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

Red Rock Country
The author high up in the fabled Red Rock Country, near Sedona, AZ.

I continue to pass literary milestones in my career as a writer of fantastic fiction: a published novel, three self-published collections that actually sell copies, and now over one hundred (that's 100!) 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 may 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 literary weird: Basil Copper, H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Elizabeth Walter, William Hope Hodgson, E. R. Eddison, and J. T. McIntosh, among others. I have opinions on a bunch of spooky movies, too. In addition, I have composed several essays consisting of supplementary material to my own works.


THE JOURNEY OF JACOB BLEEK

The Journey of Jacob Bleek

***Bleek is back!*** The Journey of Jacob Bleek returns in a brand new edition, the thrilling tale of the cunning medieval wizard who dreamed of gaining for himself the power and wisdom of the gods. The novel presents ten grand adventures of magical conflict and supernatural mystery, but this time there's more. This edition adds six further Bleek adventures, harrowing short stories chronicling "lost" chapters of his quest as well as episodes from his later career. Along with Journey, now enjoy "Beyond the Crossroads," "Morstenburg," "The Crags of the Schwartzenburg," "The Companion of Jacob Bleek," "The Love of Jacob Bleek," and "The City at the End of Time."

SCIENCE AND SORCERY III: MORE WEIRD TALES FROM THE FAR SIDE OF IMAGINATION

Science and Sorcery III

***The faint of heart think twice!*** This volume in the series, Science and Sorcery III, contains eighteen stories ranging from lurid tales of suspense to cosmos-shattering horror. Something for everyone with a morbid cast of mind: SF, fantasy, mystery and murder. In addition it offers a bunch of Professor Vorchek's adventures into the arcane, and as a special bonus the short novel of spine-tingling fear, All Expenses Paid.

Learn more about the perils lying in wait for the unwary reader: Science and Sorcery III Contents

EERIE ARIZONA: STRANGE TALES BY JEFFERY SCOTT SIMS

Eerie Arizona

***Journey into dread!*** Vacation in style--if your style be shock and mind-shattering fear--with this new volume from the Press of Dyrezan as your guidebook: Eerie Arizona, sixteen stories of ghosts, monsters, and assorted creepy night things lurking amidst the wondrously beautiful and grotesque scenery of colorful Arizona. Investigate haunted houses and spooky mine shafts with Professor Anton Vorchek, dare ghost towns that may harbor unquiet denizens, confront demons loosed from the pits of hell festering among the lonely mountains and gloomy valleys. If a pleasantly disturbed night's sleep is what you need, then Eerie Arizona is the place to go!

Prepare for your exploration of Arizona's terrors and mysteries with this expanded Table of Contents: Eerie Arizona Contents

Learn more about Eerie Arizona and the places described in it: Notes on the Collection Eerie Arizona

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


BREAKING NEWS!

12-26-20: Jacob Bleek is on the prowl once more, this time tangling with the highly respected, and enormously dangerous, fellow sorcerer Poteauje. Swords and Sorcery Magazine has kindly published the gruesome results in "At the Feet of Poteauje."

12-15-20: Movie time again, as in Hits and Misses XI I treat with all kinds of fantastic stuff, including a bunch of Hammer Films!

11-10-20: Here's a foray into non-fictional territory. In my essay Musings on the Borden Murder Case I discuss the fruits of my study into the classic and enduringly famous crime of the 1890s, forever associated with the name of Lizzie Borden. Really, folks, it's a story filled with surprises.

9-4-20: Hits and Misses X opines on Star Trek Continues, Solar Pons, Sherlock Holmes, and Fulci's Demonia.

8-23-20: Sterk Fontaine, Professor Vorchek, and Theresa Delaney meet up with the mysterious Gregor Tharaspas once again as they all take part in the spooky doings in "The Sedona House," published by Mythaxis.

6-6-20: Professor Vorchek can be awfully hard on his graduate students. In this tale presented by Liquid Imagination, the oppressed narrator explains the dangers of too much study when he's assigned "The Forbidden Chapter."

5-28-20: Hits and Misses IX discusses the nefarious saga of Dr. Mabuse, Cannibal Apocalypse, Death Smiles on a Murderer, Weird Arizona, and both versions of Battlefield Earth.

5-1-20: In this tale from the lost annals of ancient Dyrezan, Lords Morca and Nantrech once again confront evil magic. Aurora Wolf presents "The Watcher Within," in which those great mages tangle with the murderous Count Hideon, who plots one of his most bizarre crimes.

4-20-20: In Hits and Misses VIII I tell you about Fulci movies, a Fulci comic book, a cartoon fantasy and a British thriller, plus my initial take on the Lizzie Borden mystery.

4-1-20: Mystery Weekly Magazine presents a new tale starring Professor Vorchek and Theresa Delaney. "The Mystery of the Egyptian Biscuit" deals with the horrors that ensue as a result of ancient grain derived from an ancient tomb. Can you really get horror from a biscuit? Believe me, you can!

10-31-19: To make this Halloween happy, Swords and Sorcery Magazine has published "The Master of Kirgusk." In this amazing adventure the wizard Jacob Bleek, lost in the hinterland of Russia, encounters rapacious Cossacks, oppressed peasants, and the eerie borderland between life and death.

10-1-19: Every Day Fiction has published my strange fable uncovered from lost eons of prehistory, "The Revenge of the Weird."

9-13-19: Lucky day! Hits and Misses VII hits all the high points. This essay deals with Jonny Quest, another Fulci book, more Fulci movies, and of course Starcrash.

8-2-19: Jacob Bleek returns in all his morbid glory! After being out of print for quite a while, The Journey of Jacob Bleek is back. This new edition includes six additional adventures of medieval magic, mystery, and mayhem.

7-10-19: I've got a great new collection just out, the latest in the series, Science and Sorcery III. Eighteen tales of terror and weirdness, including a republication of my creepy short novel, All Expenses Paid.


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 been published in these formats, although I have borrowed titles for professional publications. 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

Worlds Fanciful and Frightful

Historical Horrors


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.