Checkpoint 8

Harry Bell cartoon header

Checkpoint 8 is a news and reviews zine published by Peter Roberts, The Hawthorne, Keele, Staffs., UK. every fortnight or so. Subs are available at 4/20p (1st class), 5/20p (2nd class & Europe), and 61/$1 (foreign airmail). North American subs & renewals straight to me, please – cash only (or IMOs). Australian Agents David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Victoria 3095. Cartoon by Harry Bell. Duplication in red because I've run out of black ink! News this issue from Jerry Kaufman (US), Harry Bell, Mary Legg, Nick Shears (South Africa), Daniel Say (Canada), Malcolm Edwards, Gerald Bishop, Ben Prole, Ian Maule, Philippe Hupp (France), and other publications.

Restormel Press Publications 48. 6th September 1971.

DALLASCON BID FOLDED: This must therefore leave Toronto unopposed as the site for the 1973 worldcon. Good luck to them! (No further news at present, I'm afraid).

BRUM GROUP: Future meetings include Mike Moorcock (Sept.17th), Prof. John Fremlin on 'Limitations of Population' (Oct.15th) and Philip Strick on "a major sf writer" (Dec.17th). The second meeting of the group in July attracted some forty people when Jack Cohen talked about "The Possibility of Life on Other Planets." Meetings are at 8pm at the Imperial Hotel, Birmingham.

PRE-WORLDCON PARTIES: (Jerry Kaufman) "There were two parties last night (29th),one hosted by Charlie & Dena Brown honouring Eddie Jones and Mario Bosnyak, the other hosted by Arnie & Joyce Katz and honouring an exhausted Bob Shaw who'd only arrived that afternoon (the party had been planned when Bob had thought he would get in several days earlier and the plans were stuck to through his uncertainty and illness). Both parties were attended by this writer and each was nice and enjoyable with luminous attendees. (I shan't say whom because there were people at each who had promised to be at the other!)." The next issue of Checkpoint will appear as soon as I have the Hugo results, although there'll probably be a delay because of the usual duplicating difficulties.

CHESSMANCON: The first Progress Report has appeared, but gives no further info than that previously published in Checkpoint. There's a photo of the hotel, however, and some historical guff about Chester. 50p registration to Tony Edwards, 4 Admel Sq, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6EN.

EGGED ON: Egg 5 has appeared and is being mailed to British recipients with this Checkpoint. I've slashed the mailing list, he said viciously, down to 150 or so – if you haven't responded to the last couple of issues, I'm afraid I've abandoned you... (15p will bring relief, though!). Thanks to Martin Ricketts – the other Bristol fan – for production help.

F&SF FILMS: Ben Prole has noted some items from the NFT's new programme. There's "Explorations of Fantasy in the Cinema": L'Age D'Or, King Kong, Duck Soup, Citizen Kane, The Thief of Bagdad, Things to Come, Alice in Wonderland, Triumph of the Nazi Party, Orphee, Rashomon, The 7th Seal, Strike, Marienbad, Strangelove, La Strada, Siegfried, Theorem, Rosemary's Baby, War of the Worlds, Juliet of the Spirits, Exterminating Angel, etc.

Then there's a "Tribute to Hammer" with twenty of their films.

On 21st September at 6.30 and 8.45pm are two lectures by Philip Strick on Scenes from Sf, including two films compiled by James Gunn: Plot in Sf (Poul Anderson discusses three basic stories defined by Heinlein and how these have been adapted for his own work) and SF Themes (Forry Ackerman on the history and development of the sf film) plus items from Trieste (1971).

At the same times on October 5th Philip Strick introduces two more of these Gunn films: New Directions in Sf (Harlan Ellison) and an interview with George Pal (creator of Destination Moon, etc), plus more from Trieste.

More details next time, I hope.

BOOK NEWS: Some additions from Malcolm Edwards; (August) The Year 2000 (Harry Harrison, ed. Faber); The Committed Men (M. John Harrison. Hutchinson); Inter Ice Age Four (Kobo Abe. Cape). (September) Out of Space & Time, and Lost Worlds (Clark Ashton Smith. Neville Spearman); The Aleph (Borges. Cape). Malcolm has also heard from Cornmarket Reprints who intend to publish a series of reprints on late 18th and 19th century predictive literature.

TAPE CORRESPONDENCE: Gerald Bishop: "The BSFA is reorganizing its tape section and in the general administrative upheaval there will be a chance for you (even if you are not a BSFA member – though having a tape recorder does help) to join our list of people wanting to correspond on tape." Write to Gerald Bishop, 10 Marlborough Rd, Exeter, EX2 4TJ for details (SAE).

THE GOTHIQUE ERA: Keith Walker (Psychiatric Training School, Burnley Gen.Hosp., Burnley, Lancs) is intending to publish a special issue – "a nostalgic look-back at the duplicated fanzines of the pre-litho days of the late lamented Gothique fanzine." Keith wants to borrow or buy pre-66 horror fanzines, particularly Gothique 1-5, Genus, Carpathia, Monsters Inc, Movie Thrills, and Clthu 1. He'll pay registered postage both ways...

WEIRD TALES: assorted oddments. Phil Farmer is apparently over here – there should be a special Globe meeting this month. /// Joanne Burger is planning to come over from Texas for the next Eastercon. /// Julia Stone moves to Leeds in October to do a BA in Textile Management. Australian fan Peter Darling should be attending a course at Coventry next year. /// Steve Stiles was married to Gale Burnick on August 28th. Claire Toynbee and Maynard Hogg (both well-known British Columbia fans) were married on September 4th. /// Harry Bell has gained an A Level in art (Grade B) and currently has four oil paintings on show in the Novo Gallery in Newcastle (until Oct). /// Bob Shaw, John Brunner, and Peter Mabey were three known British fans at Boston. /// Apparently there was an ad in last week's paper for a lecturer in sf at London. /// The Simon Fraser SF Society in British Columbia is in the centre of university sf activity. Plastic Man is being filmed there and Brave New World next May. Sf courses are on or planned in the English, Geography, and Modern Languages departments (Slavonic sf!). Finally there are plans for a Summer SF Festival at the university in 1972. /// The BSFA (South Africa) short story competition has attracted a response of well over a 100 requests for entry forms – total membership of the club is only 50.

FANZINES RECEIVED: The following have been received since last issue. All are normally available for letters, trades, or contributions as well as money. An exclamation mark indicates that the fanzine is recommended.

Riverside Quarterly 5/1 (printed:79pp, 1/4 o). Leland Sapiro, Box 40, Univ. Station, Regina, Canada. 4/$2. Sf, fiction – Blackbeard, Warner, etc.

Wadezine 8 (duplicated:26pp.fscp). Audrey Walton, 25 Yewdale Crescent, Coventry, CV2 2FF, Warks. Free. General & verse.

Psywar 4 (duplicated; 10pp.A4). Keith Walker, Psychiatric Training School, Burnley, Lancs. 10p. Occult.

!Outworlds 8 (duplicated:53pp.A4). Bill Bowers, Box 87, Barberton, Ohio 44203, USA. 60¢. UK Agent: Terry Jeeves, 230 Bannerdale Rd, Sheffield, S11 9FE. 25p. Aussie Agents Dennis Stocks. Sf & general – Poul Anderson, Lowndes, &c.

!Potlatch 4 (duplicated:30pp.A4). Joyce Katz, 59 Livingston St, Apt 6-B, Brooklyn, NY.11201, USA. 35¢. Faanish – Terry Carr (Carl Brandon), &c.

Forthcoming SF 3 (spirited;6pp.A4). Joanne Burger, 55 Blue Bonnet Ct, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566, USA. 30¢. Book lists.

The Sasquatch Saskatchewanian (printed:12pp.1/8o). Leland Sapiro – as above. free – general.

!Locus 93 (duplicated:8pp.A4). Charlie & Dena Brown, 2078 Anthony Av, Bronx, Ny.10457, USA. 12/$3. UK Agent: Malcolm Edwards, 28 Kinch Grove, Wembley, Middx. HA9 9TF. 10/£1.50. Sf news.

!Focal Point 3/1 (duplicated:29pp.A4). Arnie Katz – as above. 3/$1. Faanish.

SF Arena 0. (duplicated:5pp. 1/4 o). Ian Williams, 6 Greta Tce, Chester Rd., Sunderland, SR4 7RD, Co.Durham. Free. Sf – trial issue.

Norstrilian News 31 (duplicated:3pp. 1/4 o). Bruce Gillespie, GPO BOX 5195AA, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia. Free? Reprinted US news.

Australia in 75 – The Facts. (printed: 12pp. 1/2 1/4 o). John Bangsund, GPO Box 4946, Melbourne, 3001. Free. Worldcon bid – information.

Q-Con 71 (duplicated:44pp. 1/4 o). Dennis Stocks, Box 2268, GPO Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia. Conrep, &c.

FANZINE NEWS: Ian Williams' new SF Arena (see above) is "intended to be a very small circulation zine distributed to people who want to play an active part in talking about and criticizing sf." Ian is modelling it on JOE, John Foyster's old zine, so contact him if you're interested.

Maya 3 will indeed be edited by Ian Maule and will keep to the same policy as before – litho covers next time, says Ian.

Focal Point has ceased as a newszine and has now reappeared as a fine faanish genzine – I don't think I'm agent any longer... Money has been refunded, anyway.

WANTED – RAY BRADBURY! (Nick Shears, 52 Garden Way, Northcliff 4, J'burg, South Africa): "I'm willing to buy or trade copies of fanzines including any material on or by Ray Bradbury. Please hurry as they are needed urgently."

MOR-FARCH 3: I've just discovered three spare copies of this last issue (with Krumhorn, the LoC supplement) @ 10p. Plenty of copies of the second issue (& K) also @ 10p. None left of Mor-farch 1, I'm afraid.

COA: Al & Linda Lewis, c/o Meridian School, Garden Walk, Royston, Herts.

BEABOHEMA 16 (duplicated:34pp.A4).
Editor: Frank Lunney, 212 Juniper St, Quakertown, Pa.18951, USA.
Available for: Trade, Loc, contribution, 50¢.

Frank's recent policy for Beabohema must gladden the hearts of true-fannish fans the world over; gone is the phrenetic sercon atmosphere of the early BaBs, complete with its feuds and back-stabbing, and in its place there is a quieter and far more entertaining fannish mood. To complete the victory Frank announces the end of 'Turnip Country', the book review column. Thus the final result is the transformation of Beabohema into a good-looking fanzine whose closest 'competitor' may be something like Granfalloon or even Energumen.

I make these comparisons largely to stress the remaining gap between BaB and the highly fannish zines such as Potlatch, Egoboo, and Focal Point. These last three are examples of retrogressive revival, if such a thing is possible; they conscientiously emulate their fannish forebears, particularly in regard to production and presentation – cheap paper, hand-cut illoes, & so on. Beabohema, however, is representative of the new fannish fanzines: one that combines humorous and light contents with fine artwork and careful attention to layout. This issue, for example, contains a beautiful printed cover by James Shull and other impressive work by Mike Gilbert, Grant Canfield, and so on. I can't help feeling that this is the new and most important trend in contemporary fanzines; the 'New York' faanish zines, though immensely enjoyable, are fighting a rearguard battle which they're losing to this powerful new breed of fanzine.

And so from the general to a quick survey of the particular: the 16th issue. Frank seems to be a little short of material this time, though I suppose I'm still making comparisons with the old monster-size sercon issues. High spot is another instalment of Terry Carr's 'Entropy Reprints', a piece from Inside (I'm afraid Terry forgets to name the editor) called 'How They Did For Doggie At The Curbside' by David R.Bunch. It's as nasty as the title suggests – probably nastier – and is a powerful and effective anecdote made yet more surprising by its original appearance in a fanzine of fifteen years ago. To compliment the story, Terry also reprints Ken Potter's advert for the 'Society For the Abolition of Life' (from Brennschluss). Arnie Katz also appears with a short column entitled 'Paper Tiger' wherein he considers the paper-eating habits of his wife, Joyce. Gary Hubbard's 'The Cracked Eye' is the longest contribution to Beabohema 16 and the one I found least interesting; it's just a collection of thoughts whilst meandering along a street, written in such a style that I initially suspected it of being some sort of parody. Perhaps it is... Finally, there's a rather abbreviated letter-column and the final book-review section.

Beabohema is undoubtedly a good fanzine that's being overshadowed by those that are even better, notably Energumen. My quick diagnosis is that Frank still isn't giving BaB the personality and distinctiveness of the Canadian fanzine. I must admit that it's a bloody difficult thing to do when you're sole editor and don't have the benefit of a local group to give an atmosphere to your production – something you can point to and say: "That's the essence of Beabohema!" I enjoy Frank's fanzine nonetheless and hereby recommend it.

SHADOW 13 (duplicated:46pp. 1/4 o)
Editor: David Sutton, 66 Watford Rd, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B30 1PD.
Available for: Trade, contribution, LoC, 18p (2/$1).

Shadow has long been recommended to me as The Fanzine To Get if your interests lie within the dark borders of the horrific and fantastic (and I should thus immediately note that by and large my interests don't), so its sudden arrival was something of a long-awaited surprise. It took me into a sub-world of fandom where I quickly became confused and rather lost. When Dave mentions "fandom" he means something similar to the one I know and live within; but at the same time it's sufficiently different to distort it completely and render it strange and alien. Horror fans, I feel, are a more sercon and more self-contained breed than their sf equivalents – you can't really be a faanish horror fan, if you see what I mean...

Anyway, Shadow 13 is a well-produced and generally serious publication devoted to the macabre, having little artwork (though a fine Dave Fletcher cover) and minimal, but competent, layout. Some of the contents I found immediately interesting, notably the obscure reviews – one on Cornish Tales of Terror (which must be an excellent book, if genuine!), for example, and several on some of those British horror fanzines no one except Keith Walker ever seems to hear about. The remaining articles and so on are somewhat more specialized: a checklist of werewolves in fiction (by Brian Frost); bibliographies of Shirley Jackson and Eddy Bertin (the first with a biography by Dave Sutton and the second with an autobiography-cum-editorial!); a skimpy piece on 'Horror in the Theatre' by Keith Walker – if Mediaeval Drama appears as a category in the sub-title, it's a slightly miserable discovery when you find only two short sentences devoted to it; and finally a brief lettercol.

As you can see, I'm rather at a loss to review Shadow – it just doesn't seem to fit into the normal variegated run of fanzines and sticks out as something from without, like a fanzine on pot-holing might... Nevertheless there's many an sf fan whose tastes include fantasy and horror and Shadow, being quieter and more intelligent than the average Gore Horror Gut Creatures product which occasionally rises from the depths of its sub-fandom, should serve such a fan well. Recommended, if that's your Thing.

SF COMMENTARY 21 (duplicated: 50pp.A4).
Editor: Bruce Gillespie, GPO Box 5l95AA, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.
UK Agent: Malcolm Edwards, 28 Kinch Grove, Wembley, Middx, HA9 9TF.
Available for: Trade, contribution, LoC, 9/$3 (9/£1.50).

SF Commentary is one of the most consistently entertaining sercon fanzines and succeeds where others don't for several reasons, Firstly, Bruce doesn't insist on a 100% accept-no-other sf-only approach, but includes a rambling editorial and a piece by David Grigg, 'Highway 31 Revisited', in which Dave gives an account of a fannish visit to Sydney. Secondly, Bruce is careful with his book review; normal practice seems to favour a mixed collection of oddments lumped together in an indigestible mass. SF Commentary however, seems to collect them to more purpose – a look at the original fiction anthologies in this issue, for example. Finally, Bruce generally seems to like much the same authors as I (so much for objective fanzine reviewing!). Production too is pleasant, if a little plain, and has incidentally improved considerably since the earlier issues.

In SF Commentary 21 there's a long article by Franz Rottensteiner based on George Hay's collection, The Disappearing Future. Franz is something of a curious writer, given to stunning generalizations at times and delighting in esoteric references, the obscurity of which prevent much further argument – for example; "..the only in-depth linguistic analyses of an sf author I have ever seen are by Ryszard Handke, a Polish linguist..." Other curiosities may just be translation difficulties, but generally Franz manages very well and is usually interesting (and often right, too).

The letter column is fairly good, but has a tendency to be dated – unavoidable for Australian fanzines in general, I suppose.

A small complaint is Bruce's use of reprints: a translation from Quarber Merkur is fair enough; but taking stuff from Speculation and The Fanarchist is pushing it... Nevertheless, SF Commentary pursues the right course and appears regularly as well. Recommended.

FANZINES FOR FRANCE: Philippe Hupp (34 rue Bossuet, 57 Metz) is still looking for English-language fanzines for a review column in a French prozine, Horizons du Fantastique. If they don't accept it on a regular basis, Philippe will transfer it to the semi-pro L'Aube Enclavee (ed. Henry-Luc Planchat) which has a print run of 2000.

PAPERBACKS RECEIVED: The Last Unicorn (Pan/Ballantine – 40p) "is the story of a quest, the search by the unicorn – immortal, infinitely beautiful – for her lost fellows." The prose appears to be in the slightly sentimental and very wistful fantasy style, but since the obligatory magician is called Schmendrick it can't be all bad. Satellite 54-Zero by Douglas Mason (Pan/Ballantine – 30p) appears to be a species of space opera; a quick flip through revealed two misuses of the word "gambit" and little else of interest. More important and far more worthy is Robert Silverberg's new anthology, Dark Stars, which boasts a fair collection of sf stars (Aldiss, Dick, Ellison, Ballard, and a dozen more). Some have been anthologized before but they're not that common – "a book of dark dreams for a dark time." Opinion may change after a full reading but at the moment I'd recommend the Silverberg book and leave the others to those whose tastes may tend that way. The Last Unicorn is by Peter Beagle, by the way.

CODE: Any number – your last issue. 'XXX' – final (renew now!). R – review inside. N – news supplied. J – jumbuck supplied. A – agent.



Peter Roberts
The Hawthorns
Keele, Staffs
Great Britain

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