Checkpoint 45

CHECKPOINT 45 30th January 1974

Checkpoint, the fan newszine, is produced by Peter Roberts, Flat 4, 6 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2. It's available for news, letters, or 5/25p (UK & Europe), and appears every little once in a while. Agents: (US) Charlie & Dena Brown; (Aus) Robin Johnson; (RSA) Nick Shears. 4/$1 (airmail), 5/50¢ (sea).

Restormel Press Publication: 91. mi flies with this issue.

YOUR FANNISH POLLING DAY is March 25th – or to be more exact that's the deadline for voting in the third annual Checkpoint Fan Poll. You should find a ballot somewhere in this issue and all the relevant details are printed on that. There is one important extra note, however: Egg, Maya, and Speculation, voted the top three fanzines last year, are (as yet) all ineligible for 1973/4, since they haven't managed to produce any issues since the OMPAcon. Naturally something may yet appear, so it may be advisable to postpone voting until the deadline is imminent. Anyway, there are plenty of other fine contenders for Best British Fanzine and the absence of the old top three leaves the field wide open. Vote, you fools, vote!

MEANWHILE, THE ACTIFAN POLL RESULTS are somewhat closer to the usual Hugo Award voting than might have been expected. Arnie & Joyce Katz conducted the poll in Fiawol and full results appear in the fifth issue. Energumen came first, followed by Starling, Algol, SF Commentary, & Outworlds. All very straight and proper, it seems, and hardly in the great tradition of Amoeboid Scunge. Still an interesting poll, however, and the full result gives a better picture of today's top fanzines than any equivalent poll.

A BRITISH FANZINE INDEX is the aim of Keith Walker (2 Daisy Bank, Quernmore Rd, Lancaster, Lancs.). At the moment Keith would appreciate offers of help, particularly from people with large collections of fanzines from the U.K. The intention is to follow the format of the standard Pavlat index. Write to Keith if you think you can be of any assistance.

THE FIRST ROMPA MAILING appeared recently; it's all of 72 pages in length and consists of material from ten of the new British apa's sixteen members. Ian Maule (13 Weardale Av, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE12 0HX) is the editor and he can supply you with all the necessary information should you feel inclined to join. At the moment there are eleven British members, two South African, two American, and a token Swede. That leaves room for four more. Contents of the first mailing might be judged light and certainly rather feeble for a new apa (interest should be at its highest at the beginning). Nevertheless ROMPA already looks healthier than its ailing forebear, OMPA itself.

LETTERS OF HISTORICAL AND NOSTALGIC IMPORT appeared in the post recently. Darroll Pardoe, for example, sent the following:

"A while ago in Checkpoint you asked for information on the Great OMPA Blitzkreig. Perhaps I could help a little, from the OMPA files. It started in the middle of 1966 when Brian Jordan was AE; he missed the September '66 mailing because he was in the throes of moving house. Then he moved again and missed the December mailing as well. Attempts by the other officers (Archie Mercer & Ron Bennett) to get in contact by post were unsuccessful, so Ron Bennett went to find Brian Jordan in person. When confronted, Brian said he'd get the overdue mailing out as soon as possible. However, in spite of many letters from Archie Mercer, he didn't do so, and time passed until August 1967. This is where the Blitzkreig came in. Terry Jeeves went in person to Leeds (where Brian Jordan was living) and got him to hand over all the OMPA material in his possession. This was passed on to Archie who posted it out as combined AE and President.

"However, all OMPA's troubles were not yet over. Heinrich Arenz took over as AE and put out the 50th mailing in March 1968. The 51st did not appear on time; in fact it never appeared at all. The fanzines sent to Heinrich for that mailing were never recovered. By Presidential Decree, Beryl Mercer became AE and put out the 52nd mlg in December 1968. Thenceforward the mailings were regular. Thus the 51st mailing is a 'ghost' mailing: it was never actually sent out. Between mid-1966 and the end of 1968 there were three mailings instead of the theoretical ten. This was a blow from which OMPA has never entirely recovered."

Canadian fan, John Millard, also delves into the past – rather early past, in fact:

"'Return of Ron Holmes' in Checkpoint 43 brings back a few memories of my own. I spent almost three years in Britain during World II and met a large number of sf fans: Douglas Webster, Michael Rosenblum, Frank Parker, Walter Gillings, & others. I also attended the 1944 Eastercon in London and Teddington. I remember that we first met at Waterloo Station and then went into the City to attend a Newsreel Cinema near Piccadilly Circus which was showing Disney cartoons. After that we went to a Youngers pub in Greek Street and later to a Chinese restaurant next door for a bang-up meal. On Easter Sunday I met Walt Gillings at Waterloo Station and we rode out to Teddington for the day's bash at Shirley's cafe. I met fans like A.F.Williams ("The Camberwell Miracle"), Bruce Gaffron, someone by the name of L.Hawkins, F.Goodier, K.W.Gaitard, Michael Lord, Dennis Tucker, A.G.Gascigne, Syd Bounds, George Ellis, A.F.Hillman, Don Houston, and Gordon Holbrow, plus some others whose names I can't read; they're all in my autograph book that I kept during my years in Britain. It was a typical fannish convention, enjoyed by all."

CoAs: Ron & Sue Clarke, 2/159 Herring Rd, North Ryde, NSW 2113, Aus.
John Hall, 35 Filey Av, London N16.
Susan Glicksohn, 139 Mayfair Cres, Regina, Sask.S4S 4J1, Can.

Has anyone got a new address for Al de Bettencourt (formerly Berlin)? The last Checkpoint sent to him was returned. Thanks.

A FANNISH DICTIONARY: As mentioned in the last Checkpoint, Elst Weinstein and I are collaborating in producing a Fannish Dictionary – a reference guide to fannish vocabulary past and present, local and general. Many similar projects have appeared over the years; most, however, are long out of print and many are in any case unsatisfactory, being too dated or too brief. This new dictionary is intended to be as comprehensive as possible without, we hope, developing into encyclopaedic massiveness.

Anyway, we are anxious to collect material for inclusion in the dictionary and are, incidentally, offering free copies to contributors of definitions. You can help, therefore, by sending fannish words to us (including proper names and local material – clubs, awards, cons, and so on) in the following format (where possible):

1) Word: .....................   2) Person responsible: ........
3) Year coined: ..............      ............................
4) Definition(s): ..............................................
5) Place used: ...............   6) Notes: .....................

Obviously not many people can provide such a full account of a word (there wouldn't be much need for a dictionary if they could); but any words you do know the history of (or even invented yourself) will be most welcome. "Notes" (above – 6) can include the reason for the word, example of use, etymology, or what have you; "Place used" refers to local (fannish dialect?) words used in specific groups or areas. Naturally, Elst and I should have all the well-known words and are therefore principally looking for more obscure stuff; but even so your definition or illustration may prove the most apt, so send it all along.

The dictionary will cost a $1 a time to non-contributors; provisional deadline for submissions is March 25th, though I daresay that'll prove flexible – we'll see how much material we have by then.

Send contributions to me, Peter Roberts (along with the fan poll, of course!), or straight to Elst Weinstein (7001 Park Manor Av, North Hollywood, Ca.91605, USA).

THE NEWS IS GOOD. That's my opinion, anyway. I have actually subscribed to Bob Rickard's new Fortean magazine, The News, so I've put my money where my mouth is too. For the totally ignorant, Charles Fort (whose books are gradually reappearing in paperback in the UK) was, for various reasons, fascinated by unexplained phenomena, particularly those scorned or glibly set aside by the dogmatic priests of science. The News, therefore, presents brief reports of oddities and strange events – printed and well-produced, as you'd expect from Bob. Three issues so far & they're all recommended: 6/£1.80 or $4.50 – Bob Rickard, 31 Kingswood Rd, Moseley, Birmingham B13 9AN.


  1. Algol? Well, Andy Porter says that between ten and forty copies of the 20th issue have been lost en route to the UK ("possible explanations" says Andy "range from termites in the hold of the mail ship to the more likely one of getting screwed by Her Majesty's Post Office."). As a result, no copies of the 21st have yet been posted to the UK; Algol will in future be unavailable in British bookshops, incidentally.
  2. Vector? The last I heard from Malcolm Edwards was that Vector's printer had failed. It seems likely that the next two issues will be amalgamated – whenever and if ever they appear.
  3. Speculation? The same thing has happened to Pete Weston; the last time I saw Pete he said that the printer's failure was just about the last straw for Speculation.
  4. Egg? Well...

TYNECON '74 Just a few brief notes: current membership is now at 288 (50p to join – Ian Maule, 13 Weardale Av, Forest Hall, Newcastle on Tyne, Ne12 0HX); films noted in the third Progress Report have now been booked; the mention of the Tynecon in SF Monthly resulted in 24 enquiries within the first five days of publication – potential con-goers are therefore urgently advised to book now; finally, there'll be another team quiz (as at the OMPAcon), this time it'll be modelled on University Challenge!

DISAPPEARING: John Brosnan was recently seen off to Australia – he's going back for a parental visit, but intends to scare certain happy Aussiefans and also hopes to return via Hollywood and California; Jean Muggoch is off to New Zealand in March – to revitalise New Zealand fandom, I trust; finally, Brian Hampton intends to do some fanning in the US, starting in May – don't say I didn't warn you!

CONGRATULATIONS to 'Gray Boak' and Meg Palmer on their announced engagement. Gray is reputedly changing the name of his fanzine to Joy...

AND FINALLY, many thanks to those noble fans who sent Christmas and seasonal greetings. Good on you all. In return let me say: "Redaksia e revistes 'Checkpoint' i uron lexuesve dhe te gjithe bashkepunetoreve gëzuar vitin e ri 1974!" And I hope you appreciate that.



Peter Roberts
Flat 4
6 Westbourne Park Villas
London W2