This is SKYRACK number 63, celebrating leap year with a publication date of 29th February 1964 and edited by Ron Bennett, 17 Newcastle Road, Wavertree, Liverpool 15. 6d per copy. 2/6d for 6 issues (35c in USA). Airmail rates: 6 issues for 5/- or 70c. Overseas money orders should be made payable at Penny Lane Post Office, Liverpool. Cartoon on the left is by Frank Garnett and contributions this issue are from Ted Carnell, Bill Donaho, Ethel Lindsay and Brian Aldiss. The apostrophe on the back page appears by courtesy of Typographical Error Inc.


WITH JUST FOUR WEEKS to the British SF Convention at Peterborough, British Science Fiction Association President and author extraordinaire Brian Aldiss leaves the U.K. for a seven month tour of Jugoslavia, having been commissioned by Faber & Faber to write a travel book. Margaret Manson and Brian plan to be on the 9 a.m. Dover-Bolougne ferry on Wednesday, 5th March and plan to take about ten days to get over to the border at Maribor, taking in Bavarian baroque, Tiepolo ceilings and the opera and railway museum in Vienna. Fandom's newest Travelling Giants will be on the move for virtually the whole of the seven months and plan to put in sidetrips to Greece and Bulgaria as well as touring such little-travelled areas as Bosnia and Macedonia. For the trip Brian has bought a Land Rover station wagon, which will be loaded to well above the Plimsoll line with full camping camping gear - tent, camp beds, stove, camping Gaz, supplies and clothing for cold and hot conditions. And, adds Brian, "an eight-man RAF rubber dinghy; fortunately the eight men are not coming with us, so we shall have a suitable boat from which to swim and dive in the Adriatic." Best wishes, the pair of you, and gd je kupatilo, yourselves!

FLIERS this month are a TAFF publicity sheet from Ken Cheslin and a Convention auction catalogue from George Locke who should be turning up on the doorstep at any moment to spend a couple of days in Liverpool. He should have been here a couple of weeks ago - when Shetland Isles' poker-faced brag champion Fred Hunter visited. I tell you, Merseyside is becoming a regular Parker's Penitantiary.

Most issues of Skyrack are still available, collectors note. Special clearance offer of 4 issues for 1/- or 15/ for any back issues prior to 1964 ::: BBC late night play ran Philip Levine's The Disposal of Digby on 25 Feb - a neat and humorous SF touch ::: Have you sent in your Skyrack Poll yet? ::: Wally Weber, 1964 TAFF delegate lands London 19 March ::: Archie Mercer for the Doc Weir Award.

NEW WRITINGS IN S-F. As previously rumoured and now ascertained by Ted Carnell, Nova's ex-editor-elect is moving into the paperback field with a September anthology for Corgi, New Writings in S-F, which will have prior publication in hardcovers from Dennis Dobson Ltd. The first of the year’s (from Sept) four issues will contain new stories by Brian Aldiss, Joseph Green, Edward Mackin and two new writers, Rankine Mason (British) and Damien Broderick(Australian), reports Mr C., who kindly also informed us on the following paragraph of pro-news snippets.

Aldiss' recent The Dark Light Years (Faber) will be published by Signet in USA in July ::: Latest Aldiss novel Greybeard is due from Faber in the Autumn and in USA from Harcourt, Brace & World for the same period :::  A further Aldiss (I get a %age for every mention) novel, Earthworks, based on the short novel Skeleton Crew in Science Fantasy, has also been completed and the sale is pending ::: Herbert Jenkins Ltd begin a new series of hardcover sf @ 12/6 in April, the first two books being Moon Base by E.C.Tubb (serialised in New Worlds as Window on the Moon) and a new Bertram Chandler novel, The Deep Reaches of Space ::: Dennis Dobson Ltd have bought The Uncensored Man, a new novel by Arthur Sellings ::: Gollancz have bought a new Daniel F. Galouye novel, The Counterfeit Man, soon to be published in USA by Bantam ::: Brian Aldiss has an anthology, Introducing S-F, to younger readers, coming from Faber and has also completed the third Penguin anthology ::: Geoff Doherty has a second Aspects of S-F coming from Murray ::: Penguin will publish Harry Harrison's Deathworld later this year. ::: Ted Carnell's first all-British anthology, Lambda One & Others will be published by Berkley Books in New York this month ::: Ballantine have bought a collection of novelettes, Deadly Litter by James White ::: Ace, in New York, have bought two new novels by Philip High, The Prodigal Sun, just published, and Occupation Force, as well as such stories as Ted Tubb's Moon Base, Lan Wright's Dawn's Left Hand, a new Kenneth Bulmer novel, The Demons and Ken's Scarlet Dawn stories from Science Fiction. Adventures ::: Brian Ball's first sf novel, Sundog, has been bought by Dennis Dobson and John Rackham has two thrillers coming up, a juvenile adventure story, Watch on Peter, from Cape, and The Lonely Man, a Boardman Bloodhound under his own name.  -  (Phew! And. thanks, Ted.)

AN INSULATED SCREWDRIVER-HANDLE scotched the possibility of the headline of the year and an odd dead body or two lying about at the Liverpool Group's Bold Street clubrooms recently. Prior to the evening meeting of 17th Feb, barman Eddie Jones visited the clubrooms to stock up with liquid refreshment and discovered that there had been a break-in during the past week. Entry had been forced by way of the adjoining room's roof and there had been a little resultant havoc. The lock on the wines and spirits cupboard had been forced also, and two cans of beer had been opened but not drunk, the visitor(s) ignoring more expensive drinks. A pack of cards had been strewn about the floor (breaking Bennett's heart) and an electricity supply cable had been sawn in two, with a screwdriver, the fused and twisted end of which told its own tale.

GAVIN QUENTIN CONAN SHORROCK was duly christened on 23rd February at Christ Church, Bebington, relatives and fans being in attendance. Godmother was/is Marjorie Nuttall and Godfathers were/are Stan Nuttall, John Roles, Ron Bennett, Norman Weedall and Eddie Jones. Don't ask me how, it just works out that way.

Following behind the scenes discussions with their solicitor, the Berkeley Committee for this year's World. Convention, Pacificon, has refused membership to Walter Breen, whose activities in certain areas have been viewed by some fans with an amount of apprehension, an unusual step, but one taken only after lengthy correspondence and consultation it is understood.


ZENITH 3 (Feb 64. Peter Weston, 9 Porlock Crescent, Northfield, Birmingham 31. 1/- per copy. 20c in USA. 40pp) The accent here in the Birmingham Group's latest offering is decidedly science fiction, but with an enviable informal slant, which means not that I'm against S.F. thank you very much, but that Zenith doesn't clobber the subject to death but brings in tangential items in an interesting and welcome fashion. The feature item is an article by Peterborough GoH, Ted Tubb, on easy padding with a neat and illustrative story, something I'd have preferred to have seen in Ploy. Coming closely behind are articles on TV's Dr Who and the inspired vanities of John W. Campbell. These articles are well illustrated by electronic stencils, as is an item on astro-philately (interesting to see you possess the somewhat rare Titov error here, boys). A reprint from Authentic on a decade-old Manchester fandom, reviews and letters make up an issue highly reminiscent of the good old McKay-illustrated Space Diversions. Highly recommended for people who like getting in on a top zine's run from the beginning.

VECTOR 24 (Feb 64. The official organ of the B.S.F.A. Edited by Archie Mercer, 70 Worrall Road, Bristol 8) This is not, as stated in Zenith, the promised all-star issue - next time, next time - but it is still both an interesting and entertaining issue, containing a lengthy article on Burroughs by Brian Rolls, a reprint article which must have come from Alberto Runge, reviews, letters and Mercatorial chitchat. The Eddie cover alone is another good reason why one should join the BSFA.

JOHN RUSSELL FEARN - AN EVALUATION (Philip Harbottle, 27 Cheshire Gardens, Wallsend on Tyne, Northumberland. 2/-). This thirty paged foolscap sized checklist is a reference work in itself and is recommended as being both complete and invaluable. All copies have now been sold, but I would guess that from the demand for the Evaluation, it is highly likely that a limited reprint edition will be published, and had I not already obtained a copy I would be making quite sure that my name and money would be firmly entrenched with Mr. Harbottle.

HAVERINGS 13 (Dec 63-Jan 64. Ethel Lindsay, Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey. 6d) Fanzines reviewed in the Lindsay style while you wait. If you really want to keep up with the fanzine field the easy way, get Haverings.

GALAXY - A CHECKLIST OF COVER ARTWORK (Peter Weston, address above). A complete - er - coverage of Galaxy's cover illos from 1950 - 1958. 6d per.

EAST FANGLIAN TIMES Vol 2 No 3 (Edited by George Locke, this is the Peterborough Convention's Progress Report series) This issue announces the reduction in registration and attendance fees, the fact that Con membership is now up to 110 (it has since risen to over 140) and more especially the fact that the Guest of Honour this year will be E.C. Tubb. This issue was actually published in time to .catch last month's issue of Skyrack but a postal mix up found my copy going to a former address in Harrogate. It has not been forwarded, which seems fair indication that 13 Westcliffe Grove is no longer my address and that mail sent there will not be seen by me. Take note, please! Ted, of course, thoroughly deserves this honour, being a man of ideas who has fandom very much at heart. And I still think that his oft-anthologised Home is the Hero is one of the best examples of modern British sf. Here, you people, make Ted's convention one worthy of him buy him a drink and don't win too much from him at poker.

G2 or g2  or whatever (Joe & Roberta Gibson, 5380 Sobrante Ave., El Sobrante, California 94803, USA. A snip @ 3 for 1/7 from Colin Freeman, Ward 3, Scotton Banks, Knaresborough, Yorkshire). This is a Build-Your-Own-Star-Chart Issue though from my own viewpoint it turned out to be a Structure-Your-Own-Headache issue. But never a dull moment, nevertheless.

SKYRACK XMAS COMPETITION RESULT. Competitor's were invited to compile six useful phrases for extra-terrestrials who are attending a BSFA Convention. All entries were felt to be well up to standard, the judges being unanimous in deciding that the following was outstanding:

On the first day:
"Are you sure the exchange rate is a million credits to a shilling?"
"Well, actually it's driven by a defranosined field of eliptical side forces controlled by staphikled trink-grasps based on the modified thrust nova, having a periodic grey frequency and a self-winding, scatter compensated elastic band."
"You mean to tell me that thing actually stays in orbit?"

Second day at Party:
"Why does everyone scowl when I offer them a piece of this green cheese?"
"I’ll vaporize the next person to call me a damned colonial."

And on Leaving:
"Thank you for your leader."

- and thank you, Tony Walsh, to whom a year's Skyrack subscription is awarded.

Brian Allport, 26 Coningsby Rd., Liverpool 4.
Burkhard Bluem, G Frankfurt 33, Postlagernd Hbf, W Germany.
Pat Kearney, 47 Burntwood Lane, London, SW 17.
Terry Overton, 25 Templewood Rd., Colchester, Essex.
Cal Demmon, 1002 E 66th St., Inglewood, Calif., USA.
Gordon Eklund, CMR 3, Box 59/49 Travis AFB, Calif., USA.
Dean A Grennell, Rte 2, Box 441, Germantown,Wisconsin 53022, USA.
Len Moffatt, 5612½  E Gage Ave., Bell Gardens, Calif 90202, USA.

TAFF. With the campaign between Arthur Thomson and Phil Rogers swinging along nicely, further donations have been: Dave Barber 10/6; 10/- each from Terry Jeeves, Jim Cawthorn, Ella Parker, Ken McIntyre, Darrell Pardoe and Colin Freeman; 7/- each from Wolfie Thadewald and Alma Hill, and 5/- each from Ron Bennett and Charles Platt, most of whom have voted, boosting the UK poll return up to 21, whilst a sale of Epitaff brings the kitty up to £86 14s 6d.

Uncertain @ time of writing but if they arrive in time, this Skyrack will have fliers from Ken Cheslin, Dick Eney and George Locke in his ConComm capacity, these last named possibly having been delivered by hand by George who is at present (date of publication) visiting Liverpool and environs.