This is SKYRACK number 72, dated 27th November 1964 and published by Ron Bennett, 52 Fairways Drive Forest Lane, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England . 2/6 for 6 issues. 35cents for 6 issues in the USA (6 issues airmailed for 70cents) where subscriptions may be sent to Robert Coulson, Route 3, Wabash, back home in Indiana 46992. Although this issue may be a fair example of how to put out a newszine without news, you may be assured that the banner "news of interest to the sf fan always welcome" still applies. Cartoon on the left is by Arthur Meatpaste Thomson and contributions appear by the kind courtesy of Richard Mann, Harry Harrison, Ken Cheslin, Starspinkle, Jim Linwood, Dave Kyle, etc etc.
1965 Easter Convention will have as its Guest of Honour the renowned author of DEATHWORLD, Harry Harrison.
STARSPINKLE FOLDS. RATATOSK ITS PHOENIX. Starspinkle's editor, Ron Ellik, 1962 TAFF delegate to Britain, is being moved by his firm to the D.C. area, and accordingly has decided to fold that extremely popular newszine. The final issue, the fiftieth, appeared only weeks before its second anniversary. Whilst one is naturally sad to see such an experienced news handler leave this select field, all is not lost, for Ron's publisher, Bruce Pelz, has stepped up to fill the breach with a similar paper, Ratatosk, whose first issue appeared last week.
CONGRATULATIONS to BSFA Chairman, Ken Cheslin, whose recent engagement to Miss Wendy Raybould is announced. Her father is not losing a daughter but gaining an Association. A case of doing things in Peri style. And to get in on the act, John Nash, BSFA Librarian is getting engaged at Xmas.
Further to the back page, Ron Ellik's new address is: Box 23 , Silver Spring , Maryland 20907 , USA.
BRUMBLE 2 is out. This is the progress report series of next Easter's BSFA Convention to be held in Birmingham. Details from Ken Cheslin, 18 New Farm Road, Stourbridge, Worcs.
LONDON FANDOM is clubbing together to buy a club house, it says here. Financial details are not known but shares in the project may be obtained at £1 minimum from Michael Moorcock, 8 Colville Terrace, London W.ll. Could be a Good Thing.
NOVEMBER THE EIGHTH 1864 Centenary Celebrations were held by Archie Mercer, Ken Cheslin, Beryl Henley, Rog Peyton, Tony & Simone Walsh and others, all of whom inaugurated a significant competition. Details from Archie @ 70 Worrall Road , Bristol 8. Fannish-English dictionary (9d) available from Charles Platt.
SKYRACK HEADS INSULARITY POLL No sooner had I mentioned to James Ashe that the letters of comment I usually receive on Skyrack are letters of criticism than along comes a note from one who is by no means unknown for his sensible and level headed approach to fandom, ex-BSFA bi-official, Doc Weir Memorial Award winner, etc., etc., Archie Mercer, in which he states that the headline on the Hugo Awards last issue, " 'Vote British!' displays Deplorable Insularity". Hard on the heels of this Mercatorial admonishment comes the appreciated recommendation that the final issue of Starspinkle which also mentions the fact that Skyrack is insular.
There appear to be two points to make here. Firstly, with the exception of Contact, the label of insularity could to some degree be attached to every fannish newszine. At the very best (if one takes "insularity" to be a dirty word), there has been a decided local bias. Starspinkle reported the doings of Los Angeles fans its overseas readers had never heard of, Axe covered the New York professional scene as though it were the centre of the universe, etc etc. It cannot, dear friend, be otherwise. One reports what one knows, what one is in contact with. And one is more likely to be in contact with that closest to one. Skyrack, for example has, when it has been published in London devoted almost its entire (entire, ha! with four sides) issue to the doings of London fandom. So, yes, Skyrack is insular. From the beginning it has been my deliberate policy to concentrate on British news. Overseas news has not been neglected when it has most decidedly influenced fandom as a whole or when it has been thought to be of especial interest to certain Skyrack readers. Hence the coverage on TAFF news, Hugo winners, Worldcon sitings and the like, a coverage which has at times meant going to some lengths to obtain the news quickly and efficiently (as the Western Union offices in Bradford will bear out!). So yes, indeed, Skyrack is insular and will remain so. The reports of Oshkosh engagements and the like will be left to others to print.
Archie of course, has a valid point, however. Such insularity as this urging one to vote British in the Hugo .nominations is indeed deplorable .My motive, please believe me, was to point out a contender, Penguin Books, as being worthy of consideration .It is true, however, that I am of the opinion that there is much in British SF and fandom to equal the highest standards of the genre and I am also of the opinion that awards have on occasions gone elsewhere because of sheer weight of numbers. .I will most certainly vote for Penguin, but this does not mean that I have not considered other publishers, Ace Books amongst them. My nomination, for example, for Hugo-worthy novel will be one published in America, and written by an American living in Denmark .
Aw, the heck with it. Sure I'm insular.
Further to the Hugos there’s a funny story going the rounds at the moment. Following the example of the Pacificon II, the London Worldcon Committee has decided against presenting an award for a dramatic work, such as a film or TV show. It is understood that a certain Committee member recently suffered a three a.m. phone call from an irate writer who stated that he had spent over $300 in publicity for his own dramatic work, who asked how could he possibly win a Hugo for this work if one wasn’t to be presented and who announced that unless this decision was retracted he would not join the convention. I tell you putting on a Worldcon is great fun.
There is incidentally some little discussion going on behind the scenes about the manner of balloting for the Hugo awards and there will possibly be a change in the system employed by future conventions. London is employing the old well-tried system, and had agreed to do so before the storm broke over our heads. Some very sensible comments have been made by both sides in this argument which has happily not degenerated to personalities. Let’s keep it that way.
VECTOR 29 (The officia1 journal of the BSFA, edited by Roger Peyton, 77 Grayswood Park Road, Quinton, Birmingham 32, Nov 1964; 52pp) Bulky, well-produced and containing the usual melange for the sf enthusiast. Castlecon photo pages and an excellent Dave Busby cover. Reviews, news, articles, letters. All good stuff and well up to the Grade A standard of recent issues.
HAVERINGS 17 (Undated; Ethel Lindsay, Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey ; 1/6 or 50c for two issues} A ten page slimzine from Ethel, devoted entirely to comments on the present day fanzine field. An absolute must for the devotee.
HYDRA 4 (Oct, 64; Pete Campbell , 3 Market Place, Cockermouth, Cumberland ; 5/- per year; 20pp) SF @nd f@n –fl@voured but still @ little too inclined to give over space to the pseudo-sciences. Not fully into its stride @s yet, obviously.
BEYOND 7 (Oct'64; Charles Platt, 18E Fitzjohns Avenue , Hampstead, London , NW3; 2/3d; 76pp): Beyond's first anniversary issue comes in two parts, each half battling the other for pride of p1ace. Notable for an excellent experimental art-folio and an editorial on conformity which is well thought out and if not original, at least sincere. And for a good variety of material on such topics as Marvel Comics, the Peterborough Convention, George Orwell and Bugs Bunny. A good, sound and thoroughly entertaining issue.
DEADWOOD l (George W. Locke, 86 Chelsea Gardens, Chelsea Bridge Road, London, SW1; Produced for FAPA) The latest British fan to join FAPA (bringing the British membership to two) is George Locke, whose initial offering this is. All good stuff, with numerous glimpses of the inner workings of the Locke mind (sic) and with several outside contributions, including a thoughtful look at education by Charles Smith. Write and ask George for a copy; it will be worth your while.
AND THOSE OVERSEAS FANZlNES?
SATURA John Foyster, PO Box 57, Drouin, Victoria, Australia. Available for trade or comment. Personality slimzine, Aussie fandom ingroup jokes, a good friendly atmosphere. Greatly improved these days over earlier issues.
QUARK 7 Thomas Perry, 4018 Laurel Ave , Omaha 11, Nebraska , USA . 25c. At present at the cross roads. A move in the right direction could make this one of the all time Big Ones. (Reads like a horoscope, doesn't it?) Especially notable for Walt Willis' HarpThat Once Or Twice column now in its third rebirth.
FRAP 6 Bob Lichtman, 6137 South Croft Ave., Los Angeles, Calif 90056. 25c or trade. Let's show that we're big men, fellers, and use four letter words and write about sex and male prostitutes (thank goodness for Bob Tucker's balanced approach). But for all the teenage attitude which prevails, there is some good material (and better) here.
YANDRO Rbt & Juanita Coulson, Route 3, Wabash, Indiana 46992 , USA . 30c. 1/3d or 12 for 12/- to Alan Dodd, 77 Stanstead Rd., Hoddesdon, Herts. Monthly, with 30 or so meaty pages. Overall standard always good, material always entertaining and interesting. The backbone of fandom, no less. With 140 issues to its credit, in both senses of the word, could it be otherwise?
NIEKAS 9 A bulky N'APAzine from Ed Meskys, L71, LRL, Box 808, Livermore, California 94551, USA. Trade or 35c. Of especially note amongst its 70 pages are a Tolkien glossary, Philip K. Dick on Nazism and the Jews, and Anthony Boucher on a year's SF books.
CHANGES OF ADDRESS:
SNIPPETS Sincere congratulations to three well known fan families. An 8lb 9oz son, Patrick Russell, was born 31st Oct to Walter & Marion Breen. November 4th saw a daughter, Kerry Margaret, weighing in at 7lb 2oz, born to Dave & Ruth Kyle (start her off on matzoballs ), and Jim & Marion Linwood gave birth to a daughter, Eleanor Miriam on 14th November. Jhim reports that Eleanor was four weeks premature, weighed 5lb 6oz and had to be rushed from Nottingham up to Sheffield for an emergency operation. Both Marion and the baby are doing well now. ::: The final Starspinkle reported that Arthur Thomson, recently returned from his U.S. TAFF tour, was involved the other week in a 3- car pile up in London . The car was a write-off but Atom is ok. ::: APA 45's 1st mailing is out with 222pp of material from its 12 members. Information and spare mailings ($1 per) from Richie Benyo, Box 229, Walter Hall, State College, Bloomsburg, Pa 17815, USA ::: Knights of St Fantony are spreading a little. John Humphries' on-off move to Ulster has finally come off and is therefore on, and Keith & Wendy Freeman, worthy overseers of the Most Noble & Illustrious Order, are being removed from their beloved Yorkshire pastoral home to be transplanted in the nether regions of Berkshire. Wait until you experience the bus services down there. ::: London Worldcon programme organiser, co-ordinator or what have you, Ron Bennett, requests that anyone who wishes to contribute to the programme contacts him. And, oh yes, auction material to George Locke, for whom an incorrect address was given in the Con's first Progress Report. His correct address appears elsewhere this issue. ::: Plaudits all round to Joe and Anne Patrizio who have recently adopted a bonnie bouncing baby girl. Half-Chinese and named Lisa. ::: This issue dedicated, as its number 72, to my near neighbours of 1955-56 when I was resident at 72 Clavell Road , Liverpool , Frank and Patty Milnes, now in the care of Mr. Higham in Maghull.