Katra: The Living Spirit

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Title: Katra
Publisher: Scorpion Publications
Editor(s): Lana Brown
Date(s): 1985-1986
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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Katra: The Living Spirit is a gen, possibly het, Star Trek: TOS Klingon-centric anthology of poems and fiction published in New Zealand.

Despite the fact it has an explicit het sister zine, this zine series required an age statement to order.

The sister zine is called Katra: The Erotic Spirit. The series also had two sister novels: Elba and Katra: The Novella.

From the editor in issue #4:
Basically, 'Katra' is a Klingon zine, originally dedicated to Maltz and Saavik. But if I can't get ALL Klingon-type or Saavik stories, then I look for anything that doesn't dwell on The Big Three. Other zines feature this, and I want 'Katra' to be a zine with a difference (as any Klingon zine should naturally be!). However, if you are a fan of The Big Three, don't feel excluded, because they can, and do, appear in 'Katra,' but not in their usual roles aboard the Enterprise.

General Reactions and Reviews

I recently did read a very good zine and wish to share the news with other fans. I bought a zine from a friend who was having some money problems. It was an age statement type and I usually don't buy that kind, but because my friend was having these troubles I made an exception. I was glad I did because it was a wonderful zine and now I am busy attempting to gather the complete set of non-age statement material by this editor/author. So I ordered KATRA I and II from Lana Brown. I was very unsure about sending away for these zines, mainly because Lana lives in New Zealand and I was worried about how long it would take and was concerned about how to pay for it (would her bank take my check, how long would it take to be delivered). I was more unsure than usual because I had just gotten ripped off by a U.S. fan who had cashed my check and disappeared. I finally sent it, and in one-and-a-half months I received my package. Impressed, I read the letter from Lana Brown, who apologized for her work saying that it had been more than three years since these had come out and that they were a first effort on her part. She was worried that they had not stood the test of time well. The only thing I can say about that is, Lana has nothing to apologize for. [1]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Lana Brown
another version of the cover of issue #1, Lana Brown

Katra: The Living Spirit 1 was published in 1985, contains 34 pages and four stories. It has art by Mike McGann, Peter Graham, Lana Brown.

  • Possibilities, part 1 by Lana Brown (2) (What happened to the Klingon Maltz after his capture? And why did Saavik need to visit his cell on Vulcan?)
  • And Lay Her Essence Bare by Peter Graham (Cest'nei is 1/2 Romulan and 1/2 Vulcan and a starship commander. Now that she has been captured by her mortal Klingon enemy, can all she look forward to is death?) (This is the sequel to Shadows in the Air by Graham in Beyond Antares R-Rated #7. Note: due to how long the seventh issue of Beyond Antares R-Rated took to be printed, the sequel appeared before the first part of the story.) (9)
  • Needs of the One by Lana Brown (27)
  • One Decent Emotion by Erin Pennington (A conversation betueen McCoy and Spock as they adjust to life fallowing the Fa! Tor Pan ceremony on Vulcan.) (31)
  • art by Lana Brown (front cover), Mike McGann and Peter Graham

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

KATRA I and II are not only very impressive for a first effort, I also liked the well-developed stories of some of the minor players. Heavily influenced by the Star Trek movies, both zines are oriented toward the Klingon and Romulan fan. KATRA I has a total of four stories; two, "Needs of the One," and "One Decent Emotion," are reactions by Kirk and McCoy to the events in ST III. "And Lay Her Essence Bare," is a disquieting tale of the torture of a Klingon woman by the Klingons so that she will become a spy. This sounds like the beginning of a series to me. The best story in the bunch is "Possibilities* by Lana Brown. It is a look at Maltz, the Klingon survivor of ST III. His reaction to being a prisoner is well done, as is Saavik's decision to help him escape. I have trouble with the sight of Saavik torn in her loyalties between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, but Maltz is a wonderful character, and I look forward to reading more of his stories in this series. [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Lana Brown
flyer for issue #2 from Hypertension

Katra: The Living Spirit 2 was published in September 1985 and is 95 pages long.

[excerpt from "Viking's Progress"]:

Fifty percent of all people, on first sighting Doctor Mary Brown, were struck by her physical appearance. Struck dumb, that is. For starters, she was practically six-feet tall. Sure, her personal file stated, 'five-feet eleven and three quarter inches', but a woman is a six-foot woman, no matter how many quarter inches there are in the balance. And all six-foot of her was bones, angles and elbows. Feet that threatened people's toes, elbows that knocked hot coffee into people's laps, and hands that didn't quite know where to put themselves. And her hair! It sort of hit you right in the eye. . . a flyaway mass of carroty curls. . . no, not carrot. . . bright flame. . . orange. . . whatever. The first time I saw it, it was unsuccessfully confined in a maze of pins and clips. When she nodded, a shower of these descended onto the floor. As I said, the hair was eye catching... not to mention the fact that it framed a large freckled face with a very square jaw. All in all, Dr Mary Brown, civilian botanist on temporary assignment to the Enterprise, would have made an excellent looking man.


Mary did have one saving grace, however. She had a terrific sense of humour...a sense of humour that unfortuitiously manifested itself in an ear splitting, donkey-bay of a laugh, which sort of rose up and zapped you right in the ear-'ole with all the force of a photon torpedo. Her laugh was legend. It made grown men cringe in abject terror of having it repeated whilst they were still in the vicinity. In fact, it even made the Vulcan blink, and if you know that Vulcan as well as I know that Vulcan, you'd know that is tantamount to him being amazed.

Anyway, there you have it, a complete word picture of Dr Mary Brown. It wasn't her fault, of course. She couldn't help being so... much., of everything.

  • Viking’s Progress by Hazel Dodd (3)
  • Possibilities Part II by Lana Brown (19)
  • Chess by Helen Sargeant (33)
  • Saavik: Statement of Truth, poem by Sandra Moosman (35)
  • A Beginning... by Valerie DeVries (37)
  • Fault In The Line by Robert Jan (63)
  • Meanwhile... by Lana Brown (63)
  • art by Lana Brown (cover), Gina Brown, Mike McGann and Robert Jan

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

KATRA I and II are not only very impressive for a first effort, I also liked the well-developed stories of some of the minor players. Heavily influenced by the Star Trek movies, both zines are oriented toward the Klingon and Romulan fan. ... KATRA II continues with a great story about a clumsy crewwoman in "Viking's Progress." More of Maltz's adventures follow in "Possibilities, Part II." "Chess" has Saavik becoming Kirk's chess partner after Spock's death. "Meanwhile" has Saavik joining the Klingons, Kirk and Carol becoming marooned, and the rest of the crew breaking jail to find them. The main story, however, is "A Beginning..." about a young Scotty and an Ensign Kirk leading a mutiny. This was perhaps the only story in either zine I really didn't like. There is also a short letter section and some poetry. The art work ranges from great (usually the cover) to fair (most of the inside). This has not stopped me from liking this series and I do plan to get more of the now nine issues of Katra over time. [3]
A Trekzine in a pro-Klingon frame. Stories vary from light entertainment ("Viking's Progress"), to pure whimsy "Chess") to one of the best serials I've ever read "Possibilities" -- a Saavik/Maltz story that has to be read to appreciate the idea and the sensitive way in it was delivered. Firmly worth its price to get it for this alone. [4]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Lana Brown

Katra: The Living Spirit 3 was published in January 1986 and contains 59 pages.

  • Dialogue by Susan Clarke (6)
  • Questions by Martha Butler (6)
  • Possibilities, part 3 by Lana Brown (10)
  • Warriors in the Game, filk or poem by Sue Isle (32)
  • Vrootgort Conflict by Hazel Dodd (34)
  • They Also Serve... by Robert Jan (42)
  • Syraneta by Barbara Maxwell (44)
  • A Mild Looking Sky by Robert Jan (50)
  • The Needs of the One, filk or poem by Adam Jenson (60)
  • Cold Comfort by Erin Pennington (62)
  • Some Hints on How to Survive in Space (by an ex-master-at-arms, Starbase II, retired, Michael Curry (66)
  • art by Lana Brown (front cover), Mike McGann, Robert Jan (back cover), and Gina Brown

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Lana Brown
back cover of issue #4, Robert Jan
flyer for issue #4

Katra: The Living Spirit 4 was published in May 1986 and contains 95 pages. It includes a section of LoCs. Art is by Lana Brown, Mike McGann, Helen Ross, Gamin Davis, Robert Jan, Gail Adams, K'Shona Jackson, Ann Robertson.

  • Possibilities, part 4 by Lana Brown (4)
  • A Glorious Way to Die, poem by Adam Jenson (26)
  • Clan Gathering by Helen Sargeant (28)
  • Iron Thoughts, poem by Sue Isle (34)
  • Captured Artifact by Peter Redvers-Hill (36)
  • Klingon Badass Song by K'Shona Jackson (41)
  • Like a Shooting Star, poem by Vonne J. Shepard (43)
  • They Shall Live Again by Frank Macskasy Jr. (44)
  • Dry Storm, poem by K'Shona Jackson (59)
  • A Klingon's Home Thoughts by Hazel Dodd (60)
  • The Human Factor by Helen Ross (62)
  • Impressions, poem by Peter Graham (65)
  • Friendship, poem by Vonne J. Shepard (71)
  • Klingon Children by Erin Pennington (72)
  • Pestilence, Plague & the Klingon Empire by Gail Adams (74)
  • Klingon Koncordance by Robert Jan (79)
  • What are Friends For? by Kerry Nash (86) (some comments on this story here)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

What Are Friends For' stood out as the best story in this 'zine. the Saavik/Uhura friendship was well done, and the story established both crewmates as strong and independent. Bravo! 'The Human Factor' presented a well-developed female Romulan Commander. I especially liked the sense of stark reality the author brough to this story. And she presents a believable backdrop for Saavik's origin. I'm looking foreard to see how she develops her Romulan Commander/Saavik theme. And could someone in fandom, please give our favorite Romulan a real name? 'Clan Gathering' was a big disappointment. Ms. Sargeat's story about Saavik's first meeting with Spock's parents was a good idea but her Vulcan characters all acted too human for me. Lana Brown is also an excellent writer. But I didn't care much for 'Possibilities.' It was like walking in on the middle of a movie. I was also turned off by its Saavil/Spock 'pregnancy' subplot. I've read the other Klingon stories in this 'zine and found them sort of average stuff. The art though -- it's outstanding. Overall, I say Katra IV goes to Warp 5 our of a possible 10. [5]

Issue 5

Katra: The Living Spirit 5 was published in August 1986 and contains about 80 pages.

flyer for issue #5
  • Long Day on Lanania by Hazel Dodd (McCoy is on medical leave and stranded on the miserable planet of Lanania waiting for transportation to Earth. What he believes will be a tedious two day wait becomes intriguing and dangerous as he becomes involved with espionage, murder and the delivering of a Kiingon baby.)
  • Once & Future Friend by Gamin Davis (A young Spock travels to Earth with his mother to meet his cousin Johnathan and discover friendship.)
  • Klingons are Tough by Leon Gammell (Set on the frontier world of Rigel III, Korak proves the principle of survive and succeed.)
  • Dove's Aftermath by Vonne Shepard (Exactly what did happen to Kang and Mara after the alien incident aboard the Enterprise? Both Klingons and Humans learn an lesson.)
  • the continuing saga of Possibilities by Lana Brown
  • an article on Kurdenshin, the Way of the Klingon Warrior by Shona Jackson
  • more on the Klingon KonKorndance by Robert Jan
  • poetry by Vonne Shepard, Shona Jackson and other

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

Katra V is a high class zine from New Zealand. It is basically a Klingon zine edited by Lana Brown, who also writes and does artwork for the zine.

I heard about Katra through a friend and have contributed poetry and stories to it Lana advertises in Datazine, also, so you may- have heard of it there. Because I am at heart a Dr. McCoy fan, one story in Katra V by Hazel Dodd is a particular favorite of mine. Entitled "Long Day on Lanania," we meet up with McCoy on his way to Earth for a little R&R. He has a few days layover on Lanania, a dustball of a place with one restaurant, a hotel with a faulty sprinkler system that comes on at odd hours -- 1ike in the middle of the niqht -- and an intriguing encounter with a Klingon called Mez'lik. Before too long they are drinking buddies, and McCoy finds himself in the middle of an espionage plot, a Pacifist Movement, murder, and delivering a Klingon baby, all in one incredible night; hence the title, "Long Day on Lanania." I am a bit biased about another story in the zine called "Dove's Aftermath." It takes place on the Enterprise right after the television episode, "Day of the Dove" and involves McCoy with Mara and Kang. I am biased because I wrote this one. Gamin Davis has a delightful story in the zine titled "Once and Future Friend." This is a young Spock story, one in which he visits Earth along with his mother to visit a young cousin and aunt. His antics In encountering snow for the first time are PRECIOUS. Gamin has a real flair for her characters.

Lana has done an excellent job with Katra; the artwork gets better every issue. Most of the work is done by Lana and I know that it is a big job because each Katra gets larger and larger. In spite of not caring too much for Klingons, I like Katra. If you want to get a high quality zine for not a lot of money, order Katra, you won't be disappointed. Katra is available from Lana Brown, P.O. Box 41881 Wanganui, New Zealand, for only $6.00 U.S. If you can find a better deal anywhere else for 149 pages of wonderful entertainment, I challenge it. You will get your money's worth and more with Katra. After February the postage will be going up in New Zealand, so add 50c when ordering. Checks or money orders will be satisfactory. [6]

Issue 6

Katra: The Living Spirit 6 was published in November 1986 contains 109 pages. It consists primarily of a single novel called "The Far Side of War." It has art by Lana Brown and Robert Jan. It is A4 and and as coloured card covers.

copy of the cover of issue #6 from an ad in Hypertension #13
flyer for issue #6, click to read
  • The Far Side of War by Sue Isle (Kang zantai Dvistrill and his First Officer Kereth tai Varak have been given a mission to attend the Congress of the UPP as delagates of Klinzhai. But all is not in the name of peace. What is the madness that drives Kang to a desperate act? What does the supposedly Free Trader Treven Gannon mean to Kereth? For whom does she really work for? Kirk has a handful of problems. Tension is high. Something lurks beyond the fringe, waiting, and this time the Organians cannot help.)
  • Fuzzies by Marina Butler (humor)
  • Harvey Mudd and the Doctor by Leon Gammell (crossover with Doctor Who) (A strange rescuer gets Mudd out of another sticky situation.)
  • Kirk's Promise by Gamin Davis

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

[Kirk's Promise]: It was written and published in the mid-80s in a New Zealand fanzine called KATRA (ironically, mainly a Klingon/aliens zine), specifically, the 6th issue. I hadn't really intended to publish it at all, since I was, at the time, really uncomfortable with writing this short a story and didn't think I did a very good job. I'd sent it to a pen-pal to get her input, not meaning for her to publish it in her zine, but lo and behold, she *really loved it*, and

spent the next several letters convincing me to let her publish it. The zine has since folded and I've fallen out of touch with my pen- pal, but as she told me she would "go to her grave" liking this story, it occurred to me that others might feel the same way and I thought I would try posting it to find out what kind of reception it would get here, since there is little chance it will ever get reprinted. It's very short, just a vignette, no room for a plot--just Kirk and Spock talking after the events of "Amok Time". And it's not slash, but if you like K/S, you still might enjoy it--it's the first time I ever wrote

anything focusing entirely on them. [7]

Issue 7

Katra: The Living Spirit 7 was published in June 1987 and contains 104 pages.

cover of issue #7
1987 flyer for issue #7
  • Confrontation by Helen Ross (Rumors about Saavik's parentage come to a head and McCoy finds himself in the hot seat.)
  • Reflections on the Past by Gail Schultz (Carol Marcus remembers the happiness and possibilities of the life she couldn't have.)
  • Second Possibilities by Kerry Nash (Working on ideas proposed by Lana, Kerry takes Saavik Maltz, Kor, and a certain child and sets her own series of possibilities of what happened after ST III.)
  • A Horta's Story by Deirdre Forde (Can a Horta feel love for a human? A special friendship is tested.)
  • Teacher's Pet by Lana Brown (Uhura plans a special gift for a certain tutor, but things go badly when the Klingons get involved.)
  • vignettes by Hazel Dodd, Ian McLean, Robert Jan, Linda Slusher
  • insights into Klingon life by Leon Gammell
  • part two of Born of a Woman by Helen Sargeant
  • other work by C. Andrew Hooper, Gail Adams, and Shona Jackson
  • poetry by Sue Isle
  • art by Lana Brown and others

Issue 8

Katra 8

Issue 9

Katra 9 was published in 1988 and contains 121 pages.

1988 flyer for issue #9, click to read
  • Imperatrix: Oathbreakers by Sue Isle
  • A Popular Fallacy by Lana Brown
  • Behind Every Great Man by Linda Slusher
  • I Think Therefore I Am by Hazel Dodd
  • The Plug by Jeremy Broadribb
  • other fiction by Helen Sargeant, Kerry Nash, and Frank Macskasy
  • poetry by Helen Ross, Shona Jackson, Peter Graham
  • art by Lana Brown, Gennie Summers, Andrew McGee, Roslyn Paterson and others


  1. from Treklink #15
  2. from Treklink #15
  3. from Treklink #15
  4. from Beyond Antares #29
  5. from Treklink #8
  6. from The DeForest Dispatch #12
  7. September 9, 1999 comments by the author at alt.startrek.creative