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.
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.
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.
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
Consult this expanded Table of Contents for a taste of the perils therein: Science and Sorcery Contents
This expanded Table of Contents offers some warning of what to expect: Science and Sorcery II Contents
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.
4-6-17: Having lately read important new Lovecraftian works by Joshi and Schultz, I've been inspired to brood once again over the writings of the Master. The result is Back to Basics with Lovecraft.
3-30-17: Swords and Sorcery Magazine has graciously published a new tale of mine, copied from the lost scrolls of ancient Dyrezan. This time, in the aftermath of a disastrous campaign, the heroic Lord Morca finds seeming peace and safety during "A Sojourn in Crost." Little does he know...
3-15-17: I've been a fan of carnivorous, cannibalistic, undead ghoul cinema for a long time, but those films aren't what they used to be. Lately, most of them stink. In Salvaging the Zombie Movie I try to figure out what has gone wrong, and what can be put right.
12-4-16: Crimson Streets is the magazine that declares "Pulp: It's More Than Noir." I hope they prove that with the story of mine they have been gracious enough to publish. "Klinghofer's Folly," another adventure of the daring rogue Sterk Fontaine, concerns a crazed Hollywood director whose unbounded penchant for the occult leads to menacingly imaginative movie-making.
12-3-16: The new publication from Bride of Chaos, 9Tales Told in the Dark 20, offers "The Idol of Zita," an especially macabre piece starring Professor Anton Vorchek and his lovely companion, Theresa Delaney. It's all about a prehistoric Mexican statuette, and what some will do to get hold of it, and what might happen if it gets hold of them!
11-15-16: Cirsova, the "Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine," showcases my weird tale from the great age of Dyrezan, "The Vault of Phalos." This time around, the lordly wizards Nantrech and Morca confront the horrors of an evil religion ushering in a reign of darkness and terror.
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.
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.
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.