Monthly Archives: August 2013

Post-Con Recovery

I attended last weekend’s NECRONOMICON in Providence, RI, and lived to tell the tale!

It was a great time filled with seeing old friends, making new ones and lots of Lovecraftian frivolity!  I had a small table in the dealer’s room where I sold a few copies of both SARGASSO and HODGSON and spoke with a lot of people about ol’ WHH and various Hodgsonian things.  A great time was had by all.

On Sunday, I was honored to be part of the panel, “THE OTHER GUYS”, where I and several other scholars talked about some of Lovecraft’s contemporaries.  I spread the word about Hodgson as much as possible but, in such a short time period, I had to be brief.  It’s my hope that the panel, and my presence in the dealer’s room, will lead to other’s picking up Hodgson’s work as well.  A number of interesting topics were brought up during the weekend and, as a result, I have a few other Hodgson projects in mind for the future.  For one thing, I was frustrated because when someone would stop by the table and mention that they’d heard about Hodgson but never read him, I didn’t have any of WHH’s works for them to buy!  Nor, did I notice, did anyone else in the dealer’s room.  It’s hard to encourage people to read an author when you don’t have anything there to back it up with!  This is something I will have to work on for the future.

sargasso coverAs a result of the convention, my stock of copies of SARGASSO and my book of essays, HODGSON, have been depleted.  However, I still have a limited number of each available for anyone who either missed the pre-order or couldn’t attend the convention.  I actually have only 30 copies left of SARGASSO (out of a 150 copy print run) and this issue will not be reprinted.  It can be ordered for $20 plus $5 s&h in US or $10 s&h foreign.  As for HODGSON, I only have 10 copies of that book left which is $10 with same s&h rates.  I will happily autograph either copy if desired.  The reaction to SARGASSO has been very WHHfavorable which encourages me to continue on with a second issue for next year.  Anyone interested in contributing should contact me at: and paypal payments can also be sent to that yahoo email.

There is much work left to do on Hodgson so let’s get to it!



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Out to Sea

1005366_555922644467543_797357230_nWell, many people have said that I’ve been “out to sea” for awhile but I’m meaning that figuratively this week as I will be attending the NecronomiCON in my home state of Rhode Island this week!  I’m also one of the organizers so things are pretty hectic right now.  For those of you unfamiliar with this event, NecronomiCON is being held in Providence as a celebration of the life and work of H. P. Lovecraft who was one of the most significant influences in my life.  This entire week is full of events like movies, a dedication of a bust of HPL in one of his favorite libraries, a heavy metal rock concert (!!!) and three full days of panels, symposiums and lectures.  And lot’s more!

If you’re around Rhode Island this weekend, swing on by the Biltmore hotel and join in the fun.  I’ll be there in the dealer’s room with my two Hodgson books (SARGASSO and HODGSON) and maybe a few other things.  If you were already planning on coming to the show then make sure you stop by my table and say “Hi, I read your blog” so I’ll feel all important and stuff!  😉

If you want more information about the convention, click this link:

The poster above is one of the many items that will be available at the convention.  There’ll be several posters and this one was done by the talented artist Rick Sardinha.


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Vintage Ad, part one

In the back of the copy of CARNACKI  which I have (Holden & Hardingham, 1921), there are four pages of ads for Hodgson’s other books.  This was not an unusual practice particularly among the more ‘inexpensive’ publishers.  They thought, probably quite correctly, that “if you bought this book by this author, you might like these other books by them as well”.  I’m not certain exactly when this policy became unpopular but it does give us a nice glimpse into how Hodgson’s books were advertised to the public.

This first page shows ads for two books: THE CALLING OF THE SEA and THE LUCK OF THE STRONG.  Now, what is unusual here is the fact that THE CALLING OF THE SEA was not published by Holden & Hardingham but by Selwyn & Blount.  I am a bit perplexed why they would advertise another publisher’s book especially on the very first page of ads!  I wonder if perhaps H&H owned Selwyn & Blount considering that they also shared the same address?  Notice also, the misspelling of the title of THE CALLING OF THE SEA!


The ad is reproduced below, followed by my transcription.




With an introduction by A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK

Crown 8vo, boards, 2/6 net

Mr. Hope Hodgson, whose short stories of the sea won for him a wide popularity, spent eight years at sea.  He was living in the South of France when war broke out, but joined up, obtained a commission in 1915, and was killed in action in April, 1918.  His poems are now collected for the first time and reveal a side to his character which will be new to his readers.

Published by SELWYN & BLOUNT, Adelphi, London, W.C.2



Crown 8vo, Cloth, with Attractive Pictorial Jacket

Price 2/6 net (Postage 4d.)

“Mr. Hodgson more than once has been paid the compliment of being likened to Poe.  It is a compliment not carelessly paid.  Among it all there is not a dull paragraph.” — Daily Telegraph

“The author spins his yarns cleverly and neatly, has a crisp, racy style, and a bold imagination, with a flair for the macabre and horrific that will always appeal to a wide public.” —Bookman

“…There is more adventure and incident to the square inch than one usually finds between covers.” —Sheffield Telegraph



12 York Blds., Adelphi, London, W.C.2



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Did You Know?

Here’s a little post about interesting Hodgson facts.

Did you know:

That Hodgson did not get married until he was 35?

That Hodgson’s wife was the same age?

That, during his lifetime, the only American publication of any of Hodgson’s books was Captain Gault?

That Hodgson had no children?

That his widow never remarried?

That Hodgson had three primary publishers? (Chapman & Hall, Stanley Paul & Co. and Eveleigh Nash.)

That Eveleigh Nash was actually the first to publish the work of Algernon Blackwood?

That Hodgson was an accomplished photographer?

That, in addition to using pictures of himself in his physical culture articles, Hodgson took many photographs while at sea and was the first to photograph the phenomenon of ‘stalk lighting’ where the lighting seems to rise from the sea?

That there has only been one major film based on a Hodgson story?  (MATANGO based on “The Voice in the Night”)

That Hodgson was not published in the acclaimed horror pulp Weird Tales until March, 1947? (“The Hog”)

That there were no editions of Hodgson published between 1921 and 1946? (The House on the Borderland and Other Novels, Arkham House, 1946)

That Hodgson wrote everything, including letters, on a typewriter?


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WHHWell, that happened faster than I thought it would!

My self-published collection of essays about Hodgson (entitled, oddly enough, HODGSON: A Collection of Essays) is now available from Amazon.  You can get it by going to this link here:

(Or just search for “Sam Gafford” in Amazon.  Feels kinda odd to have a page of listings in Amazon even if most of the things there aren’t available.)

As I mentioned before, this is a collection of several of my essays along with some of what I considered to be the most important posts from this blog.  Included are “Writing Backwards: The Novels of William Hope Hodgson” and “Houdini v Hodgson: The Challenge at Blackburn” as well as several helpful chronologies of Hodgson’s life and work and several other significant items.

It’s a slim volume at only 72 pages which is why I have it priced at only $9.95.  I’d appreciate any feedback and reviews if anyone has the chance or inclination.

I will have copies of this book at Necronomicon (in two weeks! yikes!) which I will happily sign for anyone who buys a copy.  Also, if you aren’t going to Necronomicon but would still like a signed copy, I’ll be selling them myself as well.  Just contact me at: for more information.

An e-book version is forthcoming as soon as I can resolve some formatting issues which are about as mysterious as the identity of Jack the Ripper!

This is a bit of an experiment for me so I’m hoping that it does well and there will be further volumes in the future!





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A collection of my articles and posts from this very blog!  72 page trade paperback including many WHH photos.  Details soon!  It contains my “Writing Backwards: The Novels of William Hope Hodgson” as well as my “Houdini v Hodgson” essay.  It will be available via Amazon and I’m working on a Kindle version as well!


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