Contagion (zine)

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Title: Contagion
Publisher: Contagion (convention)
Date(s): 1992-1994
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek
External Links:
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Contagion is a Star Trek writing contest zine that was published in connection with Contagion, one of the first Star Trek conventions held in Scotland.

Jean Lorrah's Introduction in Issue #1

Some topics: her own career, why some fans write, and her support of fanzines.

I came to professional SF writing through fanzines. In high school and at university I wrote dozens of stories, and collected as many rejection slips for each one as there were potential markets. After I began teaching, I started writing non-fiction, and had considerable success selling to low-paying markets. At the same time, I became part of Star Trekfandom and gave up attempts to sell fiction professionally in favour of writing for the large and appreciative audience of Trek fanzines. Eventually I began publishing my own 'zines.

Through Trekfandom I met Jacqueline Lichtenberg. the main author of Star Trek Lives!. Her first SF novel, House of Zeor, had just been published and she was working on a sequel. She drew on my critical abilities for the second novel, and eventually invited me to co-author her third. First Channel, that's how I got my first professional contract for a work of fiction. Then Jacqueline encouraged me to create my own SF series, Savage Empire. In the course of that series, another fan writer, Winston Howlett, became involved in the fandom, and contributed so much that I invited him to co-author a book in that series with me. And now Winston is working on his own SF series. That brings me to a painful topic, the fact that many people who want to be writers don't read carefully. Please note that in each example above it was the established writer who invited the fan writer she admired to collaborate, not the other way around. No matter how wonderfully you write, if you are not yet a professional, do not inform a published author that you wish to collaborate on that author's next book, and dictate its contents as well. How do I know wannabee authors do such things? I'm not a very important or famous author, but I get such letters or phone calls at least once a month. Imagine what poor Tom Clancy gets! Sorry; the pro finds you, not the other way around. How does the pro find you? Through your excellent work in fanzines! Not all fan writers become professional writers; I know quite a few who don't want to! Either they want to write only in copyrighted universes where there is no potential for professional publication, or they want total control of what they write with no commercial requirements (or a combination of the two). Either position is valid (I was part of the first group in the early 1970's before there were any professional Star Trek novels}, but the writer who takes either position at this moment has the perfect right to feel differently a year, two years, or five years from now. Fannish writing is a wonderful way to hone basic narrative skills. A writer is someone who writes, not someone who talks about writing, or thinks he will write a book someday. Fanzine writers are writers! If they desire only to reach a very specific 'zine audience, what's wrong with that? They still create plots, at least some of their own characters, and most important, complete stories! Anyone can write the first few pages of a story. Only a real writer can finish one. As you can tell, I believe in fanzine writing.

Certainly, the majority of professional writers never heard of fanzines, let alone ever wrote for them, but in science fiction and fantasy, 'zines are a great way to learn to write, get feedback and reach an audience. The only other thing a writer could want is to get paid (winning prizes would be nice, but I'd rather make the best-seller list), something that will come eventually if you really care about it.

Contagion One

Contagion 1.jpg

Contagion One was published in July 1992, contains 62 pages and has a forward written by Jean Lorrah.

It contains no interior art.

From the introduction:
When the Committee was organising this year's Writing Competitions it was decided that attendees should have an opportunity to read the entries for themselves and at the same time provide us with the chance to raise more money for charity. Hence the birth of Contagion One. The following articles were all entered for the Contagion '92 Writing Competitions. No alterations were made apart from correcting the occasional spelling mistake. Each entry was anonymously graded by all the ommittee Members except for George Haggarty who typed them out and collated the results. The Committee wishes to thank all of our entrants for taking part. Without them, this fanzine would not have been possible.

  • FLIPPIN' STAR TREK! by Katie Shevlin
  • THE LAST FAREWELL by Linda C Wood
  • NCC 1701 by Betty Porrelli
  • A SENSE OF DUTY by Darren M Towers
  • A SHIP'S DOCTOR by Gillian Fry
  • CAPTAIN KIRK! by Heather Gibson
  • SAVIOUR by Gloria Fry
  • PICARD by Morag Phillips
  • CATHARSIS by Heather Gibson
  • STAR TREK: AN ODE by Anne Rogers
  • RELATIVES· WHO NEEDS THEM? by Katrina Heintz
  • A CAPTAIN NAMED KIRK by Betty Porrelli
  • A YOUNG VULCAN by Gillian Fry
  • YOU HAVE NO RIGHT by Morag Phillips
  • ASSIMILATION by Linda C Wood
  • SHADOW OF THE MIRROR by Gloria Fry
  • FOREVER WEEPING by Morag Phillips
  • AN OFFER TO STAR TREK by Steve Moscrop
  • FREEDOM by Susan Bell
  • A YOUNG CAPTAIN by Gillian Fry
  • ONCE MORE by Steve Moscrop
  • CAPTAIN'S LAMENT by Heather Gibson
  • SOME FOLKS •.. by Anne Rogers
  • THE ARTIFACT by Ryan O'Neill
  • WHAT IS THIS EMPTINESS I FEEL? by Katrina Heintz
  • KE'HANN'S STORY by Steve Moscrop

Issue 2

Contagion 2 is undated but was published in July 1993. It has 71 pages.

cover of issue #2
  • A DIPLOMAT IS ... by Debbie Lee (4)
  • Q by Susan Bell (9)
  • CAESAR OF THE STARS by Liz Aris (10 )
  • AN ENGINEER'S RHYME by Gloria Fry (10)
  • SAIL BY THE STARS by Sacha J Cowan (11)
  • ILLUSTRATION: SHADOWS OF THE PAST by Matthew Christie (21)
  • I AM by Katrina Heintz (24)
  • A KLiNGON CALLED WORF by Debbie Lee (24)
  • EMPATH by Lee Sansome (25)
  • STAR TREK: THE POEM by Paul Norwood (27)
  • AN ENSIGN NAMED WESLEY by Gillian B Fry (27)
  • WIN OR LOSE by Katrina Heintz (28)
  • YOU ARE THE ONE by Christine Jones (32)
  • KARLA by Gloria Fry (33)
  • TIME UNWRITTEN by Fraser F Dawson (38)
  • DEJA VU by Helen Connor 41)
  • THE VISIONARY by Christine Jones (43)
  • STAR GUESTS by Margaret Connor (43)
  • LIFE IN TEN-FORWARD by Margaret Connor (44)
  • GOING HOME by Paul Norwood (45)
  • THE LETTER by Anne Rogers (48)
  • BEFORE THE CON by Anne Rogers (49)
  • WORF by Alan Boag (49)
  • SHADOWS OF GENESIS by Maria Nausch (50)
  • THE CAPTAIN'S HEADACHE by Christine Jones (53)
  • UHURA'S COMPLAINT by Gillian B Fry (53)
  • FIFTY CREDITS by Morag Phillips (54)
  • OF COURSE WE KNEW by Alan Boag (58)
  • SHORE LEAVE by Karen L Cloney (59)
  • UHURA by Katrina Heintz (60)
  • A SOMEWHAT LEWD LIMERICK by Jim A Murray (60)
  • THE TIME OF THE RAINS by Alan Boag (61)
  • ILLUSTRATION: UHURA by Gordon Smith (62)
  • I BID YOU ... WELCOME by Kate Lach (66)
  • VENGEANCE! by Helen Connor (70)
  • ILLUSTRATION: DATA by Morag Phillips (71)

Issue 3

Contagion 3 was published in July 1994.

cover of issue #3