Contact (Star Trek: TOS zine)

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Zine
Title: Contact
Publisher: Harmony Press
Editor(s): Bev Volker, Nancy Kippax
Date(s): 1975-1987
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Contact is a gen (though often fairly nominally) Star Trek: TOS anthology published by Nancy Kippax and Bev Volker and known for a large amount of hurt/comfort stories, especially in the earlier issues. Art has been included on Fanlore with the permission of the publisher's heirs.

Issue 4 contains the infamous story The Rack which presents a worst-case scenario for Kirk and Spock.

Much Content is Now Online

About

Contact was perhaps the most influential Kirk & Spock relationship zine, and it has a well-deserved reputation for “heavy” stories that lavished a great deal of hurt/comfort on the characters...and the readers. Many a conversation between fans has focused on the seemingly natural evolution of K/S from that hurt/comfort genre. (It seemed in many such stories that Kirk and Spock were just a step away from sexual intimacy. See Leslie Fish'sThis Deadly Innocence... Or the End of the Hurt/Comfort Syndrome” in Naked Times 3... It would not be far from the truth to say that Contact was an essential element in the evolution of K/S. [1]
The artwork was much beloved by readers, prompting one fan to write to her friend, decades later:
"All the Contact and Companion are strictly gen....but the art [J]...my god...unbelievable.."[2]

Contact and Hurt/Comfort: An Editor's View

From A 2007 Interview with Nancy Kippax:
One fact to bear in mind is that “gen” as a genre is more than h/c. It also encompasses the psychological stories, the fiction which can explore all facets of their relationship, tear it apart and put it back together. Sure, most of these stories use some kind of “hurt” to propel them into the desired territory, but I wouldn’t call them strictly a h/c story. Consider, just for one, our novel “Home is the Hunter.” Sure, Kirk was “hurt,” but it’s much more than strictly a h/c story, in my opinion. Not all gen was h/c, is what I’m saying. And even among slash stories, often a “hurt” of some kind is used to launch the plot or incorporated into the story somewhere. I think sometimes slash fans, especially those who came into K/S late in the game or from other slash fandoms, tend to marginalize the gen stories as simply being h/c, and that’s not the case at all, not any more than slash stories are simply one long sex scene.

Awards

The editors of Contact won the TrekStar Award for 'Best Editor' in 1982.

In 1982, Nancy and Contact also were nominated for a FanQ award and she submitted the following zine description to The Annual Fan Q Awards Nominations Booklet:

CONTACT is one of fandom's longest consistently published zines. Our first issue appeared in December, 1975, and it was the first to dedicate itself to the Kirk/Spock friendship theme. We were fortunate enough to choose an idea whose time had come, and we have had the pleasure of sharing our personal fantasies with others for almost seven years. Our area of involvement has been exclusively STAR TREK, exclusively Kirk/Spock/McCoy oriented, both in our own publications and in our writing for other zines. In addition to being an enriching and satisfying experience, CONTACT has been an education. We take a professional approach to our time-consuming "hobby", utilizing all we've learned through painful trial-and-error. What makes it special, however, is the fact that CONTACT belongs not only to us, but to the readers, who have supported us over the years.

The First Flyer

To view the first flyer, handwritten by Bev, see: The Original Flier.

Nancy Kippax remembered in 2008 that some of the early fliers she and Bev gave out were hand-written on typing paper using carbon paper for extra copies. She also relates how the mailing of the first flier for Contact #1 to every address in the Star Trek Welcommittee list resulted in a phone call from Sondra Marshak, a minor deity in early Fandom, and co-author of the mass market paperback Star Trek Lives!. [3]

The Zine's Goal

CONTACT reaches out and touches -- with a thought, a word, an act. CONTACT says, "I know you're there. I care about you; what you think, how you feel, who you are." CONTACT can be a subtle exchange, a quiet sharing or an electric spark. [4]
We have attempted to look at the diverse sides of the Kirk/Spock Relationship... If we accept that Kirk and Spock do indeed love and respect each other, then the expression of that emotion must, as in any relationship, be manifold. We hope we have herein explored at least a few of those aspects -- the relationship under stress, the new discovery of it, a psychoanalysis of what it is to each participant, the implied sexual attraction, the base animal need for contact, the possibility of separation by death, the physical hurt-comfort, the joy of a long overdue reunion. Hopefully, we will touch on what sparks your individual fantasy. If not, stay with us, we'll get to it eventually. [5]
We all have that masochistic streak that loves to see our heroes suffer in our fantasies (and they do it so well)... [6]

More About Contact

Related Zines

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Contact 1 was published in December 1975 and contains 68 pages.

Some content is online here.

In 2007, Nancy Kippax wrote about this first issue:
Bev and I did everything together. We both edited. We both did layout. I was the only typist, though. I did all the final copy typing. I started with an old Royal portable typewriter and later graduated to renting a Selectric for a month each time a new issue was ready to come out. Being sisters, and having shared a love for male/male relationship all our lives, there was very little we ever argued about or disagreed over. With Contact 1, we initially printed 50 copies (printed on only one side of the paper, because Russ didn’t know how to make double-sided copies on his machine) and we sold out within the first month or so. It was aimed for December but I believe we got it out in November of that year. It soon went to a second printing (this time on both sides). Everything in it was our own, except for Connie’s story and a word search puzzle that had been sent to us early on by some guy. We included a “writing contest” with an obscure snippet that Bev wrote, challenging writers to do a vignette around it. This was an attempt to get other people to submit to the zine. It worked, and we had a wonderful assortment of submissions, including one from the award-winning Jean Lorrah, who was one of our two winners. (The other was British writer Sheila Clark.) [7]
  • Editor's Page (3)
  • Not of That Feather by Nancy Kippax (How far will Spock go to save the life of his injured Captain?) (4)
  • The Better Way, poem by Beverly Volker (18)
  • In a Pig's Eye by Beverly Volker (19) (an unsent letter from the Chief Medical Officer to First Officer of the Enterprise)
  • The Silent Connection by Nancy Kippax (Who is sabotaging the Enterprise, and why? Spock suspects Jim Kirk) (21)
  • Writer's Contest Announcement (33)
  • Amok Time, poem by Beverly Volker (34)
  • Understanding, poem by Beverly Volker (34)
  • Eulogy by Nancy Kippax (the editor says it is "haunting, chilling... you may hate it, but you'll never forget it." Author's Note: "Don't panic! 'Eulogy' was written as an experiment in the genre known to all fans as the "What If ..." story. We all saw, in "The Tholian Web." Spock's reaction to Kirk's death, and I began wondering about the reverse. Hence, 'Eulogy.' However, this by no means indicates that the author wishes Spock dead any more than the Creators wished Kirk dead in 'The Tholian Web'! I have no desire to abort the relationship!") (35)
  • Star Trek Song Sheet by Beverly Volker (38)
  • Crossword Puzzle (39)
  • Word Find by Kevin O'Brien (40)
  • The Truth, poem by Beverly Volker (41)
  • De Profundis by Connie Faddis (Editor's Note: "We were just about to complete this zine, when we received the following story. As we read it with a mixture of 'pain and delight,' we wondered what to do with it. We had planned to use it in our next issue as we felt it might be a bit much in the same copy as 'Eulogy' and we didn't want to present 'Contact' as morbid. And yet, we found it to be such a poignant and powerful vignette, so typical of our theme, that we felt compelled to share it with our readers. Thus we made our decision to include it at this time. Many thanks to Connie and to Carol Frisbie for thinking of us.") (42)
  • Commend Decision, poem by Beverly Volker (47)
  • Phase II: Part One: The Invitation - novella by Beverly Volker (deals with the future of the future of the Enterprise crew) (48)
  • Trivia Test (66)
  • Answer Page (68)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for Phase II.
[zine]: A friend of mine insists that the best thing about this zine is its unusual binding, but I'm afraid I must disagree. The best aspect is its concept... the exploration of the Kirk/Spock relationship. [8] (If that isn't clear to you, you are probably a Klingon and shouldn't be reading this anyway.) This is a fantastic field, one of much interest to many of us; but somehow this issue doesn't live up to its promise. The three main stories are full of potential, but don't come off very well.

'Not of that Feather' is the typical tale where Kirk is hurt, and what Spock will do to save him. The answer is, as always, anything. To be truthful, though... this wouldn't have made a bad filmed episode with a couple of added subplots. This one sticks in mind mainly because of the maddenly elusive Shakespearian allusion it contains. 'The Silent Connection' has a plot I swear I first saw in 1965 on Outer Limits. Kirk disappears on a mysterious planet and later turns up with memory loss and terrible headaches. Meanwhile, there is this sabotage to the Enterprise... who can be responsible? Guess.

Then, there is the first part of a serial 'Phase II.' This one is a 25-years after story, but it does introduce some interesting characters -- one is Spock's daughter, T'Prett, who manages to be both Vulcan and pert, and the other is his mysterious, sullen, neurotic, illegitimate son, Stack, who is just a royal pain -- but interesting.

There are two very short stories, poems, a triva quiz, etc. which are nothing out of the ordinary. Mixed in with all that, are two items almost surprisingly good. One is the a poem, 'The Better Way,' which chides Vulcans for not living up to their much-vanuted standards of logic. The other is... a Connie Faddis story that doesn't just tug at your heart-strings; it tears them out and wraps them around your throat. Called 'De Profundis,' it is 3 1/2 pages of pure emotion dealing with Kirk and Spock's reactions to McCoy's death. Unfortunately, for the zine, it contains a similar story, 'Eulogy.' that tells of Spock's death, but is much inferior. For some reason, they make it seem that the Vulcan went out for a smoke and just never wandered back. The difference is, of course, that Ms. Faddis doesn't just tell the reader about the characters' grief and despair, she shows us. She is some writer! Now if the editors could have only gotten some illos for her for that issue. The ones they did use, to be kind, are only adequate.

All in all... good try, gang. If they had better quality material on this most interesting subject in their next issue, they could have a winner. As it is, this issue is almost worth the price of the Faddis story alone. [9]


Issue 2

Contact 2 was published in May 1976, 119 pages. It contains 5 illustrations by Leslie Fish, Trinette Kern, Nancy Kippax, Signe Landon, Deborah Lichtel, Barbara Miner (back cover), Russ Volker (front cover).

Some content is online here.

front cover of issue #2, Russ Volker
back cover of issue #2, Barbara Miner
  • Editor's Page (4)
  • The Third Wheel by Connie Faddis (6) (A classic McCoy story. The doctor suffers the grief and loneliness of being the third wheel in the relationship with Kirk and Spock until a near fatal accident shows him the depth of their caring.) (reprinted in Interphase #4 and Computer Playback #2)
  • The Two Sides of One, poem by Gerry Downes (13)
  • The Quest, poem by Beverly Volker (14)
  • Ode to a Friend, poem by Joanne Bennett (14)
  • An Act of Love by Nancy Kippax (16)
  • Vision from Orion, poem by Beverly Volker (36)
  • Without the Gardener's Craft by Kathleen Penland [a responsefic to Connie Faddis's story, "Gardener's Craft" from Energize!) (37)
  • McCoy's Song, song by Beverly Volker (42)
  • Ballad, song by Signe Landon (43)
  • Denevan Orbit by Johanna Cantor (44)
  • You Do Not Belong, poem by Pete Kaup (58)
  • Contest Winners (there were 19 entries, 2 winners)
  • The Logical Choice by Beverly Volker (65)
  • Kert Rats: A Star Trek Fable by Nancy Kippax (72)
  • The Answer, poem by Beverly Volker (77)
responsefic explanation
  • Nightmare Ending (the first part is by Catherine McCommon, the ending by Diane Steiner)
  • Phase II, part 2: Tarra by Beverly Volker and Nancy Kippax (84)
  • ads (117)
  • Trivia Answers (118)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for The Third Wheel.
See reactions and reviews for The Logical Choice.
See reactions and reviews for Without the Gardener's Craft.
[zine]: This is a good homey zine dedicated to the Kirk/Spock relationship which has made great strides since its first issue.

Starting off is an excellent story, 'The Third Wheel' written from McCoy's point of view, which captures well the deep-down feeling between McCoy and Spock that we all expected was hidden there somewhere. As a change of pace for his zine's format, we have 'Logical Choice,' a good story which shows that one CAN write about the friendship which exists between Kirk and Spock without threatening one, or both, of their lives. In addition, there's a hilarious ST satire, 'Kert Rats,' which doesn't miss a single point. The longest story is also the last, 'Tarra,' a very winning story and a true, genuine, dyed-in-the-wool ST gothic novel. Also, included is 'An Act of Love,' a story which involves Kirk, Spock, and a Federation scientist among the ruins of a Mayan-like civilization. The story moves well, and is well-characterized, but takes on a strange fantasy twist near the end. 'Without the Gardener's Craft,' describes Kirk's re-adjustment to life after the lost fo his legs and the fitting of artificial limbs. 'Devevan Orbit' is a post-'Operation: Annihilate' story in which Spock becomes Peter Kirk's mentor. 'Nightmare Ending,' a story started by one author and ended by another, falls back on the now-familiar theme of Spock easing Kirk's distress at a nightmare through the use of a mind-meld.

Featured in this zine are the results of a contest announced in issue #1, and the beginning of a new contest. The winners of the first contest were 'Death is Only a Parting,' an ST love story, and "The Logic of Choice,' a somewhat fuzzy tale about Kirk and Spock's post-Enterprise lives. Overall, the printing and layout are of good quality, and the illustrations are well done. In short, this is a pretty fair zine with promise for future issues. [10]
[zine]: It's hard to decide what's more bothersome about this second issue, the maudlin way in which their friendship is portrayed in most of the stories and poems within or several consistently misspelled words that keep intruding. Anyone is entitled to an occasional typo, but after running across 'acheive,' 'lonliness,' 'seperate,' etc. all the way through, I'm reading to take up a collection for a spelling dictionary and send it to Baltimore.

The stories themselves vary greatly... from pretty good to plain God-Awful. Probably the best is a vignette, 'The Third Wheel.' This one brings McCoy into the friendship and it is good reading even if not one of her classic efforts, but then I've never seen a bad Faddis work (well, okay... OTHER than 'Born Yesterday.') Another good piece, 'Denevan Orbit,' is an after story by Johanna Cantor. Other than those two, most of the remainder of the remainder in this zine are disappointing. In fact, reading them all at once would be like wading through a pool of treacle. Sticky, very sticky. 'An Act of Love' is the standard 'Spock's in trouble, what will Kirk do to help him' story. Guess. 'Without the Gardeners' Craft' is a bit unusual. It is an alternate ending to a Faddis story that appeared last year in Energize!. Your time would be better spent finding a copy of the original story... [that one's] absolutely first rate. 'Logical Choices' is on the possibility of Spock getting his own command and how he will decide about leaving the Enterprise. Guess again... right! Along with all of this there is what is apparently supposed to be a parody, 'Kert Rats' that enables the reader to truly realize how good Paula Smith's efforts are in that demanding field. For gore fans, there is the strange little piece called 'Nightmares' that ... is really quite chilling. The longest piece in this issue is 'Phase 2.' This portion is called 'Tarra' and luckily [the editors] give a good synopsis of part one because this chapter is just a little too incredible. It's sort of a Lt. Mary Sue Goes Berserk. This particular lady is named Tarra St John, and she is sort of raped by Spock (some day he's going to learn to keep track of pon farr time), has a son, leaves the ship, comes back to the ship, falls for Kirk, etc... The plot material would keep Mary Hartman going for five years. Actually, it's enjoyable reading, very funny in places. My favorite part is a death scene right out of Camille.

There is also poetry, contest winners, good trivia questions, songs, quotes on friendship... something for everyone. If only the quality were better -- the amount of weeping and clutching that goes on is nothing short of stomach turning... If the reader is really interested in the Kirk/Spock/McCoy relationship, he would most likely find any or all of the stories in Stardate: Unknown to be more appealing than the stories in this zine. Coincidently, [Gerry Downes'] ni-var in this issue is the best piece of poetry in this zine. The level of art is generally mediocre except for a couple of nice drawings by Signe Landon. Front cover is silhouettes of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, the bacover is of Kirk and Spock with what appears to be a skin disease. [11]
[zine]: Contact II is unique, in that its fiction is consistently good and often better. All of the stories deal with Kirk & Spock, or Kirk, Spock & McCoy relationships, all are fresh and different in themselves, and present some very enjoyable reading. The only story that did not leave me elated was "Phase II" or whatever; this story reeked of the often present 'ST Soap Opera Syndrome', and although the writing was flawless, the story failed to hold my attention. Contact II is also blessed with exceptional poetry, which is another oddity in ST zines, or any for that matter.

Contact II's largest drawback was a lack of quality art work. Fiction of this caliber deserves excellent illustrations to accent and enhance it. Don't get me wrong, Signe Landon & Leslie Fish had some outstanding pieces in the zine, the problem was that there wasn't enough. The printing is good to fair, with distracting shadows on some pages, and areas of black in the artwork coming out as faded-grey. The binding is very nice, and gives the zine a look of professionalism. The front cover is a disappointment artistically, a silhouette of the Big Three standing in an archway. The back cover is nice. Both a reprinted on yellow paper.

A good buy, if only for the fiction. [12]

Issue 3

back cover issue #3 by Bruce Harris
front cover of issue #3, Pat Stall

Contact 3 was published in March 1977 and contains 157 pages and a cover by Pat Stall. Art by Kathy Carlson, Gerry Downes, Mary Anne Emerson, Connie Faddis, Leslie Fish, Bruce Harris, Alice Jones, Virginia Jacobson, Judd, Signe Landon, Robert Lovett, Barbara Minor, Jeanne Powers, Carol Shuttleworth, Pat Stall, Russ Volker, Joni Wagner.

From the edtiorial: "This issue explores how the Enterprise affects the relationship between Kirk and Spock."

"Contact 3" is online here.

From page 3:
Consider the infinite joy
Of seeing vast horizons
New worlds, uncharted.
To reach with mutual understanding
Alien races from far-flung
Corners of the universe--
Touch with love.

  • Then to Piece the Broken Chain by Nancy Kippax & Beverly Volker. Illustrations by Alice Jones (1)
  • Flower in the Desert, a poem by April Valentine (23)
  • Abyss by Jeanne Powers (24) (Get'em. Kirk and Spock are dying; Kirk is yanked back, leaving McCoy to have to tell him about Spock.)
  • The First Step by Susan Dorsey (McCoy detects trouble between Kirk and Spock; as it turns out, Spock has determined to resign (condemning himself to death in his next pon farr) because of a not-yet-complete bond forming between himself and Kirk, rather than put him through what he perceives as degradation. Kirk convinces him otherwise.) (27)
  • Corundum, poem by Jane Aumerle (39)
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay by April Valentine (40)
  • To Jim, poem by Trinette Kern (54)
  • Feu D’Amitie by Nancy Kippax (56) (On an early mission, Kirk and Spock cement their friendship as they are pinned down on a deathly hot planet, waiting for Enterprise to recover them.)
  • Beginnings, poem by Beverly Volker (61)
  • When the Time Comes by Beverly Volker (62)
  • Not Yet Time by Beverly Volker. (Companion piece to the previous story. Both stories offer a view of how Spock might react to Kirk's impending death, and how he would face the reality that there is no hope. McCoy is onto a lead towards a cure for Kirk, but they don’t tell him, afraid of building false hope. Kirk attempts suicide so that Spock won’t have to kill him - then Spock awakes, realizes what is going on, and rushes to tell Kirk about the potential therapy. Kirk puts his knife away.) (This story has a sequel by another author in Mahko Root #1.) (69)
  • Writing Contest (Issue #2) Results:
    • The Test by Sheila Clark (77)
    • The Stars Go Down by Cheryl Rice (From the Zinedex: "(Writing Contest) Kirk and Spock declare their lo... er, friendship as they wait to die, having sabotaged an alien spaceship to prevent a fleet from invading our universe.") (80)
    • Untitled by Pat Stall
  • New Contest announced (83)
  • The Meld, poem by Beverly Volker (84)
  • Born of the Sun by Johanna Cantor (85)
  • The Enterprise, poem by April Valentine (96)
  • Tone of Reflection, poem by Pete Kaup (97)
  • On Companionship, poem by Trinette Kern (97)
  • The Spider’s Web by Susan K. James (98) (Kirk and Spock are experimental subjects to advanced aliens in, respectively, sensory and logic deprivation; to the experimenters’ surprise, they manage to assist one another to recovery.)
  • The Enterprise Song, with music by Bev Volker & Kathy Burns (106) (filk)
  • Difference is a Virtue by Marion Dougall [reprinted from Log Entries (UK) #?] (108) (Kirk's mind has been injured by a psychic weapon. McCoy with his emotion, affection, and humor joins with Spock to heal their Captain.)
  • Phase II, Chapter 3: The Reunion by Beverly Volker & Nancy Kippax (117)
  • You’re My Home, Enterprise (Country Roads) by April Valentine (filk)

This zine has extensive art. This is a sample.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

See reactions and reviews for Difference is a Virtue.
See reactions and reviews for When the Time Comes.
See reactions and reviews for Not Yet Time.
See reactions and reviews for Born of the Sun.
See reactions and reviews for Nothing Gold Can Stay.
See reactions and reviews for Then to Piece the Broken Chain.
[zine]: This zine is about the Kirk/Spock [13] relationship. Susan Dorsey's 'The First Step' is a bonding story with a nicely underplayed sexual connotations and some effective dialogue. Pat Stall's illos are powerful. 'Nothing Gold Can Stay,' by April Valentine, has an interesting premise, but bogged down. 'When the Time Comes' and 'Not Yet Time,' both by Bev Volker,' play off each other on the same theme: how Kirk and Spock react to Kirk's impending death from a disgusting disease (no cure, natch). Johanna Cantor has a pleasant story, illoed by Joni Wagner. Susan James' 'The Spider Web' has a good idea but needed a firm rewrite. The third installment of 'Phase II' rambles on and on; if you enjoy soaps, it's fun. The most entertaining story is 'Then to Piece a Broken Chain' by Kippax and Volker. Spock takes command of the Enterprise, because an alien race will not deal with an 'inferior' human captain. How Kirk and Spock deal with the aliens and with each other under unfamiliar pressures is realistically handled. Alice Jones' wonderful pencil drawings illo the story. Contact 3 will bore you if you're not a 'relationship' fan if you are, you'll find some entertainment here [14]

This same review is expanded upon here:

[zine]: This zine is about the Kirk/Spock relationship. Susan Dorsey's 'The First Step' is a bonding story with a nicely underplayed sexual connotations and some effective dialogue, and a new twist on the homosexual hang-up dilemma: IDIC allows Vulcans to choose the alternative honorable, but it's the normally promiscuous 23rd century Terran culture that prohibits it. Pat Stall's illos are generally powerful, though I think the bonding scene is overworked. (Her color cover design is elegant.) 'Nothing Gold Can Stay,' by April Valentine, has an interesting premise but the story tended to bog down in the 'memory' scenes -- you'd think that Spock and Kirk, as unique as their experiences are must be, would have more interesting memories. These are somewhat dull. Gerry Down's illos seem more hurried and scratchy than usual, but the compositions, as always, are satisfying. 'When the Time Comes' and 'Not Yet Time' play off each other on the same theme: how Kirk and Spock react to Kirk's impending disablement and death from a disgusting disease (no cure, natch). They are depressing as hell and terribly romantic. I don't feel qualified to comment on them, otherwise. There's been a heavy emphasis on death and suffering in much recent Trekfic (I'm guilty of writing it, too) which makes me wonder what our writers' 'collective unconscious' are trying to prepare us (and themselves) for, psychologically. Anyway, Russ Volker's drawings for the two stories show definite improvement over his earlier art, although I think he could still refine his line-work and pore over a good anatomy-for-artists book. Joanna Cantor has a pleasant (honest!) Edith Keeler story, illustrated by some really stunning Joni Wagner drawings. 'The Spider's Web' takes a good idea and gives it a somewhat maudlin treatment. A firm rewrite could have done the trick. The third installment of 'Phase II' rambles on and on and on and... The Mary Hartman of Treklit. Lots of folks enjoy soaps, so this will entertain them. It put me to sleep. Probably the most entertaining story is 'Then to Piece the Broken Chain.' It turns on the premise that to appease an elitist race of aliens with whom Federation must negotiate, Spock is required to take command of the Enterprise, because the aliens will not deal with an 'inferior' human captain. How Kirk deals with his temporary demotion (badly), Spock with his command decisions, and everyone with intrigue and the quite alien aliens... is nicely and realistically handled The icing on the cake is Alice Jones' wonderful pencil drawings, delicately reproduced. Even when Alice turns out a mediocre (for her) drawing, it beats the the tails off of most any other art in the same zine. She is an example of those rare artists whose pencil-work is so superior that it really merits the considerable expense of half-tone-screening for offset reproduction. Contact 3 will bore you to tears if you're not a 'relationship' person... but if you are, then you'll find a good mix of entertainment in this zine. [15]


Issue 4

back cover issue #4 by Andrew Williams
cover issue #4 by Russ Volker

Contact 4 was published in September 1977 and contains 174 pages. Cover: Russ Volker; back cover: Andrew Williams. Other art in this issue is by Alice Jones, Pat Stall, Signe Landon, Leslie Fish, Merle Decker and others.

From the editorial:

In our editorial in CONTACT III, we stated that we believed that the K/S Relationship was limitless and multi-faceted in its premise. Stories exploring the many areas could provide us with materials for an endless number of issues. Yet, now we wonder where they are. CONTACT seems to have become known as the "get-em" zine of fandom. It abounds with pain and the hurt/comfort syndrome. This was never our original intention. Granted, we all have that masochistic streak that loves to see our heroes suffer in our fantasies (and they do it so well), but four issues of ONLY this may well have run its course. We acknowledge that there is a specific demand for CONTACT. Volume III has now joined its predecessors in being sold out of five hundred copies barely four months after it was printed. This current volume, like the others, has sold over half of the copies in pre-orders and we have in our files a folder full of S.A.S.E.s for the next issue. When we mentioned to several fans that we were considering not doing a fifth issue, we met immediate opposition and pleas to continue. This has resulted in our current dilemma. Producing a zine, as any of you who are editors will agree (and those who ape not, ask one!), is hard work, filled with disappointments, frayed nerves and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Yet, it's fun. (See, we told you we all had that masochistic streak.) A fanzine is a labor of love - filled with the heart and soul of its editors, contributors and staff who care about it and believe in the statement they are trying to make. CONTACT was the first zine - and to our knowledge, still the only one - devoted exclusively to the Kirk/Spock relationship. We know that these two men love each other in a very special way, and aside from the sexual aspect, which many other fine zines are showing quite abundantly, our purpose is to explore the various expressions of that love. When the editors of a zine feel it is no longer accomplishing its purpose, no longer making their statement, or that it has gotten in a rut, then it may be time for a re-evaluation of priorities and a re-establishment of goals. We're excited about this issue. It contains some powerful stories guaranteed to leave you wrung out, exhausted and emotionally spent. As a form of torture, CONTACT ranks right up there with the medieval iron maiden or strapado (heh-heh, look up that little goodie!). But even a torturer must ease up occasionally or he will completely destroy his victim. So we feel that the delicious agony that CONTACT has inflicted upon its victims - uh, readers - must take another direction or it will have destroyed its purpose. Unless we receive good K/S stories, with interesting plots, showing other tender sides to the relationship, we feel that to continue CONTACT in its present direction would become redundant. The K/S relationship, as with any real life counterpart, is a constantly growing, changing field of discovery and new experiences. Fan fiction has developed it far beyond that which was shown on aired Trek. Unless CONTACT can grow and change, make new discoveries through poetry and stories, we believe it will stagnate. The future of this zine depends in part on those people to whom we've dedicated this issue - the K/S fans who love and understand this beautiful and complex relationship. If enough of you very special people out there are willing to dust off the old brain, put pen to paper and explore through a story one of the various ways that this love can be shown, then perhaps a fifth issue of CONTACT could be accomplished.
  • Back Where He Belongs, poem by Crystal Ann Taylor (1)
  • The Only Other Thing by Ginna LaCroix (Kirk must kill an old friend from Tarsus IV who has become a rebel.) (2)
  • The Challenge, poem by Nancy Kippax (18)
  • Born of Ashes by April Valentine (The poem "Sun God and Shadow" by Falkowitz with the accompanying Landon illo illustrate a perfect harmony between the lyric and the visual. The story "Born of Ashes" is without doubt the most monumental Kirk Spock friendship story written to date, and the illos by Pat Stall are actually paintings that were all snapped up at incredible prices at the first con they went to. You will suffer all the way through this one with 'our boys' but you're gonna love it." --from Stardate: Unknown #4) (19)
  • Moving, poem by Pete Kaup (73)
  • Interlude, poem by Bev Volker (74)
  • The Writing Contest Winners:
    • Situation Help by Karen Moody (77)
    • The Sadists by Sheila Clark (79)
    • The End Result by Shirley S. Maiewski (80)
  • New Contest Announced (82)
  • The Changeling, poem by April Valentine (83)
  • Sun God and Shadow, poem by Amy Falkowitz (84)
  • The Hunger in the Mountain by Jennifer Weston. Illos by Leslie Fish (86) (Kirk and Spock are stranded on a supposedly uninhabited planet and Spock is attacked by a large, swift, slime-moldy telepathic creature seeking to absorb him. Kirk joins in the mental battle to rescue him.)
  • The Nature of Love, poem by April Valentine (103)
  • R'Vamo, poem by Susan K. James (105)
  • The Real Thing by Sharon Schildknecht & April Valentine (106)
  • Revelations, poem by Bev Volker (111)
  • Sensory Perception, poem by Carolyn Venino (113)
  • The Rack by J. Emily Vance. [Sequel:"All the King’s Horses, All the King’s Men" in Farthest Star #2.] Illustrations by Alice Jones (114)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

See reactions and reviews for The Rack.
See reactions and reviews for Born of Ashes.
See reactions and reviews for The Real Thing.
[Born of Ashes]: An omnipotent being - this one Osiris, the Phoenix - tortures Kirk and Spock in order to discover the secrets of their friendship. A surprisingly common theme that doesn't do much for me...[17]
[The Real Thing]: Spoof. Kirk persuades Spock to join him in a fund-raising game show, and is disconcerted when Spock bests him. The game is rife with zine allusions.[18]
[zine]: A K/S relationship zine: issue #4 is superb. The art by Pat Stall, Alice Jones, and Signe Landon is outstanding: full-page illos. The stories are very powerful, especially 'Born of Ashes' by [April Valentine] and 'The Rack' by J. Emily Vance. In 'The Rack,' the plotting and meaning are excellent. It shows the devastating harm slander can cause, in this case it harms Kirk and Spock. 'Born of Ashes' shows the intensity and strength of love between K and S in a very unpleasant situation. There are a few humorous short stories. 'End Result' by Shirley Maiewski and 'The Real Thing' are just delightful to read. Of course, there are poems, too, and 'So Constant a Change' by B. Volker is really nice. For those who enjoy a K/S relationship zine, this is a must. [19]
[zine]: 'Contact 4' was worth waiting for. This zine, devoted to the K/S relationship has improved steadily with each issue. If you don't like 'relationship,' you won't like this zine, but if you do, you'll love it. 'The Real Thing' is a comic vignette and truly funny. Kirk and Spock are appearing on 'The 20,000 Credit Obelisk.' It's full of inside jokes and will be a joy to anyone who has seen Shatner and Nimoy on 'Pyramid' and even to those who haven't. 'The Only Other Thing' and 'Hunger in the Mountain' are both pretty good stories, well-plotted, action-adventure mixed with relationship. The only problem is that the two stories along with the poetry (most of it is quite good) tend to be eclipsed by the two major works in the zine -- 'Born of Ashes' and 'The Rack.' 'Born of Ashes' is the most beautiful hurt-comfort story that I've read to date. It's complete and replete and fulfilling and eminently satisfying. The villain (and his voyeurism) is fascinating. Pat Stall's illos will leave you breathless. 'The Rack' gets the all-time award for the 'story you most love to hate.' It deals with rumors of a homosexual relationship between Kirk and Spock and what happens when Starfleet gets a hold of these rumors; with military bureaucracy; with the damage that can be done by half-truths and innuendo. You'll hate it, but you'll go back to read it again and again. Illos by Alice Jones -- no more to be said. Overall, the only complaints I have are technical. I'm not too crazy about the binding method -- you have to be careful turning the pages or you'll bend and tear them. And in all fairness (sorry, Bev) the spelling (or perhaps proofreading) needs a good deal of work. But these are minor criticisms. The editors have expressed doubt about continuing with 'Contact.' All I can say is -- please, we need it. [20]
[zine]: Contact 4 is now online!!! Yes, the epically influential “gen” (and by “gen”, I mean full of gems like the art above- I swear these zines are the physical embodiment of pre-slash) Kirk-Spock “friendship” zine series from the 70s/80s, Contact, has put of up a PDF of its fourth issue online. (Issues one through three are up too.) In an ideal world, I would make a long-ass post explaining how central Contact was to the development of literally all slash in fandom ever. But I can’t right now, and instead I am just gonna rejoice and praise Surak that some of the people involved in its creation care enough about it to release it online. [21]

Issue 5/6

the cover issue #5/6 as it appears when the zine is closed
the outer cover of issue #5/6
inner cover issue #5/6

Contact 5/6 was published in September 1979 and contains 206 pages (144 of which is Home is the Hunter). This issue required an age statement, stating "No, there is no K/S sex in Contact, but there is some explicit violence and graphic descriptions."

It contains a foldout front cover. Covers by Pat Stall and Mike Verina. Cartoons by Linda White. Interior art by S. Gingras, Liz Wright, Evallou Richardson, Bev Volker, Gayle F, Alice Jones, Kathy Carlson, Laurie Huff, Leslie Fish, L. Frim, Russ Volker, Nan Lewis, Mike Verina, Pat Stall.

Originally included in this volume was the novella "Home Is The Hunter" which soon became available separately as Contact #6. Contact #5 was then republished with 144 pages (minus 'Home Is The Hunter').

another version of the outer cover of issue #5/6, this one has an inner cover that is blue
back cover issue #5/6
  • And of the Stars, poem by Bev Volker (1)
  • Woe to Him Who is Alone by Linda White (2)
  • Home/Home, poem by Jimmye Galli (30)
  • Ode to a Newborn Son/Beginnings/Two, poems by Theresa Wright (32)
  • And Now Silence by Teri White (35)
  • Worlds Apart, poem by Pete Kaup (40)
  • The Enchanted by April Valentine (42)
  • The Man Beside You, poem by C.F. Woolford (68)
  • Double Image, poem by Ellen L. Kobrin (70)
  • In Your Place by Crystal Taylor (72)
  • Coming Home, poem by Della Van Hise (97)
  • Fire and Ice by Sandra Gent & Virginia Green (99)
  • In Between the Dark and the Light, poem (107)
  • Shadowrider by Susan K. James (108)
  • Vulcan Lies by Shirley Passman (129)
  • Separate Ways, poem by April Valentine (130)
  • But Up to Now by Ginna LaCroix (132) (also in Trek Encore #2)
inside art from issue #5/6, Gayle F
inside art from issue #5/6, Gayle F
  • The Source, poem by Bev Volker (144)
  • Lookin' In, poem by Crystal Taylor (146)
  • Song Trilogy by Bev Volker and Carolyn Venino (148)
  • After the Flame by Sibyl Hancock (150)
  • AFter the Challenge by April Valentine (153)
  • Sorrow's End, poem by Jimmye Galli (156)
  • Fires of Yesterday, poem by Susan K. James (157)
  • Thou More Than a Brother by Theresa Wright (158)
  • Earth and Moon, poem by April Valentine (175)
  • Breathing Space by Carol Frisbie & Susan K. James (176)
  • And You Were There, poem by Sarah Leibold (180)
  • Watch in the Night by Sibyl Hancock (181)
  • To Fly Again, poem by Pete Kaup (203)
  • Continuum, poem by Bev Volker (204)
  • Contact's Favorite Things by Nancy J. Kippax (206)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

See reactions and reviews for Woe to Him Who is Alone.
[zine]: I would NEVER have thought of this as a gen zine if I hadn't been told it was AND read the interview about it in the LEGACY history-zine. [22]
[zine]: 'Contact' is primarily a GP-rated (rating for violence, not sex), K/S hurt/comfort zine with a little McCoy thrown in for getting them patched up for the next story. This issue is their usual grab-bag of stories, art, and poetry. Stories range from the delightful 'Woe to Him Who is Along' which shows us Kirk and Spock helping and being helped by a new alien and his friend, a half-flesh, half-machine ship. The aliens are well thought out though I did wonder who would babysit with Tohbee if Kaylin went out drinking. People that dependent on physical touch might not do too well in space. Other stories by White, [Valentine], Gent & Green, James LaCroix, Hancock and Wright are good, solid entertainment without any surprises. Another exceptional story was 'In Your Place.' In an experiment with a potential Federation member, Kirk and an alien starship captain exchange ships for three months. This provided a fascinating comparison of two excellent, efficient men whose values are 180 degrees different. Most of the poetry (and I'm not much of a judge) was fair, but a series titled 'Ode to a Newborn Son/Beginnings/Two' really touched me. The art in this issue ranges from excellent by Huff, Lewis and Verina to adequate with the majority of the art towards the excellent. The reproduction on the whole zine is good with a spiral binding. To me, the jewel of this zine is the novella that is issue #6. Alas, it is a jewel with a major flaw... [23]
[zine]: I'd love to find a Kirk/Spock story crafted like a sixteenth-century Flemish portrait: Kirk and Spock squarely in the foreground, but with the rest of the Trek universe stretching out to infinity behind them, painted in all the loving attention to detail of a Van Eyck landscape. Among Kirk/Spock authors, [Gayle F] is perhaps the most successful at evoking a believable and authentically Trek background for her stories, with broad, exaggerated Impressionistic strokes that are sparing but sure. But few others can pull themselves away from the Big Two long enough to give more than the crudest sketch of the rest of the Star Trek universe. This lack of attention shows in certain predictable patterns. For example, I'm convinced that a content analysis of Kirk/Spock stories would reveal a higher proportion of WASP males among the minor characters than non-Kirk/Spock stories -- not through lack of IDIC so much as through indifference. And the portrayal of aliens in Kirk/Spock tales is often unconvincing because they are all too transparently derivative from the author's plans for the Big Two. Using other characters as mere props is understandable, but it has certain unfortunate consequences. If an author's characters have no believable motives of their own, then the author's motives become uncomfortably obvious -- we become so aware of the puppet-master pulling the strings that we cannot suspend belief. 'Contact' 4/5 is superior in the overall care its authors give to background details, but I found it still ridden with many of the familiar flaws. Linda White's story is a striking effort to write science fiction as well Kirk/Spock. Her alien manship is presented skillfully, in true SF tradition. Nevertheless, the basic concept (an entity dependent upon physical contact with a a symbiotic partner) is obviously hostage to a familiar Kirk/Spock shtick -- the notion that our heroes' unique bond thrives on physical touch (a typical example of the 'Contact' school of partially sublimated homoeroticism). Crystal Taylor's ' In Your Place' is well-written. Her Capt. Lihallot is carefully drawn. But he's a bit too much the opposite of Kirk -- one feels he's less an independent character in his own right than an artifact of the author's thoughts about Kirk and Spock. Even with the excellent 'Home is the Hunter' (and I agree with [J B] that it is extremely well-crafted throughout) suffers from a similar flaw. In the Anthranians, we can see the author's motives clearly enough. They needed some nasty people to put in their story so they could torture Kirk. It's the Anthranians' motives that are problematic. What exactly are their political aims and interests? Oh, I know that Kirk and Co. were caught spying, and there is a lot of stuff about Klingons and so forth. But the political background is awfully fuzzy. There is lip service to a they-had-their-motives-whatever-they-were sort of line. But basically, the authors seem to think that they don't need to give the Anthranians any other motives, once they've established that they are 'primitive.' Does this make the torture of Kirk believable? No. On our own planet at least, it's the more 'civilized' societies that seem to have done the most damage. The Germany of Kant and Wagner produced Hitler; the French mission civilisatrice ended in the brutal torture of the Algerians. I have a related problem with 'Home is the Hunter.' What, if any, is its relation to The Deer Hunter? Are the Anthranians supposed to represent the North Vietnamese? If so, then considering the record of aired Trek on the subject, it is rather disconcerting to see overtones of American nationalist stereotypes in a fan story. Where is the IDIC in all of this? I can't accept the premise that the Anthranians tortured Kirk simply because they were uncivilized brutes, and for not other good reason. A Nazi Germany, an Algeria, a Vietnam must have social and historical roots. People do not systematically torture others simply because their culture is defective or because they haven't been taught proper table manners. Without any sort of realistic social and political context for Kirk's experience, the whole premise of 'Home is the Hunter' tended to fall apart, and I was unable to attain that happy suspension of disbelief that attends to the best fiction, Trek and otherwise. [24]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5/6

CONTACT 5/6 - ($12.00 not including postage). A five page intro, plus 206 pages of stories, artwork, poetry, and a 144 page novel HOME IS THE HUNTER, making Contact 5/6 a total of 355 pages. Spiral bound. Published by Beverly Volker and Nancy Kippax... This issue of Contact features thirteen stories, most of them dealing chiefly with the characterization of Kirk and Spock and their friendship relationship based on mutual respect. The first story, "Woe To Him Who Is Alone," by Linda White, has an interesting premise. Kirk and Spock must find a way to locate an alien's friend before the alien becomes so overwrought with grief that he dies. Spock is affected teJepathlcally by the intensity of the alien's emotions and finds it increasingly difficult to control his emotions. Kirk is there to help him through the turmoil, but several of the scenes are too saccharine for my tastes. "In Your Place," by Crystal Taylor, is an excellent story about Kirk and an alien captain switching starships for awhile so each culture can learn from the other. The characterization is quite good with the varying reactions each crew exhibits toward their new commander. Well written. One of the most infuriating stories in the zine is "Fire and Ice" by Sandra Gent and Virginia Green. Not only do Kirk and Spock suffer a major catastrophy, but the end leaves the reader hanging...and angry with the writers for placing our favorite characters into such a traumatic situation. "Shadowrider" by Susan K. James is a different sort of Kirk story as far as character. The poor guy loses his memory and through the aid of a mechanical device mentally becomes a native of a primitive planet. It's joining the crowd the hard way until Spock steps in to the rescue.

Overall, I found many of the stories and poems to be boring, several of the ideas having been tackled before. There's a whole scope of emotions and feelings to choose from and an entire galaxy to explore, yet the fresh, original stories are rare.

HOME IS THE HUNTER is one of those rare finds. The lengthy novel composes the second part of Contact 5/6 and it will give you your twelve dollars worth of reading if nothing else does. The plot is mind-boggling, heart-wrenching, stomach-twisting, exciting, sad (ever so!), and violent (which is unfor­tunate because blood and guts and Star Trek don't mix in my mind). The characterization is some of the best I've read. Nancy Kippax and Bev Volker show true writing talent with this novel. The characters and plot become so real that reading is almost like watching a live production. HOME IS THE HUNTER is a portrait of the man, the captain, the hero, the very nearly des­troyed Kirk we think we all know so well. In realizing what he has gone through it is a wonder to the others in the story that he is still alive and relatively in­tact...or so it seems. It takes a lot of care and love from his friends to help Kirk mend his wounds and come to crips with himself as being only human (not super­man}. Aside from the ghastly, more gruesome scenes which are minor turnoffs, HITH is one of the best fan-fic Star Trek stories I've ever read.

The zine's inside art is superb. Two front covers by Pat Stall, a back cover by Michael Verina, and the Merle Decker cover for HOME IS THE HUNTER complete Contact 5/6. Stories: 6, Graphics: 10, Novel: 9.5 [25]

Issue 6

front cover, Merle Decker

Contact 6 was published in 1979 and contains 137 pages. It is a novel called, "Home is the Hunter" by Bev Volker and Nancy Kippax. It was originally published in Contact 5/6 as part of that double issue, but was quickly republished as a stand-alone zine. The art and cover is by Merle Decker.

This zine won a 1988 "Federation Class of Excellence" Surak Award.

Summary from a distributor Lionheart Distribution:
How much of what we are is determined by heredity and how much by environment? What would happen to our personality if we were denied all the basics of our existence, and were forced to grovel for the very fundamental needs of food, warmth, security? Suggested by a real incident, this well researched novel follows J Kirk through his experience as a prisoner of war, and his rebuilding of himself with the aid of his closest friends.
Summary from Gilda F:
Kirk, with Spock help, must find himself after enduring ten months of brutal captivity when captured while on a spy mission.

Excerpt:

"Yet, what had been done to cause an officer of Kirk's caliber to confess? What atrocities been perpetrated -- on himself, on his men? Spock knew that the man they were beaming aboard today waul d not be the man who had been captured ten months ago, and he was frightened by the prospects of the changes he would find. However, his own needs and fears must be sublimated. James Kirk, as always before, would come first; his needs must supersede all others."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[zine]: Alas, it is a jewel with a major flaw. 'Home is the Hunter' goes like this: Kirk leads a Top Secret spy mission to a primitive planet, Anthranian, suspected by the Federation and Star Fleet as being in collaboration with the Klingons in violation of the Organian Peace Treaty. The mission is aborted and the team is held in a prison camp for ten months. The Federation negotiates for their release while the aliens torture the team to get a confession of espionage to justify the imprisonment of Kirk and his team. The bulk of the story is told as Kirk tries to recover emotionally after release, with the ordeal on Anthranian told in flashback. The writing is superb, the story is obviously crafted with love and skill. The torture scenes are as realistic as real-life scenes that I have read from survivors of such camps in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. Indeed, the flashbacks may be disturbing to those who do not yet understand how one person can torture another so thoroughly, physically, mentally or emotionally. The scenes where McCoy is treating Kirk therapeutically are very close to those I've seen in my profession between doctors and patients. The characterizations, too, are well-handled. The Big Three are as we see them in the series, but in this story, we watch them deepen and grow. We see the depth of Spock's emotional support for Kirk without the loss of his Vulcan facade and we see him learning the true power of emotions and gaining a respect for the way McCoy deals with them healthfully. We also get a chance to see McCoy, the skilled physician, not just the glorified pill-pusher. Even Kirk ends up different at the end, stronger, less idealistic, but no less effective or unattractive. The antagonist, Ghi, is fully developed by the authors, with them accepting his different values and motives, though not condoning his actions.

If the novella has all this going for it, where can be the flaw? Picture this: Kirk has returned to his ship, exhausted, emotionally shattered, holding himself together only by tatters, unable to find value in old thoughts, old friends, old beliefs. McCoy, trained professional healer, recognizes this, but does he transfer Kirk to a hospital where he can be treated? No! Instead, he encourages Spock, the least qualified of all ship's personnel, to take Kirk off and help pull himself together. And does Spock, normally more ruthlessly honest with himself than anyone else, face the reality that, of all ship's personnel, he understands emotion least and has no business attempting to help Kirk? No. For the first half of the story, Spock and Kirk are alone, which makes a beautiful story, Kirk hurting and Spock supporting, but which to the medical mind sends up horrors. Spock does his best, but he has no concept of what he is dealing with and actually interferes with the healing process. Because the authors have allowed McCoy to set up this premise, evidently to give Spock and Kirk a chance to 'share' each other, the first half of the novella remains speculative fiction. Fortunately, Spock realizes that he is way out of his depth and actually doing more harm than good and send for McCoy.

From the point of McCoy's arrival on the scene (where he should damn well have been in the first place), the story becomes a gut-wrenching reality tale that fills every corner of the reader's soul. The authors show McCoy doing what he does best, even allowing him a little too much emotional involvement that is good for a therapist with Spock adding emotional support to the teamwork. Beverly and Nancy also allow for the fact that, after the major climax has been reached in therapy, all of Kirk's problems aren't solved, but show him going back to his ship, able to function as her captain, still needing some minor problems to be cleared up. They show a real understanding of psycho-drama and psychotherapy.

Despite the flaw, the novel is powerful reading and extremely well done. The artwork by Merle Decker adds greatly to the visual images of the story. [26]
Even with the excellent 'Home is the Hunter' (and I agree with [J B] that it is extremely well-crafted throughout) suffers from a similar flaw. In the Anthranians, we can see the author's motives clearly enough. They needed some nasty people to put in their story so they could torture Kirk. It's the Anthranians' motives that are problematic. What exactly are their political aims and interests? Oh, I know that Kirk and Co. were caught spying, and there is a lot of stuff about Klingons and so forth. But the political background is awfully fuzzy. There is lip service to a they-had-their-motives-whatever-they-were sort of line. But basically, the authors seem to think that they don't need to give the Anthranians any other motives, once they've established that they are 'primitive.' Does this make the torture of Kirk believable? No. On our own planet at least, it's the more 'civilized' societies that seem to have done the most damage. The Germany of Kant and Wagner produced Hitler; the French mission civilisatrice ended in the brutal torture of the Algerians. I have a related problem with 'Home is the Hunter.' What, if any, is its relation to The Deer Hunter? Are the Anthranians supposed to represent the North Vietnamese? If so, then considering the record of aired Trek on the subject, it is rather disconcerting to see overtones of American nationalist stereotypes in a fan story. Where is the IDIC in all of this? I can't accept the premise that the Anthranians tortured Kirk simply because they were uncivilized brutes, and for not other good reason. A Nazi Germany, an Algeria, a Vietnam must have social and historical roots. People do not systematically torture others simply because their culture is defective or because they haven't been taught proper table manners. Without any sort of realistic social and political context for Kirk's experience, the whole premise of 'Home is the Hunter' tended to fall apart, and I was unable to attain that happy suspension of disbelief that attends to the best fiction, Trek and otherwise. [27]
There is no date on this publication, which came to me second or third hand, lovingly copied by someone whose name I don‘t know but who obviously adored K/S so much that she carefully bound her zines, laminating the covers for posterity.

Most of you have likely read this, as I believe it is considered a classic in K/S. The sisters Bev and Nancy have left us now, but their legacy is broad and varied and will live on beyond them, brightening the way for everyone who loves Kirk and Spock. This story isn‘t actually K/S by today‘s definition, but I hope the editors will allow me to review it as if it were at least part of the rock-solid foundation on which K/S has been built. 'Home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill.' R.L. Stevenson left us with these words, inspiring a memorable tale. We are jolted immediately with the knowledge that James T. Kirk is not captain of the Enterprise. Spock stands in the transporter room with Captain Harris and gives the order: 'Energize'. Then his thoughts turn inward, to the nightmare of the past ten months, months during which the true captain of his ship and his heart has been missing. Captured while leading a group of militia on a covert mission, Kirk and his men have remained captives while the ponderous wheels of the Federation grind interminably on. Word has finally come that Kirk has broken and confessed to the espionage mission and now he is on his way home to face his superiors. To Spock, all that matters is he‘s coming home. The stage is set when materialization is complete. Kirk is thin, unkempt and his weight rests only on his left leg. Spock and McCoy rush to his side, guiding him easily off the platform. But what follows is anything but easy. Slowly and painfully, the story of his captivity unwinds. Some of his men have died, but those who returned with him are fiercely loyal, believing him to be the only reason they survived the inhumane treatment and deprivation for so long. We gradually learn just how horrible the conditions were, and how degrading. We see through Kirk‘s eyes the gradual loss of hope that anyone will come and rescue them, even though he tried desperately to hold onto the belief that Spock would not abandon him. Spock has, in fact, been instrumental in unraveling the red tape that surrounded the negotiations for release. Kirk tries, but he cannot shed the feelings of guilt that plague him. Nothing McCoy does can force him to talk it out or to share all that happened. When Spock arranges a long leave together in a quiet secluded place, it is with the hope that it will provide the healing environment that Kirk needs. But after initial euphoria, he spirals into a dark place where Spock cannot follow. He loses interest in everything, is tortured by flashbacks and has blackouts where he cannot remember where he has been or what he has done. Worse yet, he seems hardly bothered by them. The author has woven a fine story with imagination and continuity in spite of simultaneously showing us the past and the present. Jim finally hits rock bottom, losing an entire day, and Spock calls McCoy to come help him. He must bring back the Kirk they have all known before he must face Starfleet and be found unfit for duty. Until now, he has been resistant to help, stating no one can undo the past and that he will never be the man he once was. To their credit, Spock and McCoy fail to recognize this possibility and forge ahead.

It is not an easy path, this regaining of one‘s former self. One day, Kirk wanders off and Spock finds him in a very precarious position on a cliff, where he has probably wandered without even realizing it. In a blind panic, Spock goes after him...and falls. Now we see a glimmering of the real James Kirk as he bends over his broken friend. Finally things begin to come into focus for him as he turns his attention away from himself and toward his friend. This is a wonderful story of hardship, struggles, friendship and commitment. Everyone is in perfect character – Kirk, Spock and McCoy - all people in whom we can readily invest our belief and our trust. I found it ironic that I picked out this novella to read when I had just read a story where Spock was imprisoned and made to lose sense of self. Now I was reading one where the same thing happened to Kirk, although under completely different circumstances. In both, it is the strength of their devotion to each other that makes them triumphant...and together...at the end.

A fine read from two who are greatly missed.[28]

Issue 7

Contact 7 was published in September 1981 and contains 300 pages. Cover by Sonia Grigras. Art by Suzan Lovett, Laurie Huff, Merle Decker, Stephanie Hawks, Nan Lewis, Russ Volker, Gloria-Ann Rovelstad, Chris Grahl, and Lydia Moon.

cover issue #7, Sonia Gringras
From the editorial:
CONTACT 7 celebrates the Continuation of the Dream, a changing progression from the Old to the New. As we have followed the developing friendship between Kirk and Spock over the last eight years, we have experienced their trials and triumphs, their sharing and their long, two-and-a-half year separation. We have seen tragedy and tears, comedy and chuckles, understanding and misunderstanding. But most of all, we have witnessed their growth. Now they are back aboard Enterprise, they have defeated the Earth's foe and faced their own demons. Once again they prepare to meet, together, whatever awaits them ... out there - thataway. CONTACT continues to explore this relationship, in all stages of its growth and with speculation about the future. "From the old, comes the new ... " words to a song, applicable to this issue, for included within are both pre- and post-motion picture stories and poetry. We had considered presenting the material in chronological order, from series to screen and beyond, but our real purpose is to demonstrate the blending of the two, to show that love endures, despite the onslaught of time and circumstance. While change is inevitable, the quality of that love is the one constant in the universe. Friendship cannot be measured by standard means. It is an intdngible state that manifests itself in ways too varied to be acknowledged. CONTACT has long been the recipient of this priceless treasure, and we, too, recognize the inadequacy of trying to define it in words. Yet, one of the ways we have often witnessed its presence is by means of support. CONTACT would not exist without the support of its friends, as we suspect each of our favorite subjects would have difficulty existing without the support of the other.
  • Images by Ginna LaCroix (1) (also in Trek Encore #3)
  • Answered Call, poem by April Valentine (58)
  • The Sleeper in the Valley, poem by Susan K. James (60
  • The Bell Tolls for Thee, poem by Terri Sylvester (63)
  • See So Clearly, poem by Crystal Ann Tayor (64)
  • The Tavern by Susie Gordon (65)
  • Star Fever, poem by Kari Masoner (79)
  • The Light in the Darkness, poem by Kathryn Moore (81)
  • Sonnet Number One, poem by Barbara Stoey (82)
  • Wait For the Morning by Marion McChesney (83) (Spock persuades a very unwilling McCoy to withhold from Kirk that the Captain has a malignant brain tumor for which there is no treatment. When Spock dies in an accident protecting Kirk, McCoy reveals the truth to the Captain and is told with great bitterness that Kirk wants the doctor out of his life forever. McCoy leaves, but it is not long before bath men realize their need for each other.)
  • Kirk, composition and calligrapy by Jude Jackson (131)
  • Comfort, poem by April Valentine (133)
  • Sleeping Beauty, poem by Bev Volker (134)
  • Merlin's Touch, poem by Bev Volker (135)
  • Facets of Love, poem by Terri Sylvester (136)
  • Souls Entertwined, poem by Kathryn Moore (138)
  • The Center of the Circle by April Valentine (139)
  • Universal Delight, poem by Kari Masoner (169)
  • The Changeling, poem by Cynthia Drake (170
  • The Answer Lies Elsewhere, poem by Barbara Storey (175)
  • A Different Drummer (Novella length) by Beverly Volker and Nancy Kippax (176)
  • Someone to Need, poem by Renee Diane Volker (293)
  • Celestial Lure, poem by Suzanne Elmore (296)

Issue 8

cover issue #8 by Marla

Contact 8 was published July 1982 and contains 244 pages. Color cover by Merle Decker. Art by Sonia Gingras, Suzan Lovett (most of it), Laurie Huff, Stefanie Hawks, Chris Grahl, Gail Bennett, Merle Decker, Nan Lewis, Maureen B, Christine Myers, Dorothy Laoang, and Lydia Moon.

"This issue is fondly dedicated to the Baltimore Group of fans for their untiring and unending support and devotion to CONTACT from to editors very luck to have such friends. This one's for you -- Marion, Margaret, Terri, Suzanne, Bonnie, Carolyn, Joan and Cheryl."

From page 3:

Come and seek a lonely spot
On some uncharted plane
Never let it be forgot
That we've come home again.
And when it seems that all is lost
Cling to this hope, what ere the cost
That true love conquers pain.

This issue is based on the idea of keeping Spock alive for Kirk, originally published between the second and third Star Trek movies. A wide mix of poetry, art for every story and stories. Classic Trek.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

[zine]: For the uninitiated (if there are any left), Contact is THE relationship (some call it hurt/comfort) Star Trek zine. It has evolved from a simple, mimeod first issue to a polished, spiral-bound zine. This, the eighth issue has a three-color cover, 240 pages, and is, in my opinion, a zine worth its price. The stories are entertaining, the illustrations good, the layout and graphics well-planned, the proof-reading and editing professional. In short, Contact is one of the best zines around.

The content (a nice mix of poetry and prose – not too heavy on the poetry, a complaint I have about other zines) includes ‘The Starless Years,’ a long story which starts commonly enough with Kirk and Spock being tortured but which evolves into a story dealing with a warring society and the losing of identity (and finding it again). I’m not going to give the storyline away!

Occasionally heavy, but well-worth the reading, ‘Journey of a Thousand Steps’ has Kirk and Spock lost on a desert planet with Kirk suffering from rabies. An excellent story. ‘Empty Lives’ explores Spock’s reason for leaving the Enterprise and returning to Vulcan. A oft-used theme but well-handled in a different way. ‘What We Would Choose’ (another long story) has Spock and Kirk involved in a guerilla war, Kirk wanting to help, and Spock arguing against it. My favorite story, an eerie tale, was ‘Journeyman.’ I refuse to say anything more for fear of ruining the tale. ‘The Outsider’ is a story about a jealous outsider’s view of the Kirk-Spock relationship. It was good story, though I only wish it had been longer! My only complaint with the zine was that none of the stories featured McCoy in more than passing. Granted Contact is a zine dedicated to the Kirk-Spock relationship but I missed seeing that relationship through the crusty physician’s eyes. A small complaint, really, and one that doesn’t take away from the zine. [29]

Contact Collected

Contact Collected 1 was published in May 1985. It contains 150 pages of content from the first two issues of "Contact."

art from Collected #1
cover Collected #1
  • Not of That Feather (1)
  • In a Pig's Eye (20)
  • Understanding, poem (21)
  • Amok Time, poem (22)
  • The Silent Connection (23)
  • The Truth, poem (40)
  • Eulogy (40)
  • Command Decision, poem (44)
  • De Profundis (45)

The zine appears to start the numbering all over again:

  • An Act of Love, story by Nancy Kippax, art by Leslie Fish (1)
  • Ode to a Friend, poem by Joanne Bennett (20)
  • Nightmare Ending, story by D.T. Steiner and C. McCommon, art by Signe Landon (21)
  • Nivar, The Two Sides of One, poem by Gerry Downes, art by Russ Volker (27)
  • Vision from Orion, poem by Bev Volker (28)
  • The Third Wheel, story by Connie Faddis, art by Trinette Kern (29)
  • Ballad, song by Signe Landon (36)
  • Kert Rats, story by Nancy Kippax (37)
  • The Quest, poem by Bev Volker (43)
  • Writing Contest: The Winners (44)
    • Death is Only a Parting by Amy Falkowitz (45)
    • You Do Not Belong, poem by Pete Kaup (53)
  • Without the Gardener's Craft, story by Kathleen Penland, art by D. Lichtel (54)
  • The Logical Choice, story by Beverly Volker, art by Nancy Kippax (59)
  • Denevan Orbit, story by Johanna Cantor, art by Signe Landon (65)
  • The Answer, poem by Bev Volker (78)

References

  1. from The Road to K/S: The Hurt/Comfort Zine Contact in Legacy #1 (2007)
  2. Denise Dion's May 25, 2102 post to the K/S Zine Friends Facebook Group, quoted with permission.
  3. for more, see The Original Flier, post October 7, 2012
  4. from the editorial of issue #2
  5. from the editorial of issue #3
  6. from the editorial of issue #4
  7. from The Road to K/S: The Hurt/Comfort Zine Contact
  8. the reviewer is not specifically referring to slash
  9. by H.O. Petard from Spectrum #23
  10. from The Halkan Council #22
  11. by H.O. Petard from Spectrum #27
  12. by Randy Ash from Sehlat's Roar #3
  13. Again, this zine was advertised as a gen zine, and the "/" is technically not intended as slash, at least in the modern definition of the term.
  14. a review by Connie Faddis from Scuttlebutt #3
  15. from Interphase #4
  16. Denise Dion's May 25, 2012 post to the K/S Zine Friends Facebook Group, quoted with permission.
  17. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  18. from Karen Halliday's Zinedex
  19. from Scuttlebutt #4
  20. from Scuttlebutt #4
  21. darksnowfalling, February 24, 2014
  22. darksnowfalling. K/S-zine heaven (My trip to the University of Iowa Fanzine Archives). LiveJournal post Feb. 27th, 2011.(Accessed March 5, 2011.)
  23. from Universal Translator #3
  24. from a review by Judith Gran in Universal Translator #5
  25. by Wendy Rathbone, from Enterprise Incidents #8
  26. from Universal Translator #3
  27. from a review by Judith Gran in Universal Translator #5
  28. from The K/S Press #147
  29. from Datazine #24
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