The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Fantasy Fan February 1934, by Various

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Title: The Fantasy Fan February 1934
       The Fans' Own Magazine

Author: Various

Editor: Charles D. Hornig

Release Date: August 18, 2014 [EBook #46616]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Greg Weeks and the Online Distributed
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Editor: Charles D. Hornig

(Managing Editor: Wonder Stories)

Published 10 cents a copy
Monthly $1.00 per year

137 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey

Volume 1 February, 1934 Number 6


"I missed Bob Tucker's column in the December issue. Better luck next month. By the way, who wrote the last piece of poetry in that issue?"—Kenneth B. Pritchard

The editor wishes to confess that he is guilty for everything that appears in TFF unsigned. We are forced to tell you this, so that you won't blame it on someone else.

"After reading the fourth issue of TFF, I feel compelled to take time out to let you know my reactions. It seems to me that in this little magazine, you have succeeded, by your choice and arrangement of material, in creating the illusion of an intensely human, keenly interested gathering of real people. I actually got something of this impression from perusing its pages—the imaginary sensation of sitting in on such a group—and it is this which prompts me to a note of appreciation. You have been able to offer a welcome medium of expression and interchange of ideas to us devotees of the fantastic in fiction and the success of TFF should be assured if you can maintain this standard of Interest."—Richard F. Searight

This letter is satisfactory proof to us that our efforts are not being entirely wasted. It is our purpose to live up to slogan, "the fans' own magazine" and make it as personal and interesting as possible.

"Lovecraft's tales certainly hit the spot. R. H. Barlow's 'Annals of the Jinns' are great and show a seriousness and depth of that which is not expressed easily in writing. When his series is completed, try to get more of his tales. I am glad to see Derleth in our pages, and this Wooley person certainly did a very nice job with her story.

"I don't believe the January issue of the magazine was up to standard. Too much space was devoted to the Boiling Point and the readers' columns. I still insist that the installments of Lovecraft's article are too short."—H. Koenig

We are cutting out the Boiling Point entirely and intend to cut down on the readers' column.

"Smith's 'The Ghoul' is better than 'The Kingdom of the Worm' and should devour the latter in replete satisfaction. I hope to see another fantasy by Lovecraft soon."—Robert Nelson

You will notice one of Lovecraft's stories in this issue. We have several more of his on hand for future publication.

"The various articles in the January issue were very interesting with the exception of 'The Boiling Point' which is becoming monotonous. On the whole, however, you are doing a fine job, and I hope it will not be necessary for you to cut down the size of the magazine or publish less often."—Philip Bridges

"I liked Derleth's little tale in the December number, and I second H. Koenig's criticism that the installments of 'Supernatural Horror in Literature' are too short."—Clark Ashton Smith

Forrest J. Ackerman reminds us of two typographical errors in TFF that changed the entire meaning of a couple of statements. In the December "Boiling Point" it was stated that he solicits people to like him, when it should have stated that he does not solicit people to like him. In his collection article, it was claimed that he had the original manuscript of Flagg's "Lancer in the Crystal" instead of "Dancer," which made quite a pun out of it.

"'Birkett's Twelfth Corpse' was indeed a gem in spite of its shortness. Perhaps August W. Derleth would write some poetry for you. I saw one of his in the 'Driftwood.' R. H. Barlow seems to get better all the time. Let's have more of the 'Annals of the Jinns'."—Duane W. Rimel

"I think the FF is fine. It only needs time to grow larger, which it will do as soon as more people find out about it. Don't have a contents page—save that extra room for the fans. Thank you for the privilege of being one of your contributors."—Natalie H. Wooley

Thank you for contributing to THE FANTASY FAN.

"The January issue of TFF was very good indeed! I believe that the issues have improved greatly since the first one was published, quite some time ago, too. Mr. Smith is one of your finest, if not your finest, author. Mr. Ackerman's articles I find very interesting. 'Supernatural Horror in Literature' by H. P. Lovecraft is an excellent article. Mr. Lovecraft has succeeded in condensing the ancient horror and weirdness into a great article. I admire very much the fine writing of Mr. Lovecraft."—Fred John Walsen

Write your opinions and suggestions into "Our Readers Say," fans—we want to run the magazine the way you like it best. As a special feature in next month's issue, we are presenting a full-page original illustration by Morey.


by Julius Schwartz

It's really impossible to name one's favorite fantasy story without taking into account not only the merit of the story but also the mood of the reader at the time he read it. I, therefore, have no one favorite story, but rather a list of stories that I liked immensely at the time I read them; they gripped, fascinated, and held me. They are those stories that can be read and reread dozens of times without finding a lack of interest in them. Four of these stories are, "The Blind Spot," by Hall and Flint; "The Man Who Evolved," by Hamilton; "The Second Deluge" by Serviss; and "Short Wave Castle" by Calvin Peregov. These four tales may not be the best I've read, but they're certainly way up near the top the list. [Let us know what you consider your favorite fantasy story.]


by H. P. Lovecraft

Into the north window of my chamber glows the Pole Star with uncanny light. All through the long hellish hours of blackness it shines there. And in the autumn of the year, when the winds from the north curse and whine, and the red-leaved trees of the swamp mutter things to one another in the small hours of the morning under the horned waning moon, I sit by the casement and watch that star. Down from the heights reels the glittering Cassiopeia as the hours wear on, while Charles' Wain lumbers up from behind the vapour-soaked swamp trees that sway in the night wind. Just before dawn Arcturus winks ruddily from above the cemetery on the low hillock, and Coma Berenices shimmers weirdly afar off in the mysterious east; but still the Pole Star leers down from the same place in the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some strange message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey. Sometimes, when it is cloudy, I can sleep.

Well do I remember the night of the great Aurora, when over the swamp played the shocking coruscation's of the daemon light. After the beam came clouds, and then I slept.

And it was under a horned waning moon that I saw the city for the first time. Still and somnolent did it lie, on a strange plateau in a hollow betwixt strange peaks. Of ghastly marble were its walls and its towers, its columns, domes, and pavements. In the marble street, were marble pillars, the upper parts of which were carven into the images of grave bearded men. The air was warm and stirred not. And overhead, scarce ten degrees from the zenith, glowed that watching Pole Star. Long did I gaze on the city, but the day came not. When the red Aldebaran, which blinked low in the sky but never set, had crawled a quarter of the way around the horizon, I saw light and motion in the houses and the streets. Forms strangely robed, but at once noble and familiar, walked abroad and under the horned waning moon men talked wisdom in a tongue which I understood, though it was unlike any language I had ever known. And when the red Aldebaran had crawled more than halfway around the horizon, there were again darkness and silence.

When I awaked, I was not as I had been. Upon my memory was graven the vision of the city, and within my soul had arisen another and vaguer recollection, of whose nature I was not then certain. Thereafter, on the cloudy nights when I could sleep, I saw the city often; sometimes under that horned waning moon, and sometimes under the hot yellow rays of a sun which did not set, but which wheeled low around the horizon. And on the clear nights the Pole Star leered as never before.

Gradually I came to wonder what might be my place in that city on the strange plateau betwixt strange peaks. At first content to view the scene as an all-observant uncorporeal presence, I now desired to define my relation to it, and to speak my mind amongst the grave men who conversed each day in the public squares. I said to myself, "This is no dream, for by what means can I prove the greater reality of that other life in the house of stone and brick south of the sinister swamp and the cemetery on the low hillock, where the Pole Star peeps into my north window each night?"

One night as I listened to the discourse in the large square containing many statues I felt a change; and perceived that I had at last a bodily form. Nor was a stranger in the streets of Olathoe, which lies on the plateau of Sarkis, betwixt the peaks Noton and Kadiphonek. It was my friend Alos who spoke, and his speech was one that pleased my soul, for it was the speech of a true man and patriot. That night had the news come of Daikos' fall, and of the advance of the Inutos; squat, hellish yellow fiends who five years ago had appeared out of the unknown west to ravage the confines of our kingdom and finally to besiege our towns. Having taken the fortified places at the foot of the mountains, their way now lay open to the plateau, unless every citizen could resist with the strength of ten men. For the squat creatures were mighty in the arts of war, and knew not the scruples of honour which hold back our tall, grey-eyed men of Lomar from ruthless conquest.

Alos, my friend, was commander of all the forces on the plateau, and in him lay the last hope of our country. On this occasion he spoke of the perils to be faced and exhorted the men of Olathoe, bravest of the Lomarians, to sustain the traditions of their ancestors, who when forced to move southward from Zobna before the advance of the great ice sheet, (even as our descendants must some day flee from the land of Lomar) valiantly and victoriously swept aside the hairy, long-armed, cannibal Gnophkehs that stood in their way. To me Alos denied a warrior's part, for I was feeble and given to strange faintings when subjected to stress and hardships. But my eyes were the keenest in the city, despite the long hours I gave each day to the study of the Pnakotic manuscripts and the wisdom of the Zobnarian Fathers; so my friend, desiring not to doom me to inaction, rewarded me with that duty which was second to nothing in importance. To the watchtower of Thapnen he sent me, there to serve as the eyes of our army. Should the Inutos attempt to gain the citadel by the narrow pass behind the peak Noton and thereby surprise the garrison, I was to give the signal of fire which would warn the waiting soldiers, and, save the town from immediate disaster.

Alone I mounted the tower, for every man of stout body was needed in the passes below. My brain was sore dazed with excitement and fatigue, for I had not slept in many days; yet was my purpose firm, for I loved my native land of Lomar, and the marble city Olathoe that lies betwixt the peaks of Noton and Kadiphonek.

But as I stood in the tower's topmost chamber, I beheld the horned waning moon, red and sinister, quivering through the vapours that hovered over the distant valley of Banof. And through an opening in the roof glittered the pale Pole Star, fluttering as if alive, and leering like a fiend and tempter. Methought its spirit whispered evil counsel, soothing me to traitorous somnolence with a damnable rhythmical promise which it repeated over and over:

"Slumber, watcher, till the spheres,
Six and twenty thousand years
Have revolv'd, and I return
To the spot where now I burn.
Other stars anon shall rise
To the axis of the skies;
Stars that soothe and stars that bless
With a sweet forgetfulness:
Only when my round is o'er
Shall the past disturb thy door."

Vainly did I struggle with my drowsiness, seeking to connect these strange words with some lore of the skies which I had learnt from the Pnakotic manuscripts. My head, heavy and reeling, drooped to my breast, and when next I looked up it was in a dream; with the Pole Star grinning at me through a window from over the horrible swaying trees of a dream-swamp. And I am still dreaming.

In my shame and despair I sometimes scream frantically, begging the dream-creatures around me to waken me ere the Inutos steal up the pass behind the peak Noton and take the citadel by surprise; but these creatures are daemons, for they laugh at me and tell me I am not dreaming. They mock me whilst I sleep, and whilst the squat yellow foe may be creeping silently upon us. I have failed in my duty and betrayed the marble city of Olathoe; I have proven false to Alos, my friend and commander. But still these shadows of my dreams deride me. They say there is no land of Lomar, save in my nocturnal imaginings; that in those realms where the Pole Star shines high, and red Aldebaran crawls low around the horizon, there has been naught save ice and snow for thousands of years, and never a man save squat, yellow creatures, blighted by the cold, whom they call "Esquimaux."

And as I writhe in my guilty agony, frantic to save the city whose peril every moment grows, and vainly striving to shake off this unnatural dream of a house of stone and brick south of a sinister swamp and a cemetery on a low hillock; the Pole Star, evil and monstrous, leers down from the black vault, winking hideously like an insane watching eye which strives to convey some message, yet recalls nothing save that it once had a message to convey.


Watch for another story by H. P. Lovecraft in an early issue.


W. A. Conrad, assistant professor in mathematics at the United States Naval Academy, says that a trip to the moon in a rocket is possible. According to him, it would cost as much as two battleships—$100,000,000, but it would be worth it. The biggest obstacle to overcome would be the fuel problem, he declares. It would take a huge amount of oxygen to make the trip. Other problems would be dodging meteors and overcoming the falling-in-an-elevator feeling. He likens the benefits derived from such a voyage, to those derived from Columbus' trip across the Atlantic.

During the National Inventor's Congress in Cleveland, September 5 to 9, Arthur Shenderlein, of Oakland, California, exhibited a motor which he claims will carry passengers to Mars, or any other planet in record time. He declared his motor will go 100,000 miles without gasoline.


by The Spacehound

Some copies of the August, 1929, Amazing Stories contained "Out of the Void" printed twice and "The Grim Inheritance" omitted. This happens every so often in the binding of magazines, when one of the several sections is left out and two of another inserted. In the above case, this means that several issues of the magazine contained no "Out of the Void," and two copies of "The Grim Inheritance"…. Voltaire's "Micromégas" is an excellent interplanetary story concerning a Sirian's visit to Saturn and Earth…. In the days of "Science Fiction" (the pamphlet mimeographed in Cleveland), Hugh Langley was the pseudonym for the joint efforts of Jerome Siegel and Bernard Kenton…. P. S. Miller mentions working on his "Arrhenius Horror" in an early 1930 mag…. "Desolation's War", an excellent science fiction tale was in Top-Notch a short while ago. They present stories of this type at odd intervals…. Roy Rockwood's "Great Miracle" series have been reissued…. An English newspaper runs science fiction regularly. Roy's "Prince of Atlantis," while a stf classic is also a subtle treatise on sociology…. Radio Guild carried an illustrated feature on Buck Rogers…. The December 1932 Happy Hours Magazine carried an editorial on "Science Fiction in the Dime Novels," by Ralph P. Smith…. O. O. Mclntyre and Philip Wylie are good friends…. In regards to the question in the August 1932 Time Traveller, "The Nth Man," by Homer Eon Flint, was written especially for the Amazing Quarterly…. The Doc Savage magazine is running a number of good adventure fantasies. Recent issues have had "The Land of Terror," and a tale of adventure at the North Pole among several others, including one about super-gangs attempting to conquer a nation…. And keep an eye on Thrilling Adventure and the new companion mag to Nickel Detective…. Austin Hall had a humorous western in a recent Argosy…. You cover fans keep an eye on the fine work Paul is doing for Science and Mechanics, the sister magazine of Wonder Stories…. One of H. G. Wells' latest contributions is "Love on Mars" in a romance magazine…. "Conflict," a new magazine issued by the Central Pub. Co. at the old Miracle Stories address, will use "weird adventure stories"…. R. F. Starzl had a review of the science fiction market in the Author and Journalist over two years ago…. The staff of the Dallas Journal serialized the first chapter of Burroughs' "A Fighting Man of Mars" over WFAA last June…. Edison's last work is said to have been on a machine to communicate with the dead…. Your scribe is No. 1 in the Jules Verne Prize Club…. Two recent radio fantasies are "The Man with the Golden Head" and Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"…. An excellent satire on interplanetary stories ran through the comic sheets of the AP newspapers, which showed Sappo and Professor Whattasnozzle going through adventures on Man and Venus…. A vote taken in the early days of Amazing Stories showed 32,644 in favor of a bi-weekly publication, and 498 who thought otherwise…. Edgar Wallace's "The Fourth Plague" is a good scientific mystery novel.

···o. x. o··· ···o. x. o···

Come over to "Our Readers Say"


by Marianne Ferguson

I got off the train at the Harrisonville Railroad Station, filled with mixed feelings, for I was to visit the world renowned detective, Jules de Grandin, and Dr. Trowbridge. As I walked uncertainly up the street, I inquired of a policeman, who directed me to Jules de Grandin's house.

I am afraid that I knocked at the door somewhat timidly, and I soon heard footsteps coming down the hall. The door opened, and there stood a tall, dark man.

"Is this where Mr. de Grandin lives?" I asked rather shakily, for I had been anticipating this eventful visit for several months, during which time I had reacted this scene many times.

"Yes," the man replied. "I am Dr. Trowbridge. Will you please come in?"

I entered, just as a voice from within called out, "Who was it, Friend Trowbridge?"

We entered a large, cheery room, and seated in a deep study chair, I saw Jules de Grandin, his blond hair sleek and shining. He looked up from the magazine had been reading, and seeing me, arose, and stroking his blond mustache, said, "What can we do for you, my dear young lady?"

Suddenly, my knees seemed to turn to water. "Mr. de Grandin," I managed to whisper, "I have always wanted to see you in person; I hope you will forgive my intrusion."

Jules de Grandin waved me to a seat with his long, artistic hand, and seeing a silver topped walking stick in the corner, I asked, "Is that the famous walking stick which vanquished the werewolf in 'The Thing in the Fog'?"

"Eh, bien, of a truth, my young friend," he admitted, "if it were not for the concealed sword in the center, I would have been in too many tight places for comfort."

"Mr. de Grandin, will you please tell how many years you have been interested in this line of investigation?" I asked.

"O, tiens, my young lady, I have been actively engaged for the past eight years in this thrilling occupation."

"I am sorry that I weren't acquainted with your adventures right from the start," I confessed. "Weren't you afraid in some of the gruesome cases such as 'The Bleeding Mummy' and the 'Band of Glory'?"

"Eh, bien," he answered, "my friend, if one allows himself to let fear enter his heart, he is already defeated, and I know that I have the Good One in my favor."

"Well, Mr. de Grandin and Dr. Trowbridge, thank you for this delightful talk," I began, when a blood-curdling moan echoed through the house. De Grandin, Dr. Trowbridge, and I ran to where the moan seemed to come from, but nothing was there. I imagine that I must have turned pale, for Dr. Trowbridge caught hold of my arm and gave me a glass of water containing some sort of restorative. As I began to feel better, my color came back and de Grandin said, "My friend, your train leaves in twenty minutes, so, Friend Trowbridge, get out your car and take the young lady to the station."

"But how about that moan?" I asked.

"Mon Dieu!" he exclaimed, though less excited than would be expected under the circumstances, "but I, Jules de Grandin, shall soon find out!"

Gathering up my purse, I arose and gave my hand to de Grandin, then Dr. Trowbridge took me to the station.

Safely in my compartment, I suddenly realized how tired I was. So, leaning back in my seat and closing my eyes, I drifted into the land of dreams—into the realm of deathless visions, where hazy phantasms of the imagination take one through glorious adventures in which earthly realities become as nothing.


by Richard F. Searight

The North Wind blares, a gelid, lee-born roar,
Down from the arctic wastes where sit the ghosts
Of one-eyed Odin, bloody-handed Thor,
In frost-bound silence with their warrior hosts.
The East Wind murmurs softly through the night
Of dank and noisome things, and evil lore
Old in the days when Atlar rose to might.
And Chaldic magic ruled a world of gore.
The South Wind breathes a pestilential dirge.
It whispers of corruption and the tomb;
Of life in death, and mankind's biting urge
To gain the secrets hidden in Time's womb.
The West Wind keens a warning cry of hate,
As, from the boundless voids of sea and sky,
It sweeps upon a race bowed low by fate,
Yet striving still to gain the heights or die.


by William Lumley

Dread and potent broods a Dweller
In an evil twilight space,
Formless as a daemon's shadow,
Void of members and of face.
Heeding not the shaped or human,
Past the reach of time or law—
Never may our minds conceive It
Save as clouds of fright and awe.
When It crawls malignly on us,
Lethal mists of leaden grey,
Rising vaguely in the distance,
Veil its hideous bulk away.
And Its mutterings of horror,
Foul with lore of charnel ground,
Lose themselves in troubled thunders
That from far horizons sound.


by Clark Ashton Smith

The four books of short stories written by Montague Rhodes James, Provost of Eton College, have been collected in a single but not overly bulky volume under the imprint of Longmans, Green & Co. One can heartily recommend the acquisition of this volume to all lovers of the weird and supernatural who are not already familiar with its contents.

James is perhaps unsurpassed in originality by any living writer; and he has made a salient contribution to the technique of his genre as well as to the enriching of its treasury of permanent masterpiece. His work is marked by rare intellectual skill and ingenuity, by power rising at times above the reaches of mere intellection, and by a sheer finesse of writing that will bear almost endless study. It has a peculiar savour, wholly different from the diabolic grimness of Bierce, or the accumulative atmospheric terror and rounded classicism of Machen. Here there is nothing of the feverish but logical hallucinations, the macabre and exotic beauty achieved by Poe; nor is there any kinship to the fine poetic weavings and character nuances of Walter de la Mare, or the far-searching, penetrative psychism of Blackwood, or the frightful antiquities and ultra-terrene menaces of Lovecraft.

The style of these stories is rather casual and succinct. The rhythms of the prose are brisk and pedestrian, and the phrasing is notable for clearness and incisiveness rather than for those vague, reverberative overtones which beguile one's inner ear in the prose of fiction-writers who are also poets. Usually there is a more or less homely setting, often with a background of folklore and long-past happenings whose dim archaism provides a depth of shadow from which, as from a recessed cavern, the central horror emerges into the noontide of the present. Things and occurrences, sometimes without obvious off-hand relationship, are grouped cunningly, forcing the reader unaware to some frightful deduction; or there is an artful linkage of events seemingly harmless in themselves, that leave him confronted at a sudden turn with some ghoulish specter or night-demon.

The minutiae of modern life, humor, character-drawing, scenic and archaeological description, are used as a foil to heighten the abnormal, but are never allowed to usurp a disproportionate interest. Always there is an element of supernatural menace, whose value is never impaired by scientific or spiritualistic explanation. Sometimes it is brought forth at the climax into full light; and sometimes, even then, it is merely half-revealed, is left undefined but perhaps all the more alarming. In any case, the presence of some unnatural but objective reality is assumed and established.

The goblins and phantoms devised by James are truly creative and are presented through images often so keen and vivid as to evoke an actual physical shock. Sight, smell, hearing, taction, all are played upon with well nigh surgical sureness, by impressions calculated to touch the shuddering quick of horror.

Some of the images or similes employed are most extraordinary, and spring surely from the demonic inspiration of the highest genius. For instance, take the unnameable thing in The Uncommon Prayer Book, which resembles "a great roll of old, shabby, white flannel," with a kind of face in the upper end, and which falls forward on a man's shoulder and hides this face in his neck like a ferret attacking a rabbit. Then, in Mr. Humphreys and his Inheritance (one of subtler and more inferential tales) there is the form "with a burnt human face" and "black arms", that emerges from an inexplicable hole in the paper plan of a garden maze "with the odious writhings of a wasp creeping out of a rotten apple." In The Tractate Middoth one meets an apparition with thick cobwebs over its eyes—the lich or specter of a man who, obedient to his own rather eccentric instructions, had been buried sitting at a table in an underground room. And who, upon reading The Diary of Mr. Poynter, can fail to share Denton's revulsion when he reaches out, thinking that a dog is beside his chair, and touches a crawling figure covered with long, wavy, Absolom-like tresses? Who, too, can shake off the horror of Dennistoun, in Canon Alberic's Scrap Book, when a demon's hand appears from beneath on the table, suggesting momentarily a pen wiper, a rat, and a large spider?

Reading and re-reading these tales, one notes a predilection for certain milieus and motifs. Backgrounds of scholastic or ecclesiastic life are frequent and some of the best tales are laid in cathedral towns; in many of the supernatural entities, there recurs insistently the character of extreme and repulsive hairiness. Often the apparition is connected with, or evoked by, some material object, such as the bronze whistle from the ruins of a Templars' preceptory in Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad; the old drawing of King Solomon and the night demon in Canon Alberic's Scrap Book; the silver Anglo-Saxon crown from an immemorial barrow in A Warning to the Curious; and the strange curtain-pattern in The Diary of Mr. Poynter which had "a subtlety in its drawing."

In several stories there are hints of bygone Satanism and wizardry whose malign wraiths or conjured spirits linger obscurely in modern time; and in at least one tale, Casting the Runes, the warlock is a living figure. In other tales, the forgetful and vanishing phantasms of old crimes cry out their mindless pain, or peer for an instant from familiar pools and shrubberies. The personnel of James' Pandemonium is far from monotonous: one finds a satyr dwelling in a cathedral tomb; a carven cat-like monster that comes to life when touched by a murderer's hand; a mouldy smelling sack-like object in an unlit well, which suddenly puts its arms around the neck of a treasure-seeker; a cloaked and hooded shape with a tentacle in lieu of arms; a lean, hideously taloned terror, with a jaw "shallow as that of a beast;" dolls that repeat crime and tragedy; creatures that are dog-like but not dogs; a saw fly tall as a man, met in a dim room full of rustling insects; and even a weak, ancient thing, which, being wholly bodiless and insubstantial, makes for itself a body out of crumpled bed-linen.

The peculiar genius of M. R. James, and his greatest power, lies in the convincing evocation of weird, malignant and preternatural phenomena such as I have instanced. It is safe to say that few writers, dead or living, have equalled him in his formidable necromancy; and perhaps no one has excelled him.

The Tomb of the God

Annals of the Jinns—5

by R. H. Barlow

For four days, the band of explorers from Phoor had been excavating the ancient and immemorial tomb of Krang on the edge of the desert. The sands had been blowing ceaselessly, even as they had done since before the coming of man to that far land. The tomb was built long before any human walked the face of the world, built by evil powers that had reigned unchecked in that unthinkably ancient day, when all the desert had been a verdant garden through which stalked great yellow giants of small intelligence, but of prodigious strength, that had built the tower and the city of the ancient and most powerful Lord Krang. And even before that Krang had been; he had been for aeons, and in turn had come from a strange planet, it was told in tradition and runes inscribed in a dead language, the language of Old Gods, and in the time when dark magical powers had battled for possession of the universe. And Krang had won, Krang the old one, the monstrous brown leathern thing that planned and ruled and malefically twisted the futures of worlds. But the time came that none had foreseen and Krang the ancient fell into a semblance of death, though his flesh rotted not, nor did his aspect change. So the people of the earth gathered together and conveyed him in a giant funeral procession to the enormous tomb carven from living blue stone in the side of the mountain, and they sealed him in and forever departed from his company. And the years and the decades and the centuries and the aeons unthinkable came and went, and the sands swirled over the mouth of the tomb, and the door was obliterated, and none knew where Krang the Elder God lay in stupendous slumber.

Then audacious mortals had unwittingly found traces of this mausoleum that even legend had discredited, and they had resolved to open it and seek the great body of the old thing that had laid unmoving since the world was young and green, lain while the prolific vegetation died and the sand crept upon the land and laid it into barrenness.

It was said that there had been sealed up in Krang's tomb treasures that made avarice pale and gems the like of which no longer existed, jewels from far worlds of the dawn of time, worlds that had died and returned again—and the strange manuscripts with the Hsothian chants upon them, and other equally desirable objects. Therefore, many had set out to reach the far site of the old tomb, but few had reached it. Some had perished, slain by the hateful green devil things that lay beneath the surface of the sand in wait for unwary persons, and that sprang up to drag their victims to a horrible death. Some reached their goal and scratched and chipped the tight sealed entrance, but it was as the gnawing of rats, and before they could do more, they had mysteriously vanished from human ken, nor had they ever been heard of afterwards. Yet this did not discourage others from emulating for the desire for power will lead men far, and power there was in the tomb.

So again men were engaged in laboriously chipping away the obstruction and making slight headway, when one of their members chanced upon an orifice in the rock into which he thrust his arm curiously. Beyond he touched something, and lo! The great door grated outwards, inexorably, ruthlessly, and ground him horribly into the stone sill, leaving naught save an unpleasant smear of brown and a dank smell came forth, and the door was opened. Paralyzed, the survivors did not act until it had swung firmly back into place and was immovable save by a repetition of the catastrophe. So, though they could spare him ill, the others forced one of their brown slave-men from distant Leek to do this suicidal act; and he whimpered, and would have not, but they discouraged this by subtle and hastily improvised tortures, and he eventually complied.

They stepped delicately over the smear and caught the door; placing an obstruction in the way, so that it might stay open. And then they entered, the first living things in that place since their race had appeared.

The air was foul with the odor of a newly dried sea bed, and the stench was unlike that of anything within their ken. All about the giant vault were great chunks of richly coloured gems cut in curious facets, with cryptic inscriptions upon each. But the central object was the tomb of Lord Krang, where his great body reposed upon a slab of figured chalcedony. He was terrible to gaze upon, for even after the immense period, he still held semblance of the horrifying aspect that was traditionally assigned unto him.

And the explorers that had entered gathered around him for a moment in awe, but they were distracted by the infinite wealth that lay carelessly about. They became slightly affected by it, into a type of madness, and with repulsive amour and fetishism, they stroked the jewels and clung unto them.

But what happened then none can tell, for their two fellows standing guard beyond the entrance heard a peculiar sound that seemed as a slither then a scream, then the door shut again, and although the obstructing block was not touched by them, it had moved.


And Krang's tomb was again covered by the drifts; nor even after that brief glimpse of infinite wealth did any man of Phoor venture near.

For the Lord Krang had roused from his long sleep, and feasted.


In response to requests, we are publishing this list of stories which we have on hand:

The Legacy by Kenneth B. Pritchard
The Flower God by R. H. Barlow
Gods of the North by Robert E. Howard
The Ancient Voice by Eando Binder
The Nameless City by H. P. Lovecraft
From Beyond by H. P. Lovecraft
Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H. P. Lovecraft
The Epiphany of Death by Clark Ashton Smith
The Embalmer of Ramsville by Michael Weir
Phantom Lights by August W. Derleth
Madness of Space by Conrad H. Ruppert
Life and Death by Derwin Lesser
The Temple of Nemwah by Natalie H. Wooley


"Donald Alexander's letter caused me to reread carefully my own answer to Forrest Ackerman's epistolatory critique. Since my one concern was to meet Mr. Ackerman's arguments on their own ground, I am puzzled by the assertion of Mr. Alexander that I had made a fool of myself by descending to personalities. Offhand, I should have said that my letter was about as free of that sort of thing as it could conceivably have been. Perhaps there were a few mildly ironic touches; but certainly nothing of an insidious nature was implied or even intended. I do not think that any good purpose is ever served by abusive personalities. If my letter was derogatively personal, I really wonder how Mr. Alexander's should be classified."—Clark Ashton Smith

H. Koenig suggests that we missed a golden opportunity by not supplying the debaters with gloves and entering them in the Golden Glove Contests in Madison Square Garden!

"When you shout, pertaining to Smith stories, 'May the ink dry up in the pen from which they flow!' you affect the refined and sensitive minds of the admirers of beautiful things, and cause them to exclaim, 'Here, indeed, is one who endeavors to do something in words as terrible as in actuality: cleave the head of a genius in twain!' Hence our fitting denunciation of you, Mr. Ackerman, for attempting to backbite one of the greatest writers America has ever produced."—Robert Nelson

"When some well-meaning person says that Ackerman has more sense than Smith and Lovecraft combined, he is just being ridiculous. If Clark Ashton Smith has a diseased mind, as Mr. Alexander states, I would for one like to be exposed to the germ."—Duane W. Rimel

"I have been following with interest the Ackerman adventures in your pages. I am wondering if he ever wrote any stories, besides criticizing then?"—Natalie H. Wooley

"The Ackerman-Smith debate amuses me. Of course, I am squarely on Smith's side, and don't understand why you publish the more puerile of the letters on the matter, such as the one by Lloyd Fowler."—August W. Derleth

"The whole argument was caused by Ackerman claiming that Smith's 'Dweller in Martian Depths' should not have appeared in Wonder Stories. Smith should have sent the story to Weird Tales, thus avoiding a clash with Ackerman, who, I take it, has no use for weird literature. Or the editor of Wonder Stories should have foreseen some catastrophe and promptly returned it to C. A. Smith, who I esteem very highly, by the way."—F. Lee Baldwin

We stated last month that the Smith–Ackerman debate would end in this issue—and so it has. Many of our readers have started to get bored with it—and more than that, some ill-feeling has been aroused. We go further to state that there will be no more department known as "The Boiling Point." The name implies that everything contained therein should be boiling hot—and these boiling hot arguments, as we have found out, create an unpleasant atmosphere for many concerned. THE FANTASY FAN is attempting to bind the lovers of science and weird fiction tighter together with friendship, and not to separate them thru dislike of each others ideas. However, to take the place of "The Boiling Point" we are starting a new department next month entitled "Your Views." This will not contain any debates, but the opinions of you, the readers, on various subjects which we will nominate. So, write in us immediately answering the following questions: "What is there in the 'horror' story as associated with weird and fantastic fiction? Is there any virtue to them? How can they be defended when people will read them and say that they are distasteful to the well and normal mind? Why does a person wish to read a sinister tale of evil or monstrosities? Is it healthy reading? Is it not morbid?" Forrest J. Ackerman has suggested this subject. Let's see what you think about it.


Part Five

by H. P. Lovecraft

(Copyright 1927, by W. Paul Cook)

Just as all fiction first found extensive embodiment in poetry, so is it in poetry that we first encounter the permanent entry of the weird into standard literature. Most of the ancient instances, curiously enough, are in prose; as the werewolf incident in Petronius, the gruesome passages in Apuleius, the brief but celebrated letter of Pliny the younger to Sura, and the odd compilation "On Wonderful Events" by the Emperor Hadrian's Greek freedman, Phlegon. It is in Phlegon that we first find that hideous tale of the corpse-bride, "Philinnion and Machates," later related by Procius and in modern times forming the inspiration of Goethe's "Bride of Corinth" and Washington Irving's "German Student." But by the time the old Northern myths take literary form, and in that later time when the weird appears as a steady element in the literature of the day, we find it mostly in metrical dress; as indeed we find the greater part of the strictly imaginative writing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Scandinavian Eddas and Sagas thunder with cosmic horror, and shake with the stark fear of Ymir and his shapeless spawn; whilst our own Anglo-Saxon "Beowulf" and the later Continental Nibelung tales are full of eldritch weirdness. Dante is a pioneer in the classic capture of macabre atmosphere, and in Spencer's stately stanzas will be seen more than a few touches of fantastic terror in landscape, incident, and character. Prose literature gives us Malory's "Morte d'Arthur," in which are presented many ghastly situations taken from early ballad sources—the theft of the sword and silk from the corpse in Chapel Perilous by Sir Launcelot, the ghost of Sir Gawaine, and the tomb-fiend seen by Sir Galahad—whilst other and cruder specimens were doubtless set forth in the Supernatural Horror in Literature cheap and sensational "chapbooks" vulgarly hawked about and devoured by the ignorant. In Elizabethan drama, with its "Dr. Faustus," the witches in "Macbeth," and the horrible gruesomeness of Webster, we may easily discern the strong hold of the daemoniac on the public mind; a hold intensified by the very real fear of living witchcraft, whose terrors, first witnessed on the Continent, begin to echo loudly in English ears as the witch hunting crusades of James the First gain headway. To the lurking mystical prose of the ages is added a long list of treatises on witchcraft and daemonology which aid in exciting the imagination of the reading world.

(Continued Next Month)


by Forrest J. Ackerman

Part Six—Conclusion

Lastly there is the third—and an extremely interesting part of the scientifilm division of my collection: the sound discs from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Of an evening, it is a great enjoyment to listen to the Doctor with coughs and groans and an accompaniment of whirring thoughts change into the savage Mr. Hyde or before that, to hear him expound his theory of man being "not one, but truly two;" and later to listen to the final battle in which he is killed. As the records are recorded at two or three times normal speed, it proves most interesting (ordinarily, they must be slowed down by a weight or the hand). Run at recorded tempo, one hears characters speaking as they would if they were speeded up as in such stories as "A Year in a Day," "The Super-Man of Dr. Jukes," "The Super-Velociter," and "A New Accelerator." The result is startling.

In conclusion—I have complete files of The Time Traveller (with issues of The which preceded it), Science Fiction Digest and Science Fiction. And I'm looking forward to every number of The Fantasy Fan. Good luck!


by Emil Petaja

Perhaps the most interesting collection of mystery stories ever brought together under one cover is Dorothy L. Sayers' "Omnibus of Crime." This is of special interest to weird story fans, as of its 1177 pages, over 400 are devoted exclusively to this type. It's authors include A. Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Arthur Machen, Ambrose Bierce, and many others whom Fantasy Fans are familiar with. Don't miss reading it.

Among other weird story collections are "Famous Modern Ghost Stories" and "Famous Humorous Ghost Stories," both edited by Dorothy Scarborough. These books are filled with fascinating ghost stories, all by famous authors of all times.

Elliot O'Donnell, famous English author, has written many collections of true ghost stories. His two latest are "Haunted Houses of London" and "More Haunted Houses of London." You will find many of his stories and articles reprinted in various collections. He has also written for Weird Tales.

Some years ago, The Macauley Company published a collection under the title, "Beware After Dark." It includes H. P. Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu" and Machen's "Novel of the White Powder," and others of note. A splendid addition to your book-shelf.

The Modern Library's collection "Best Ghost Stories" is no doubt familiar to most of you, but it is certainly worth mentioning. It contains an introduction by Arthur B. Reeve, and stories by Algernon Blackwood, Dr. M. R. James, and Rudyard Kipling.


by Mortimer Weisinger

Julius Schwartz—who is probably the greatest living authority on all existing science fiction, and who worships Dr. Keller—don't we all?

Michael Fogaris—who holds one of the most brilliant scholastic records held by any s-f fan, and who idolizes the writings of A. Merritt—again, don't we all?

Milton Kaletsky—who is the world's greatest torture fiend. He coerced his sister into typing up his first s-f story, the 16,000 word "Visit to Alpha Centauri."

Nathan Greenfeld, who, besides being a devout s-f fan, is quite adept at painting.


Old Amazings, Wonders, Astoundings, Argosy science fiction such as:

The Snake Mother, A Brand New World, The Planet of Peril. Science fiction from the present to 1900 in ALL magazines. Please list stories wanted most when writing for list. Weird Tales, Black Cat, Munsey, Blue Book, etc.

Isidore Manzon
684 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

CLARK ASHTON SMITH presents THE DOUBLE SHADOW AND OTHER FANTASIES—a booklet containing a half-dozen imaginative and atmospheric tales.—Stories of exotic beauty, glamor, terror, strangeness, irony, and satire. Price: 25 cents each, (coin or stamps). Also a small remainder of EBONY AND CRYSTAL—a book of prose poems published at $2.00, reduced to $1.00 per copy. Everything sent postpaid. Clark Ashton Smith, Auburn, California.

Back Numbers of The Fantasy Fan:

September, 20 cents (only a few left); October, November, December, January, 10 cents each.

Weird Tales, dated 1923 to 1924, are wanted, please communicate with the Editor if you care to part with any.


Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.

Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as printed.

The cover of this ebook was created by the transcriber and is hereby placed in the public domain.

End of Project Gutenberg's The Fantasy Fan February 1934, by Various


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