Futuria Fantasia, Summer 1939

by Ray Bradbury

Tags: Science Fiction, Novel-Classic,

Desc: Science Fiction Story: A few short stories, edited by Ray Bradbury!

Preface

The best laid plans of men, it seems, are destined for detours or permanent and disappointing annihilation upon the road to accomplishment. It was this way with Futuria Fantasia, planned for publication last summer. Piles of archaic tomes towered on all sides of the editorial desk. When the door to the office was opened unexpectedly a white gusher of manuscripts and relatives spewed out. More than once Ye Editor was suffocated unto death by the musty volumes that poured in from all over Los Angeles. And then--someone turned off the financial faucet--leaving us all soaped up, but with no water! And so, into an inforced hibernation went FuFa. The manuscripts became intimate acquaintances with all of the spiders in the family vaults--even the writers could be seen lounging around in their caskets waiting for Technocracy and their thirty doubloons every Thursday to come rolling in.

But recently, awakening from the profound inactivity of spring fever, your editor became interested in Technocracy. The more he heard about it, the more he wanted everyone else to hear. So, turning the revolving door on his crypt, he reached over and shook T. B. Yerke out of his stupor and begged him to write an article, The Revolt Of The Scientists, which appears herein. Not content with this he engaged Ron Reynolds, new fan author who first appeared in Tucker’s D’JOURNAL, to whip up a story about the Technate and its effect upon the hack writer in the coming decades. And Ackerman is here! Science Fiction’s finest fan and friend has turned in an interesting yarn that he wrote at the gentle age of sixteen, some few years past. But best of all--there is nothing humorous in the issue by the editor himself--which should cause huge, grateful sighs of relief from Maine to Miske and back! Bradbury just has a poem, and a serious one at that.

And so--here it is, for ten cents, out every other decade or so--Futuria Fantasia-- ... hypoed into Life mainly because of the crying need for more staunch Technocrats, mainly because of the New York Convention, (with which it doesn’t deal at all in subject matter ... but does so whole-heartedly in spirit and thought), and mainly because it’s been a helluva long time since a large size mag came from our LASFL way, where the natives are all sitting around and dreaming of the New York Canyon Kiddies and praying, atheistically of course, that in the near future they may wind up in Manhatten behind the pool-ball-perisphere--and I don’t mean the one numbered eight. None of the expectant tripsters have ever seen New Yawk before and have already chewed their fingernails down to the shoulder in exstatic anticipation.

I hope you like this brain-child, spawned from the womb of a year long inanimation. If you do like it, how about a letter sent to the editorial offices of F.F., at 1841 South Manhatten Place, Los Angeles, California? Appoint yourself as A-l mourner and critic and pound away at the mag. It will be appreciated. And if you have a dime in your pocket that hasn’t had a breath of air in a few days just drop that in, too. This is only the first issue of FuFa ... if it succeeds there will be more, better issues coming up. And your co-operation is needed.

GOOD LUCK TO THE NEW YORK SCIENTI-FAN CONVENTION--!!

I’LL MEET YOU IN MANHATTEN--!

Ray D. Bradbury,

editor


The Revolt of the Scientists

By Technocrat Bruce Yerke

The editor of this magazine has asked me to prepare an article about a certain subject that has hitherto been totally lacking from the pages of all the scientifictional magazines, and which, with an article in a special LASFL publication, burst a bombshell on the science-fictional field, and at the same moment punched an irreparable hole in the Wollheim-Michel gas bag. Being recognized as the _science-fiction Technocrat_, I was asked to do this by Mr. Bradbury, who is himself a new recruit to OUR ranks. Since many of the readers of this magazine have all read the article in the first MIKROS, I feel that I can take a few liberties to go ahead.

When you write an introductory article to a generally new audience on Technocracy, you have to start from the ground up. You cannot assume that the readers know a whit about it. This, eventually, becomes boring to the teacher, for he is so exuberant and anxious to take up other phases of the subject that he soon gets tired of merely telling of the first stepping stone in a vast subject.

This article will cause much interrogation. It would be impossible for me, in this limited space, to give you all of the facts I wish to, but I do suggest that everyone who is interested should go to the nearest TECHNOCRACY INC. section (and there are many in every large city) and receive some of their literature, or write to CONTINENTAL HEADQUARTERS if you live at some flag stop, and get their pamphlets.

If you have ever heard of Technocracy, it was probably through some garbled news item, and thus you, like I myself, no doubt have or had a very wrong opinion of this organization. It is perfectly legal in all respects, being incorporated under the laws of New York State. It is technically an educational organization, and many authorities have to admit that Tech’s twenty week study course is the equivalent of a 4 year college experience. The fact that its speakers are allowed to talk in public high schools, and hold meetings in the same place, shows that even the carefully censured school board is, at least, not opposing it.

Technocracy is not an organization that wants to overthrow the American government, but only an org. that will step in when the present Price System collapses. (At this point it MUST be taken note of that PRICE SYSTEM is not a different word for the Marxian definition of CAPITALISM. Price SYSTEM is merely a term designating any system using a circulating medium of exchange for the distribution of goods and services.)

If you go to a Technocracy section, they will show you a chart that will convince you that this system will collapse before 1945, probably 1942. This chart shows the economic trends of this nation from its birth to 1939, and also the amount of extraneous energy and human toil required to produce and maintain this economy. When you leave, you’ll be convinced, don’t worry. I have not the time nor space to do that here. The end of the Price System is inevitable, and when it comes you are not faced with the choice of taking Technocracy or Socialism, Communism or any other ‘ism’. You are faced with a choice of Tech. or chaos, out of which the majority of us will not emerge--alive.

This nation is so highly inter-dependant, that the failure of one phase of its industrial sequence would mean the ultimate collapse of the whole country. If the electric power of New York was shut off, the city would burn down in approximately SIX HOURS! This, because of the rate fires break out. If the transportation system were shut off, all of the food in the city would be gone in six days, water would be so polluted that disease 10,000 times worse than the Black Plague would break out.

I shall not spend time telling you why we are faced with economic disaster, for thousands of examples can be had at a Technocracy section. We shall, for the purposes of this article simply assume that the collapse is near, within a matter of days.

All of the large business institutes, and Technocracy as well, will know within 100 days of the time of the ultimate end, when all stocks and bonds depreciate to zero and the financial structure of this country is due to fall.

At this time Technocracy will do, what is termed in colloquial American slang--”TURN ON THE HEAT!” At the present time Technocracy is not interested in forming a large organization, formed of emotional butterflys. It is constructing a functional group; a nucleus of people who know the subject to a T, and who will be prepared to act in the forming of a skeleton control until things are reorganized. In the last five years Technocracy has not used one bit of emotional fly paper, but has presented its whole plan in plain facts, and in as hard-boiled and unentertaining a manner as could be done without insulting the listeners. Nevertheless Tech. is the fastest growing organization in the nation. (except the relief organization)

Under Technocracy people will be classified in a set of probably 100 industrial sequences, according to their work. Each of these is known as a FUNCTIONAL SEQUENCE. Let us trace the work of one sequence from the bottom to the top.

The nation will be divided into regional divisions, determined by latitude and longitude. In each division there will be the various offices of whatever sequences are operating in that division. (each sequence of the 100 different ones will not necessarily appear in every division, though) Some will only have three or four or even as high as fifty. In this division we will find, say, a factory, for the production of steel, and thus there will be a steel sequence in this division. (This is how it will work in all sequences, essentially.)

The lowest classification will be the man doing the simplest job. We’ll use as our example one who works a welding torch. All the welding torch workers in that factory will be under a foreman. He will be elected out of the torch workers as the one most efficient, working the best, who is most popular, though the latter factor’s not so influencing as it is at present.

All the foremen in that area division will elect a divisional head of foremen of torch welding crews. Out of all the head foremen of torch and steel dumping crews and the other numerous distinct functions, there will be elected a division head. The division heads then elect a national head. The national heads of all the other sequences will form what will be known as the Continental Control, electing an executive director, merely a presiding officer, with not even the powers of the present president. He is answerable to, not answered to.

All the other basic functions will have essentially the same organization, and it is anticipated there will 90 to 110 of them. At the present time 93 have been worked out. The one thing of note is that there will not be more than FOUR offices between Armando Pinccio of the garbage truck crew and the head of the national sequence of waste disposal.

The thing of most interest to all interested is the method of purchase or what is referred to as the MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE. In the TECH THERE IS NO MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE, THERE IS ONLY A METHOD OF TECHNOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING.

The means whereby you will get a new razor blade or a malted milk is to be known as DISTRIBUTION CERTIFICATES or ENERGY CERTIFICATES. These certificates, issued to every person on this continent every 30 days, will be good only for one person and no other. Since they will be able to purchase as much or, I should say, since they will give the individual purchasing power of 20,000 dollars per year, each will have everything he needs. Stop right now and think what this means in the reduction of crime. These certificates cannot be stolen, and since every one will have all they can possibly use, there will be no need to steal.

With the technological development on this continent at present it is possible to turn out, at peak production, enough for every person to have a terrific abundance, and to do this, with a little mechanization done in the period of a month or so, it is only necessary for every able individual male, twixt ages 25 & 45, to work fours hours a day, 4 days a week, for 165 days a year--to keep this production turning over. If any one works more, someone else works less. So draw your own conclusions.

All things under the TECHNATE will be controlled, numbered by a modified DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM, as used in libraries now. The energy certificate will have on its face the sex, age, job, place of birth, address, where he works, and the worker’s number, all recorded by this system. There are also places for purchases, four, to be exact. When one makes up his mind to buy something, he goes to the store (an example) and buys a pair of shoes. By means of a photoelectric machine (already developed) the salesclerk would punch out numbers and the certificate would come out bearing, neatly perforated: “34.46... 11.E .728... / ... H76302... / ... Z .97321... /... 205... 21.05.” All this means that the article was a pair of low shoes, made by the leather sequence, that they were men’s shoes, width E, last number 7, and style 8. Second series of numerals are the serial numbers of the machine, third is the number of certificate, the last the date and time.

At the end of the day the total lever of the machine would be pressed, and all the numbers, styles, etc. would be separated into totals (like nickels and dimes in a coin changing machine). The totals would then be teletyped to the divisional H.Q. of the leather sequence where it would be registered. This affords a continuous inventory of the whole continent. The following day, as many shoes as had been sold in the continent would be manufactured.

Many things, such as housing, transportation, medical care, recreation, education, etc. are furnished by Technocracy. One can easily see what a secure life this affords every citizen, and what a boon it is to scientific research.

I said that I wouldn’t mention many things that would solve questions in the reader’s minds, but if all questions are sent to the editorial offices we will contrive to open a forum.

In closing remember these few things. Technocracy is NOT a political or revolutionary movement. It is 100% American. It cannot work anywhere but on the American continent, because only here have we the necessary technological developements, the necessary trained force of technicians, and the necessary resources to institute an economy of abundance in place of an economy of scarcity. Technocracy is the only salvation when the Price System fails. It is not a political theory, but the next state of civilization. It is the best form of democracy ever conceived. It furnishes security, education, protection, and all that goes, with it to the people of the American continent. It is not in its formative state. It could be installed on a seventy-two hour call. The only reason why we don’t have it now is because YOU are still duped to believing there is another way out.

Take Technocracy, or take----chaos!


Don’t Get Technatal

by Ron Reynolds

For several moments Stern had eyed his typewriter ominously, contemplating whether he should utter the unutterable. Finally:

“Damn!” he roared. “I can’t write any more! Look, look at that!” He tore the sheet out of the rollers and crumpled it in his fist. “If I’d known it would be this way,” he said, “I wouldn’t have voted for it! Technocracy is ruining everything!”

Bella Stern, preoccupied with her knitting, glanced up in horror. “What a temper,” she exclaimed. “Can’t you keep your voice down?” She fussed with her work. “There now,” she cried, “you made me drop a stitch!”

“I want to be a writer!” Samuel Stern lamented, turning with grim eyes to his wife. “And the Technate has spoiled my fun.”

“The way you talk, Samuel,” said his wife, “I actually believe you want to go back to that barbarism prevalent in the DARK THIRTIES!”

“It sounds like one damned good idea!” he said. “At least I’d have something decent, or indecent, to write about!”

“What can you mean?” she asked, tilting her head back and thinking. “Why can’t you write? There are just oodles of things I can think of that are readable.”

Something like a tear rolled down Samuel’s cheek. “No more gangsters, no more bank robberies, no more holdups, no more good, old-fashioned burglaries, no more vice gangs!” His voice grew lachrymose as he proceeded down an infinite line of ‘no mores’. “No more sadness,” he almost sobbed. “Everybody’s happy, contented. No more strife and hard work. Oh, for the days when a gangland massacre was headline scoop for me!”

“Tush!” sniffed Bella. “Have you been drinking again, Samuel?”

He hiccoughed gently.

“I thought so,” she said.

“I had to do something,” he declared. “I’m going nuts for want of a plot.”

Bella Stern laid her knitting aside and walked to the balcony, looked meditatively down into the yawning canyon of the New York street fifty stories below. She turned back to Sam with a reminiscent smile.

“Why not write a love story?”

WHAT!“ Stern shot out of his chair like a hooked eel.

“Why, yes,” she concluded. “A nice love story would be very enjoyable.”

“LOVE!” Stern’s voice was thick with sarcasm. “Why, we don’t even have decent love these days. A man can’t marry a woman for her money, and vice-versa. Everyone under Technocracy gets the same amount of credit. No more Reno, no more alimony, no more breach of promise, or law suits! Everything is cut and dried. The days of society weddings and coming out parties are gone--cause everyone is equal. I can’t write political criticisms about graft in the government, about slums and terrible living conditions, about poor starving mothers and their babies. Everything is okay--okay--okay--” his voice sobbed off into silence.

“Which should make you very happy,” countered his wife.

“Which makes me very sick,” growled Samuel Stern. “Look, Bell, all my life I wanted to be a writer. Okay. I’m writing for the pulp magazines for a coupla years. Right? Okay. Then I’m writing sea stories, gangsters, political views, first class-bump-offs. I’m happy ... I’m in my element. Then--bingo!--in comes Technocracy, makes everyone happy--bump! out goes me! I just can’t stand writing the stuff the people read today. Everything is science and education.” He ruffled his thick black hair with his fingers and glared.

“You should be joyful that the population is at work doing what they want to do,” Bella beamed.

Sam continued muttering to himself. “They took all the sex magazines off the market first thing, all of the gangster, murder and detective publications. They been educating the children and making model citizens out of them.”

“Which is as it should be,” finished Bella.

“Do you realize,” he blazed, whipping his finger at her, “that for two years there hasn’t been more than a dozen murders in the city? Not one suicide or gang war--or--”

“Heavens!” sighed Bella. “Don’t be prehistoric, Sam. There hasn’t been anything really criminal for twenty years now. This is 1975 you know.” She came over and patted him gently on the shoulder. “Why don’t you write something science-fictional?”

“I don’t like science,” he spat.

“Then your only alternative is love,” she declared firmly.

He formed the despicable word with his lips, then: “No, I want something new and different.” He got up and strode to the window. In the penthouse below he saw half a dozen robots moving about speedily, working. His face lit up suddenly, like that of a tiger spying his prey. “Jumping Jigwheels!” he cried. “Why didn’t I think of it before! Robots! I’ll write a love story about two robots.”

Bella squelched him. “Be sensible,” she said.

“It might happen some day,” he argued. “Just think. Love oiled, welded, built of metal, wired for sound!” He laughed triumphantly, but it was a low laugh, a strange little sound. Bella expected him to beat his chest next. “Robots fall in love at first sight,” he announced, “and blow an audio tube!”

Bella smiled tolerantly. “You’re such a child, Sam, I sometimes wonder why I married you.”

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