Checkpoint 34

CHECKPOINT 34 24th March 1973

Checkpoint is a fortnightly news and reviews zine published by Peter Roberts, 87 West Town Lane, Bristol, BS4 5DZ, UK. Subs are 10/40p (2nd class & Europe) and 6/$1, 8/A$1, or 8/R1 (foreign airmail). Sample copy free.

Agents: (USA) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca. 94117; (Aus) Robin Johnson, Box 4039, Melbourne, Vic.3001; (RSA) Nick Shears, 52 Garden Way, Northcliff 4, Johannesburg, Transvaal.

News this issue from: John Millard (Can), Seth McEvoy (US), & Keith Walker.

Restormel Press Publication: 79.


BOSKONE X REPORT: (John Millard) "BOSKONE X was held at the Sheraton-Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachussets, on the weekend 9-11th of March with Robert A.W. 'Doc' Lowndes as Guest of Honour.

"Some 425 attendees enjoyed a mixed programme of talks, films, seminars, and group discussions. There was a small size art show and a well-attended Huckster Room. Attendees came from as far away as Baltimore (Maryland), Miamisburg (Ohio), Toronto, and even Gromma in Sweden.

"Besides the Guest of Honour, other well-known pros in attendance were Ben Bova, Hal Clement, Lester & Judy Lynn del Rey, Don Wollheim, Frank Kelly Freas, and Sam Lundwall.

"On the film programme were Jason & The Argonauts, The Mummy, Mask Of The Red Death, Moon Zero Two, and an excellent British production, Five Million Years To Earth. Also shown was the Australia in '75 promotional film, Antifan vs Aussiefan, which was greeted with delight by all. There was also some comment that it was eligible for and worthy of a Hugo nomination (for Best Dramatic Presentation).

"The Boskone convention was sponsored by the New England SF Association and was run in their usual efficient manner. Susan Lewis was Chairman and the convention was enjoyed by most of those in attendance."

APA-45 LIVES! (JUST): Seth McEvoy, the official editor of APA-45, reports a decline in the number of members, with several long-time 45ers dropping out (including Bob Vardeman, Jerry Lapidus, and the Luttrells). The last mailing only had a bare 239 pages (weep, OMPAns...) and the number of fans on the waiting list has dropped. So, now is a good time to join; if you were born in 1945 or later, you can add yourself to the waiting list by writing to Seth (Box 268, E.Lansing, Mi.48823, USA). Even if there's a temporary decline, APA-45 rates highly; it's active and interesting and many well known fans in the US and Australia are regular contributors.

BOAX HOAX: Naturally enough I deny the allegation that I'm a hoax in 'Gray Boak's' letter in this issue of mi flying with Checkpoint. As revealed in Egg, it is 'Gray' that's the fabricated fan – a product of Herts fandom's ingenuity.

'Gray', by the way, would be eligible for Apa-H – an amateur press organization for hoaxes! I've got the address somewhere and can send it to anyone interested (it's American, of course).

fanzines received

Amoeboid Scunge 11 (6pp:A4:d) Jay Cornell, jr. & Seth McEvoy, Box 268, E. Lansing, Mi.48823, USA. (free) Scunge, a regular fortnightly collection of fannish tidbits and assorted irrelevancies, has quickly become one of my favourite fanzines. Each editor takes a couple of pages and this issue also contains a flyer from Aljo Svoboda; use Scunge as a fannish newszine or for any other purpose that may come to mind... Recommended.

Chao 11 (58pp: 1/4 o:d) John Alderson, Havelock, Vic.3465, Australia. (20p) Chao is another fanzine that appears with some regularity, though I'm afraid its arrival does not cause such delight as Scunge. It's an archetypal fanzine, one that's full of a general selection of material of average to poor quality. John has considerable editorial presence throughout and this provides Chao with what interest is has. The rest of the eleventh issue consists of a long letter column, some peculiar and unhelpful fanzine reviews by Iain Ban, an article on magic by Andrew Darlington, and a long conrep. It's all rather ho-hummy, I fear, and the poor artwork, bad repro and layout, and the immediate disintegration of the staples on opening don't help.

Diversity 3 (35pp:A4:d) Greg Bridges, 3711 Poplar Av, Memphis, Tenn.38111, USA. (50¢) Totally irregular (apparently), but attractively produced and with some fine artwork by Rotsler and Foster, Diversity is another typical fanzine – though I should add that this is the first issue I've seen, so any such overall judgment should be qualified. It's connected with the Mid-South Fantasy Association and contains a variety of articles: a gallop through sf by Dr.Beifuss, an English professor who should, perhaps, know better, a piece on sf & the radio by Meade Frierson III, another on the Holy Modal Rounders by Grant Carrington, and personal/fannish articles by Tom Collins, John Williamson, and Russ Fly. The editorial is badly written and the brief letter column has a typically inane epistle from andy offutt. It's by no means a bad fanzine, but Diversity looks better than it reads.

Frankfurt Amateur Magazine Review 1 (8pp:A4:x) (Alan Stewart, 6 Frankfurt am Main 1, Eschenheimer Anlage 2, Germany. (one IRC) This is the first issue of what promises to be an interesting review fanzine, though Alan's plans to produce FAR quarterly sound under-ambitious (something of this sort needs to be frequent to be useful). A variety of fanzines are covered, including Fat Angel, a British rock fanzine (a rare breed, I think, though Phil Spencer used to produce Black Knight and there are plenty in the US – there was an apa for them indeed, called REAP). Alan may be rather far from things for the reviews to be informed, but an outsider's viewpoint may actually make them more interesting. Recommended, if it continues regularly.

Hell 8 (30pp: 1/4 o:d) Paul Skelton & Brian Robinson, 9 Linwood Grove, Manchester, M12 4QH. (free?) FAR was missing a couple of pages (for which Alan apologized in an accompanying letter), but Hell is missing well nigh a dozen. I think they contained OMPA mailing comments, so I'm not complaining about their absence; but it leaves precious little in this particular issue. Both editors have their say, there's a brief letter column, and the rest is just fillers of no real substance or merit. Covers are good, though.

Instant Message 122 (6pp:A4:d) NESFA, Box G, MIT Branch Station, Cambridge, Ma.02139, USA. (?) This newszine of the New England Sf Association is of minimal interest to outsiders, though members doubtless find it useful – it contains accounts, minutes of meetings and committees, etc. At least it's legible now.

It Comes In The Mail 1 (11pp:A4:d) Ned Brooks, 713 Paul Street, Newport News, Va.23605, USA. (free) Reminiscent of the Inchmery Fandom diary in Ape, this is a day by day account of fannish correspondence and activities, with the emphasis on brief fanzine reviews; quite interesting and enjoyable.

Kwalhioqua 3 (28pp:A4:d) Ed Cagle, Route 1, Leon, Ks.67074, USA. (money – unspecified) An atrociously produced, barely legible fanzine, Kwalhioqua nevertheless is an active, energetic, and vaguely fannish product with a good loc column. It has the same brand of idiocy as Scunge – and that can't be bad. Terry Jeeves answers some questions about his attitude to America – most of the zine thereafter is nonsense or locolumn (or both). Recommended, but what happened to my copy of the second issue? Rats.

Locus 134 (8pp:A4:d) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca.94116, USA. (UK Agent: Pete Westo9n – 10/£1.50 airmail) Locus is the regular sf newszine (and it's getting difficult to find new things to say about it after 134 issues!) This issue contains Balticon reports plus a mass of book news and a few short book reviews. Recommended.

Locus 135 (as above) Sf news plus a fanzine listing and a Harry Warner flier.

Moebius Trip 16 (42pp:A4:d) Ed Connor, 1805 N.Gale, Peoria, Ill.61604, USA. (50¢) A large fanzine with a general and varied content, Moebius Trip is one of those bran tub fanzines which occasionally contain something good and more often contain the mediocre. The letter column, however, is nearly always interesting and in this particular issue is more so than the articles: Paul Walker on Lafferty's The Devil Is Dead, Bill Wolfenbarger discovering Machen, and Walt Liebscher with a shaggy dog story. It's regular and often entertaining.

MRU 128 (44pp:A4:p) Waldemar Kumming, 8 Munchen 2, Herzogspitalstrasse 5, Germany. (DM1) Disguised as an issue of Mad, Munich Round Up 128 (the satirical fanzine of the Munich SFCD branch) digs its claws into the politically committed sf fans – a group peculiar to European fandom (or, at least, German and Swedish fandom) . There's a rather good 'Write your own left-wing criticism', for example, with spaces left in a book review, a fanzine review, and a fannish article for various Marxist-Leninist (and Maoist) cliches to be inserted. Besides this there's a rather ho-hummy and not very funny cartoon and the usual serious interview and book review section. MRU is usually interesting and often entertaining – you'll have to brush up your German, however.

Sf Commentary 30 (38pp:A4:d) (Bruce Gillespie, GPO Box 51955AA, Melbourne, Vic.3001, Australia. (UK Agent: Malcolm Edwards – 9/£1.50) This is a fine fannish issue of what is normally a fine sercon fanzine; it's devoted to two recent Australian conventions: Syncon 2 and the Melbourne Eastercon, with reports, transcripts from selected panels, and (particularly interesting to those of us fortunately not living in Australia) excellently reproduced photopages. It's all well written and I must say I found it fascinating (so that's what John Alderson looks like, eh?) Highly recommended.

Vector 64 (39pp: 1/4 o:p) Malcolm Edwards, 75a Harrow View, Harrow, Middx. HA1 1RF. (30p) The revitalized Vector, the journal of the British Sf Association Ltd, is not only regular but good – material comes from the Big Names of sf: Philip Dick, Bob Shaw, Poul Anderson, & Peter Roberts (I know, I know; but bloated egos can be fun) with a long speech from a recent Canadian con, an amusing reprint from Energumen, a look at a self-written novel, and fanzine reviews (respectively). Vector also contains book reviews and a news department. Looks good and reads well. Recommended.

PAPERBACKS RECEIVED: From Mayflower comes Count Brass (30p), a novel which illustrates the seamier side of Mike Moorcock's writing which I've hitherto managed to avoid. It's a sword and sorcery saga, the first volume in a new series in the world of the Runestaff. Moorcock apparently dashes off this kind of rubbish in a week or so and Count Brass has all the hallmarks of a hack novel – unless, I should add, it changes drastically after page 20, since that's how far I managed to get. Usually the only thing about an s&s novel is its fine cover – a Frazetta or somesuch. But I'm afraid this one doesn't even have that much appeal. Such writing does, of course, have its fans and if you're One of Them this latest epic, "a romance more awesome than the last", may well stagger the imagination and generally thrill you. Not me, though.

The latest from Pan is Bob Shaw's One Million Tomorrows (25p) and this one I did read, though it only lasted me an hour – comes of honing myself up on Henry James, I daresay. Anyway it's fairly well written – not notably bad, at least – but, like the other Bob Shaw novels I've read, is finally disappointing. An interesting scene is set (in this case a future where immortality has been gained by the use of drugs – but at the expense of male sexuality), but very little is done with it. After a score or so of pages the whole thing turns into an adventure story and precious little else. Who is trying to kill the hero? Damned if I care. Perhaps I expect too much of Bob Shaw after reading his fanzine material which is almost always excellent. In fact possibly the best thing in One Million Tomorrows are a few fine quotations – straight off the backcover of Hyphen, I do believe.

FANZINE AWARDS: Keith Walker, who, you may recall, was attempting to establish a British Fanzine Award, finds that the Novacon committee have had much the same idea. Keith reckons he'll support this, rather than starting something separate.

THE PIT: Into the Pit, unless they renew, go Graham Poole, Bob Rickard, George Wells (US), Melville Boyd (US), Lester van Epps (US), and Ken Faig (US).

AND THE PENDULUM: One more issue for Mike Meara, Tony Triggs, Dave Rowe, and Brian Lombard (RSA).


CHECKPOINT II 34

from:

Peter Roberts....
87 West Town Lane
Bristol, BS3 5DZ,
United Kingdom...

Printed Matter Only


MI Vol. 3 No. 6

British Fandom's smallest fanzine comes to you from 'Eric Bentcliffe', 17 Riverside Crescent, HOLMES CHAPEL, Cheshire, CW4 7NR. Courtesy of either 'Peter Roberts', 'Gray Boak', or some many-tentacled THING which publishes CHECKPOINT.

THE YOLK THICKENS

A couple of days ago I received the following letter from 'Gray Boak', which I'm pleased to print for the edification, and possible further confusion, of fandom at large. The ramifications of the letter are somewhat mind-boggling – as was the article in EGG No.7 to which it refers. As to its authenticity; I can only state that the envelope it came in was postmarked 'Kingston-on-Thames' and had no stamp on it! This latter does lend a certain credence that the postmark alone would not have done. But read on.....

"Dear Eric,

I hope you'll see fit to print this letter in mi for me; since your 'zine is probably more frequent than most I'm writing to you instead of MAYA, ZIMRI, or any of the less frequently published fanzines. The reason being that I wish to rebut speedily this damned article in EGG which infers that I do not exist! Infers, it bloody well says I don't exist, and it's a lie. And since Peter Roberts is one of the perpetrators there's little point in my writing him; even if he existed, which he doesn't. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Since you weren't around, actively, when it all started and as it's possible that other mi readers weren't either, I'd better start at the beginning.

It did, as the article suggests, all start back in my days in Bristol. Tony Walshe [sic] had been kind enough to loan me part of his fnz collection and it was obvious even to me (a mere neo) that fandom was in a pretty parlous state. And it wasn't only lack of quality but lack of quantity as well. So being inspired by all those lovely old fanzines to do something, and having a fair amount of spare time; I decided to do something about it. Obviously, I'd have to plan carefully and put a lot of time in on it (which is one reason CYNIC has always been so irregular), but I'd get a lot of fun out of it too...... when I could reveal all! But this blasted article in EGG means someone has guessed my secret and gone to an almost equal amount of trouble. You see, Peter Roberts doesn't exist....who put out this issue of EGG I don't know (I'll agree though that they've done a pretty good job of copying the style I'd created for Peter). Peter Roberts, was just one of the fans I decided to 'create' in my attempt to revitalise fandom – the name, of course, as you've probably guessed from one of my favourite childhood books.

Since there is no longer any point in secrecy; let it be known that I am also 'Ian Williams' (his personality being that of a former schoolfriend who also provided a mailing address), 'Arthur Cruttenden' (who I thought to make into a sort of homo-sapiens Norman G. Wansborough). Joe & Anne Patrizio and Keith & Jill Bridges do exist, of course, and were in on my secret. I'm not sure though, as to whether we are still friends as I rather suspect them having been at least partly responsible for this issue of EGG. Or, at least, the article therein claiming me to be a figment of their imagination. Me! A figment! Incidentally, I am not John Pigott [sic], and claim no responsibility for Lisa Contesa [sic] either. And, as far as I know, you do exist.....

I'm going to rush out an issue of CYNIC in which I'll explain the mechanics of it all – obviously, I had to get friends to come along and impersonate 'Peter' and 'Arthur' and 'Ian' at conventions; I had to spend a lot of time briefing them and it cost quite a bit in beer-money, but it was all going to be worth it, I then thought....now, well now, as you'll probably guess from the typos in this letter I'm rather upset and wish I hadn't started it all.

Yours Sincerely,

Gray Boak."

Personally, I'm rather looking forward to that next issue of CYNIC and, for that matter, the next issue of EGG. But, for the moment, let's turn to other topics.

STAR-BEGOTTEN

Last issue, you may recall, I asked the mi readers to let me know whether a) they were only children, or b) if they were first-born. So far, alas, I've only had two replies and since one of these was from 'Peter Roberts' I'm not even sure if he was begotten.....so, it's a little soon to throw any conclusions. I'd be unduly grateful if you-all would let me know if you fall into either of those categories, and soon. Please.

AND ERG IS FOURTEEN

mi congratulations to the current Stockport & Intake Dog & Cake Walking Society draughts-champion, Terry Jeeves, in putting out ERG for fourteen years. It's been a consistently well-produced zine over the years and I've always enjoyed reading it, even if I've been somewhat lax in commenting thereon. No. 42, has a rather nice cover which illustrates the effectiveness of a well-cut stencil, well duplicated. Inside, Terry ranges over the topics of permissiveness, Warhol, and 'porn as well as sundry more fannish subjects. As regards the former items and their relation to television.... I have a thought that it is possibly time that a third television channel (Oops, sorry, fourth TV channel – I was forgetting the one I Don't Watch) was instituted for the output of pornographic and allied 'arts' so that the other button on the set, the one for station changing would have more relevance. It would also, quite possibly result in the demise of the cult once it is discovered that an unadulterated diet is rather boring!

[Cartoon by Don Allen here of USS Enterprise with typed caption:

"Lt. Uhuru[sic], inform Star Base Twelve that we have detected alien life forms, possibly Altarean shape-changers, infiltrating fandom on Sol.3. Request instructions.]