THE WEIRD WRITINGS OF JEFFERY SCOTT SIMS

This site is devoted to the fiction of Jeffery Scott Sims, designed by me, the author, to further acquaint interested readers with my work. It is divided into the following categories: this introductory page; a series of pages listing my productions in chronological fashion, with appropriate annotations where necessary or illuminating; a frequently updated list of publications where my stories may currently be found; a page devoted to notable personalities and places that appear in my writings; a special pictorial page dealing with some of the real world locations that have inspired many tales; and an ever growing page offering a collection of essays written by me germane to the weird tale and my work.

Red Rock Country
The author high up in the fabled Red Rock Country, near Sedona, AZ.

I continue to pass literary milestones in my career as a writer of fantastic fiction: a published novel, three self-published collections that actually sell copies, and now ninety paid short story sales to my credit thus far. Boy, I certainly have no right to complain. Once upon a time I couldn't dream that such a day would come. For many years I wrote stories, in spurts, to no practical effect other than my own amusement or that of my friends. Back then I'd have been satisfied with one lousy sale. Then suddenly, without clear explanation, I did begin selling my wares; yes, for money! It's amazing how that happens. Surely there must be a reason, something more than the stars coming right. That lengthy apprenticeship should have counted for something--I got better at it, surely?--except that even my older material sells pretty well now. Maybe, for all I know, markets changed, became more amenable to my stuff. I hope that at some point in the far future an obsessed graduate student, struggling over a prized thesis, will figure it out for anybody who cares. Meanwhile, I'm simply grateful that it worked out.

I never gave up trying. That should count for something. I've been writing stories since adolescence, for school publications (mimeographed in those elder times) or to entertain my buddies. Just as important, I think, I read a lot, voraciously, imbibing and glorying in the essence of literary strangeness. Scarcely was I past the Dick and Jane phase than I fastened on science fiction, which remained a staple until adulthood. During the third grade I read all of the classic novels of H.G. Wells--which to this day still strike me as the epitome of that form--recall fashioning a class project out of clay in a shoe box to illustrate a scene, entitled "The Fight In the Cave of the Moon Butchers," from The First Men In the Moon. As a late adolescent, perhaps about the age of twelve, I read a story, not heeding the author then, which began the permanent shift in my tastes. A year or two later a friend gave me a paperback collection of tales by H.P. Lovecraft, and I soon discovered that mesmerizing story to be "The Shadow Out of Time." I was hooked, and have ever been since a fan of the double-dyed weird. In my teens I read half a dozen times The Lord of the Rings, found another outlet for imagination in pure fantasy. I began writing stories regularly then, for the first time seriously intending to publish commercially.

My literary gods of the weird, those I acknowledge as the supreme masters in their particular lines, are Lovecraft (still, and always), Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, M.R. James, and E.R. Eddison. Each provides me with the very best of what I crave from great stories of their kind. I measure others, and more importantly myself, against them.

Save for a few forays into SF, and the occasional light touch, most of my writings can be described as weird horror and dark fantasy. I write of beasties creeping in the night, or beyond the rim of the universe; I write of fabulous worlds and remote eras of my own invention. I have sought, my very best, to learn from the masters without imitating them. The story I pen is meant to be mine, not a copy of another's.

Many of my tales are one-off creations, written and done with, yet scarcely planning to do so I have fashioned characters who came to mean so much that they began to appear again and again. So I have written many a yarn of the obsessive researcher Professor Anton Vorchek, he of the keen mind and hazy credentials, constantly delving into morbid mysteries than no one else can fathom, often accompanied by his loyal but querulous young assistant Theresa Delaney. Self-serving, larceny-hearted Sterk Fontaine keeps confronting grotesque horrors, despite his best efforts to avoid them. The Lords Morca and Nantrech, and the host of wizards and warriors of fabled Dyrezan conjure, connive, and battle their way through that mystical antique empire. So too I have written of the cold-minded, somber sorcerer of yesteryear Jacob Bleek--now the hero of a personally cherished novel--a man of few words but eager desire for ultimate wisdom and power, the goal of a quest for which he wanders the world and beyond, never (mercifully) achieving, but always finding marvelous adventure. Those characters, I suspect, will appear again, along with the numerous others who pass briefly by to face unusual perils or suffer unimaginable fates.

For those already familiar with my stories, I trust that the contents of this web site will enhance the pleasure. For those unfamiliar, I hope that it will inspire interest and curiosity to delve into those eldritch tomes. My stories mean a great deal to me. I wish that the perusal of them may prove that to the readers' satisfaction.


GATEWAY TO THE ESSAYS

Go to the Essays Page to read my studies of some of the works of my favorite authors. I offer essays devoted to many worthies of the weird: Basil Copper, H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Elizabeth Walter, William Hope Hodgson, E. R. Eddison, and J. T. McIntosh, among others. In addition, I have composed several essays consisting of supplementary material to my own works.


EERIE ARIZONA: STRANGE TALES BY JEFFERY SCOTT SIMS

Eerie Arizona

***Journey into dread!*** Vacation in style--if your style be shock and mind-shattering fear--with this new volume from the Press of Dyrezan as your guidebook: Eerie Arizona, sixteen stories of ghosts, monsters, and assorted creepy night things lurking amidst the wondrously beautiful and grotesque scenery of colorful Arizona. Investigate haunted houses and spooky mine shafts with Professor Anton Vorchek, dare ghost towns that may harbor unquiet denizens, confront demons loosed from the pits of hell festering among the lonely mountains and gloomy valleys. If a pleasantly disturbed night's sleep is what you need, then Eerie Arizona is the place to go!

Prepare for your exploration of Arizona's terrors and mysteries with this expanded Table of Contents: Eerie Arizona Contents

Learn more about Eerie Arizona and the places described in it: Notes on the Collection Eerie Arizona

SCIENCE AND SORCERY: A COLLECTION OF ALARMING TALES

Science and Sorcery

***Terrifying news!*** Under the new imprint of the Press of Dyrezan, I have caused to be published my volume of short stories Science and Sorcery: A Collection of Alarming Tales, containing fifteen good old fashioned oddities, morbidities, and otherwise thrilling accounts of strange matters. Find a copy and revel in the ominous investigations of Professor Anton Vorchek, the dire adventures of Jacob Bleek, and a host of other characters who, perhaps less willingly, confront the grim unknown. You know the drill: read it with the lights on, and all that stuff. Other than your life, you have nothing to lose!

Consult this expanded Table of Contents for a taste of the perils therein: Science and Sorcery Contents

SCIENCE AND SORCERY II: MORE TALES OF THE STRANGE AND THE FANTASTIC

Science and Sorcery II

***Shocking Development!*** The Press of Dyrezan assails sanity with a second collection of wild and weird short stories Science and Sorcery II: More Tales of the Strange and the Fantastic, containing once again fifteen astounding odysseys into the realms of the eerie, the horrifying, and the colorfully imaginative. Jacob Bleek and Professor Vorchek are back in all new adventures, along with a fresh crew of unique heroes, villains, and victims in their own stories of startling dread and wonder. Creatures of the darkness, nightmares from beyond impossibility, and glories of forgotten magical epochs teem within these pages. Don't take my word for it: buy a copy now and prepare to be amazed!

This expanded Table of Contents offers some warning of what to expect: Science and Sorcery II Contents

THE JOURNEY OF JACOB BLEEK

The Journey of Jacob Bleek

***Stop the presses!*** Unless, that is, they be those at Reliquary Press, which presents (and has published in various formats) a wonderful edition of my dark fantasy novel, The Journey of Jacob Bleek. Excuse my prejudice, but I say this is a must buy. Imagine, an entire book filled with the adventures of the cunning wizard Jacob Bleek, truly one of the most unusual heroes in weird literature!

My essay, "Notes On The Journey of Jacob Bleek", provides a great deal of extra material pertaining to the book. I urge all to read it, that they may discover what the novel is all about, how it came to be written, and whence came all those weird and marvelous features that make it the kind of story it is.


BREAKING NEWS!

8-4-16: The latest issue of Night to Dawn Magazine contains my morbid period piece, "The Russian Temple," about a French officer who confronts the cursed undead during Napoleon's 1812 campaign.

7-24-16: 9Tales Told in the Dark 14, published by the Bride of Chaos, presents a really weird one of mine. It's called "Xenophor's Children," and I wrote it, but it's hard for me to describe what kind of story it is. I did say it was weird, right? It's that, and creepy through and through, and...well, you had better read it.

7-8-16: Dyrezan, the story of that incredible kingdom of magic, of hurled spells of doom and clashing swords; Dyrezan, its tales told in poetry, novel, and a big batch of short stories. Read how the concept developed from slender beginnings to a full-blown literary corpus of heroic fantasy in The Wonderful World of Dyrezan.

6-23-16: Want to know how one author came to be? The incredible, world-shaking story can be read in Why I Write Weird Fiction.

3-31-16: The excellent Aurora Wolf Literary Journal has published my latest haunted house spine-tingler, "Those Who Came After." They've been waiting for you!

3-24-16: Notes on the Collection Eerie Arizona is a photographic essay providing information on the creation of the new volume and a pictorial on the places described in the stories.

3-2-16: The Press of Dyrezan presents Eerie Arizona, my long awaited collection of regional horrors. Sixteen weird tales run the gamut from pioneer era hauntings to the modern mysteries of Professor Anton Vorchek, intrepid investigator of the supernatural and the supernormal, with all stories set in choice Arizona locales.

12-21-15: 9Tales Told in the Dark 8, published by the Bride of Chaos, presents a brand new adventure starring Sterk Fontaine. This time Fontaine tumbles head first into horror when he seeks a fabulous occult prize, "The Eye of Blug."

10-22-15: In this latest essay on the great author of The Night Land, Three Novels by William Hope Hodgson tackles his remaining trio of longer works. Learn about The Boats of the "Glen Carrig," The House on the Borderland, and The Ghost Pirates.

8-13-15: The latest edition of Wolfsinger Publications' print magazine, Mystic Signals, continues the chronicles of ancient Dyrezan with my story of weird fantasy, "The Castle of Chakaron." This time Lords Nantrech and Morca, seeking a fabulous magical scroll, uncover the hideous truth concerning its current possessor, and his morbid companions.

7-16-15: Tales of the Talisman, a fine looking print magazine devoted to fantastic stories, has published my weird tale, "A Trivial Case of Haunting." Well, that's what Professor Vorchek calls it. For Sterk Fontaine, who as usual has gone a little too far, it's an unbearable threat to life or sanity. Critical scenes unfold amidst the Indian ruins at Casa Malpais, near Springerville, Arizona.

6-19-15: What happens when anybody besides Lovecraft tries writing Lovecraft? The results are all over the map. In my new essay, Lovecraftian Ways, Wrong and Right, I attempt to come to grips with the harrowing task of composing Mythos fiction worthy of the Master.

6-2-15: The good folks at Whortleberry Press have published the latest installment in their series of weird anthologies, Strange Mysteries 6, which contains the Professor Vorchek and Theresa Delaney thriller "The Granite Dells Mystery." A tale of lurking horrors among the rocks and caves of Arizona, this is the original story introducing another popular character of mine, the self-serving scamp Sterk Fontaine. While several of his adventures have already been published, here his initial "cooperation" with Vorchek sees the light of day. Fontaine is his usual daring and troublesome self in this one.

5-16-15: Mystic Signals, a print magazine from Wolfsinger Publications, presents my creepy sword and sorcery adventure, "The Ghouls of Kalkris." Another tale uncovered from the papyrus fragments of ancient Dyrezan, this one pits redoubtable Lord Morca and his intrepid men against hideous, man-eating monsters and a beautiful countess. Where lies the danger?

5-10-15: The Haunted Traveler, "a roaming anthology dedicated to bringing you some of the most shocking and twisted tales this world has to offer," attempts to push the envelope by publishing my story of supernatural nastiness, "The Mad One." In this one, learn how when an evil god runs out of worshipers-- or are they victims?-- it patiently waits for more.

5-1-15: News, a tad distressing, from a recent visit to Dead Horse Ranch State Park outside Cottonwood, Arizona. The old shack, prominently perched on a hill top near the campground, is no more. Always much dilapidated, it had fallen into hopeless disrepair, and in recent months has been demolished. Why does this matter? Well, that shack (or its fanciful literary version) factors in the climax of my weird Professor Vorchek tale, "A Nature Scene." The story, published in Science and Sorcery, may contain all that will survive of the antique structure.

4-16-15: In the ongoing series presented by the Bride of Chaos, 9Tales Told in the Dark 5 offers my novelette, "The Kingdom of the Anasazi." This massive Vorchek and Theresa epic deals with subterranean mystery and terror in the wilds of Arizona.

4-1-15: Professor Anton Vorchek is far and away my most popular character, the hero of numerous published weird tales. It's about time he got his own essay, and here it is: The Curious History of Professor Vorchek.


For my own purposes, I have divided my works chronologically into volumes, some of which are grab bags, others designed around themes. The stories have not been published in these formats, although I have borrowed titles for professional publications. Click on the following links to read the titles within each volume, and the accompanying notes.

Weird Poetry

Extracts From the Black Book

A Horror Without End

Experiments In Fear

Science and Sorcery

Perchance to Dream

The Lords of Dyrezan

Vorchek's Mysteries

Less Likely Impossibilities

The Mines of Morpheus

A Cannibal Carnival

Eerie Arizona

Fearsome Follies

Shades of Lovecraft

Worlds Fanciful and Frightful


Read essays about some of my favorite authors and subjects.

Seek my currently available stories.

Consult brief synopses of notable characters and creations found in my tales.

See photographs of the genuine locations that form the settings for many of my stories.


Reach me by e-mail.