This is SKYRACK 57, published in honour of the DisCon
this American Labor Day Weekend on 31st August 1963 by Ron
Bennett at present residing at 43 Wm. Dunbar House, Albert Road,
London NW 6. 6d per copy and 2/6d. for 6 issues. 35cents for 6 issues
in the USA (70cents for six issues sent airmail) where subscriptions
should be sent to Bob Pavlat, 6001-43rd Avenue, Hyattsville, Md.
News of interest to sf fans always most welcome. Heading and cartoon
are of course by Arthur “Atom” Thomson who recently took part in
the following conversation;
HOTEL BOOKED ...... FOR SIXTY-FIVE !
Many fans are already aware that London is bidding for the 1965 World Convention and indeed there have been many slogans in fanzines supporting the campaign. The shadow committee has already met three times and will be continuing to meet monthly, whilst a hotel in London has already been booked, providing of course that London’s bid, which will be made in a year’s time in America’s western seaboard, is successful. The Committee itself lines up as: Chairman - Ella Parker, Secretary - Ethel Lindsay, Treasurer - Jimmy Groves, Publicity - Peter Mabey, Programme - Ron Bennett, Programme Liason - Keith Otter. Brian & Frances Varley will be in charge of the convention’s Project Art Show.
AXE AXED! Larry & Noreen Shaw, who recently moved back to New York from their ten-month stay in Illinois, have decided that two thousand-mile moves in under a year would provide too much of a strain on a regular schedule and rather than have an aimless drifting programme they have decided upon a clean-cut end to their excellent newssheet Axe. Axe will be missed. Appearing originally in April 1961 in support of the Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund, it continued publication after the ChiCon. Noted for its views and comments on the world sf scene, as well as for its news, Axe was a fortnightly publication for a lengthy period. Sub money will be returned as soon as possible and arrangements are being made for publishing the remainder of the so-far untitled Willis Report.
Reports are circulating that authors Pohl, de Camp, Neil Jones and Arthur C. Clarke will all be visiting London sometime within the next month.
RUNNING OVER FROM THE PAGE OPPOSITE (How do you compose your newszine. Skyrack is put on to stencil in the following order: pages 3, 2, 4, 1. Oh, you’d noticed?)
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF STATESIDE FANZINES worthy of note. First is STEFANTASY (May 1963; Bill Danner, RD 1, Kennerdell, Pa) This 51st issue has something decidedly new in the way of covers and is full of high standard material throughout, with Colin Freeman looking at America through mildewed sunglasses. Recommended, as always.
You might also try Charles Wells’ CADENZA 8 (August 1963) or Dave Hulan’s LOKI 6, both of which are building up a steady following.
IT’S HOLIDAY TIME ONCE AGAIN, with fans scurrying around, searching for the elusive sun and even more elusive off-the-beaten-track bookshops. Brian Burgess spent a week on the island of Levant, recently featured in the first instalment in F&SF of Heinlein’s Glory Road. Dave Hale looked up Maggie Thompson in Yolly Jugoslavia (thanks for the card, kind people) and Ron and Liz Bennett took off for a week’s improvised. tour around Belgium. Brugges, Ieper (Ypres) and Antwerp were all visited and it is with great pleasure that we can announce that Jan Jansen is still in fine form. We spent a couple of days with Jan, his wife Rosa (who looks six years younger) and his daughter Sonja (who has developed. overnight - for me - into a Cliff Richard admiring teenager). I don’t know what Jan and Rosa felt about having us descend on them without warning, but we had a whale of a time.
FATS WALLER HAD A SONG. “You asked. for it, you got it,” was the title. When Skyrack was first published four and a half years ago several fans argued that subscriptions taken out to Contact should be honoured. Well, now, following consultations between Jan Jansen and myself, it has been agreed that subscribers to Contact will have the remaining portion of their subscriptions honoured by Skyrack. Contact subscribers who already subscribe to Skyrack will naturally have their subscriptions extended.
HARROGATE BOY LEAVES HOME! In fact he took his wife with him. Westcliffe Grove, Harrogate, ceased to house the Bennetts on 2nd. August when Ron & Liz moved the Skyrack editorial offices to the Palatial Penthouse Penitentiary of Ella & Fred Parker (Fred, Ella’s brother, is now a fully qualified CRY Letter Hack, with a membership card as proof) for the sunny southern summer. Mail is still reaching us forwarded from Harrogate, but this happy state of affairs will not go on indefinitely, so please keep a tag on our address changes. Thursday 12th September is the deadline for letters @ Dunbar House for on that day we move north once again, this time for a ten month stay in a well spattered fan area, Liverpool. Watch this space.
SINCE BEING IN LONDON, life has become an everlasting convention. Meeting fans on every corner (and every seat on the Embankment) has become an everyday occurrence. The Science Fiction Club of London took a river trip down to Greenwich and every Friday evening here is BSFA night. Note that the Open House arrangement is having a slight proviso attached to it for the 6th September Get-together: An informal mini-con party evening is being arranged by Ted Tubb. So many fans will be milling around that there will be an entrance fee of 10/- though those who wish to bring their own bottle (no, not beer this time) may do so. Never in their lives will they have had such a welcome.
PAID ADVERT: Norman Sherlock (5 Dog Lane, London NW 10) would like information on 12-string guitars, the tuning of strings and string spacing.
CHAOS 2 (June 1963; Roy Kay, 91 Craven Street, Birkenhead., Cheshire;2 issues for 1/6d.) More worthwhile material from Roy himself and an outside contribution by Archie Mercer at his City Desk. Letters make up the issue, but let us not merely dismiss this virtual newcomer to the fanfield in four lines. This fanzine is developing on the right lines. It will be interesting to see how future issues compare with future issues of
TENSOR 2 (Lang Jones, 36 Winscombe Crescent, Ealing, London W.5;. 1/- or 15 cents) Lang, like Roy, is suffering from the old faneditor’s complaint of having to write most of the material himself, not that these neo-editors are not worth reading (far from it - I’m considering the problem from the editor’s viewpoint). Outside contributors here are Val Purnell, the editor's mother and Charles E. Smith, all of whom can write, though Val’s verse is a little too rambling even for present day forms. Highlight of this issue is undoubtedly Lang’s con report which is surprisingly entertaining for its overall vagueness. Both Chaos and Tensor appear to be suffering from the general: dearth of fan writers. Well?
VECTOR 20 (July 1963; The Official Journal of the British Science Fiction. Association ((Who said I have difficulty filling four pages?)), edited at 70 Worrall Road., Bristol 8 by Archie Mercer and published by Michael Rosenblum in the shadow of the offices of the Northern Rugby League. Once again there are items of official business, fanzine and book reviews, letters and pieces of excellently marshalled editorial gossip from Archie. In addition there are articles by C.P. McKenzie and C. Clarke, both worth reading, and eight pages of reprinted. Ron Bennett. Oh, I like Vector.
THE BUG EYE 12 (July 1963; Rolf Gindorf, 5603 Wulfrath, Hans-Bockler-Str 52, Germany) This issue was put out by Rolf as editor-in-chief Helmut Kleimm is beseiged in the fannish desert of mid-western America. Contributions by Rolf, Caesar and Gindorf, pages and. pages of chatty letters and a lament by Burkhard Blum resulting from a notice in Skyrack a year last July. Whatever did happen to the Brotherhood of the Way?
NORTHLIGHT 15 (Alan Burns, Goldspink House, Goldspink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2) Alan does not take subscriptions for Northlight but instead sends issues to those he feels would be interested in receiving them, a worthy attitude. This issue is somewhat more slim than previous issues. Full of stimulating views on odd items like James Baldwin and Yorkshire beer, Northlight is fast becoming an English Wendigo and the only people to complain about that are those not on the mailing list. Alan’s main features this time are accounts of trips made to Sheffield and Harrogate. (Thank you, Alan. We greatly enjoyed. having you with us).
THE PANIC BUTTON 14 (Les Nirenberg, l217 Weston Rd., Toronto 15, Canada; 35cents) I don’t know whether to call TPB the magazine you either love or hate, or the professional fanzine, for it’s both, with the following fans appearing this time round: Alan Dodd, Jerry DeMuth, Walter Breen, Gary Deindorfer, Ted Pauls, Ted White and Norm & Gina Clarke (yes, where is Wendigo?). Featured is material you’ll either enthuse about or throw away, dependent entirely on taste. A way out production. Personally, I enjoyed it, particularly Les’s joke about not having the time to argue with Ted Pauls and then doing so for three columns. But then, I have an immature sense of humour.
Random thought: The police are looking for a James White in connection with the recent Great Mail Train Robbery. The Wiltshire Flying Saucer holes-in-the-ground are now found to have been caused by “a Leeds born student, now in Yorkshire.” Need I comment?
TWO MAJOR BRITISH HISTORICAL FAN PROJECTS scheduled for publication next year. Brian Burgess’ complete checklist of all major British sf and fantasy magazines which will probably run to some two hundred pages and Walter Gillings’ complete history of fandom which scarcely could have a more authorative writer at its helm.
SNIPPETS: £70,000 sf musical Man in the Moon will replace the traditional Xmas pantomime at the London Palladium. Star: Charlie Drake. ::: Archie Mercer, UK agent for newszine Fanac disclaims all knowledge of issues 90-92 excepting what he has read of their existence in Ron Ellik’s Starspinkle. :::: Ray Bradbury is screenplaying The Martian Chronicles and is taking over the planning of a major exhibit ("Tomorrow Morning" - which deals with the “evolution of the American spirit” – quoted from Ken Beale’s excellent Fantasy News) for the New York World Fair. :::: Skyrack misses out! Two moves in 7 weeks and a Continental holiday have meant that this year there will be no quick-fire coverage of the DisCon’s Hugo Awards, Don’t wait up. :::: Kingdon Road Fandom, Jim Linwood and the Rispins attended a special premiere recently of Shirley Jackson’s fantasy film The Haunting. ::: Ted Carnell, Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, Harry Harrison and Jacques Bergier all attended the recent Trieste Film Festival. And a good time etc etc. It is expected that there will second festival, next year:
CHANGES OF ADDRESS:
CONGRATULATIONS to Andrew Peter Patrizio upon his introduction on 20th July to Anne & Joe Patrizio. 7 lbs 6 oz. :::: It always happens! After years in the fannish wilderness, the Bennetts, in the middle of packing to leave Harrogate, were visited by Phil Rogers and John Roles. John was book buying in the Riding and also looked up Mal Ashworth. Phil was returning home after holidaying with the Shorrocks and looking up Archie Mercer. :::: Bradbury’s The Fruit at The Bottom of the Bowl was featured by ATV’s Television Playhouse on 8th August. Scripted by Ilona Ference the play featured. Leonard Rossiter as the master polisher. Three Brian Aldiss books out this weekend!