OF ANTIQUARIAN INTEREST ONLY ...
When this column appeared in its other incarnation, a frequent criticism leveled against it was that I didn't go far enough back, spent too much time talking about comparative recent fanzines which too many of the readers had in their own accumulations. So this time I'm going to reach.
"THE TIME TRAVELLER," it says, "Vol. I, No. 1, January 1932, 10¢ a copy, $1 per year. ALLEN GLASSER, Editor; JULIUS SCHWARTZ, Managing editor; MORTIMER WEISINGER, FORREST J. ACKERMAN, Associate Editors." It consists of six pages mimeographed one side only and fastened with a single staple in the upper right hand corner.
Before we examine the rest of the file, it is rather fascinating to mull over the fact that the second associate editor of this magazine is the same Forrest J, Ackerman of whom you may have heard today. 18 long years ago, this man was publishing fanzines. It would be interesting to know what percent of WARP's readers were yet unborn when all this happened. This would be mighty significant. (Don't ask me what it would signify.)
Anyway, THE TIME TRAVELLER published a total of nine issues, the last a very abbreviated one which announced that it was combining with SCIENCE FICTION DIGEST. This, of course, is the magazine which later changed its name to FANTASY MAGAZINE and kept publishing clear up into 1937. Under its three names, this fanzine unquestionably was one of the three or four most important items of all fannish time, both from the incredible influence it has as a focal point for the fandom of its day, and through the plethora of bibliographical information which was always featured and which makes a file of it of definite value to even the modern collector.
THE TIME TRAVELLER itself is no more than a beginning. It is much easier to note format details -- such as the fact that all but the first two issues were printed, or that most issues carry the sub-title "Science Fiction's Only Fan Magazine" -- than to review the contents. Like so many fanzines, past and present, THE TIME TRAVELLER doesn't have any contents worth noting.
The editorial method is a blend of house organ and high school paper. There is a gossip column or so. Questions-and-Answers department. A joke department with such monstrosities as "LINUS: 'Who was that lady I saw you with last night?' FORRY: 'That was no lady; that was my robot!'" Let us draw a merciful veil over such crud.
A serious item from AMONG OURSELVES in the very first issue is much more quoteworthy: "PRESIDENT HOOVER, according to our Washington correspondent, is a Science Fiction fan. That accounts for a lot of things."
And for some reason I derived great pleasure out of learning (in #3) that the editors considered "Spacehounds of IPC" the "most pointless" of all stf-tales.
But for the most part, THE TIME TRAVELLER consists of stodgy short items about this story and that author. A serial article, "The History of Science-Fiction" by Mortimer Weisinger, is a sketchy resume of "literary" stf, starting with the ancient Greeks -- but for the most part TTT tells us that "A. Merritt is working on two new novels", or that "Charles Cloukey was only 16 years old when his first story ... was ... published in Amazing."
Still and all, this is a rare old item. I have seven of the nine issues (lacking 6 and 7). The first person to send me a ten dollar bill may have all seven.
(Hey, this is not an ad. Or is it?)
A PLUG FOR WILLIE.
While I'm in this mercenary mood, I'd just as well try Arturo's patience a little more, and run off at the mouth about the best single issue of any fanzine to appear in the past year. I'm referring to the 5th issue of MASQUE, published for FAPA by William Rotsler, the man who walks like a bulldozer. There are something like 80 pages in this melange of line-blocks, lithography, mimeography, and Coswalesque ditto work. About half the issue is art, half text, and it features every "member" of the Insurgent Element except Widner. The address is Route 1, Box 638, Camarillo, Calif. It is priceless, but I imagine 35¢ would fetch you a copy -- that is, if any are left.
I fully intended to haul SWEETNESS AND LIGHT under the Fanzine Scope this time, but when I just reread, for perhaps the twentieth time, this great fanzine, I realized that I just don't have what it takes, either in space or time. Half the savor of this glorious publication lies in its illustrations, and it came to me that enough of you have not seen them to warrant stenciling a bunch of them. So sometime during the next four or five months, I'm going to see if I can't prepare 8 to 12 pages of SaL reprints, which Art can include in WARP in lieu of my column, or else publish separately as a memorial brochure.
Has something happened to the fanzine field, or merely to F. Towner Laney? Back in the days when I was a fan, the week hardly passed that I didn't receive a half-dozen fanzines. Now, with the exception of FAPA, I doubt if I average two fanzines a month. Any of you who publish are invited to send me your magazine. I will gladly exchange my FAPAzine, FAN-DANGO, on an all-of-yours for all-of-mine basis, for any fanzine which is even remotely readable, and which is published with any degree of regularity. I have also been known to write stuff for fanzines. Who knows -- I might write something for you.
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Text versions and page scans Judy Bemis
Data entry by Judy Bemis
Updated June 19, 2015. If you have a comment about these web pages please send a note to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.