All of the stories in this volume are set in or based on scenic or otherwise notable locations in my home state.
The Granite Dells Mystery (ss)
Professor Vorchek and Theresa Delaney team up with the self-serving adventurer Sterk Fontaine to find a magical idol reputedly hidden in a fabled Indian burial.The Granite Dells, rising outside of Prescott, are an impressive wilderness of jumbled boulders and green waterways north and east of popular Watson Lake.
Eerie Arizona (e)This essay, written by another self-serving adventurer, takes a look at the stories of mine set in Arizona, with commentary on interesting locales and how I utilize reality to create fantasy.
Danger Below the East Rim (ss)
Sterk Fontaine, hired by an evil cultist to acquire a prehistoric talisman of great power, seeks it in the wilds north of the Grand Canyon, in the remote region known as the East Rim. Fontaine finds himself menaced from all sides.
Dreaming Weird Fiction (e)
Another essay dealing with the subject of influences on my stories, this time from inner sources, rather than the geography discussed in "Eerie Arizona". I present the actual transcriptions of dreams that provided the kernels for many of my tales.
In a Tight Place (ss)
That is where Sterk Fontaine finds himself when a scholarly client hires him to investigate the modern day aftermath of mysterious 19th Century occult delvings. Our hero ventures into the heart of the fabulous Red Rock Country near Sedona, where he discovers that dusty history comes dangerously alive in out of this world fashion.
Published by Fiction and Verse.
The Ghostly Tales of Elizabeth Walter (e)
This essay reviews the short spooky works of the English writer Elizabeth Walter, covering all the stories in five collections published during the 1960s and '70s. They include such thrilling pieces as "The Island of Regrets" and "Dearest Clarissa".
Notes On The Journey of Jacob Bleek (e)
Celebrating the publication of my novel, I prepared this essay as an entertaining and informational bonus to my readers. It provides lots of "behind the scenes" material on how the novel came to be.
The Bisbee Gate (ss)
Sterk Fontaine's dealings with an unpleasant client land him in a hell of a mess... literally. All of the Bisbee, AZ locales alluded to in the story, including the mountain shrine, are absolutely authentic.
Published by Aurora Wolf.
A Little Peril In Brisbett (ss)
Lords Nantrech and Harmon of Dyrezan come upon a peculiar little mountain village, unintentionally run afoul of its ruling wizard. Inspired by Bisbee, Brisbett retains elements of reality, with a big twist of sheer fantasy.
Published by Swords and Sorcery Magazine.
My Favorite Lovecraft (e)
With incredible daring, I attempt to write something worthwhile about the Master that hasn't already been said a thousand times. It turns out to be quite easy, because it's all about what I do and don't like.
Dark Doings In Sedona (ss)
Sterk Fontaine tackles yet another creepy assignment, this time at the behest of the mysterious Gregor Tharaspas. The locations associated with Tharaspas in this story derive from the famous and picturesque Chapel of the Holy Cross in the bluffs above Sedona, as well as a fabulous nearby mansion.
Nightmares In the Castle Titana (ss)
Jacob Bleek is sent for by Gregor, Count Tharaspas, remote ancestor of the character in the previous story. Tharaspas wishes to raise the dead via Bleek's sorcery, but what do the dead want? For the setting of this tale I combined images derived from the Sedona chapel and the territory of Dead Horse Ranch State Park, in nearby Cottonwood.
A Trivial Case of Haunting (ss)
Once Again Sterk Fontaine accepts an "easy" assignment, now from none other than Professor Anton Vorcheck. Fontaine doubts his client's good intentions, but is too attracted by the money offered. The setting among the Indian ruins of Casa Malpais is genuine, located on the outskirts of Springerville, AZ, and Fontaine stays in the same motel I did.
The Weird Short Stories of Basil Copper (e)
I review all of the non-novel macabre tales of Basil Copper, works published from the 1960s to almost the present day. Included are classics such as "Camera Obscura", "Amber Print", "Shaft Number 247", "When Greek Meets Greek", and tons more.
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