Checkpoint 23

C*H*E*C*K*P*O*I*N*T 23 23rd September 1972

Checkpoint is a fortnightly news and reviews zine published by Peter Roberts, 87 West Town Lane, Bristol, BS4 5DZ, UK. Subs are 10/40p (2nd Class & Europe) and 6/$1 or 8/R1 (foreign airmail). Sample copy free. Agents: (USA) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca.94116; (Aus) David Grigg, Box 100, Carlton South, Vic.3053; (RSA) Nick Shears, 52 Garden Way, Northcliffe 4, Johannesburg, Transvaal. Back issues are 4/10p (6/50¢ – seamail): vol I – 0,1,4/5,6/7,8/9; vol II – 00,0,1-7,9-22. Quantities vary. News this issue from: George Wells, Gerald Bishop, John Mansfield, Ken Cheslin, Pete Weston, & Daniel Say.

Restormel Press Publication: 67.

THE TAFF RACE: I have a copy of the ballot distributed at the LACon for this year's Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, the purpose of which is to chose a fan to come over to a host convention in Europe (it's not specified, though it's normally the British Eastercon). Candidates are: Howard DeVore (nominated by Per Insulander, Ulf Westblom, Jack Chalker, Robert Coulson, Banks Mebane), Frank & Ann Dietz (nominated by Waldemar Kumming, Gerald Bishop, Jay Haldeman, Devra Langsam, Steve Stiles), and Len & June Moffatt (nominated by Terry Jeeves, Ethel Lindsay, Juanita Coulson, Fred Patten, Roy Tackett). Voting deadline is November 1st and it'll cost you a minimum of 40p; all fans active prior to September 1971 are eligible to vote. The British administrator, Eddie Jones (72 Antonio St, Bootle, Lancs, L20 2EU) should have ballots and further details.

Checkpoint will not, I'm afraid, be actively supporting the race as in previous years. I have several objections, notably the nomination of couples and of people who've been over to European conventions within the last couple of years.

WASHINGTON IN 74! The New York bid for the 1974 Worldcon was withdrawn shortly before voting took place at the LACon, thus leaving Washington as the site. Guest of Honour will be Roger Zelazny and Jay Kay Klein will be Fan GoH. The membership is already at 256 and the price for supporting DisCon II will be $3, the same as TORCON 2.

LACon membership was finally 2521 with 1956 registered attendees. (from Wabbit Twacks!! 4, the daily newssheet of the LACon)

OMPAcon 73: Ken Cheslin has sent news and proofs of the next Progress Report which should be out soon. This is, of course, the British Eastercon organised by members of OMPA and will now be taking place at the Grand Hotel in Bristol, as rumoured in an earlier Checkpoint. Hotel booking forms will be sent out with this PR and prices, though still uncertain, will be under £4 per night for bed & breakfast (normal charge is £5.91) and about £7 all in. Membership is 50p and there is a special reduction for attendees wishing to become full members, if they pay before October 14th (normally it's 50p + £1.50; but if you're early it'll be 50p + £1.25). The money goes to Fred Hemmings, 20 Beech Rd, Slough, SL3 7DQ, Bucks.

More on the OMPAcon inside.

fanzines received

BSFG Newsletter II/4 (14pp:octo:d) Vernon Brown, Pharmacy Dept, Univ of Aston, Gosta Green, Birmingham 4. (50p p.a.) Another issue of the Birmingham Group's new clubzine; there are short reports by Stan Eling on recent meetings (a Tom Shipley talk and an Asimov film), a book review by Pete Weston, some letters, and a Euroconrep from Vernon himself. Good for locals and potential visitors, since price includes membership of the group.

Chao 9 (47pp:¼o:d) John Alderson, Havelock, Victoria 2465, Australia. (40¢ or 20p) More a personal fanzine than everything else, and John seems to be an unusual person. There's an interesting account of his touring in France, a good piece by John Bangsund, some pitiful fmz reviews, and a fairly strong letter column. Altogether Chao is something of a curiosity, and one that may be worth examining.

*Fiawol 2 (4pp:A4:d) Arnie & Joyce Katz, 59 Livingston St, Apt 6B, Brooklyn, NY11201, USA. (5/$1) Fiawol is a fine, new, fannish newszine, though rather a short one. This issue has an editorial by Joyce and the results of the '71 Egoboo Poll, so only two pages are left for news; the editors also seem to be rather gullible and the Australians are already getting in a mess over a couple of joke items which the Katzes have taken seriously. Recommended, nonetheless.

*Fiawol 3 (as above) All news this time; Ross Chamberlain cartoons.

Heckmeck 26 (6pp:A4:x) Manfred Kage, Eduard-Spranger-Strasse 24, D-8000 München 45, Germany. (last issue) Manfred disappointingly says farewell to his English-language, international fanzine; but he'd still welcome fanzines and promises LoCs. The bulk of the issue deals with Eurocon I and its failure – very interesting, and enlightening, reading.

*Locus 119 (6pp:A4:d) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca.94116, USA. (10/$3.50) A Hugo-winning newszine for the second year in succession. Mostly sercon news; but it also contains conreps (one from the Eurocon in this issue) and fanzine lists. Pete Weston is the new British Agent. It's regular and recommended.

*Locus 120 (10pp – as above) Jack Gaughan column + book & magazine reviews.

*Locus 121 (8pp – as above) LACon news and report.

Media 19 (2pp:A4:d) John Mansfield, PO Box 830, CFPO 5056, 757 Baden-Baden 1, Germany (10¢) A newszine, in English, devoted largely to The Avengers, Star Trek, and their actors; little interest unless you're a fan of such tv shows.

*Möbius Trip 14 (56pp:A4:d) Edward Connor, 1805 N.Gale, Peoria, Ill.61604, USA. (50¢) A particularly good issue of this fanzine which is normally competent, though rarely outstanding. There's a lot of reprints; but the majority will not have been seen by many of Ed's readers before. The article The Guardian printed after the Chessmancon is in here and a piece by Leslie Fiedler, no less, on Farmer. There's a lot of Australian oddments, five articles in all, and an interview with Joanna Russ. Möbius Trip is rather like a bran tub; but there's something good in every issue.

*Mota 5 (42pp:A4:d) Terry Hughes, Route 3, Windsor, Mo.65360, USA. (25¢) Mota is one of the American faanish fanzines and, as such, is almost guaranteed to be good. Terry has a good editorial and Bill Kunkel a personal column, 'Petals'. Unexpectedly, John Brosnan appears with a saga of ratfandom, 'Barley Wine', and John Berry makes it a duet with the story behind the London soda siphon incident. There are fanzine reviews by the Luttrells (with which I don't agree...) and, naturally, a LoColumn. A very enjoyable, fannish zine.

Nadir 5 (10pp:fscp:d) Charlie Winstone, 71 George Rd, Erdington, Birmingham, B23 7QE. (free) Charlie returns to fan publishing after an eight year gap with an introductory issue (which I think should actually be number six) largely written by himself. The main item is a piece on modern tapestries, believe it or not. It's not without interest, but a bit vacant and messy at the moment.

Norstrilian News 3/3 (4pp:¼o:d&x) Robin Johnson, GPO Box 4039, Melbourne, Vic.3001, Australia (5/50p airmail) This is a fine newszine for its coverage of Australian fanac, the latter consisting mainly of the last Syncon as far as this issue's concerned. I'm the UK Agent.

Placebo 4 (20pp:A4:d) Moshe Feder & Barry Smotroff, 147-53 71st Rd, Flushing, NY.11367, USA. (35¢) This is an unusual issue of Placebo, a fmz that started as the SFFSAQC clubzine, but which has now become a "two-headed personalzine" and looks like it's heading in a fannish direction. This is a shorter issue than usual and is entirely taken up with two rambling editorials, Barry's being the better, though both are entertaining. Placebo appears unstable at the moment and rather reminiscent, in appearance, of the earliest Beabohemas. It should improve within a couple of issues, I reckon, though it's certainly worth a look at the moment.

*Rats! 15 (29pp:A4:d) Bill & Charlene Kunkel, 84-45 121st St, Apt 1-D, Kew Gardens, NY.11415, USA. (50¢) Rats! is one of my favourite fannish zines and I'm glad to see it back after all New York fandom plunged into limbo some time ago. This issue presents some items from the tiny circulation fanzine, Hot Shit, which was edited by John Berry. There's also part of a Noreascon report from Arnie Katz and Ray Nelson urging us to return to the bicycle era (the radish-eating Moulton's in working order, thanks). Bill has a longish editorial and Charlene a very brief one; a LoColumn too, of course. Highly recommended.

*SF Times 128 (116pp:octo:p) Hans-Joachim Alpers, 2850 Bremerhaven 1, Weisenburger Str.6, Germany (DM 3) Not so much a fanzine, more an underground publication dealing largely with sf and with many fan contacts. This issue, as always, is packed with stuff and has excellent illustrations (Helmut Wenske, in particular). Main item includes Stanisław Lem (+ photo) talking about himself and his work: 'Sf & Pop Music' with particular emphasis on the Floyd (+ discography); and material on U.S. Sf by Rottensteiner and Holzrichter. There are large news, reviews and film sections – even a couple of short stories. A very fine, serious magazine. It's – uh – in German, though, friends...

Tellus Special 1 (10pp:A4:d) Gerd Hallenberger, D-355 Marburg, Alter Kirchhainer Weg 58, Germany. (10/DM 6) Tellus is usually a newszine, in English, about German fandom; this issue, however, is devoted to a discography of 'Sf pop-music', mostly US and UK, with some 240 entries. As such it may prove useful – such lists, invariably, and unexpectedly, are.

Andromeda Book Co. Catalogue 18 from Rog Peyton, 131 Gillhurst Rd, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 8PG. New and 2nd-hand pb sale lists, plus an Edmund cooper checklist and some news items (mainly Star Trek).

the sercon page

BOOK NEWS FOR SF FREAKS: (a regular column by Gerald Bishop):

OCTOBER / Hardbacks: Cape: The Terminal Man (Crichton). Dobson: Dreadful Sanctuary (Russell). Gollancz: Rule Britannia (du Maurier), Clone (Cowper), World's Best Sf '72 (ed Wollheim). Heinemann: The Inferno (F.& G.Hoyle). Joseph: Dark Inferno (White). McGibbon: An Alien Heat (Moorcock).

Paperback: Arrow: The Seedling Stars (Blish). Corgi: Lion of Commare & Against The Fall Of Night (Clarke). Mayflower: The Ice People (Barjavel). NEL: Warlord of the Air (Moorcock). Pan: The Witchcraft Reader (ed.Haining), Galactic Pot Healer (Dick), The Bodyguard (Mitchell). Penguin: We (Zamyatin). Tandem: Nomads, Outlaws, Priest-Kings of Gor (Norman).

SFBC: Candyman (King).

Gerald Bishop.

PAPERBACKS RECEIVED: Some of the new Ballantines that are appearing over here are exceptionally fine and the highlight of the whole Adult Fantasy series was issued recently: David Lindsay's A Voyage To Arcturus (Ballantine, 40p). This novel has such energy and vision that it both stunned and awed me. The writing is inconsistent and the novel is flawed and imperfect; but there's a power behind it which grips the reader. In addition, certain passages (the Matterplay section, principally) are near perfect and remain clear in the memory when the rest of the book hazes over into a tumult of incidents, people, and philosophies. I have a suspicion, however, that readers of tamer fantasies will not care for this – they won't understand the hero, for one thing. Another Adult Fantasy, however, is more in the traditional vein: Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist (Ballantine, 40p). Despite its rather twee title, it's an interesting book enhanced by a somewhat outlandish vocabulary and peculiar turn of phrase which I found enjoyable; it tells of two realms, the mundane and the enchanted, and the necessity of the two melding into a whole. Rather pallid beside A Voyage To Arcturus; but nonetheless worthwhile.

Pan's own science fiction list is also rather pallid, I'm afraid. A two volume anthology by Damon Knight, 100 Years of SF (Pan, 30p each), is an uneven collection, the better parts (and many of the worse) being readily available elsewhere. The stories are loosely divided by content and range from a curiosity by Kipling to Ballard's fine 'The Voices of Time'; the second volume is perhaps slightly better than the first, though too much of the collection is dependent on rubbish from the magazines of the fifties. Talking of which, there are two 'new' collections from Ray Bradbury, R is for Rocket and S is for Space (Pan, 25p each), which consist of a large number of Bradbury classics from the forties and fifties. I'd consider him a second or even third-rate writer and these stories serve to back me up. But if you disagree with me, these two books present a good selection of his work (fine covers too – uncredited as usual). Finally, there's a John Boyd novel, The Pollinators of Eden (Pan, 30p); despite the blurb on the back, this 'connoisseur' is not 'chuckling with admiration'. It's just about readable, but very, very empty – it won't even appeal to anti-literary sf fans, I fear: 300 years in the future and we still use carbon paper at 10¢; a time. That's progress, eh?


the fannish page

1971 EGOBOO POLL: These are just some of the results from a fairly comprehensive poll, one that was instigated by John Berry & Ted White in Egoboo and conducted by Arnie Katz & rich brown with the help of the old Focal Point. The results were massively delayed so that the voting was for 1970. A full listing is in Fiawol 2 and a longer write-ip will appear, I think, in Focal Point.

Best Fmz: 1) SFR. 2) Focal Point. 3) Warhoon. 4) Speculation. 5) Locus. 6) Energumen. 7) Outworlds. 8) Metanoia. 9) Egoboo. 10) Yandro.
Best Fanwriter: 1) Warner. 2) Carr. 3) White. 4) Bob Shaw. 5) Geis.
Best Humorist: 1) Carr. 2) Bob Shaw.
Best Critic: 1) Pauls. 2) Walker.
Best Fanartist: 1) Austin. 2) Kirk.
Cartoonist: 1) Rotsler. 2) Kirk.
Best All Time Fanzine: 1) Hyphen. 2) Warhoon. 3) SFR. 4) Quandry. 5) Innuendo. 6) Lighthouse. 7) Void & Slant. 9) Shaggy. 10) Yandro.
Fandom's Hall of Fame: 1) Tucker. 2) Warner. 3) Willis. 4) Ackerman. 5) Burbee. 6) Carr. 7) White. 8) Shaw. 9) Hoffman. 10) Laney.

BRITISH COMICON: John Mansfield, a Canadian currently living in Germany, is the chairman of the 6th British Comic Con in London next July. He hopes to make it more fannish than usual and promises more information later. Address in 'Fanzines Received'.

BRITISH AGENTS! Malcolm Edwards has given up the Locus agency and Peter Weston (31 Pinewall Av, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 9AE) is the man to contact if you want to subscribe or renew. I have meanwhile become UK Agent for Robin Johnson's Australian news magazine, Norstrilian News, and I'll happily accept subs at 5/50p (airmail).

OMPANISTIC REPORTS: A few comments from Ken Cheslin on the OMPAcon's hotel: "When Fred Hemmings and I visited the Grand we were most impressed by the friendliness and cooperation of all staff encountered; we liked the bedrooms, some of the pleasantest I've seen, and the con facilities are better than most with the main hall (ballroom) and one other room (dividable into three) conveniently isolated from the rest of the hotel, yet not actually distant. There is one bar next to the ballroom solely for conmembers, plus two others (including a cocktail bar). There are plenty of fair eateries near the hotel about fifteen of which we noted open on Sunday. The hotel meals were also very generous."

There are 140 members of the OMPAcon so far, by the way. Gerald Bishop is looking after programme book advertising and it'll cost £1.50 (fan rate) for a full page – that's higher than previous estimates.

My own view is that Bristol is a fine city and the Grand Hotel is well-situated right in the old centre of mediaeval Bristol, close to the indoor market (where you can buy Bode & Kinney underground comics, amongst other things) and the post-war shopping centre. It's also within walking distance (easily) of the Christmas steps and the well-known dockland pubs.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Ed Dilworth and Graham Andrews, two Irish fans, were slightly injured in recent bomb attacks in Belfast, says Bob Shaw via Fiawol. All seems ok, however.

all the young dudes carry the news

DITMAR AWARDS: The Australian Sf Awards handed out at Syncon '72 recently are as follows: Best Fmz: Sf Commentary (Gillespie); Best Australian Sf: 'Fallen Spaceman' (Harding); Best International Sf: Ringworld (Niven). The con itself attracted some 120 attendees, including DUFF winner, Lesleigh Luttrell, and was pronounced successful, despite an uncooperative hotel. (from Norstrilian News)

INVASION OF THE PROFESSORS! Daniel Say reports the presence in the U.K. of two Canadian professors, both of whom took sf courses at Simon Fraser University. They'll be here for the next academic year, by the way. Dr Mason Harris (Westgate, Greenland Tce, Aberaeron, Card., Wales) is a professor of English, has spoken at several sf conventions and specialises in Wells and Lovecraft; Dr Murray Shoolbraid (11 High St, Leslie, Fife, Scotland) is a professor of Russian, has given a talk at the Vancouver Sf Convention, and has a good knowledge of Anglo-American sf as well as that of Eastern Europe.

FROM DARKEST BELGIUM: Jan Jansen corrects some misinformation in Checkpoint 20: it wasn't Michel Feron that smashed his car (Michel hasn't got one), but Simon Joukes, another bearded Belgian. Jan also notes that Sfancon 4 will be in Ghent next year and comments dismally on the chances of Eurocon 2 being any improvement on Eurocon 1; apparently another damn hall has already been booked in Brussels and there will be at least three art exhibitions. No fannish items are planned – at least thus far. More information later.

STAR TREK FANS: Rog Peyton has discovered a couple of new British Star Trek clubs, namely the Friends of Leonard Nimoy (c/o Miss Wendy Maddon, 13 Henderson Rd, Forest Gate, London, E7 8EG) and the Scottish Society of Leonard Nimoy Fanatics (c/o Helen Ralston, 10 Red Road Ct, Flat 6/2, Balornock, Glasgow, G21 4PF). Fascinating...

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Last issue, if crossed or marked 'S' (sample).

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Peter Roberts....
87 West Town Lane
Bristol, BS4 5DZ,
United Kingdom...

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