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 a gratis page offering a collection of essays written by me germane to the weird tale and my work.

My Image
The author atop O'Leary Peak, in the shadow of Arizona's San Francisco Peaks.

I continue to pass literary milestones in my career as a writer of fantastic fiction: a published novel, two self-published collection that actually sell copies, and now seventy 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 will 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.


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!

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.

3-11-15: I have added many new photographs to the "Weirdly Real" section, which can be accessed at the bottom of this main page. These are pictures of the genuine Arizona locations wherein are set many of my published stories. Several of these locales are quite famous and popular, others rather obscure, off the beaten track delights.

2-20-15: Reading expands the mind, and I have found much to ponder from the recent perusal of a dynamite work of Lovecraftiana. I prove this with my essay, Thoughts on Haefele's A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos.

1-1-15: The Bride of Chaos releases the latest installment in their anthology series, this time 9Tales Told in the Dark 4, containing my big story "Into the Vortex." In this epic tale Professor Vorchek and his team of students (including Theresa Delaney) venture into the wilds beyond Sedona searching for the cause of mysterious emanations, a source of wonder and horror.

12-14-14: Who are the ultimate bad guys in the tales of Solar Pons, as conceived by August Derleth and Basil Copper? Find out by reading my essay, Solar Pons vs. the Super Villains.

12-5-14: Aurora Wolf, "A Literary Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy," has graciously published my latest Sterk Fontaine adventure, "The Bisbee Gate." This time, supernatural skullduggery plucks him from that historic Arizona locale and drops him into the last place he would ever want to go.

The Bisbee Gate

11-20-14: The Solar Pons Gazette, the premiere magazine on the subject, has published my essay concerning Pons' faithful companion, "That Idiot Parker!"

11-11-14: The fine folks at Twilight Times have published another of my weird tales, this one recounting the bizarre and lethal perils faced by none other than Jacob Bleek when he ventures "Beyond the Crossroads."

10-25-14: The Press of Dyrezan publishes a second volume of short stories, Science and Sorcery II: More Tales of the Strange and the Fantastic, containing a full fifteen more works of grotesque menace, twisted science, and exciting quests into the unknown.

8-15-14: The latest anthology from The Bride of Chaos, 9Tales Told in the Dark 3, offers my story of cultic terror, "Among the Hoodoos," set in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. It stars Professor Vorchek and Theresa Delaney in one of their spookiest, and most scenic, adventures.

6-20-14: Whortleberry Press presents another anthology of the odd, Strange Summer Fun, containing my quirky Sci-Fi tale, "From the Mud of Grasshopper Point."

6-11-14: Into the Silence is Basil Copper's Other Sci-Fi Novel, one related to his classic The Great White Space. In this essay I dive into more delightful weirdness.

5-30-14: What's so special about horror movie maestro Lucio Fulci? Something needs be said, and I do my best with this essay, in which I discuss the greatest Four by Fulci.

5-19-14: Voluted Tales Magazine, "Your World of Speculative Fiction," has published my new adventure of lost cities and monsters, "The Guardian of the Treasure." This is their second story of mine set in the fantastic era of ancient Dyrezan.

The Guardian of the Treasure

2-27-14: The Fifth Di..., a publication of Nomadic Delirium Press, graciously presents within their pages a second tale of mine, this the futuristic fable, "Zirinsky's Swamp."

2-25-14: The Internet publication house styling itself The Bride of Chaos has released an on-line anthology, 9Tales Told in the Dark, which contains my story of tropical horrors from yesteryear, "The Journal of Reverend Winters."

2-12-14: Perihelion Science Fiction delivers a weird one with my tale of "The Enemy From Nowhere." This adventure into an eerie alien battlefield stars Professor Vorchek and Theresa Delaney, and is graced by artwork (reproduced below) courtesy of Jesse Jennings.

The Enemy From Nowhere

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 (to date, at least) been published in these formats. 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


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.