Checkpoint 0

"Checkpoint 0" title graphic

14th April 1971. Trial Issue 0.

Dany Frolich cartoon

Checkpoint is a news and reviews zine published by Peter Roberts 87 West Town Lane, Bristol, BS4 5DZ, U.K. on a fortnightly basis. It's available for news, trade with other newszines and, I'm afraid, money. The standard sub (from issue one) will be 5/20p (2nd class) & 4/20p (1st Foreign airmail subs are 8/$1 (banknotes or IMOs only, please). Australian Agent is David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Victoria 3095. This issue is free and is being distributed with Egg 4, thus becoming a postmailing to OMPA 61 and appearing in APA-45 27. Illustrations are by Dany Frolich.

EASTERCON 22 SUCCESS: This year's British Easter convention put on in Worcester by Pete Weston and the Birmingham group was generally considered to be the finest for several years. At least 331 people registered before Easter and an estimated 250 fans attended despite the rail go-slow. The Giffard Hotel is a frighteningly modern establishment and awed some fans by possessing lifts that worked and a variety of gadgets in each bedroom, some of which also worked. The modernity of the Giffard caused some trouble (cigarette ash & so on) with the management, as did the usual freeloading – several fans were thrown out for no apparent reason and those in overspill hotels were refused service at the Giffard on Sunday evening, causing a few unhappy scenes. Nonetheless it was hoped that the hotel might be persuaded to host another convention in a few years time.

The Guest of Honour was Anne McCaffrey, Fan GofH was Ethel Lindsay, & Toastmaster was Phil Rogers. Brian Aldiss, James Blish, John Brunner, Bob Shaw, Ken Bulmer, Chris Priest, James White, and Don Wollheim were amongst the professionals present; absent, though expected, were Keith Laumer, Ted Tubb and Mike Moorcock.

The bar stayed open long enough to displace the usual parties, although a large St.Fanthony open party on Saturday night was happily enjoyed. The Monday morning boat-trip was sufficiently attractive to be over-attended with the result that the boat made two one-hour trips instead of the one long voyage planned.

The Fancy Dress Party was actually a success, an event unknown in British fan circles. The winning costume from more than 50 entries was a splendid Space Viking – names & details next issue. Auction prices seemed fairly low – a Bradbury manuscript went for £10, an unpublished Mack Reynolds for only £3 or so. £2 was paid for a copy of The Enchanted Duplicator (2nd Ed) and other fanzines went at respectable prices.

Several con-reports are planned and Checkpoint will contain more information next issue.

DOC WEIR: The Doc Weir Award for fannish popularity and general distinction was presented to Phil Rogers at the Eastercon banquet. John Brunner received the British Fantasy Award for Jagged Orbit. The Ken MacIntyre Award for fanzine artwork was not presented this year.

THE BRITISH WORLDCON BID: A discussion on Sunday morning's con programme failed to settle anything. Support for a British World convention bid in the seventies was apparent, but difficulties arose over the timing of the bid, the likelihood of success, and the staffing of the Worldcon committee. It was agreed that the bid must be made in either 1975 or 1976 in direct competition with Stockholm and Australia, and European delegates stated that Britain would probably receive the Continental convention if a 1975 bid was successful, even though the European cons had been planned in 72, 74, & 76, Argument as to which year would be best was involved and highly theoretical, Pete Weston who had originally suggested the idea was no longer happy with the role of Chairman which was unanimously offered him – the work required for Eastercon 22 had effectively soured him, although he allowed for a subsequent change of mind. A good con site had been discovered in Brighton with room for over 800 and plenty of overspill hotels if necessary. The Birmingham con site may not be completed in time, and was therefore dropped. Several volunteers came forward as Worldcon committee members, but the whole matter has still to be discussed further.

My personal view, and that of several others, is that we should admit our lateness in the race and wait until the 1980's for a proper British bid, supporting Stockholm in 1976 as a reasonable alternative. I'll nevertheless wait and see just what finally happens.

SLANCON 72: Next year's British Easter convention will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool – this was confirmed at Worcester; there was no opposition. The committee consist of Tony Edwards, Bill Burns, and Harry Nadler and they're issuing a new series of Meteor as Progress Reports, the first of which has appeared. The tariff is up again – £4.85 for a single B&B – but this, I suppose, is inevitable. Oh yes, the hotel has an indoor heated swimming-pool, by God, and the manager is reputed to read sf... Registrations are being taken now & Bill Burns, the Treasurer, can be contacted c/o Orion Press, 81 Marlborough Rd, Salford, M8 7DT, Lancs. Why Slancon? The South Lancashire Con, would you believe...

EASTERCON IN 73: No bids were placed for the Easter convention in 1973. The Giffard was suggested once again, but the Birmingham group weren't mad enough to organize yet another convention. OMPA members are considering placing a bid, possibly for the South Coast; but all remains extremely nebulous.

OMPA NEWS: On Friday evening at Worcester the Ompa Combozine was collated and later distributed free to convention members. It consisted of 26 pages from Ken Cheslin, Darroll & Rosemary Pardoe, Peter Roberts, Terry Jeeves, Sam Long, John Coombe, & Gerald Bishop. Ken may have copies left if you want one.

The 61st OMPA mailing is out and contains 198 Pages from 11 members, including immediate postmailings. Contact Ken Cheslin, 56 Chapel Street, Wordsley, Stourbridge, Worcestershire for further information.

Final total for the 60th mailing was 199 pages.

TAFF NEWS: An emergency ballot (without platforms) was distributed at Worcester. The final candidates, if you haven't heard, are Mario Bosnyak, Per Insulander, Terry Jeeves, and Peter Weston. The deadline for voting is July 1st 1971 and those wishing to vote must have been active in af fandom prior to September 1970. 40p or more must accompany the TAFF vote. I will be running a form with the next Checkpoint, but anyone in hurry can receive one from Eddie Jones, 72 Antonio St, Bootle, Lancs, L20 2EU.

Checkpoint supports Terry Jeeves for TAFF; but any vote for TAFF will doubtless go to a fine delegate, so vote this time, eh?

FANTASY GAME: Hartley Patterson, Finches, 7 Cambridge Rd, Beaconsfield, Bucks. is proposing to start a new postal fantasy game based loosely on the German game Armageddon and has issued a couple of information sheets on the subject. Midgard 1 & 2 are available for those interested from Hartley.

CoAs: Gerald Bishop, 18 Pelham Place, Leeds, LS7 3QZ (temporary).
Sam Long, Box 401, RAF Croughton, nr. Brackley, Northants.
Keith Walker, Psychiatric Training School, Burnley General Hospital, Burnley, Lancs.
John D. Berry, 1 Place Anatole France, F37 Tours, France (until Sep).
John Brosnan, Flat 1, 62 Elsham Rd, Kensington, London Wl4.

FANZINES & COLLECTORS: Any adverts in here are free if they're under five lines. The En Gardes mentioned in Checkpoint 00 have been sold. Moneymoneymoney – ahahaha!

I have a few copies of David Grigg's The Fanarchist 1 – they're free, but please send 3p postage if you want one.

Gord Hallenberger, 3550 Warburg (Lahn), Alter Kirchhainor Weg 52, Germany, is looking for British fanzines, poor sod, and is willing to pay for recent issues. He writes English and is thinking of coming to Britain this August.

A few more of my own fanzines are left hanging around, particularly numbers of Checkpoint's first series. All stencils have been burnt so these are the last. 5p for 2 issues – the number in brackets indicates remaining copies: Checkpoint Sample issue (19), 1 (8), 2(1), 4/5 (7), 6/7 (16), 8/9 (14).

CRUCIFIED TOAD 1 (Printed – 28pp: A4 size).
Editor: John Muir, 50 Holker St, Manchester M13 0DE, United Kingdom.
Available for: LoC, contribution, trade, 4/- or 50¢.

The larger part of this first issue is given over to artwork, mainly sword & sorcery stuff by David Britton, and in fact the love of illustration and decoration even pervades the text. A criticism of Clark Ashton Smith, for example, discovers his prose to be 'arty' and 'Byzantine' and another on Lovecraft follows the same lines. Crucified Toad thus offers its readers visual interest in its artwork and writings that depend on a visual reaction to an author, not an intellectual one.

All this is fair enough, as long as you like what you're seeing and if David Britton's curious style is not to your taste, then you might as well forget Crucified Toad. Personally, I find 'Return of the "Madonna & Child"' and one or two other pieces extremely impressive – this must, however, be a fairly subjective view on my part.

Where the difficulties do arise are in the articles, both the main ones being reprinted from the forties and fifties. Autolycus and S.J. Sackett both write in the manner of their subjects (Lovecraft & Smith), that is, with a large purple pen. Both bring up criticisms of the authors concerned and then attempt to answer them with talk of 'clarinets', the richness of ice-cream, ivory-towers, and similar appeals to the senses which are irrelevant and meaningless in literary criticism. All that's left is the original series of criticisms, still unanswered.

The remaining writings consist of some non-descript film reviews, a 'fact feature' on ghosts in a hotel, and a fairly rational piece on 'Comix Fandom' by Steve Moore. Crucified Toad is thus a well-presented fringe fanzine, but one that is essentially empty beyond the artwork. If that doesn't worry you, fair enough – I still enjoyed it too.


I've still a mass of fanzines I'd like to review and. I'll try and get through some of them next time. Since I normally receive seven or eight fanzines a week, you'll appreciate my sad inability to cover absolutely everything, although I will start to simply list some of those that I don't intend reviewing.

Next issue out: April 28th 1971.
Your chances of receiving the first issue free are slim if there's a cross here .... News or money is the answer.

A Restormel Press Publication: 86. (Egg 4 will arrive seamail – it is out)

Peter Roberts,
87 West Town Lane,
Bristol, BS4 5DZ

Return Requested if undelivered.