Checkpoint 89

Bill Kunkel cartoon header

(May 1978)

Checkpoint 89 is produced by Peter Roberts, 38 Oakland Dr, Dawlish, Devon, UK. It's available for news, selected trades, interesting letters, fine old fanzines (send list first), or cash: 5/50p (UK & Europe), 5/$1 (America and Africa – airmail), or 7/£1 (Australia & NZ – airmail). This is the 100th issue actually – counting the first series plus the unnumbered sample issues; unless of course you count the double issues separately, in which case this is the 103rd issue; alternatively this could be considered the 98th issue or the 104th or even the 101st. Depending. Let's just call it the 89th and have done with it. Heading by Bill Kunkel. Restormel Press Publication: 131.

FAAn AWARD NOMINATIONS: (Thanks to Bruce Pelz and Ian Maule for the list)

Best Fan Editor: Donn Brazier, Don D'Ammassa, Mike Glyer, Terry Hughes, Rob Jackson, Victoria Vayne.

Best Fan Writer: Don D'Ammassa, Mike Glicksohn, Bob Shaw, Don Thompson, Susan Wood.

Best Fan Artist (Humorous): Harry Bell, Grant Canfield, Derek Carter, Alexis Gilliland, Bill Rotsler, Dan Steffan.

Best Fan Artist (Non Humorous): Jim McLeod, Jim Odbert, James Shull, Al Sirois, Michael Streff, Taral MacDonald.

Best LoC Writer: Avedon Carol, Don D'Ammassa, Mike Glicksohn, Jessica Salmonson, Harry Warner, Jnr.

Best Single Issue: Delta Psi 1, Fanthology 76, Maya 14, Simulacrum 7, Spanish Inquisition 10.

No nominations were sent in from Britain, incidentally. Bruce Pelz (15931 Kalisher St, Granada Hills, CA 91344) would be pleased to hear from UK fans who have specific reasons for not voting or objecting to the whole thing. Only well-informed Skycon attendees really had an opportunity to vote, since there was virtually no time to vote over here; but my own objection is to the $1 voting fee – I'm damned if I'm going to pay to vote for a set of awards.

Talking of which, did anyone in Britain receive Hugo nomination ballots from Iguanacon? Did anyone receive Hugo voting ballots from Suncon (I'm still waiting patiently for mine)? Is it true that certain Seacon 79 committee members have suggested "not bothering" to send ballots to the US as a tit-for-tat protest? Damn right it is. But don't worry – goodwill will prevail in the end, though it'd be nice if future US Worldcons remembered us.

YORCON: (Information from Greg Pickersgill & Alan Dorey) Next year's Eastercon (April 13th-16th) will be held at the Leeds Dragonara Hotel ("Very pleasant modern hotel – lots of bars. Management attitude very favourable, seem to understand convention requirements entirely and quite prepared to make a major effort to provide what we want. No aggravation likely to take place." – GP). GoH is Richard Cowper, Joint Chairmen are Mike Dickinson & David Pringle. On the committee are: Alan Dorey, Greg Pickersgill, Paul & Jan Matthews, Kate Jeary, Carol Gregory, and Charlotte Bowden. Ian Williams is organizing the fan room. A Double room at the Dragonara costs £14 per night. Deadline for PR 1 is mid-June. Registration is £5 attending, £2.50 supporting – send to: Alan Dorey, 20 Hermitage Woods Cres, St Johns, Woking, Surrey, GU2l 1UE.

WINDSOR SF FESTIVAL: (Information from Terry Dowling) The festival is a one-day event (June 10th) at Balloon Meadow, Windsor Racecourse, with the gates opening at noon. A lot of the events, exhibits, and happenings are designed to involve kids and there's a lot of scheduled theatricals plus the rock group, Sphinx. John Brunner, Ian Watson, and John Sladek should be involved in a discussion, the BBC (& Dr Who) should be there, and there's also films, books, and what-have-you. Admission (on the day) is £1 (50p for children).

SCUNTHORPE UFO CONFERENCE: No, don't mock – it's being held in the Scunthorpe Film Theatre on June 24th, starting at 10 am. Talks (presumably on UFOs) will take up most of the morning and afternoon sessions; but in the evening session, there's Philip Jenkinson's film and chat show on sf. Cost is £1.50 (or 60p per session); tickets and details from Nigel Watson, I Angerstein Rd, Scunthorpe, South Humberside, DNl7 2LZ.

OTHER CONS: Tim Marion sends details of Hark!-Con (sic), a one day event (July 22nd) at the Morale Activities Association Centre, NASA-Langley West Area, Virginia. Kelly Freas, GoH. Registration $1. Details from: Ned Brooks, 713 Paul St, Newport News, VA 23605. // David Klaus sends information on Archcon II, July 14th-16th, in St Louis. GoH is C.J. Cherryh. Registration $5 – address: PO Box 15852, Overland, MO 63114. // Finally (I think), Waldemar Kumming tells me that the time and place of the annual German con have been changed: it's now in Marburg, July 28th-30th.. Details from: Rolf Heuter, Am Ziegenberg 42, D-6301 Allendorf/Lda, W.Germany.

DEATHS: Malcolm Edwards tells me that Eric Frank Russell died suddenly on February 28th. // Linda Bushyager writes to say that Leigh Brackett died of cancer on March 18th. // Locus reports the deaths of sf indexer, Don Day and Weird Tales cover artist, Margaret Brundage.

CoAs: Kevin Smith, 47 Wick Rd, Teddington, Middx, TW11 9DN
Bob Rickard, 41 St Quintin Ave, London W10 6NZ
Rob Hansen, 22 Llanthewy Rd, Newport, Gwent, Wales
Mike Collins, 21b St Margarets Rd, Hanwell, London W7
Kevin Easthope, 113 Abbey Rd, Erdington, Birmingham B23 7QQ
Klaus Johansen, Hybenhaven 30, DK-5240 Odense NØ, Denmark
Patrick Hayden, c/o Iguanacon, P0 Box 1072, Phoenix, AZ 85001 (after June 23rd)

CHECKPOINT SF – Sercon & Ecological Supplement

The Complete Book Of Self-Sufficiency: John Seymour (Corgi – £3.95) No, I'm not sure why, either; but nonetheless the arrival of this large-size paperback was a pleasant surprise, and I'm a firm believer in self-sufficiency as the key to the future, so perhaps it's not totally inappropriate.

John Seymour runs a 62 acre farm in Pembrokeshire as a going concern and also as a 'school' for those learning the arts of self-sufficiency. The book is an illustrated encyclopaedia of traditional farming methods, rural crafts, and do-it-yourself technology. Contents include such jolly topics as pig-slaughtering (graphically pictured, step by gory step) and goat-castrating (not illustrated) amidst a large section on animal husbandry; but there are also long sections on agriculture and horticulture, covering straightforward subjects as well as fascinating stuff on cheese making, fully-fledged home-brewing, and cyder pressing. The craft section (basketry, flax-spinning, thatching, &c) and the pages on natural energy (water and windmills, &c) are possibly more introductory than the other material – at least, I wouldn't care to embark on blacksmithing armed only with this book, for example. That seems fair enough, however. But at least one area where I have some knowledge, namely the gathering of edible wild plants and fungi, is very sketchily treated – and gives bad advice ("Ask the local people" – in my experience, local people know very little about wild plants, especially fungi). But still, that's just a sideline as far as the book is concerned.

The illustrations are excellent – very fine, neat, and precise line-drawings. Some, however, cross the border into a rural fantasyland: the picture of the ideal five-acre, self-sufficient holding (complete with duck-pond, watermill, and cottage) is so enticing that I've had trouble keeping the page clean of saliva stains.

Yeah. The book is very fine. At the moment, however, as far as I'm concerned, I'd classify it as straight fantasy.

The Mother Earth News Almanac: (Bantam – 95p or $2.25) By way of contrast, there's this compendium of information, also illustrated, but in standard paperback size. It's feeble-minded stuff, written in an abominable folksy style, with no usable layout and insufficient information on 101 things you didn't need to know about. The illustrations are spidery and wretched. Most amazing of all, however, is that it's been issued in Britain when it's aimed entirely at American readers – there are pages of information on plants that don't grow here and animals (wild, verminous, or domestic) which have never left the American continent; there's information on US rainfall, US law and government, and US weights and measures. Foolish. The occasional useful item can probably more easily be found in a standard almanac – or a book on boy-scouting. Not good.

Hell. Now I've squeezed out the genuine sf. Still, some of these may be reviewed next time: Also Received:

The Golden Sword – Janet Morris (Bantam – 85p)
Star Trek Fotonovel 4: A Taste Of Armageddon (Bantam – 85p)
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2 – ed.Culbreath & Marshak (Corgi – 85p)
Chill Company – Ghost Stories From *Cornwall* – Mary Williams (Corgi – 80p)
A Wreath Of Stars – Bob Shaw (Pan – 70p)
The Cabal – Saul Dunn (Corgi – 75p)

Peter Roberts

BRITISH SF BOOKS: (Thanks to Gerald Bishop for the list)

MAY: Hardcover: (Spearman) The Necronomicon – Colin Wilson, Robert Turner, & David Langford. (Gollancz) Four Great Sf Novels – Arthur C.Clarke; Rogue Moon – Algis Budrys; Ship Of Strangers – Bob Shaw. (Harper & Row) Nebula Award Stories 12 – ed. Dickson. (Cape) Enemies Of The System – Brian Aldiss. (WH Allen) Time Warrior – Terrance Dicks. (Chivers) The Island Of Dr Moreau – Wells. (Abelard) The Devil's Garden – Pat Barton. (Sidg.& J.) The Ophiachia [sic] Hotline – John Varley; Ocean Of The Night – Greg Benford; New Writings In Sf Special 2 – ed Ken Bulmer; Sf Special 24. (Methuen) The Invincible AZ – Michael Noonan; The Delikon – H.M. Hoover. (Robson) 100 Great Sf Short Stories – ed. Asimov, Olander, & Greenberg. (Hale) The Dancer From Atlantis – Paul Anderson; The Cruel Years Of Winter – Alan Barclay; The Ballad Of Beta 2 and Empire Star – Samuel Delany; The Measured Caverns – James England. (Stockwell) Spaceman From Another Planet – Joe Kaufman.

MAY: Paperback: (Hodder) The World Shuffler – Keith Laumer. (NEL) Have Space Suit – Will Travel and Glory Road – Robot Heinlein; The Stone That Never Came Down – John Brunner; Travelling Towards Epsilon – ed. Maxim Jakubowski; The Fog – James Herbert; Warlord Of Mars – Burroughs. (Panther) Billion Dollar Brain – Len Deighton; The Wind's Twelve Quarters – Ursula Le Guin; The Golden Apples Of The Sun – Ray Bradbury; The War Against The Rull – A.E. van Vogt. (Target) The Tomb Of The Cybermen – Gerry Davis; The Day Of The Daleks and The Abominable Snowman – Terrance Dicks. (Magnum) The Castle Keeps – Andy Offut. (Corgi) The Cabal – Saul Dunn. (Hamlyn) The Seeds Of Earth – Robert Silverberg; The Makeshift Rocket – Paul Anderson; Spiders – Richard Lewis. (Arrow) The Listeners – James Gunn. (Futura) The Swords Of Shannara – Terry Brooks. (Sphere) The Big Death and Thirst! – Charles Eric Maine; Mission To The Universe and The Outposter – Gordon Dickson; Gunpowder God – H.Beam Piper; Mission To The Stars – AE van Vogt.

JUNE: Hardcover: (Gollancz) Miracle Visitors – Ian Watson; The Sixth Day – W.T.Burley; Dreamsnake – Vonda McIntyre; Road To Corlay – Richard Cowper. (Hodder) Jupiter Laughs – Edmund Cooper. (P. Owen) The Reservation – Ward Ruyslinck. (HartDavis) By The Rivers Of Babylon – Nelson DeMille. (Abelard) Time Circles – Bette Meyrick. (WH Allen) Death To The Daleks – J.G.Ballard. (Hale) Assault On The Gods – Stephen Goldin; A Twist In Time – LP Reeves; The Pleasure Domes Of Sigma Three – Philip Welby; The Homosaur – David Wiltshire; To Keep The Ship – A. Bertram Chandler. (Paul Harris) Robert Heinlein – Olander & Greenberg. (MacDonald) Telempath – Spider Robinson.

JUNE: Paperback: (Sphere) Mirkheim – Poul Anderson; Venus +x – Sturgeon; The Little People – John Christopher. (Pan) A Wreath Of Stars – Bob Shaw. (Magnum) Far Out – Damon Knight. (Armada) Huck & Her Time Machine – Gillian Avery. (Arrow) Sam 7 – Richard Cox. (Orbit) In The Ocean Of The Night & The Ophiuchia [sic] Hotline – John Varley; Beware The Microbots – Kurt Mahr; Tomorrow's Children – ed Asimov. (Star) Close EncountersOfficial Collector's Edition. (Universal) Shield and Planet Of No Return – Poul Anderson; The Broken Lands & The Black Mountains – Fred Saberhagen; The Time Warrior – Terrance Dicks; The Invasion Of The Dinosaurs – Malcolm Hulke. (Corgi) Star Trek 12 – Blish & Laurence; The Day Of Their Return – Anderson. (Mayflower) Golden Girl – Peter Lear. (Panther) The Bloodstar Conspiracy – Goldin & Smith; The Crystal World & The Drought – Ballard; The Zap Gun – Dick; The End Of Eternity – Asimov. (NEL) The Deep – John Crowley; Empire Of The Atom – van Vogt; Star Beast, Revolt in 2100 & The Man Who Sold The Moon – Heinlein. (Restormel) The Guinness On Beta 8 – Roberts; The Carrots That Raped...

BRIAN BURGESS TO STOP SELLING PIES: Can this be true? Can such traditions end? Well, according to Graham England, that's what Brian was saying at Skycon – "retiring within the next year", in fact. Suspicions that Brian has merely run out of war-surplus stock are probably unfounded. But what will British fans eat at conventions now? Ought I to start a trade in root pasties? Ought I to move on to the next subject?

STILL TIME TO VOTE IN FAN POLL: My feeble grasp of time allowed voters only five days or so to send in Checkpoint fan poll ballots, distributed with the last issue. A couple of people have told me that they would've voted if they'd had more time, so, since the results won't be declared till next issue, there's no harm in voting now. No new deadline – just send it the ballots as soon as you can. If you've lost the thing, I should remind you that you're voting for the Best UK Fanzine, Fanwriter, and Fanartist (five places for each category) and the Best UK Single Issue, Best Article by a British fan, & Best UK Fanzine Cover (single vote for each category). Material must have been published between Easter 1977 and Easter 1978. Please sign your ballots. Seventeen have been returned to date.

STAN FROM SAN FRANCISCO: Rob Jackson is puzzling over a loc he's received from someone who picked up a copy of Maya in a San Francisco second-hand bookshop. The bloke's name is "Stan", but Rob doesn't have a surname or an address – Rob says "he makes references to Gil Gaier and visited the shop with a friend named Daniel". Important clues, eh? Anyone wanting to play amateur detective should contact Rob (who, incidentally, suggests another issue of Maya might be out next month).

PUBLICATIONS: Ro Pardoe (Flat 2, 38 Sandown Lane, Liverpool 15) is working on a guide to current fantasy fanzines & semi-prozines; should be ready in a couple of months. It's patterned on my own Fanzine Guide (though there's unlikely to be much overlap) which, I might usefully mention, has just been revised, contains an introduction and listing of 150+ sf and fannish fanzines, and is available (bound in pale blue in a lovingly printed A5 booklet) for 35p or 75¢ (send us a $1 bill, and I'll add the change to your Checkpoint sub). // Victoria Vayne (P0 Box 156, Stn D, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) asks me to give Fanthology 76 a mention. This is a 100 page selection of 1976 fanwriting and artwork, including material from such as Bob Shaw, Jim Barker, Roy Kettle, Bob Tucker, Dan Steffan, Tom Perry, and Lee Hoffman. Price is $3.50 US (add 25¢ to cheques for handling charges). // Andy Porter says he's changing the name of Algol to Nova. I imagine he'll have to battle against the new Penthouse publication as well as the woman's magazine, both of which are also called Nova. Nothing like making your own problems.

WEIRD ASSORTED TALES: Ace Fortean Bob Rickard has married; stranger still, all his money mysteriously "disappeared" during a four week holiday abroad. He's now living in poverty, surrounded only by odd press clippings – see CoAs. // To further amaze you, Greg Pickersgill, Simone, Roy, and Kath are jointly starting up a mail order secondhand sf business. They're in the market for all kinds of sf books, magazines, and comics – 'Fair prices paid for good stuff. No discrimination," says Greg. First list out at the end of the month (7a Lawrence Rd, South Ealing, London W5 – (tel) 01 568 8174). // A certain Susan Masters (366b Richmond Rd, East Twickenham, Middx) is calling for a write-in campaign to get the BBC to continue the Blake's Seven tv series. The series, claims Susan, "proved to be a sci-fi adventure on a par with Star Trek or any of the other biggies." Well-worth saving, eh? Bring back Billy Bean!

SENSE & SENSIBILITY: (Chapter 36) "You reside in Devonshire, I think," was his next observation, "in a cottage near Dawlish." Elinor set him right as to its situation, and it seemed rather surprising to him that anyone could live in Devonshire without living near Dawlish... (Dave Langford, our Jane Austen spy). All things come to an end, however, and Auntie is returning from Paris. Since this is Auntie's house I'm currently making free with, I'm now engaged in a frantic bout of packing and spring-cleaning before moving out – somewhere. Keep using this address for the meantime, and my apologies if I'm even more sluggish than usual in answering letters and in producing Checkpoints in the near future. Meanwhile this attractive box here tells you your current status. [___]

DANCON 78: (information from Klaus Johansen) Harry Harrison is to be GoH at the annual Danish sf con in Odense. Dates are August 26th-27th, registration is 100 Dkr, and the person to contact for information is: Henry Madsen, Filipsgyden 4, DK-5772 Kuerndrun, Denmark.

NEW FANZINE TITLES: DNQ 1 is another new fannish newszine – aimed at "the soul of fandom", no less. The first issue is just four pages, mostly concerned with fanac in Toronto. The sub rate is pretty hefty, however: 2/$1 UK, 4/$1 US. Editors are Taral MacDonald & Victoria Vayne (P0 Box 156, Stn D, Toronto, Ont. M6P 3J8, Canada)

Pretentious Sf Quarterly 1 is the neatly printed brainchild of Mike Ward (P0 Box 1496, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA). The first issue somehow appears very empty, but there are reasonable articles from Ed Wood, Dick Lupoff, and others – both sercon and fannish. We shall see what happens. Available for $1 or the usual.

Niekas 21 – a revived fanzine from the late sixties when it was a gigantic, fantasy-oriented genzine (and, I think, the first US fanzine I ever encountered). This issue appeared last year, but I lost my original copy at a Fanoclasts' meeting (tum-ti-tum). It's a trial issue with an interview with Carol Kendall and an index to sf recordings for the blind as its main features, plus a mass of oddments. Duplicating (without the benefit of slipsheeting) is messy. Editors are Sherwood Frazier, Margaret Shepard, and Ed Meskys. Available for $1.25 or the usual (7 Pleasant St, Salem, NH 03079, USA).

THE GRAIL KEEPER: I am the keeper of the Holy Grail!
SIR BORS: What is the Holy Grail?



Peter Roberts
38 Oakland Dr
Dawlish, Devon

Printed Matter Reduced
Return Requested if undeliverable