Back when I started this blog, several people questioned if there would be enough material to keep it going. It wasn’t an entirely unjustified question. After all, Hodgson doesn’t have as much devoted to him as, say, Lovecraft does. But I felt that, whatever material I did have was important enough to present.
Hodgson is kind of the underdog in weird literature. Doesn’t get a lot of press. Guillermo del Toro isn’t lining up to direct a move based on THE NIGHT LAND. There isn’t a convention devoted to Hodgson taking place in Blackburn. There aren’t even any comic books doing “Hodgsonian” tales.
When I was a small press publisher back in the 1990s, I had a table at a local convention/show where I was selling my Hodgson reprints as well as a couple of Machen books and others. The convention’s GOH was Neil Gaiman who was kind enough to stop by the table and talk a bit. We chatted about Machen for a few minutes and gave him complimentary copies of my Machen books but, when I tried to interest him in the Hodgson, he wasn’t biting. He just wasn’t all that keen on WHH…even when I was trying to give him FREE copies. I’ve gotten that reaction a lot.
I guess that kind of stuck with me over the years as an example of Hodgson being the “Rodney Dangerfield” of weird fiction. “He don’t get no respect!”
Through the years, that has always been one of the driving forces behind my efforts. I want Hodgson to get more respect both from the readers and the literary circles. WHH will never reach the stature of a Poe or Lovecraft (nor would even I say he deserves to be elevated so far) but there is much in WHH to enjoy and study.
That was one of the reasons why I started this blog because there was no place on the internet to get a lot of this information. You might get a bit here and there but it wasn’t centralized. I wanted there to be a place where everyone could come to get old and new material and find out what’s going on in the world of Hodgson.
I hope that I have succeeded in that endeavor.
As we enter 2013, there are already new things in store for Hodgson and his fans. Some new books are scheduled to come out and WHH is finally getting some of that critical attention that has been denied him for so long.
Hopefully, this year will see the publication of a new collection of Hodgson criticism and studies edited by Massimo Berruti and published by Hippocampus Press called VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND. It is an anthology of some old pieces and a lot of new ones as well. I am happy to say that I will be represented in this volume by several articles and am honored to be included.
One of the most important items in VOICES FROM THE BORDERLAND will hopefully be the long-awaited Hodgson Bibliography which S. T. Joshi, Mike Ashley and I have been working on for well over 10 years now. It is already over 100 pages long and covers international appearances as well as English. It has been an invaluable resource in my own work and I look forward to sharing it with others.
Already this year we have seen a new paperback of Hodgson stories from Night Shade Books called THE GHOST PIRATES AND OTHERS edited by Jeremy Lassen. This has marked the first appearance by WHH in an inexpensive, mass produced paperback in several years. Hodgson also was mentioned in S.T. Joshi’s two volume history of weird literature; UNUTTERABLE HORROR.
Later this year, Centipede Press will be releasing a collection of Hodgson stories compiled by S. T. Joshi. I do not know the full contents of this book yet but I do know that it will contain the text of the original edition of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND. Unfortunately, given the tendency of Centipede Press to produce expensive items, I fear it will not be cheap but I am sure that it will be a very attractively produced book.
In addition, 2013 will see the first issue of SARGASSO: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies. This will be a yearly publication highlighting new articles about Hodgson as well as Hodgson inspired art and stories. I’ve already gotten a number of submissions and am expecting new articles by some of the biggest names in Hodgson criticism.
Another project which I’m putting together is a special, 100th anniversary edition of CARNACKI. This will be a deluxe edition, reprinting the original texts along with annotations. With luck, I hope to have it available by November. Going along with that, I would like to announce a collection of all-new Carnacki tales! I’m opening this up to submissions today, with this post, in the hopes that everyone will spread the word! I am looking for new tales of Carnacki in the Hodgson tradition so I encourage all of our writers out there to submit a story. Details are still being negotiated so keep watching the blog for more announcements.
Already I am looking forward to the future. Within the last 20 years, Hodgson has made great strides in critical and reader popularity. Virtually all of his major fiction is now available either through e-books, print-on-demand or free online sites. The next steps are to increase availability of his poetry and non-fiction so that, for new readers, everything is available. This is a major difference from just a few years ago when it was difficult to easily find even Hodgson’s novels. Today, we can state that Hodgson is better known and read than ever before.
And there is still so much more to learn! Genealogy research has barely been touched and there is a great need for more study about Hodgson’s own life, opinions and beliefs. Plus Hodgson has suffered from one major disadvantage: there has yet to be a full, book-length critical study of his works. I hope to change this in the future.
It’s been a great 100 posts and I hope everyone will still around for the next 100!!
(I’d like to thank everyone who has helped with this blog over the last 100 posts. I could not have done it without your overwhelming support and I humbly thank you all. Whether you have contributed materials, shared knowledge, spread the word or just read the blog regularly, you are why I keep going and posting week after week. I may be the person behind the blog but it is really for all of you.)