From the creators of Baedan: announcing Contagion Press

From Contagion Press

Contagion: an infectious disease, especially one whose transmission requires bodily contact, or broadly speaking any harmful or corrupting influence. From the Latin contagionem: a touching or contact, especially with something physically or morally unclean. From com: together + tangere: to touch.

Queerness, anarchy, witchcraft, crime – so many plagues against which society must be defended, so many lines of transmission for a breakdown our bodies are only beginning to give sense and give in to, so many threads with which we weave our experiments in an altogether different sense of public health.

A press, because we are bibliophiles by disposition, so as to render ourselves another vector for the contagion, because it is after all nothing but a certain pressing together of ink and paper, paper and glue, that takes place in the printing process, in that of book binding, just as it is nothing other than a contagion of selves that happens when we write, when we read, when we tend our minds together.

This announcement comes admittedly late. We have tabled some two dozen book fairs and put out as many titles in these seven years without a proper title of our own. It is true that we have often been inclined toward obscurities, but it was also that we simply sensed that the name, website, and so on were less pressing than other aspects of the work.

Our first project, Baedan: Journal of Queer Nihilism, was self-published in DIY fashion on an old offset press in the garage. From there we have added new titles by following our desires and curiosities and those of our friends engaged in translation, revivals of lost texts, and experiments in thought. As the machines have turned out new material, we have learned bits of the arts of print and bookmaking, piracy and translation under our own instruction. From our underground efforts – underground as much by necessity as inclination – we have begun to appear in more aboveground ways. You can sign up for our mailing list in the footer on our site.

If 2018 was the year of our new name and the launch of our website, it also saw the release of at least five new titles. Here they are in case you missed them:

Be Gay Do Crime, the collected writings of the Mary Nardini Gang

Among the discordant chorus of anons who penned the defining texts of the queer anarchist network Bash Back!, none was more fervent in its glorification of criminal desire, decadent hedonism, and social undoing than the Milwaulkee-based Mary Nardini Gang. Their fiery “Towards the Queerest Insurrection” still circulates as an integral manifesto of riotous queerness, while the “Criminal Intimacy” and “Whore Theory” have made their more subterranean way into innumerable conversations and correspondences.

Ten years later, the secretive group supplements these collected writings with a subtle retrospective. Carefully unlocking the hidden layers of their theses on insurrection, they face up to what they got wrong, concede that the world ended somewhere between the Greek insurrection of 2008 and now, and insist upon the vital task of ushering new worlds into being as we live amid the decomposition and cataclysmic death throes of the old one. To their theses on insurrection, they prepend a new arcana tooled for opening onto the queerest of outsides.

Dedicated to their friends among the dead, this pocket edition is a necromantic mirror, an encrypted message to old loves, and an invitation to those finding these words for the first time.

125 pp

The Otherworlds Review

Originally published as a monthly column on It’s Going Down from 2017 to 2018, The Otherworlds Review is a bricolage of dispatches from the end times, spiritual techniques, and ways of seeing, assembled each lunar month for the benefit of discerning necromancers and starry-eyed insurgents the world over, collected here in pocketbook form.

The collection includes all seven issues (Introduction, Ghosts, Masks, Snakes, Calendars, Always Coming Home, and Spiritual Anarchism), new retrospective afterwords, and reader-submitted appendices.

162 pp
The Otherworlds Review

Movement for No Society

Place-based anarchist research and analysis from an anonymous Philly collective. ”Pacifist ideals and reformist strategies have long held sway over the radical imagination in Philadelphia. Insurrectionary activity is willfully misunderstood, and its historical legacy largely forgotten. One of the ways we have tried to break this hold is through a series of talks called “Movement for No Society.” In these talks we explored some of the historical conditions for our situation and attempted to recover more interesting insurgent possibilities and their paths through Philadelphia’s history. Our research for these talks eventually became this book.”

260 pp
Movement for No Society

The Sapphomanteion, a lesbian oracle

A new divination system based on ancient Greco-Egyptian bibliomancy as preserved in the Magical Papyri, created using Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho’s fragments. This lesbian oracle is a powerful tool for connecting with Venus, Aphrodite and the queer dead.

Try it online at

100 pp


First Protocols of Queer Goetia

A small, powerful set of mythopoetic instructions for working with the queer dead, composed in the days after the San Francisco Bay Area’s overlapping underground worlds lost thirty-six of their people in the Ghost Ship Fire.

Queer: “strange, peculiar, eccentric.” From the German quer, meaning “oblique, perverse, odd,” which in turn comes from the Old High German word for “oblique,” twerh, which is derived from the root terkw-, “to turn, twist, wind,” as in “the labyrinth turns, twists, winds.”

Goetia: “the invocation of daemons or spirits” from the ancient Greek goeteia, “sorcery,” from goes, “sorcerer, wizard,” ultimately derived from goao, “to wail, to cry,” as in mourning or in a funeral rite.

You can also download and print it out here. Folding instructions are available here.

8 pp
First Protocols of Queer Goetia

That’s the latest, and you can find our full catalog at

2018 was a big year for us, and 2019 is going to be just as full of great new content. Here’s a taste of what’s coming soon:

Baedan 4: Queer Book of the Dead

The much-anticipated fourth issue of our journal Bædan will be the most necromantic to date. If you haven’t yet checked out the first three issues – nihilism, heresy, and time travel – you can find them on our site, at the journal’s blog, and on the Anarchist Library.

Warlike, Howling, Pure by Heathen Chinese

Shattering the confinement of liberatory struggle within a framework of secular, rationalist human progress, Heathen Chinese draws on a broad array of inspirations from the slave uprisings of Haiti 1791 and the Spartacus revolt to the anti-Christian Boxer Rebellion, from the Galleanist anarchists to Tupac Shakur and Black Liberation, in a call to rekindle the flames of millenarian and messianic revolt in alliance with ancestral, divine, and mythic powers.

Heliogabalus, or, The Crowned Anarchist by Antonin Artaud

Sometimes considered the most lucid work of its famously mad author, The Crowned Anarchist is a rollicking account of the life of Heliogabalus, the most bizarre emperor of Rome: transsexual, occultist, and, by Artaud’s telling, an anarchist who helped usher in the demise of Roman civilization, not as a barbarian at the gates but as a depraved and orgiastic degenerate at the very heart of its power.


The first complete English translation of Acéphale, the journal of Georges Bataille’s secret society which from 1936–39 fought to reclaim Nietzsche from the fascists, practiced a strange and monstrous Dionysian mysticism, obsessed over human sacrifice, and repeatedly scribbled drawings of a headless figure that may symbolize the becoming we are called to undergo.


To hear about these new titles as they are released, you can subscribe to our mailing list, which we are planning to broadcast on more or less seasonally. You can also follow us on the abominable social media – links are below.

Finally, our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported and challenged us in the project these years: to our writers, correspondents, reviewers and critics, to those who have helped with editing, art, design, translation and distribution, and especially to our enthusiastic readers.

Contagion Press

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There are 12 Comments

longer than that. at least a year I think. I got a copy of What is Gender Nihilism from them a while back. Their books are really really good and gay.

Sicc. Didn’t see Acephale on their site. But I think most of the first issue is already in a book I have.

Society can create geniuses such as Artaud, but more often these days it keeps them from becoming an Artaud. Today, at best he'd be your usual male derelict middle-aged street crackhead... shifting between the mission and the prison, to just maybe end up in the streets 'til the next repressive regime puts him back into jail. There used to be a time where the psychotic had some artistic panacea, but today it all goes to the normies or at best moderately-neurotic petulant hipsters.

In a nutshell yes I am depressed by our "age" and especially at the thought that it might have gone beyond being an age. A few things can make me smile, but I dunno if more publications within safe echo chambers will help. Helps make my brain work harder, that's true, but that's just what it does. I want shit aimed at the real world. Bitcoins, alternative pharma, arsons, people abandoning their cars on highways... you name it. But more textwalls? Play me some night music.

Come table Green Scare Anarchist Bookfair.

...isn't that crowd becoming another typical Californian cult, at this point? With Backwoods/Bellamy now being its mighty northeastern arm, and possibly a Midwest venture also waiting to happen?

Only (cyber) scenesters would complain about high-functioning, INTELLIGENT anarchist publishing projects being a "west coast cult" or a "scene within a scene"...Chances are pretty high that they've never personally written anything longer than a text message or a term paper...

I just learned from Shadow of Deleuze that Bataille was a fascist and that anyone who cites him must be suspect too. What are we going to do?

It briefly hints at Bataille's morbid mysticism, which may or may not have tied in with the death cult of fascism, but at some second or third degree of narrative... Are you butthurt about this text having efficiently revised the delusional misrepresentations of Deleuze you may ave nurtured for all these years? If so, I'm sorry you've been blindfolded, by maybe you could take some more critical distance from po-mo philosophers next time? The guy was a Left Statist in favor of democracy and human rights. He made it quite clear.

2009 called they want their boring insurrecto distros back
they also said they already knew deleuze was a fascist sry :/

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