Checkpoint 74


(September 1976)

Bill Rotsler cartoon

Edited and produced by Peter Roberts, 18 Westwood, Cofton, Starcross, Nr.Dawlish, Devon, UK. Available for news, trade, or cash (5/50p, 12/£1, or 6/$1 airmail). Overseas subscribers – please send cash (no coins!) or Int.Money Orders, not cheques. Restormel Press Publication: 104. Cartoon by Bill Rotsler.

CHECKPOINT RECAPTURED – MAULE FLEES IN PANIC: Alerted by strange signs in the heavens and unnatural noises in the wardrobe, former CP editor Peter Roberts was able to unmask Ian Maule's miserable scheme to turn Checkpoint into an annual one-page listing of recent Perry Rhodan reprints. Unnerved by the disclosure of his master plan, the mystery man of Ealing Broadway readily surrendered the newszine and the subscription money. He then fled.

The ex-editor's CoA should be found later this issue, if he sends it to me in time. Meanwhile, please note that I too am moving: my present address (6 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2) can be used for letters only up to Oct. 15th, but fanzines (and all mail after mid-October) should be sent to: Peter Roberts, 18 Westwood, Cofton, Starcross, Nr. Dawlish, Devon, UK.

All being well, Checkpoint will appear once a month with news of fans and fandom. For science fiction news, try Locus (details in the fanzine list later). Letters, comment, news, and information are welcome and free issues will be sent in exchange. If you wish to reprint information from Checkpoint, you're welcome, but please give credit plus address and subscription details.

PETER ROBERTS FOR TAFF! Our Peter Roberts spy reports the entry of Peter Roberts in the forthcoming TAFF race to send a European fan to the Florida Suncon in 1977. Nominators are: Harry Bell, Terry Hughes, Jerry Kaufman, Waldemar Kumming, and Ian Maule. Deadline for nomination is October 1st and voting will take place during the following six months. Further details later – meanwhile, many thanks to those helping and supporting me. Good on you all.

IGUANA IN 78! PHOENIX WINS WORLDCON BID: Phoenix, Arizona, won the vote for the 1978 World Convention taken at the MidAmeriCon (533 for Phoenix, 460 for Los Angeles). The con is called IGUANACON II, believe it or not, and will be held at The Hyatt Regency Hotel on Sept. 2-6, 1978. Attending membership is $7.50 till Jan 1st, 1977 (it'll rise to $25 at the door) and supporting membership is $7. Address: PO Box 1749, Phoenix, Az 85001. First Progress Report is due on Jan 1st (ad deadline: Dec 1st).

Guest of Honour will be Harlan Ellison, Fan GoH will be Bill Bowers. Greg Brown is committee chairman and the current members of the committee are: Bruce Arthurs, Tim Kyger, Curt Stubbs, Carol Hoag, Jim Corrick, Hilde Brown, Bill Patterson, Rick Gellman, and Loie Spooner. Con membership is already at 1129 and, doubtless, rising. (Information from the MidAmeriCon Bullsheet and Linda Bushyager's Karass)

SILICON SUCCESS: (Greg Pickersgill reports) "Gannetfandom, those perennial high-flyers of British fandom, opened a new chapter in British convention-going last August Bank Holiday when they (or more precisely Harry & Irene Bell, Rob Jackson, and Ian Williams) staged the first Silicon in a comfortable, medium- sized hotel just outside the centre of Newcastle on Tyne. The con ran from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, and was a distinct departure from previous efforts to institute a third force in British conventioneering by being open to anyone except diehard sci-fi fanatics and by being lightly programmed with two panels and a film.

"Most of the attendees were from the North East Gannet group, but sizeable groups came from Sheffield (a peculiarly unsociable – on this occasion – gang much given to sitting in corridors being bitter and cynical), Birmingham (though without famous old-time fan, Phillip Waterson), and the South, as well as a group of really old-time fans from Liverpool who, despite failing to fit in anywhere, seemed to have as good a time as any. At its peak about fifty people were in attendance – less than had been hoped for or anticipated, probably due to under-publicizing. The little bit of programming (organized on an it'll- happen-when-everyone's-ready basis) definitely helped to give the whole event some shape and form and drastically reduced that uncertain feeling of waiting for something to happen which usually descends whenever a bunch of disparate fans is left to their own devices. The fan panel on Saturday comprised Greg Pickersgill, Ian Williams, Rob Jackson, and Mike Meara, who collectively disposed of the intended subject (Fanzines, the Image or the Word) in about two sentences, and spent the rest of the time vainly trying to elicit sensible questions from the audience. Sunday's pro panel was more successful; ostensibly the story of an sf book from author (Bob Shaw) through publishing/packaging (Eddie Jones) to bookshop (Rog Peyton), it rapidly became a series of anecdotes about the inefficiency and iniquity of the publishing fraternity. Funny, horrifying, and revelatory stuff. On Sunday too the film Doc Savage was shown, to general delight and setting a record by having a full 94% of the con watching it. I played at being Peter Roberts and stayed in the bar (unfortunately closed) with Irene Bell and Annie Mullins, listening to a drunken Scotsman tell us about a tv programme he'd seen about the Loch Ness monster. Great.

"By far the Star Event was the TV electronic football tournament organized by David 'Superfan' Bridges, in which sixteen hopeful (and in some cases hopeless) players battled through qualifying rounds for the Big Prize of 50p. Curiously enough organizer Bridges won, smashing hot (and tired) favourite Greg Pickersgill out in the final. TV games could easily become a big thing at future cons after this; Leicester and Novacon organizers Rog Peyton and Stan Eling were deeply fascinated by the whole thing and intend to acquire machines for those conventions. Not so much praise can be heaped on the other main 'unofficial' event, the Dragons & Dungeons game, which had the bad effect of drawing off a lot of people from general circulation at crucial nighttime points.

"In fact the only bad aspect of the con was that with so few people attending things got a bit sparse at times, with fans wandering around hopelessly looking for a bit of fun (just like a normal con, but with even less chance of success). Indeed things tended to get very quiet from around on, even with the good and willing bar service. The great advantage of this con though was the clear and pleasant atmosphere, with everyone happy and content to mix freely and easily, and none of the tensions, rivalries, and posing that is often unintentionally evident at the larger cons. Altogether a very pleasant weekend, and one which I'd wholeheartedly recommend – even worth missing one of the larger cons for in fact. Myself, I'm no.1 on next year's registration list."

Greg Pickersgill

Registration for the second Silicon (1977) is £1. Details from: Irene Bell, 9 Lincoln Street, Low Fell, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 4EE.

THE SIXTH NOVACON: The latest Progress Report contains booking forms for this annual Birmingham convention; the place is the Royal Angus Hotel, the date is 5th-7th November, 1976. Full membership is £2 (after Oct 9th, £2.25) and at least 219 fans have already joined. Details from: Stan Eling, 124 Galton Rd, Smethwick, Warley, West Midlands, B67 5JS.

SF ART EXHIBITION: Dennis Hardingham of the D.L.I. Museum & Arts Centre, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TU, is planning "a comprehensive survey of artwork from the science fiction and fantasy fields" for the museum's major summer exhibition next year. He'd be grateful for help and information, not only from professional artists, but also from authors (talks are planned), film-makers, and indeed anyone who can be of assistance in the project.

ODD ORGANIZATIONS: Firstly we have a letter from the Daedalus Society (44 Tillotson Court, Wandsworth Road, Stockwell, London 5W8 2NH) whose secretary, Michael Lawrence, tells me that "the Society is being set up so that Science Fiction fans may also make their own contributions to man's conquest of space." Conquering space may seem rather a tall order, but nonetheless the Daedalus Society intends to lend a hand on an amateur level. If you have some spare time at weekends and feel like conquering space, drop the society a line. The Doctor Who Appreciation Society has sent along a copy of its fanzine, Tardis, in which is announced the amalgamation of the society with its former rival, the Doctor Who International Fan Club. Membership appears to be free – try writing to the fanzine's editor: Gordon Blows, 41 Mountfield Rd, East Ham, London E6 4BH. Tardis itself (no.10) is not without interest, though messily presented (duplicated on A5 paper – too cramped unless the typeface is reduced); it contains articles on the Tardis designer, the Dr Who exhibition at Blackpool, plus letters, a checklist of William Hartnell adventures, and a list of Dr Who merchandise (myself, I fancy the 'Dalek Bubble Bath'). Also mentioned is the Tom Baker Fan Club for membership of which you should write (SAE) to: Linda Williams, 45 Durham Rd, Blackhill, Consett, Co.Durham, DH8 8RS. Another magazine recently received was UFO-Rapport from an organization called SUFORC, the Swedish UFO Research Center. The magazine is neatly printed and presented, and includes articles, reports, and reviews – all in Swedish, naturally. I'll pass it on to David Griffin, local Swedish-speaking fan, and he can correct me if I'm wrong, but the address appears to be: Sturegatan 32A, 571 00 Nässjö, Sweden, and the subscription (or at least the 'Arsprenumeration') is 24kr per year (4 issues). Further information on fringe groups and organizations will be welcomed; for the moment I'd like to ask if anyone out there knows whether The International Dan Dare Club or its successor is still around? If so, please rush membership details to me immediately.

CoAs: Ian Maule, 47 Worcester Rd, Sutton, Surrey, UK. John Piggott, 15 Freeland Rd, Ealing, London W5, UK.

HUGO AWARDS (1976): The following awards were presented at the MidAmeriCon; 1595 ballots were counted.

Best Novel – The Forever War (Haldeman)
Best Novella – Home Is The Hangman (Zelazny)
Best Novelette - Borderland Of Sol (Niven)
Best Short Story – "Catch That Zeppelin" (Leiber)
Best Dramatic Presentation – A Boy His Dog

Best Fanzine – Locus
Best Fanartist – Tim Kirk
Best Fanwriter – Dick Geis
Best Proartist – F.K.Freas
Best Proeditor – Ben Bova

The John W. Campbell Award went to Tom Reamy, The Gandalf Award to L.Sprague DeCamp, the Big Heart Award to Ron Graham, and the First Fandom Award to Harry Bates. (Information from the MidAmeriCon's Bullsheet, their daily con newssheet; thanks to John Millard for sending copies along).

THE TRAVELING INFO CENTER: As part of his travelling enterprise which tours conventions in America, Fred Burkhart produces a newspaper called The Portable Fanzine. It's in large newsprint magazine format and contains ads, articles, fanzine listings, photos, and comic strips – an interesting and lively publication (reminds me of the time when I had plans for producing a fannish newspaper several years ago, but that's another matter). The paper is concerned with a nebulous thing called simply 'fandom' which appears to include comix freaks, film fanatics, and underground publishers, so it it's a good place to contact the fringe fans if you're interested. It doesn't seem to have a price, so send Fred some postage (about 504 I'd reckon) and he should mail you a copy; address is: 2360 Rohs St, Cincinnati, OH 45219, USA.

FANNISH ITEMS FOR SALE: The following items are all available from me (the prices include postage). 1) The Little Gem Guide To Sf Fanzines – the latest (fourth) edition is now out and contains an introduction to fanzines plus a listing (with addresses, &c) of over 150 current fanzines from the UK, US, and many other countries. Price is 25p, or 50c/ from Linda Bushyager (1614 Evans Aye, Prospect Park, PA 19076, USA). 2) The Neofan's Guide – this is Bob Tucker' s famed introduction to fandom in a revised edition produced originally for the TORCON. I have copies at 30p, and Linda Bushyager (address above) has some left at 40c/. 3) The Fillostrated Fan Dictionary – I have copies in stock once again, but due to an increase in printing & postage, plus the collapse of the pound, they now must cost £1.90. However, this is for all three volumes (the third should be ready shortly). The dictionary is a compilation of fannish terms assembled by Elst Weinstein; he can supply copies for $2.50 (7001 Park Manor Aye, North Hollywood, CA 91605, USA).

SCIENTIFICTION NEWS: As I've noted in the introduction, I don't intend to cover sf news in future Checkpoints; instead I recommend to you this year's Hugo winner, Locus. It carries news of forthcoming and published sf books (including UK ones), magazine information, authors' plans, publishers' plans, contracts signed, films initiated, and so on and so on. It also has brief reviews, convention news, and some personal notes and events. It's published fifteen times a year and costs 60c/ or 15/$6 in North America, and 15/$15 (air) or 15/$6 (sea) in Europe. Editors are Charlie & Dena Brown, address (letters) is 34 Ridgewood Lane, Oakland, CA 94611, USA, or (fanzines/packets) P0 Box 3938, San Francisco, CA 94119, USA.

DUBLIN SF CONFERENCE – AMERICANS LOST IN FOG: A planeload of Americans disappeared into the mist en route for the first World Sf Writers Conference held in Dublin last weekend (24-26 Sep). The would-be attendees found themselves stranded at Shannon airport, having been rerouted because of fog. They apparently solved their problems by returning to the US. So it goes.

Meanwhile, back in Dublin, various sf writers, agents, sf professionals, and would-be professionals enjoyed themselves at the conference, organized by resident Irishman, Harry Harrison. Amongst the more well-known attendees were Theodore Sturgeon, Alfred Bester, Robert Sheckley, Fred Pohl, Brian Aldiss, and, naturally, Robert Holdstock (the writer). The conference was judged to be successful, despite the disappearing Americans, and it's possible that a new Sf writers organization may come out of it.

The John W.Campbell Memorial Award was presented at the conference to Bob Tucker's Year of the Quiet Sun, a popular choice though it was published some time ago. (Information gathered in a pub off Leicester Sq – my apologies for any omissions or inaccuracies)

NEW BRITISH FANZINES: The following are a few recent first issues selected haphazardly from the tottering piles of fanzines between my *new fridge* and the wardrobe – in Devon, I keep telling myself, I shall have ample room to sort things out properly. Daydreaming is a pleasant way to spend the time.

Erelas 1 (Stuart & Rosie Clark, 36 Valley Rd, Liverpool, L4 OUD)(10p or usual) This is a personalzine, more readable (both in content and duplication) than their fantasy fanzine, Egladil, the next issue of which has been postponed till the New Year. Erelas contains a few reviews and comments on Dragons & Dungeons and the perils of travelling abroad.

The Ichneumon Flyer 1 (Paul Thompson, 101 Westhill Rd, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 8SX)(usual) This is a fannish first fanzine, full of fillers, cartoons, interlinos, and assorted oddments. It's lively, if nothing else.

Dream Vender 1 (Alan Sandercock, London House, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1) (25p or usual) In contrast to the above, this new venture by expatriate Aussiefan, Alan, is sadly dull. The straightforward printed format of the fanzine doesn't encourage the reader and I confess that I've only glanced at the articles (all editor-written) on books, concerts, films, and the London heatwave in a tube-train.

The Next Best Thing To Perfect Legs 1 (Merf Adamson, 14 St James Close, Hedon, Hull, HU12 8BH)(usual) Merf's first fanzine is dominated by a transcript of a Brian Stableford talk ("Literary Incest In The Sf Community") which only leaves room for some fanzine reviews and an extract from Jo Alexander's Mancon report (amusing, but all too brief).

Quark 13 (Tom Perry, 25 Locks Rd, Locks Heath, Hants, SO3 6N5)(usual) In the midst of all these newcomers the wise and aged Tom Perry has emerged from the depths of time and restarted Quark after a ten year gap. I don't seem to have any of the older issues, so he'll be spared the comparison – from me, at least. The new Quark is pretty thin and dominated, like The Next Best Thing, by one piece (Pete Weston on Haldeman's Forever War), so that the fanzine reads like a personalzine with an article in the middle. And why not, I suppose? In any event, I look forward to seeing future issues.

SWEET REASONS: At the moment I don't know who is on the mailing list, but this issue will be going out a) as a sample; b) on subscription (to no.......); c) in trade (for .......); or d) for news...

WEIRD TALES OF FANS & FELLOW-TRAVELLERS: Australian faneditor, ERIC LINDSAY, is currently supposed to be flitting round the US and intends coming to the UK in November – after the Novacon for some strange reason. ••• Author & fan, GREG BENFORD, has left the US for a spell in Oxford and should be in England until the spring. ••• HARRY BELL is working on a new genzine entitled Tocsin, which Rob Jackson informs me gravely is to do with bells. Thank you, Robert. ••• GRAH CHARNOCK has built his own Hawaiian guitar. This is the sort of news that Checkpoint likes to print. ••• TERRY HUGHES, illegitimate great-nephew of anybody who is rich and dead, is still waiting for news of the will. ••• BOB RICKARD, our favourite Fortean, is invading London soon and is looking for a suitable flat (mysterious falling stones welcomed). ••• GREG PICKERSGILL & SIMONE WALSH will be leaving their Ealing flat at the end of October. CoA later.

STOP PRESS – LATEST CAT NEWS: Sept.23rd was Treacle's birthday – we expect a full report from the Charnocks next issue.

Ritchie Smith; 69 King John St. Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne 6, UK. Rob Jackson, 71 King John St, Heaton, Newcastle on Tyne 6, UK (NB from November onwards)
Randy Reichardt, 833 Henday Hall, Lister Hall, 116th St & 84th Aye, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H6, Canada.

FAPA ELECTION RESULTS: These results have just arrived and the new officials of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association are: President – Bill Evans; Vice-President – Bob & Peggy Rae Pavlat; Secretary-Treasurer – Jack Speer; Official Editor – Charles Burbee. Active fan publishers interested in joining FAPA should contact Jack Speer (2416 Cutler NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, USA) - there is, as always, a waiting list.

British fandom moves in:


from: Peter Roberts
18 Westwood
Nr. Dawlish

Printed Matter – Reduced

(Return requested if undeliverable.)