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, in the mystic, moody country of Sedona, Arizona.

A while back I passed the milestone of my fiftieth paid sale as a writer of fantastic fiction. That was a good day. 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. Then suddenly, without clear explanation, I began selling my wares; yes, for money! It's amazing how that happens. Surely there must be a reason. That lengthy apprenticeship should have counted for something-- I got better at it, right?-- 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 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.

I prefer to read and write what I call clean stories, by which I mean those which present a plot, and the characters to drive it, and having done that get going and keep going unto the last word. Seldom do I clutter a work with back story-- endless chatter about personal irrelevancies or private "issues"-- unless the plot absolutely demands it, and even then I am wary of topical excess which may seem clever at the time, pitiful later on. I am first and foremost a story teller, and one who wants his stories to live beyond the fleeting present.

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. 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. At the moment I offer four essays devoted to Basil Copper, and one each to Elizabeth Walter, H.P. Lovecraft, and William Hope Hodgson, among other worthies of the weird. 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. Available now at your neighborhood morgue!

Consult this expanded Table of Contents for a taste of the perils therein: Science and Sorcery 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!

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

12-8-13: The on-line magazine Aurora Wolf presents another chapter in the lost annals of ancient Dyrezan. This time Lords Nantrech and Morca face even more primordial sorcery in "The Gorge of Pentono."

11-27-13: Seeking science fiction with a strange twist, full of mood and mystery? Then consult my essay on Six Gates From Limbo by J.T. McIntosh.

11-15-13: Just out, my courageous attempt to grapple with the hyper-weirdness of The Night Land of William Hope Hodgson. There is lots of great stuff to learn about in this essay.

9-7-13: The Press of Dyrezan publishes my volume of short stories, Science and Sorcery: A Collection of Alarming Tales, containing fifteen works of weird science, dark sorcery, and assorted creepiness.

8-31-13: The latest daring issue of the magazine Fifth Di presents the second of the bizarre and dangerous SF adventures of galaxy-roaming Captain Avatar, "Planet KX-17".

8-16-13: Quantum Realities: A Journal of Speculative Science Fiction have released upon the cosmos their new issue, containing my story "In the Dragoon Station Annex". Theresa Delaney tells the tale of her mentor, Professor Vorchek, as he attempts to fathom the disturbing secrets of a scientific experiment gone freakishly wrong.


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


Read essays about some of my favorite authors and subjects here.

Seek my currently available stories here.

Brief discussions of notable characters and creations found in my tales may be read here.

Photographs of the genuine locations that form the settings for many of my stories may be viewed here.


Reach me by e-mail here.