An Apology


About three years ago, I reprinted (in multiple parts) R. Alain Everts essay, “The Life of William Hope Hodgson”. My reason for doing this was not for any personal gain but to share the knowledge within what I believed (and still believe) to be one of the most important biographical essays on Hodgson. Due to the limited appearance of the original essay, it had not been seen by many readers and I hoped that my reprinting it would not only spread the information contained in Everts’ article but would hopefully encourage others to take that work further.

However, what I did NOT do was contact Mr. Everts before reprinting that essay and gain his permission. This was an egregious error on my part which I can only chalk up to my enthusiasm over the article and desire to share it. Regardless of my motives, I did not perform my due diligence in this matter given that the copyright for the article is now, and always has been, owned by Mr. Everts.

I have removed the posts reprinting the article. I apologize profusely to Mr. Everts and to all of the readers of this blog for my error in judgment. I encourage other Hodgson scholars to seek out Mr. Everts original publication of the article as it is extremely helpful in getting a biographical understanding of WHH’s life.

In the future, I vow that any copyrighted material that appears on this blog is approved by the copyright holders.

I have always tried to comport myself honestly and professionally in all of my public and private matters. Sadly, no one is perfect and mistakes are often made. When I have made mistakes, I freely admit them as I am doing here.

Again, my deepest apologies to Mr. Everts and all of those who read this blog regularly.

Sam Gafford

 

 

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Hodgson Comic!


Blog reader Tim Tylor sent in a link to a blog that reproduces a 10 page adaptation of Hodgson’s “The Derelict”! I’ve often been mystified that WHH has not been adapted more in comics and other media so am very happy to see this. Unfortunately, near as I can tell, the blog does not credit where this was printed or who did the writing/artwork! I am further hampered at my inability to read Spanish so can anyone provide any more information about this excellent adaptation?

Because I do not own these images, I am reproducing only two select pages from this tale. You can see the story in full by clicking over to the blog link later in this post.

01_nave_abandonada

06_nave_abandonada

I really love the artwork here and feel it captures the mood and horror of Hodgson’s story perfectly. Anyone know who the artist might be?

To read the rest of this great story, go to Jose Aviles’ blog at:

http://joseavilesblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/derelict-de-w-h-hodgson.html

His entry is dated 2009 so clearly the adaptation precedes it. I’m very curious to learn more about this and wonder if there might be more Hodgson comic stories out there waiting to be found?

 

 

 

 

 

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SARGASSO #3 Now Available


12017605_943499519020913_3188306750000256399_oThe third, and final, issue of SARGASSO is now available to order through Amazon!

At 150 pages, this may be the best issue yet!  The contents include:

 

Essays

 

“A Particular Phase of Constructive Thought: Hodgson’s Trilogy of Novels”

by Joseph Hinton

 

“Utter Quiet in All the Land: A Recurring Motif”

by Ryan Jefferson

 

The House on the Borderland: The Ultimate Horror Novel”

by Liam Garriock

 

“Ye Hogge”: Liminality and the Motif of the Monstrous Pig in Hodgson’s “The Hog” and The House on the Borderland”

By Leigh Blackmore

 

“The House on the Burren: The Physical and Psychological Foundations of The House on the Borderland

by Joseph Hinton

 

“Terminal Eden: The Last Redoubt and the Closure of History”

by Brett Davidson

 

Poetry

 

“The Beautiful Mirdath”

By Charles Danny Lovecraft

 

 

“From a Mariner on the Glen Carrig”

By Charles Danny Lovecraft

 

 

“Night Land—And What I Saw”

by Charles Danny Lovecraft

 

 

Fiction

 

“Corpse-Light”

by Josh Reynolds

 

“A Hideous Communion”

by James Gracey

 

Front and back cover art are once again by the incomparable Robert Knox!

Copies can be ordered via this link or, if you are outside the US, try your international Amazon website.

And, of course, the first two issues of SARGASSO are also still available on Amazon.

Putting together these three issues was a great deal of work and frustration. I hope that, in its small way, they have helped increase interest about Hodgson and his work.

Thanks for all your support!

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WHH!


 

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William Hope Hodgson portrait by Dave Felton

Today, November 15th, is Hodgson’s 139th birthday!

It was on this day in 1877 that William Hope Hodgson was born to Samuel , an Anglican priest, and Lizzie Sarah Hodgson. The second of twelve children, three of whom would die in infancy, Hope and his family had a hard life. They were often poor and reliant upon the charity of Samuel’s parishioners. A controversial figure, Samuel was moved about frequently by the church, serving 11 parishes in 21 years before his death in 1892.

In 1890, Hope was apprenticed into the Merchant Marine and he would spend the next 10 years at sea sailing around the world several times and receiving the Royal Humane Society medal for heroism after saving a shipmate who had fallen into shark infested waters. During his time at sea, Hope would also develop his life-long interests in physical culture and photography.

whh fam

Returning home, Hope started a ‘School for Physical Culture’ which, unfortunately, closed after only a few years. It is at this point that he turned to writing.

It is often a mystery how a man whom, we assume, had no literary intentions could become such a powerful and influential writer. Whatever the reason, Hodgson left us four unique novels as well as a significant amount of short stories that still manage to entertain and enthrall us today.

After his unfortunate death at Ypres during World War I in 1918, Hodgson’s work continued to find new readers and devotees. At risk of being forgotten, Hope’s writings were kept alive by August Derleth at ARKHAM HOUSE and H. C. Koenig.

Today, Hodgson is cited as an influence by many writers and his work is better known now than it ever was during his lifetime. We look forward to this continuing to grow as more and more people discover Hodgson and his unique visions.
So, wherever you are today, raise a glass of whatever you’re drinking in salute to the old man and give a hearty “hail and well-met” across time and space to the dweller in the House on the Borderland!

 

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Rev. Samuel Hodgson death notice


Due to the lack of primary sources, we don’t know very much about William Hope Hodgson’s family. What few biographical notes we have are generally derived from the work of Randy Everts and Sam Moskowitz. But, every once in a while, we do stumble upon something new.

Hope’s father is something of a cypher. Unlike Hope’s mother, he never makes even a symbolic appearance in Hope’s fiction. We know that he was a ‘fire and brimstone’ sort and that he apparently had many arguments with his strong-willed son. (It is, perhaps, significant to note that Hope was the only son to remain in Blackburn with his family while his brothers all emigrated.) It was Hope’s father who objected to his son going to sea and who reluctantly gave his permission for Hope to be apprenticed at the young age of thirteen after an intervention by Hope’s uncle on the boy’s behalf.

We are told that the Rev. Samuel Hodgson died quickly after a diagnosis of throat cancer. Recently, my wife (who is an amateur genealogist) discovered this news item from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated November 26, 1892:

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This notice is significant for a number of reasons. It establishes that Rev. Samuel had been a “native of Sheffield” and was the only “surviving” son. Previously, I had not been aware that there were other siblings of the Reverend. Most important is the listing of Samuel’s education starting at St. George’s School and then to St. Bee’s College. Although it had been known that he was ordained at Lichfield, this is the first mention of who performed that ceremony. It is curious that his missionary work in England and Ireland is given such short notice here given that it involved numerous moves and parishes.

We also learn that the cancer must have advanced very quickly as he “was prostrate for several weeks before his death”. His being interred at “Salesbury Church” may be helpful if anyone reading this has an opportunity to seek out this grave and find the marker.

Presently, we are at that unenviable point in Hodgson biography where any new information will come from secondary sources like these. If anyone locates any further items of interest, please let me know so that I can share it here on this blog for everyone’s edification.

(Many thanks to Carol Gafford for finding this item and sharing it with us.)

 

 

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House on the Borderland Movie!


Some time ago, I posted about a movie adaptation of Hodgson’s classic novel, THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, that was starting up. It’s been a bit of time but I’ve just heard from the people behind the project who have just began a Kickstarter to raise backing funds.

Andre Martin, the man behind the project, had this to say:

The highlights of the project this far, for the fans, would be that we are sticking meticulously close to the source material and my main goal is to do it justice.

There is no doubt that this material is visually challenging but we feel it can also be one of the most visually stunning films ever created.

There have been some Hollywood heavyweights attached to the project in the past but they all wanted a dramatically different adaption, changing characters, time periods etc. We have had a solid script for almost a decade that doesn’t deviate far from the novel at a plot level.

Creatively I do have my own interpretations but they only work to expand the character and story while adding depth and weight to their existence. Such as a backstory for the Recluse to draw from, a deepening dynamic between the recluse and the lost love. Also, I don’t think any incestuous innuendos are necessary to capture the story for the modern audience. We do develop the sister-brother relationship a bit and also even Pepper’s past.

We are in talks with two persons of note, that will be a great asset to the project including the music composer Spencer Nilsen, who can create an incredible, atmospheric tone for the film. Tom Woodruff Jr, is considering the creature design/direction, who will bring the infamous Swine Things to life and if we raise the funding, I’m confident we will secure them both.

We are aware of Echoes of the Borderland and have contacted the German music group with talks to use at least one track in the film during the “Plain of Silence” sequence. They have already agreed, years ago.

This is very much a film for the fans, because I am one.

We have arrangements with several castles in Northwest Ireland area, to film at. It is also possible that the filming to take place in the U.S. will be at an old castle, that we will end up rehabbing for an economically depressed community. When the filming is done, we will leave behind the improved structure to the Economic Development Board. Pretty much I have arranged to film most of my interior shots in LA on stateside but we will definitively take a unit to Ireland to film an authentic House on the Borderland.

I have many crew positions and talent roles filled with professionals denoting their time or working “under scale.” For the most part they are not “big names” but we have all been at this independent film game for quite a while now. They all have working experience and I trust them to work with me in bringing this tale to moviegoers.

Christopher Karl Johnson is cast as our Old Recluse and I tell you he is absolutely perfect. There will be a younger version of the recluse and his long lost love in flashback sequences.

I am thrilled to hear that this project is moving ahead. For years, I have been mystified at the fact that Hodgson has not been adapted more for films, TV or comics. At last we will get an adaptation that promises to stick close to the actual book. The possibility of filming in Northwest Ireland is very exciting and I have great hopes for this production.

Hopes, however, that will not be met unless the Kickstarter is funded. In movie terms, they’re not looking for a lot of money so I hope that readers of this blog will support this project. You can check out their Kickstarter here.
We look forward to sharing more news of the production as we learn them and hope to have a Q&A with Andre Martin here on the blog very soon.

 

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It’s about time!


About time I got off my ass and got back to posting regularly on this blog!

My apologies for the absence (so long of one that WordPress has actually changed their webpage!) but I have actually been pretty busy. First off, I finished a massive writing project this year that took virtually all of my focus and attention. It was the culmination of a project that I have literally spent years (decades, even) working on but had allowed to lie dormant for far too long. Spurred by my success in writing my first novel last year, I turned my attention to this and completed the first draft of a 230,000+ word novel during the final days of September. It’s not finished but it’s the closest it’s ever been to that.

Naturally, I’m beginning to get back to some of the other things I love and Hodgson was the very first on the list! I’m going to try and get back to posting on a more regular basis and am also working on some new WHH related projects for 2017.

BUT, the big news is that I am almost finished with the layout for the third issue of SARGASSO: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies!  Yes, it’s taken a while (and I thank everyone for their patience) but it is nearly here. If all goes well, the issue should be available by November 15th which is, of course, Hodgson’s birthday! He’ll be 139!
I’m proud to announce the following as the contents for SARGASSO #3:

 

“A Particular Phase of Constructive Thought: Hodgson’s Theory of Novels”
by Joseph Hinton

“Utter Quiet in All the Land: A Recurring Motif”
by Ryan Jefferson

“The House on the Borderland: The Ultimate Horror Novel”
by Liam Garriock

“Ye Hogge”: Liminality and the Motif of the Monstrous Pig in Hodgson’s “The Hog” and The House on the Borderland”
By Leigh Blackmore

“The House on the Burren: The Physical and Psychological Foundations of The House on the Borderland”
by Joseph Hinton

“Terminal Eden: The Last Redoubt and the Closure of History”
by Brett Davidson
Poetry

“The Beautiful Mirdath”
By Charles Danny Lovecraft

“From a Mariner on the Glen Carrig” by Charles Danny Lovecraft

“Night Land—And What I Saw”
by Charles Lovecraft

Fiction

“Corpse-Light”
by Josh Reynolds
“A Hideous Communion”
by James Gracey

Looks to be about 152 pages. I think we have some really great material here and I hope everyone will enjoy it because, sadly, this will be the last issue of SARGASSO. I’m sorry to say that the amount of work involved with producing the magazine is simply too great and my schedule simply won’t allow it anymore. Still, I feel that we have done great things with these three issues and I hope that others will continue to work and study Hodgson in the future!

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover for SARGASSO #3 by Robert Knox before I put all that pesky logo and details on it:

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I’ve got a couple of other new Hodgson items to talk about so look for more posts soon!

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What’s New?


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W.H. Hodgson by Dave Felton.

Well, astute readers will realize that this site hasn’t really been updated in a while and there’s a few good reasons for that!

First of all, I took a break to focus on my own writing. As anyone who does a regular blog already knows, putting up regular, meaningful posts takes a lot of work. So, instead, I worked on finishing my first novel, THE HOUSE OF NODENS. I’m now shopping it around to some publishers so hopefully there will be some good news about that sometime soon.

Second, I’ve been quietly working on a new project which I’m announcing here as a kind of tease. I don’t think I’ll finish it by the end of this year, if then, but I am eager to share it with everyone. It is the first ever critical biography of Hodgson and here are the proposed Table of Contents:

 

THE DREAMER ON THE BORDERLAND:

A Critical Biography of William Hope Hodgson

  1. Chronology of WHH’s life
  2. Chronology of publications
  3. Introduction
  4. Biography
    1. Early Years
    2. Life at Sea
    3. Blackburn and Houdini
    4. The Writing Life
    5. Marriage and WWI
  5. Short Stories
    1. Sea Stories
    2. Carnacki
    3. Captain Gault
    4. Misc.
  6. Novels
    1. The Boats of the “Glen Carrig”
    2. The Ghost Pirates
    3. The House on the Borderland
    4. The Night-Land
  7. Poetry and Essays
  8. Conclusion

 

Obviously, this is something that takes a lot of time and effort to do well but I am determined to finish it! I’m not sure what will happen after that but my hope is that either McFarland or Hippocampus would publish it at some point.

 

Lastly, I’d like to point out the great work that my friend John Linwood Grant has been doing with his own blog, greydogtales. He’s posted much of interest to the Hodgson fan and has a special surprise coming up this weekend which has to do with Carnacki so do stop by!

 

Keep watching this space for more news and updates about my own Hodgson project and other things that are coming up this year!

 

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A Month Long Celebration of Hodgson!


I have been horribly remiss in not mentioning that John Linwood Grant has been having a month long celebration of Hodgson on his blog, Greydogtales!
John’s done a great job in pulling together lots of great information and things like a gallery of covers to Hodgson books, interviews with William Meikle and Julia Morgan and James Bojaciuk and others plus lots of links to Hodgson stuff and some really interesting discussions about THE NIGHT LAND and plenty of other wonderful tidbits!  It’s really impressive to see and I encourage everyone to go and check it out. Unlike this blog here, James has even gotten other people to write new stuff for it which is something I’d love to do more of here.
John just posted the 9th (!!) part of this celebration yesterday and there are still more things to come this week.

Check it out and be sure to tell John how much you appreciate his support of Hodgson and encouragement of everything Hodgsonian!

You can find the blog here:
http://greydogtales.com/blog/

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Writer(s) on the Borderland


John Linwood Grant is a madman.

A Hodgson fan, Grant has decided to dedicate the month of October to Hodgson! Every week in October, Grant will feature new material about Hodgson and his works. At first, Grant had just expected to do one or two special posts but, as often happens in Hodgson, things got out of hand very quickly!

Here is Grant’s schedule for upcoming posts:

WRITER ON THE BORDERLAND

greydogtales.com is pleased to announced the finalised schedule for this month-long celebration of William Hope Hodgson’s extraordinary fiction. A series of blog posts will be presented for your delectation, with contributions from authors and enthusiasts, along with a gallery of WHH covers and other sundries.

2 October – PART ONE: Hodgson and Carnacki

We commence with an introduction to WHH and an unapologetic nod to perhaps his best-known character, Carnacki the Ghost Finder. With comments by Tim Prasil, occult detective chronologist and author, and musings by John Linwood Grant on Carnacki and the Cheyne Walk origins of Tales of the Last Edwardian.

9 October – PART TWO: The Voice of Horror

In which we interview the talented Wayne June, covering his narration of WHH stories and some of his other excellent horror recordings. Includes honourable mentions of related creepy audio for those who like fear and anxiety to seep in through their ears.

16 October – PART THREE: Hodgson’s Legacy

In which we provide an unscientific examination of those authors writing stories influenced by WHH, lead by an interview with the prolific William Meikle. We also delve into David Langford’s ‘Dagon Smythe’ parodies, Chico Kidd & Rick Kennett‘s 472 Cheyne Walk and other works inspired by WHH.

19 October – PART THREE AGAIN: More Hodgson’s Legacy
In which we delight in a bibliography of Hodgson’s pastiches by James Bojaciuk, with more coverage of authors who have drawn inspiration from Hodgson’s work.

23 October – PART FOUR: Hodgson the Innovator

In which we praise his originality – his weird sea stories, the Night Land, House on the Borderland and critics’ views. Features Hodgson scholar Sam Gafford on his noted involvement in the field, WHH’s publishing history and mention of others researching or promoting WHH.

30 October – PART FIVE: The Diskos is Sheathed

In which we switch off the electric pentacle and relax with a few closing comments, including a free creepy story from John Linwood Grant and a hearty thanks to all who have participated.

Note to the Curious Reader: Everything in the schedule above is, of course, subject to change, as this is unfortunately Reality and not a work of fiction. Damn you, Reality!

 

Looks like it’s a good thing that there are FIVE Fridays in October this year!

I encourage everyone to check out Grant’s blog during the month-long celebration. It can be found here:
http://greydogtales.com/blog/

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and put on my tux so I’m prepared for my presentation!

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