This is SKYRACK 86, dated 9th February 1966 and published by Ron Bennett, 52 Fairways Drive, Forest Lane, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. 6 issues for 2/6d. 35c for 6 issues in the USA (70c airmail) where subscriptions may be sent to Buck Coulson, Rte 3, Hartford City, Indiana 47348. Contributors include Lady of St. Fantony, Ethel Lindsay, Jimmy Groves, Alan Dodd, Michael Moorcock, Harry Harrison, Arthur Thomson,Ben Jason and George Locke. John Ramsey Campbell appears by kind permission of Harry Nadler and Hammer Films and the cartoon is by Kris Carey.
Vienna in Sixty-Six and Tom Schluck for TAFF.
COMPACT MAGAZINES ALTER FORMAT. Say goodbye to Science Fantasy. The March issue, out at the end of February, will see the title changed to Impulse with more pages, a slightly larger page size and a price increase to 3/6d. The issue will be an "all-star" affair, with contributions from James Blish, Brian Aldiss, Harry Harrison, James Ballard, Jack Vance and Richard Wilson. In addition there will be Poul Anderson writing on the theme of "sacrifice." New Worlds 160, out at the same time, will feature similar page size and price changes and will include material by Ballard, Zelazny, Jones, Platt, Masson and the U.S. poet Bill Butler as well as a new Brunner serial. (MJM)
FAIRLY FREQUENTLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR MARRIES. Saturday, 11th December 1965, dawned bright and lovely in Oxford and many and wondrous were the SF notables who assembled there to celebrate with strong drink and mighty oaths the joining in wedlock of Margaret Manson and one Brian Wilson Aldiss. Kyril Bonfiglioli clashed glass with Michael Moorcock, Tom Boardman nibbled sandwiches with your reporter, Kingsley Amis cheered on Jim Ballard who suffered virus or flux and drank but cold water (!) and when the happy newlyweds left for Paris only Harry Harrison and Michael Moorcock were fool enough to throw rose petals and received from BWA the scowl they so richly deserved. Merriment and cheer and drink were the order of the day and I am sure that all Skyrack readers and lesser fen join us in wishing the couples all of the very best in the years to come. (HH)
PRONEWS. Jim Ballard's new novel, The Crystal World (Cape, May) has been bought by. Panther for a record fee, the highest paid for an sf book. Panther outbid both Corgi and Penguin (who have published Ballard's other work in pb) for paper-back rights.
JIMMY GROVES TO EMIGRATE. James A. Groves, one-time BSFA Publications Officer and Editor of Vector, and the man at present in charge of the Association's Information Service, is to emigrate in the very near future to the United States. With a job lined up in Phillipsburgh, New Jersey, Jimmy, who was the LonCon II Treasurer, should have sailed before the end of December but there has been a delay in putting his papers through the Department of Labour who are somewhat tardy in informing the American Embassy. Meanwhile, Jimmy sits on his packed trunks and chews his nails. Watch this space.
THE SCIENCE FICTION CLUB OF LONDON held its Annual General Meeting at Courage House, Surbiton, on 12th December when Ethel Lindsay was elected Chairman. Ian Peters is the new Treasurer and Keith Otter Secretary. The Club agreed to sponsor a series of open meetings, the first of which has since been held, on Sunday 9th January in the Dunbar House Hall, West Kilburn. Some 25 people turned up to hear guest speaker John Brunner on "The Fiction in Science Fiction," a talk which was immediately snapped up by Michael Moorcock for New Worlds. The next meeting is at 4pm, Sunday, 13th February, when Frank Arnold will speak on "Characterisation in SF," and the following meeting will be on 13th March, also at 4pm. A charge of 2/6d will be requested to help with the cost of rent and refreshments. Suggestions for future meetings will be heartily welcomed, as of course will be any would-be attendees. I'm asked to mention that fans who intend going along to either of the two forthcoming Meetings would help greatly if they could notify Ethel Lindsay, Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey, though of course this should not preclude the attendance of anyone who finds himself at a loose end at the last moment; just take the Bakerloo, Watford Line tube to Queen's Park Station, turn right, cross the bridge and William Dunbar House, Albert Road, is some three and a half inches along on your left. The hall is on the ground floor.
TAFF. The Trans-Atlantic Fan-Fund campaign to send a worthy delegate to the Cleveland TriCon in September is now under way and forms should be included as a flier to most copies of this issue. As you'll see, the Candidates are Eric Jones, Peter Weston, Bo Stenfors and the man Skyrack is plugging, good ol' Tom Schluck, who certainly deserves a better fate than to have his name misspelled on .the Stateside voting forms. As of the beginning of the campaign there was in the British TAFF kitty some £53 made up as follows: £41 carried over from the last Campaign, £4.18.7d from Ken Slater’s LonCon midnight auction, £5.10.0d various TAFF bonds, 10/- Carl Brandon Jr., 2/6d Ivor Latto, and 5/- from Rich Mann, Eduard H. Lukschandl, Hubert Strassi, Peter Ripota and Axel Melhardt.
I’VE BEEN ASKED TO PUBLISH THE FOLLOWING LETTER from Alan Dodd: “In December 1964 I sent Kyril Bonfiglioli a story on behalf of a friend in America and then in January 1965 I sent a further story from the same author. I received no reply for months. I wrote a total of some six letters and cards and never received a single reply. I then wrote a director of the publishers who sent me back a letter stating the longer a story was held the better chance it had of being fitted into magazine issue - a load of twaddle if I ever heard it. Eventually I got a tiny letter from Bon stating he would like to know the titles of the stories sent him. I sent a further three letters, the first two to which I again received no replies. The last I threatened to send him (sic) insulting postcards the longer he kept me waiting. This finally got a reply returning, after one year the first of the stories and a vague promise to try and find the other story. No word of explanation as to what was the reason for refusing to answer all my other letters and I feel that to protect anyone else who may foolishly consider sending anything to Science Fantasy should be strongly warned against it, as strongly as possible."
THE PROFESSIONAL FRONT. Reveille recently published a story by Arthur Clarke ::: The BBC is planning a longer series of sf plays, following the success of their first series, and are at present trying to commission original plays from well-known authors in this country ::: Compact have lined up for publication Arthur Selling's Time Transfer for March and James Colvin's The Deep Fix for April. February's title, The long awaited Charles Harness book The Rose is due out next week ::: New Worlds 161, out at the end of March, will feature James Ballard's The Assassination Weapon which deals with the “false” deaths of such people as Kennedy, Oswald and Malcolm X ::: Gollancz’s SF choice for February is The Worlds of Robert F.Young - 16 stories and an Avram Davidson introduction for 18/-, whilst the March choice will be Poul Anderson's The Star Fox; Between the two, John, will come an 18/- affair called All Flesh is Grass by one Clifford Simak ::: Tarzan will be a colour TV series in the States later this year :::
Cartoon favourite of many fans, Batman, has been dug up in London this last week in the form of a 23 year old film serial of which all the episodes have been joined together to form a feature film. Reviews indicate that the whole affair has been a great success with new heights reached in audience participation (one day I must learn how to split hyphenated words) ::: Surely they can't be trying to promote sales? London's avant garde bookshop, Better Books, ran an sf panel-discussion in December under the title, “SF - Does it Matter?” Douglas Hill (Tribune SF reviewer), Bill Butler, George Hay, John Brunner and Michael Moorcock were the panelists. The tone of the discussion and the questions from the floor ran high and were sympathetic to the genre, but no real conclusions were reached ::: Michael Moorcock (who should be mentioned in Skyrack occasionally) and Harry Harrison were due to address University College, London, at the end of January, but no details are to hand as yet.
CONVENTION NEWS. A reminder that the 24th World SF Convention, TriCon (P0 Box 1372, Cleveland, 0hio 44103) will take place at the Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel, from 2nd to 5th September with L. Sprague de Camp as Guest of Honour. Copy deadline for the Second Progress Report is 1st March with rates varying between $1 for fillers and $8 for full page adverts. Galaxy Magazine is sponsoring a futuristic fashion show for which costume designs are invited. One does not necessarily have to be an artist to enter; merely sketch or describe your costume ideas. Deadline is also 1st March. Contact Luise Petti, 601 S.Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif 90005 for details. The TriCon's voting forms for the Hugo Award nominations are now out. Voting forms should appear with the next issue of Skyrack.
The coach trip proposed by Tony Walsh to travel to this August's Vienna Convention has fallen through. Despite much initial spade-work, Tony had but five replies to his circulars.
LonCon II has a British Money Order for 21/- sent for a membership from Hannover-Linden 7 but as yet unclaimed. Languishing would-be LonCon member please contact Jimmy Groves, 29 Lathom Road, East Ham, London E6.
Some very good fanzines have arrived since the last issue, fanzines probably worthy of more space than afforded here:
VECTOR 37 (Jan 66; BSFA) Another small size, professional looking Vector and another issue full of good reading. R. Haldricks analyses Russian sf, Ken Slater chunters on book and magazine news, Vic Hallett looks at sf films, Chris Priest reviews British prozines and Jimmy Groves answers sticky questions. The cover is by Eddie Jones and is well up to his best. As if all this were not enough there is an excellent article on the economics of writing sf by John Brunner.
BRENNSCHLUSS 6 (Ken & Irene Potter, 4 Hartington St, Lancaster) Once upon a time, way back in the murky reaches of the forgotten sixth and the dusty seventh fandoms, there was a fanzine named Brennschluss. It was a darn good zine, full of personal Potter gems, big names and esoteric humour. Ah…how are the mighty…keeping up the good work! This is well up to the Potter standard, with homely verbal doodles from Mike Moorcock, Mal and Sheila Ashworth, Nigel Lindsay, Ken and Irene and the far too infrequently published Don Geldart. The duplicating is a little thin at times but the overall atmosphere of, to me, nostalgic, good faanish humour isn't.
DEADWOOD 2 (George Locke, 86 Chelsea Gardens, Chelsea Bridge Road, London SWl) Published for the FAPA's February mailing this is highly readable but a little below the usual high Locke standard. Readable and worth a try, however.
POT POURRI (John Berry, 31 Campbell Park Ave. ,Belfast 4) Numbers 39 to 43 have arrived in a batch and feature an excellent spectrum of subject matter in an aptly named zine. Again, highly readable; one can only dream of a return of Retribution with material like this to whet one's appetite.
ZENITH-SPECULATION 11 (Jan 66 ; Peter Weston, 9 Porlock Crescent, Birmingham 31; 2/-). The latest Zenith lives well up to its Hugo nomination reputation with sf, rather than fan news and reviews and excellent appraisals of Ballard and Anvil by Joe Patrizio and Pete Weston respectively. Definitely highly recommended. Were this zine a little more fantasy slanted it could easily be mistaken for a reborn New Futurian.
SOL 42 (Thomas Schluck -- yes, our boy for TAFF -- 3 Hannover, Altenbekener Damm 10, W. Germany) A large size English language edition, with amongst other goodies, Harry Warner on fan polls (Ploy, yet - Ploy!!! - what are you doing to me?), Lois Lavender and James White on the London Worldcon and a Mario Kwiat art folio, to say nothing of photo pages from the FranCon and LonCon II. Good stuff all round.
FANNY HILL is an extremely bulky art folio, also by Mario Kwiat, decidedly of interest to any fan artist and available also from Tom Schluck.
YANDRO 152 and 153 (1/9 each, 12 for 14/- from Alan Dodd,77 Stanstead Road, Hoddesdon,Herts) are in from Buck & Juanita Coulson. 1965's Hugo winner in fine fettle and full of the Great Ace-Tolkien War. Great, great. When I stay up to 1.30am reading a fanzine it has to be good.
NIEKAS 14 (Dec 65; Felice Rolfe, 1360 Emerson, Palo Alto, Calif; 2/6 per and worth every penny from Gray Hall, 57 Church St., Tewkesbury, Glos) 74 pages of superlative material and featuring a complete printing of John Brunner's “How to Get High Without Going into Orbit" speech which was generally agreed to be the highlight of the London Worldcon programme.
Apologies for the second issue in succession for the fact that there has been a period of about two months between issues, but in addition to a couple of bouts of illness, one the flu epidemic which is going the rounds, I had a slight argument with a car early in December, running into it whilst riding my moped. Nothing serious - the car pulled out from a minor road across my path and did not stop. Hit and run! Gladiator sports!
SNIPPETS. Astounding Checklist part II from Terry Jeeves, 30 Thompson Road, Sheffield 11 is 5/- not 4/6 as quoted in an earlier Skyrack. My apologies to Terry who has lost several pounds because of the errors ::: Colin Steele, 49 St Michael's Road, Liverpool 17 is looking for a copy of the Zenith which has in it the review of Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold ::: In protest of Ace Books' ethics in printing the Tolkien trilogy, Poul Anderson is refusing to have any more of his work published by Ace ::: Lee Hoffman has sold her first novel, a western, The Legend of Blackjack Sam, to Ace ::: Yarcon news - the main con hotel, the Royal, is now full except for 6 double rooms. With 95 members on the books this con is quickly heading for its century. Contact Dave Barber, 1a Walsoken House, Walton Rd., Wisbech, Cambs ::: Sutton Breiding, 616-8th Street, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, is looking for British contacts of about his own age, fifteen ::: New Bristol public house is called The Man in Space, part of the city's preparation for the '67 con, says publicity minded Tony Walsh ::: Help - At the Globe in September, someone asked Dave Kyle for a number of Stateside addresses. Dave (Rte 4,Potsdam,NY 13676) is eager to help but has no record as to the name of the fan concerned. ::: Various German conventions lined up for this year -- Eastercon at Marquartstein Castle (which now, incidentally, has a new owner), 1st May FairCon in Hannover to coincide with the annual Hannover Industrial Fair, the VlohCon in Vlotho at Whitsun, the 4th SusiCon (named after Mario Kwiat's charming wife) in October, to say nothing of the August WienCon in Vienna, which is being looked upon by many as a full scale try-out in preparation for a later Worldcon bid, possibly 1970 with Frankfurt as the site. ::: Just in is Scottishe 39 from Ethel Lindsay, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey, the first issue for just a year - very readable without reaching the heights of the previous half dozen or so issues. All too short, however, is the three page glimpse into the Willis letter files at gems by Bloch and Ashworth ::: Arthur Clarke on TV, Sunday 6th Feb -- in advert for Daily Express!