Checkpoint 65, edited and produced by Ian Maule, 8 Hillcroft Crescent, Ealing, London W5 2SG, United Kingdom. Available for letter, Trade or subscription (5/40p or 10/70p). News this issue from Pete Weston, Harry Bell and Elke & Alan Stewart. Heading by Harry Bell.
Going up the 'Pool, a convention report by Gerald Lawrence on the first World faan convention.
The start of the trip to Blackpool did not bode well. Though we (Bernie Peek, Coral Clarke, Ian Maule, Dave Rowe and myself) were supposed to be on the road early, we set out late, and almost immediately got lost. Besides requesting for directions we made only two stops between London and Blackpool. However as I would find it impossible to reproduce the tedious detail of the journey, I will resume my tale with our arrival in Blackpool.
Surprisingly we found the hotel easily – I wish we had been able to find somewhere to eat with equal ease. We (the Kittens) spent over an hour and a half walking the deserted streets for a decent restaurant. The one we eventually found managed to get the bill wrong. Ian, in particular, was displeased having been overcharged.
On our return, further people had arrived and the scene was set for a pleasant evening of drunken cavorting. It was Ian and I who found the antiquated pinball machine and persuaded the manager to plug it in. After that, it was only out of use when it had to be fixed, and when people became too drunk to press the buttons. Strange, really, how so many people could become ardent pinball players at almost the same instant.
Unfortunately the bar closed early in the morning and I turned in about an hour later when nothing of any consequence seemed to be happening.
On the Saturday morning I managed to get up at half seven and decided to take a two hour stroll up the beach, which was even more depressing than when I'd seen it the night before. When I returned to the hotel I heard that a party of sorts had taken place after I went to bed, but also that it was foredoomed by the acute lack of intoxicating brews.
The pinball machine was of course in use well before breakfast especially when it became possible to win money on it. Treble figures paid as follows: 111 paid 11p, 222 paid 22p and so on. Also, the highest score in 1976 would win a free week in Blackpool. If as rumoured, the prize for the lowest score is two weeks in Blackpool I hope Gray Boak enjoys it!
Being too smart to be caught twice, many fen on the Saturday went out and laid in stocks of booze in the event of another early closure of the bar that night. Indeed this did occur but fortunately there were two parties that night. One took place on the stairs and was a real picture of bodies in a stupor. The only motion as I passed through on the way to start my own party was a rather half-hearted chorus of "Happy Birthday" on my appearance. I think this torpid lot eventually drifted down to my room when their booze ran short. Though my party went on till about six I am assured by Ian that there was seldom more than one conversation going, and those were mostly between two people.
Still, it was a good con and one that I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
BSFA SCIENCE FICTION YEARBOOK 1976
Alan and Elke Stewart are the editors for this project of the BSFA. Contents will include articles on SF in 1975/76, founding a local SF group, fanzines and conventions. In addition there will be a feature on both SF and fannish awards, plus a reference section listing names and addresses of SF publishers, specialist booksellers, SF and Fantasy magazines and regular original anthologies, book clubs, local groups and national organisations, and forthcoming conventions.
The print run will be between 600 and 1,000 copies and will be distributed free of charge to BSFA members. It will also be sold by post with the additionally possible outlet of specialist bookshops. The size of the Yearbook will be A4 reduced to A5 and advertising space may be purchased for the following fan rates:
Camera copy ready for reduction to A5 should be sent to Alan and Elke at 7 Surrey Lane, London SW11 3PA, together with remittance made payable to the BSFA Ltd. Deadline for copy is 31 March.
Roy Tackett and his wife Chrystal will be arriving in the UK on 10th April at Gatwick Airport and flying back on 23rd April. In recent years Roy's contacts with active British fandom have not been close. People willing to play host for a couple of days to either Roy and his wife and/or Bill Bowers the other TAFF delegate should contact Pete Weston at 72 Beeches Rd., Erdington, Birmingham B24 0DT, who is trying to plan an itinerary centered around Mancon.
Harry Bell informs me of another convention to be held this year. It's to be held at the Imperial Hotel Newcastle on Tyne and will go by the name of Silicon. Date for the con has been arranged for August Bank Holiday 28th-29th August. Just like the recent con in Blackpool this will be a minimum programme convention with the possibility of just a few films and a couple of panels. Chairman of the con is Harry and the overworked Rob Jackson is responsible for the hotel liaison. Registration is £1.50 to Harry Bell, 9 Lincoln St., Gateshead, NE8 4EE. Current room rates are: £6.75 single b&b, £6.25 per person twin/double b&b. Breakfast is either full English served in the dining-room or Continental served in the bedroom. For those fen not too interested in breakfast there's always the bar, which according to Harry has the largest selection of beers he has ever seen at a hotel. A number of brews were mentioned including at least one that will please members of C.A.M.R.A. The hotel is also used to large groups staying-up all night. The last convention held there was for Probation officers and was apparently quite a drunken sprawl so the sight of drunken fen lying about shouldn't unduly worry the hotel staff.
Novacon 6. The first progress report is now out and confirms that Dave Kyle is the Guest of Honour. The hotel is again the Royal Angus but the room rates are slightly increased from last year. A single room is now £5.75 a night and a double/twin £4.90 per person. Full English breakfast will be an additional 75p. Date for the convention is 5th, 6th and 7th November. Registration is £1.00 to: Helen Eling, 124 Galton Rd., Smethwick, Warley, West Midlands, B67 5JS.
ODDS AND SODS
Regular One Tun attendees Pandora Birch and Roger Perkins got engaged recently. Jan Howard Fisher is trying to arrange a fund to bring Bob Tucker to the 1977 Eastercon. The SF Foundation award for SF criticism mentioned last year has been put back to 1977. Ace Ratfan Greg Pickersgill is currently working on his latest fanzine venture. Last reports I have indicate that almost two thirds is on stencil.
BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79 BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79 BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79
BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79 BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79 BRITAIN IS FINE IN 79
SF Echo 23/24, Ed Connor, 1805 N. Cale Ave., Peoria, IL. 61604, USA. This issue $2, usual subscription price 5/$4. SF and fannish with the results of yet another Walker poll.
Titan 2, Geoff Rippington, 15 Queens Ave., Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8AY. Usual or 25p per copy, 3/40p (US & Canada 3/$1). A vast improvement over the first issue.
Mota 14, Terry Hughes, 866 N. Frederick St., Arlington, VA.22205, USA. usual; sample available on request, no money. Another fine issue of a fine faanish fanzine. Perhaps it's a little early but how about Terry Hughes for TAFF?
Orion 2, Paul A. Ryan, 29 Morritt Ave., Halton, Leeds, LS15 7EP. Usual or 25p per copy. One of the new breed of British faanish fanzines and litho yet!
Atropos 2, Dave Cockfield, 31 Durham Court, Hebburn, Tyne & Wear, NE31 1JX. Usual, no money. Will this new wave ever end I ask myself? If Atropos is anything to go by I sincerely hope not.
Egg 10, Peter Roberts, 6 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2. Usual, no money. Only a year since the last issue, Peter must be eating his greens again. Nothing really memorable this issue although Eric Bentcliffe's fanzine reviews are competent and readable. Let's hope it doesn't take another year for Peter to pub his ish.
Wrinkled Shrew 5, Pat & Graham Charnock, 70 Ledbury Rd., London W11. Usual. Great stuff, best zine of its kind being published in Britain today.
News from Bree 16, Hartley Patterson, 'Finches', 7 Cambridge Rd., Beaconsfield, Bucks., HP9 1HW. The zine is splitting in two from next issue. NFB will be continuing in litho but without the games features that have been prominent of late; these will be going into a new zine to be called West Farthing.
Siddhartha 7, Ian Williams, 6 Greta Tce., Chester Rd., Sunderland, SR4 7RD. Not generally available. Another sickening issue of the dwarfs personalzine – still, it's not as bad as the last which was positively nauseating.
Amor 8&9, Susan Wood, Dept. of English, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1W5, Canada. Not generally available. Susan seems to put heart and soul into her zine and depending on how she feels at the time this fanzine is a real joy to read.
Vibrator 4, Graham Charnock, 70 Ledbury Rd., London W11. Usual. A fannish fanzine with overtones of paranoia. What more can a sinisterly polite person (Grah's description of me) say apart from that I enjoyed it?
TNFF Vol.35 no.6, Joanne Burger, 55 Blue Bonnet Court, Lake Jackson, TX. 77566, USA. Official magazine of the National Fantasy Fan Federation and as such is available to members free of charge. If you're interested in joining send $3 to: Janie Lamb, Route 1, Box 364, Heiskell, TN. 37754, USA.
K 1, Bernie Peek, 6 Hawks Rd., Kingston on Thames, Surrey, KT1 3EG and Dave Rowe, 8 Park Drive, Wickford, Essex, SS12 9DH. Usual or 25p. The long awaited fanzine finally appears after months of discovering the two editors deep in conversation. One of the most enjoyable first issues in a long time. Let's hope that the second issue lives up to the promise of the first.
That-thing-there is a photo of me, taken by the only camera ever known to be robust enough not to crack apart at the sight. It was developed by a blind photo technician; all the others who saw it went home, ill.
Behind that ugly mug, with its forehead like a football pitch, lies a brain of great capacity. (About six pints of beer or eight vodka and limes.) When not thinking of jokes about myself to put in fanzines, I am a twenty-five-year-old doctor who works grossly excessive hours in his intern year and looks forward with longing to having enough spare time to do all the reading and writing and fanediting he wants to do.
My first contact with any science fiction organisation occurred while I was at Oxford University at the end of 1971. I found myself spending so much on SF that I decided I'd better join the Oxford SF group to have access to their library, despite the fact that a lot of them liked woolly fantasy like Dune and Lord of the Rings. They soon cured me of that attitude.
The Oxford Group also had some strange things called fanzines, with addresses in them of weird things with names like Ian Maule and the BSFA. I moved back to Newcastle to finish off my medical training in the summer of '72 and found I couldn't stand being without some kind of science-fiction social life, so I tried to find the phone number of this Ian Maule via Directory Enquiries.
"Maule...They've moved, I think," the operator said. "Wait a minute, I know Mr. Maule; I think they've moved to Forest Hall somewhere....Yes, here's their new address....."
So I met Gannetfandom. The amazing regularity of their pub visits, and the quality of their fannish fanzine Maya made me take up drinking and fan-writing with some enthusiasm. Because I seemed to have some go, energy, and stuff like that about me I was made editor of the Gannets awful groupzine, Gannetscrapbook. Then when we decided to bid for Eastercon in '74 the rest of the group decided that I was honest enough to be entrusted with the job of treasurer, and sucker enough to do it. A few months after the con Ian handed Maya over to me and since then I have been steadily turning it into a Big Name Fanzine, with Bob Shaw, Chris Priest, Pete Weston and many more regular contributors. My efforts were rewarded at last years Novacon when I was awarded the Nova award for Maya 8.
I'm also Chairman of the North-East SF Group and recently, for my sins, Tyne-Tees Television rang me up and stated they wanted a science fiction 'fanatic' for one of their programmes and would I like to appear. So you see, if the operator I'd contacted back in 1972 hadn't happened to know Ian Maule, I just might have missed being called a fanatic over the phone, and I might have spent all the money I've spent on Maya, on something sensible instead.
Fanzine Fanatique 13, Keith & Rosemary Walker, 2 Daisy Bank, Quernmore Rd., Lancaster, Lancs. Usual or 10p per copy, 4/35p (US 3/$1.) One of the very worst of British fanzines currently being foisted upon fandom. Keith generally comes up with some quite good ideas but his layout and production detract ones eyes to such a degree that it's hard to remember after turning over the last page what in hell it's all been about. This issue has the intention of presenting some of the best articles and artwork produced in Eastercon programme books over the past fifteen years and as such starts off with a readable page by Keith detailing the history of them. All too soon however the duplicating and layout fall to pieces and by the last two pages it's a real chore to plough through without contracting eye strain. My advice to Keith is simple: buy a new typewriter and duplicator.
Instant Message 188, NESFA, PO Box G, MIT Branch Post Office, Cambridge, Mass. 02139, USA. No price listed. Useful for East coast American news.
Vector 72, Chris Fowler, 72 Kenilworth Ave., Southcote, Reading, RG3 3DN. 50p per copy of 6/£3.30. I said last issue that Vector under the editorship of Chris wasn't up to the standards set by the previous editor Malcolm Edwards. I still hold that opinion although if issues continue to improve as they have done then I expect to say at some future date that Vector has surpassed in quality terms the standards laid down by Malcolm a few years ago.
Lan from the House of Isher 2, George J. Laskowski Jr., 26081 Marlene, Roseville, MI. 48066, USA. An apazine and therefore not generally available.
The Spang Blah Vol.111, No. 4, Jan Howard Finder, PSC Box 614, US Air Base, I-33081 Aviano, Italy. Free! A newszine that covers more ground than I could hope to do. News from all parts of the world make this newszine one to get if you're interested in what's going on outside in the big wide world of fandom.
LETTER FROM HARRY WARNER
.....I think you're doing a fine job with Checkpoint. It reminds me in some ways of Fanac, the old Terry Carr-Ron Ellik newszine. It doesn't look like Fanac, but you emphasise the same sort of news and take a similarly less than serious attitude to matters which are suited for this treatment, just as the dynamic duo from Berkeley once did.
Of course, Checkpoint also reactivates my sense of wonder, just as any fanzine does that deals with the more esoteric and farflung aspects of fandom nowadays. Events like the resurrection of Triode, mentioned in your fanzine review section, and the existence of a Scandinavia-slanted British fanzine fulfill much the same function in my life in these latter days that the fiction in the Gernsback Wonder Stories and the Sloane Amazing Stories once served: exercise for my faculties of disbelief and imagination. Maybe such things seem quite normal and ordinary to the person who discovered fandom recently, but I can't believe them yet, even though I've seen them gradually develop. Fandom was too obscure and small when it was new to me.
BITS AND PIECES
An interesting letter arrived in the post today from Cas Skelton. Hot news is the Skelton tribe have adopted another 10 kids since I saw them three weeks ago. How true this is I'm not at all sure, the one undeniable fact that can be corroborated is that Cas has given-up eating
again...... Dr. Robert Jackson, Gannetfan and part-time surgeon, has become the fourth member of the Britain is fine in '79 bid, he expects his OBE any day now. Perhaps better news is that Vernon Brown is seriously looking into the possibilities of chartering a plane to carry British fen over to Suncon. I myself have confined my activities to thinking of sending a number of barrels of real En British beer to Suncon to smooth the way for the bid. SF Monthly is folding with the April issue. The passing-away of Britain's only SF magazine will be mourned dearly by John Brosnan and Peter Weston who between them managed to keep some sort of standard. Harry Bell has finally heard word of his promotion in the Civil Service. Fortunately for Harry the post will be in Newcastle – congratulations, Harry. Terry Hughes that fine upstanding wit, raconteur and Anglophile is Checkpoint's new American correspondent.
8 Hillcroft Crescent,
London W5 2SG,