With this volume I start developing Professor Vorchek and Jacob Bleek in a big way. They are truly the stars of this set; Vorchek gets some of his best cases, while Bleek leads the reader through his many adventures in my first novel. I also began writing poetry again, but sporadically, as has been my way since.
My Copy of Bleek
Canyon Diablo (ss)
Here Vorchek is in full stride investigating a mystery, this one involving rumors of a lost Indian tribe in northern Arizona. Canyon Diablo is a real place, but the scenery of this short story is more derived from the badlands of the Little painted desert County Park north of Winslow. In this adventure Vorchek is accompanied by a type of fellow-- the hapless graduate student-- who reappears in later excursions. Vorchek's students do not fare well, as this example proves, also serving to reveal the darker side of Vorchek's lust for knowledge.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
This canyon is a real place, a lovely one located in the heart of the Red Rock Country near Sedona, AZ.
Then Blug Will Call
The Seventeenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
A Vision of Blug
The Man Who Sought Blug (ss)
This may be my favorite Vorchek story, in which he, with Theresa in tow, is approached by a high paying client with an extremely unusual request. Anything associated with Blug is going to be nasty, and I admit that this story delivers the goods. Vorchek resolves matters satisfactorily, but who benefits, save himself?
Published by Chimaera Serials.
The Legend of the Vulture Mine (ss)
Vorchek and Theresa are once more on the trail of weirdness, this time at the historic Vulture Mine, located near picturesque Vulture Peak outside of Wickenburg, AZ. Vorchek learns the truth behind the hideous tales connected with the mine's early history, much to his satisfaction, at least.
Published by The Harrow.
The Eighteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Rocks On Humphrey's Peak
The peak referred to is the highest mountain in Arizona, one point on the rim of a gigantic ancient volcano that blew itself to bits long ages ago. The remnants of that single geological structure make up what are now known as the San Francisco Peaks.
An Old Cave Springs Story
Cave Springs is a minor feature within Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona. It is not open to the public. I liked the name.
The Nineteenth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The Twentieth Extract From the Black Book of Jacob Bleek
The West Fork
The title refers to the west fork of Oak Creek, which flows through a gorgeous slot canyon before it empties into the main stream.
The Lair of the Vampire
Cathedral Rock (ss)
This short piece alludes to the magnificent red rock bluff near Sedona, one of the most eye-catching formations in an area famous for them. Professor Vorchek briefly appears in this tale of malicious influences from remote eons surviving to the present day.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
The Discovery of the X Force (ss)
This very short tale, although it stars Professor Vorchek, is really a kind of end-of-the-world story, bearing no great similarity to his other stories except for the use of his name. Clever Vorchek discovers a cosmic principle which should offer enormous benefits to mankind. Unfortunately, for reasons that have nothing to do with science or logic, it brings stark tragedy.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
Jacob Bleek On the Mountain (ss)
Another very short story, a "quickie" dealing with the gloomy wizard attempting to wrest eternal secrets from the gods. He gets what he demands, yet not at all what he expects.Published in Science and Sorcery by the Press of Dyrezan.
The Journey of Jacob Bleek (n)
The theme of the last story, so quintessentially Bleek, sufficiently tantalized me that I decided to go for broke and devote an entire novel to the idea. The Journey of Jacob Bleek is an episodic novel of that antique mage's quest for the unbounded knowledge and power that only the gods may bestow, divided into ten chapters, each recounting an adventure along the way to his goal. The Chapters are:
Certain scenes in the final chapter are set in the Red Rock Country around Sedona, specifically Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte, the latter the model for the stupendous Mountain of the Gods.
Published by Reliquary Press.
Return to Introduction