Contact (Star Trek: TOS zine)
|Editor(s):||Bev Volker, Nancy Kippax|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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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
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's “This 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.
The artwork was much beloved by readers, prompting one fan to write to her friend, decades later:I'm a fanfic omnivore, gen is my biggest fandom love and my slash goggles have heavy-duty black spray paint on both lenses, so usually the only way I can ever really get into a slashy groove is when reading 100% unambiguous slash fics with a big black label reading "TYPE: SLASH" at the top, so if even I was eyebrow-raising Spock-style on multiple occasions, that's saying something. Not that every fic in these zines is like that, of course, but there's a distinct pattern...
I really, really, really love the relationship between Kirk and Spock. In fact, if really pressed, I'll say it is my single favorite friendship in all fiction ever (and with me, that's saying a lot), and I love Kirk/Spock slash (even if it has a lot of fanon and tropes I'm not a fan of). In theory, their relationship actually is much more similar to Starsky and Hutch than it seems when it comes to how deeply it is entwined with the other elements present in the show and how it is central without being exclusionary. The relationship between Kirk and Spock is an encapsulating metaphor that resonates with and reinforces the themes of TOS -- IDIC, the celebration of difference, the triumph of contact between wildly disparate cultures, the principle that civilizations grow through mutual acceptance of new and alien ideas and learning from one another rather than building walls and shunning outsiders.
But honestly, Contact has very little of this. I don't mean to say that every single TOS fanfic focused on Kirk and Spock should cover all the stuff I said in the previous paragraph. That would be preposterous, not to mention boringly samey and diffused to the point of meaninglessness. I'm talking only about the pattern, not the individual stories. But the pattern of Contact is that Kirk and Spock's relationship is just so damn amazing that all the other elements of the show just aren't all that important compared to them, which is vaguely dissatisfying.
I'm highly skeptical of the idea that this is some slash-only phenomenon, as if slashers just can't ever focus on anything else outside their OTP's romance -- a ridiculous and inaccurate assumption. But on the other hand, I've read so many comments from actual slash fans who, unlike me, were actually there, saying that Contact was essential in creating the slash genre and helping them to realize that they actually wanted to be writing and reading slash. So I dunno. Maybe it's the yearning that reinforces the all-consuming Kirk-and-Spock-focused pattern in these stories -- you always acquire a heightened obsession with the element that you want but can't have. Or it's one of those "everyone else here is doing it, I'm gonna do it too but even moreso" feedback loops that includes both gen and proto-slash writers getting into a highly Kirk-and-Spock-focused "mode." Or both.But in any case, when reading, it's still impossible not to appreciate the level of obvious love and deep meaningful inspiration these editors and writers have taken from the relationship, no matter what your opinion of the primacy of Kirk and Spock is.
All the Contact and Companion are strictly gen....but the art [J]...my god...unbelievable.
Contact and Hurt/Comfort: An Editor's ViewFrom 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.
The editors of Contact won the TrekStar Award for 'Best Editor' in 1982.
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!.
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.
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.
We all have that masochistic streak that loves to see our heroes suffer in our fantasies (and they do it so well)...
More About Contact
- Nancy Kippax/Reminisce With Me/Making Contact
- Nancy Kippax/Reminisce With Me/Producing a Fanzine in the Before-Time
- Introducing: ContactZine.com, Bev Volker's son-in-law tells of his exposure to "Contact" and of his plans to scan these zines and post them, posted October 10, 2012
- The Contact eArchive -- A Work in Progress, content scans
- Cover Gallery
- The Road to K/S: The Hurt/Comfort Zine Contact
- The Complete Rack is a companion zine.
- Contact Christmas, with two issues, is a sister zine.
- In 1976, the editors published a standalone novel called "Contact Presents The Mirage"
- There is at least one collected issue, called "Contact Collected": see below on this page
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.) 
- 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.
See reactions and reviews for In a Pig's Eye.
See reactions and reviews for De Profundis.
See reactions and reviews for Not of That Feather.
[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. (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.
Contents: a few pieces of art, five short stories, some poems, an in-character letter from McCoy to Spock, songsheets for filks, a crossword (!!!!), and trivia games.
As I said, the amount of emotional investment in this zine's focus and central relationship is really very touching. The cover art and the editor's note are so sweet. And it really reinforces the sense that Starsky & Hutch and Star Trek TOS originated from the same sources, because while Starsky & Hutch fandom started out a lot more polished that Star Trek fandom (because the writers had cut their teeth on Star Trek fandom already), there's a strong though hard-to-pin-down sense of shared-ness, continuity, in the way they try to express and articulate how meaningful, how inspirational, and how compelling such a powerful fictional friendship is for the fans. I'm very much swayed by the writers' sympathetic intent, however, I can still see that for the most part, the actual expression of their emotional investment is a bit funny because it's, well, mostly not that good. There's no hint of laziness or cheapness, but there's very little power or effectiveness to most of the writing, Most of the stories are quite clunky or unintentionally funny. In my opinion, that just makes it all the more charming and I'm wary of throwing stones in glass houses, but I gotta mention it.
And I'll just say it: all the artwork in Issue #1 is excruciatingly terrible. Sorry. I really have no other spin to put on that statement.
None of the stories in this first issue, taken by themselves, are slashy, in my opinion. But most of them do have a certain prosaic, static quality that makes you want to look for some sort of hidden undertone just out of sheer boredom, and these stories don't offer much in terms of friendship complexity or character study, so....
The tone gets pretty set by the first story, "Not Of That Feather" by Nancy Kippax and Beverly Volker. It's, um. Well, Kirk gets hurt in a life-threatening way, an evil colonist says he can help him, but says he will only do it if Spock gets on his knees and begs. No, that's not a metaphor, that's literally what happens. So Spock obviously does it, right? Wrong! He goes "Klingons never bluff!"...uh, wait, I mean..."A Vulcan does not beg!!" and has a big existential crisis about it before doing it, and then angsts with shame. Spock, you petted a tribble in canon. Get over yourself. But still, you can't accuse the story of not trying. It's not a lazy story, it's just that the writers can't write very well, at least at the point in time when they wrote this. And...you know, this was before Star Trek: The Franchise. Before the immense fleshing out and crystallization of themes and species traits and in-universe logic that occurred in the films/TNG/DS9. It's hard for me to say whether certain conceptions of the characters could seem implausible or not. Another story by them, The Silent Connection, is similarly crappy-but-sincere.
Eulogy, a Spock-deathfic, really tries to be non-static and daring. It's blunted a bit by being 1/2 past-tense exposition explaining how Spock was dead and how he died, and 1/2 funeral scene. A bit reminiscent of Wrath of Khan, actually, but without the context to give it real weight. Still, like I said, it's all very heartfelt on the part of the writer's intent. Even if there is no such thing as "a plethora of pain." Also, it ends with an Author's Note going "DON'T PANIC. THIS IS A DRILL NOTHING BUT WHAT-IF SPECULATION. HE'S NOT ACTUALLY DEAD." Which is hilarious and adorable and sort of ruins the effect.
And speaking of trying, the poems. Technically, they're a bit shit. You know, goofy phrasing, clunky rhymes, very on-the-nose repetitive points. But again, when you read them, you can just feel how hard they were trying to make connections and analysis with poems like Understanding or The Better Way. Even if those poems really can't be called good.
One piece which I do really like is "In A Pig's Eye." It's a (never sent) letter from McCoy to Spock, obviously drawing on that awesome moment at the end of Amok Time where McCoy pretends to accept Spock's "logical" excuse for being concerned about Kirk before going "lol @ u you dumbshit hobgoblin." It's wonderfully in-character, unadulterated McCoy-sarcasm all the way through and it is awesome -- if you keep in mind that it was written back when this point hadn't been made about 538745 times before. It's all about the Kirk & Spock relationship, but this time through McCoy's eyes -- McCoy's Eyes are the single most useful narrative tool that has ever existed or ever will exist in fanfiction. They are the precursors of every great fan-surrogate fic device ever invented, and still do it better than any subsequent fandom has ever done it. This aspect of the letter also reminds me vividly of that time last summer when I was re-reading the early slash fic "Poses" by Leslie Fish for the bajillionth time (I unironically love every line of that fic, goofy '70s psychobabble, anthurium penis, and all) and thinking it was strange that, while I really enjoyed the the Kirk/Spock scenes, my favorite scene by a wide margin was the one where McCoy verbally rips Spock a new one right before the climax over his gay Vulcan-panic induced attempt to abandon Kirk. And then I realized that all this time, my brain had parsed the whole fic as not a Kirk/Spock romance fic, but a Spock & McCoy friendship fic with a Kirk/Spock romantic subplot, and I had to put down the laptop for a bit to laugh at myself, because apparently that's how my brain works. In any case, that theme and McCoy's voice really works in "In A Pig's Eye", whether it's read from a slashy point of view or not.
And another piece I really liked is "De Profundis" by Connie Faddis. It's a McCoy deathfic, and the only thing that happens in it is Spock and Kirk sharing their grief after McCoy is killed. It's real shame that it's in the same zine as "Eulogy" because when the two fics are put together, the effect is unfortunately reminiscent of those "Doing It Wrong" and "Doing It Right" juxtapositions in writing textbooks. "De Profundis" was presumably written around 1974 like everything else in Contact, at least three years before she wrote Mojave Crossing, and it shows (noticeable wordiness and wobbly POV issues in conveying the images in the first half, though it gets a whole lot better in the second half), but it is about eight times better than most of the other stuff in the zine, so very, very tender, with infinitely more dynamism, depth, and maturity, and no platitudes. It's also only three pages long, so just a snippet, really, quite simple, but with a lot of narrative "reach" or whatever the technical term for far-piercing provocation in very few words is. The title - from the depths - really means something relevant to Kirk's mindstate though, it's not just a cool-sounding title.
The last story was "Star Trek: Phase II" by Nancy Kippax and Beverly Volker (not to be confused with the ill-fated pre-TNG attempt at a Star Trek resurrection that never got out of development). I'll review this in a separate section along with Issue #2, partly because it's part one of a multi-part story that continues in issue #2, and partly because...well, you'll see.To sum up: I love this stuff so much, but far more for the context and the things between the lines and the general feeling of deep appreciation and excitement that you absorb from reading through this zine, rather than because the content is all that good.
The emphasis is on the Kirk/Spock relationship. The artwork detracts from the stories which are so-so. The story by Faddis is the biggest exception -- it's lovely! 
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.
- 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)
- 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)
art from issue #2, Leslie Fish -- "Some of the other illustrations, by Leslie Fish, have a really weird, distinctive woodcut-ish style that's pretty cool." 
art from issue #2, Trinette Kern -- "The most gorgeous piece of art in the zine is a inkbrush portrait of McCoy by Trinette Kern. It's really, really just beautiful, wonderfully done with nothing clunky or uncertain about it, and catches that distinctive way his eyebrows go just perfectly." 
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.
The first thing noticed is the plastic ring binding; makes it easy to read, no bending of pages at the right or left edges. Contentwise, this is a very mixed bag. Art runs from stunning to amateurish with Signe Landon and Leslie Fish art outstanding. Fish has a very stylized set of pieces illustrating "An Act of Love" that, though far from perfect portraitarily, have an intriguing quality to them—almost a blockprint accuracy. Trinette Kern's McCoy is very nice. The art for "Tara" by Kippax & Volker is... well...6th grade with a lack of anatomical knowledge that makes for clumsiness.
Connie Faddis' "The Third Wheel" starts off the tormented offerings of this issue. McCoy gets caught in the sonic shower and is injured; McCoy suffers torments following Kirk's bout with Vegan choriomeningitis. The story is well written and scientifically accurate, easily the best piece of fiction. Poetry is next, the straw that broke the camel's back. I would motion that a moratorium be declared on poetry about Spock, Spock & women, and the Kirk-Spock relationship. It has been done to death and these are no better than the rest. There are other characters and situations that can be explored poetically to bring new insights and fresher feelings.
"An Act of Love" by Kippax is interesting and cohesive. It has an unfinished feel to it and Leslie Fish's illos add a haunting quality that contributes to the story. A good example of the role that art plays in the effectiveness of fiction.
"Without the Gardener's Craft" by Kathleen Penland revealed a lack of practical knowledge about the current state of prosthesis and the progress being made in that area. Again, this was a "torment" story, with Kirk losing his legs, acquiring and accustoming himself to prosthetics (ancient ones; practically wooden stumps) and his mental anguish, with Spock's difficulties thrown in. An exercise in catharsis and torture without the saving flow of compelling writing.
"Denevan Orbit" by Johanna Cantor is a light post- "Operation Annihilate" story. Nicely done. Peter Kirk is cured of the parasite and stays aboard the Enterprise as an unofficial "gofer" to Spock, who is in command while the medical and emergency teams mop upon Deneva. Peter is not the too-bright child and his character.is very believable.
The Writing Contest winners extended the "torment" theme and threw in a little uncharacteristic Vulcan mind- meddling, plus a Kraithian made-over Kirk. The editors include another scene, as pain-wracked and tear-jerking as the first, for another contest in issue 3.
"The Logical Choice" is in the "The Enterprise and its crew will never part" theme. The dialogue is stilted. In opposition, I remember an early and excellent T-NEGATIVE story in which Spock had not been promoted for three passes, and so faced the traditional "mustering out" of a line officer who had not made good.[note 1] This is done in our military to get out the deadwood, those who are not good enough to advance, but because they hold their posts, are preventing more capable officers from advancing. It is, however, almost invariably a voluntary "For the Good of the Service" move.
"Kert Rats" is a so-so venture into parody and pulls some good lines, and some terrible puns. "The Answer" by Volker and "Nightmare Ending" by D. T. Steiner and Catherine McCommon continue to torment Spock, Kirk and McCoy both mentally and physically.
"Phase II; Chapter 2, Tara" is the second part of a continuing epic involving the Big Three. Volker and Kippax manage good dialogue and a little too much explanation. The characters could have been less stereotyped. They deal with a theme used in Daneswoman and its unpublished sequel, Yes terday Always Remains: that of Kirk and Spock loving the same woman. It is an interesting story, if predictable, thonottomytaste. Theartdetractsfromthestory,asit is distractingly bad.Rating: Graphics 3; Content 3; $ Worth 2 
[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.
[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.
[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.
[zine]: This issue differs from the previous one mostly in that it has a larger variety of authors and artists. There are a lot more stories, and they have more variation in plot as well. The contents are pretty similar though - stories, art, several poems, songs, and the answers and winners of the games from Issue #1, plus a parody. Unfortunately, none of the stories in this issue were transcribed in regular text on contactzine.com, so you'll have to open the pdf on the page for issue #2 to read them. Issue #2 can be read as pdf and cbz over here, if you're interested. Fascinating stuff!
I like them better that way, to be honest -- I love the feeling of reading those old typed pages, with the same old typeface, formatting, and little visual quirks that the actual physical copy had. The little doodles, the way the poems' layout looks, etc. See for yourself! It has a very different and far more memorable effect than reading just the text copied into a modern blog post, stripped of its context. The feel is not nearly as palpable as the Zebra Three zine, since that was an actual physical vintage copy from 1979, and this is just an online PDF. Zebra Three I could hold in my hands and smell it and feel how soft the pages had been worn, how carefully I had to turn them, how old and faded the ink was, but it's still miles more "atmospheric" or whatever than a transcription of the text.
The artwork is leagues better than Issue #1. One of the artists (and poets) is Signe Langdon, who did a number of gorgeous illustrations for Zebra Three #1 and #3 as well. Some of the other illustrations, by Leslie Fish, have a really weird, distinctive woodcut-ish style that's pretty cool.
This issue was apparently dedicated to "Dr. Leonard McCoy, for the special contribution he brings to the Kirk/Spock relationship, and to DeForest Kelly, for making "Bones" such an integral part of the triad."
Of course, in the actual zine content, there's just a couple of poems and one story (The Third Wheel) that really indicate this spirit. Most of them, like in issue #1, are focused on Kirk and Spock. However, it's really sweet to see how the editors and various authors have framed the "Kirk/Spock" relationship (btw, back here, lots of people back in this time apparently used the signage "Kirk/Spock" to just refer to the relationship, not to slash in particular) through McCoy's eyes....
The Seinfeld Effect
There's also one ("The Logical Choice") where Spock gets a promotion offer, but he turns it down because he'd rather serve on the Enterprise. That's the whole thing! It actually sort of interested me because I'm not sure anyone nowadays would dare write this boringly "duh!" a story for Star Trek now, but fandom was possibly quite different back then. Spock turning down a command because he wants to stay with Kirk has been done about 89 times (and variations have been done a further 460 times in other fandoms), but maybe this one was the first. You never know! Similarly, there's "An Act of Love" in which Kirk goes through some classic Trek psychic ordeal that reads like an orgasm to save Spock's life. Do I even have to comment? ;)
There's "Denevan Orbit" a re-write/sequel to Operation: Annhiliate! (aka, that episode that I love but where the '60s-ness of TOS kinda shows its ass by doing the single most random Vulcan physiology asspull ever -- and being TOS, this is saying a lot -- at the end, and by making it look like Kirk doesn't give a shit that his brother died). It mixes together aspects of the canon episode and some 1970s novelization I'm unfamiliar with, and so I feel like I'm missing something, but it fleshes out Kirk's relationship with his nephew and makes the episode more complete.
There are also the two winners to the last issue's writing contest (take a passage that the editors came up with and write a story around it). One is about Kirk angsting over an offscreen dead OC love interest. For some reason I can't figure out, it's actually better than it sounds, perhaps because it's just the right length or because it ends bleakly instead of in a pat fixup. The other one has Kirk getting paralyzed and the rest of the crew except Spock getting killed, and then Spock turns Kirk into a Vulcan...sort of?...to get his mobility back. It's sort of terrible and unintentional crack, but it's a fresh, creative sort of terrible that actually stretches the mind into new areas.
There's also "Nightmare Ending," a somewhat roughly-written but good, affecting, and non-boring story about Kirk and Spock having a shared nightmare about being violently killed. Spock goes to Kirk's room to see if he's okay and then puts him to sleep because Kirk is afraid of dreaming again. Any Star Trek fan knows that the trope of Kirk and Spock developing some kind of psychic bond is one that has been done, repeated, fanonized, re-done, and meta-tized in fandom (especially in slash fic, but in gen as well). To be honest, it's also a trope that has actually always baffled me a bit because it doesn't have much connection to Kirk and Spock's friendship, which is based on respect, curiosity, unexpected kindred spiritedness, and acceptance of difference. Kirk and Spock are not the in-sync, inseparable, intertwined, knows-everything-about-each-other brain twins that some other epic best friends are. But apparently this psychic bond thing was something that appealed and still appeals to many Trek fans very deeply. (I would be sincerely very curious to get someone else's perspective on this).
What I'm really getting from a lot of these fics is the Seinfeld Effect. This is when people watch Seinfeld and go "so? what's so special and unique about that?" because it's loaded with rather straightforward, predictable, unsophisticated versions of things all the TV sitcoms they watch nowadays regularly do, things that are such commonplace sitcom staples that it's hard to realize that back when Seinfeld did them, the those things mere existence was fresh and new and exciting and rare. Basically, most of the fics here make me go "haven't people done this a hundred times before, better?" before realizing that actually, maybe there hadn't been that many fics like this, and even if there were, they couldn't have just been quickly googled. Then again, many of the 1970s reviews on fanlore mock and rip apart the stories too - but I'd bet those would be written by the few involved fans who were able to read lots of fic -- not people who got their hands on one or two zines in a sea of nothing.
Of course, when my faith in the quality of these fics is gearing back up again, I come to the parody, "Kert Rats," (no hints on the title). It is not funny. At all. The sheer not-funniness is actually kind of painful. Except for the line that starts "Ensign Checkoff stopped combing his hair..."And speaking of Mary Sues....well, I was going to write up a big mocking pointless slice of lollery about the cracktastic soap opera that is Star Trek: Phase II (the fic, not the ill-fated fan series), but then I thought, y'know, mocking the fic of a dead mid-'70s Star Trek pioneering fanfic writer is bad form, and anyway I was getting into a groove with a bunch of Mary Sue-related thoughts so maybe I'll put that in my next post.
Art ranges from 0/10; fiction, 4/10; non-fiction, 6/8; poetry, 3/10; readability, 6/10; covers, 2/9; binding, 4/10; editorials, 4/10, advertisements, 4/9.
Like CONTACT #1, #2 focuses on the Kirk/Spock relationship and is especially appealing to those of us who believe the Kirk/Spock relationship is the catalyst that made the whole STAR TREK premise work. The 'zine encompasses the talents of a variety of different artists and authors.Emphasis ia on relationships, not plot or suspense — too superficial. Seems to overemphasize Kirk/spock stories in which one of the two is the victim and the other is the rescuer. Unfortunately, when there is bad art in a fanzine it shrouds the good art that may be present. S. Landon, Leslie Fish have some nice illos, but there are too many muddled pieces, immature, unfocused. In the right hands, with people who know layout and margin and typeset and whatnot, this could be a superb aine. But the sloppiness of it turns me off. 
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:
- 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.
art from issue #3, Pat Stall: "The Fat Old Fool Illo" -- "For Contact III, we asked our highly skilled resident artist, Pat Stall, to illo the third installment, "The Reunion", even though we knew she hated the series. She hated it because we had taken her "darling boys" and aged them fifteen years. To get back at us for this unpardonable sin, she drew an illustration of Kirk and Spock as she figured they would look 15 years hence. Spock didn't change much, given his Vulcan heritage. But Kirk – well, in her own words, he was a "fat old fool", and the illo became known as "the fat old fool illo". Actually, viewing it today, he doesn't look that bad, double chin, pot belly and all! We printed it, with much protestation on our part, and threats by Pat to pull all her illos if we yanked it. But when we reprinted that issue, the illo had mysteriously gone missing!" -- Nancy Kippax's comments at Reminisce With Me/The Late '70s
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.
This issue explores how the Enterprise affects the relationship.
- "Then to Piece the Broken Chain" / To appease an ambassador on a taxi run, Kirk turns command over to Spock and becomes navigator. When Spock makes a decision with which Kirk disagrees, the relationship appears doomed until they come to their senses – with a little prodding from McCoy. Theme is strengthening the relationship through trial. Fine illustrations by Alice Jones.
- "Abyss" / Get-‘em. Kirk and Spock are dying; Kirk is yanked back, leaving McCoy to have to tell him about Spock.
- "The First Step" / 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.
- "Nothing Gold Can Stay" / (Title from Frost poem) Kirk and Spock explore an abandoned edifice in which they are overcome by memories evoking loneliness. Contact appears to help, but eventually, Kirk must knock Spock out to get him to safety. Unclear tie-in to Jim’s nightmares of the Enterprise being destroyed.
- "Feu D’Amitie" / 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.
- "When the Time Comes" / Kirk comes down with a fatal case of ectoneuralitis. He elicits Spock’s promise to kill him when he becomes helpless. This and the companion piece may be predictable, but are nicely executed.
- "Not Yet Time" / Companion piece to the previous. McCoy is on to 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.
- Writing Contest (Issue #2) Results:
- "The Test" / Kirk and Spock must participate in a manhood ordeal, crossing a valley of fear which they can only overcome by lo.. er, friendship. Not too smarmy, and quite well written.
- "The Stars Go Down" / 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.
- Untitled / Spoof solution to the contest snippet, Kirk being on Spock’s foot. Brief & cute.
- "Born of the Sun" / Spock has sponsored a memorial to Edith Keeler on Vulcan, titled “Prophet.” Viewing it, Kirk reminisces over their days with her. Nicely written re-telling of “City” from Kirk’s pov.
- "The Spider’s Web" / Kirk and Spock are experimental subjects, respectively, of sensory and logic deprivation, to advanced aliens; to the experimenters’ surprise, they manage to assist one another to recovery.
- "Difference Is a Virtue" / McCoy and Spock must join forces – literally – to retrieve Kirk from clinical death. Surely it’s been done before, and since, but this is not a bad version of the scenario.
- Phase II, Chapter 3: "The Reunion" / Kirk and Spock became estranged – something to do with a love affair of one or both – 30 years ago; now they meet and reconcile as Enterprise is being decommissioned. There is tension between Spock and his son Stack, now commanding the Encounter with Peter Kirk as his first officer. The premise is interesting enough, but this episode was really pretty dull and a tad smarmy, just all the old crew catching up on the past many years, and some eulogies for the Enterprise.
[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. 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 
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.
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 (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)
art from issue #4, Merle Decker. In 2012one reviewer noted: "Look at the detailed background...such an artistic piece....love it..."
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4
See reactions and reviews for The Rack.
See reactions and reviews for The Real Thing.
[Born of Ashes]: 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.
[Sun and Shadow]: The poem "Sun God and Shadow" by Falkowitz with the accompanying Landon illo illustrate a perfect harmony between the lyric and the visual.
The major theme behind Contact is the special relationship between James Kirk & Spock; not necessarily sexual, but the strong bond that ties them together. The stories & poems reflect that theme.
There are many poems in Contact 4. "Back Where He Belongs" is a three-part poem. The first section is from Spock's viewpoint as he watches Kirk on the bridge. The second section is from Kirk's view point as he watches Spock at his station. And the third section is from a third person watching the interplay between the two. The deep friendship is brought out by their thoughts as we read. It's really quite good.
"The Challenge" is a short poem told from Spock's point of view just before he challenges Kirk in Amok Time. It tells how Spock feels, how the blood fever consumes him, why he must do what he has to do.
"Moving" is a cute poem. Spock is returning home to Vulcan & his cleaning out his personal files. He is now over one hundred years old & has accumulated quite a lot of correspondence. What has become of his old friends from the Enterprise is told by his correspondence.
"Interlude" is a poem set by itself but it could go quite well with one of the two novellas in the zine - "Born of Ashes." "Interlude" could be told by either Kirk or Spock. Somehow they become separated on a ruined planet & while one is finally conscious, the other could be dead. Can they live on without one another?
"Born of Ashes" starts out with this theme. Beaming down to the planet Manada with a group of ambassadors they attempt to halt a planet-wide holocaust. Whether or not they are successful is never determined because at that point another being is also orbiting Manada. Osiris is his name & he is the Phoenix, Manada is his, by his reasoning, & he has come to watch the eventual destruction. Instead the Federation intrudes with their peace talks. Osiris becomes angry & destroys the planet. Kirk & Spock, both injured, are taken aboard his ship as captives. The Enterprise is put into a state of suspended animation & transported to Osiris' home planet to await his arrival. Osiris watches the interplay between Kirk & Spock, their deep caring for each other, & becomes jealous. He is the only one of his kind. He has no other with which to laugh with, talk with, do things with. He intends to keep his captives to fill that void. Instead, as time goes on, they teach him what he truly is. He & his eventual descendant would always be alone.
The other novella is entitled "The Rack." rumors begin to fly about a homosexual relationship between Captain Kirk & Commander Spock. At first they both try to ignore the situation. But as word spreads it eventually ends up at Starfleet Headquarters. An attempt is made to separate the team - extended leave is offered to Spock. In the face of a serious mission ahead, Spock refuses the leave. During the mission, the Captain beams down to the planet. A severe earthquake hits & the Captain is presumed dead by everyone except by Spock. He violates Starfleet orders by holding the ship in a decaying orbit & beams down to look for his Captain. The Captain & other missing men are found alive, but the incident only serves to provide more ammunition for those who want to break apart the two friends. Finally Spock is offered a Captainship of his own. Both Kirk & Spock know that they have lost. They must be separated & the final day comes at last. Spock is leaving. Nothing matters anymore. Rumors. " Just simple rumors.
My favorite short story in the zine is "The Real Thing." Kirk & a companion of his choice are invited to play a game called The 20,000 Credit Obelisk to raise money for charity. Kirk invites Spock to play & soon regrets it. The host, Daron Clark, does well as he fields questions to the teams. It is a very funny satire of the $20,000 Pyramid.The winners of the last writers contest are included, as well as a few more poems. The overall quality is good. However, the editorial says that this Contact could very well be the last. It's a shame that a high quality zine should stop be cause of lack of material. Or any zine, for that matter.
- "The Only Other Thing" / Kirk must confront a childhood friend from Tarsus days, who continues to obsess about his family being deemed unworthy and slaughtered before his eyes while Kirk's people were allowed to live, and has become an anti-Federation terrorist. He finally has to kill the man, releasing an emotional storm in which he turns to Spock.
- "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...
- "The Hunger in the Mountain" / 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. Illos by Leslie Fish.
- "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.
- "The Rack" / Famous get-'em story in which Kirk and Spock are not lovers, but are rumored to be so. After Spock refuses a direct order to abandon a landing party headed by Kirk, and instead follows his own better judgment to successfully rescue them, Starfleet brass hound the men into separation "for the good of the service." Kirk is physically and psychologically weakened from an accident while all this is going on. Lots of angst and hurt/comfort between the two as they wrestle with the situation and eventually capitulate to Starfleet. As Spock is about to leave for his new assignment, he finds Kirk dead of an overdose of sleeping pills - whether accidental or deliberate is uncertain.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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').
This issue also contains the song, "Future Lost/Home Again," later republished in Starsong.
the cover issue #5/6 as it appears when the zine is closed: "Perhaps their most striking, memorable cover to date graced this double issue of Contact, numbered 5/6. Like the more expensive paperbacks of the time, this issue had a double cover. The first layer depicts Kirk in blue monochrome in his classic uniform, sitting amidst rubble, while a golden-haloed visage Spock looks down on him. They are together, but isolated. The Spock image is, in fact, from the next layer, revealed by a circular die-cut in the upper cover." 
inner cover issue #5/6: "Turning that first leaf over reveals... Kirk and Spock are reunited in a burst of gold (blue and gold were, of course, Contact’s official colors, based on the shirt worn by Kirk and Spock in the original series.) They’re in their new, Motion Picture uniforms, albeit in a pose they never assumed in that film or any other. It’s an ambitious cover design for an ambitious issue..." 
- 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)
- 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.
- "Woe to Him Who Is Alone" / Klingons have captured one member of a man/ship pair from another galaxy; finding it unmanageable, they send it to a planet where it terrorizes an archaeological team who call in the Enterprise. Trapped in a cave-in, Spock and Kirk establish rapport with the creature, which broadcasts its feelings. Reunited, the man/ship helps them deal with the Klingons and they help repair the man/ship for its return home.
- "And Now Silence" / Kirk visits Spock, who has been institutionalized with brain damage suffered on a mission.
- "The Enchanted" / Kirk and Spock are invaded by an entity which, not recognizing that they are two beings, keeps pulling them irresistably together, draining life from Spock into Kirk.
- "In Your Place" / Kirk is ordered to participate in an exchange with a Billihallian captain. Along with some gushy breast-beating by Spock and Kirk at their separation (with McCoy attempting to comfort the grieving Vulcan), the story showcases Kirk's style of command, with his reliance on loyalty based on personal relations, in contrast with a more rigidly hierarchical system that does not encourage independent action. Interesting, though, that the ship under Kirk's command gets blown to bits while the Billihallian manages to keep Enterprise safe...
- "Fire and Ice" / Get-'Em with an illo by Leslie Fish. Kirk and Spock are caught in an inferno planetside, and Spock is injured recovering what turns out to be a corpse. When Enterprise finally finds them and beams them aboard, only one form materializes... we never learn which.
- "Shadowrider" / When Kirk is injured on a planet seeded by the Providers, the local primitives heal him with a piece of high-tech machinery they don't understand - but it turns him into an ideal local, wiping out his memory. Spock finds him preparing for a wild horse-race to decide the new tribal leader, and plays on Kirk's compassion to try to stay near him until an automatic beam-up will be activated in 7 days. Unfortunately, his attempt at a mind-meld violates a taboo, alienating Kirk. Kirk is nearly killed in the race before Spock reaches him for beam-up.
- "Vulcan Lies" / Spock soliloquy, denying his pain and wishes upon Kirk's death.
- "But Up to Now" / Riffing on Scotty's line in Turnabout Intruder, we see from Scotty's POV the various situations in which he has seen the Captain exhibiting all kinds of emotions, "but up to now I have never seen him red-faced with hysteria." Feverish: from repeated stimulants in "Immunity Syndrome"; sick: from Vegan Choriomeningitis; drunk: after Miramanee's death; delirious: from Wilderbird venom; terrified: about to be dimembered by a villain; overjoyed: at a dying Spock's recovery; boiling mad: at Daystrom when M5 kills a crewman. Clever premise and refreshing to get Scott's take.
- "After the Flame" / Vignette of Spock attempting to control his emotions after "killing" Kirk in "Amok Time."
- "After the Challenge" / Vignette, more or less from Kirk's pov, of his recovery in sickbay after "Amok Time" and Spock's reaction to the discovery that Jim is still alive.
- "Thou More Than a Brother" / Kirk and Spock are both victims of a disease which produces such horrifying hallucinations that the body eventually burns itself out trying to fight them; it's up to Spock to rescue them both via mind meld.
- "Breathing Space" / Amusing little plotless ramble, the purpose of which is to incorporate as many zine names into the story as possible.
- "Watch in the Night" / Nice hurt/comfort story with a vividly-drawn "strange new world" - nice touches include a sun radiating in the infrared, so that our heroes are blind, night wind in a frequency that drives Spock to distraction, and rapidly growing molds and slime everywhere that give both Kirk and Spock yuckily dangerous infections. And, luckily for the stranded shuttle craft party, a benevolent and telepathic species inclined to effect rescue once Spock and Kirk have suffered enough to try to contact it.
[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.
[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...
[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.
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 telepathically 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 catastrophe, 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 grips 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 
September, 1979. Ads for Star Trek: The Motion Picture were popping up everywhere. They showed a glorious new (but recognizable!) USS Enterprise, and had photos of all of our favorites in a row beneath it. The uniforms were a little drab, but this was the sophisticated 1970s. We didn’t expect primary colors anymore.
Bev and Nancy, having not even seen the film yet (they would attend the gala opening night at the Air & Space Museum in Washington DC, just months later), were already showing their approval of its style. Perhaps their most striking, memorable cover to date graced this double issue of Contact, numbered 5/6. Like the more expensive paperbacks of the time, this issue had a double cover. The first layer depicts Kirk in blue monochrome in his classic uniform, sitting amidst rubble, while a golden-haloed visage Spock looks down on him. They are together, but isolated. The Spock image is, in fact, from the next layer, revealed by a circular die-cut in the upper cover.
Turning that first leaf over reveals…
Kirk and Spock are reunited in a burst of gold (blue and gold were, of course, Contact’s official colors, based on the shirt worn by Kirk and Spock in the original series.) They’re in their new, Motion Picture uniforms, albeit in a pose they never assumed in that film or any other. It’s an ambitious cover design for an ambitious issue, boasting 33 new stories and poems, plus the epic novel Home is the Hunter.
On the editors’ page, Bev and Nancy once again bemoan that there might not be a Contact 8 (there was), but that there would be a Phase II Collected (there was not) and a Complete Rack (that happened too.)
But their tone was jubilant, not hopeless. They were celebrating their triumph. After ten years, Star Trek Fandom had succeeded, and brought its beloved heroes back to film. As Bev and Nancy noted: “This issue of Contact is a celebration–of the triumph of the fans, of the efforts of the editors and contributors, the rebirth of a dream, but most of all the continuation of the Kirk/Spock relationship.”STTMP is much-maligned by fans whose interest in the genre was quickened by Star Wars, but it was a victory for fans of the 1970s. Like Vina with Captain Pike, they could not help but love it. 
...reduced offset, an abundance of beautiful art, handsome layout, careful editing. And age statement is required for purchase, not because there is sex of any kind, but because of CONTACT's customary sadistic explicit and graphically portrayed violence constantly perpetrated on the persons of Kirk and Spock. "They only hurt the ones they love..." etc. The two heroes are portrayed as sharing a deep brotherhood love.
The first half of this zine is CONTACT'S usual constant hurt and comfort stories and poems by various authors. "'Woe To Him Who Is Alone" by Linda White offers contact with an alien. After some damage to their persons from Klingon aggression on a planet, they help the alien to regain his rapport with his cyborg spaceship and also retrieve an ancient Vulcan artifact for return to its original owners. Sandra Gent's and Virginia Green's story "Fire and Ice" describes their entrapment in a planetary fire—from which the transporter is able to rescue only one alive, and these exquisite torturers masquerading as kindly writers don't even tell us which! "In Your Place," done by Crystal Taylor's sure hand, gives us Kirk being required by Fleet to exchange captaincies temporarily with an alien ship in order to somehow prove the worthiness of the Federation as an ally. Despite the fact that Kirk gets himself and the other ship shot up and has to be rescued, the operation comes off successfully and offers many opportunities for Kirk and Spock to take stock of themselves, their relationship and their reactions to the strange new situation. Stories by Teri White, Susan K. James, Ginna LaCroix, Teresa Wright and Sibyl Hancock round out this part of the zine, presumably issue #5. The second half of this issue is what makes it unforgettable: "Home is the Hunter," a 137 pp partly reduced novel by the two editors which is by far their best work to date, may very well be the best psychological study of prisoner-of-war/hostage syndrome I have ever read anywhere. The tortures are graphic and believable, the tensions almost unbearable—and when the reader actually longs for Kirk to break his will, surrender and confess to his spy mission, well, that is some kind of tribute to the quality of the fine writing. Kirk has been sent as the head of a secret mission to a hostile planets all are captured and held hostage for ten months while negotiations and face-saving high level talks drag on. The story begins as Kirk rejoins his ship, temporarily under a new captain, and wrestles his demons for three weeks while they proceed to Starbase Three for debriefing. It soon becomes evident to McCoy and Spock that Kirk has not only been brutalized physically, but that his mind and attitudes have been affected, and long term therapy will be necessary if he is ever again to be fit to command. Most of the story is taken up with the Doctor and Spock gradually drawing the entire story from Kirk, in the face of his resistance and denials to himself, peeling back layer by delicate layer of memories like an onion, from where his conscious mind has buried them. They retire to a remote rented house, and his friends spend the rest of the novel lovingly putting him back together again.Beautifully done, not to be missed, a landmark in Trek writing. 
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.
You can read issue #6 here.Summary from a distributor Lionheart Distribution:
Summary from Gilda F: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.
Kirk, with Spock help, must find himself after enduring ten months of brutal captivity when captured while on a spy mission.
"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
Very heavy H/C. Caught spying on Anthrania, Kirk and his party are tortured and degraded for ten months before Kirk finally breaks down and gives a confession to save those left of his team. Back in the Federation, he must cope with the physical and psychological aftermath, including debriefing and his sense of betrayal by Starfleet, which failed to retrieve them. Spock attempts to provide a healing shore leave, but Kirk's psychological manifestations worsen and he calls in McCoy. Excellent Big Three characterization and confrontations as McCoy forces Kirk to face ever-worse memories, to Spock's alarm. Very graphic with the torture scenes.
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.
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.
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.
For me, the thing that makes an exact definition of slash less than useful is that the definition of What Is Slash is not the same as What I Like. It's not just that I'm not interested in a great number of things that are indubitably slash; its that a number of things that push the same buttons as slash can't be defined as slash by any reasonable definition.
What I'm talking about, primarily, are heavy-duty relationship stories. The first examples that come to mind are Trek: HOME IS THE HUNTER and PRECESSIONAL, for example. In neither of those stories is there ever any overt mention of the possibility of a sexual relationship, but the stories are full of hurt/comfort scenarios, and in both cases, Kirk and Spock are the most important people in the universe to each other.I'd much rather read that sort of story than one about Any Two Guys, but that's just me. 
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.
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)
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7
'Contact 7' is a multi-story, hurt/comfort zine. It is very well produced, being photocopied, photo-reduced in places, and spiral bound; with a good balance of poetry interspersed between the stories. The artwork is of a very high standard from artists such Merle Decker, Nan Lewis, Laurie Huff and Suzan Lovett, to name but a few. There are a couple of unusual drawings - one by Laurie Huff with Kirk on the top half in a time glass, and Spock on the bottom, and the other by Nan Lewis of the Enterprise circling a planet but with a black background.
All the stories are very well written and some are extremely touching. Two of the more moving stories are 'Images' by Ginna LaCroix and 'The Centre of the Circle' by [April Valentine], deal with either Spock's devotion to Kirk or vice versa. Both stories are set post ST-TMP. 'Images' is set just before Kirk is due to take the Enterprise out on another long mission. He has had McCoy and Spock staying with him while he ties up his desk job in Starfleet. On his way home, after a very exasperating meeting, he wanders into a bad area and is accidentally kidnapped by galactic mercenaries (I say 'accidentally' as they did not knew who he was). One of the gang decides to inject Kirk with a very addictive drug, using a dirty needle in the process, and then leave him to die of withdrawal symptoms. The remainder of the story concentrates on how Kirk is helped by McCoy and Spock's support and their devotion to him.
The other story 'The Centre of the Circle' is set not long after V'ger, where Kirk is trying to help Spock in his transition back into Starfleet. The Enterprise answers a distress call from a planet that has been hit by earthquakes, causing a river to flood. Spock manages to save a child, the only survivor from a school, and become very attached to her,but when she suddenly dies, cannot come to terms with her death. Kirk, who has been quite badly injured, goes in search of him and helps him through his grief.
One of the other stories, 'Wait for the Morning' by Marion McChesney, which I hasten to add was very well written, I was not too keen on, but this was purely because I do not like death stories. Kirk is dying from a brain tumour and goes on leave with Spock and McCoy, for what they know might be their last leave together, Spock dies from a creature's poisonous bite, taken while saving him. Kirk will not listen to McCoy when he is told Spock knew about the tumour and was giving him the chance of a few more months to live.
The last story is actually a novella (120 pages photo-reduced). It reminded me very much of an actual incident a few years back. It is about a sect that has shunned the outside world and is trying to live in peace and harmony. However, reports suggest otherwise, and Kirk and Spock are sent investigate. The colony is affected by a plague and Spock helps in the research of a cure, eventually being affected himself. Although Kirk agrees with the beliefs of the sect, he does not agree with the methods of achieving these beliefs and when he tries to 'sort things out', the leader, Diogenes, kills himself. As a result of this most of the sect commit mass suicide.This is a very good zine (one of my favourites) but is extremely difficult to obtain [here in the UK], although well worth the effort. The best way is to get someone in the States or Canada to get it for you, as Beverley Volker and Nancy Kippax seem to be unwilling to send to Britain. Even if you are able to arrange this with someone, be prepared to wait months. I arranged for my copy to be sent to an aunt in Canada and then waited 4 months (it took 3 months and 2 reminder letters to get a copy of Contact 5/6 sent to me here). 
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.
- Journey of a Thousand Steps by Terri Sylvester (p. 1-34)
- Sandcastles by Merle Decker (p. 38-41)
- The Cost by Susie Gordon (p. 43-52)
- Empty Lives by Nancy Kippax (p. 55-63)
- What We Would Choose by Crystal Ann Taylor (p. 66-119)
- Journeyman by Carol A. Frisbie & Susan K. James (p. 123-133)
- The Outsider by Ginna LaCroix (p. 136-144) (also in Trek Encore #2)
- A Matter of Perspective by Beverly Volker (p. 145-155)
- Cornerstone by Elaine W. (p. 160-164)
- The Starless Years by (novella) April Valentine (p. 168-240)
inside art from issue #8, Suzan Lovett, an example of Men Crying
Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8
- "Journey of a Thousand Steps" / Standard and rather contrived H/C. Kirk and Spock set out on a drive through the Vulcan desert, and their aircar is attacked by birds and crashes. Kirk is then attacked by a rabid wolfish critter and infected, giving him 3 days to get a vaccine. They decide to try to walk to their original destination - now, coincidentally, a 3-day walk away. With trials & tribulations, they reach the oasis only to find it deserted. Kirk tries to get Spock to kill him, feigning a mad attack so that he won't have to live through the real thing, but Spock catches on just in time for the Enterprise and its transporter to come to the rescue.
- "Sandcastles" / Shore leave idyll; Kirk persuades Spock to build elaborate sandcastles with him, letting their inner children out to play. Best bit is the end, Kirk asking Spock whether he's ever been in a snowball fight.
- "The Cost" / H/C. With Enterprise in a decaying orbit and desperate for dilithium, Kirk and Spock attempt to get some from a planet but are captured by Tellerites in the process. They escape, but Kirk has been burned by weapons fire, and Spock is forced to leave him in order to get the dilithium to the ship. Kirk is nearly killed by the Tellerites, but they are driven off by a fortunate storm, leaving our heroes clinging maudlinly to one another - Kirk actually asks Spock to "Hold me ... close..." when the ever-handy transporter hauls them home.
- "Empty Lives" / Spock is driven to Gol by a sense of purposelessness in his life. Somehow this seems to have been triggered by an incident in which Kirk had run off, and Spock had found him despondent about his own "empty life" - but they were interrupted by an earthquake and never had an opportunity to resume the discussion of their feelings. I didn't quite follow this one...
- "What We Would Choose" / Stranded on a planet, Kirk and Spock become embroiled in a local insurgency. They fret over, but essentially ignore the Prime Directive to take on leadership of the revolutionaries. Kirk incurs severe injuries in a trap, but is rescued by the timely arrival of the Enterprise and the transporter. Overlong and needed a bit more editing.
- "Journeyman" / Kirk and Spock are stranded on a planet, presumably in the past, unable to find the elusive "portal" to their own time and the Enterprise. Kirk is ill and wasting away, and knows that there is no portal; Spock is literally unable to see Kirk's terminal condition or admit that they cannot return, and obsessively keeps them on the move, searching for the nonexistent portal. The dying Kirk makes a last-ditch attempt to get Spock to recognize reality - or perhaps to die with him, so that Spock won't be left alone and mad in that miserable time and place - by urging him to meld one last time; Spock refuses, insisting that they must move on without delay, and heads off on his "gamal" with Kirk's corpse in his arms. A dark but intriguing take on the stranded theme.
- "The Outsider" / A young ensign in McCoy's section is obsessed with Kirk and jealous of Spock's unique hold on him. McCoy tries to warn the youngster off, telling him to try to understand the universe those two inhabit, but he only comes to grips with the impossibility of placing himself between them after Spock is injured - rescuing the ensign - and he observes the reactions and unspoken communications between the two officers.
- "A Matter of Perspective" / Kirk and Spock plan a camping shore leave, but end up spending it with Spock nursing Kirk through a tedious illness, allowing them some quiet time and heart-to-hearts together.
- "Cornerstome" / Emotionally devastated by having to choose a handful of people to rescue from a planetary disaster, Kirk finds strength to return to duty from Spock.
- "The Starless years" / Klingon torturers have left Kirk at the brink of death and Spock at - or perhaps over - the brink of madness, and then inexplicably abandoned them on a planet. Kirk fails to find Spock, and Spock believes he has killed Kirk, so for 10 years they make their separate ways into leadership positions in rival societies preparing for war - Kirk is now Jankor, the vadir (military leader) of the Atholos, while Spock is Maraden, high priest/seer of the Saraptans, as whom he has been preaching peace, but still seems quite willing to instigate war. On their inevitable meeting, Spock does not or will not recognize Kirk; Kirk struggles against Spock's madness to no avail, and the war becomes inevitable. As they wage inconclusive battles against one another, Klingons arrive and begin to enslave and wipe out the Saraptans. They are closely followed by Feddies who, with Kirk's leadership, run off the Klingons and rescue Spock, who finally admits Kirk's reality. Our guys are left pondering their future - whether to return to the stars or stay and serve the cultures that have taken them in for the last decade. For me, this tale is flawed by overdone tortures, a surfeit of breast-beating and a goodly supply of smarm, along with an unconvincing inevitability of the war; however, the dilemma of the two warring on opposing sides is a good one, and the tale is well told, with a plot that moves along well.
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.
The editors make the doubtless safe assumption that all 'Contact' readers have seen "ST:II" and thus this issue is dedicated to keeping the Spock/Kirk friendship alive until Paramount officially resurrects it. After all, as Kippax and Volker put it, if you believe the PR, James T. Kirk is the only person in the universe who doesn't know that the working title of "ST.III" is "The Search for Spock".
'Contact 8' focuses on Kirk and Spock interacting away from the Enterprise and shows them dealing with grief, pain and fear, and sometime even joy and play. There are six long stories and a novella, as well as several shorter pieces. Unlike previous issues, all but one ends with the heroes in possession of health, sanity and each other.
The exception, by Carol Frisbie and Susan K. James, chillingly describes the ceaseless wanderings of an insane Spock and his dying captain. Kirk's strength of character and compassion in these terrible circumstances is movingly depicted. Another story tells of the heroes' journey across a desert after their shuttlecraft has crashed and one of them has been bitten by a rabid animal. Yet another shuttlecraft crash (terribly unreliable things, shuttlecraft, nearly as bad as transporters]) deposits them in the middle of a revolution, forcing Kirk finally to come to a philosophical truce with the Prime Directive while Spock decides where his loyalties really lie.
Martha Bonds' novella makes up in plot for its shortcomings in characterization. Kirk and Spock escape Klingon captivity separately and are rescued, cared for and eventually come to power in two opposing political camps. How they adapt to these new lives, only to rediscover each other after ten years and on opposite sides of a war of conquest makes a strong story. While you know Martha will reunite them eventually, she doesn't make it easy for the heroes, or for the reader. This is the best story by Bonds I've read, but I still object to her lachrymose characterizations of Kirk and Spock. A strong man weeping one or twice is moving, more than that is exasperating!
Two happier stories provide welcome relief; in one, Jim introduces Spock to the pleasures of building sandcastles at the beach; in the other a determinedly patient Spook, cooped up with a flu-ridden and crabby Kirk, finally speaks his mind. My personal favorite is "The Outsider" by Gina LaCroix - told in the first person by a new crewman who comes aboard with a crush on Captain Kirk, is jealous of and insubordinate to First Officer Spock and is eventually straightened out by Dr, McCoy and circumstances.
There are fifteen and a half pages of poetry - mostly prose poems, I tend to read these as I would plain prose, for content and characterization, ignoring details like form and meter. "Fidus Achates" by Suzan Lovett stands out for neatly capturing Kirk's "Voice" in this two-sided soliloquy.
The zine is handsomely printed on good paper; typos are at a minimum and it is spiral-bound with an attractive four-color cover by Merle Decker. There are twenty-five full-page illustrations (and not a stinker in the lot) and a number of very attractive drawings set into pages of text, as well as beautifully designed chapter headings.It's a very good buy on this side of the pond; if the editors won't send it abroad I suggest sending for some of the private sales lists advertised in "Forum". Some people support their zine habit by selling in-print zines at very little over the original price as soon as they've read them. It's worth a try. 
Contact Collected 1 was published in May 1985. It contains 150 pages of content from the first two issues of "Contact."
- 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)
Notes & References
- "For the Good of the Service" by Ruth Berman and Nan Braude. T-Negative 1. This is meant to be the story of how he rose from Lt. Cdr. in the show's first season to Commander in the second.
- from The Road to K/S: The Hurt/Comfort Zine Contact in Legacy #1 (2007)
- Classic Zines: Contact #1 (Star Trek: TOS), by intrigueing], November 17, 2014
- Denise Dion's May 25, 2102 post to the K/S Zine Friends Facebook Group, quoted with permission.
- for more, see The Original Flier, post October 7, 2012
- from the editorial of issue #2
- from the editorial of issue #3
- from the editorial of issue #4
- from The Road to K/S: The Hurt/Comfort Zine Contact
- the reviewer is not specifically referring to slash
- by H.O. Petard from Spectrum #23
- Classic Zines: Contact #1 (Star Trek: TOS), by intrigueing], November 17, 2014
- from Fanzine Review 'Zine #2
- from Classic Zines: Contact #2 (Star Trek: TOS), intrigueing, December 20, 2014
- from Classic Zines: Contact #2 (Star Trek: TOS), intrigueing, December 20, 2014
- comments by Sharon Ferraro in Menagerie #10
- from The Halkan Council #22
- by H.O. Petard from Spectrum #27
- by Randy Ash from Sehlat's Roar #3
- from a much longer review Classic Zines: Contact #2 (Star Trek: TOS), intriguing, December 20, 2014 -- see that post for this fan's comments on The Third Wheel and The Logical Choice
- from Fanzine Review 'Zine #2
- Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
- 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.
- a review by Connie Faddis from Scuttlebutt #3
- from Interphase #4
- Denise Dion's May 25, 2012 post to the K/S Zine Friends Facebook Group, quoted with permission.
- from Stardate: Unknown #4
- from Stardate: Unknown #4
- from Fleet #20 (April 1978)
- Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
- from Scuttlebutt #4
- from Scuttlebutt #4
- darksnowfalling, February 24, 2014
- Contact 05; WebCite, comments by Steven H. Wilson, he of the "House of Contact," November 17, 2015
- Contact 05; WebCite, comments by Steven H. Wilson, he of the "House of Contact," November 17, 2015
- Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
- darksnowfalling. K/S-zine heaven (My trip to the University of Iowa Fanzine Archives). LiveJournal post Feb. 27th, 2011.(Accessed March 5, 2011.)
- from Universal Translator #3
- from a review by Judith Gran in Universal Translator #5
- by Wendy Rathbone, from Enterprise Incidents #8
- Contact 05; WebCite, comments by Steven H. Wilson, November 15, 2015
- by Dixie G. Owen in The Clipper Trade Ship #28 (1980)
- Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
- from Universal Translator #3
- from a review by Judith Gran in Universal Translator #5
- from The K/S Press #147
- comment by Jan Levine at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (June 17, 1995)
- from Communicator #6 (June 1982)
- Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
- from Datazine #24
- from Communicator #9 (1983)