The Literary Labyrinth of Stephen T. Vessels

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Check out this Jack Eidt interview with the late author Stephen T. Vessels on his childhood fascination with the collective unconscious, his use of the I Ching for divination of the present, and other stories. The Fifth Fedora Anthology is available for purchase – CLICK HERE.

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Stephen T. Vessels: A Visitor From the Fifth Dimension

The Fifth Fedora, Stephen Vessels, Jack Eidt, Silver WebbIn September 2022, The Fifth Fedora, Weird Noir & Stranger Tales was published by Borda books and WilderUtopia Books in honor of the late Stephen T. Vessels, literary fiction writer, poet, visual artist, and musicologist. This is Part One of an interview conducted with him by Jack Eidt of WilderUtopia. The interview took place at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in 2019.

To be sure, Stephen’s work operates on the razor’s edge of surreality, with a sneaking dark side that you might understand better if you imagine yourself upon opening his books pushing through a curtain and appearing in a landscape unrecognizable, fantastic maybe, populated by people who may appear as monstrous, entities who seem innocent enough, but what lurks on the other side is something one would have to keep reading to find out. I’ve been considering the term he used himself, a literary mystic.

STORY: Tales of the Fifth Dimension – The Fifth Fedora Anthology

cancer music #2
prognosis worsens
i seek shelter in music
shadows lengthen
theories wrestle guesses
maze mysteries
future’s uncertainty
never so clear
memories tangle
i yield to hindemith’s concerto
seek a path to the present
hold to
now
-s. vessels 4/19/21

The Cult of Vessels

Santa Barbara Literary JournalOn a personal level, Stephen T. Vessels had been a fixture at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference since at least 2007, and has become a beloved figure to a cadre of accomplished and aspiring writers, He has furthermore expanded his reach into literary circles in the Thriller, Science Fiction, and Fantasy worlds. When Stephen was at his literary best, he transcended all genres. That, of course, is a liability in the publishing industry, as the challenging nature of his works kept him from properly making a living at his craft, but that did not stop him in the slightest.

He has stated his literary inspirations are stories by Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Guy de Maupassant, Edith Wharton, Rudyard Kipling, Isak Dinesen and H. P. Lovecraft.

STORY: The Fortunate One – A Short Story by Jack Eidt

Stephen T. Vessels

This is an example of Stephen’s brilliant drawing work.

In addition to The Fifith Fedora anthology, the following literary works of his are mentioned:

“The Artist and the Octopus, ” Oh, Fortuna! Volume 7, Santa Barbara Literary Journal, August 2021.

The Door of Tireless Pursuit, A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, Shadowspinners Press

The Ruptured Firmament, A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, Shadowspinners Press

STORY: Courting Delirium: Max Talley and his Dark Zeitgeist

Stephen T. VesselsStephen Vessels was known to write all of his drafts longhand and produced hundreds of drawings using the same pen he wrote with. His stories have also appeared in, among other publications, a Shadowspinners anthology, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and Grey Matter Press’s Equillibrium Overturned.  He received the Best Fiction Award from the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and in 2014 was nominated for an International Thriller Writers award.  His collection, The Mountain & the Vortex and Other Tales was published by Muse Harbor.

Shadow Spinners also just published his science fiction masterpiece: The Fall of the Messengers.

Updated 27 November 2022

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt