Sunday, February 26, 2012

1968: Judith Merril and Kate Wilhelm put together an ad against the Vietnam War...


...and it appears in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and in Galaxy, Worlds of If and International Science Fiction magazines (the latter three of which are published by the same publisher, Robert Guinn of the Galaxy Publishing Co., and edited by Frederik Pohl, the first edited by Edward Ferman and published by his father Joseph Ferman), along with a corresponding ad from "hawks" who are moved by Wilhelm and Merril's canvassing.

Frank Hollander was kind enough to transcribe the lists from the ads for the FictionMags list:


We the undersigned believe the United States must remain in Vietnam to
fulfill its responsibilities to the people of that country.


Karen K. Anderson
Poul Anderson
Harry Bates
Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
J. F. Bone
Leigh Brackett
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Mario Brand
R. Bretnor
Fredric Brown
Doris Pitkin Buck
William R. Burkett, Jr.
Elinor Busby
F. M. Busby
John W. Campbell
Louis Charbonneau
Hal Clement
Compton Crook
Hank Davis
L. Sprague de Camp
Charles V. de Vet
William B. Ellern
Richard H. Eney
T. R. Fehrenbach
R. C. FitzPatrick
Daniel F. Galouye
Raymond Z. Gallun
Robert M. Green, Jr.
Frances T. Hall
Edmond Hamilton
Robert A. Heinlein
Joe L. Hensley
Paul G. Herkart
Dean C. Ing
Jay Kay Klein
David A. Kyle
R. A. Lafferty
Robert J. Leman
C. C. MacApp
Robert Mason [not my father, but the Vietnam vet who would eventually write the novels Weapon and Solo, and the memoir Chickenhawk]
D. M. Melton
Norman Metcalf
P. Schuyler Miller
Sam Moskowitz
John Myers Myers
Larry Niven
Alan Nourse
Stuart Palmer
Gerald W. Page
Rachel Cosgrove Payes
Lawrence A. Perkins
Jerry E. Pournelle
Joe Poyer
E Hoffmann Price
George W. Price
Alva Rogers
Fred Saberhagen
George O. Smith
W. E. Sprague
G. Harry Stine (Lee Correy)
Dwight V. Swain
Thomas Burnett Swann
Albert Teichner
Theodore L. Thomas
Rena M. Vale
Jack Vance
Harl Vincent
Don Walsh, Jr.
Robert Moore Williams
Jack Williamson
Rosco E. Wright
Karl Würf

We oppose the participation of the United States in the war in Vietnam.

Forrest J Ackerman
Isaac Asimov
Peter S. Beagle
Jerome Bixby
James Blish
Anthony Boucher
Lyle G. Boyd
Ray Bradbury
Jonathan Brand
Stuart J. Byrne
Terry Carr
Carroll J. Clem
Ed M. Clinton
Theodore R. Cogswell
Arthur Jean Cox
Allan Danzig
Jon DeCles
Miriam Allen deFord
Samuel R. Delany
Lester del Rey
Philip K. Dick
Thomas M. Disch
Sonya Dorman
Larry Eisenberg
Harlan Ellison
Carol Emshwiller
Philip José Farmer
David E. Fisher
Ron Goulart
Joseph Green
Jim Harmon
Harry Harrison
H. H. Hollis
J[oan]. Hunter Holly
James D. Houston
Edward Jesby
Leo P. Kelley
Daniel Keyes
Virginia Kidd
Damon Knight
Allen Lang
March Laumer [Keith Laumer was still in active service, I believe, and probably constrained from adding a signature to either]
Ursula K. Le Guin
Fritz Leiber
Irwin Lewis
A. M. Lightner
Robert A. W. Lowndes
Katherine MacLean
Barry Malzberg
Robert E. Margroff
Anne Marple
Ardrey Marshall
Bruce McAllister
Judith Merril
Robert P. Mills
Howard L. Morris
Kris Neville
Alexei Panshin
Emil Petaja
J. R. Pierce
Arthur Porges
Mack Reynolds
Gene Roddenberry
Joanna Russ
James Sallis
William Sambrot
Hans Stefan Santesson
J. W. Schutz
Robin Scott [Wilson, not yet retired from the CIA, already working on the first Clarion Workshops]
Larry T. Shaw
John Shepley
T. L Sherred
Robert Silverberg
Henry Slesar
Jerry Sohl
Norman Spinrad
Margaret St. Clair
Jacob Transue
Thurlow Weed
Kate Wilhelm
Richard Wilson
Donald A. Wollheim

Contributions to help meet the expense of future ads are welcomed, and
should be sent to:

Judith Merril or Kate Wilhelm Knight
P. O. Box 79
Milford, Pennsylvania 18337

15 comments:

Yvette said...

How interesting and how intriguing, Todd. The whole thing seems eons ago, yet I lived through it and must admit, I remember little except the often ghastly nightly network newscasts.

A closer rememberance was the ruination of the life of a friend I grew up with. He suffered from terrible, often debilitating post traumatic stress.

But as to the list:

I noticed that the more famous names signed on as against the war. I wonder if that has any statistical meaning?

At least more names that I recognized, not being a heavy duty sci/fi or fantasy reader then or now. Though I do, occasionally, indulge as you'll see by a review I'll be posting later this week.

Todd Mason said...

Well, there were pretty heavy hitters, so to write, on both lists, but the "dove" list does tend to include more people with more diverse literary careers, and the first list includes a number of people who were clustered, literarily, primarily around the magazine ANALOG, which was still being edited then by its most important editor, John W. Campbell, one of the "hawk" signatories.

Sorry to read of your friend's experience...all war certainly does that, it's simply that Vietnam was the first one that led to a lot of public discussion of such results in the US, it seems.

Richard R. said...

Very interesting. I'l admit not being too surprised at most of the names on the "stay" list (JW Campbell, for instance) though for some reason lloyd Biggle seemed out of place. Not too surprised at the other side either. Not sure I agree with Yvette about the big names all being on one side, looks pretty balanced to me.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Richard, I'll stand by my suggestion that most of the "doves" tended to have more diverse careers than the "hawks"--even given such multitasking folks as Brackett, Brown and de Camp on the "hawk" list. Given that, I'm not too surprised that Yvette has heard of more of the "doves"...since she's not been too focused on fantastic fiction.

Mike Doran said...

From what I remember of 1968 (the year I graduated from high school), the hawk-vs.-dove division had less to do with party affiliation and more to do with age.

The "hawk" side included many Democrats (mainly in the South and West), some with social stands well to the left of many others.

On the other hand, an early "dove" was William Fulbright of Arkansas, previously best known as a staunch opponent of most Civil Rights legislation, and for his steadfast support of his home state's tobacco lobby.

So you can say that Vietnam was "the beginning of the end" of civil discourse in the USA.

These twin ads (which I saw in the mags when they first appeared - my brother's copies [he was the SF fan, I preferred mysteries]) were the harbinger of all the ill-will to come.

What I wonder about:
Many of the writers on both lists were known to at least friendly with each other socially.
Did this ad ever lead to beakups of long-standing friendships, the way something like it probably would today?

Something to think about ...

Todd Mason said...

As far as I know, no...for example, this was hardly the first time Judith Merril had asserted a political opinion, so if anyone was looking to hold something against her, this probably wouldn't be their first point of reference. Joe Hensley would be an example of a "hawkish" Democrat on these lists (as well as a cf/fantastic fiction "amphibian").

I dunno. As a polemical person for all my life as well (albeit of the libertarian left/Greenish persuasion vs. Merril's Trotskyism trending more welfare-state liberal eventually), I can only think of breaking off with a friend because they differ with you politically as the height of stupidity.

Meanwhile, there has always been a fair amount of at least potential hostility and lack of comity in both the legislative bodies and in the nation as a whole. We don't have representatives caning each other in the head, at least as blatantly as before the outbreak of the Civil War, nor was the interaction of, say, the Wilson Administration with the considerable anarchist, socialist or even populist presence in the US at that time notable for civility or even the slightest attention to inalienable/unalienable rights (even the FDR administration's concentration-camping the Japanese-Americans and the Italian and German immigrants, or the current Bush and Obama Admin "Patriot Act" offenses to the constitution aren't quite in the same league, as bad as they have been), and, of course, the recursion of HUAC and Joe McCarthy's similar depredations, or even the fights between the isolationists and internationalists in the GOP throughout the past century, have not been notable for their civility.

Todd Mason said...

And, of course, not to belabor the point too much, non-pale Caucasians would probably generally like to have detailed for them when the civil consensus reliably included their input. A lot of women might be wondering similarly. The youth, to one degree or another, still do. The poor, of course, might as well, when they can spare a moment from trying to figure out why they are at the mercy of so much predation (and some conclusions some might come to probably seem more correct than others to various observers...).

Todd Mason said...

Actually, I'll take that back, above. The FDR Admin concentration-camping Was in the same league with the attacks on American citizens by the Wilson Administration, in their similar political expediency from people who had no good excuse not to behave much more justly, less corruptly.

pattinase (abbott) said...

In 1968, my husband along with most of the TAs at Rutgers University published an ad like this in the Rutgers student paper. They almost lost their jobs. It took a while for the universities to come around.

Walker Martin said...

Being a big fan of GALAXY, I remember this ad well. I graduated from college in June 1966 and by October I was drafted into the army. Two years later I finally was out and discharged into the streets of Trenton, NJ which I almost did not recognize because of the race riots.

As I walked from the bus station in my uniform, someone in a passing car yelled "Baby killer!". I looked around for the baby killer and then realized that they were yelling at me. That was my welcome home.

Todd Mason said...

Big piles of fun in 1968, no? I can only say, I'm sorry you both got to go through that kind of bullshit.

I think state schools like Rutgers were more likely, on balance, to be run by martinets, particular in those years, than the richer private schools, who were usually (and with donations in mind) a bit more indulgent of their income-generators...though all, of course, tended to take a dim view of TAs and other grad students daring to act like adult citizens.

Meanwhile, thank goodness someone let you know how many babies you personally had killed, Walker, while you were serving life-threatening indentured service. Though, of course, the riots were driven in part by seething despair...which I can't imagine you didn't have some of, yourself. Or were you more completely glad to have survived and made it home? What was your experience as a draftee?

Todd Mason said...

For that matter, Patti, were there any lingering ramifications for the TAs? How did you handle the situation at hand, how much did you engage with the debates and more of the time?

Walker Martin said...

When I think back on my younger self of 1966 I'm surprised that I had no thought at all of heading for Canada to avoid the draft. I probably could have avoided service because of high blood pressure and poor eyesight also but again, I never considered it. Now, I'd kill to avoid two years in the army but I guess we all change over the decades.

I was so sure that I would not survive that I left instructions to my mother concerning my book and magazine collection. During training I somehow qualified as a rifleman, mortorman and machine gunner. In other words, I was doomed. Then one day they asked if anyone knew how to type and that saved me for sure. They evidently needed typists more than guys lugging rifles in the jungle. Back then the army was buried in red tape and paperwork. For every gun carrying soldier, I heard there were 8 support soldiers: typists, supply sgts, medical, truck drivers, food preparers, etc.

Taking the typing course in high school may have very well changed my life. By the way, one of my jobs turned out to be tracking down AWOL soldiers, mostly Vietnam vets, who were completely burned out by their experiences. I look back on those two years as basically being a slave for a misguided government. After all, the French were kicked out after being there for a hundred years. What on earth made us think that we could win a war in a country like Vietnam.

George said...

I remember when this ad appeared. The names on the lists are provocative: hawks vs. doves. I wonder if some of the hawks had some reservations ten years later.

Todd Mason said...

Thank goodness, Walker, that you were a typist, indeed. And sympathies for everything else you describe.

George, I think Robert Mason would be someone who went from list A to list B, retrospectively at least.