This is SKYRACK number 69, dated 12th August 1964 and published by Big Daddy Ron Bennett now hiding away at 52 Fairways Drive, Forest Lane, Harrogate, Yorkshire. 6d per copy. 6 issues for 2/6d or 35¢ in the USA where subscriptions should be sent to Bob Coulson, RR3, Wabash, Indiana 46992. News of interest to sf fans always welcome. Cartoon by Arthur “Atom” Thomson who will shortly be travelling to seek his fortune in the fair climes of summertime U.S. & A. Arthur leaves London Airport Sat 22nd to attend the Oakland World Convention, the Pacificon II, as Britain's TAFF Delegate. Yippee and like that. Have fun, Arthur.
THE 1964 CASTLECON took place in the thousand year old castle of Marquartstein, Bavaria, over the 1st/2nd August weekend, with a hotel proprietor who startled Gerfan attendees with behaviour wilder than the wildest fans. The Convention opened on Friday afternoon 31st July with an official business meeting of the SFCD, followed in the evening by a public dance in the Castle yard. On the Saturday morning Richard Koch spoke on ‘Cybernetics and SF’, coming to the conclusion that robots will eventually take over the world. In the afternoon Dr. H. W. Franke, the Austrian scientist, who has been writing some very interesting novels, discussed the reviewing of the genre by the general public. In the evening the fancy dress party took place, with Archie Olaf Mercer well in evidence with his axe swinging among the twenty or so attendees who dressed up. The letting off of celebratory fireworks led to the traditional visit by the local police. Sunday seemed to be film day, with documentaries shown, as well as a fannish slide show produced and directed by Ethel Lindsay and Eddie Jones. Attendees included Ina, Norman, Janet, Roy, Linda, Alan and Gavin Shorrock, Eddie Jones, Norman Weedall, John Humphries and John Roles (of LiG, all of whom were holidaying at nearby Konigssee), Archie Mercer (who was first to arrive), Ethel Lindsay, Peter Mabey, Dave Barber, Tony, Simone and Sarah Walsh, George Locke, Wolfgang Thadewald, Tom Schluck, Horst Evermann, Rolf Gindorf, Burkhard Bluem, and George O. Smith. (T.S.)
SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS to Honorary Boy Hero Racing Driver, one-time SKYRACK Stateside rep., Robert K. Pavlat, who was married in Hyattsville, Maryland, on 20th June to leading debutante femme-fan, Peggy Rae McKnight. The social occasion of the season, and every good wish to both of you.
EVEN THE LEAST OBSERVANT will have noticed that there has been a gap between issues of SKYRACK. Plans were well in hand to produce this issue on 12th July, but life has been a little hectic of late. I returned to Liverpool on 9th July from a flying visit to Harrogate to find that I’d been recalled to teaching, beginning 13th July. Accordingly, we packed and left Liverpool hurriedly, only to run into accommodation problems in Harrogate which was packed solid for the Great Yorkshire Show. We spent a couple of weeks in Leeds, during which time Liz spent a week in hospital and I went back to working for a living supply teaching. Finally, we’ve managed to settle in here in our little stone country cottage on the edge of Harrogate Golf Course. The Newcastle Road and Chandos Terrace addresses will still find us but of course mail will reach us quicker if addressed here.
ACTUALLY WITNESSING the birth of one’s son is a tremendous experience which I can heartily recommend. 8lb 1oz Andrew Ralston Bennett made his scheduled appearance at 2.50pm Thursday 6th August. The three of us are doing well and goshwow and gee and like that.
I WAS A TRANSYLVANIAN OIL-SHEIKH FOR THE ALIENS. On 5th July the Delta Film Unit in Salford, comprising in the main Messrs. Nadler, Partington and Edwards, hosted several visiting fen, with the ulterior motive of obtaining cheap labour for their latest 8mm colour epic FRANKENSTEIN & THE REVOLTING PEASANTS and we’ll leave the obvious gag out of it, shall we? Farmer Eddie Jones, Auntie Nell Gwynn Nuttall, Stan Rochester Nuttall, Rob Roy Roles, Harry Lime Bentcliffe, Grandmother Liz Bennett, Jeff Eric Shipton Cooper and yours truly had a great outing and the sooner Liverpool and Salford are moved nearer Harrogate the better.
THREE CHEERS FOR PETER WESTON, who supplied the following listing of brand new Stateside SF. Knopf’s SANDERS ($4.95), Carl Jacobi’s PORTRAITS IN MOONLIGHT ($4. Arkham. Due Sept), Knight’s CENTURY OF SHORT SF NOVELS ($4.95, Dial), Lovecraft’s AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS ($6. Arkham), Ballard’s BURNING WORLD (50¢. Berkeley), Hamilton’s BATTLE FOR THE STARS (50¢. PB Library), Hunter Holly’s TOMORROW’S PIPER (40¢. Avon. Due Sept), Knight’s FRENCH SF (40¢. Bantam), Irwin Lewis’ TO INVADE NEW YORK (50¢. Avon), EFR’s THE SURLY SULLEN BELL (50¢. PB Library. Due 15th Sept), Jeff Sutton’s APOLLO AT GO (Popular Library. Due Sept).
AH, JUST DIG THIS MODESTY. Michael J. Moorcock, well known friend of David Redd and Bob Lumley, wrote as long ago as mid-June: “The change over to pb format seems to have done wonders. On a higher print run than Nova’s NEW WORLDS, we sold out in the first week and have now increased our order to an even higher figure – one more jump and we shall be producing double the figure of the Nova NEW WORLDS at the end. This is due, I feel, to the format, mainly to the covers, and perhaps to a more high powered distribution than was available to Ted. I take no personal credit. SCIENCE FANTASY also sold well on the first new format issue. Encouraging.” It is, indeed. Mike also writes that Jenkins have taken the second Elric book, STORMBRINGER, which has been completely revised to form a coherent novel. Great, great.
SNIPPETS: Latest out-of-the-woodwork-er is Pete Campbell of “Every Issue Bigger” ANDROMEDA (c.1953/4) fame, with a new zine, HYDRA. Two issues to date, both very slim. Don’t let him slip away this time. Write c/o Birkdale Cottage, Brantfell, Windermere, Westmorland ::: Congratulations to Harrogate 62 Con attendee Guntram Ohmacht, safe driving certificate holder and mountaineer extraordinaire, married 31st July to Sabine Brama. Best wishes you two ::: And congratulations, Mario Kwiat on the CastleCon weekend birth of a 6lb daughter, Silke.
HARLEQUIN (May 1964; John Berry, 31 Campbell Park Ave., Belfast 4, N.I. A minimum of 2/6 per copy) This one-shot contains reprints of vintage Berry material, liberally sprinkled with Atom illos. There are over sixty pages of this qualitative melange and the zine is certainly worth the cash for the proceeds go to TAFF. Copies from John Berry or Ella Parker.
GESTALT 8 (Summer 64; Jim Marshall, 32 Millway, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead 8, Co. Durham; 1/6) From out the woodwork comes the old North Eastern fan group of the mid-fifties, boosted by the vitality of Phil Harbottle, and their fanzine, dear ol’ GESTALT. The time lag between issues shows through, for obviously missing is the self confidence of an editor who has several issues under his belt. Despite good material by Phil H., and John Berry, and a pleasant little column by a long-missed “Bushy Hedge,” the issue is marred by moans at poor quality material in other fanzines, moans which are immediately followed by the worst humour I’ve seen in fanzines for years. Come on, fellas, we haven’t waited all these years for that!
NEXUS 1 (June 64; Pete Weston, 9 Porlock Cres., Birmingham 31) Slim, personal chatterzine which includes outside material by Archie Mercer and up and coming Beryl Henley. Neat illos by Atom and Dick Howett. A very pleasant interim zine, though it’s a pity Pete’s ability to handle a duplicator isn’t matched by an ability to handle his native tongue.
ALIEN 9 (June 64; Harry Nadler, 5 S. Mesnefield Rd., Lower Kersal. Salford 7, Lancs. 1/3) Devoted, as a specialist zine, to sf and horror fantasy. Some well produced stills, film reviews by Alan Dodd, book reviews and a short Peterborough convention report, with photos.
NADIR 3 (Jun/July 64; Charles Winstone, 71 George Rd., Birmingham 23; 1/3) Another chatty Brumzine, small and personal with some outside material. The two most interesting articles, on collecting stamps and cigarette cards, both well slanted towards sf, only begin to touch the surface in reader interest.
SQUEAK 2 (Tony Glynn, 144 Beresford St., Manchester 14) Extremely well produced. General ramblings on Dublin and Manchester, wanderings in Japan, a glimpse of the magic world of old films, a visit to Haworth and a look at the first world war. This is a good, highly-talented zine and it is naturally recommended as a must. (Ah, if only our younger and newer fan writers had such a command of English!)
NORTHLIGHT (July 64; Alan Burns Goldspink House, Goldspink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2;) A short article on home movie making and an editorial farewell to the zinescene, for this is NORTHLIGHT’s last issue. NORTHLIGHT, which has appeared irregularly but frequently for the past six or seven years, has never attained the heights reached by the greats but will be sorely missed for its editor’s literate commentaries and particularly some very revealing travelogues.
VECTOR 27 (o-o BSFA, Roger Peyton, 77 Grayswood Park Rd., Birmingham 32) Ken Slater’s ‘General Chunterings’, sf films, book and magazine reviews, a good column by the latest Dr. Peristyle, letters, comments and opinions. A good issue which contains everything for the do-it-yourself, stay-at-home sf enthusiast.
THE SHUDDER FANZINE (Mike Higgs, 138 Barrow Rd., Birmingham 11; 1/-) Worth more than a 3-line mention, with golden reminiscences of AUTHENTIC S.F., Captain Marvel and several old pulps.
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SNIPPETS: Once again we have pleasure in finding that Eric Bentcliffe’s MI is flying with us. And my apologies to Eric for the delay in producing this issue. And to Sonia, too, for not having the opportunity of meeting her on her first visit to England. Salford was a near miss ::: Thanks, attendees, for the apt CastleCon card. Hope you didn’t drink too much and get schlossed ::: THE ONCE & FUTURE KING-based CAMELOT finally opens in London next week, with Laurence Harvey taking the Burton role ::: Congratulations Brian Jordan, married 28th July (to whom, Alan?) Alan Rispin best man ::: The Most Noble Order of St Fantony is being revived (cheers both off- and on-stage). All information from Keith Freeman, 1a Hamlyn Ave., Anlaby Road, Hull, Yorkshire ::: The Bob Richardson Memorial Fund wound up with £61’s worth of Premium Bonds being handed on to Bob’s daughter ::: More congratulations! Cliff Teague engaged to Lesta Holmes and ZENITH’s Pete Weston engaged to Mary Reed ::: Death announced of Donald Suddaby, Worcester juvenile SF author ::: Bill Rotsler is collecting quotes for a column in PAGEANT. Further details on request ::: Card from Ohrid, Jugoslavia, where Brian Aldiss, camping by a lakeful of trout, send grretings to “all the fraternity.” ::: Ken Cheslin wants issues of LES SPINGE 13 ::: John Humphries is not now being transferred to Belfast ::: BSFA have member in Riga, Latvia, USSR ::: STARSPINKLE reports that Betty & Gene Kujawa ditched their car 24th July attempting to avoid an idiot. No bones broken. Get well, schnell, bruises ::: Nominations for the TAFF campaign to bring an American fan to the London 65 Worldcon (if we get the bid – vote London, you Pacificon II attendees) close 31st this month. Two wonderful candidates so far in William Donaho and Terence Carr ::: Loncon 65 hotel announced in STARSPINKLE as the Mount Royal at Marble Arch.