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A PaDs Gallery

Here's a selection of PADSzine covers, very much representative of the general tone and quality.  Some are rather accomplished and would have graced any 20th century fanzine. Some have rather less charm.

PADS is less commonly criticised for its art than its general poor layout and illegible duplicating. This was consequent to much of the work being done by persons other than the fanzine's ostensible editors (though how much actual 'editing' - or even 'selection' - some of these notional editors did is open to question.
Manuscripts were, in many cases, supplied to volunteer typists - including Doreen Parker (later Doreen Rogers) and Beryl Mercer among others - for stencilling, and were duplicated, with perhaps less care than they might have given to their own projects, by other hands; often by Archie Mercer, or even, in the early days, Charles Platt.
It was argued that this could result in a person being able to put out a fanzine without actually doing any of the work themselves at all. Not necessarily a bad thing if instead the time and effort was put into creative editing, but...
See some samples of rather typical PADS text here. These are not poor scans, but represent the originals quite accurately.

All that being said, having looked through a lot of PADSzines in the course of assembling this webpage I think it is reasonable to say that the reputation of PADS as being solely the repository of half-baked material shoddily presented is not wholly deserved. Some of these fanzines, like Ashley's XERON for example, may have lacked a great deal in terms of design, but much of their content is actually determinedly science-fictional and the level of information and informed comment can be quite high. It may be in fact that the negative view of PADSzines is a legacy of the contempt that Charles Platt and his associates of the day showed towards a project that they personally had lost interest in and had in any event failed to conform to their expectations. The usual received wisdom problem. PADSzines deserve a reassessment !
Well, maybe.

img047.jpgChris Priest's THUD-F; this and it's predecessor YAWL-B were one-offs distributed through PADS. Part of a trilogy, the third element of which, to be titled OVVM-E, was never published. Cover by Dicky Howett.

img048.jpgSteve Moore's VEGA. Cover by Steve Moore.

img024.jpgChas Legg's ENTROPY, cover by Santos. Santos was obviously a pseudonymn, for one of the Mary Reed/CRAPAPPLE group. Martin Pitt ?

img025.jpg Charlie Winstone's EFFELL, cover by Yac, who was, I believe, Charlie himself..

img026.jpgChas Legg's FREEWHEELIN', successor to ENTROPY. Cover is by Jay Kinney. Yes, the rather famous US comics artist. That was much later.

img027.jpgPeter Weston's NEXUS. This rather good cover is by, fairly obviously, ATom, the great Arthur Thomson.


Jim Grant's FUSION. A rather good science fiction fanzine similar to Ashley's XERON. Cover by Brian McCabe.

img029.jpgBeryl Henley's LINK. Cover by Mik, Mike Higgs of the Birmingham SF Group. This was Beryl's first fanzine; she later became a significant character in UK fandom as Beryl Mercer

img030.jpgGraham Hall's DOUBT, the one issue of his one fanzine. It is said he never published another after he discovered how much effort it demanded. Cover by Brian McCabe.

img032.jpgCharles Platt's GARBISTAN. Platt had studied printing and design and it shows. A very attractive concept, unattributed, but probably Platt himself.

img033.jpgDick Howett's PADLOCK number 3. Howett was an accomplished artist and cartoonist, and this design shows he had the potential for professional success, which he later achieved.

img034.jpgTom Jones' PROTEUS. Cover signed as 'J Rose'. Possibly something from the then-active Central Contributors Pool., a repository for mediocre (at best) material that wasn't produced specifically for any given fanzine.

img036.jpgMary Reed's CRABAPPLE, often thought of as the archetypal PaDszine. Cover by Dave Baldock.

img037.jpgMike Ashley's XERON. Mike Ashley is now a highly respected sf bibliographer and historian. Cover by Phil Harbottle - yes, that Phil Harbottle...

img038.jpgHarry Bell's GRIMWAB, first issue of his first fanzine, possibly his first fanzine cover art. He did a great deal more artwork, of often excellent quality, during the 1970s and 80s.

img039.jpgBAD NEWS ! from Dave Wood of Nottingham. Not Dave Wood, Junior Fanatic, originally from Lancaster and active from the 1950s, but a much younger fellow who put out a number of idiosyncratic little fanzines in the mid-60s. Cover by Dave Wood.

img040.jpgCharles Platt's INSOMNIA, cover unattributed but likely by Platt himself. An effective design

img041.jpgAdj Cook's WARLOCK, cover by Cliff Reynolds, unknown as a fan and probably a local friend of Cook's or a CCP contributor, perhaps.

Some typical PADS text pages.

img042.jpg The first page of Charles Platt's INSOMNIA, giving information on the idea of PADS.

img043.jpgPart of the letter-column from Adj Cook's WARLOCK 3

img044.jpgA page from the fanzine review section of Chas Legg's ENTROPY 2