Skyrack was edited by Ron Bennett, whose Skyrack Book Service had begun to sell SF. "Skyrack" was an administrative area 15 miles south of Harrogate, where Bennett lived and The Skyrack Newsletter (its original name) seemed like a more science-fictional title than "The Harrogate Newsletter" would have been. Skyrack first appeared in April 1959 and was intended to fill the gap left by the end of the British newszine Contact in 1957 and to balance the Americentric slant of Terry Carr and Ron Ellik's Fanac.
Skyrack was the premier British fandom newszine during the 1960s, featuring convention reports and club news. It covered TAFF news extensively, including voting results, and also reported on the special Parker and Willis funds and their subsequent trips. It was the first fanzine to report on the British bid for the 1965 Worldcon. It featured annual fan preference polls. Winners announced in 1960 (issue #16, first annish) for 1959 were ATom for Best Fanartist, John Berry for Best Fanwriter, and Aporetta for Best Fanzine. Poll winners in subsequent years included Ella Parker (for her fanzine Orion), Walt Willis, Ethel Lindsay, and Hyphen. Skyrack won its own fan poll (the Skyrack Poll) for Best Fanzine in 1963 and 1964. Skyrack 83 in 1965 carried "The Definitive Loncon II Report".
Starting about the middle of 1965, publication went from monthly to bimonthly due to lack of time and space. Only one issue appeared in 1967 and it suspended publication in 1968, with one more issue in 1971 to cover the deaths of John W. Campbell, Jr. and August Derleth.
There were two parody fanzines, Skyhack (three issues) and the one-off The Skyreck Newsletter. All issues are archived online as below and are collected in ebook form as The Complete Skyrack (Ansible Editions, 2017), which also includes the parodies plus hoax front-page stories sent by Bennett himself to individual fans.
|Publication||Website(IA) Reasonator Search Files 1959—1971|
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