Look Before You Leap

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Title: Look Before You Leap
Publisher: Ruff and Ready Press
Editor(s): Michael Ruff
Date(s): 1991-92
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Quantum Leap, one issue contains much Star Trek:TNG and a bit of Star Trek: DS9
Language: English
External Links:
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Look Before You Leap is a gen Quantum Leap fanzine.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Look Before You Leap 1 contains 130 pages and was published in 1991. It has 14 illustrations. 1992 FanQ nominee - Best QL Zine), 1991. Art by Shiner, Muscarella, Bowhay, Salemi, Michaud.

From an ad in Zine Scene: "An all QL zine featuring more adventures with Sam and Al. Includes the works of Rebecca Reeves, who takes Sam on Vacation; Sheila Paulson builds an adventure story about a psychic's assistant; Michael Ruff writes about Sam involved in the world's oldest profession; Autumn Lee has Sam bird sitting; Anne Muscarella pens the short story "Just a Renaissance Man" and Louann Quails further develops the M.I.A. episode with a touching dream sequence. More from S. L. Schneider and Sara Arnold."

  • The Trial of Tommy Kinneson by S.L. Schneider (14 pages)
  • Outside the Imaging Chamber (2 pages)
  • And So It Goes by Louan Qualls (6 pages)
  • Vacation by Rebecca Reeves (9 pages)
  • Renaissance Man by Anne Muscarella (13 pages)
  • Attila by Autumn Lee (9 pages)
  • St. Norma by Michael Ruff (15 pages)
  • What Dreams May Come (15 pages)
  • The Psychic II by Sheila Paulson

Reactions and Reviews

Two out of five stars. The art is largely awful, but the stories are OK so I can ignore the pictures. "The Psychic" by Sheila Paulson is the one standout story here, along with two shorter pieces by Louann Qualls. [1]

Issue 2

cover of issue 2

Look Before You Leap 2 was published in 1992 and has 140 pages. Art by Kate Nuernberg, Anne Muscarella, David Lawrence, Juanne Michaud, Cindy Barnard, Doranna Shiner, and Nola Frame-Gray.

From an ad in FYI Advine: "LBYLII is the follow-up to one of the original, highly popular, Quantum Leap zines. Issue #2 features a Kate Nuernberg cover, and some of the finest writers in QL fandom. Rebecca Reeves brings us Sam as a corporate tycoon who must correct the man's home life, by dealing with his wife who knows he is not her husband. Sam also finds himself in the bodies of an aging violin virtuoso who must convince a young musician to pursue his work with quantum physics; the henchman of a maniacal killer, where he must kill the killer in order to leap; in the body of a lonely male model, where Sam must unite him with his wife-to-be; as a man with a musical dream; as a famous actor trying to save his wife and his show; even as a gay man trying to prevent a mistake of a friend (a topic even the show was afraid to handle—no slash) and into a teacher who learns a lesson from a student with a terminal illness. Al's stories include: a visit from Sam in a "dream", where Sam tells Al how to save him on one of his leaps; and Al's reunion with Theresa, the little girl from ANOTHER MOTHER."

  • Rooms and Pictures by Scott Tilson (7)
  • A Promise Kept by Shari Ramseur (25)
  • Windmills by Heidi Sanchez (31)
  • Orange Blossom Special" by Sheila Schneider (38)
  • A Lesson Learned by Paul Coppini (50)
  • Dreams of Substance by Shannon O'Connor (61)
  • Genie With the Light Brown Hair by Anne Muscarella (74)
  • Killer by Michael Ruff (86)
  • A Man With a Porpoise or Swims with Dolphins by Donna Hull (98)
  • Straight and Narrow by Michael Ruff (1993 FanQ nominee - Favorite QL story) (110)
  • The Kingford Dynasty by Rebecca Reeves (1993 FanQ nominee - Favorite QL story) (127)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Three out of five stars... cartoons and some cute stories, including yet another where Al visits Theresa Bruckner.
  • "Rooms and Pictures" - Scott Tilson. Sam is a model - but at least he's male! oh why couldn't they have filmed *this* swimwear shoot! Plus Al's conversations with John in the waiting room. Between them can they help a young artist stick with her work?
  • "A Promise Kept" - Shari Ramseur. Another Theresa Bruckner story, her mom really did take her to a "baby shrink", so she eventually decided that she had invented her visiting angels to replace her absent father. A visit from Al shows her otherwise.
  • "Windmills" - Heidi Sanchez. Sam gets Martan Tanner cast as Don Quixote.
  • "Orange Blossom Special" - Sheila Schneider. Another music career story.
  • "A Lesson Learned" - Paul Coppini. Sam's a teacher again, but this time his biggest concern is a terminally ill student.
  • "Dreams of Substance" - Shannon O'Connor. Was Al dreaming or did he really get a message from Sam about the next leap?
  • "Genie With the Light Brown Hair" - Anne Muscarella. Sam's an actor, headed back to his west coast job after a weekend at home.
  • "Killer" - Michael Ruff. Sam leaps into a thief, but his partner has moved on to murder.
  • "A Man witha Porpoise" - Donna Hull. or "Swims with Dolphins" :-) Sam leaps into salt water, literally.
  • "Straight and Narrow" - Michael Ruff (1993 FanQ nominee - Favorite QL story). Sam gets beaten up outside a bar and learns about an incident in Al's past.
  • "The Kingford Dynasty" - Rebecca Reeves (1993 FanQ nominee - Favorite QL story). Yet Another "Sam falls in love and wants to stay" story. [2]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Michael Ruff
flyer, click to read

Look Before You Leap 3 contains 13 stories, is 140 pages long and was published in 1993.

The art is by Juanne Michaud, Mel Vararoutsos, David Lawrence, and Michael Ruff.

From Media Monitor:
All new stories by some of the best Leap authors in fandom. Reeves' story has Sam meeting up with a mysterious old man who possibly has the power to send Sam home; one by Himes is about Sam leaping into a nun at the same orphanage Al grew up in; Ramseur's shows how Sam deals with Al's dath. Sam also leaps into a familiar, futuristic computer (by Ruff), and into female police officer who experiences a tremendous trauma (Tilson).
  • Kindred Spirits by Gary Himes. Sam leaps into a nun at the same orphanage Al grew up in, at Christmas time. Both Al and Sam discover the 'true meaning' of Christmas. (5)
  • A Little Miracle - Part 2 by Lynn Hill. Lonely during the holidays, Sam arrives to comfort him. But Al can touch him!(22)
  • Forget by Scott Tilson. After leaping into a southern, female police officer, Sam struggles to forget the powerful trauma he experienced during the leap. (26)
  • The Leap Back: Donna (37)
  • Tom-Cattin' Around by Sheila Schneider. Sam leaps into a Broadway actor in a very feline musical and into a very 'catty' love triangle. (39)
  • Remembering Beth (45)
  • The Wall by Tracey E. Finifter. A sentimental Al visits the Vietnam Memorial. (46)
  • Leap To Destiny by Rick St. Clair. A story about Sam leaping into an incest victim. (49)
  • Crossed Computers by Michael Ruff. Sam leaps into a familiar futuristic computer and wonders if he'll ever get his body back. (69)
  • An Illogical Leap of Faith by Juanne Michaud. Sam has to make sure a network executive cancels a popular t.v. show to preserve science fiction history. (80)
  • Life Is But A Dream by Michael Ruff. When Sam wakes up in his own bed, he tries to discover if all his leaps were dreams. (84)
  • It's About Time by Rebecca Reeves. Sam meets up with a very mysterious old man who possibly has the power to send Sam home. (88)
  • Someone To Watch Over Me by Shari Ramseur. After Al's death, Sam tries to cope with the loss of his friend. Luckily, he will get some help. (97)

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4, Kate Nuernberg
back cover of issue #4, Mel Vavaroutsos, was also made into a fannish t-shirt
flyer, click to read

Look Before You Leap 4 was published in 1994 and contains 172 pages. It has poetry by Rick St. Clair and Melissa Mastoris.

  • Prologue (2)
  • Reforging the Dream by Lynn Hill. Consequences of meeting Albert the bartender multiply, and Sam and Al must deal with them, including a hit and run accident involving Al's daughter. (4)
  • Double Trouble by Linda McCoskey. Sam leaps home, but as a sixteen year old, and the Sam in the past is shot. What happens if he dies? (19)
  • Amazing Woman, poem by Melissa Mastoris (30)
  • All Things Considered by Sheila Schneider. Divorce questions arise when Sam leaps into a single woman trying to help her married friend. (32)
  • Two Lives, poem by Melissa Mastoris (38)
  • The Leap In Between by Jeanne Bianco. The entity guiding Sam's leaps takes the time to help Sam deal with his adventures, while saving a young woman from destroying herself. But why can she hear Al? (40)
  • A Special Visit by Martha Pepelinski. Did Sam die and go to heaven? If not, why can he speak to a departed loved one? (54)
  • Hide and Seek by Patricia Poole. A curious former leapee shows up at the doorstep of Project Quantum Leap, and sneaks in, determined to know the truth. (56)
  • To Right the Unrightable Wrong by Martha Pepelinski with Tamara Stone. A young woman who idolizes scientist Sam Beckett will be killed unless Sam, in her sister's body, can prevent the murder. But what happens when he has to meet up with Dr. Beckett? (71)
  • Missing Link by Aimee Marie Helton. Sam and Al take a camping trip to help relieve the pressure of a stalled Project Quantum Leap. (86)
  • Prisoner by Cheryl Belluci. Sam leaps into a man bound and gagged. Will Al be there to help keep Sam sane? (93)
  • Last Walk, poem by Melissa Mastoris (96)
  • Leaping Back From the Dead by Michael Ruff. Sam leaps into a corpse -- but is there more to being dead? (98)
  • Briefcase Blues by Patricia Poole. A female divorce attorney's life presents Sam with the dilemma of how to deal with one of her distraught clients. (106)
  • Titus & the Laws of Physics by Aimee Marie Helton. A young rich girl, with lots and spunk and charm, turns Sam's life upside down, until he realizes he knows her... from the future. (130)
  • Epilogue by Rick St. Clair (168)

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Look Before You Leap 5 includes Star Trek crossovers. It was published in 1995 and is 118 pages long.

Quantum Leap contents:

  • Teacher’s Aid (22 pages)
  • Crossed Leap (2 pages)
  • Operator’s Standing By (4 pages)
  • Wheel Of Fate (8 pages)
  • Déjà Vu (2 pages)

Star Trek contents:

  • The Captain’s Time by Dawn Schlosser (STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION) (13 pages)
  • Leap Space Nine by Michael Ruff (DEEP SPACE NINE) (11 pages)
  • No Escape From Reality by Terri Librande (STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION) (36 pages)
  • The Fire In Which We Burn Timothy Gerard (STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION) (8 pages)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

When I saw that this zine had a special Star Trek crossover section, I just had to get it. I have a fondness for Star Trek/QL crossovers. The one I wrote was the first one I ever saw, and I like to think I started something. Not true, but I’m sometimes in my own little fantasy world anyway. Let’s skip over the first half of the zine, which is pure, unadulterated QL, and forward to the Star Trek section... "The Captain’s Time," by Dawn Schlosser, takes place on Picard’s Enterprise. The Enterprise is approaching Earth when they hit a temporal distortion. . . natch. . . and are catapulted into 1999. They soon discover a Vulcan ship full of Romulans with nefarious plans toward ten-year-old Elmer Cochrane, future father of Zephram Cochrane, inventor of the warp drive. This story is divided up into small scenes, which gives it a rather scattered feeling . . . the scenes should be longer. And I have to wonder why (a) somebody saddled a poor child with the name "Elmer" and (b) why young Elmer is in school by himself . . . because no one comes looking when the Federation and the Romulans have their fight. And why does Ziggy think that Crusher and Picard should fall in love .. . other than misplaced romanticism? And it’s a good thing that the author didn’t use the "body leaping" theory of Quantum Leap... In "Leap Space Nine," by Michael Ruff, a retrieval attempt has failed on Sam and has placed him firmly in Rom’s life on Deep Space Nine . . . Rom, the brother of Quark, spiritual descendent of TOS’s Harcourt Fenton Mudd). He learns the fine art of bartending (basically repeating a drink request in the replicator) and while serving, observes Quark meeting with a pair of aliens he is told are Miradorns, which make him uneasy. The bulk of the story is spent in trying to contact Al, and what happens afterwards. OK, I can believe two impossible things before breakfast, but not three. Why can the Miradorns see Sam as human, but Bashir’s sensors list him as pure Ferengi? How can Ziggy connect with the Holosuite, and how does that augment Al’s signal? (OK, OK, let’s pass over that, I never did figure out how Sam and Al communicated without Al being physically present, and if I think too hard, the whole house of cards will come down.) But, other than that, I thought it was a cute story, even, as with most of these, seeming a bit too short. "No Escape From Reality", by Terri Librande, is one of the best crossovers. . . and the better stories. . . in this zine. The universe is being buffeted by waves of time displacement, and Picard’s Enterprise has been sent to investigate. While "talking" with the Guardian of Time, a man in a white jumpsuit falls out of the vortex, unconscious. The Enterprise crew takes him back, and subsequently finds that he is Sam Beckett, time traveler. The Guardian announces that he’s there to do something, then must be returned. Meanwhile, back at the project, Al is going nuts, and does something rash... I enjoyed this story from the start to almost the end. I did get rather confused at the end, and only with the second read-through did I figure out what had happened and how and why. I’m not sure whether that was the fault of the story or of me! [3]

Issue 6

Look Before You Leap 6 was published in 1996 and contains 246 pages. It is a novel, "Rosemary for Remembrance" by Michele Plourde-Barker, cover by Kate Nuernberg.

Rosemary for Remembrance is a full-length novel written by Michele Plourde-Barker with a dynamic cover by Kate Nuernberg. Piourde-Barker does an amazingjob interweaving a challenging leap for Sam with a sub-plot about an attempt by Donna Elesee to bring her husband Home. It's October 1985 when Sam Leaps into Jim Martowski, a high-school English teacher. Sam's mission is to try to convince a boy named Freddy Garcia to renounce his membership in a gang. His efforts are complicated

when he learns that Jim and Freddy share a secret that could prove fatal to both. Meanwhile. Donna enlists Jim's help in an effort to bring Sam Home. Will Sam be able to change Freddy's life without losing his own? And will Donna's plan succeed, or will she be forced to take a desperate risk of her own to retrieve Sam? [4]


  1. from rec.arts.sf.tv.quantum-leap, publicly accessible in 2009
  2. from rec.arts.sf.tv.quantum-leap, publicly accessible in 2009
  3. from U.S.S. Gryphon
  4. from a flyer in Late for Breakfast #31