Bufton on Books: ‘Futuria Fantasia: Issue #4’ by Various (1940)

FUTURIA FANTASIA: ISSUE #4 by Various Artists [edited by Ray Bradbury]
1940 | self-published | Kindle edition | 20 pages
Science Fiction


BLURB
The fourth 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
* ‘Gorgono and Slith’ by Ray Bradbury (1940)
* ‘Heil!’ by Lyle Monroe [a.k.a. Robert A. Heinlein] (1940)
* ‘The Phantoms’ by Joseph E. Kellerman [a.k.a. Joseph E. Kelleam] (1940)
* ‘Thoughts on the Worldstate’ by Henry Kuttner (1940)
* ‘Would You?’ by J. Harvey Haggard (1940)
* ‘The Piper’ by Ron Reynolds [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1940)
* ‘The Itching Hour’ by Damon Knight (1940)
* ‘I’ve Never Seen’ by Hannes Bok (1940)
* ‘Ninevah’ by J.E. Kelleam [a.k.a. Joseph E. Kelleam] (1940)


We reach the end of this short-lived fanzine, and I’m a little sad to do so. It has been a fun run and, even if the star-ratings suggest less than stellar material, the passion of its contributors has never been in question. It’s doubly sad, because this issue includes a couple of absolute corkers from Bradbury and Heinlein. Indeed, I would say that it proves Bradbury was ready to move on from such amateur fare and sink his teeth into something meatier and more significant. Sadly, the rest of the issue now seems lacklustre at best, if only in comparison. (**)


‘Gorgono and Slith’ by Ray Bradbury (1940)
This is only the magazine’s editorial note, but written in a fun narrative style that would be churlish to ignore. (**)

‘Heil!’ by Lyle Monroe [a.k.a. Robert A. Heinlein] (1940)
A wonderful story, perhaps the best in the magazine’s short run. Both timely, given ongoing events in Europe, and timeless. (****)

‘The Phantoms’ by Joseph E. Kellerman [a.k.a. Joseph E. Kelleam] (1940)
Some striking imagery and a certain, sombre sadness are not sufficient to raise this brief poem beyond the merely functional. (**)

‘Thoughts on the Worldstate’ by Henry Kuttner (1940)
Another amusing tall tale related by Kuttner as if it was a real-life event. An entertaining, if ultimately disposable, piece. (**)

‘Would You?’ by J. Harvey Haggard (1940)
A childish ditty written in couplets with a simplistic rhyming pattern. Not my cup of tea at all, I’m afraid. (*)

‘The Piper’ by Ron Reynolds [a.k.a. Ray Bradbury] (1940)
A Venusian piper, exiled to Mars, blows the war cry against humanity in this remarkable tale. One of Bradbury’s finest. (****)

‘The Itching Hour’ by Damon Knight (1940)
A story where the protagonist’s malady should be horrifying, but the circumstances around it are too ridiculous to illicit sympathy. (**)

‘I’ve Never Seen’ by Hannes Bok (1940)
Another short, silly poem, like ‘Would You?’ Unlike Haggard’s effort, however, Bok instils some charm and whimsy into the piece. (**)

‘Ninevah’ by J.E. Kelleam [a.k.a. Joseph E. Kelleam] (1940)
The final poem in this final issue is pleasant enough, if nothing you’ll ever feel the need to discuss again. (**)


 

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