Checkpoint 90

Clipart fungi and masthead

(July 1978)

Checkpoint 90 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), 4/$1 (America & Africa airmail), or 6/£1 (Australia & NZ airmail). Sterling & US/Canadian dollar bills are acceptable at face value; but please note that other foreign banknotes attract a 25p conversion charge at the bank. Foreign coins and stamps will be given to Oxfam; foreign cheques will be marvelled at and ignored. Restormel Press Publication – 133. Lettering by Bill Kunkel; mushrooms are anonymous.

MIKE ROSENBLUM DEAD: (Ron Bennett) "Science Fiction fans throughout the world will be shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death on 28th June of Britain's Mr Science Fiction, John Michael Rosenblum.

"Mike Rosenblum, who owned one of Europe's most extensive and complete collections of science fiction was a leading personality in fan circles for over forty years, having been instrumental in organising the first British convention, in Leeds in 1937.

"During the war years, Michael's Futurian War Digest was the focal point of British fandom and its importance in linking different pockets of fandom scattered by the war cannot be overestimated.

"In the early fifties, with the formation of the Leeds Science Fiction Association, Michael again took a leading role, this time as publisher of the high quality fanzine, New Futurian. Sadly, business pressures afforded Michael insufficient time to continue publication and for the last few years Michael had worked in several capacities for the BSFA as and when time allowed.

"Michael was completely without animosity. He was knowledgeable on most literary matters and with a wealth of entertaining anecdotes about books and writers was always certain of a ready audience. He was generous too, as most convention attendees wil bear witness (and he was known to have underwritten at least one TAFF campaign).

"That Michael will be missed is all too obvious." (RB)

I'm sure that we, and all of Checkpoint's readers, would like to add our condolences to Mike Rosenblum's wife and family.

DUBLIN SF WRITERS CONFERENCE (+ BITS OF PUBLISHING NEWS & SO ON): (John Brosnan) "Harry Harrison's sf conference was quite enjoyable, but not as much fun as a convention. No films, no fans, no hucksters – but there was late night poker and lots of booze (some of it free at times). As for newsworthy items, you may have already heard that Ben Bova has resigned as editor of Analog. He didn't say why (well, let's say he didn't tell me why...). Reminds me that Harry mentioned a while ago that J.J.Pierce has also resigned as editor of Galaxy.

"Checkpoint might like to announce that boy publisher Dez Skinn lost £40 at poker to American sf writer Bob Asprin during the Dublin con. Speaking of Dez, his magazine House of Horror has been folded by the parent company, but he is buying the mag himself and it will continue as a Pioneer Press publication, the name of Dez's new company (which will also publish Starburst, the magazine that no sf fan can do without).

"Big name sf people at Dublin included: Alfred Bester, Ted Sturgeon, Brian Aldiss, James Gunn, Ben Bova, Fred Pohl, Katherine MacLean, Bob Shaw, Harry Harrison, James White, and many other that I can't remember. Publisher's representatives included me (yay) and a few others like Nick Webb (Pan), Peter Lavery (Hamlyn), Tom Tessia (Millingtons) and Penny Grant (Thames & Hudson). Oh, I forgot to mention John Baxter whose book Hermes Fall, about an asteroid colliding with Hackney, is out this month from Panther (a great little publisher). Malcolm Edwards, Kyril Bonfiglioli, some Russians, Yugoslavs, Frenchmen and the odd Swede were also present. Bloody hell, almost forgot to mention that Joe Haldeman was there – nice guy, Joe: plays poker and looks like Lee Van Cleef, especially when he's pissed..." (JB)

Andrew Stephenson adds that Fred Pohl's Gateway won this year's JWC Award and that Pohl himself is strongly tipped as the next Analog editor. Andrew also notes that: "The World Sf Association, a loose, mutual-bonhomie group hopeful of enhancing international literary relations, got itself organised, more or less, at the Dublin conference. Nine people from various countries (USSR, Hungary, France, USA, Sweden & Brazil, I think) were voted-in to coordinate the consolidation of its aims during the first year."

TYNESIDE "FUTUREWORLDS": (Ritchie Smith reports on the Newcastle sf film festival) "Alfred Bester and Frederik Pohl spoke at the Tyneside Cinema for some two hours on June 26th. Bester was smallish, plump, larger-than-life, and explosively friendly in a Hollywood sort of way, right down to calling some people 'darling'. Pohl looked more literary: ectomorphic, tall, and restrained full of good anecdotes, like Bester (sadly, too many of them were familiar from Pohl's essay in Hell's Cartographers). Afterwards they signed books – Bester's dedications were especially witty – and the great men and a large minority of North-East fandom went off for a Chinese meal.

"Dr Chris Evans and John Brunner spoke about 'the future' on the following night. Rather to my surprise, they were both optimistic: everything was about the Hampstead-California axis, with plenty of good hotels and credit cards on the way. Some members of the (occasionally annoyingly talkative) audience pointed out that only 5% of the world's population lived that sort of carefree middle-class existence, and that this percentage was in fact diminishing. A pleasant enough talk, though.

"Numerous films were shown during the festival (including The Man Who Fell To Earth, La Jetee, &c) and the great hit was the North East premiere of Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, due to return soon because of unprecedented public demand." (RS)

SCUNTHORPE UFOS: (Darroll Pardoe) "We went to the '4th Northern UFO Network Conference' in Scunthorpe on the last Saturday in June: it was organised by a group of the 'New' UFOlogists: ie, those who regard the phenomenon as subjective rather than objective. The audience was less than might be hoped (about 40), but the audience did include a number of vocal old-guard UFOlogists who provided a bit of verbal confrontation (including one amazing person who dragged in Ur of the Chaldees and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion).

"In the morning we saw some movie film of UFOs, which wouldn't have convinced anybody, but apparently is the best available, UFOs being notoriously shy of cine-cameras. And as a change from the serious stuff, the evening was devoted to a two-hour show of clips from sf films given by Philip Jenkinson, including a complete version of Melies' 1903 trip to the moon film." (DP)

TAFF FANZINE SALE: Proceeds (less postage) from the following fanzines will go to TAFF, the Transatlantic Fan Fund. First come, first served & cash with order, please (cheques payable to me, not to TAFF); if the fanzines you want are already sold, money can be returned, held over for future sales, or whatever. Ok.

*Bastion 1-3 (Eric Bentcliffe – 1960/2): a complete set of an attractive fanzine with material from Moorcock, Aldiss & others & some fantastic hand-cut art-work from Eddie Jones & Jim Cawthorn. Bound together – £2 ($4) the set.

*Mor-farch 1-3 (Peter Roberts – 1968/9): a complete set (with loc supplements) from an era when Greg Pickersgill wrote poetry & I wrote sercon stuff: 75p ($1.50) the set.

Solacon Program Book (South Gate in 58): plus PRs 2 & 3 + the Final Report – the historic 1958 Worldcon: 75p ($1.50)

Eastercon Programme Books: 1959, 1962, 1974. Attractively produced: 30p (75¢) each.

Apporrheta: (1958/9 – Sandy Sanderson) The famous fanzine of Inchmery Fandom, full of ATom illos & famous fan names: issues 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,11 – 50p ($1) each.

Peon: (1951/2 – C.Lee Riddle): Good US genzine. Issues: 17-24 – 30p (75¢) each.

Chaos: (1963 – Roy Kay) Nondescript UK genzine. Issues 1 & 2 – 15p (25¢) each.

Interim Newsletter. (1949 – Sf International) 8 page newszine: Issue 2 – 15p(25¢)

* Thanks to Archie Mercer for these issues. More items next issue.

STAR WARS FAN CLUB: Somebody in the Star Wars set-up (Craig Miller?) has sent me a goshwow official press release announcing the formation of a fan club. For a $5 fee members receiving a whole pile of junk plus an official newsletter. It's expected that membership will reach 1,000,000 by the end of the year. Bloody hell. It's also expected that Factors, the SW merchandisers, will have sold "in excess of $100,000,000" of junk by the end of 1978. They sold $50,000,000 in 1977. After all this, no address for the club is given – not, I think, that Checkpoint readers are clambering out of their cots to join.

CoAs: Malcolm Edwards, 28 Duckett Rd, London, N4 1BN
Jim Barker, 113 Windsor Rd, Falkirk, FK1 5DB, Scotland.

GUFF: John Alderson, John Foyster, & Eric Lindsay are standing for GUFF, the fund to bring an Australian over for Seacon 79. Ballots enc. for European readers.

Results of the 1977-1978 CHECKPOINT Fan Poll

Seventeen fans voted in this, the seventh annual British fan poll, covering fanac from Easter 1977 to Easter 1978. All fans were eligible to vote, though ballots were only distributed through CHECKPOINT.

The following fans voted: David Bridges, Dave Cockfield, Geoff Cox, Alan Dorey, Kevin Easthope, Graham England, Jean Frost, Rob Hansen, Rob Jackson, Terry Jeeves, Dave Langford, Ian Maule, Joseph Nicholas, Greg Pickersgill, Keith Walker, Simone Walsh, and Don West.

BEST BRITISH FANZINE: Twenty three titles were nominated, thirteen of them receiving more than one vote. Five points were awarded to a first place vote, four to the second and so on down to one point for a fifth place vote. CHECKPOINT itself was ineligible. Last year's position is in brackets.

1) TWLL-DDU (49 points)(5th) edited by Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Ave, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 7PW. (Available for the usual) Six issues in 1977/8. An excellent and frequent personalzine from Dave, himself voted Best British Fanwriter in this poll. The sixth issue contained the splendid Twll-Ddu Dictionary Of Fandom; the seventh advertised the "D.West Guide to Fnz Production – Part 1: Making The Ink" but actually contained a Novacon report; the eighth contained a fannish tragedy; the ninth had a Silicon report; the tenth informed us of the Seven Wonders Of The Fannish World; and the eleventh Twll-Ddu prophesied the horrors of the Heathrow Hotel, deciphered from some ancient Egyptian titling found on the cover.

2) STOP BREAKING DOWN (40 points)(2nd) edited by Greg Pickersgill & Simone Walsh, 7a Lawrence Rd, South Ealing, London W5. (30p in stamps, or usual). Two issues in 1977/8. A fine fannish genzine with a good and strong editorial presence. The fifth issue contained columns from Greg and Simone, fanzine reviews, pieces by Bryn Fortey and Eric Bentcliffe, and Don West's introspective analysis of the Coventry Eastercon. The sixth issue had Greg and Simone's regular columns and also featured a new column by Rob Hansen.

3) MAYA (36 points)(3rd) edited by Rob Jackson, 71 King John St, Heaton, Newcastle on Tyne, NE6 5XR. (50p, $1 or usual). One issue in 1977/8. An attractive, printed genzine with an international reputation. Maya 14 had articles by Brian Aldiss and Gene Wolfe, a column by Mike Glicksohn, Bob Shaw's "The Bermondsey Triangle Mystery" (winner of the Best Article section in this poll), and one of the biggest WAHF columns ever seen in a British fanzine.

4) DOT (21 points)(-) edited by Kevin Smith, 47 Wick Rd, Teddington, Middx, TW11 9DN. (usual). Two issues in 1977/8. An amusing personalzine, the second issue pulled people apart in the style of Damon Runyon, and the third issue, not surprisingly, was largely devoted to letters.

5) TRUE RAT (18 points)(4th) edited by Roy Kettle, 8 Hendale Ave, London, NW4. (usual). One issue in 1977/8. Previously a superb personalzine, more recently a good fannish genzine, Not True Rat Ten turned out to be a Skycon guide from Fan GoH, Roy Kettle – an odd issue, but a welcome one.

Next five:
=6) Kamikaze (10 points)(-) ed. Harry Bell
=6) Meet On The Ledge (10 points)(-) ed. Darroll Pardoe
8) Epsilon (9 points)(-) ed. Rob Hansen
=9) One Off (8 points)(-) ed. David Bridges
=9) Fanzine Fanatique (8 points)(-) ed. Keith Walker

BEST SINGLE ISSUE: Nine issues of eight fanzines were nominated.

1) Not True Rat 10 (Roy Kettle)(4 votes)
2) Dot 2 (Kev Smith)(3 votes)

BEST BRITISH FANWRITER: Twenty three people were nominated, thirteen receiving more than one vote. Points were awarded as in the "Best Fanzine" section and last year's positions are again in brackets.

1) DAVE LANGFORD (51 points)(4th)

2) ROY KETTLE (42 points)(1st)

3) BOB SHAW (31 points)(6th)

4) KEVIN SMITH (22 points)(-)

5) GREG PICKERSGILL (20 points)(5th)

Next five:
6) Don West (19 points)(3rd)
=7) Simone Walsh (9 points)(-)
=7) David Bridges (9 points)(10th)
9) Keith Seddon (6 points)(-)

No one else received more than five points.

BEST ARTICLE: Six items were nominated.

1) Bob Shaw – "The Bermondsey Triangle Mystery" in Maya 14 (five votes)
2) Don West – "Wish You Were Here" in Stop Breaking Down 5 (four votes)

BEST FANZINE COVER: Nine covers were nominated from nine different fanzines.

1) Harry Bell – Siddhartha 8 (3 votes)
1) Angus McKie – Maya 14 (3 votes)

BEST BRITISH FANARTIST: Twenty one people were nominated, only seven of them receiving more than one vote. Points were awarded as in the "Best Fanzine" section and last year's positions are in brackets.

1) HARRY BELL (51 points)(1st)

2) JIM BARKER (48 points)(2nd)

3) DON WEST (21 points)(3rd)

4=) JON LANGFORD (10 points)(5th)

4=) ALAN HUNTER (10 points)(-)

Next five: 6) Tony Schofield (6 points)(4th)

No one else received more than five points.

FIVE YEARS AGO: For the sake of a little time-binding, here are the results of the 1972/3 poll first published in Checkpoint 36.

Best Fanzine:
1) Egg (ed Peter Roberts)
2) Maya (ed Ian Maule)
3) Speculation (ed Peter Weston)
4) Cypher (ed Jim Goddard)
5) Zimri (ed Lisa Conesa)

Best Fanwriter: 1) Ian Williams; 2) Gray Boak; 3) John Brosnan

Best Fanartist: 1) Harry Bell; 2) Andrew Stephenson; 3) Dave Rowe

Best Issue: The Turning Worm 3 (ed John Piggott)

Best Article: Ian Williams – "Goblin Towers" in Maya

CONKER: Since I'm still in a state of limbo, hanging on in this house for the moment, but with almost all my gear stowed away, I'll have to give you fair warning of possible delays in future issues. Nonetheless the box to the right tells you your current status – and I'll be back again when you next see a Checkpoint in your letterbox. Cheers.
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This y'ere be a zcience viction vanzine vrum Devon, zir.



Peter Roberts
38 Oakland Dr
Dawlish, Devon

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