In this second collection of tales wild and weird, I once more strive against the boundaries of the imagination with fifteen new stories. Ponder these bizarre possibilities, and the even more harrowing impossibilities:
A Late Night ErrandHow about weirdness for its own sake? The confused narrator sets out on a trivial shopping expedition, finds he's chosen the wrong time and ended up at the wrong place. You may never again trust setting foot in one of those big box stores. It's way too easy to get lost in there, maybe forever.
The Old House on the HillIn another foray into double-dyed weirdness, a traveler to beautiful Sedona, one of Arizona's glories, unknowingly crosses an invisible line separating the real world from frightful mystery. What caused the abandonment of that spooky house on that shunned hill, and what incredible conspiracy festers in those creepy tunnels beneath?
The Palace in the Land of IceIf it be a dream, this land of love and enchantment on another world, may it last for all time. Yet in this curious fable of a tale the new inhabitants of the mystic palace grow wise to a threat which may cause them to lose all.
Jansen's HypothesisIs Jansen right, that he's the center of the universe, with everything constructed with him in mind? If so, he labors desperately under the weight of an unbearable curse.
The Cave of CeratosThe great wizard Jacob Bleek is back, more cold and cunning than ever! In a realm of subterranean terror he seeks the relics of a previous sorceric adventurer. Can he find them; can he escape from those death-haunted chambers of eternal night?
The Mystery of the Old ChurchNot to be outdone, Professor Anton Vorchek returns, diligently investigating evidence of the supernatural shrouding that forgotten church in the dead town deep in the pine forests of northern Arizona. Something lurks within the crumbling edifice, a horror lingering from the fading past. Vorchek may learn all, if he survives!
The Willing of the ManExploring the power of pure thought, Professor Vorchek and his lovely assistant Theresa Delaney set out to create a man. Frankenstein, doing it his way, went too far. How can Vorchek, with his safely studious methods, possibly go wrong?
The Flaw in the ImageJosh Crundt is having a little trouble with his life and his camera. Could there be a connection? Could those blemishes on his pictures indicate a serious problem, perhaps deadly danger? Professor Vorcheck helpfully weighs in at the finale to clarify matters for poor Josh.
The Old CameraMore camera weirdness, with Professor Vorchek (aided by querulous Theresa) this time assuming full charge of the investigation. An increasingly terrified photographer keeps snapping pictures of otherwise invisible monsters. Why do these images torment him; who must die before Vorchek figures out the mystery?
Nantrech of DyrezanThe rest of these stories hail from the chronicles of antique Dyrezan, that amazing magical empire of prehistory. This lurid fable relates the adventures of the great explorer Nantrech, as he discovers and investigates the mysteries of a still older, long dead kingdom. What destroyed it, and what can be salvaged from its ruins?
The Charming of CarmelineTake a breather here with a bit of fun, as clever or stupid wizards connive for their own reasons to redirect the favors of Carmeline, the king's daughter, and in the process rock the empire. Whoever wins, somebody must lose, big time.
The Tale of NantrechLord Nantrech recounts the world-shaking results of another expedition, this one the great military campaign across the unknown sea against the evil Rhexellites. Action galore, with much furious combat and a ferocious duel to the death involving the legendary Lord Morca, but beware: the most dangerous foes wait in the darkness, unseen.
The Adventure of Captain MorcaIn this sequel to the previous story, Lord Morca, Captain of the Royal Guard, journeys across a dreadful magic-haunted landscape, bound for home. Not for him the easy path, as he forthrightly encounters the keeper of a strange oracle, gleans suggestive insights into the future... and meets up with oddly sportive, if murderous, ghosts!
The Voice out of DyrezanJacob Bleek is at it again, this time rummaging among the ruins of ancient Dyrezan, in his pursuit of knowledge daring to raise the spirit of none other than Lord Morca! Bleek seeks to master that powerful shade, bend it to his will. Even Bleek ought to know better.
Skyrax, Lord of DyrezanSaving the grand prize for last, this action-packed novella stars Lord Morca in a gigantic adventure as he battles against the far-reaching schemes of the villainous mage Albragon. Lord Albragon would dethrone King Skyrax, assume that august name and title for his own nefarious purposes. Morca will do anything to stop him, and to rescue the endangered Princess Riena, even if it means crossing over into the unfathomed realm of the dead. Swords swing, shields ring, and crafty spells conjure the most shocking and hideous results.
Do these sound like worthy adventures for devotees of the strange? Science and Sorcery II in its entirety can be had here.
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