“Shoon of the Dead”–A poem


In celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s another of Hodgson’s poems.

SHOON OF THE DEAD

Hush! as you pass.

    And hark!

Three taps on the glass

In the gloaming

From someone out in the dark–

Roaming.

*

Hush! and hark

To a step you hear pass:

Someone is out in the dark.

Hark to the death-wind go wailing,

And the tap of a ghost on the glass.

Hush! and hark! Hush! and hark!

*

Open the door,

And listen!

Only the wind’s muffled roar,

And the glisten

Of tears round the moon.

And, in fancy, the tread

Of vanishing shoon–

Out in the night with the Dead.

*

Hush! and hark

To the sorrowful cry

Of the wind in the dark.

Hush! and hark, without murmur or sigh,

To shoon that tread the lost aeons;

To the sound that bids you to die.

Hush! and hark! Hush! and hark!

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A Review of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]S.T. Joshi has kindly sent me a copy of his review of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES which will be appearing in an upcoming issue of DEAD RECKONINGS from Hippocampus Press.  It is a very favorable review and S.T. says many nice things about the various contributions in the book.  Coming from S.T. Joshi, it is great praise indeed!

Here is a brief excerpt from the review:

Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder (1913) is far from being William Hope Hodgson’s best book, but it has emerged as one of his most popular. Perhaps this is not surprising. Although the short novel The House on the Borderland (1908) is perhaps Hodgson’s signature work, with its unforgettable central section depicting the narrator’s drifting through spectacular cosmic vistas of space and time, Carnacki has the appeal of a charismatic recurring character and exemplifies the provocative fusion of two seemingly disparate genres—the supernatural tale and the detective story. It may be true that Hodgson deliberately catered to popular taste in his creation of the occult detective Thomas Carnacki—he published the first Carnacki tales in the Idler in 1910, only two years after Algernon Blackwood’s John Silence—Physician Extraordinary reached the bestseller lists—and it may also be true that some of Carnacki’s bag of occult contrivances (such as the Electric Pentacle and the Saaamaaa Ritual) are almost self-parodically comical; but it is equally true that no one, to my knowledge, has written John Silence pastiches, whereas the book under review is only the latest contribution to a growing body of new Thomas Carnacki adventures.

I will advise when the review is published.  By that time, the 2nd edition of the book will be available so this seems as good a time as any to remind everyone that the 1st edition will be removed from Amazon tomorrow (4/15/14) so if you haven’t gotten a copy and want one of the soon to be scarce first edition, you have about 24 hours to order one!

 

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New Article Available!


N3_cover_fixed_2013__19242.1392149950.120.120I’m happy to announce that my article, “The Man Who Saved Hodgson!”, has just been published in the latest issue of NAMELESS!

This article is an expanded version of the blog entry about H. C. Koenig and includes new information about Koenig that was furnished to me by his son-in-law, Gene Biancheri.  So this provides a much fuller view of the man whom I believe is primarily responsible for any of us even knowing about Hodgson today!

The third issue of NAMELESS is available here:

http://www.jasunnistore.com/nameless-digest-issue-3/

NAMELESS is a very good and entertaining magazine with a fine blend of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  It’s a publication that EVERYONE who is interested in weird fiction and literature should be reading.

 

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“The Pirates”–a poem


This week, for National Poetry Month, I present Hodgson’s poem, “The Pirates”.

Unlike most of Hodgson’s poetry, it was published during his lifetime.  It first appeared as part of his collection, THE LUCK OF THE STRONG (Eveleigh Nash, 1916), and later in the posthumous collection, THE CALLING OF THE SEA (Selwyn & Blount, 1920).   This poem shows Hodgson’s ability at conjuring images from words and rings with the air of a traditional sea chanty.

THE PIRATES

 

The roll of the ships

And the thud of bare feet on the deck!

See the flames tower

Over to larboard

Over to starboard

Where the tall ships are sinking

And the black water is winking

As it thinks

As it blinks

At the roar of our jinks,

Aoi! foot it, my lads!

Aoi! foot it!

Aoi! foot it!

The whole deck of her,

Make her bounce,

Hark to her timbers a-creak,

Lord, what a time!

Drink to the joy of our life.

Never a crime!

Only a rhyme

On the lip of the sea.

Hic! Hark unto me

A-poeting

A-goating

Along with the rest of you.

Dance, damn you, dance!

Aoi! see the blue night

Rolling as mad as us!

Cuss, devils, cuss!

Lord! what a jolly mad fight!

What blood

And what doings!

What cud

And what ruings

For odd times in future,

What a night!

Aoi! what a night for a prance,

With the wood battle-fires on our decks

And the flames of our wrecks,

Dance, of, you lubbers!

You cockfighters!

You grubbers for gold!

Aoi! dance until the wash of the ocean

Boats back from our sides,

Dance until she rolls,

Death’s blasted black pendulum,

Between the two poles.

Aoi! we’re bad and we’re bold!

Dieu! what a grand notion!

Aoi! feel the glad motion

And the thud of your hoofs, old jellies

Around and about on the decks,

Make her drum

Like the fists of old Satan

On the walls of far heaven.

Bumble-drum!

Drumble-bum!

Let her go! Let her go!

Dance! All the gods damn you!

Dance! Drink and dance!

Prance, you sons of Satan, prance!

Make the rounded decks to drum!

(Hear me!)

Till she rolls the scuppers under,

Bumble-drum!

Make her hum!

Gods of Thunder, yelp and wonder!

See us make her bounce and wander . . .

Make her heave and roll.

Send the wash across the whole black ocean

Till God rocks upon His throne!

(Aoi! The notion!)

Dance each marrow bone . . . Thud! Thud!

Thud! Thud!

So we pass on, dancing, dancing,

Aoi! Hand the bucket . . . damn the glass!

Aoi! we’re right and tight!

So we pass,

Lords of Darkness in the Everlasting Night.

 

 

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2nd Edition CARNACKI


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]After getting some much needed feedback, I’ve decided to go to a second edition for CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES.  There’s been a few people who have pointed out textual problems and concerns over the interior design so we’re going to reformat the book and re-release it next month.

The cover and contents will remain the same but the text and design will be different.  I feel it is my obligation to provide the best book possible for the contributors and the readers.

So, on April 15th, I will remove the book from Amazon’s currently available list.  The 2nd edition will be available in May and I’ll alert everyone when it can be ordered.  Which means that you only have until the 15th if you want a first edition of this book.  After that day, the only way you’ll be able to get a first edition will be from book dealers.

Here is the current link for the first edition:

http://www.amazon.com/Carnacki-The-Adventures-Sam-Gafford/dp/0615943004/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397069980&sr=8-1&keywords=carnacki+the+new+adventures

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A Review and Other Items


The first issue of SARGASSO received a very strong review here:

http://18thwall.com/2013/09/11/a-spot-on-the-bookshelf-sargasso-the-journal-of-william-hope-hodgson-studies/

Sadly, the book is now completely out of print but I am happy that it has been received so well.  A Kindle edition is still available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Sargasso-Sam-Gafford-ebook/dp/B00G7WH5JE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396896075&sr=1-2&keywords=sargasso

I have no plans to reprint this issue so the Kindle is the only currently available edition.

Speaking of SARGASSO, I am still in need of material for the second issue!  I am looking for articles, essays, short fiction, art, poetry about or influenced by Hodgson.  I’m especially looking for fiction and art for this issue.  If you’d like to contribute, please contact me at lordshazam@yahoo.com with “Sargasso” in the subject line.  Deadline is May 15th for this issue.

And here are a couple of other interesting items I’ve found around the web.

“Science of The Night Land: Dying Suns and Earth Energy” by Roger Lamb is an interesting look at some of the science behind that unique novel.  Although Hodgson was not a scientist himself, it’s curious to see how this connects.  You can read the brief article at:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/11/science-of-the-night-land-dying-suns-and-earth-energy

Another curious article is “Fungi and Swine: William Hope Hodgson’s Disgust Morality” which discusses the abundance of pigs in WHH’s fiction and what they might mean.  The article reminds me of the old adage from Winston Churchill; “Cats look down on us, Dogs look up to us and Pigs look down upon us as equals”.  This article is online here:

http://rolesrules.blogspot.com/2012/11/fungi-and-swine-william-hope-hodgsons.html

I apologize if I’ve posted these before but they are interesting enough to be worth another look!

 

 


 

 

 

 

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A WHH Podcast


I stumbled across this some time ago but am not sure if I remembered to pass it on or not.

Now available on iTunes is a “William Hope Hodgson podcast”.  It consists of readings of “The Voice in the Night”, “Captain Dan Danblasten” and the entirety of THE BOATS OF THE ‘GLEN CARRIG’.  They are iTunes files so you do need an iTunes account to hear them but they are free.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tales-from-potts-house-william/id152078422?mt=2

This podcast was done by Paul R. Potts who also wrote the very excellent Wikipedia entry on WHH which you can find here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hope_Hodgson

That page also includes many links to Hodgson’s works that are available to read free online.

The podcast hasn’t been updated for some time and Mr. Potts has no current plans to do more Hodgson but perhaps we can change his mind!

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“NEVERMORE”


I’m told that April is National Poetry Month so I will post one of Hodgson’s less known poems every Wednesday in April.

This poem is a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem but changed to be more appropriate for writers.  It was never published during Hodgson’s lifetime nor was it included in the two volumes of poetry that Hodgson’s widow published after his death.  It would not be published until 1976 when it appeared in Omniumgathum: An Anthology of Verse by Top Authors in the Field of Fantasy.

NEVERMORE

(Without the usual apologies.)

Once upon a morning dreary, while I pondered weak and weary

O’er MSS unaccepted that were scattered round the floor–

While I pondered, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my outer door;

‘Tis a Dun, I muttered weakly, waiting hungry for my ore–

Only that, and nothing more.

Suddenly my soul grew stronger, and I stayed in bed no longer;

For a strange presentment whispered that the Post was at the door,

And that all that gentle tapping which had stirred me in my napping

Was the postman slowly dropping cheques by scores upon the floor.

And at the thought–loud cheering–rushing I to my outer door--

MSS there–and nothing more.

Long I stood there peering, peering–all the evil in me leering;

And my back and heart were aching ere the pile was off the floor;

Then at last the quiet was broken, as I murmured forth in token

Of my lack of due elation, one bright adjective–and more,

These I whispered very gently, and there echoed back in awe

Just a cuss, and nothing more.

‘Editors,’ I muttered slowly, ‘are you men or are you devils?

(Buy the MSS that are with you!) By that God we all adore,

Tell this soul with MSS laden, if within some dusty haven

I shall see my name engraven in your book wherein you score

Names of those who are “accepted”? Hasten now I do implore!’

Came a whisper–’Nevermore!’

For the Editors are sitting, still are sitting, grimly sitting,

On my tousled heaps of MSS piled beneath them on the floor;

And their eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

Whilst their pens are ever streaming o’er ‘REFUSALS’ by the score;

And the thud of MSS falling through the slit in my front door

Shall cease thudding–nevermore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHH’S FAMILY TREE


One of the projects that I’ve been working on is Hodgson’s genealogy.  I believe that it is important in helping understand WHH as well as his time period.  To that end, I have developed this family tree of Hodgson’s immediate family:

whh fam

From this, we can see several interesting facts.

1) WHH’s oldest brother, “Chad”, died two years before WHH.

2) WHH’s next oldest brother, Lawrence, as well as the two brothers who immediately came after him (Herbert and Thomas) all died between 1-2 years of life.

3) The majority of the rest of his siblings lived relatively long lives.  “Chris” lived to be 87 years old while “Bertha” was 84.

If we remember that “Chad” had been ostracized from the family for marrying a divorced woman (probably around 1900), then that would have made WHH the male head of the family.  This may explain, in part, his remaining close to his mother and perhaps delaying marriage so long.

More research has shown that virtually all of the rest of Hodgson’s siblings left England for either Canada or America.  “Chris” eventually settled in California where he worked for a San Fransisco newspaper for many years.  Only “Lissie” stayed in England where she cared for their mother until the latter’s death in 1933.

I have some further information regarding the families of WHH’s siblings but, in deference to their privacy, will not be posting those details.

 

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200!!!


blogpost200This is the 200th post of the William Hope Hodgson blog!

(Truthfully, we should have hit this milestone a while ago but I’ve been a bit busy.)

For 199 posts, I’ve extolled the virtues of Hodgson’s work and explored many facets of his life as well as other Hodgson connected items.  Hopefully, we’ll be around for another 200 more!

Actually, 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Hodgson.  There are at least two important collections due to be released, a major donation of Hodgson papers to be unveiled, and possibly even a media project of some kind.  Things are afoot in the Hodgson world!

indexComing out in May is a collection of Hodgson’s fiction from Centipede Press: THE CENTIPEDE PRESS LIBRARY OF WEIRD FICTION: WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON.  Here is the description from Amazon:

“This collection of William Hope Hodgson contains the novels The House on the Borderland and The Ghost Pirates along with twenty one short stories, including “The Voice in the Night” and the Carnacki stories. There is an excellent introduction by S.T. Joshi and rare photographs of Hodgson.”

This is a hardcover book weighing in at a MASSIVE 900 pages!  Despite the page count, it is suprisingly affordable at only $40.  I am greatly anticipating this collection (which originally was supposed to come out last December) and will review it here as soon as I can get my hot little hands on a copy!  You can pre-order it from Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/William-Hope-Hodgson/dp/1613470495/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396031358&sr=1-5&keywords=william+hope+hodgson

Also coming out this year (at a date undetermined) is:

WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND

Seven Decades of Criticism on the Master of Cosmic Horror

This collection contains articles by A. Langley Searles, Emily Alder, S.T. Joshi, Mark Valentine, Benjamin Szumskyj, Andy Sawyer, Phillip A. Ellis, Marcos Legaria, Henrik Harksen and myself.  It also includes a massive bibliography that S. T. Joshi and I have been working on (with assistance from many others) for literally decades.  I think that the biblio alone will be quite an eye-opener.

This book will be appearing from Hippocampus Press but I am unsure if it will be hardcover or only paperback.  I will pass along new details as I learn them.  Sadly, it is not currently listed on the website for Hippocampus Press.

These are in addition to the two articles on WHH that I recently had published.  “HPL & WHH” in WEIRD FICTION REVIEW #4 and “The Man Who Saved Hodgson” in NAMELESS #3.

We are very close to publishing the special definitive edition of Hodgson’s CARNACKI THE GHOST-FINDER which reprints the original 1913 edition of this classic along with the three stories added by August Derleth to the Arkham House version.  Also included is an introduction by myself detailing the importance of these stories, Carnacki’s influence through the years and the last word on the authorship of “The Hog”.  I hope to have this available for ordering by the end of April.

Lastly, I have been contacted by a source who indicates that there may be a special media project involving Hodgson coming along soon.  I cannot give more details than this but the second that arrangements are finalized, I’ll report it here!  It could potentially be a very exciting project!

So it looks that as we move towards the 100th anniversary of Hodgson’s death in 2018, Hodgson is beginning to get the attention he deserves.  But we have to keep on fighting the good fight.  I encourage everyone to buy the Centipede and Hippocampus Press volumes.  Only by showing publishers that there is a demand can we keep Hodgson’s work available and alive.  Perhaps, in 2018, we may even be able to convince Penguin to produce a volume of Hodgson’s fiction as they’ve done for Lovecraft and now Clark Ashton Smith!

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