My second volume receives its title from the many poems that purport to be actual quotes from Jacob Bleek's evil tome. At this point I was slowly beginning to concentrate on prose.
An Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Second Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Third Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Fourth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
Alone With the Night Crew (ss)
This short story presents the first example of a theme which I have employed for years: that of a man who mysteriously drops out of the world as we know it, into another similar but creepier realm, but only gradually becoming aware of it. In this case, the hero sets out to do a little late night shopping, discovers that he has chosen the wrong store.Published by DF_underground.
The Fifth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Sixth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Seventh Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Eighth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
This, as it happened, was a poetic dry run for "A Detour to Skull Valley". The narratives are virtually identical. Skull Valley is a very tiny, off the beaten track Arizona village. I mainly remember it for seeing peacocks wandering loose there.
The Ninth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Tenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Eleventh Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Twelfth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
A Detour to Skull Valley (ss)
This short story is quite similar to "Alone With the Night Crew". This time, a man starts to experience weirdness while on a business trip. Before he knows it he has ended up in Skull Valley, a town that definitely operates according to a different set of rules.
Published by Tower of Light.
The Thirteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
This is a real, and unremarkable, canyon in northern AZ. I liked the name. This poem bears no relationship, save geographical, to the later short story with the same title.
This is the last of my poetry-prose combinations, this one long enough that I chose to style it a short story. Other than length, it is identical to the earlier examples of the type. A New Age nut journeys to Sedona, AZ seeks "oneness" with the cosmos, discovers to his dismay what really underlies the mystic power he senses there. In this, and later stories, I make use of the pop trappings associated with the locale, but bend them to my own gloomy purposes.
Published by The Wifiles.
The Fourteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Advent of the Exterminators (ss)
This is one of my rare forays into Science fiction, a little yarn about alien spacefarers come to Earth in order to destroy it. Really, that is all there is to it. The tale makes use of a theme which begins to receive fuller development with my next short story.
Published in I, Executioner by Rimfire Books.
The Fifteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
Subject No. 249 (ss)
This story, one of my more horrid offerings, definitely commences what I call my "paranoia" theme, which I put to use in tales about strange, secretive organizations or shadowy characters who are up to no good, often for no clearly defined reason. In this one, a horrendous agency (government, corporate; who knows?) rather casually targets a man and his family for destruction.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
Thanksgiving In Sedona
The Wickenburg Shaft
This poem is a forerunner of "The Legend of the Vulture Mine".
Nights In Oak Creek Canyon
This is my longest sonnet cycle-- twenty-four of them!-- which pretty much just form a short story in rhyme. Writing this one may have just about burned me out on poetry. The location, Oak Creek Canyon, is the jewel of Arizona, one of the loveliest places I have ever seen.
Realization: A Tale of the True Theory (ss)
This story is patterned after Poe's "The Imp of the Perverse", in that the doomed narrator first presents the reader with what seems a dispassionate essay, only to then illustrate the dread theme through his own fate. In this case, the hero is a scientist who can not help falling for all kinds of pseudo-scientific claptrap. What finally does him in is a reading of an obscure, scurrilous pamphlet by an unknown kook who calls himself Professor Anton Vorchek. Yes, this is the first story in which Vorchek is mentioned, although he does not appear on stage, except in a dream of the hero. Vorchek's persona is presented quite differently from later portrayals.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
A Critique of Vorchek's Holobiologia (ss)
This was an experiment, a short story masquerading as a book review. The critic savages a volume by a mysterious Professor Vorchek, a work making the most outrageous claims, yet through the verbal hostility one may deduce that the author is actually on to something. Here it is first suggested-- in a backhand manner, to be sure-- that Vorchek truly is learned in his chosen subjects.
Published by Mad Scientist Journal.
Langley's Painting (ss)
This is one of my personal favorites, the story of an avant-garde artist who desires to paint the ultimate reality. His finished work is difficult to describe, and people react to it in different ways, including suicide. The narrator, an art critic who sponsors Langley, receives an alarming letter from one Professor Anton Vorchek, who again does not appear in the tale, though we read his words.
Published by Firefox News.
The Report From Hansen's Planet (ss)
Another stab at moody science fiction, this one about space explorers visiting an unknown planet and facing murderous peril. I tried to think up a menace other than the usual sort.Published in Outer Reaches by Black Matrix Publishing.
The Man In the Globe (ss)
This is another of my paranoia stories, and my favorite of that bunch. A man is invited to a fancy gathering of an obscure organization which he believes offers him great prospects. He finds himself the guest of honor, to his detriment.
Published by The Edge of Propinquity.
The Sixteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
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