20th March 1972
Checkpoint is a news and reviews zine published by Peter Roberts, The Hawthorns, Keele, Staffs, UK. Subs are available at 5/20p (10/40p) (2nd class & Europe) and 6/$1 (foreign airmail). North American Agents: Charlie & Dena Brown, 20?8 Anthony Av, Bronx, NY.10457, USA. Aussie Agent: David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Victoria 3095. Duplicated by Darroll & Rosemary Pardoe. News from: Gerald Bishop, Roberta Gray, and Hartley Patterson. Restormel Press Publication: 56.
DOWN UNDER FAN FUND: A voting form should be included in this issue with details of DUFF and the candidates. The Coulsons, who originally intended to stand, have dropped out leaving Lesleigh Luttrell and Andy Porter in the running. According to Locus the fund now has $600 in the Treasury and needs another $200 or so (in the unlikely event of it falling short the candidates have agreed to make up the difference, though this will curtail their stay in Australia) Should any British fans have currency difficulties they can send me the 40p required and I'll ask Dave Grigg to forward the Australian equivalent to John Foyster.
FREDRIC BROWN DEAD: Well-known Sf and mystery writer Fredric Brown died earlier this month at his home in Tucson, Arizona, aged 65. In 1947 he won the Mystery Writers' Poe Award for The Fabulous Clipjoint and was always a celebrated writer of sf short stories and humour.
TOLKIEN SOCIETY AGM: (Hartley Patterson) "Jan 15th: about a dozen members, attended; it was held at the home of TS Chairman, Keith Bridges. This was by far the most successful meeting of the Society, as a lot was achieved with a minimum of argument. The Chairman went over the accounts and explained the sorry mess the now departed Treasurer had left them in. Arthur Cruttenden, however, had sorted them out after many hours hard labour. It was found that the Society was still in credit, so funds were hastily transferred to the new Treasurer, Archie Mercer. The Society has about 90 members out of 200 known Tolkien fans in Britain.
The Secretary, Belladonna, mentioned in her report the 80th birthday present she sent on behalf of the Society to Prof. Tolkien: a jar of tobacco, which was apparently very well received.
The Constitution (101st. draft) was finally approved and a new committee elected, including, in addition to the above, Jon Simons of London University Hobbit Soc. as Vice-Chairman and your humble reporter as member without portfolio. The committee coopted Steve Thomson as editor of the Society's zine, Mallorn, and John Martin as editor of the newsbulletin, Anduril.
At a later meeting, the sub was fixed at £1 p.a. (75p for smial members) which would cover 4 Mallorns and as much else as possible. There will be a TS meeting (moot?) at CHESSMANCON and also at EUROCON in Trieste."
FANZINES RECEIVED: Only two days have passed since the last listing, so the column is fairly short. An asterisk, as always, indicates a recommendation ('A4' by the way stands not only for British A4 paper, but also American & Continental 'Quarto'. 'd' is duplicated (mimeo for Americans), 'sd' spirit dupered (ditto), 'p' printed, and 'x' xeroxed.)
*Cipher 5 (23pp:A4:d). Chris Couch, Route 2, Box 889, Arnold, Missouri 63010, USA. Faanish – Ray Nelson, Doug Lovenstein, &c. (35¢)
Cover 2 (52pp:A4:d). Jeff Schalles, Box 288 Grove City College, Grove City, Pa. 16127, USA. General. (50¢)
*Cynic 4 (34pp:A4:d). Gray Boak, 6 Hawks Rd, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, 1KT 3EG. Faanish – Eastercon(71)reps – Kerry, Gilbert, &c.
*Energumen 11 (58pp:A4:d). Mike & Susan Glicksohn, 32 Maynard Av, Apt 205, Toronto 156, Ontario, Canada. Fannish & general. (75¢)
Fanews 39/40/1/2 (26pp:A4:sd). Uwe Sitzenstock, 3321 Salzgitter-Ohlendorf, Gartenweg 2, Germany. In German. Sf & fan news. (10/3.70dm)
Starling 21 (31pp:A4:d), Hank & Lesleigh Luttrell, 1108 Locust St, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA. General – Coulson, Thorne, &c. (50¢)
BOOK NEWS FOR SF FREAKS: New British books (Gerald Bishop's column).
FEBRUARY: (not listed last time) HARDBACK: Gollancz: Ariel Like A Harpy – Mary Shelley & Frankenstein (Christopher Small). Rapp & Whiting: Orbit 6 (ed Knight). Leslie Frewin: Horror Man – Karloff (P. Underwood). Academy/MacMillan: Illustrators of Alice (Ovenden – ill.).
PAPERBACK: Penguin: A Clockwork Orange (Burgess), Titus Groan (Peake) Animal Farm (Orwell). Sphere: Saliva Tree (Aldiss). Panther: The Green Man (Amis). Academy/MacMillan: Illustrators of Alice (Ovenden – ill.).
SFBC Selection: The Preserving Machine (Phil Dick)
MARCH: HARDBACK: Sidgwick & Jackson: If It Had Happened Otherwise (ed. J.C.Squire – contains sf by Winston Churchill), Out Of Their Minds (Simak). Gollancz: The Lathe of Heaven (Le Guin), Conscience Interplanetary (Joseph Green), Dread Companion (Norton), Patterns of Chaos (Colin Kapp), The Disappearance (Wylie), Hungry As Hunters (David Thompson), Dimension X (ed.Knight), Greenshards (Marie Buchanan), The Universe Makers (Don Wollheim on sf). Cape: The Ruined Map (Kobo Abe). Faber: Fugue for a Darkening Island (Chris Priest) Hale: Flash (E.C. Williams). Joseph: The Golden Virgin (Alan Dipper). Hamilton: Sword of the Spirits (John Christopher). Davis Poynter: Stanley Kubrick Directs (A.Walker). Cornmarket Press: The Reign of George VI, 1900-1925 (Anon), Memoirs of the Year 2500 (Mercier). The Last Man (Mary Shelley – 3 vols), Eureka: A Prophecy of the Future (R.Williams – 3 vols), The Air Battle (H.Lang), The Coming Race (Edward Lytton), The Battle of Dorking Controversy (G.Chesney et al), Three Hundred Years Hence (William Hay), A Crystal Age (W.H.Hudson), News From Nowhere (Morris). Looking Backward (Bellamy).
PAPERBACK: Penguin: The Day of the Triffids (Wyndham), The War of the Worlds (Wells), The Lotus Caves (Christopher). Panther: Orbit 4 (ed Knight), Slaughterhouse 5 (Vonnegut). Sphere: Captive Universe (Harry Harrison), The Primal Urge (Aldiss), Space Lords (Smith), The Men in the Jungle (Spinrad). Tandem: Priest Kings of Gor (Jakes).
NEL: Revolt in 2100 (Heinlein). Mayflower: The King of Swords, The Queen of Swords, The Knight Of Swords (Moorcock). Corgi: The Best From New Writings, 1 (ed Carnell). Arrow: Jagged Orbit (Brunner). Hodder: The Secret People, Stowaway to Mars (Wyndham). Pan: 100 Years of Sf (ed.Knight) – 2 vols., Spectrum 4, Spectrum 5 (ed.Amis & Conquest). Ballantine: A Voyage To Arcturus (Lindsay), The Water of the Wondrous Isle (Morris).
SFBC Selection: The Pollinators of Eden (John Boyd)
APRIL: HARDBACK: Gollancz: The Tombs of Atuan (Le Guin), Holding Wonder (Henderson), Kuldesak (Cooper). Faber: The Day After Judgement (Blish). Sidg & J: Nightwings (Silverberg), Timescoop (John Brunner), SF Special 6 (Alley God, Space Lords, Profit of Doom). P. Davies: Stonehenge (Harry Harrison & Stover).
PAPERBACK: NEL; The Sleeping Sorceress (Moorcock), Dune (Herbert), Pan: R is for Rocket & S is for Space (Bradbury), The Palace of Eternity (Shaw). Piccolo: The Making of Dr.Who (Hulke & Dicks). Panther: God Bless You Mr Rosewater (Vonnegut), Destination: Universe (van Vogt). Mayflower: The Dying Earth (Vance). Corgi: A Wilderness of Stars (Ed.Nolan). Tandem: Donovan's Brain (Siodmak), Rockets Galore (Mackenzie). Sphere: New Worlds 4 (ed.Moorcock), The Eyes of Heisenberg (Herbert). Ballantine: The Cream of the Jest (Cabell), Lud-in-the-Mist (Hope Mirrlees).
SFBC Selection: The Caves of Karst (Lee Hoffman).
((Gerald doesn't mention the three sf novels listed by Penguin for March – Black Easter (Blish), Do Androids &c, 3 Stigmata of P.E. (Dick))
PAPERBACKS RECEIVED: Phoenix (Richard Cowper, Ballantine, 30p): "It was dangerous bravado, for the rebel of the 24th century could find himself rehabilitated. But Bard had a plan, a scheme rather: he would enter the Caves of Sleep until he reached the age of 21 and then he could be his own man without let or hindrance, and with control of a fairly large fortune. But eyen in the 24th century, schemes and plans have a way of going awry..." Breakthrough (Richard Cowper, Ballantine, 30p): "If a man lives in two worlds, and both are real, what then? Is he mad, or sane? One person, or two?" Neither of the Cowpers look much good, quite honestly. However, Bob Silverberg's new anthology of best sf stories, Alpha 1 (Ballantine, 35p), contains a fine selection with fourteen stories by Bester, Aldiss, Ballard, and lesser writers (Poul Anderson, Vance, etc). His other anthology, Great Short Novels of SF (Ballantine, 35p), is a rather curious mixture of six novellas from Chandler's Giant Killer (1945) to Zelazny's The Graveyard Heart (1964); as a whole it's uneven, but it may be useful to have some of these in print again (Two Dooms (Kornbluth), Telek (Vance), 2nd Game (MacLean), & Beyond Bedlam (Guin)).
Two novels I highly commend to you are Phantastes and Lilith (both Ballantine, 40p each) by George MacDonald. MacDonald was a Scottish novelist and Congregationalist minister (before being dismissed for heresy) and lived from 1824-1905, writing some 25 or so novels in that time. As a writer of novels set in rural Aberdeen, he gained some importance as a precursor of the Kailyard school; but Phantastes (1858) and Lilith (1895) are fantasy novels with highly allegorical and mystical themes. The later book descends at times into moralistic dialogues, but they're disguised by the surrealistic nature of the characters and the setting. There's also a certain Christian optimism ("Life was a cosmic holiday!") which I find distasteful, though the modern reader can counteract this by observing that all is illusion – after the Absurdists the most innocent of passages seem ambiguous. These, then, are important books in the development of fantasy, whilst they should appeal to the general reader, since MacDonald is a fair stylist and a competent novelist.
RATS! 14 (Bill Kunkel, 72-41 61st St, Glendale, NY.11227, USA. and Charlene Komar, 85-30 121st St, Kew Gardens, NY 114125, USA.)
Rats! is a recently revived faanish fanzine (this is the 7th issue in the new series, in fact) which owes a lot to the revival of the New York faneds and the major faanzines, Focal Point, Potlatch, and Egoboo. The appearance is fairly similar with hand-cut Rotsler and Ray Nelson cartoons, though this particular issue boasts a printed cover by Tom Foster; however, the content is the sort of individual and personal one that you come to expect from the good faanish fanzines. Both editors contribute introductory columns, Bill's 'Drivel' rambling all over the place with conversations on the toughness of rats and the possibilities of being a Jewish King. Bob Shaw tells of his love for jigsaw puzzles: "..the thing which passes for my intellect keeps telling me that assembling jig-saw, puzzles is a futile, counter-productive, mindless exercise in which an author who has been published in Vision of Tomorrow has no right to indulge." 'Kabab', John Berry's column, is a purposeful exercise in writing something out of nothing (typical faanish ploy, scream the sercon mass) and, not unsurprisingly, is still both readable and amusing. Frank Lunney's new column, 'Accidents', varies in interest, but nonetheless has a fine introduction, whilst Harry Warner on 'The Fapaish Fifties' is fascinating (unless, unlike me, fan-history is of no interest to you). The letter column, 'Locsmith', is somewhat weak this time, but even, so is better than the average mess found in many fanzines. Good issue of a good fanzine – electrostencilled Lovenstein and Canfield cartoons as well. I must admit that the faanish fanzine at its best holds a particular delight for me; but not to enjoy Rats! would place you deep within the underground corridors of sercon gloom.
Printed Matter Only