Checkpoint 27

C H E C K P O I N T    27 18th November 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.

News this issue from: Gerald Bishop, Susan Glicksohn, Harry Bell, Jan Jansen, Nick Shears, and Keith Walker.

Contact 1 is a flier with this issue. Restormel Press Publication: 71.

MOFFATS WIN TAFF!: A late note in Locus mentions that Len & June Moffatt have won this year's race for the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund and will therefore attend the British Eastercon in Bristol next year. No further news is available at the moment, but congratulations anyway.

THE BRITISH PROZINE RISES FROM THE GRAVE: (Gerald Bishop) "Trolling along a tube station the other day, my eye fell upon a poster: "A new magazine of Sword & Sorcery, Horror & Sf". Seeing that it was published by New English Library, and as I was heading in that direction anyway, I called in to find out more about it. Leaving with copies of the first two issues, I had an amusing time on the journey home reading them.

"Each issue is 24 pages long on large format (12"x 9") good quality paper, with full colour illoes throughout. Inside are the adventures of Wolff, a Conan-type hero battling baddies, followed by Sir Leo, who does the same thing in 19th century, aristocratic style; sf comes from the world of Xanadu in the voluptuous form of Agar-Agar, a decent Barbarella. The issue finishes up with a mainly pictorial story about something of other.

"It appears that this is an English version of a Spanish series, since it is printed in Spain and has Spanish copyright. The English editor and writer is Lawrence James (NEL's Sf editor), and the artwork, according to the signatures, is by Mareto, Jm Bea, Seisona, and Enric Sio.

"On the whole it's better than Batman, more stimulating than Spiderman, and more horrifying than The Hulk. As the posters say: Dracula – 13p from your newsagent or bookstall."

AMERICA 2, BRITAIN 1: The first issue of Don Pfeil's plush (and expensive) new prozine, Vertex, will be out in February; artwork by Barr, Austin, & Di Fate, interview of Bradbury, fiction by Carr, Harrison, Silverberg, Rotsler, &c. // Marvel are financing a horror pro-zine (not a comic) edited by Gerry Conway – no title yet. (Locus 127)

the sercon page

BOOK NEWS FOR SF FANS: (A column from Gerald Bishop, noting recent sf books published in Britain):

NOVEMBER: Hardback: BBC: Mandog (Dickison & Lamplugh); Cape: Catholics (Moore), Devil Daddy (Blackburn); Faber: A Clash Of Cymbals (Blish), Jack of Shadows (Zelazny); Gollancz: Nebula Awards 7 (ed.Biggle), Byworlder (Anderson); Hale: Thirteen O'Clock & Other Zero Hours (Kornbluth, ed.Blish); Hodder: The Year Dot (Lymington); S&J: The Best Of John W.Campbell, Volteface (Adlard), Bug-Eyed Monsters (ed. Cheetham); Stacey: Carnacki: The Ghost Finder (Hudson), Master of Villainy (Ash & Elizabeth Sax Rohmer).

Paperback: Arrow: Creatures Of Light & Darkness (Zelazny); Corgi: Star Trek I, II, & III (Blish); Mayflower: The Jesus Factor (Corley), The Dragon Masters (Vance); NEL: Quest For The Future, The Weapon Masters (van Vogt); Pan: The Preserving Machine (Dick); Panther: The Space-Time Journal (ed.Merril), Grey Lensman (Smith), A Killing Thing (Wilhelm); Penguin: Faust Aleph Null (Blish), Apeman, Spaceman (ed.Harrison & Stover), Sirius, Starmaker, Last & First Men with Last Men In London (Stapledon), The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (Waugh), War Of The Worlds (Wells); Sphere: Little Dog's Day (Story), Sf Hall Of Fame I (ed. Silverberg – 2 volumes!); Tandem: Tarnsman, Nomads, Priest-Kings Of Gor (Norman).

US Imports: Ballantine: The World's Desire (Haggard & Lang), Evenor (MacDonald).

SFBC Selection: Interface (Adlard).

PAPERBACKS RECEIVED: The paperback reprinting of Phil Dick novels in Britain is irritatingly haphazard: at least five different companies have published a variety of his books in no discernible order and most Dick fans buy the American paperbacks rather than wait for a delayed and by no means certain publication over here. Pan, however, have just brought out one of his best novels, The Galactic Pot-Healer, and I thoroughly recommend this if you haven't already bought the American version. Although The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch remains, in my opinion, the best of Dick's works, The Galactic Pot-Healer with its complex layers of reality, its absurdist humour, and its sudden grotesqueries, should be placed damn near the top. The Preserving Machine (Pan – 35p) has also just appeared over here; it's a good collection of early Phil Dick stories (from 1952 to '66) – nothing famous or exceptional, but nonetheless recommended.

Less creditworthy than these Phil Dick books is Panther's first U.K. publication of Doc Smith's Lensman series; Grey Lensman (Panther – 35p) is the latest in these abominable 'classics'. I found myself in fits of laughter throughout the first chapter – however, it soon wears off and becomes merely tedious. Doc Smith's hackwork should have been left in the mould. On the brighter side, there's a Judith Merril anthology, The Space-Time Journal (Panther – 30p), which surveys 'new wave' sf and is mostly culled from New Worlds. There are some fine stories inside – Ballard's 'You and me and the continuum' is outstanding, and Lang Jones' neo-Borgesian (aha!) 'The hall of the machines' is also exceptional. Other pieces by Aldiss, Keith Roberts, and Michael Butterworth are worth mentioning, though the balance is then made up with facile and rather insignificant oddments which pull the level down to the patchy and mediocre. It's still one of the best anthologies I've ever come across – I'm just hard to please and eternally disappointed with the breed in general.

Finally, there's a couple of horror books: The Witchcraft Reader (Pan – 30p) edited by Peter Haining is a selection of stories by some of the big names of sf (Sturgeon, Bradbury, and superb Bloch). Unexciting, though Keith Roberts' 'Timothy' appears within. The first Lovecraft collection, The Haunter Of The Dark (Panther – 35p), has just been re-issued. If you like this writer, and for some reason I do, then this is a collection of some of his greatest stories, including 'The Dunwich Horror', 'The Outsider', 'The Rats in the Walls', 'The Call of Cthulhu', and so on. They're rather like gargoyles – fascinating and almost amusing.

Peter Roberts

JOHN W.CAMPBELL AWARD: (Susan Glicksohn) "The JWC Award for Best New Writer in the sf field has been announced by Analog editor, Ben Bova. It will be sponsored by Conde Nast Publications Inc. in recognition of John Campbell's contribution to the sf field.

"Rules for this award will be similar to those used for the Hugo Awards. Writers eligible for the 1973 award must have had their first story published no later than 1971. Any member of LACon or TORCON will be able to make nominations for the 1973 award, but only members of TORCON will be eligible to vote. Nomination forms will be mailed with TORCON Progress Report 3, and voting ballots with PR 4. The award will be presented at the TORCON Hugo Awards banquet.

"TORCON's British Agent is Peter Weston, 31 Pinewall Av, Birmingham, B33 9AE – contact him for membership information. Memberships are £1.20 or $4 (Canadian) supporting, after December 1st."

SARF EFRICAN NEWS: (Nick Shears) "AFRICAPA is born! The first South African apa will have its first mailing in January and any English fans who want to get in on the ground floor (there's a limited roster) should write to me {{address in colophon}} and say so immediately. To make sure, I suggest they enclose their six month's membership fee (50p). Mailings will be monthly, with a required minimum of three pages every three months. Contributions to the first mailing should be on A4 paper, 25 copies, to arrive by January 15th. Postmailings will not be recognized and each mailing will be stapled together as a booklet.

"The SFSA Short Story Competition, judged by a write & broadcaster, Michael McCabe, had all its prizes won by non-members... And McCabe described the standard as disappointingly low. Hmm."

Brian Temple, 78 Blandford Rd, Chirton Grange, North Shields, Northumberland, NE29 8NX.
Keith Walker, Burnley School of Nursing, Burnley General Hosp., Lancs.
Dave Douglass, 123 Percy Rd, Hampton, Middx, TW12 2JS.
Andrew Stephenson, 19 Du Pre Walk, Woburn Green, High Wycombe, Bucks.

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Last issue, if crossed or marked 'S' (sample). A number indicates the issue to which you have paid up.

APOLOGIES: It hardly needed a microscope to detect the cruddiness of last issue's duplicating. After wasting two evenings and a whole lot of paper, I armed myself with a screwdriver and spent a messy Sunday in search of the trouble; the result was the painful cranking out of a sub-standard Checkpoint and a subsequent trip to Gestetners to replace a £4 bottom roller. Judging by Contact, this seems to have solved the problem, though I may be speaking too soon. This fault not only delayed the last issue, but also the previous one, since they were to be posted together straight after Novacon. Heigh-ho – all is well now, I hope...

SOLANGOOSE FANDOM: (news from the North-East from a letter from Harry Bell) "Gannetfandom as ever is a very loose association; indeed I'm not really sure what holds us together at The Gannet. There was some talk a while ago of moving a) to someone's house or b) to another pub. Gannetfans are not particularly fannish, as a matter of fact – more social. Fandom itself gets discussed more on a Friday night in Newcastle in a pub called The Post Office – Ian Maule, Brian Temple, Henry Pijohn, Robert Jackson, and me mainly; kind of a neo-education night, but not a substitute for Gannetfandom, more a supplement.

"Ian Williams is now supposed to be producing a personalzine of his own (about 10pp) and Ian Maule, of course, is bringing out Maule's Well and has applied to join CANADAPA with it. Even Grimwab stirs fitfully in the gafiant night."

WEIRD TALES: Jan Jansen mentions that Mike Moorcock turned up on the last night of the Novacon. // Keith Walker has the remnants of the BSFA Fanzine Foundation; after the wholesale auctioning off at Chester there is, says Keith, "precious little left." // Philip Payne, Longmead, 15 Wilmerhatch Ln, Epsom, Surrey, is the new UK Agent for the Hugo-nominated fmz, Granfalloon.

FMZ REVIEWS: – back next issue!



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

printed matter only.






Three intrepids from Antwerp and Ghent risked November fog and British traffic to make their way to Novacon II at Birmingham earlier this month. For one of them, it was more of a pilgrimage, meeting up again with several fans active in the Fifties, who have managed to hold on to fanac all thus time, and were there to welcome him and make him feel at home in which they succeeded to such an extent that Jan Jansen promised to be back for Ompacon next Easter.
Simon Joukers and Andre De Rycke, accompanying fans, have expressed equal willingness to revisit British conventions.
Since you will undoubtedly find a full conreport in Checkpoint, enclosed with this magazine, may we express our thanks and appreciation to the convention committee who gave us the incentive to visit, and to spend a memorable weekend.

Whether to try and break the monopoly of Info-Sfan as lonely flemish fanzine in Belgium, or whether to draw other fen in the maze of fanac. Julien Raasveld states that a second ish of TEEN EN TANDER will soon be forthcoming, containing the first part of fanhistorical musings on Belgian fandom, along with other fannish, rather than pure sf/fantasy material. We have been unable to ascertain what kind of welcome the first issue received, if indeed it was not utterly ignor'd by most recipiants. PARALLAX, Julien's regular fanzine switched to English language because of lack of local response, which seems to ring a bell, looking back 20 years. Parallax, on the other hand, was included in the mailing of PAPA (no, not pornographic) the new Belgian APA, with a limit of 20 members, and publishing in three languages (so far). Only Julien knows whether the membership roll is complete or whether there is room for more.

GROWING UP Antwerp Nov 9
Info-Sfan 20 (out already) has an article by Terry Jeeves on space warfare (from Erg), along with short stories from the yearly contest; plus the usual features and book reviews. IS is the club magazine of SFAN, the Flemish fan organisation and contrary to review in Parallax may be had in trade. Just prove you can read and understand Flemish. The second best reason I know for learning the language. Best of all is the ability then to carry on a conversation with Rosa.

We don't know whether Birmingham is in any way responsible by offering fanjan a chance to exercise holding babies, but chances are that Rosa, inundated by requests to come along and have a good time, will for the first time break down and join a fangathering to be held in Ghent, november 25th.
This opens perspectives for future trips to other conventions. Read CONTACT for future instalments: Will fanjan be able to persuade her to cross the Channel? Will Rosa give in to his increasing demands? Will support from still active honorary fantwerps help to change her previous attitude to convention-visiting? to be continued.