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Read book online «Futuria Fantasia, Fall 1939 by Ray Bradbury (heaven official's blessing novel english TXT) 📕».   Author   -   Ray Bradbury

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FUTURIA FANTASIA fall 1939 vol. 1 no. 2

10 cents

A newer, plumper Futuria Fantasia greets you, with more articles, more value and less Technocracy! The reason for the scanty garb of our summer issue was TIME, that villain who holds his sword over all humanity. I didn't have time to contact various authors and fans—and there was little time for mimeographing, since the Angel expedition to New York was fast approaching, and ye editor was wandering around in a daze waiting for the day when his bus would sweep him off to Manhattan. The trip to New York was a happily successful thing. Futuria Fantasia would like to toss an orchid to the editors who contributed so generously to the convention, and at the same time blare forth with a juicy razzberry for a certain trio of fans who made fools of themselves at the Conv. (and u know who we meen).

But enuf of this boring fan quarreling ** action should have been taken at the convention and there's no use bawling over fused rockets. This issue we bring you another cover by Hans Bok. We sincerely believe his work is superior to any work done in fan mags for a long time. He has to be good ** for he is a protegee of no less a person than Maxfield Parrish, whose paintings have, at one time or another in the past decades, made more than one home beautiful. If you haven't had a Maxfield Parrish painting in yur home, it ain't a home. And, we feel proud of Hans becuz we acted as agent to Weird Tales while conventioneering in New York. Latest report is that Hans is doing an Illustration for Weird Tales. Here's luck, Hans, and may you keep up the good work while staying in Manhattan.

With this issue we introduce two new fans, and two new authors. They are Anthony Corvais, who makes his part-time home in Tucson, Arizona, and Guy Amory of Phoenix. Corvais, twenty-two years old, has done a neat job with his RETURN FROM THE DEAD. In the winter edition he will let go with another original SYMPHONIC ABDUCTION. Guy Amory, after sum few hours of hard labor, finally got an interview out of Hankuttner, which is work in any man's lingo. Both boys were in L.A. for two weeks about a month back, and gave their promise to support FuFa from now to TDWACOH (the day when astounding comes out hourly).

Ron Reynolds, whose satire on Technocracy received favorable comment, comes back with his views and news about the Convention ** and Corrinne Ellsworth, gracious female fan of L.A. presents us with something that is distasteful to me, THE CASE OF THE VANISHING CAFETERIA. I protest against her grossly horrid insinuations about my Ghoul's Broths. Manhattaneers will tell you that it is only at the full moon that I can concoct one ... tho a cafeteria or Automat atmosphere does work wonders with my ego—specially if there are enuf people watching to make it profitable.

As you will notice there is not a great deal to be sed about Technocracy in this issue ** mainly becuz I am tired of talking and the response we get is vury, vury funny, if not childish. If someone cares to challenge us on Technocracy we shall be only too glad to answer all questions, but when a bunch of crackpots start dragging in their own theories, relatives and human nature then we give up the ghost. We take this occasion to challenge the so-far-silent John W. Campbell to a duel of words on this subject. How's about it, Campbell?

The Galapurred Forsendyke A tale of the Indies—By H.V.B.

He remembered—but never dreamed its source—the old poem which began, "A swibosh is an Indian," and as he leaned back in his chair puffing on a pipe, his lean bronzed face darkly serious against the moonglow, a little echo hooted from the hills as if an owl'd cried.

Then Edris called. At the alarmant tingle of the bell, like a tinnient tang of a rattlesnake's tremor, he ran to the telephone and shouted eagerly, "Edris! My darling." Then he remembered to take receiver off the hook. He was answered by dead silence. Then, to his amazement and utter horror, a long damp tongue swished out of the mouthpiece, lapped his cheek and disappeared in a puff of acrid steam. "The Martians!" was his first thot, as he tremblingly buttered his toast. Then he heard Edris' voice. It floated easily from the ceiling as if it were inverted steam. He looked up, and discovered overhead that the planet India had vanished from the map. It had peeled itself loose and inched over the wallpaper and was now wrapping itself like a second skin around a baked potato. "But that's impossible!" he breathed, "There aren't any potatoes in August, and especially in bathtubs." Again Edris' voice reached him. What was she saying? "Go with the pretty men, dear, they'll feed you an orange." But that sounded crazy. He was worried, and clung to a red-hot radiator which melted into a puddle at his touch, burning a round red hole in the rug.

Seventeen puffs of black vapor—he counted them—whiffed up winsomely from the charred circle. "Around and around," he said, dreamily, remembering the second line of the poem, "When Fifthly is perplexed." Edris oozed out of the shadows to him, longlike and snaky, with fearthy fettles adorning her foresome, and a blaze in her eyes like the hurmwurst of Whidby. Island, island, he repeated to himself, thrusting an negatory hand thru the farthing of her wrabdy—and her mouth parted to disclose another mouth, from which issued visible words like ticker tape of steam in chilly air, so surprising him that he could only stand rooted, like a tree. It was then that he noticed the snakes in her hair, as the leaves sprouted from his cheeks end from every simple vascicle of his tubular perpendages sometimes cursorily applellated, eyebreams.

Among the amiderie of her fascinating fingers, which she waved before his face like the shimmer of phosphorescence on a salty sea on hot midsummer moonlight, took shape an elegant form, something reminiscent of a redchief. Within his sore heart a black thot grew, spurred by the excess of his agonized birdtwitters, bidding him to slay and do so quickly. He reached for a weapon. There was nothing at hand but a slug. He groaned. A slug against snakes? What chance of victory? As tho she'd read his thot, she moved nearer, her laffter lifting and lowering like a fragile boat on waves of honey. One by one her eyes—390 of them—popped out with hollow slaps like corks from bottles, while within the dull draperies of scarlet which adorned the farthest lamp-post stirred an unnameable bloody something which sent forth a thrill of foreboding into his anguished heart, and he remembered the 4th and last lines of the poem "He who dines alone is hexed." He uttered a gurgling scream as she leaped upon him, and her snales torn and the steam of her bare eye-sockets scalded him—then the ensanguined thing crawled limply over the face of the blinding desert and the vacant sun stared sitelessly at nothing.


The editor of this magazine, under the impression that I am still one of that queer tribe known as science-fiction fans, has asked me to write an article. I am no longer a science-fiction fan. I'M THROUGH! However, I have decided to do the article and explain with my chin leading just why I am through. Here goes.

As to science-fiction; the trouble with me, I think, is that I have outgrown the stuff mentally—and that's not a boast, seeing the type of minds modern science-fiction is dished up for. I'll admit there are a few exceptions, but on the whole, s.f. fans are as arrogant, self-satisfied, conspicuously blind, and critically moronic a group as the good Lord has allowed to people the Earth. I don't blush that I was once a s.f. fan, starting back in '26—I merely thank my personal gods that somewhere along the route I woke up and began to see s.f. as it really is. The superiority complex found in group known as science fiction fans is probably unequalled anywhere. Their certitude in their superiority, as readers of s.f., over all other fiction, is representative of an absolutely incredibly stupid complacence. Facing the business squarely, we can see why s.f. lays CLAIM to such superiority: for no other obvious reason than that such fiction is the bastard child of science and the romantic temperament. But NOT, good lord, because it is INSTRUCTIVE! This has too long been preached, until s.f. readers actually believe it! The amazing naivette of these readers who think their literature is superior merely because they think it teaches—this simple moves me to despair. The fact is, any literature whose function it is to teach, ceases to be literature as such; it becomes didactic literature, which is the color of another horse. When literature becomes obsessed by ideas as such, it is no longer literature. Just how the delusion could have arisen that writing, because invested with scientific symbols, automatically became possessed of new and more precious values, is beyond me to explain. Ideas are out of place in literature unless they are subordinate to the spirit of the story—but s.f. readers have never perceived this. "Give us SCIENCE!" they shriek, running with clenched fists uprisen to the stars. "We want SCIENCE! Give us the Great God!" Well, they are given science, and what does it turn out to be? For the most part the off-scourings of the lunatic fringe. Talk about scientists being inspired by s.f. stories—WHEW! Why, not one s.f. writer in fifty has the remotest idea of what he is talking about—he just picks up some elementary idea and kicks hell out of it. I'll wager that no scientist is going to produce very spectacularly on the basis of any ideas provided by s.f. It's possible, but wholly improbable. Scientists don't tick that way.

Another amusing fallacy: this well-known business of Wells and Verne doing some predicting. It's one of the biggest laffs of all. They made a flock of predictions, a few of which were realized, and some only in ways most vaguely related to the original conception. How many ideas did they have that never have been realized and never will? Give them credit for being good and often logical guessers, perhaps—but don't claim that as a merit for their WRITING! And how many other good guessers must there have been who never got around to setting down their predictions in print?

There is but one affectation about Wells' "scientific" stories which he published before he discovered his capability at characterization, and this is the affectation of imagination. There is no genuine imagination in beating out cleverness of the s.f. type; the point of view, the inventive quality necessary for their construction, is the same as with the widely circulated tales of Nick Carter. Science-fiction stories are not struck forth with a creative hand, they are manufactured products put together piece-meal—none of them being written in any but the calmest and most conscious mood. They are lacking in that important element of all really GREAT works of the imagination: inspiration. And what is inspiration? It is essentially the soaring of one's soul without the knowledge of the mind. In the gleaming moment the mind becomes the slave of the spirit. Read Wells' EXPERIMENT IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY and see why and what he thinks of his early writings of s.f. He admits that they were only a means to an end, a preparation for his more serious writing that was to come later—Plato's REPUBLIC and More's UTOPIA also serving largely to hasten Wells' Utopian proclivities. When he really began to take his predictions seriously, he began to turn out the important stuff which now bores the average s.f. enthusiast silly—or should I say sillier!

As for Verne, his stuff has never been literature except for boys. It is innocuous adventure—stuff that will not pervert morals. It is not too badly written, and the language is so simple that Verne is readily to be read in the original French, in fact some of his stuff serves as textbooks in French classes in American schools.

But in the main, what I am speaking about now is s.f. as it is constituted today. All of this modern s.f. is worthless except in perhaps one minor respect, and I'm not even sure of that. It CAN open the minds of boys and girls reaching puberty, giving them a more catholic attitude toward startling new ideas. However, it is so very often fatal at the same time, in that these boys and girls become obsessed with it—it enmeshes them until, as I said, they become incredibly blind to

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