Bufton on Books: ‘Futuria Fantasia: Issue #2’ by Various (1939)

FUTURIA FANTASIA: ISSUE #2 by Various Artists [edited by Ray Bradbury]
1939 | self-published | Kindle edition | 27 pages
Science Fiction


BLURB
The second of four issues of a science fiction fanzine produced and edited by a young Ray Bradbury in his late teens, and which would feature some well-known future writers in the SF scene.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
* ‘The Galapurred Forsendyke: A Tale of the Indies’ by H.V.B. [a.k.a. Hannes Bok] (1939)
* ‘I’m Through!’ by Foo E. Onya [a.k.a. Henry Hasse] (1939)
* ‘Satan’s Mistress’ by Doug Rogers [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
* ‘Lost Soul’ by Henry Hasse (1939)
* ‘The Truth About Goldfish’ by Henry Kuttner (1939)
* ‘God Busters’ by Erick Freyor [a.k.a. Forrest J. Ackerman] (1939)
* ‘The Pendulum’ by Anonymous [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
* ‘Is It True What They Say About Kuttner? or, the Man with the Weird Tale’ by Guy Amory [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
* ‘Return from Death’ by Anthony Corvais [a.k.a. Hannes Bok]
(1939)


Well, what a difference an issue can make. After the lean pickings of its debut, Futuria Fantasia comes back with a defined increase in both size and quality. Granted, it’s the same group group of guys pulling double- (or, in the case of Bradbury, triple-) duty under various pseudonyms, but who am I to criticise enthusiasm? For the most part, the fiction on offer marks a major step forward for the magazine. Granted, it’s still rooted more in passion than workmanship, but I’m always happy to see improvement in any artistic endeavour. The opinion pieces still need a little work. (***)


* ‘The Galapurred Forsendyke: A Tale of the Indies’ by H.V.B. [a.k.a. Hannes Bok] (1939)
A tale that relies on its visuals, it took me a couple of reads to home in on Bok’s wavelength. (***)

* ‘I’m Through!’ by Foo E. Onya [a.k.a. Henry Hasse] (1939)
Hmm. I’m pretty sure this scathing attack on science fiction fandom is nothing more than some good old-fashioned 1930s trolling. (**)

* ‘Satan’s Mistress’ by Doug Rogers [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
I prefer this to Bradbury’s earlier attempt at poetry. It has more heart, more soul, and a certain sensual lyricism. (***)

* ‘Lost Soul’ by Henry Hasse (1939)
Whilst technically superior to Bradbury’s offering, this poem is more concerned with meter and pacing, than imagery and soul. (**)

* ‘The Truth About Goldfish’ by Henry Kuttner (1939)
Kuttner tackles schisms in SF fandom with good humour, and his flair for absurdity. Some fine points among the frippery. (***)

* ‘God Busters’ by Erick Freyor [a.k.a. Forrest J. Ackerman] (1939)
A ground level discussion of atheism and the burden of proof, this is essay is unlikely to produce any converts. (**)

* ‘The Pendulum’ by Anonymous [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
This story exhibits the first signs of real greatness from Bradbury, and would end up being his first professional sale. (****)

* ‘Is It True What They Say About Kuttner? or, the Man with the Weird Tale’ by Guy Amory [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1939)
This essay about the work and ways of Henry Kuttner is fun to read, given Bradbury’s affection for his subject. (***)

* ‘Return from Death’ by Anthony Corvais [a.k.a. Hannes Bok] (1939)
There’s a touch of The Twilight Zone about this reincarnation tale. Alas, it’s well written, but both predictable and hokey. (**)


 

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