Checkpoint 68

Checkpoint 68, edited and produced by Ian Maule, 8 Hillcroft Crescent, Ealing, London W5 2SG, United Kingdom. Available for letter, trade or subscription (5/40p – 10/70p). News this issue gleaned from various places.


This years DUFF winner is Christine McGowan who received 58 of the 105 votes cast: runners up were Paul Stevens and John Alderson. Total sum in the coffers now amounts to $1200 (US) but any further contributions will be gratefully received.

The other news concerning DUFF is that on the last day of voting the Australian Administrator received 79 votes submitted under one cheque. With the exception of two names all the voters were totally unknown. To add to the confusion some of the votes looked very suspect and not one of them had been on the official DUFF ballot form. Also each of the 79 votes was for the same candidate. Consequently the cheque was returned and the 79 votes declared invalid. There is now a rumour that this decision was not well received and threats of legal action are now being voiced.

(Fanew Sletter)


An open letter from Keith Walker

The full realisation of the above simple fact didn't strike home to me until the early hours of Wednesday morning. I could kick myself, for if I'd been able to put together the pieces of the jigsaw at the con itself I might have registered some feeble protest at least. As it is I am guilty of having allowed the remnants of the Fanzine Foundation to slip through my fingers without so much as a whimper. To add fuel to my consternation I am on record as having joked to Mike Meara, "Looks like they're selling off the Foundation again." I wasn't serious then nor intending to be prophetic but I am dead earnest in suggesting it now. The more I ponder upon this matter the more clues come to hand and the more convinced I become that I am right. I shall try to summarize:

The Evidence

1) The committee seemed strangely reluctant to hold the auction of fanzines. Some books had been sold previously but the fanzines were not offered for sale until Monday afternoon. At a time when many con attendees had left or were preparing to do so. Most of those remaining had probably spent up. I merely thought at the time that it was yet another glaring example of the con committees bloody awful organisation or rather the lack of it.

It now seems evident in retrospect that there was some much more sinister motive behind this apparently bad timing of the auction. Those of the committee in the know, and Chuck Partington let slip the infamous name of John Muir though I failed to seize upon the connection, were obviously anxious to ensure that no one was present in the hall who could identify the fanzines being offered for sale as the property of the B.S.F.A. The only three people present who had a ghost of a chance of doing so were Pete Roberts, Ken Slater and Rog Peyton. All of whom must be forgiven since the mass of fanzines being thrown about was hardly recognisable as the B.S.F.A's once carefully cared for collection: and who would have believed that even after four years that anyone would have the audacity to try it again. Yet the clues as to this truth were there and coming thick and fast.

2) The zines appeared in a laundry bag. This in itself should have aroused ones suspicions, but it didn't. The zines – the remains of the Fanzine Foundation – had been last seen at Chester and had presumably been left at the Blossoms by John Muir? The hotel staff there must have bundled up the stack of apparently "waste paper" and put it into the nearest and most convenient receptacle – a laundry bag. The simple logic of it hits one between the eyes. It should not have escaped me.

3) The items offered for sale contained material clearly belonging once to Charlie Winstone which were unlikely to be of interest to most other collectors: e.g. a file of letters concerning PaDS addressed personally to Charlie himself. There were also a number of fanzines addressed to Charlie. The latter is less conclusive but the two facts taken together seem to suggest without a shadow of doubt that these and many of the other items were once in the possession of Charlie Winstone – the former librarian of the B.S.F.A. Fanzine Foundation.

4) There were a similar quantity of fanzines published by, or addressed to John Muir. Many more copies of the same Muir fanzines than one would expect to find in any collection other than that of the publisher himself. The newer zines also reflected the kind of fanmags that were the pretended interest of John Muir. These three factors taken together seem fairly clearly to point to the zines offered having been at one time in the possession of John Muir – who had taken over the B.S.F.A. Fanzine Foundation from Charlie Winstone.

5) The zines on sale covered a large time span stretching from the 1940's to the present day. Despite the appalling manner in which these fragile zines had been tossed thoughtlessly into a sack some of the items – a bound set of the last ten issues of Quandry – had obviously been treated at some time or other with the tender loving care due to them. Both factors indicate a collection not acquired overnight but only after a long period of sustained effort.

6) There were an unusually large number of earlier scarcer issues of Vector. Again the multiple copies of the same issues seemed to indicate that the whole or part of the collection once belonged to the B.S.F.A. One can't seen any reason for one collector holding on to so many copies of a single issue but of course the B.S.F.A. Fanzine Library would.

Need I go on? There are other points I could call to mind but I feel confident that you've heard more than enough. The evidence seems pretty conclusive and I'm sure you can only reach one verdict.

Convention News

Eastercon '77 will be in the capable hands of the Birmingham group. Leicester was voted as site for the con and the Holiday Inn as the hotel. Guest of Honour is John Bush chairman of Victor Gollancz the publishers. Registration is £1 to Pauline Dungate, 4 Lindsworth Court, Moneyhull Hall Rd., Kings Norton, Birmingham B30 3QJ.

Two new bids have been announced for the '79 Worldcon in opposition to the British bid. These are Nashville and New Orleans. I think it's about time that all British fanzine publishers pushed our bid in their zines, just as the Australians did for theirs.

ALNITAH is the name of a Star Trek mini-con to be held on Saturday June 5th (10am-10pm) at Richmond Community Centre, 4 Sheen Rd., Richmond, Surrey. Programme items listed include quiz, auction and slide show. Registration is £1 to Ann Looker, The Forge, 41 Main St., Weston Turnville, Aylesbury, Bucks.

Kevin Easthope and Jean & David Staves are putting forward the idea of a camp site convention; something Pete Presford and myself also suggested a couple of years ago. If you've any comments to make or can suggest a suitable location for the con contact Kevin at 6 Ipsley Grove, Erdington, Birmingham, B23 7SY or Jean & Fave at 23 Redwood Ave., Killamarsh, Sheffield.

Fanzines Received

Outworlds 27, Bill Bowers, PO Box 2521, North Canton, Ohio 44720, USA. 4/$5, arranged trade, printed letter of comment or Editorial Whim. A fine fanzine that seems to get more impressive with each new issue. Good to see Harry Bell at last breaking into the American art scene.

Erg 54, Terry Jeeves, 230 Bannerdale Rd., Sheffield, S11 9FE. Usual or 3/50p or 7/£1. Contents include some useful tips on fanzine production.

Zimri 8, Lisa Conesa, 54 Manley Rd., Whalley Range, Manchester M16 8HP. After a long gap between issues Zimri is back in all its former glory. This issue is notable for a fine Roy Kettle article.

The Grimling Bosch 5, Harry Bell, 9 Lincoln St., Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 4EE. Usual. A good unpretentious little fanzine that this issue announces the purchase of a new duplicator by Gannetfandom. Of course there are other things in the issue and all fannish stuff it is too.

Cynic 9, Gray Boak, 2 Cecil Court, Cecil St., Lytham, Lancs., FY8 5NN. Usual. Another fanzine that makes a welcome appearance after a long period of silence. This issue is well up to the standard set in previous issues and shows that Gray, even though he has been out of the mainstream of fandom for some time, can still produce a fanzine that is both readable and relevant.

Odds and Sods

The Astral Leauge is a new group hoping to promote peace and understanding should extraterrestrials land on Earth. High Priest is Don West, 48 Norman St., Bingley, W. Yorkshire. Hangers-on include Greg Pickersgill, Brian Parker and Gray Charnock. Contact Don if you want details on how to join. // Ian Williams is said to be British agent for the FAAN Awards. // Walt Willis has agreed to do an article for the next Maya and also I hear for the next BRITAIN IS FINE IN '79 progress report.

Terry Hughes, 4739 Washington Blvd., (Basement), Arlington, VA. 22205, USA.
Pete Presford, 2 Maxwell Close, Buckley, Clwyd, Cymru.


Ian Maule,
8 Hillcroft Crescent,
London W5,
United Kingdom.