Checkpoint 97

D. West cartoon and masthead

Checkpoint 97 is produced by Peter Roberts, 38 Oakland Dr, Dawlish, Devon, UK, and is available for news, selected trades, whim, or cash: 10p in stamps or one international reply coupon if you want the last issue. Cartoon by Don West. Restormel Publication: 144. June/July 1979.

LANGFORD KOs CHECKPOINT IN GRIM FAN STRUGGLE! Well, perhaps not, but it sounds more interesting that way. In fact Checkpoint will be folding with the 100th issue, that being more than enough for any sane fan editor, and Dave Langford will be starting up an entirely new publication by the name of Ansible.

The final two issues of Checkpoint should be out by Seacon, the 100th issue being some kind of index, with any luck. Subscribers, particularly those of you who've just renewed, needn't smite your foreheads, since I'll be passing on all monies to Dave. That, incidentally, will be the only link between the two newszines – Ansible will be starting afresh at number one. The 100th Checkpoint will be sent out as a free issue to all current subscribers, so the cash being passed on will be for issue 100 and onwards. I don't know what rates Dave will be charging, so you shouldn't necessarily expect the same number of issues for your money. Anyone who can't bear the idea of a Langford newszine is welcome to a straight refund – if you've already peeked inside this issue you'll note that he's won the poll for Best British Fanwriter as well as the Best British Fnz title with Twll-Ddu, and that seems a fair enough recommendation to me.

So. Rush your news to me for the last issue and your final chance to appear in Checkpoint. After that comes the Seacon and a retirement from newszine editing. Think I'll write a sequel to The Corobite Mines...

Results of the 1978-1979 CHECKPOINT Fan Poll

Eighteen fans voted in this, the eighth annual British fan poll, covering fanac from Easter 1978 to Easter 1979. All fans were eligible to vote, though ballots were only distributed through CHECKPOINT.

The following fans voted: Chris Atkinson, Jim Barker, Alan Dorey, Malcolm Edwards, Rob Hansen, Steev Higgins, Terry Jeeves, Paul Kincaid, Dave Langford, Ian Maule, Janice Maule, Joseph Nicholas, Darroll Pardoe, Ro Pardoe, Greg Pickersgill, Kevin Smith, Simone Walsh, and Don West.

BEST BRITISH FANZINE: Nineteen titles were nominated, ten 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 (63 points)(1st) edited by Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Ave, Reading, Berks, RG2 7PW. (Available for the usual) Four issues in 1978/9. An excellent example of the art of the personalzine, Twll-Ddu continues to feature the wit and nonsense of Dave Langford (voted Best Writer in the poll), interspersed only with letters and quotations – several of them genuine. The twelfth issue, somewhat briefer than usual, featured a fan party report, graphically illustrated by Rob Hansen; the thirteenth threatened to expose the evil that godless people do to themselves and consequently contained letters from readers, interrupted only occasionally by the editor ("Me lud, the witness is becoming philosophical. This will never do." – "True, true. Let him be suppressed. Attend to it, usher." – There is a scuffle in court.). The 14th Twll-Ddu featured a Harry Bell cover with an extra y in the title, thus confusing thousands of Welsh-speaking fans. Inside Dave Langford considered the events of the Silicon in the form of a tv play and also considered the word guve and other examples of Doreyspeak as practised in Gross Encounters. The year finished with the fifteenth issue, sporting a Jim Barker cover pillorying the Saxon Bell and containing a whodunnit investigation of recent fannish oddments. All good stuff; and anyway, not many fanzines can tell you the Coptic for unemployment benefit...

2) SEAMONSTERS (60 points)(-) edited by Simone Walsh, 7a Lawrence Rd, South Ealing, London W5. (Available for the usual) Three issues in 1978/9. Whilst Dave clings to the first place with an established personalzine that relies almost entirely on his own skills as a writer, Simone's new genzine comes an extremely close second with a fine mix of well-known writers and comparative newcomers, many of whom (including Simone herself) figure in the rest of the poll. The first Seamonsters had an editorial and column by Simone, the first of Chris Priest's "Condom" column, a short bit by Alan Dorey, and a selection of letters from the final issue of Greg & Simone's Stop Breaking Down. The trick with this sort of thing is to produce a new genzine that neither apes its predecessor (SBD) nor looks like a personalzine with articles tacked on – Seamonsters made all this look easy, which is pretty good going. The second issue had a really good Iguanacon report by Chris Atkinson, an account of a fannish trip to Calais by Simone, a trip report to an American Trekcon by Ann Looker (everyone gets to travel in Seamonsters), a crop of letters, and a fine column – "Billy The Squid" – from Greg. Chris Priest's Condom returned with the third issue (rather like the trout with the wedding ring, I suppose) and Don West contributed an entertainingly gloom-ridden Novacon report – "Convention Death Wish". Best British genzine without a doubt – and at the moment that probably means Best in the World. Gosh.

3) DOT (28 points)(4th) edited by Kevin Smith, 7 Fassett Rd, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT1 2TD. (Available for the usual) Three issues in 1978/9. Another entertaining personalzine, the 4th issue of Dot celebrated its 4th place in last year's fan poll (by rights, it should've come seventh this year) with a number of anecdotes, fanzine reviews, letters, and a Bramahesque (blimey) editorial. Dot 5 celebrated its failure to win the Nova Award and also went to the Motor Show with a look at fans as cars. There are strange things to be found in fanzines... The sixth issue looked at fanzines and other topics, rounded off with a letter column. Always enjoyable and entertaining, Dot. And published, as ever, by the fourth best fan writer...

4) ONE-OFF (22 points)(9th=) edited by David Bridges, 130 Valley Rd, Meersbrook, Sheffield, S8 9GA. (Available for the usual) Two issues in 1978/9. At least, I think there was – perhaps it's easier to say there were several bits, especially since I've got everything mixed up by putting the whole Bridges' collection in one pile. At any rate, there was certainly a One-Off 5, published as ever in a strange format (on thin folded paper bound into a booklet) and containing mostly letters and chat. This issue was notable for an inspiring account of his mother's conflict with Mrs Slammitt, his next door neighbour. Honestly. Good stuff in fanzines is always unpredictable. The sixth issue may not have appeared yet, but as a prequel (so stated) there was a brief couple of sheets plus an entertaining booklet called A Ragged Trousered Pedalcyclist, an account of a bike journey from Sheffield to London (and winner of the best single issue spot in this poll). With one or other of these mailings came various booklets and sheets chronicling the adventures (in strip cartoon) of Super Fan, others concerning another cartoon character, Farn, plus a booklet called D. Lobster Rampage – The Third High and another containing a hand-written account (bound in wallpaper) concerning the Christmas Holidays. Bloody hell, can't keep a good fan down.

5=) GROSS ENCOUNTERS (20 points)(-) edited by Alan Dorey, 20 Hermitage Woods Cres, St John's, Woking, Surrey, GU21 1UE. (Available for the usual). Four issues in 1978/9. A large personalzine with some good, topical comments on the state of fandom, both in the long editorials and via the fanzine reviews and letter column. The second and third issues were comparatively brief, but the fourth issue contained a long Silicon report and the fifth had the odd bonus of Isaac Astral's Sf Weekly, containing Arnold Tharg's masterpiece, "Death Star Ship Revengence" which nearly got nominated for a Hugo. Good, solid fanzine – and I always feel like I'm up to date after I've read an issue, which can't be bad.

5=) DEADLOSS (20 points)(-) edited by Chris Priest, 1 Ortygia House, 6 Lower Road, Harrow, Middx, HA2 0DA. (Available at whim) One issue in 1978/9. And a very fine one as well – in fact I don't think I've seen anything better in the last year. Deadloss 1 is a beautifully written and thoroughly entertaining personalzine; I read it quite happily from cover to cover (and that's a rarity in itself). Even has a Dicky Howett cartoon, if only to remind elder fans of Chris's last fanzine back in nineteen sixty-mumble. It would be nice to see more.

Next five: don't even get a mention this year, since none of them received more than five points. So it goes.

BEST SINGLE ISSUE: Seven items were nominated.

1) A Ragged Trousered Pedalcyclist (David Bridges)(5 votes)

2) Deadloss 1 (Chris Priest)(3 votes)

3=) Seamonsters 2 (Simone Walsh)(2 votes)

3=) Twll-Ddu 14 (Dave Langford)(2 votes)

BEST BRITISH FANWRITER: Sixteen people were nominated, eleven receiving more than one vote. Points were awarded as in the Best Fnz Section and last year's positions are in brackets.

1) DAVE LANGFORD (68 points)(1st)

2) SIMONE WALSH (33 points)(7th=)

3) DON WEST (21 points)(6th)

4=) CHRIS PRIEST (20 points)(-)

4=) KEVIN SMITH (20 points)(4th)

Next five: 6) Peter Roberts (19 points)(-)
7) Greg Pickersgill (18 points)(5th)
8) David Bridges (17 points)(7th)
9) Rob Holdstock (10 points)(-)
10) Bob Shaw (8 points)(3rd)

BEST ARTICLE OR COLUMN: Seven items were nominated.

1) Peter Roberts – TAFF Report in Egg 11, Nabu 5, and Mota 27 (four votes)

2) Don West – "Convention Death Wish" in Seamonsters 3 (three votes)

3=) Greg Pickersgill – "Billy The Squid" in Seamonsters 2 (two votes)

3=) Chris Priest – "Condom" in Seamonsters 1 and 3 (2 votes)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

BEST BRITISH FANARTIST: Ten people were nominated, six receiving more than one vote. Points were awarded as in the Best Fnz Section.

1) JIM BARKER (60 points)(2nd)

2) HARRY BELL (59 points)(1st)

3) ROB HANSEN (38 points)(-)

4) DON WEST (12 points)(3rd)

5) JON LANGFORD (8 points)(4th=)

Next five: are ignored, since no one else got more than five points.

BEST FANZINE COVER: Nine covers were nominated from six different titles.

1) Anon (but possibly Graham) – Wrinkled Shrew 8 (four votes)

2) Harry Bell – Twll-Ddu 14 (2 votes)

WORST RESULTS: Dave Langford's TWLL-DDU Fan Poll (for Worst British Fanzine, &c) attracted twenty-six voters, which is a bit galling. Still, the results are written up in NOT CHECKPOINT 96, available from Dave and are well worth reading. The lucky losers are listed below:

Worst British Fanzine: 1) Ycz – Richard Barycz (56 points)
2) Tiofart – Dave Cobbledick (54 points)
3) Fanzine Fanatique – Keith Walker (49 points)
4) Waif – Tom Jones (27 points)
5) The FOKT Magazine – Sandy Brown (14 points)
Worst British Fanwriter: 1) Keith Walker (47 points)
2) Dave Cobbledick (43 points)
3) Tom Jones (37 points)
4) Richard Barycz (36 points)
5) David Lewis (20 points)
Worst British Fanartist: 1) Terry Jeeves (49 points)
2) Jake Grigg (33 points)
3) David Redd (31 points)
4) Shep Kirkbride (13 points)
=5) Robin Hughes (10 points)
=5) Celia Parsons (10 points)

Readers of FILE 770 – Mike Glyer's US newszine – voted recently and came up with some pretty strange results. Top fanzines, according to them, are: File 770, Scientifriction, Mythologies, Janus, and Rune. Now you know. (File 770 10)

BRITISH FANZINE BIBLIOGRAPHY: The third part has now been published and covers the period 1961-1970. Like the first two parts (1936-1950, 1951-1960) it's an A5 booklet that lists all known British fanzines by title and gives details of each known issue – number, date, method of reproduction, size, number of pages, and any other relevant information. 250 titles are covered in the third part – I've just counted them. Cover price is 60p ($1.25); but Checkpoint readers can have their copies at 50p each, if they're interested. The first two parts are similarly available at the reduced price of 35p (Part 1) and 40p (Part 2); the price for all three is £1.10.

Meanwhile, the fourth and final part (1971-1975) is partly typed up and may well be completed after the Seacon. Whether I can find enough cash to pay the printers is another matter, however... But RSN, in any event. 50p should cover that as well if you want to order in advance (it looks as if it'll be as big as the 2nd & 3rd parts – just shows you the recent growth in British fanzine publishing).

There are still a few copies left of the 1978 Guide To Current Fanzines, another printed booklet. You can have one at the reduced price of 30p – the introduction is still valid, though the listing now needs updating. Copies of all the above should be available at Seacon.

FANZINE AUCTION – there'll be one at Seacon, so bring anything along that you want to sell or get rid of. There'll also be auctions in aid of TAFF, probably combined with the book and fanzine auctions; if you have anything to sell or donate – especially odd fannish implements and mementos – bring them to the con. I managed to sell a block of stone at Yorcon, so nothing's impossible (though I think I've had enough of stones, thanks all the same).

FAPA Postmailing

Yesterday TWLL DDU!
Tomorrow FANzine FanatiUuqxe!

Langford moves in issue of:


still coming (but only just)

Peter Roberts
38 Oakland Dr
Dawlish, Devon

Printed Matter Reduced