This is SKYRACK number 71, dated 20th October 1964, and edited by Ronald M. Bennett, Kt.St.F., 52 Fairways Drive, Forest Lane, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. 2/6 for 6 issues. 35¢ for 6 issues in USA (airmail 70¢), where subscriptions of all shapes and sizes may be sent to that sterling man and convention report collector, Rbt. Coulson, RR 3, Wabash, Indiana 46992. Heading and cartoon by neo-immigre Arthur Atom Thomson, and the interior illustration by Mike Higgs, to whom is given a warm welcome. Long may he be with us. Contributions this time are from Brian Aldiss, Harry Harrison, Archie Mercer, STARSPINKLE, Jim Linwood, George Locke, Ella Parker, Norman Shorrock, Pete Weston, Burkhard Blüm, Alma Hill, Pete Weston & Pete Weston.
Welcome home, Brian Aldiss!
FLASH: LABOUR WIN ELECTION. KRUSCHEV LOSES DEPOSIT.
B.S.F.A. PREXY RESIGNS
“Yes, yes, I’m back,” writes a Brian Aldiss bubbling with sf news and rakija at his return from his 7 month tour of Jugoslavia, an account of which will shortly be published elsewhere, Says Brian, “I have resigned as BSFA President. I felt very out of touch when I came back and in view of the vast amount of work I found piled up, which meant that I could have been of little help to the BSFA, I thought I’d better vacate the throne.” Brian has been President of the BSFA since 1960 and has done much to ensure that he would be no mere figure-head; a replacement as worthy will be hard to find. His immediate plans are to write his travel book, publish several short stories, compile an anthology for an educational publisher, interview J. B. Priestley for SF HORIZONS II, complete a novel set on Mercury, write a contemporary novel, and write a speech to deliver at the Belfast Arts Festival in November. Brian also reports that GREYBEARD is out, “only 18/- with dust jackets, every page numbered throughout for your convenience,” and that Faber have published Charles Harness’ THE PARADOX MEN with an Aldiss introduction.
NEW BOOK RELEASES (Pete Weston)
THE OTHER MAN (from the ITV play) Panther; BLOOD RUNS COLD (Bloch, from WEIRD TALES) Corgi; THE ASTOUNDING ANTHOLOGY and WHEN THEY COME FROM SPACE (both Four Square); SUNDOG (Brian Ball) Dobson 16/-; NEW WRITINGS IN SF 2 (No.3 due Jan) Dobson; THE WEIRD ONES – H. L. Gold edited anthology; STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND (Heinlein) 4 Square; Judith Merril’s 9TH ANNUAL BEST SF is due out in US next month, as is Asimov’s long awaited THE REST OF THE ROBOTS. Out this month in paperbacks are Edmond Hamilton’s CITY AT WORLD’S END, reprinted by Crest, and Richard Matheson’s SHOCK II from Dell. Forthcoming (Dec) is Popular Library’s POST READER OF SF & FANTASY.
WHO’S WHO IN BRITISH FANDOM
No. 7. Peter Weston
Joining the Birmingham SF Group in January ’63, Pete entered fandom in an unusual way. Not only was he producing his fanzine ZENITH before anything like acquainted with other zines, he was an active, letter-writing sf fan before he had heard of such fannish terms as BNF, faans, etc. So by the time he found out about true fandom he was half way a fan already. Soon the traditional newcomer’s distrust of the Establishment died down, and ZENITH was transformed from a spirit duplicated piece of crud into an almost too serious science fiction fanzine containing contributions from well known fans and even professional authors, these besides advertisements from book publishers.
Now ZENITH has a circulation around the 300 mark and boasts justified margins, many electro stencilled illos and 3-colour duplicating, even though it only recently reached its 6th issue. This enterprise is characteristic of Pete and the Birmingham group in its early stages of growth. It remains to be seen whether the enthusiasm can be sustained up to the BrumCon next Easter.
An imposing figure in dark-rimmed spectacles Pete is as serious about sf as is his fanzine. His newly-purchased Roneo 350 stands on the stairs while he shares his bedroom with his collection and a younger brother. All typing and fanac is executed on a small portable, while perched on his bed. Pete still possesses a slightly mixed attitude to fandom but I suspect that he is underneath more a true fan than he thinks. Applying for membership of OMPA was significant; now, it seems, only time is needed to mellow Pete and ZENITH into more typical fan and fanzine respectively. - (Charles Platt)
“I’m glad it’s ‘Lane’ and not ‘Lawn,’” said Arthur Thomson when he first saw our new address. Whilst in the U.S. on his recent TAFF trip to the Pacificon Arthur hit a new high in TAFF travel experiences, being robbed of almost $100 and some sterling in hard ¢a$h, plus his wrist watch.
Wally Gonser and Jim Webbert had prevailed on Arthur not to take the Greyhound from Frisco to Seattle but to travel up by car with them. Auto trouble occurred in New Orleans and the trio spent the night at a motel, during which time the robbery took place, Wally Gonser also losing around $30. Arthur hopes to recover part, if not all, of his loss through travel insurance and is happy that only hours before the robbery he had sent, through American Express, some $240, collected at the PacifiCon as London Worldcon registration fees, on to London.
Now that he’s back in London he is jigsawing into some order the notes scribbled during the trip and is hoping to write up his report fairly soon. The tentative title is ATOM ABROAD and it is intended that the SFCoL will publish the account. From a recent letter from Arthur are gleaned the following: “The Con was good – I had a terrific time … Los Angeles was fabulous! … New York was smashing! … Enjoyed Seattle immensely … The World Fair is staggering … and noisy … The drive across country with Nick Falasca was absolutely wonderful and hilarious … Disneyland was a wonderful day … I enjoyed meeting and being with all the U.S. fans I met … one way or another…” Sounds as though he had quite a trip.
MORE BOOK NEWS, by our men at the match,
Brian Aldiss, Buck Coulson, Harry Harrison and
Harry Harrison’s ANALOG serial, THE ETHICAL ENGINEER, appears from Gollancz next month. In the U.S. Bantam recently reprinted this until the title DEATHWORLD II, the first time Bantam have reprinted sf within a month of hardcover publication. The Gollancz version is, incidentally, half as long again as the ANALOG version. Harry’s next novel will be BILL, THE GALACTIC HERO, a burlesque of Heinlein’s STARSHIP TROOPER/SOLDIER. An abridged version, THE STARSLOGGERS, is due to appear in the December GALAXY.
Gareth Powell, Managing Director of Four Square, recently went on a buying spree in the States and has acquired British rights on the following titles: Chad Oliver’s SHADOWS IN THE SUN, Mack Reynolds’ THE EARTH WAR, Bob Bloch’s HORROR 7, THE ASTOUNDING ANTHOLOGY (parts I and II), James White’s OPEN PRISON, Simak’s CITY, Fritz Leiber’s Hugo winning THE BIG TIME, Brian Aldiss’ THE AIRS OF EARTH, the Conklin edited TWISTED and reprints of Bradbury’s OCTOBER COUNTRY and THE SMALL ASSASSIN (the latter probably to be retitled TOMBSTONE).
Faber are publishing Kornbluth’s SYNDIC with an introduction by Bruce Montgomery, from whom the Faber BEST SF 6 is also on the way.
In the States, Advent have three new books out, reprints of their own THE SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL and the old Fantasy Press symposium OF WORLDS BEYOND, as well as an expanded version of Alva Rogers’ REQUIEM FOR ASTOUNDING, which originally saw print in Bill Donaho's OMPAzine, VIPER. Ace Books’ new releases include Philip Dick’s SIMULCRA, Howard’s ALMURIC, Tubb’s MOON BASE, Kline’s PORT OF PERIL and Kuttner’s VALLEY OF FLAME. Lancer are publishing Lovecraft’s COLOR OUT OF SPACE and Williamson’s GOLDEN BLOOD and Pyramid are publishing Leinster’s TIME TUNNEL and the Margulies edited WEIRD TALES.
MAY I STICK IN A FEW WORDS OF MY OWN? No? Well then, skip this paragraph! Included in this SKYRACK “mailing” is a copy of the first Hugo nomination form, from which return the final ballot will be formulated. May I point out, for your consideration, that in the Best Publisher section Penguin Books are worthy of your vote. For some reason (known but not entirely agreed with), Penguin Books are not reviewed in the BSFA journal, VECTOR, which fact might possibly preclude their being considered by many fans. This, I feel, would be shameful, for in recent years Penguin have published much worthy sf, some of it ironically compiled by the BSFA’s now-ex-President Brian Aldiss.
LONDON 65. The Science Fiction Club of London’s bid for the 1965 WorldCon has, as is well known, been successful and the 23rd World SF Convention will take place in London over the weekend of the next August Bank Holiday, which, please be reminded, has recoiled in horror and has tried to hide itself in the hitherto uncharted reaches of the calendar, namely 27th-30th August 1965. Note the date. Membership fees 15/- or $2 for non-attending members, one guinea or $3 for attendees; the difference may be paid at the Convention itself. There are a million and one items of fact and figure about the con and full details may be obtained by either sending your money to Treasurer Jimmy Groves (29 Lathom Road, East Ham, London E.6) or by writing Secretary Ethel Lindsay (Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey). The hotel is Oxford Street’s plush Mount Royal and the Guest of Honour is to be the hitherto unknown but promising Brian Aldiss, who is mentioned briefly elsewhere in this issue.
YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN, or a keen fan quiet for very long. Richard H. Eney (417 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria 7, Virginia, USA) has published a bulky thirty-two page report on the results of the 1963 Fan Poll. 93 fans voted, the largest count on any fannish poll apart from the professionally-centred Hugo ballots. Ten U.K. fans voted.
In the ‘Best Single Publication’ section, the Bowers and Mallardi DOUBLE BILL 7 was well ahead. HYPHEN 34 ran a good third and other British fan publications to be listed were Ethel Lindsay’s THE LINDSAY REPORT (9th), Terry Jeeves’ ASF INDEX (14th), Phil Harbottle’s JOHN RUSSELL FEARN: AN APPRECIATION (20th).
In the ‘Best Fanzine’ section Robert and Juanita Coulson’s YANDRO came out almost 100 points clear of its nearest rival. HYPHEN was sixth, SKYRACK was 14th, SCOTTISHE 15th.
Arthur Thomson took the best artwork section, with Eddie Jones 5th and Jim Cawthorn 6th.
Buck Coulson’s no nonsense fanzine reviews, ‘Strange Fruit’, in YANDRO gave him the lead in the ‘Best Column’ section, which result, in the latest YANDRO Buck describes as ridiculous. Walt Willis’ ‘The Harp That Once or Twice’ in WARHOON was 4th, Walt Willis’ ‘Warblings’ in SCOTTISHE 9th and Madeleine Willis’ ‘The DisTAWF Side’ in SPELEOBEM 10th. They can write, these Willises.
True! And a recognised fact, for Walt cleared the ‘Best Writer’ section, narrowly beating Harry Warner into second place. John Berry was third and the full list of the top seventy or so writers is spattered with the names of British fans (sorry, though, Ivor; I’m afraid you missed out this time).
‘Best New Fan’ was Arnold Katz. Langdon Jones, 1964’s Best New Professional, was second and Madeleine Willis 4th.
‘Number One Fan Face’ turned out to be, to nobody’s surprise, Walt Willis. John Berry was 8th, Arthur Thomson 10th.
An excellent publication and commentary on Fandom ’64.
ONE-TIME TOURISTS OF BRITISH FANDOM, Paul and Eleanor Turner have separated, Eleanor having left Los Angeles to work in Arizona. ::: Several copies remain of COLONIAL EXCURSION, my own Atom illustrated TAFF trip report. 7/- or $1 and all the bagels you can eat.
VECTOR 28 (Sept 64; The Journal of the BSFA, edited by Roger Peyton, 77 Grayswood Park Rd., Quinton, Birmingham 32; 45pp) Even lacking the enigmatic Doctor Peristyle this is another excellent VECTOR with Ken Slater’s ‘General Chuntering’ and Terry Bull’s analysis of Jack Vance. Edmond Hamilton contributes to ‘The Author’s Lot’ series, there is some excellent artwork and with Jimmy Groves answering questions, Vic Hallett covering film news, magazine and book reviews, and some scintillating letters we have once again a magazine which is a credit to the Association.
THE SCARR 5 (Sept 65; George Charters, 3 Lancaster Ave., Bangor, N. Ireland) Produced primarily for OMPA, this is a slim, qualitative zine with material by Ian McAulay and John Berry, to say nothing of the editor. Contains the beautiful throw-away quotation “Thank God I’m an atheist,” and is actually recommended for far more.
DOUBT 1 (Graham Hall, 57 Church St., Tewkesbury, Gloc; 24pp) The first of the promised PaDsines (the BSFA’s publishing and distributing service for members who have not the access to some means of duplication), arrived, showing the promised promise. There is a good article by Archie Mercer on Thorne Smith and allied works (such as the Myers “Toffee” series) and some fiction, including a fantasy by John Ramsey Campbell written while hanging from the Potrezebie rafters and a Bob Bloch reprint. Of especial note is Brian McCabe’s Finlay-like artwork.
LINK 1 (Beryl Henley, 59 The Fearnings, Crabbs Cross, Redditch, Worcs; 31pp) The second PaDsine, produced by Beryl in collaboration with the ecrivant extraordinaire Mary Reed of Banbury and the hitherto unknown Anne Campbell of Bicester. Dozens of throw-away points for consideration, discussion and controversy in what can only be described as a wild woman’s fanzine.
ALIEN 11 (Oct 64; Harry Nadler and his merry men, 5 South Mesnefield Road, Lower Kersal, Salford 7, Lancs; 1/3; 42pp) First and foremost in the field of fantasy and the macabre with the mixture as before, ranging in quality from grammatical errors and corny humour to an excellent coverage of the world of sf and fantasy films with printed stills from THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. Some good articles, reviews and news items. ALIEN’s best to date.
QUOTECARDS ANYONE? (Lang Jones, 36 Winscombe Cres., Ealing, London W5; 24pp) A well written Peterborough convention report by British fandom’s latest professional recruit. Also available from Lang are the monthly and highly entertaining reports from Group 65.
SATURA 9 (John Foyster, PO Box 57, Drouin, Victoria, Australia). A slim chatter and personal comment zine. This is an entertaining issue and the best I’ve seen so far.
SOL 40 (Oct 64; Tom Schluck, 3 Hannover, Altenbekener Damm 10, Germany) A bulky convention-and-meeting-report issue, excellently compiled and featuring an Archie Mercer Castlecon report (ably backed by a professionally edited melange of photographs. Jock Root reports the Pacificon II and Harry Updiddle Harrison menus his recent visit to Italy and Jugoslavia. A great issue of tremendous interest to U.K. fandom.
SCOTTISHE (Unnumbered and undated; Ethel Lindsay, Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey; single issues 1/-, 5 issues for 7/6… it says here! 22pp) A slim Scotty with every appearance of having been hurriedly thrown together (very much as is SKYRACK!). Contains a short article by John Boardman, a slightly below average Walt Willis ‘Warblings’ column, Ethel’s Castlecon report (which fades into an apa-like survey of British newspapers) and Brian Varley’s standard saving ‘Machiavarley’ column on SF HORIZONS. When we have come to expect so much from SCOTTISHE a mere average fanzine like this comes as a great disappointment.
CHANGES OF ADDRESS:
SNIPPETS: IT HAPPENED HERE, the “Had the Nazis won the war” film, from which scenes were shown at Peterborough last year and in which starred Bruce Burn, Pat Kearney, Jim Linwood and Pete Taylor is to be shown at the Cork Film Festival. The film will be later released in London and has already gained rave reviews, having been also featured in Bamber Gascoyne’s CINEMA programme on ITV 15th Sept. ::: Gliding expert George Locke visited Harrogate over the first weekend of this month, taking the opportunity to talk to 50 children on aeronautics and also visiting Knaresborough’s Kard King, Kolin Freeman. Whilst George was here LiG made a flying visit in the forms of Ina, Norman and Gavin Shorrock and Stan & Auntie Marge Nuttall to pay homage to one who had actually travelled so far north and the following weekend George reacclimatised himself in the south by visiting south western fandom in the shapes of Tony & Simone Walsh and Archie Mercer. ::: It is on record that NEW WORLDS stands a good chance of going monthly early next year ::: Pat Kearney and Pete Taylor, Cork Film Festival stars recently visited Liverpool a day apart ::: SKYRACK fanzine auction (50% to TAFF), zines listed last month: Rich Mann has bid 1/6 per for HYPHENS 23, 32, 33, YANDRO 77 and any two copies of CRY (149-168), 5/- per on any two OMPA mailings and 7/- for FAPA 107. Dave Hale is high on the other FAPA mailings with 5/- per, and George Locke has bid 1/6 each for DOUBLE BILLs 7&8. Bargain basement time all round. Bidding closes 1st Nov. ::: After much lengthy consideration, deliberation and consultation, Ella Parker has decided to close down the Friday evening open Dunbar House sessions for BSFA members and all comers. Meetings will continue up to and including 18th December ::: Helmut Klemm is back in Germany after a year in the States ::: MUNICH ROUND UP 72 (Waldemar Kumming, 8 München 2, Herzogspitalstr 5) is out with Castlecon pictures ::: Pete Weston, 9 Porlock Cres., Birmingham 31 now has access to a means of producing electrostencils. 9/6d each plus 1/- per order postage, cash in advance. Sounds a good deal. ::: Hugo nominations are now being invited. See the enclosed flier ::: Don Franson, N3F President, is forming a writers’ exchange as a Neffer Service Department. ::: Heinrich Aernz, 6 Frankfurt 1, Schliessfach 5002, Burgstr 33 IV., W. Germany would like British fan correspondents ::: This issue dedicated to Pete Weston, who sends a continuous flow of newsworthy letters.