FAN MAIL, number 3. February -- March 1941. Chain letter with contributions by six authors, five of them typed (top copies), one handwritten (Clarke's contribution), four signed with initials or pen-name (Clarke's is signed "Ego"), written over a period from February to March 1941, presented later by Clarke to E. J. "Ted" Carnell. On five sheets of paper, approximately 21 x 26 cm., two of which have writing on both recto and verso, for a total of about 2500 words. Together with a note-sized circulation record (with names and addresses of writer/recipients, dates "Recd" and "Sent on"). The five leaves are pinned together and the circulation record has a note, in Clarke's hand: "Ted for you." This refers to E. J. Carnell, important British agent, editor and anthologist of science fiction, and a noted member of British sf fandom in the 1930s and beyond (the other members of the chain were also enthusiastic members of fandom). The letters are chatty and slangy with much chafing of each other and no substantive discussion of science fiction or other literary topics. At the time of this letter, Clarke was 24, Russell 36, Burke 19, McIlwain 20, Carnell 29: all of them in the early stage of their careers, as was genre science fiction itself, having been cultured in the petri dish of 1930s fandom and pulp fiction. This chain letter provides a unique window into that world. Early 1941 was a period of some general historical significance, of course, coming right after the Battle of Britain, which had been won by Britain under difficult circumstances. The upbeat, even jaunty, tone of the correspondents reflects perhaps the buoyancy of a victorious people as well as the yeastiness of youth. The circulation record has "Copy 1" typed on it, but the meaning of this is unclear. The typescripts here are all top copies. Why would other copies have been produced, especially since only one or possibly two carbons could have been produced on a typewriter? We believe this to be the only copy of this material. The sheets have old fold creases, minor edge nicks and tears (especially the sheet of onion skin with the Clarke contribution), old rust stains from pin, overall rumpling and dustiness; generally in good to very good condition. Not in Pavlat and Evans. Rare, perhaps unique. (#117103).