Checkpoint 35

CHECKPOINT 35 7th April 1973

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, 8/A$1, or 8/R1 (foreign airmail). Sample copy free.

Agents: (USA) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca. 94116; (Aus) Robin Johnson, Box 4039, Melbourne, Vic. 3001; (RSA) Nick Shears, 52 Garden Way, Northcliff 4, Johannesburg, Transvaal.

News this issue from: Gerald Bishop, Philip Payne, & Joanne Burger (US).

Restormel Press Publication: 80.


Novel: The Gods Themselves – Isaac Asimov
The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner
What Entropy Means To Me – Geo. Alec Effinger
When Harlie Was One – David Gerrold
The Book of Skulls – Robert Silverberg
Dying Inside – Robert Silverberg
The Iron Dream – Norman Spinrad
Novella: 'A Meeting with Medusa' – Arthur C. Clarke
'Son of the Morning' – Phyllis Gotlieb
'The Word For World Is Forest' – Ursula LeGuin
'With The Bentfin Boomer Boys' – Dick Lupoff
'The Gold At The Starbow's End' – Fred Pohl
'The Fifth Head of Cerberus' – Gene Wolfe
Novelette: 'Goat Boy' [sic] – Poul Anderson
'The Animal Fair' – Alfred Bester
'A Kingdom By the Sea' – Gardner Dozois
'Basilisk' – Harlan Ellison
'In the Deadlands' – David Gerrold
'Patron Of The Arts' – William Rotsler
'The Funeral' – Kate Wilhelm
Short S: 'On The Downhill Side' – Harlan Ellison
'Shaffery Among The Immortals' – Fred Pohl
'When It Changed' – Joanna Russ
'When We Went To See The End Of The World' – Robert Silverberg
'And I Awoke And Found Me Here On The Cold Hill's Side' – Tiptree
'Against The Lafayette Escadrille' – Gene Wolfe

NO, THIS IS NOT THE ANNISH, MEYER: It seems that I have more news than will go into one issue, so Checkpoint 36 will be the second anniversary issue and this, the 35th, will be posted out with Checkpoint 34. The annish will, all being well, be distributed at the OMPAcon over Easter weekend (those not attending will receive their copies immediately thereafter); it'll contain the results of the Checkpoint Fan Poll, plus a round-up of British fan activity over the last year or so.

fanzines received

Amoeboid Scunge 12 (4pp:A4:d) Jay Cornell & Seth McEvoy, Box 268, E. Lansing, MI 48823, USA. (5/50¢ – sample free) Yet another issue of this fortnightly, foolish, and fine fanzine – Roscoe lives on in Scunge! Produced by 'abner' and presented by Fed Smack and the Aboriginal Amateur Hour, Scunge contains fannish and personal drivelings – a page to each editor. Recommended.

Amoeboid Scunge 13 (6pp – as above). Also has an Aljo Svoboda flier.

It Comes In The Mails 2 (11pp:A4:d) Ned Brooks, 713 Paul St, Newport News, Va. 23605, USA. (free) ICITM is largely what it says – a review of letters and (especially) fanzines received. Bode cover too; it's interesting, but I'm not sure yet whether it's regular.

Locus 136 (6pp:A4:d) Charlie & Dena Brown, 3400 Ulloa St, San Francisco, Ca. 94116, USA. (UK Agent: Pete Weston – 10/£1.50) Locus, however, is distinctly regular and is a very useful newszine for sf fans. Bit expensive, though, if you live in the UK – in fact it's considerably more expensive than Checkpoint in the US, even though Checkpoint is airmailed (ah well, it has better coverage of the sf field than I have – or want, for that matter). Recommended.

Sf Commentary 31 (48pp:A4:d) Bruce Gillespie, GPO Box 5195AA, Melbourne, Vic. 3001, Australia. (UK Agent: Malcolm Edwards – 9/£1.50) SFC is one of the most intelligent and interesting fanzines around. Theoretically it's a straight sf zine, but this particular issue (like several recent ones) wanders off the subject – and I'm not complaining either. Main item is the Phil Dick speech from Vancouver; it's also printed in the latest Vector, but SFC has an additional letter from Dick (a revealing and a personal one) plus a genuine, front cover photo of him. The rest of SFC consists of an article on Ivan Illich in Melbourne plus several long, and once again personal letters; all soul-searching stuff – intriguing (and a little worrying). Fine fanzine. Highly recommended.

Sf Commentary 32 (40pp – as above) Bruce turns over the editorship to John Foyster for yet another one-off issue. The result is The Journal of Omphalistic Epistemology 6 – a collection of quotations about science-fiction from authors, editors, and the like: basic groundwork for articles and so on and very useful too. It's going to be massive when it's finished, mind. This issue starts with Brian Aldiss and manages to reach John Brunner after some 37 pages, so the project will take a wee while. Recommended.

Son Of The WSFA Journal 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76 & 77 (average – 10pp:A4:d) Don Miller, 12315 Judson Rd, Wheaton, Md. 20906, USA. (12/$2) Published roughly three times a month, it seems, though I receive them in occasional lumps. It doesn't matter too much, however, since this offshoot from the Washington Sf Association's journal serves mainly as a review zine; book reviews are not of much use, but I happily read the fanzine reviews and usually manage to discover something worthwhile in SoWSFAJ.

Speculation 32 (72pp:¼o:d) Pete Weston, 31 Pinewall Av, Kings Norton, Birmingham 30. (20p) A thick issue of Britain's only Hugo-nominated fanzine; like SFC, Speculation is a (fairly) serious sf magazine, only more staid, perhaps, than its Australian rival. By that I merely mean that Spec contains a more standard assortment of article, headed by an editorial and finishing with a good letter column. John Brosnan has a splendid, humorous piece on writing for money, Brian Stableford has a postscript to his earlier article on Silverberg, Tony Sudbery considers Charles Eric Maine and his critics, Chris Priest has a column, and Larry Niven's Chessmancon speech is printed. Book reviews appear and there's a fair amount of good illustration too – Alison Weston provides a front cover! Recommended.

Newcastle in '74 headline


The North East Science Fiction Group – Gannetfandom, is intending to bid for next year's Eastercon.

We have an excellent hotel available which has already been approached and is enthusiastic to hold the convention: the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne.

This is a beautiful four star 147-room hotel with a trio of young, go-ahead managers. It is easily accessible, being adjacent to Newcastle Central Station, and has facilities which are as near perfect as makes no difference. The convention hall and associated syndicate rooms are available free to any group which organises a large convention. They include a plush 250-seater con hall – the Collingwood Suite – with stage and screen, two rather smaller rooms suitable for the provision of a large private convention bar with ample seating space or for a generously large huckster room. There are also a series of smaller rooms for art show, BSFA hospitality and bridge, Diplomacy etc.

All these rooms are on the same corridor on the first floor of the hotel. There are also three public bars on the lower floors of the hotel, which are likely to be quiet at Easter; in fact the hotel is normally so quiet at this time of year that we should be able to hire it for our exclusive use. We quoted a figure of £3.50 B&B rates from previous cons; the manager thinks he should be able to match this, so the con will not be an expensive one. If, or rather when, the 217 beds at the hotel are filled, there is a large high quality overspill hotel directly across the street. Being central, the hotel is also within easy reach of varied eating and shopping facilities.

Newcastle, the Capital of the North, is an easy city to get to – a fast and frequent rail service, a modern regional airport with more flights from London than any other English city, and excellent road access.

You will be visiting the home of Newcastle Brown Ale. If you haven't already experienced this interesting beverage, try it at the committee party on the Saturday night, where it will flow like water.

We have some interesting ideas cooked up for the programme. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss science fiction in panels, talks and discussion groups; naturally there will also be fannish panels, films, auctions and the Banquet on Sunday night. The Fancy Dress party will be a Masquerade – no admittance if you're not wearing a mask. For those interested there will be a poetry reading on Friday night; as mentioned above there will also be a quiet room from those who want to organise games of bridge, chess or Diplomacy.

In short, we want to provide a relaxed, enjoyable and varied convention with the emphasis on science fiction.

We trust you will support us in the bidding session at Bristol. See you there – and at Newcastle next year!

The Newcastle in '74 Committee

Ian Maule, Chairman
Ian Williams, Secretary
Robert Jackson, Treasurer
Harry Bell
Irene Taylor    committee members

the sercon page

BOOK NEWS FOR SF FREAKS: (compiled by Gerald Bishop)

April: Hardback: Allison & Busby: The Bull & The Spear (Moorcock). Bodley Head: The Astrologer (Cameron). Deutsch: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Farmer). Gollancz: A Time of Changes (Silverberg), An Sf Argosy (ed. Knight). Hodder: The Green Gene (Dickinson). S&J: The World Shuffler (Laumer), The Far Out Worlds of A. E. van Vogt, Sf Special 6 (ed. unknown), New Writings In Sf 22 (ed. Bulmer).

Paperback: Arrow: Solaris (Lem). Mayflower: Behold the Man, The Runestaff (Moorcock). Pan: Lost Horizon (Hilton), The Deep Range (Clarke), The Two Timers, One Million Tomorrows (Shaw). Panther: Messiah (Vidal), The Simultaneous Man (Blum), Cold War In A Country Garden (Gutteridge), Camp Concentration (Disch), Asimov's Mysteries, Frontier of Going (Fairfax). Tandem: Raiders of Gor (Norman).

SFBC: Timescoop (Brunner).

AMERICAN BOOK NEWS: (compiled by Joanne Burger)

April: Hardback: Coward: Experiment At Proto (Oakes). Doubleday: The Star Road (Dickson), Final Solution (Peck), The Astounding Analog Reader 2 (ed. Harrison). Hawthorn: Race Against Time (Anthony). IUP: 2001: A Space Odyssey (filmguide). NESFA: Three Faces Of Sf (Lowndes). Putnam: Orbit 12 (ed. Knight). Scribners: Deathbird Stories (Ellison).

Paperback: Ace: Babel 17 (Delany), Dune (Herbert), Dream Master (Zelazny). Ballantine: The Cloud Walker (Cooper). Bantam: The Infinite Man (Galouye). Berkley: The Fabulous Riverboat, To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Farmer). SaW: Where Were You Pluterday (van Herck). Pb Library: A Report From Group 17 (O'Brien). Signet: Tales of Ten Worlds (Clarke), Today We Choose Faces (Zelazny).

SFBC: Flashing Swords 1 (Carter), Cemetery World (Simak).

FORTHCOMING SF FROM GOLLANCZ: (unearthed by Gerald Bishop)

June: The Gold At Starbow's End (Pohl – collection), To Here & The Easel (Sturgeon – c), Rendezvous With Rama (Clarke).

July: Time Out of Mind (Cowper), The Embedding (Watson).

August: The Crystal Gryphon (Norton – juv), Gladiator At Law (Pohl/Kornbluth).

September: Mirror Image (Coney), Sf Hall Of Fame 2 (ed. Bova).

October: The Robert Sheckley Omnibus (ed. Conquest), The 1973 Annual World's Best Sf (ed. Wollheim).

November: The Furious Future (Budrys), Nebula Awards 8 (ed. Asimov).

ODDMENTS: Philip Payne notes a few more forthcoming British sf books – To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Farmer) from Rapp & Whiting; Cure For Cancer (Moorcock) from Penguin in June; and Dom & Va (Christopher – juv) from Hamilton. // As you see, American Sf Books are listed this time since I've received a few requests for them. The listings are taken from Joanne Burger's Forthcoming Sf Books which I recommend to anyone in a hurry to know what's coming from the States (55 Blue Bonnet Ct, Lake Jackson, Tx. 77566, USA – 3/$1 airmail.)

PARTY, PARTY, FOUTY PARTY: Any fans coming down to Bristol for the OMPAcon on the Thursday before it officially starts are welcome to visit the Rabbit Warren in West Town Lane. I have the house to myself and there's room a-plenty; usually there's little happening at the con hotel on Thursday evening – just a fairly small gathering round the bar – so if anyone feels like trekking out to Brislington, Bristol 4 in the evening (or earlier), they're welcome. There's likely to be a few fans staying there besides myself and if enough people turn up it may develop into a genuine party. There'll be plenty of floor space is anyone wants to stay overnight, though I recommend a sleeping-bag...

West Town Lane can be reached fairly easily by bus from the con hotel: catch a number one (to Brislington Square) from outside the Gaumont Cinema which is near the Grand Hotel, or a 3 (to Airport Rd) from the same place. The bus stop is on the same side as the cinema – don't go the wrong way! When you get off the bus (whichever one) keep on walking in the same direction for a hundred yards or so till you come to the traffic lights – turn left into West Town Lane if you've caught a 3, turn right if you've caught a 1 (they reach different ends, you see). 87 is half way along the road. The same buses (+ a 40 or 99) can be caught from the railway station. By car it's easiest to head either for Bath or Wells – West Town Lane links the Wells Rd and the Bath Rd. It's about two miles from the con hotel.

See you then or at the con, I trust.

THE PIT: Into the pit unless they renew are Mike Meara, Tony Triggs, Dave Rowe, & Brian Lombard (RSA).

AND THE PENDULUM: Only one more issue for Ian Maule (on your tod there, Ian).


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

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