Here I give some indications of what lies in store for the unwary reader.
Subject No. 249If you don't feel paranoid about the world yet, you will after reading this one. Can there be vast powers abroad, operating in brisk, business-like fashion, to inflict maximum misery upon us... for no sanely understood purpose?
The Book of Jacob BleekIn prose form, this is the original, where the Bleek saga began. The formidable wizard appears only as a shadowy background presence, but his infamous tome is dangerous enough. So the hero learns when he trespasses upon Bleek's long abandoned abode in search of the book.
Realization: A Tale of the True TheoryAnd this is the original Vorchek story, containing the first, atypical, reference to that mystery-seeking professor. Here the anguished narrator struggles against that cruelest of weapons, the idea. He knows he shouldn't believe, but he must.
The Discovery of the X ForceAnother off the wall Vorchek piece, in which his clever ideas merely destroy the world. Can the philosophy underlying a discovery truly stir the populace to self-destructive madness?At least in this story it can, as the professor naively seeks to benefit mankind, with grotesque results.
Canyon DiabloMythic survivals in the Arizona desert, a hapless graduate student, and Professor Anton Vorchek exhibiting some of his classic facets grace this tale. It sets the pattern for many more in what I call the "Weird Arizona" series. They're off to find the legendary Canyon Diablo, but what brooding menace lies in wait for them there?
The BeneficiaryPrepare for more secretive, paranoiac doings. Imagine a mysterious someone doing you enormous good for no known reason. How long will it go on? Where will it end? If it's all a big joke, what's the punch line?
Cathedral RockAncient evil infests a famous Arizona landmark. Professor Vorchek intervenes. Enough said.
Jacob Bleek on the MountainThis little fable of a story represents the kernel of what became the full blown novel, The Journey of Jacob Bleek. The bold sorcerer dares face the Gods that he may demand Their eternal secrets. They have an answer for him.
At the Bottom of Montezuma WellProfessor Vorchek takes charge in his fullest form, quite properly accompanied by his beautiful, if querulous, assistant Theresa Delaney. Another notable Arizona locale suffers from an eon-old menace. Vorchek must drive out the lurking evil before it kills again... or as soon as he acquires the juicy data he desires.
A Nature SceneA sinister marsh and a long forgotten pioneer cabin conceal the source of primeval nastiness, a matter which only Professor Vorchek and Theresa can resolve, if the doing doesn't get them killed.
The Search For Maltheus the WiseJacob Bleek's most lurid adventure leads him after the spirit of a dead colleague. His search culminates in a unique and horrific world beyond, the place where dead Maltheus strangely chooses to dwell. What led Maltheus there, and what grim knowledge will Bleek carry away?
Vorchek's VacationThe professor and Theresa spin off to Arizona's lovely Oak Creek Canyon for a much needed break. That, at least is Theresa's intent; Vorchek seems to have other plans for this trip, an investigation of ancient evil which may land the girl in ultimate peril.
An Eastern TaleAn Arabian Nights style story with magic, demons, treasure, and for what it's worth, a tried and true moral.
Under the Natural BridgeVorchek and Theresa ride again, accompanied by a grumbling graduate student who had better watch out. What lurks beneath that geological wonder of Arizona, what comes forth at midnight to treat with man, and what shocking secrets may it reveal?
Late Night MoviesMovies are fantasy, the epitome of the unreal. So one would think. Suppose that should be false: suppose a ghastly, inexplicable reality lies behind those fleeting images? Watch those movies with the narrator as he cringing from the horrid revelations.
Should these hints serve to draw you to your doom, Science and Sorcery in its entirety can be had here.
Return to Introduction