This is SKYRACK 29, dated 27th February 1961 and edited by Ron Bennett, 7 Southway, Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. 6d per copy, 2/6d for 6 issues. 35cents for 6 issues in USA (65cents for 6 issues sent by Air) where subscriptions should be sent to Bob Pavlat, 6001 43rd Avenue Hyattsville, Md. News of interest to SF fans always welcomed. Cartoon by Don Allen.
AMIS FOR LXICON
Whilst it has long been known that the Cheltenham gang which is organising this year’s Easter Convention (The Gloucester LXIcon) possesses a wealth of originality, enterprise and imagination, it is highly pleasing to note that they are not waiting until the convention itself (Good Friday - Easter Monday) to impress us with these qualities. The first announcement of note and importance, as you’ll see from the Newsletter which is included as a flier to this SKYRACK, is that Kingsley Amis is to be the LXIcon’s Guest of Honour. I believe that this is the first time in the history of sf fandom that a main stream writer who has but dabbled in sf has been invited to a convention in this honoured capacity and the move certainly reflects the committee’s enterprise.
Brian Jordan reports that Mr. Amis’ name is cropping up in other literary journals apart from SKYRACK.... The Scientific American, The Times Literary Supplement, and it is also noted that following a TV interview early in the month, Mr Amis was interviewed on sound radio (BBC Home) on Sat 25th (“World of Books” ) re “New Maps of Hell.”
OTHER NEWS ON THE LXICON can be gleaned from the enclosed flier. The programme appears to be shaping up nicely....fan films, the Don Ford slide-show, “Forbidden Planet,” Eric Bentcliffe’s TAFF talk and "This is Your (Fan) Life” (It could be you!), auctions, the fancy dress ball. Gee, but I’m glad I’m booked in!
There evidently will be three auctions this year in aid of different funds. I’ve agreed to run the TAFF auction and and hope for some original cover art work from Nova publications. Stateside fan, Lynn Hickman, has donated 5 two-year subscriptions for his Hugo-nominated fanzine JD-ARGASSY and I’m now throwing these open to a pre-con postal ballot (The top-price on each subscription will of course then become the reserve price at the convention. If convention bidders fail to meet this reserve, the postal bidder will take the subscription. Stateside fen especially may be interested in this deal?).
EPITAFF is the name of Eric Bentcliffe’s booklet account of his 1960 TAFF trip to the Pittsburgh Worldcon. This production is now almost ready for publication, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a sample of this work and I certainly look forward to reading the entire report. 7/- or $1. All profits to TAFF.
COLONIAL EXCURSION, my own TAFF trip report, is also nearing completion. While there has been no apparent rivalry between Eric and I, it’s surprising the way that our reports have paralleled one another in production. C.E. also sells for 7/- or $l with a pre-publication price of 5/- or 75cents. )
THE DIRECTORY OF 1960 SF FANDOM containing the addresses of over 500 fans is circulated free to members of OMPA and is included in the February FAPA mailing. Non-OMPAns and non-FAPAns may obtain copies from either Ron Bennett or Bob Pavlat for 1/6d or 25 cents.
FLIERS.... once again SKYRACK has its share of fliers, the LXIcon report, Eric Bentcliffe’s latest mi, and two sheets from Archie Mercer on camping and TAFF. This last named sheet has given my. sense of ethics a bad shake, for I’m wholly in support of RON ELLIK FOR TAFF and I hope that I’m not drawing support away from him by circulating this sheet for Archie.
GEORGE LOCKE is now in Nairobi on his latest army posting. Before leaving England, George came up to Harrograte for the weekend the last SKYRACK was issued and included a lengthy flier of his own. We looked round all sorts of bookshops and spent a terrific afternoon and evening as guests of Michael and Betty Rosenblum in Leeds. George browsed through Michael’s books and files of The Futurian and Spaceways whilst I played over Michael’s latest lp’s and drank apricot gin. Howard Rosenblum (age 12 and threequarters) retained his World Astron chanionship and Betty was once again nominated for the Michelin Guide. George was also introduced during the weekend to Colin Freeman, editor of SCRIBBLE, who filched a file of back issues of SMOKE and let George win 9d at solo.
LES SPINGE 5 (Ken Cheslin, 18 New Farm Rd, Stourbridge, Worcs. 1/-. 3Opp). Ken’s latest offering arrived only this morning, making this the quickest reviewing in SKYRACK’ s extremely lengthy history. This “wild, abandoned fanzine” now looks a little in format like other fanzines we know and love but is printed in green ink throughout. The material is not as mouldy cheese as might be expected though. Harry Douthwaite cuts a neat front cover. Ken editorialises on various subjects from 1960 as a year through de Camp’s "Incomplete Enchanter.” George Metzger columnises. Mike Deckinger clears snow. Dave Hale immortalises Linwood and Rispin, Jim Linwood himself contributes a new slant on the stream of consciousness pieces. Alan Dodd writes about 4D Jones. And Linwood reviews fanzines. Not a top fanzine by any means, but certainly a fun loving effort, and once again showing improvement.
ESPRIT Vol 2 No 3 (Daphne Buckmaster, 8 Buchanan Street, Kirkcudbright, Scotland ; l/6 or 20cents;50pp) This queen amongst discussion zines opens with a short article by Ray Nelson on individuality and solitude. Jim Norrie experiences wild talent. John Rackham puts forward a theory that sounds vaguely Fortean. Nan Gerding writes on studying. There are 27 pages of letters and short bits by Les Gerber, Harry Turner and dear old Max Cranium. Highly recommended.
VECTOR 10 (The o-o of the BSFA. £1 for year’s initial subscription to Archie Mercer 434/4 Newark Rd, North Hykeham, Lincoln. Edited by James Groves, 2 Lathom Rd, East Ham, London E 6). This 56 page winter VECTOR is another of the same ilk of well laid-out, well duplicated, well edited VECTORS (It strikes me that the question, “Has there ever been a sercon o-o of the VECTOR quality?” might be worth asking). Apart from the official reports (which make interesting reading in themselves) George Locke shows how sf has been ingrowing into a rut. Pat Kearney writes fiction (I’ve seen far worse from Fredric Brown). Films are reviewed. Ken Slater shows that he’s still alive (where are you, where are you?) by Chuntering. Books are reviewed. Fan and prozines are reviewed. Paul Enever’s classic fanzine piece on ants is reprinted. Several pages of letters make up another worthwhile issue.
HAVERINGS 4 (Ethel Lindsay, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey. 6d.10pp). I wasn’t too keen originally on this latest project of Ethel’s, a slimzine devoted to fanzine reviews, but HAVERINGS has made rapid strides and this latest offering shows vividly why Ethel’s terse viewpoint has been so valuable to OMPA over those past five or six years. Apart from the highly individual style, HAVERINGS is worth keeping as a record of what is what on the zinescene. Why, it might even come in handy when you’re filling in your SKYRACK ballot form!
VOID 23 (Ted White, 107 Christopher St, New York 14; Available in UK by sending Ron Bennett 1/- ; 34pp). As VOID’s UK agent, I suppose I should mention the magazine occasionally, but this particular issue is worth mentioning in its own right, including as it does material from Lee Hoffman, Walt Willis, John Berry, Bob Shaw and being THE WALT WILLIS APPRECIATION ISSUE. One shilling.
changes of address
Ella Parker reports having a card from George Locke in Tripoli en route for Kenya.”A very touching picture of mother and child...camels.” .... Recent visitors to London have included Mike Evans and Dave Hale. Visitor deserving a special mention to herself was Jill Adams who attended a Friday BSFA meeting at Ella’s .... RETRIBUTION 16 (John Berry, 31 Campbell Park Ave, Belfast 4) announces the end of the GDA .... CAMBER 12 (Alan Dodd, 77 Stanstead Rd, Hoddesdon, Herts) a big improvement over the previous issue; devoted mainly to the film, PSYCHO. Most horrific fnz cover I’ve ever seen. .... Jim Linwood, 10 Meadow Cotts, Netherfield, Notts is UK agent for Bill Donaho’s giantzine HABAKKUK. 50 cents or 3/6d per issue .... Bruce Burn and Norman Shorrock sent cutting from the Daily Mail covering the paper’s TV 1961 “Get Ahead” programme. Taking part in the 16th Feb programme was old time fan Wally Gillings with a tape magazine for the blind idea.
Rolf Gindorf reports “The 2nd Niederrhein (Lower Rhineland) Con was held in Dusseldorf on the Jan 14/15 weekend and brought 38 fans from all over Germany together, despite it’s announcedly unpolitical, unserconnish and regional character. Highlights were a discussion of the mess German SF is still in, a free-swinging auction with a highly satisfactory result as far as German fan auctions go, and a panel on the respective merits of faanish and conventional (i.e. predominantly SF-slanted) fandoms. This discussion was soon ended for lack of (courage of) supporters of the latter faction. Expected English guest, Ivor Mayne, whose visit had been announced by Swedish fen, failed to turn up. When all was over everybody agreed that they had had wonderful time. Meanwhile, the Hamburg Group, sponsored by the EUROTOPIA, announced the formation of a Trans-European Fan Fund. TEFF is expected to operate like TAFF, its aim being to get each year a German fan to a European Con. Most likely places are, of course, England and (possibly) Sweden.”
Next issue will include, it is hoped, results of the FANAC (Terry?) aand SKYRACK fan polls. SKYRACK voters receive a free issue....vote now!