This is SKYRACK no 26, dated 26th November 1960 and edited by Ron Bennett, 7 Southway, Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. 6d per copy, 2/6d for 6 issues. USA subscriptions are 35 cents for 6 issues (airmailed for 65cents), to be sent to Bob Pavlat, 6001. 43rd Avenue, Hyattsville, Md. News of interest to sf fans welcomed.

THE 1961 LXICON SITE is announced. as The New County Hotel, Southgate Street, Gloucester. This will be the West Country’s first convention and the con committee are going great guns in order to put on a balanced and enjoyable programme and series of events. Full details on how to book, convention fees etc are given in the convention’s first Newsletter which is included in. this little bundle as a flier to SKYRACK.

OMPA EX-EDITOR SAYS IT’S ALMOST LIKE OLD TIMES. There are so many fliers to this issue of SKYRACK that it’s almost impossible to list them all. Somewhere around you should find, the BSFA Convention newsletter mentioned above, the latest mi from Eric Bentcliffe and the third SCRIBBLE from Colin Freeman, who thanks all the fans who wrote and commented on the previous issue. Why not write and tell Colin what you think of this latest offering, hmm? Incidentally, as you may gather, SKYRACK welcomes fliers. 13 sheets can go out for the same 2d postage rate, so why shouldn’t we make use of the hitherto unused weight?

RON BENNETT is still looking for photographs taken during his 1958 TAFF trip. He’ll. pay all costs of course. As you’ll see from mi Eric is interested in. similar photographs.

LIVERPOOL FANDOM had only a “quiet party” on 5th November, reports Norman Shorrock. Eight fans took Roy Shorrock to his local boy scout bonfire at which cocoa was served as refreshment. Norman had taken vodka along, however, and says that the highlight of the evening was a spectacular display when a lighted banger got itself lodged in a box of unfired fireworks. Norman, incidentally, is now in London on business and is spending the week at the Parker Penitentiary, perhaps even putting out ORION, which Ella says is due to be finished this week with its thick letter supplement.

DOC WEIR writes on recent publications: “Newspaper reviews suggest the following as being of interest : THE PAPERS OF ANDREW MELMOTH by H. Sykes Davis (Methuen 16/) Melmoth finds the animals that are to succeed mankind as lords of creation - goes to investigate further and disappears. Colleague comments “A man can’t go over to them, not and stay as a man!” Olaf Stapledon also suggested these "successors” in DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT, 1942 wasn’t it? ((John Roles?)). DOCTORS WEAR SCARLET by Simon Raven (Blond 16/-) Bloodthirsty semi-supernatural tale of Wheatley-Lovecraft type. University classical tutor, specializing in decadent religious cults of later Greece tries to put into practice what he has learnt, first in Cambridge, then in Crete. Seemingly something like Meade Faulkner’s LOST STRADIVARIUS. Suggest somebody gives them a trial.” Many thanks, Doc.

Eric Bentcliffe’s report of his TAFF trip to the PittCon is now in preparation. The Price is 7/- (not 7/6d. as announced last issue) or $1 Ed Emshwiller has done the cover and Eddie Jones will be illustrating the bulk of the account.

Ron Bennett’s report of his 1958 TAFF trip to the SolaCon is now in preparation. Pre-publication price is 5/- or 75cents (U.S. orders to Bob Pavlat) and this 80+ page epic (ha!) will be ready by 1961. Two colour duplicating and photographs yet, we hope, we hope.


WHO’S WHO IN BRITISH FANDOM         No. 1.                   George Locke

If fannish ability counted with military authorities, George Locke would be pushing the rank of field-marshal. In three short years George has sprung to the fore in British fandom and his writings are without doubt an acquisition to any fanzine in which they appear. George, who was born on 9th February 1936 (he stands 5’ 10" and weighs just over 12 stones), came into fandom about the time of the London World Convention in 1957 and was content for over a year to sit on the sidelines at Globe meetings in London, merely drinking in the fannish atmosphere and grounding himself in fannish history. Suddenly, in 1959, he burst forth as an actifan with his own fanzine SMOKE as well as competing with John Berry in prolific writing. Apart from the 1957 Worldcon he attended the 1959 BrumCon in Birmingham but was prevented by an untimely callup from appearing at this year’s LonCon. He was voted one of the best new fans. in last year’s FANAC poll. George possesses a most enviable balance of puckish humour and mature seriousness. His OMPAzine EYETRACKS is devoted in the main to items from his fabulous book collection. A thoroughly nice guy who is an asset to British fandom.  -  RMB.

HYPHEN 25 (Walt Willis, 170 Upper Newtownards Rd, Belfast 4, N. Ireland; Nov 1960; 26pp; 1/ or 15cents). The Irish green makes an appearance with a special “Homes & Garden Issue.” Eight pages are given over to material originally intended for the Turner-Needham NOW & THEN and which has obviously been too good to lie in limbo. The Needham prose, Turner illos and Berry and Bloch items give HYPHEN a great follow up to the detailed Atom cover (It is, I think, a generally accepted viewpoint in fandom that Atom's cartoons are the best and that Atom’s cartoons in HYPHEN are better!). There’s no Grunch this issue, unfortunately, but there is a Glass Bushel from Bob Shaw (who doesn’t seem to get out of practice) and of course there are the usual run of high standard letters and bacover quotes. This issue indeed welcomes back to the zine scene after too long an absence the undisputed king of British fanzines. SKYRACK supports the Ian McAulay project of more HYPHENS... every month? Highly recommended.

SMOKE 4 (Cpl. George Locke, 3 Co RAMC, Connaught Hospital, Bramshott, Hindhead, Surrey; Nov 1960; 44pp; 1/ or 15cents) This has indeed been a good month for British fanzines, qualitywise, as they say. Perhaps it’s good thing that only HYPHEN and SMOKE have appeared since the last SKYRACK, for I’m fast depleting my stock of superlatives. SMOKE has steadily been improving and this issue is even better than the last. George describes his army job and discusses science fiction in his editorial, LockeJaw. Archie Mercer contributes The Night They Hanged The Sputnik, a light account of a Lincoln Interplanetary Exhibition. John Berry discovers a fannish face in Belfast and Dick Schultz writes further on the Detroit MiSFits. A surprise contribution is that from Ella Parker on a corner of the London scene (Ella should of course, write more for fanzines  yes, so OK, you’re busy getting out another bumper issue of ORION this week. Jack!). Bob Lichtman writes on the filming of Lee Jacobs’ Ballard Chronicles. A professional reprint, pages of letters and Cawthorn and Thomson illos make up the issue. Arthur Thomson drew both front and back covers, George tells us. You see what you’d be missing if you didn’t subscribe to SMOKE?






The above blotchy space is a result of an item being killed at the last minute. My apologies to both SKYRACKs readers. And no, you’re wrong. I’ll play fair and mention the above as soon as I’m allowed to do so. Pcha! The trials and tribulations of newszine editing, and like that.

ALSO ON HAND is the 4th issue of the BSFA NEWSLETTER from Jim Groves, internal news dealing mainly with postal ballots.

NO, I didn’t forget the cartoon caption, Chris. Chris Miller drew the illo and a 6 issue subscription is offered to the fan contributing the funniest caption. Closing date 31st Dec.

BUY A FELLOW FAN A CHRISTMAS SUBSCRIPTION! 6 issue gift subscription. 2/-. Offer ends 20th December.

Note of Chris Miller reminds me that he visited the SFCL 6th November meeting and says that his Christ Church, Oxford address is good, not until Xmas, but to 5th Dec.

CHANGES OF ADDRESS ARE ALSO NOTED FOR: Sture Sedolin, P0 Box 9040, Boden 19, Sweden.(Box 403, Vallingby 4 is also good). Julian Parr, 22c Koln-Rodenkirkchen, Haupstrasse 66, Germany. John T. Phillifent, 103 Clem Attlee Court, London SW 6.

NORTHLIGHT (Alan Burns, Goldspink House, Goldspink Lane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 2) isn’t out, but editor Alan has just published an interim apology, KEEPING POSTED, 16 pages (an apology?) of letters and fanzine reviews in a pretty free and easy casual manner which is wholly different and much more acceptable than the more stolid personality of NORTHLIGHT.


Jim Groves, London. “SKYRACK 25 has it wrong. We haven’t got a Gestetner. It’s an Emgee portable (ex-Ethel Lindsay). In fact, at the time you published we hadn’t bought it. Consider your knuckles rapped!” Ouch! Yes, sir, sorry sir!

Joe Patrizio, London. “Ella tells us that you may come down for Christmas. Ted and I are filled with joy at the thought and remembering the gay time we had on your last visit we have decided to go home to Edinburgh for Christmas.” Yes.