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:


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:

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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Hodgson related Kickstarter!

Wow! Two posts in one day!  Will wonders never cease?

Actually, I hadn’t planned on doing another post but I just received an email from Tim Hutchings about his soon to be completed Kickstarter. Here’s what Tim had to say:

“My name is Tim Hutchings and I am the director of a quasi-academic game studies archive. We occasionally print books related to the collection and are currently Kickstarting a reprint of an obscure AD&D fanzine.

 Now, without even knowing it, Tim hit on several themes that are near and dear to my heart. Hodgson, of course, but also the preservation of fanzines for future generations and study. I’ve been involved in fanzines since I was probably about 10 years old when I watched my brother, Carl, create his own comic fanzine (MINOTAUR) and run off copies on his ditto machine. Since then, I’ve published my own zines and contributed to numerous other ones and have devoured hundreds. But these fanzines were created with fans in mind and not generally meant to last. So it makes me happy that someone is doing such preservation work in the gaming fanzine field.
But what does this have to do with Hodgson? Well, the project is reprinting a legendary AD&D fanzine from the 1980s called ORACLE which never got to a promised sixth issue. Tim and his crew have compiled a tribute by creating that long-lost, never-realized sixth issue with new articles, campaigns and, more important to the Hodgson fan, an article by Sandy Petersen that creates rules for CALL OF CTHULHU scenarios in Hodgson’s Night Land!
If you’ve ever played the CALL OF CTHULHU rpg, then you know who Sandy is and how important he is not only to that game but gaming as a whole. Having him write this article is about as authoritative as it can get. It’s been many years since I’ve adventured in a CoC campaign but I’m seriously tempted to do so once more!
Courtesy of Tim, here’s a snippet from Sandy’s upcoming article:

The Diskos

In the novel, the nameless hero carries the mighty Diskos weapon – which seems to be a kind of circular saw on an extension – sort of a cross between a chainsaw and an axe. It might be the only weapon able to fight off the dreadful creatures he faces.
This device is a hand-to-hand bladed weapon. Enemies that are resistant to impaling weapons or bullets have no immunity to it. However, foes which are straight-up resistant or immune to physical weaponsdo receive their normal benefits. The Diskos is electrically powered, and shoots off sparks when overcharged.
The Diskos contains an internal battery which holds 30 power. It recharges this power over time, at a rate varying with its distance from the Earthpower, but generally around 1 point per hour. Normal blade use does not spend power.
When the Diskos is used in combat, it does a straight 10 damage, plus the wielder’s damage bonus. If the user wants to overcharge the blade, he can add 1d6 to his damage, which also expends an equal amount of Power to the roll. Normal combat use does not expend power – only overcharging. In desperate circumstances, the user can spend multiple d6s to boost his total.
The overcharge can be spent after the user hits his target! In addition, the overcharge is energetic, and includes electrical and plasmatic damage – it will even hurt enemies immune to normal physical weapons (though the Diskos’s base 10 damage & your damage bonus, if any, don’t count).
Example: our hero faces off an especially terrifying monster. He has a damage bonus of 1d6, because he is large and manly. He decides to add another 3d6 to his total via overcharge, and rolls a 9. He spends 9 out of his 30 store din the battery, and he will inflict 10+9+1d6 damage (10 for the blade, 9 for the 3d6 roll, and 1d6 for his damage bonus). 
That is just all kinds of awesome and makes my fannish little heart very happy.
The Kickstarter in entering its final days and has already surpassed 100% funding so it is going to happen. If you’re into gaming at all, I suggest you click over and check out the campaign.  It looks pretty damn good to me!
The Kickstarter page is at:

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ANIMA by Brett Davidson

Lots of new stuff coming your way soon on this blog but wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about Brett Davidson’s new Hodgson inspired novel, ANIMA!  This was a novel that Brett had written and was in the process of publishing through Andy Robertson before Andy’s unfortunate death. It’s taken a little while but the novel is now finally available for order!

Here’s the description:


 What if you could be a divinity?

What if it cost you everything?

What if you faced monsters more terrible than you could imagine?

What if those monsters might be your salvation?


The sun has died…

Not a planet, not a star shines n the black heavens above The Night Land.


In its midst The Last Redoubt, a vast, pyramid-shaped arcology, stands obdurate against the night, while within it the remnant millions of humanity live and thrive.  The Days of Light are less than a legend to them, mouldered to dust amidst the chaos of ancient libraries.


Outside, strange immense and malevolent entities watch – and wait.


The Last Redoubt has stood ten million years and may stand ten million years more – but its final fall is inevitable.  The last age is drawing to its close and the end of everything comes ever nearer.


The people of the Last Redoubt face this fate with stoicism, hedonism, heroic folly… except for two secretive orders who are making plans for survival and have found their champions, a man and a woman who will together carry the essence of humanity beyond the end of night.


But can they preserve their own humanity as well?

As you can see, this is heavily influenced by Hodgson’s own novel, THE NIGHT LAND. I’m very excited about this and looking forward to getting a copy of it myself.  It can currently be ordered via Amazon at:


It’s my hope that this may inspire an entirely new explosion of Hodgsonian fiction!


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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and thought that it was about time for an update!

Sadly, the Hodgson panel at NecronomiCON has been cancelled. As one of the organizers for the convention, I had to face the difficult task of trimming down the prospective panels to a manageable list and the Hodgson panel was one of those that was cut. The OCCULT DETECTIVES panel will still be held, though, so I will be presenting WHH and Carnacki at that panel.

Speaking of Carnacki, I am getting back to work on the definitive Carnacki collection which will provide the best versions of the classic stories as originally printed in the first edition back in 1913! Look for more information on this soon.

Also, some of the writers who I had lined up for contributing to CARNACKI: THE LOST CASES have had to drop out for various reasons and I am looking for new contributors! This is an anthology that takes the cases that Carnacki mentioned during the original Hodgson stories and expanding those hints into their own stories. Right now, I have the following up for grabs:

“The Noving Fur Case” mentioned in “The Gateway of the Monster”

“The Buzzing Case”

“The Yellow Finger Experiments”

“The Nodding Door Case” (all mentioned in “The Whistling Room”)

And the following visual of “the ghost of a child’s hand patting the floor” from “The Horse of the Invisible”

If you’d like to take on one of these stories, please contact me at my email: lordshazam@yahoo.com and let me know. The story length is 3,000-4,000 words and deadline is July 1st, 2015, for a hopeful publication by NecronomiCON in August!

Previously I had considered publishing a COMPLETE POETRY of WHH but I’ve had to cancel that project as it simply would not cover the costs of production. Although his poetry is neglected, I cannot expect there to be enough sales to support it.

I’ve been told that the $60 edition of Hodgson from Centipede Press is now out of print. However, I’ve gotten reports that some copies can be found from various booksellers and I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t picked up a copy of this book do so before it skyrockets in price! Here’s a link to one:


This same dealer has two of the Night Shade hardcovers still available for less than $20 each so I’d snap those up if you don’t already have them.

I am also hard at work compiling THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN GAULT which will include all of the Captain Gault stories.  I hope to have this completed by the end of the year.

SARGASSO #3 has been delayed and is still in great need of contributions! If you have something that you’d like to submit for consideration, please do so ASAP!

Thanks to all for your patience and be sure and look for me at NecronomiCON in August!


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Hodgson Panels at NecronomiCON this August!

I’m pleased to announce that I will be on TWO panels of interest to Hodgson fans at this August’s NecronomiCON in Providence, RI!

They are:


A discussion about Hodgson’s life and work. I’ll be talking about WHH along with other weird fiction scholars.



A review of this unique genre covering many of the classic characters as well as new ones. I’ll be representing WHH’s Carnacki at this one.

NecronomiCON is a convention devoted to the work of H.P. Lovecraft as well as weird fiction in general.  I encourage all to attend and especially to come to these two Hodgson panels! For more information, visit:



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Some Reviews!

Recently, Dave Brzeski wrote some very nice reviews of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES and both issues of SARGASSO for the British Fantasy Society. You can find those reviews here:




I’d like to thank Dave for taking the time to review and promote those books. It truly does mean a lot.

I don’t think it will come as any surprise to anyone when I say that I don’t make money doing these books. The total print sales for each one of these books barely exceed three figures so we’re not talking a 50 SHADES OF GREY level blockbuster here. As such, I often feel that I am producing these books, essays and blog posts in a vacuum without knowing if anyone is appreciating or even reading these things. This blog rarely gets over 100 hits on a single day which, given the amount of weird fiction fans, can be somewhat discouraging.

Still, it’s only to be expected. Hodgson is a niche writer in a relatively small genre. He’s never going to have the critical success or name recognition that Poe or Lovecraft currently enjoy. So that’s why I want to thank Dave for putting up those reviews and reminding me about why I published them in the first place: Hodgson.

It’s been a tough year for me and 2015 is barely started. Last year, I was looking towards publishing several Hodgson books including a volume of THE COMPLETE POEMS OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON. I had to scrap that poetry book when it became obvious that the cost would outweigh sales and I’d recently been considering canceling SARGASSO as well. Now I have a lot more to think about and more material to create for this blog.

Hodgson wasn’t a quitter. That was abundantly shown during his life as he tried profession after profession and never failed to pick himself back up after a failure or set-back. That’s what Dave reminded me about and what I have to keep thinking as I move forward in 2015.


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New Lovecraft Letter Surfaces!

LovecraftHP_Letters_HennebergerJC_010The Lovecraft world is all abuzz with news that a previously unknown, 5,000 word letter from H.P. Lovecraft has been discovered. The letter (dated February 2, 1924) was from Lovecraft to then editor of WEIRD TALES, J. C. Henneberger. The letter was discovered by accident by James Machin at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) at the University of Texas at Austin. The HRC is home to many different collections of various materials and is, in fact, where I discovered Hodgson’s letters to Coulson Kernahan many years ago.

This letter is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Lovecraft providing brief synopses of his novels, “Azathoth” and “The House of the Worm”, which were apparently never written or lost. I encourage everyone to go over to the site that explains the find and provides scans of the typewritten letter. It’s at:

This is one of the most significant finds in Lovecraft letters in many years but, I hear you ask, “what does this have to do with Hodgson?”

Unfortunately, Lovecraft does not mention Hodgson by name  in the letter and, being written in 1924, this was still years before Lovecraft would even become aware of Hodgson. However, Lovecraft does mention the story “Fungus Island” by Phillip Fisher. Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I discussed Fisher’s story and it’s strong similarity to WHH’s “Voice in the Night” almost two years ago. (You can find the blog post where I talk about Fisher and the story itself here: https://williamhopehodgson.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/fungus-isle-by-phillip-fisher/.)

In the letter, Lovecraft has this to say about Fisher’s story:


Another man with promise is Phillip M. Fisher, Jr., who had a fine thing in a recent ALL-STORY, spoiled only by a tame ending obviously designed to suit the gentle Bob Davis. Told to let the human race go to hell, Fisher could accomplish wonders. His tale was called “Fungus Island”.

Given that Fisher’s story (mistakenly recalled by Lovecraft as “Fungus Island” rather than “Fungus Isle“) is so similar to Hodgson’s tale, it would seem reasonable to conclude that Lovecraft would have also enjoyed “Voice in the Night”. However, we have no evidence that HPL ever read this story by Hodgson or, indeed, any of Hodgson’s short stories other than the Carnacki series. Still, there may be a missing letter out there that might come to light someday and prove this theory.




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Hodgson Book on Preliminary Ballot for Stoker Award!

new phonebookI don’t tend to pay too much attention to awards. Mostly that’s because I haven’t done anything that would warrant such a thing so, other than congratulating friends who win them, they haven’t have too much impact on me. So imagine my surprise when I found out that the recent Hippocampus Press release, WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND, has been included on the preliminary ballot for a Stoker Award! These awards are given out by the Horror Writers of America (HWA) at their annual convention and, although I know many who have won these awards, I’ve never had something considered for this before.

To say that I am feeling very humbled and thankful is an understatement. I have always, and still do, feel that this book is an important step in the critical acceptance of Hodgson and, should it actually win, I hope it will spur others to sit up and take notice of WHH. As long-time readers of this blog now, getting more people reading and writing about Hodgson has always been my primary goal.

Even should the book not win the award, I’d like to thank the others who made the book possible (far more than I!); Massimo Berrutti, S.T. Joshi and Derrick Hussey (Hippocampus Press publisher). Without the efforts of these gents (as well as the array of great writers in the book itself), this book would not have existed at all.

Given my unfamiliarity with such things, I’m not quite sure how these awards work. Right now the book is on what is called the “Preliminary Ballot”. From there, I gather there is another round of voting by the HWA members and then a “Final Ballot” is determined. A last round of voting determines the actual award winners.

Many thanks for those who have helped get us this far in the award process and let’s hope that Hodgson brings it home this year!


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The Night Land website LIVES!

All too often we wonder, as most creative people do, “will what I have created live past me?” It’s a difficult question to ask and one that, I feel, we all toil against. After all, if our work has no permanence, then what is the point in creating anything at all?

Hodgson lost a valiant and enthusiastic champion in 2014 with the passing of Andy Robertson. His website (thenightland.co.uk) was an invaluable source of information about Hodgson’s unique and challenging novel as well as a forum for the exchange of ideas and new stories about the Night Land. With Andy’s death, the longevity of the website was in question and, when it recently went down, the worst was feared.

Thankfully, like a beacon of light, Kate Coady has rescued the site and given it new life!

Here is what she had to say in an email sent to many of the fans and supporters of Andy’s work:

The Night Land website at http://thenightland.co.uk is down, probably for good. The late Andy Robertson’s hosting account expired.
We’re up on the Night Land’s new home. It’s the prosaic but practical
I delayed putting the site back up because I was researching how easy it would be to transfer the old domain to me, or point it at the new website. Searching wasn’t as straightforward as it could have been, because the whois record was oddly ambiguous, and because British Telecom even more oddly seems to have let one of their important domains lapse.

The new website is now active and retains the old site’s visual design and construction.

Please do stop by and check it out and thanks again to Kate for preserving Andy’s memory and work.

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The New Phone Book’s Here!

Originally posted on Lordshazam's Bloggedy Blog Blog:

Yesterday brought me a package that caused pretty much the same reaction in me. It was my contributor’s copies of WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND! Now, this isn’t exactly my first time seeing my name in print but, in many ways, this is one of the most important times.

This book represents the culmination of many years of work and, I am going to very uncharacteristically brag here, is one of the most important volumes about Hodgson to ever be printed. So this book means a lot to me for several reasons and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.

A number of years ago, Massimo Berrutti contacted me about a collection of critical articles about Hodgson that he wanted to compile. I immediately knew that there was a dire need of such a collection and was happy to contribute material for it. After some…

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