Checkpoint 82 is edited & produced by Peter Roberts, 38 Oakland Drive, Dawlish, Devon, UK. It's published at least once a month and is available for: selected trades, news, old fanzines (send a list first), or cash: 5/50p or 12/£1 (UK & Europe), 5/$1 (US airmail), or 8/£1 (Australia & NZ airmail). Overseas subscribers, please send dollar bills or something useful – no coins or foreign cheques, please. Heading by Bill Kunkel. Interior cartoon by Stu Shiffman. Restormel Press Publication: 117. Telephone: (0626) 864718 (after 6.30pm).
ROTSLER WINS DUFF: And that just about deals with that news item, since I can't find anyone who knows the full results yet, despite several well-placed telephone calls. Congratulations to Bill Rotsler, at any rate, and the best of luck on the trip to the Australian national convention in Adelaide. Anyone wanting to add to DUFF's funds should know that Dave Rowe (8 Park Dr, Wickfield, Essex) has copies of Quintessential Qovers for Fred Haskell for sale – all proceeds to DUFF and the price is 35p (+ postage).
FAAN AWARDS: I don't have room to list all the nominations here, but readers in Europe will find a voting ballot enclosed with this issue – I'm sorry to cut out the rest of the world, but the GPO gets very uppity if I try to send more than three sheets airmail (postage costs double, in fact). Please note that the deadline is now JUNE 15th, so if you intend to vote please do so right now while you're thinking about it.
CHECKPOINT FAN POLL: Time once again for the annual British fan poll. Voting ballots are included for UK readers; anyone outside the UK is welcome to vote, as long as they think they've seen enough British material to make a choice. If you haven't got a ballot, simply send in a sheet with the following votes: Best British Fanzine, Best British Fanwriter, Best British Fanartist (all listed 1-5, from 1st choice down to 5th); Best Article (&c) by a British fan, Best British fanzine cover, and Best Single Issue of a Fanzine (all with a single vote in each category). Send no money, just your votes – to reach me by June 24th. Checkpoint itself is ineligible, otherwise the votes are for material published between Easter 1976 and Easter 1977, or thereabouts. Results will be written up in a special issue of Checkpoint.
DISCLAVE: (Terry Hughes – our man at the con) "Over 800 people joined the 1977 Disclave, which was (as usual) held in Washington, DC, over the final weekend in May. Last year's Disclave had 626 members and that was thought to be high. The large turnout didn't seem to dismay Alexis & Dolly Gilliland, the chairmen of the convention committee. In fact Dolly confided to me that she is thinking of making a 1984 worldcon bid since Washington is such an appropriate place to hold it; she could even get the FBI to supply a guest speaker in order to maintain an Orwellian atmosphere. This year's Disclave merely had Joe Haldeman as Guest Of Honour and he doesn't look at all like an FBI agent.
"There were parties, parties and more parties. The con suite always had free drinks and cookies and there were room parties of varying degrees of openness: a Boston in '80 party, a woman's apa party, a dirty pro party, a filksinging party, a Dell Book party, a whippet fandom party, and all sorts of things going on in other rooms, in the hallways, and up on the roof. There were also two days worth of programming, but your roving reporter never managed to attend any of these events. Panels were on all the usual stuff with, as I heard, all the usual results. One nice aspect of Disclave is that the all-night films feature everything but science fiction; this year there was a Japanese Samurai flick, a British thriller, a Hollywood romantic comedy, a 1941 Western, and all sorts of good stuff, both short and long.
"The big disappointment of the convention was the geophysicists' conference. Disclave has a tradition of sharing the hotel with bizarre groups – the year we shared it with the Barbershop Quartet convention stands out in my mind. But the geophysicists just weren't strange enough: they looked just like your standard sercon fans. Other than that, Disclave was a success." (TH)
BALTICON: (Darrell Schweitzer) "Balticon 77 was a great success and was highlighted by a speech from Phil Farmer wherein he outlined a new novel of his about the sf community – mostly fandom. Degler is in it, several episodes are in the 'Spam Shack', and so on.
"The highest membership number I saw on a Balticon nametag was in the 1300s. Not all of these people were seen at the parties, programme panels, &c. There seemed to be a pretty sharp distinction between the movie-goers and the trufans.
"On Sunday morning at 5am there was a genuine Easter egg hunt on the hotel lawn by fans who were mostly Jewish. A splendid mental retrogression was enjoyed by all." (DS)
EVEN MORE CONS: Dave Langford reports that the London Luunicon was "a pleasant enough afternoon, especially if you stayed out of the con hall (which was just a lecture theatre). A veritable horde of Big Names was present: Bob Shaw, Arthur Clarke, Bob Sheckley, Chris Priest, Peter Nicholls, Brian Stableford, Andrew Stephenson, Keith Seddon, Ian Watson and no doubt more. Perhaps I'm a little free with the term 'Big Name' today..." /// Darrell Schweitzer notes that a few stragglers from the New York Lunacon turned up at the Balticon (which was held the same weekend); the Lunacon was apparently much smaller than usual and, indeed, the refugees at the Balticon claimed that "Lunacon was so dead they had to call the police to deal with a noisy neighbour." /// Bob Vardeman was at the Yuccacon at Colorado state University: "Attendance was small, but the programme items were well attended for the most part. Dan Darlington from Lafayette was fan GoH a gave a punny speech. Don Thompson was Master of Ceremonies and I was the pro GoH (my first time in that spot). The keynote address was on the transition from fan to pro. While the Yuccacon had only one third the attendance of Denvention I, a mostly good time was had by mostly all. Kinda." I think, Bob, that's called Damning With Faint Praise. But let's leave all these cons and move on to some sercon oddments.
WEIRD SERCON TALES:
FLUSHING IN 80: A copy of the official bid prospectus has been rushed to me in time for Checkpoint's stop-press deadline. 80 fans have joined the bid to date – all of them have been found places on the committee. Latest news is that Elliot Shorter will be providing a mundane-sitting service during the con: guaranteed to keep non-fans occupied for the duration. Stu Shiffman chairs the bid – and for a dollar (880 W 181st St (Apt 4D), New York, NY 10033) he'll enrol you as a pre-supporting committee member. I have a feeling they'll win...
LOCAL GROUPS: Don West has just phoned to tell me that there's an sf group meeting in Leeds every Friday evening at the Victoria (behind the town hall). Don himself goes there, as does Dave Pringle, and about half a dozen others, mostly from the university. Visitors welcomed, especially if they buy a round. Meanwhile, the giant Brum Group meets every month at the Imperial Hotel, Temple Street, Birmingham. Their next gathering is June 17th when Ian Ridpath (author of Worlds Beyond &c) will be giving a talk. The group is also planning a barge trip (July 15th) and, yet more extraordinary, a BSFG fanzine. Will the Brum group control the universe? Will the Novacon consume the galaxy? Will the Red Shift stop them? Probably not, but I like to fantasize. Anyway, they'd have to do something about Los Angeles fans, who, according to Mike Glyer, indulge in the following frenetic activity: "Since the LASFS has found it difficult to spread out in space, it has spread out in time. Besides the regular Thursday meetings where business is conducted and APA-L collated (and which draw between 80-110 people), there is also an open clubhouse on Friday evenings which draws more than 40 fans every week. Friday night even has its own informal APA, known either as Frapa, Apa No-Name, or Apa Christmas (No-L). Friday night has also served as the assembly session for LASFAPA, which reached an appalling page-count of 338 in its April mailing, primarily because of Steve Tymon's 165 page apazine which probably set some obscene kind of record for verbosity. Friday night generally includes Hell games. There are still the monthly Saturday open houses and the monthly Directors' meeting, either of which can draw some 40 people. And on Sundays the D&D players converge on the clubhouse." Looks like the Brum group has a long way to go yet. Finally, I think, Jim Meadows reports the discovery of an sf group in Carbondale, Illinois, and says that they're planning the first-ever Southern Illinois sf con. So, if you should ever find yourself in Carbondale, Illinois, on a dark and dreary night...
BROKE POSH HOTEL PLANS TO LURE SWINGING SINGLES: Or so says the headline in a newspaper clipping forwarded by Laurine White. The hotel, needless to say, is the Miami Fontainebleau (site of this year's Worldcon) which seems to make a habit of appearing in the newspapers. This time they've come up with a rather bizarre plan to entice single people in search of partners: "We're not providing sex, but we're providing the elements," said the organizer. They don't mention any special provisions for visiting TAFF delegates, so I'd better ask Igor to pack the usual appliances. See you there.
TAFF REPORTS: Bruce Pelz has sent along a list of TAFF trip reports which are still in print and available from: LASFS, 11360 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604. All profits go to TAFF and postage is an extra 25¢ per volume. The ones on sale are: A Fake Fan In London ($1, Bob Madle, 1957); TAFF Baedeker ($2, Don Ford, 1960); The Squirrel's Tale ($1, Ron Ellik, 1962); Atom Abroad ($3, Arthur Thompson, 1964); The Moffatt House Abroad ($2, Len & June Moffatt, 1973).
FANZINE SALE: I've dug out the following duplicate fanzines for sale, all profits going to TAFF. Postage is included, please send cash (or mint UK stamps) with order and list alternatives where possible: Chaos 2 (20p, Roy Kay, 1963); Eastercon Programme Book (40p, Harrogate, 1962); Burgcon Programme Book (30p, Marquartstein, 1964); Sol 43 (20p, Tom Sclück, 1967); Space Diversions 7½ (15p, Liverpool Group, 1954); Operation Fantast Trading Supplement (15p, Ken Slater, March 1949); The National Fantasy Fan (20p each, N3F, several issues 1951-2); Mancon 76 Bid Progress Report (15p, Manchester, 1975); LA Con Progress Reports 1-4 (15p each, Los Angeles, 1972). I've at least a couple of spare copies of each of the above, so there should be sufficient for anyone interested. More listed next issue.
LITERARY FANS: John Berry and Loren MacGregor have started an enterprise called the Pacific Northwest Review Of Books with a couple of other people and a lot of help from friends. John says "We both wanted to read a good book review from the Northwest, and nobody else was publishing it, so we decided to do it ourselves. The first issue should be out early in June; it'll be distributed with a local weekly paper in Seattle, and as widely as we can across the whole region, including British Columbia and possibly Alaska. We hope to start publishing it as a regular monthly magazine in the fall. One of the things I'm looking forward to with this magazine is the chance to give good sf books reviews that completely ignore the boundaries of the 'ghetto' and simply treat them as books." Sounds most commendable, John. Incidentally, while I think about it, Greg Pickersgill and I would like to know whether there really is a hidden city under Seattle, just like we saw in a tv horror movie. Potential facts like these are part of everyone's heritage of knowledge and should not be privy to a select few in the far North West.
MORE THINGS FOR SALE: Further copies of Elst Weinstein's Fillostrated Fan Dictionary have arrived here and I'm selling them for £1.90 (inc. post and a third volume, yet to be published. I've still some copies of Bob Tucker's Neofan's Guide @ 30p (inc post) and of the issue of Interpress Grafik with 50 pages of sf illustration and artwork from Eastern Europe (@ £2.00, inc. post). Back issues of Checkpoint, as ever, are a mere 5 for 20p – I've got most of the issues that I've published, though some are down to the last couple of spare copies.
CONKER: Usual thing – a cross here ( ) and I'd like to hear from you. Even if there isn't a cross there and you think you're safely established on the mailing list, I'd still like to hear from you. Hell, I'm not particular – send me some news and foolishness and you'll make me happy.
WEIRD FANNISH TALES:
Klaatu Borada Nikto! But
never mind, here's
38 Oakland Drive
Printed Matter – reduced
Return requested, if undeliverable