Checkpoint 1

"Checkpoint" title graphic

29th April 1971. Issue One.
Restormel Press Pub: 37.

Checkpoint is a news & reviews zine published by Peter Roberts, The Hawthorns, Keele, Staffs., U.K. on a fortnightly basis. It's available for news and £££.

Subs are 5/20p (2nd class) or 4/20p (1st). Foreign airmail subs are 8/dollar – in the U.S. Checkpoint's agent is Arnie Katz, 59 Livingston St, Apt 6B, Brooklyn N.Y. 11201, and in Australia it's David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Victoria 3095. Illustration opposite by Bill Rotsler.

Bill Rotsler cartoon

BRITISH WEIRD FANTASY SOCIETY: This is a newly formed group which is intending to deal with all aspects of fantasy and horror. Its main features will be a monthly bulletin and a quarterly magazine and these two are already progressing with Keith Walker editing the bulletin and Phil Spencer the magazine. Rosemary Pardoe is the first secretary and is now accepting membership fees of 75p. Ro's address is: 15 Selkirk Court, Whitley Rd, London N17 6RF. Phil's magazine is to be called Dark Horizons, by the way.

OBSCENE REVELATION IN CON BOOK: Malcolm Edwards, who doesn't mind shredding magazines, completed the jig-saw offered by the Rare SF Mail Order Company of New York which appeared in this year's Eastercon programme book. He discovered a drawing of a fan in a propellor beanie reading a copy of Amazing and wiping his arse with the pages, together with appropriate captions. Intrigued, Malcolm wrote to the address given (a Mr.C.Resnais) and received a reply from none other than dear old Charles Platt (retd.) who confessed responsibility for the ad: "Unable to attend the Eastercon this year I decided to have a little fun at the expense of puritanical Pete Weston and his Birmingham thickie mates. Weston would never print anything of that kind knowingly, and wouldn't accept an ad if he knew it came from exercise in getting past him and having a belly laugh." Spare copies of the programme book are available from the con committee...

SF ON THE RADIO: George Hay's Radio London Sf programme can be received a long way from the capital with a good tuner & aerial. First Saturday of every month at 11.15am, repeated following Thurs: 8pm. 95.8 MHz on VHF. Music, interviews, discussions, and even interviews at the Globe. The BSFA Tape Department has (or will have) tapes.

FANZINES FOLDED: Some British readers may not have heard that the Hugo-winning SF Review has folded, Dick Geis flinging it all in because of overwork and incipient proish tendencies. The two prestige printed fanzines in Britain have packed up: Stan Nicholl's Gothique and Stardock. Rosemary Pardoe writes that Seagull is also a fanzine of the past – "I'm finding that non-fannish, and – to a lesser extent – other fannish activities leave me no time or money for it." Rosemary's plans for reprinting the works of Matthew Gregory Lewis will continue and she'll be staying on in OMPA. Brian Williams tells me that he's finished with fanzines, thought Neoeil (his poetry zine) will continue. Greg Pickersgill, having lost his co-editor, is threatening to close Fouler after a few issues; that's far from definite as is most news from Haverfordwest.

IMMINENT ISSUES: From Gray Boak: "Such a superb con requires something out of the ordinary for a conrep, so I am to publish a special issue of Cynic giving a transcript of the Fanzine Panel, comments on said panel, and a running commentary on the con as a whole. Contributions, particularly those dealing with the serious & constructive side of the programme (and the films) are still required. This is a serious attempt to commemorate Eastercon 71 (Petecon), and all help will be gratefully received. Ian Williams will probably publish a con-oriented Maya in July, with photos if possible. Fouler 6 out in the second week of May. The spectre of Nemesis is still around after three years and issue 4 stands some chance of appearing (before 3!)."

GETTING IT TOGETHER: You may know all this, but I didn't so here it all is (and thanks to Mary Legg for the info). John Ramsey Campbell and Jenny Chandler married, in January. Harry Bell is engaged to Irene Taylor, Mike Ashley is also engaged, and so is Sharyn Stead. Bill Burns is to marry this August and leaves thereafter for the U.S. Adj Cook is married and is planning a round-the-world trip next year. Finally Bob Smith & Mary Grigg married earlier this year. Congratulations and suchlike to one and all.

AL DE BETTENCOURT WHERE ARE YOU? Al is an American serviceman living in Berlin who attended the Heicon & this year's Eastercon. Mary Legg would like his address...

LONDON FAN CENTRE: More unauthenticated Haverfordwest news suggests that John Hall & Roy Kettle are moving into a large flat in the fair capital with spare space for all visiting fans. Whether this actually constitutes a centre, I wouldn't like to say, but still...

SF UNIVERSITY: Don't get too excited, that's the Simon Fraser Univ. in British Columbia, but Patricia Rowlatt (SFU SF Sec, c/c SF Student Soc, Simon Fraser U, Burnaby 2, B.C., Canada) is asking for sample copies of fanzines. In fact she asks me: "what are some of the exciting back issues to come?" Must be a time-warp, Mr.Sulu. Anyway fan editors take note; *money* is offered.

FANZINE COLLECTORS: Terry Jeeves (230 Bannerdale Rd, Sheffield, S11 9FE) has one or two back issues of Erg and Triode for sale. SAE if you're interested. I still have one batch of David Grigg's Australian fanzine The Fanarchist for free – just send a 2 1/2 p stamp.

extra late news – Keele's duplicator has broken; this will be late...

FANZINES RECEIVED: Unfortunately every fanzine cannot be reviewed fully; the following list, however, gives basic details of fanzines received since April 1st. An exclamation mark denotes that the magazine is recommended. Inclusion on this list does not preclude a later, full-length review. All fanzines are also available for trade, LoC, etc.

! Algol 16 (printed – 44pp:A4) Andrew Porter, 55 Pineapple St. Apt 3J, Brooklyn, N.Y.11201, USA. 75¢ (5/$3). Ethel Lindsay, U.K. Agent, 25p. John Bangsund, Australian Agent, 75¢(Aus). Sf & general-Lupoff, White, Benford, Kenney.

Beabohema 14 (duplicated – 29pp:A4) Frank Lunney, PO Box 551, LeHigh Univ., Bethlehem, Pa. 18015, USA. 50¢. Sf & general – George Hay, Jeff Smith, etc.

! Cynic 2 (duplicated – 25pp:A4) Graham Boak, 3 Rydelands, Nuthurst, Cranleigh, Surrey, UK. Free Fannish-Patrizio, Linwood, Ian Williams, Andrew Stephenson.

Dynacence 2 (duplicated – 44pp:A4) Mike Juergens, 257 Florence St, Hammond, Ind. 46324, USA. 35¢ (3/$1). Sf-Pauls, Chauvin, Leon Taylor, etc.

The Fanarchist 1 (duplicated – 18pp:¼to). David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Victoria, Australia. 5/60¢(Aus). This issue free. U.K. Agent, Peter Roberts, 4/20p. Fannish & general – Cameron, St.Baker, etc.

! Focal Point 21, 22, 23, 24 (duplicated – 22, 12, 12, 10pp:¼to) Arnie Katz, 59 Livingston St, Apt 6B, Brooklyn NY. 11201, USA. & rich brown, 410 61st St, Apt D4, Brooklyn NY.11201, USA. Australian Agent, John Bangsund, 12/$3(Aus). News & fannish – Carr, Bob Shaw, Norm Clarke, etc.

! Fouler 5 (duplicated – 31pp:¼o) Greg Pickersgill & Roy Kettle, The Pines, Haylett Lane, Merlins Bridge, Haverfordwest, Pembs, Wales. 8/50p. Literary & fannish – Holdstock, Platt, Fortey, John Hall, etc.

! Granfalloon 11 (duplicated – 62pp:A4) Linda Bushyager, 5620 Darlington Rd Pittsburgh, Pa.15217 USA. 60¢ (4/$1) Sf & fannish – Gaughan, Delap, D'Ammassa.

Haverings 48 (duplicated – 10pp:¼o) Ethel Lindsay, 6 Langley Av, Surbiton, Surrey, UK. 6/40p US Agent, Andy Porter 6/$1. Australian agent, John Bangsund, 6/$1(Aus). Fanzine reviews.

Middle Earthworm 13 (duplicated – 12pp:¼o) Archie Mercer c/o Harvey, 2 Stithians Row, Four Lanes, Redruth, Kernow, UK Free Tolkien news & letters.

! Munich Round Up (spirit Duplicated 32pp:A4) Waldemar Kumming, 8 Munchen 2, Herzogspitalstr 5, Germany DM.1 (12/DM.10) In German. Sf & general.

No-Eyed Monster 17 (duplicated – 69pp: 1/2 A4) Norman Masters, 720 Bald Eagle Lake Rd, Ortonville, Michigan 48462, USA 30¢ (4/$1). This issue contains a single story, 'Paradise Playland' by Paul Powlesand. Usually sf & general.

Parallax 0 (spirit duplicated -7pp:A4) julien raasveld, St Bernardsesteenweg 623, 2710 Hoboken, Belgium. Free. In English. Fiction, as yet.

! Quicksilver 2 (duplicated – 46pp:¼o) Malcolm Edwards, 236 King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST, UK. 6/50p, 6/$2. Sf – Disch, Blish, Platt, Charnock, etc.

! Scottishe 58 (duplicated – l7pp:¼o) Ethel Lindsay, all as for Haverings above 30¢ or 15p. Sf & general – andy offutt.

! SF Commentary 18 (duplicated – 24pp:¼o) Bruce Gillespie, P0 Box 245, Ararat, Victoria 3377, Australia 18/$3(Aus), 18/£1.50 (air 18/£3.50). UK Agent, Malcolm Edwards. Sf & films – Brosnan, Barry Gillam.

! SF Times 118/9 (printed – 82pp:A4) Hans-Joachim Alper, 2850 Bremerhaven 1, Weissenburger Str. 6, Germany. DM.1.50 (year/DM.l0) In German. Sf reviews.

! Somerset Gazette 4 (duplicated – 18pp:¼o) Noel Kerr, 19 Somerset Place, Melbourne, Australia 3000 4/$1.50(Aus). Heicon rep – normally sf & general.

Terran Times 3 (duplicated – 45pp:¼o) Shayne MacCormack, 49 Orchard Rd, Bass Hill, N.S.W., Australia 2197. 40¢(Aus). Star Trek & general.

THE WSFA JOURNAL 74 (Duplicated – 48pp:¼o).
Editor Don Miller, 12315 Judson Rd, Wheaton, Maryland 20906, USA.
UK Agent Peter Singleton, 6044, Broadmoor Hospital, Block 4, Crowthorne, Barks, RG11 7EG. Australian Agent Mike O'Brien.
available for: Trade, Loc, contribution, 50¢, 20p (8/$3.25, 9/£1.10)

I always find The WSFA Journal a difficult fanzine to review, largely because of its indistinct purpose and its mixed contents. The trouble lies in its regularity and its relation to the Washington SF Club: it's partly a newszine, partly a clubzine, and mostly an ordinary genzine. There is a visible tendency, however, for the whole thing to fall between its various existences and subsequently achieve none of them.

There's an entertaining preoccupation with bureaucracy in the journal; for example, when I opened the envelope some twelve strips of paper floated out carrying messages informing me that I was receiving the fanzine (and each of its five or six extra supplements) in trade for Egg, for review, etc. and yet others telling me that I was mentioned on page something-or-other and my fanzine was reviewed on page something-else. The colophon lists six overseas agents, including Belgium and South Africa, thirteen associate and contributing editors, various translators, and 'consultants' on subjects varying between computer science and mythology... Ah well, I suppose it's all good, clean egoboo.

The centrepiece of this issue is the Polish sf author, Stanisław Lem. Lem is a difficult author for consideration, partly because of his heavy and often technical style and partly because of translation difficulties – his best known novel, Solaris, comes into English via French and the short story I translated for Vision of Tomorrow came from the Polish via German. Nevertheless, in this issue David Halterman reviews Solaris, and there are two long articles by Lem which originally appeared in Quarber Merkur. Heavy going unless you're really interested in Lem and sf theory.

The remainder of the magazine contains Thomas Burnett Swann's regular column, this time on King Kong, the last hero; also the regular checklist from Mark Owings (Walter Miller is dealt with), Doll Gilliland's fanzine reviews (becoming ever shorter, unfortunately), book reviews, letters, and a couple of uninteresting, but competent articles. The WSFA Journal virtues are regularity, thickness, and an ability to turn up something interesting in every issue, despite a seeming tendency to print extremely obscure articles. Covers are always good (and printed too), though interior layout is uninspired and helped only by Alexis Gilliland drawings. Recommended, with reservations.

CYPHER 4 (Duplicates – 47pp: 1/4o).
Editors: James Goddard & Mike Sandow, 1 Sharvells Rd Milford on Sea, Lymington, Hants, SO4 0PE.
US Agent: Cy Chauvin, 17829 Peters, Roseville, Michigan 48066, USA.
Available for: 13p (5/50p), 35¢ (5/$1.50), trade, LoC, contribution.

The unavoidable article in this issue is one by Kingsley Amis, not a reprint or transcript, but a genuine two-pager in answer to Ballard's interview in the previous issue. As far as I know, this is the first comment from Amis on sf since his celebrated New Maps of Hell in 1959 and it seems his tastes haven't changed at all ("1950s SF is better than most new SF, that I agree with."). His blustering style and tangled ideas makes Amis a fine recruit for the Second Foundation; try this, for example:

"Even the illiterate bards of Anglo-Saxon pre-feudal society needed talent of its sort, or they would soon find themselves demoted to cleaning out the latrines – which is all a steadily growing majority of 'writers' inside and outside SF are fit for." So much for literary criticism.

After this scoop, Cypher settles down into its usual hotch-potch of assorted articles on sf. There is a piece on sf reprinted from Soviet News, a technical exposé on the failure of authors to work out compound interest properly when talking of vast wealth collected by long-lived or long-sleeping investors, and an article on Barry Malzberg by Leon Taylor. Together with a vague piece on symbolism in sf by George Hay, these form the usual Cypher material: usually competent, often interesting, but all very mixed – stacked together without any noticeable sign of an editor in the background.

Finally, an interview with John Brunner who usually manages to say something interesting, but is saying so much nowadays that unfortunately he tends to repeat himself. "Sf no longer excites me." is the only quote worth lifting. Book reviews and letters (the latter well edited) conclude Cypher 4.

Cypher, then, needs further editing – a development of an editorial personality as well as an improvement in presentation. At the moment it looks a lesser magazine than it is, with typing around illustrations, pica facing, and non-descript artwork. It improves every issue, nonetheless. Recommended, but once again with reservations.

Maya 2 (duplicated – 46pp: 1/4o).
Editor: Ian Williams, 6 Greta Terrace, Chester Rd, Sunderland, SR4 7RD, County Durham, U.K.
Available for: trade, LoC, contribution, 10p.

It's a pity that Maya 2 was produced in a hurry because it has good illustrations by Harry Bell and Jim Marshall and a fairly competent layout as well. Unfortunately the duplicating puts paid to the whole thing, leaving some pages sadly illegible. It's an unlovely point to start a review on, but regrettably Maya's cruddiness is the first thing that strikes the reader.

The contents, however, are worthy of something better. Gray Boak's column ('Zero-Zero He Flies' – ow.) is as interesting as always although it is directed at newcomers to fandom, or possibly the recently gafiated. Gray urges publishers to join OMPA which I second, and cries Terry Jeeves for TAFF, which I also second. In fact it's obvious that Gray and I agree on a lot of points – not too surprising since "Gray Boak" is one of my pseudonyms. Idiotic name, but some people believed it: "boak" is a Cornish dialect word for "sham" or "fraud".

David Pringle's 'Race Death in SF' is an interesting little sercon piece which suddenly surfaces from its fannish surroundings. David invokes virtually every sf author and a selection of critics to prove a variety of points about the changes in science fiction and its current emphasis on destruction, both of the self and the race.

Mary Legg looks back on her entry into fandom eight years ago in a light Crabapplish style. It seems that anecdotes of the past and short histories are becoming increasingly popular in fandom, probably the result of Harry Warner jr's work on the forties and fifties in America.

Finally there's a piece on Doomwatch by Roje Gilbert, a few poems and such, and a fine letter column and fanzine review section (exhaustive, as opposed to short). Ian's editing shows right the way through Maya, giving the magazine a personality – the sort that Cypher lacks. It all reminds me of my own Mor-farch, he said agedly, except that it's probably better. Recommended, if you can read it through the duplication.

late news...

LA FAN KILLED: Edwin Baker, former Treasurer of the LASFS and well-liked club-attendee, was found in his car on the 22nd April, shot through the head. Police are checking the theories that it was either a robbery or a 'thrill-killing' by a stranger. Edwin Baker joined the LASFS in 1950 and was a keen Esperantist, keeping all the club's records in that language during his term of office as Treasurer. After returning from the draft his interest in sf and fandom declined, although he continued in the LASFS to keep up his friendships and acquaintances.

BRITISH FAN HISTORY: Walter Gillings' "The Impatient Dreamers" (published in Vision of Tomorrow) and Frank Arnold's "First Thursday of the Month" (published in Cypher) are to be expanded and turned into a book. On a somewhat different tack, Gollancz has just bought Don Wollheim's The Universe Makers, a personal view of sf and its world.

1972 LA WORLDCON: Membership is currently up to 265. Supporting fee is still five dollars: LA Con, PO Box 1, Santa Monica, California, USA 90406.

Archie & Beryl Mercer, 21 Trenethick Parc, Helston, Cornwall.
Ron Bennett, British School, B-7010 SHAPE; Belgium.
Harry Bell, 9 Eskdale Gdns, Lyndhurst Est, Low Fell, Gateshead, Co.Durham, NE9 6NS.
Leigh Edmonds, 2/28 Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Aus.
Ron & Linda Bushyager; Apt B 211, Sutton Arms, 121 Macdade Blvd, Folsom, Pa. 19033, USA.
Ian Maule, 59 Windsor Terr, South Gosforth, Newcastle on Tyne.

Please note that my Keele address is the simplest one to use up until June/July or so, The Bristol one is still ok, but there's a two or three day delay. Next issue out 13th May 1974. There'll be a British fanzine checklist (revised from the one in Egg 3) next time – if there's sufficient room. Many more fanzines have been received since the list in this Checkpoint; sorry, but they'll have to wait until next time.

Send *money* or **news** if there's a cross here: ____


Printed Matter Only.

from: Peter Roberts,
The Hawthorns,
Keele, Staffs.,
United Kingdom.

Return Requested if undelivered.