CHECKPOINT is published by Darroll Pardoe, 24 Othello Close, Hartford, Huntingdon PE18 7SU, England. Available for trades, news or 12/£1.00. Overseas rates are: Belgium 12/90F; North America 12/$3 airmail; Australia 10/$2 airmail; France 12/9F. No foreign cheques, please: I recommend International Money Order or Reply Coupon. Free sample on request. This issue is dated April 2nd 1975. Our phone number is 0480-56072. The heading is in Times New Roman, one of the most beautiful typefaces ever invented. Amduscias publication 98.
A HORDE OF KILLER RABBITS IS APPROACHING COVENTRY: DON'T PANIC or in other words, the 1975 annual British SF Convention was held at the De Vere Hotel in Coventry over 28/31 March. Attendance was again a record one: total registration had reached 550 by the end of the weekend. This number included a lot of newcomers, presumably brought in by SF Monthly as was the case last year. It's encouraging to note that many people for whom Tynecon was the first convention were again in evidence at Coventry.
THE PROGRAMME: well, I'm afraid that we didn't get to much of the formal programme, though Bob Shaw's talk was, as you might expect, a marvel and wonder. Peter Roberts had organised some alternative fan programming to run parallel to the more sercon items in the main ball, and this was an excellent innovation. The fan items were held in the downstairs lounge in a delightfully informal manner, and covered such topics as how to publish a fanzine, and the organisation of a local SF group. The films this year were well chosen and mostly recent (including 'Sleeper', 'Duel' and the movie from which the heading to this section is taken 'Night of the Lepus') and the silent 'Lost World' was also shown.
THE FANDOM ROOM was another good idea. This contained samples of fmz, fan literature, a display of photos and so on; Peter Roberts tried to publish an issue of 'EGG' during the convention, but was foiled by an erratic paper feed on his Gestetner 120.
THE BANQUET was something we didn't go to, having decided that over £6 for two meals was too much (the hotel food, incidentally, was cheap and good, an unusual occurrence) but the usual speeches and awards were made. Peter Weston was in good form as toastmaster, and Harry Harrison's speech as Guest of Honour was well worth hearing; he described how SF prodom was almost decimated in Brazil. The BSFA award (this year awarded in the absence of a BSFA by the convention committee) went to Chris Priest for 'Inverted World'. The Doc Weir award went to Peter Weston. The Ken McIntyre award (for fan art) was awarded to Carol Gregory. The August Derleth award was not given this year. After the banquet there was a dance in the main ball to the music of 'Deep Fix', a good sound indeed.
THE BUSINESS MEETING brought in a compromise two-year bidding system which may work if given a fair chance. Manchester won the 1976 site without opposition. Birmingham put in a bid for 1977 under the new system which, briefly, is that the group given the go-ahead two years ahead will be given final approval one year later, provided that they have concrete proposals to present at that stage, a definite hotel commitment for example. The meeting then went on to a report from the 'UK in 79' committee, which contained little in the way of new information, but showed they're still in business.
THE BSFA MYSTERY was not exactly resolved at this convention. Since the statutory notices had not been sent to the membership, no AGM was held at this Easter. There was though an 'unofficial' meeting, which was followed later in the day by a second meeting in John Brunner's room. The BSFA seemed set for extinction by rampant apathy, but all these people emerged from the woodwork and made an attempt to put it back on the road. Is it worth it? The legal AGM has been set for June at a location, yet to be announced, in the London area.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS. We enjoyed this year's convention, of course, but somehow it didn't quite gell. I think there were too many new faces, and faces generally, so that it became difficult to find people we wanted to talk to. This is a result of the growth of Eastercon size, and can't be helped, except by setting up additional, small gatherings as Gray Boak is doing. The hotel was good, and had plenty of little nooks and corners for quiet talking and drinking. It did however have an enormous static charge which drew sparks from every metal surface to one's fingers. It was a surprise and a delight to find Mike Glicksohn and Sheryl Birkhead present, two people we've wanted to meet for a long time. We also enjoyed meeting Alan and Elke Stewart, who somehow we completely missed contact with at Tynecon.
MANCON FIVE the 1976 Easter convention, will be held on a university campus, a new experiment for such occasions. The site is Owens Park, Manchester, and they quote a rate of £5.50 a person, full board. The chairman is Peter Presford, and the treasurer (to whom registrations should be sent) is Brian Robinson, 9 Linwood Grove, Manchester M12 4QH.
TAFF Nominations have now closed and voting forms will be distributed shortly. The current campaign is to bring an American fan to the 1976 Eastercon here, and the two candidates are Bill Bowers and Roy Tackett, good fans both.
NOVACON The first progress report for Novacon 5 is out. This con will be held in the Royal Angus hotel, Birmingham (a new venue) on 7th-9th November. The GoH is Dan Morgan. Registration is 75p to Pauline Dungate, 4 Lindsworth Court, Monyhull Hall Road, Birmingham B30 3QS.
PETER WESTON will be editing a series of original SF anthologies for Orbit. He's looking for 2000-12000 word stories; closing date for the first anthology is August 1st 1975. His address is 72 Beeches Drive, Erdington, Birmingham B24 0DT. Peter is also still UK agent for LOCUS at £14.80 for 15 issues.
THE SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY OF BRITAIN is a mysterious organisation of which I know nothing, but whose name appeared on some literature handed out at Seacon, Can anyone enlighten me, for the benefit of CP readers?
THE FANZINE SCENE
Lots of fanzines to mention again. There was another fine issue or OUTWORLDS which arrived the day we left for the convention. Robert Lowndes reminisces; Joe de Bolt writes on John Brunner; there are some selections from Grant Canfield's WASTE PAPER (further to the ones which have appeared in STARLING). OW is a fanzine (albeit a classy litho one with a circulation over 1000) which seems to me to combine serious and fan material with great success. If you don't already get OW then I strongly recommend you to do so. OW is from Bill Bowers (PO Box 2521, North Canton, OH 44720, USA) for 4/$4.00 or the usual. Bill, of course, is a TAFF candidate this time.
THE SPANISH INQUISITION 4 (Jerry Kaufman and Suzanne Tompkins, 622 West 114th Street, Apt. 524, New York, NY 10025, USA) has become a good fannish fanzine with material from such writers as John Curlovich, Ginjer Buchanan, Laura Haney, Mike Gorra and our own Peter Roberts. The cover picture, incidentally, was helpful to us in recognizing Mike Glicksohn at Easter. Usual or 35¢.
A whole bundle of SOITGOZE (issues 9- 13) arrived from Tim Marion. Tim's given up this fmz now, so there's no point my quoting availability. It's a shame, because Tim is a very good writer. Much of these issues is taken up with an account of his experiences at Discon, the longest and also the best Discon report we've read. (614 72nd Street, Newport News, VA 23605, USA).
RUNE 42 (Fred Haskell, 343 E 19th Street, Apt. 8B, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA). Rune seems to be very much Fred's own fanzine now, and it's really looking up. The letter column especially is a lively entity with all sorts of interesting people writing in. Nice Minn-stf calendar on the back page. Usual or $1 a year.
That murine periodical TRUE RAT 4/5 from Leroy Kettle (74 Eleanor Road, London E8) gnawed its way through the letterbox. I don't know what American or other readers unused to ratfanzines would make of this, but I think it's a darn good fanzine. Availability: the usual, I think, and I don't suppose he'd refuse money.
C7 from Gray Boak (2 Cecil Court, Cecil Street, Lytham, Lytham St Annes, Lancs. FY8 5NN) suffers from the fact that Gray is a little out of touch with the main stream of fandom nowadays. But his remarks on conventions are sensible, and all the more because he's actually doing something about it. Gray also tells of the disasters which overtook his wedding. (Usual?)
QWERTYUIOP 8 from Sam Long (Box 4946, Patrick AFB, FL 32925, USA) (usual, no money) has good material from Mike Gorra, Brian Hampton, Eric Lindsay and from Sam himself, all very readable. Nothing deep, but a most enjoyable fanzine. Our wombats don't want to be liberated, though.
A whole bunch of British fanzines came out just before the postage rates went up, and we received several more at the convention from people who (like us) were presumably saving on postage. DURFED (Kevin Williams and Neil Jones, 9 Whitton Place, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland) (usual) is a sort of modern-day equivalent of Cohn Freeman's SCRIBBLE, but not so good as yet. THE GRIMLING BOSCH 2 is Harry Bell's personalzine (9 Lincoln Street, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE8 4EE) (usual). Small, and not often enough. SPI-2 is Graham Poole's xeroxed and hand-coloured fmz (23 Russet Road, Cheltenham Glos. GL51 7LN). Graham had lots of letters in reply to the first issue, which means that this one is interesting to read and quite thick. Much talk of the BSFA, conventions and other topics. I had a copy of SFINX 9 (Peter Jones, St Peter's College, Oxford: 15p) which is litho and full of amateur fiction, not my forte I'm afraid, but I know some people like it. SCOTTISHE 19 from Ethel Lindsay, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6QL (2/40p) now incorporates Haverings within itself, apart from which it's the formula as before: mostly letters and sf book reviews. FANZINE FANATIQUE (Keith Walker, 2 Daisy Bank, Quernmore Road, Lancaster) (6/30p) came disguised as Skyrack, and along with a 'SF Times' what-shall-we-do-with-the-BSFA supplement. SONF 8 (Howard Rosenblum, 46 Moray Road, London N4 3LG) (10p or usual) still seems to lack direction, but has a reasonable litho back cover. INFERNO 7 from Paul & Cas Skelton, 25 Bowland Close, Offerton, Stockport SK2 5NW, Cheshire) is a good personalzine. CELTIC WARRIOR 1 (Jim Campbell, 33 Speirs Road, Bearsden, Glasgow) is xeroxed, available for the usual and rather nationalistic. NEBULA 5 (Dave Taylor, 15 Alwyn Garden, Upton-by-Chester) (60p/yr) is amateur fiction, quite similar to Sfinx. THE THIRD WRINKLED SHREW (Pat Charnock, 70 Ledbury Road, London W.11) (usual or obscene poctsacrds) is less murine nowadays but still good.
Various newszines arrived since the last Checkpoint: FORTHCOMING SF BOOKS 24 (Joanne Burger, 55 Blue Bonnet Court, Lake Jackson, TX 77566 USA) (6/$1.50) is a useful source of information on the subject of its title. SON OF THE WSFA JOURNAL (169-172) (Don Miller, 12315 Judson Road, Wheaton, MD 20906, USA) (12/$1 from Eric Bentcliffe, 17 Riverside Crescent, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 7NR) has its usual comprehensive coverage. INSTANT MESSAGE 166 (NESFA, Box G, MIT Branch PO, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA) ($5.00 a year) covers NESFA happenings. FANEW SLETTER 24 (Leigh Edmonds, P0 Box 74, Balaclava, Victoria 3183, Australia) (10¢A) is the Australian newszine. SPANG BLAH 3:1 is Jan Finder's newszine (PSC Box 614, US Air Base, 33081 Aviano, Italy) particularly good on continental European news. LOCUS 170 (Charlie and Dena Brown, Box 3938, San Francisco, CA 94119, USA) is the essential SFnewspaper.
And finally, NEWS FROM BREE 14 (Hartley Patterson, 'Finches', 6 Cambridge Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 1HW) (usual, no money) a quiet personalzine with a wargames bias.
CURRYCON has been postponed to November 31st. Place the same though. # John Piggott has moved to the slanshack at 4 Lothair Road, London W5, and John (NI) Berry has moved to 119 Garden Avenue, Hatfield, Herts. # Rosemary's WARK 3 is now out, a month ahead of schedule. # DUFF voting ends on May 31st. We support Johnny Berry. # Rumoured that the 1979 Chicago bid has folded. # Orbit are awarding a £500 prize yearly for the best novel submitted to them. Peter Weston is one of the judges. # A film festival of SF & Fantasy films to be held in London in November; attendance will be by invitation only (!)