A day in the lives of the Fictioneers

The duplicating process used, spirit or mimeo, made it difficult to transcribe but worth the trouble, for I had found a lost record, an artifact full of insights, one which finally sheds light on the fabulous Milwaukee Fictioneers.

The find was an early science fiction fan publication, the FANTASY-NEWS. According to the masthead, Will Sykora was editor, abetted by three able associates surnamed Taurasi, Moskowitz, and Racic—any of whom might have conveyed the news within.

More likely it was a member of the Fictioneers who submitted the story, allowing its use verbatim.

Indeed, it reads Bho-Blôkian.

In which case, here is what Mr. Bloch reported:

On Wed. Jan. 17th, Ralph Milne Farley, well-known science fiction author, entertained “The Milwaukee Fictioneers”, a group of well-known pulp mag authors, at his home in South Milwaukee. Among the prominent stf personalities present were: Ray Palmer, editor of AMAZING STORIES, Robert Bloch, Jerry K. Westerfield, Leo A. Schmidt, and Arthur R. Tofte.

A novel feature of the gathering was a rebus game played by those present. The game consisted in guessing what magazine was represented by each of various groups of objects. For example, a stick of wood in the bathtub represented the SATURDAY EVENING POST, and two lead soldiers on a toy stove represented RANGE RIDERS. Earnest Brent won the first prize, a gilt food-inspection medal on a piece of Harvard Lampoon hat-band for a ribbon; and Robert Bloch won the second prize, a Junior G-Man badge. Earnest guessed 16, and Bob 15, titles out of 28. Palmer failed to guess his own magazine, represented by the letters “MA”, a picture of a man singing, and a skyscraper. None could guess MARVEL TALES, represented by a china dachshund with two cigarets where the tale should be. 

Farley’s story, “Caves of Ocean”, is running currently in THE VOICE, a South Milwaukee newspaper.

Or was it Palmer who made this submission?

Tofte?

Some mysteries still abound…

John D. Haefele submitted this article.

© John D. Haefele. All rights reserved.


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