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