Checkpoint 56

CHECKPOINT is published by Darroll Pardoe, 24 Othello Close, Hartford, Huntingdon PE18 7SU, England. Available for news or trades, or for 10/60p (Belgium 10/60F, France 10/6F, North America airmail 5/$1.00, Australia airmail 8/$1.00). Free sample on request. Amduscias 87. November 6th 1974. Phone 0480-56072.


NOVACON THE FOURTH

NOVACON 4 was held on October 25/27 last at the Imperial Centre Hotel, Birmingham. It became obvious this year that the Novacon is outgrowing the hotel in which it has up to now been held. There were too many people trying to crowd into inadequate public rooms, and this was coupled with a somewhat less than helpful attitude on the part of the hotel management. The Novacon committee are going to try to find another hotel for next year's convention, and this move will be welcomed by many, not least by myself and Rosemary, who spent some time cruising round the streets outside trying to find a parking space. Let's hope the new venue has a car park of its own.

In spite of the difficulty over the hotel, the convention itself was as usual, a slow-paced affair notable more for the opportunities it afforded for social contact than for the programme items. Peter Weston gave a good rambling account of his recent TAFF trip, which was supposed to be illustrated with the aid of an extraordinary epidiascope that looked more like a mimeograph. The first picture put into the machine was burnt to a cinder, and the bulb then fused, so the talk was perforce without pictures.

There was a panel/discussion chaired by Andrew Stephenson, on the subject of whether the Easter conventions should be bid for two years in advance, instead of one year as now. Some good points emerged during the item, both from the panel and the floor. Two years does seem more sensible, provided it could be made to work (it has been tried in the past). A workable system would require a continuing body to operate it (like the Worldcons have the WSFS). The BSFA might have provided such a body, had its evolution been a little different (and anyway nobody has heard of the BSFA since Easter this year. Anyone know where it's gone?)

Ken Slater was Guest of Honour, and generously donated a £10 prize for amateur artwork. This was won by Charles Nightingale for an illustration to 'Wolfbane'. The fancy dress prizes were bottles of whisky, some of which went rather young-looking fans. The quotecard revival continued at this convention: a prize was awarded to the winning quote "I hate to disappoint the kids, but it's got to go" this to a picture of a dragon carrying off a human.

The Nova Award for the best British fanzine of 1974 was awarded jointly to 'Zimri 6' (Lisa Conesa) and 'Big Scab 2' (John Brosnan). I have my reservations about the award itself, but I must admit that the trophy looks nice (Ray Bradbury got a Special Award for his work on it). The trouble with the Nova award is (first) that it's given by a panel of aspiring Secret Masters (which wouldn't be so bad if they'd all read all the fmz under consideration) and (second) that only nominated fmz were considered, instead of the whole field. The panel was initially 3 people, but by the time of the convention it somehow swelled to about eight.

Minor grouches aside, though, Novacon this year was as successful as usual; our thanks to Jack Cohen (the chairman) and other Brummies for organizing a pleasant weekend.

NOVACON 5 will be held on November 7th to 9th 1975. The chairman will be Rog Peyton and advance registration is 75p (I'm not sure of the address to which money should be sent, but I suppose any sent to Rog at 57 Summer Row, Birmingham B3 1JJ will be passed on).

MORE ON THE MATRIMONIAL SCENE Rambling Jake Grigg should be married by now: his wedding to Hildegard Piranio was scheduled for October 30th. Arthur Cruttenden and Wendy are planning to marry at the end of this month. Congratulations, people.

BENELUXCON 3 (SFANCON 6) will be held on July 18th-21st 1975 at Antwerpen. Attending membership is 200BF, but you can register by sending 50p to the British Agent (Vernon Brown, Pharmacy Dept., University of Aston, Gosta Green, Birmingham B4 7ET) and paying the rest on arrival at the convention. The Guest of Honour is James White.

MONTREAL IN 77 Andy Porter has sent some further information on this Worldcon bid. The bidding committee are Andy Porter, Bruce Robbins, John Boardman, Howard deVore and Esther Rochon. Anyone who wants to support the bid can send 40p to Andy at Box 4175, New York 10017, USA, in British currency, or $1.00. The 1977 convention site will be decided at Aussiecon next year (other bids I've heard of include New York City and Orlando, Fla.).

VISITING FANS Helmut Pesch is currently in Glasgow, improving his English, and would like contacts with British fans. His address is 11, Doune Gardens, Glasgow G20 GDJ. Nice to see you at Novacon, Helmut.

DUFF CANDIDATES Jan Finder is running for DUFF this year (to go to Aussiecon). I haven't heard of any other candidates yet.

CURRYCON had a full page ad in the Novacon programme book. The place is Tipton Colliery Working Mens Club, Sludgemoor Lane, Tipton Staffs., and the date is April 31st 1975.

FANZINES RECEIVED

SOG 31 (GRAFAN, Box 4268, Tower Grove Branch, St Louis, 110 63163, USA) (membership is 45.00 a year) The newsletter of the Graphic Fantasy and SF Society of St Louis. (18.10)

MYTHPRINT September 1974. (Mythopoeic Society, Box 4671, Whittier, CA 90607) ($6.00 a year) Laeta in chorea magna, indeed. (18.10)

HAVERINGS 58 (Ethel Lindsay, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6QL) (3/40p) Ethel's reviewzine, though she does stress that they are comments, rather than proper reviews. A variety of fmz from all over. (18.10)

FANEW SLETTER 14 (Leigh Edmonds, Box 74, Balaclava, Victoria 3183, Australia) (10¢A) The Australian newszine. He reports a new 'Antifan' film is in the making "Antifan and the Fan-zombies vs. Kung Ford". Good news, this. (19.10)

TANDSTIKKERZEITUNG 7 (Don Markstein, PO Box 53112, New Orleans, LA 70153, USA) (usual, or $17.00 retail, dealer's discount 25¢). An excellent fanzine; he sends three copies to the UK, which is proof of the current insularity of British fandom. A good review of Wertham's fanzine book. (19.10)

TRUE RAT 3 (Leroy Kettle, 74 Eleanor Road, London E8) (usual?) Murine tidings, pretty decent stuff. I can just see the male attendees of the Seacon clustered round the stairwell. The hotel manager would probably choose that moment to stroll by... (21.10)

INSTANT MESSAGE 158 (NESFA, Box G, MIT Branch PO, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA) ($5.00 a year) The NESFA clubzine. This issue is sealed with their Company Seal, I suppose that makes it official. (22.10)

SPI-1 (Graham Poole, 23 Russet Road, Cheltenham, GL5I 7LN) (usual) Nicely xeroxed on pink paper, a good start for Graham. A lot of information on the BSFA mystery here, though Graham, having resigned as Company Secretary, is probably as baffled as the rest of us on the current position. (22.10)

NOTES FROM THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT 8 (Denis Quane, Box CC, East Texas Station, Commerce, TX 75428, USA) (usual or 30¢) Main item this issue is an interview with Roger Elwood, the US SF editor, who had a tussle with the SFWA recently. (25.10)

RUNE 40 (Minnesota SFS, 343 East 19th Street #8B, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA) (usual) The MSFS clubzine, much fatter and genzinelike than most clubzines. Groan-worthy cover. (25.10)

SONF 7 (Howard Rosenblum, 46 Moray Road, London N4 3LG) (usual or 10p) Still suffering from a lack of direction. An impartial article on SF Monthly, in which Howard seems to see more virtue than I can. (26.10)

EGG 8 (Peter Roberts, 6 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2) (usual, no money) The long-awaited EGG is rather thin, but has the old aura around it. Interesting bit of fan history by Waldemar Kumming; his side of the 'Opposition' conflict at the Heicon. (26.10)

MALFUNCTION 6 (Pete Presford, 10 Dalkeith Road, South Reddish, Stockport, SK5 7EY) (usual or 4 1/2 p stamp). Very informative piece in this issue by Andrew Stephenson about how Seacon ended up in Coventry. Pete still seems to be rankling that Ian Williams refused to allow Manchester to bid for 1976 at Tynecon. I don't know why, he'll get his chance in next Easter. Actually, the Manchester bid seems to be shaping up into a firm, well-planned operation, and they could well win the 1976 site. One proposal is to have the con at Owens Park, a Manchester University buildings complex. Seems OK to me, it worked all right at SFANCON 5. (27.10)

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GANNET NEWS Ian Maule writes that he's planning a new faanzine to be published early next year. Circulation restricted to 100 with tight control on the mailing list. Best of luck, Ian, the British faanzine scene needs livening up.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

GRAFAN, Box 4268, Tower Grove Branch, St Louis, 110 63163, USA
Pete Colley, 73 Bramhall Court, Silk Street, Salford 3
Paul Ritz, 703 Second Street, Apt. 1B, Bowling Green, OH 43402, USA

FANZINDEX Keith Walker handed out the Title Index of his project at Novacon. This is a listing by title of British fmz, and the information given for each fanzine is title, first publisher, and date of first issue. It's intended to be followed by the main bibliographical indexes, and Keith would appreciate people who find mistakes in this first index writing in to tell him about them. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes, both of commission and of omission. For instance, NAZGUL (John Abbott) and NAZGUL'S BANE (Ken Cheslin) are telescoped into one entry. Ted White's STELLAR is listed. A few comics fanzines are entered, but no attempt is made at complete coverage of this large field. Perhaps they should have been excluded altogether. Similarly, the wargames field is spottily covered. Fanzines missed out include Phil Spencer's BLACK KNIGHT and the Tolkien Society's HENNETH ANNUN. It's difficult to resist the conclusion that Keith has rushed this index into print without completing the necessary research. I hope he gets things more into order before publishing the main indexes. His address, for those who want to help or make comments is 2 Daisy Bank, Quernmore Road, Lancaster.

ELANOR The 16th mailing of this APA has just arrived. ELANOR is a fantasy-oriented APA with a small but active membership who put through a lot of very interesting material. Anyone who would like a sample mailing to look at to see if they'd like to join can write to the Central Mailer (Jim Carleton, 745 Vallejo St., Brea, CA 92621, USA) or write to me and I'll pass the request on.