SKYRACK Newsletter

This is SKYRACK 90, dated 15th June 1966 and published by Ron Bennett, 52 Fairways Drive, Forest lane, Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. Six issues for 2/6d or 35 cents (70 cents airmail). Stateside subscriptions may be sent to U.S. representative, Buck Coulson, Route 3, Hartford City, Indiana 47348. News of interest to SF fandom welcomed; eventually it might even find itself published. Contributors this issue are Mike Ashley, Sid Birchby, John Foyster, Colin Freeman, Bobbie Gray, Alma Hill, Ethel Lindsay, George Locke, Betty Kujawa, Norman Shorrock, Colin Steele and Arthur Thomson.



At the beginning of May representatives of BBC TV visited Knaresborough, Yorkshire to scout out the possibility of a programme on Scotton Banks Hospital where patients were asked if there was anybody or anything they would particularly like to see. Eventually five subjects were chosen, amongst them Colin Freeman who requested a film show of American fan Betty Kujawa and her husband Gene. In particular he asked for some shots of Betty and Gene crash-landing their Piper Apache plane. The BBC wrote to Betty in order to verify facts and to obtain her permission for a film to be made. Betty immediately suspected a fan hoax and contacted Manchester fan and pressman Tony Glynn with instructions to check up on the set-up. Tony phoned the TV studios and duly reported back to Betty as to the authenticity of the deal,

Since then Betty has had satisfied a long standing wish to receive a Trans-Atlantic phone call, this from the BBC and she and Gene have been filmed at the Louisville Gun Club in Kentucky where Gene was taking part in a Skeet Shoot. The British end of the filmed contact was shot at Scotton Banks on 6th June. Colin says that he managed a vague mention about fandom to interviewer Keith.Macklin and that Betty was on her best behaviour during her talk and that she even gave the impression of being a nice person.

The programme is the first to be filmed in what is hoped will be a series of six which will be screened nationally later this summer.


The following items have been nominated for Hugo Awards, these to be presented at the TriCon, the Cleveland World Science Fiction Convention which will be held in September. Only members of the TriCon are eligible to vote on this final ballot:

Best Novel: And Call me Conrad by Roger Zelazny, Dune by Frank Herbert, Skylark Duquesne by E.E. Smith and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.

Best Short Fiction: Repent Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison, Doors of His Face, Lamps of His Mouth by Roger Zelazny, Star Dock by Fritz Leiber, Marque & Reprisal by Paul Anderson and Day of the Great Shout by Philip Jose Farmer.

Best Professional Magazine: If, Analog, Galaxy, F&SF and Amazing.

Best Professional Artist: Frank Kelly Freas, Gray Morrow, Frank Frazetta, John Schoenherr and Jack Gaughan.

Best Dramatic Presentation: No Award.

Best Amateur Magazine: Erb-Dom, Double Bill, Niekas, Yandro, Trumpet,

Best All-Time Series: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Burroughs’ Barsoom Series, Asimov's Foundation series, Smith's Lensmen Series and the Future History Series of Robert Heinlein.

Note that in all these categories except the Drama Award (here the "No Award" decision was overwhelming) and the Best Novel, there are five nominees. There appears here to be a little confusion. My own press release from the TriCon Committee lists only the four titles given here, whilst Bruce Pelz's Ratatosk for 22nd May lists five titles, John Brunner's The Squares of the City being included in addition to the four listed here.

THE TRICON SAYS THANK YOU. The following letter has been received from the Committee of the 24th World SF Convention, PO Box 1372, Cleveland, Ohio-44103:
Dear Ron: Just as it takes a lot of dedicated people to put on a successful con, so too does it take a number of zealots to promote a con bid. We'd like to take this moment to thank officially everyone who helped us in landing the '66 Worldcon. Without the cooperation and assistance of these many friends, we certainly would have failed. Of the many U.K. fans who helped, the names of several come immediately to mind: Ella Parker and Ethel Lindsay (in totally unofficial capacities of course), Ken Cheslin (who was always in the right place at the right time),Tony Walsh (who kept our party going a little longer with his "cider"), Archie Mercer, and also Sandra Beckett-Tagg (who actually didn't do a damned thing - she may even have been for Syracuse - but she was quite nice to look at, and was, therefore, a terrific morale booster in our camp). Also, special thanks to yourself and Pete Weston. We feel that we owe quite a lot to both of you. To all of these fine people, and to all of the others who shared in our battle, TriCon says "Thank You."

WEST COAST NEWS. The Liverpool Group celebrated its 1956 Whitsun weekend party's tenth anniversary (at the 1956 get together Eric Bentcliffe and Eric Jones were made Honorary Ex-Chairmen of the Liverpool Science Fiction Society and attendees visited the Louis Armstrong concert at the Liverpool Stadium) by a brag and barbecue party which took place in two parts, in Bebington and at Freshfield beach respectively. Three kitty brag is in fashion, Ron Ellik. Steak was cooked, chicken was eaten, Ina Shorrock and Marie Nadler braved the sea, Babe Partington  showed us how to play Salford-style rounders and a darn good time was had by all. Attendees were Stan and Marjorie Nuttall, Les Johnson, Johns Campbell, Roles and Owen, Eddie, Eric and Margaret Jones, Normans Shorrock and Weedall, Harry and Marie Nadler, Chuck Partington, Tony Edwards, Ron, Liz and Andrew Bennett and Ina, Janet, Roy, Linda, Alan and Gavin Shorrock.

The Amateur Wine Makers' National Show was held in Harrogate during April. Pre-first fandom fan Sid Birchby attended to report that Norman Shorrock took two prizes, a very high commendation for Sweet Mead (as served in rooms 104, 120; 204 and 320 at Yarmouth) and the First Prize for Dry Mead.

The Liverpool Group recently lost its long-term battle to continue to meet in its well decorated club rooms at 69d Bold Street and now meet every Monday evening at the. Marlborough Hotel nearby.'

PETER GEORGE, creator of Doctor Strangelove, who was awarded a Hugo at the 1965 London World SF Convention for his novel Red Alert, was found dead with head injuries at his home on 26th May. A shotgun lay between his knees.


PHILE l (Graham Charnock, 1 Eden Close, Alperton, Wembley, Middlesex; May 66). A story, an article, news and reviews all virtually single handed by the editor make this a competent first issue

XERON 3 (May 66; John Quattromini and Mike Ashley, 8/9 Shurland Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent; 1/6) Forty-six neat pages. A good letter section. An excellent checklist of recent sf. A rather confused convention report. A fair-enough and improved issue but the editors still have a long way to go.

HAVERINGS 22 (May 66; Ethel Lindsay, Courage House, 6 Langley Ave, Surbiton, Surrey; 6 for 2/6d) Comprehensive coverage of the zinescene. Once again this is definitely recommended to anyone who is contemplating subscribing to the many fanzines in the field - if they can put up with Ethel's spelling.

VECTOR 39 (April 66; Official Organ of the BSFA) Somewhat late, but worth the wait. Bob Parkinson on Bradbury, Moorcock on Philip Dick (excellent material), news and reviews. Worth the BSFA subscription on its own.

FUSION 4 (Feb.  66; Jim Grant, 7 Sydney Rd., Fairmile, Christchurch, Hants; 1/-). A little weighted with fiction but worthwhile for the Wellman checklist and Mike Ashley's survey of Time Travel in SF.

SCOTTISHE 40 (April 66; Ethel Lindsay, address above; 4 for 7/6d or $1)A wonderfully complete article on house names by Brian Varley, a model to most would-be-neo-humorists. Letters, Ethel and the all too rarely seen Irene Potter.

A SPANIARD IN THE WORKS 1 (April 66; Luis Vigil Garcia, Jose Anselmo Clave 4, 202a Barcelona 2, Spain) A wonderful title from a brand new branch of fanzine fandom. Mainly fanzine reviews this time.

NEWSZINES: For some unknown reason - not forgetfulness, nor jealousy (though I have every reason to be jealous) - but possibly because I take it for granted that every fan knows of the existence of the field's newszines, I have never yet reviewed any of Skyrack's contemporary rivals. Newszines which have arrived since April are:

RATATOSK from Bruce Pelz, Box 100, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90024 @ 3 for 25¢. Always on time always completely and calmly dependable and a credit to its publisher. UK agent is Archie Mercer, 1st Floor Flat, Rosehill, 2 Cotham Park South, Bristol 6.

FOCAL POINT, Mike McInerney & Rich Brown, 250-W 16th St., New York @ 3 for 25c, with UK agent Peter Singleton, Ward 2, Whittingham Hospital, Preston, Lancs. Also dependable, but sometimes just a little hysterical in its presentation of news. Certainly worth the getting, however, especially for its east coast pro-news.

SPECULATIVE BULLETIN, John Boston, 816 South First St., Mayfield, Kentucky 42066. 25c or 2/- for 4 issues. UK agent is Peter Weston, 9 Porlock Crescent, Northfield, Birmingham 31. Full of pronews and reviews, a worthy successor to SF Review. Pete Weston, incidentally, is currently producing a newszine of midland happenings with his BSFG Newsletter.

EARLY BIRD, Michel Feron, 7 Grand-Place, Hannut, Belgium 12 for $1(airmail $1.60). In English. Two pages of French and other Continental pronews.

NIEKAS 15 (Felice Rolfe, 1360 Emerson, Palo Alto, Calif 94301 College, and Ed Meskys, Belknap College, Centre Harbor, NH 03226. 35c or 3 for $1. 2/6d from Gray Hall, 57 Church St., Tewkesbury, Glos) Over sixty pages worth of a Hugo contender which is widely tipped to carry the award. Highly recommended.

STOP PRESS: New address for Ed Meskys, 723A-45th St., Brooklyn, NY 11220.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Richard H. Eney, USAID, AD/PO Vietnam, c/o American Embassy, Saigon; APO, San Francisco, Calif  96243, USA.

SNIPPETS SECTION: Aub Marks, member of the Delta Group in Salford, is in a Manchester hospital following a shooting incident at his home ::: The Delta Group's fanzine, Alien Worlds, is shortly going professional, Harry Nadler and Charles Partington planning to produce a new prozine for which they have already contracted with a distributor ::: TAFF - the provisional figures published in Skyrack in April were indeed the final figures. Further TAFF donations have been received from: Ian McAulay (£3.5s), DM4 from Dieter Braeg and 5/- each from Karin Hende, Lars Olov Strandberg and Joe Patrizio ::: 1966 FAN DIRECTORY - There are exactly five copies left to Sell-Out. 3/6d or 50c to you fans out there ::: Mike Ashley reports that, following the Golden Apples of the Sun pop group there is now a group called The Clockwork Oranges ::: Mike Sharp, 10 Meggit Rd., Barry, Glamorgan is looking for a copy of the Alien group yearbook ::: N3F is running its annual story contest, with prizes of $10, $6 and $4 and with the Judge being Frederik Pohl there is also the chance that winning stories may be bought - it's happened before. Details from, Alma Hill, 463 Park Drive, Boston 15, Mass., USA.

THE 1967 BRITISH NATIONAL CONVENTION has found a. home. Contrary to rumours circulated recently to the effect that the Con next year would be held at the Unicorn in Bristol, news has now been circulated as follows: The 1967 Eastercon will be held at The Hawthorns Hotel, Woodlands Road, Bristol 8. 39/6d per person per night. Private shower 5/- extra per night. Private bath 7/6d extra ditto. Details, memberships, booking forms etc etc from the answer to the Seamen's Strike, Tony Walsh, Kt.St.F., 61 Halsbury Rd., Redland, Bristol 6.

THE SEVENTH AUSTRALIAN CONVENTION took place over the Easter weekend, opening at 2pm Good Friday with a short introduction session and a long auction at which $A2.50 was paid for a first issue of F&SF. Saturday saw a discussion end with the siting of the '67 con for Sydney. Tapes from Brian Aldiss and Ted Cornell were played. They spoke on current trends in SF. An author panel of John Baxter, Stephen Cook, Lee Harding and Wynne Whiteford became rather heated at times and ran for an hour and a half. The Seven Faces of Dr Lao and some short films were shown. Sunday's programme ran to another auction, a tape compiled by Charles Platt (and including Mike Moorcock and Lang Jones) was played John Baxter gave an illustrated lecture on The Horror Film and Forbidden Planet was shown. Average attendance ran to 45. And a month later, on 11th May, Committee man John Foyster's house was completely burned down, resulting in the loss of records, magazines and addresses.