Keep a note of the people from whom you receive mags and notify them as well as this Department if you change your address. This also applies to holidays and temporary absence, and it is important that you make arrangements to prevent mags from accumulating whilst you are away. Either you have them re-directed or miss them altogether. All mags are eventually obtainable as back numbers from the library.
TO NEW APPLICANTS
THE FIRST THIRTY MEMBERS
Now, having been properly introduced, let's get together.
LITTLE BY LITTLE
A few statistics for the year June 1946 - June 1947.
NOTE. that the B. F. L. became a separate organisation from January 1947. No chain statistics are included.
TO OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS
This HANDBOOK should reach you through Forry Ackerman. It is largely through him that you have been aware that there has been some sort of activity over here during the war.
I, as the only remaining articulate voice of fan-activity in this country, wish to thank Forry and you all for the help you have been to us during the lean years. The BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY is the proof of your kindness and thoughtfulness - for it has been built up from those odd bricks that all of you have contributed from time to time.
The fact that the Library, combined with the Chain, are the only organised activities which have endured proves your zeal; for, as the Library came from you, so we owe our very existence to you.
In thanking you, I must not allow those English fans who have recently responded generously by donations of books and magazines to think that they are being ignored. To them I am most grateful, but to you who have supplied the nucleus, the backbone, I offer my sincere thanks and the thanks of the British fandom.
May I conclude by reminding you that it is still almost impossible to obtain Fantasy over here in spite of the recent improvements; and there is still need for good work by good hearts.
Again, let me say for British Fandom, 'Thanx, Boys, you've been swell.