Monthly Archives: September 2013


Today I’m presenting the cover from FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES from June, 1945.

This particular issue is important for several reasons.  First, it was Hodgson’s first cover appearance on an American pulp magazine.  The early publication (in 1944) of THE GHOST PIRATES in the same magazine did not earn WHH the prized cover spot nor did the reprint of “The Derelict” in the December, 1943 issue.  Second, this was the third appearance of an WHH work since the 1920-21 Holden & Hardingham editions.  Third, this was once again the result of the efforts of H. C. Koenig who convinced FFM’s editor, Mary Gnaedinger, to publish WHH’s fiction.  Forth, the ‘renaissance’ of Hodgson could have stopped right here as this reprint of BOATS OF THE ‘GLEN CARRIG’ was drastically edited.  Readers who had thrilled to the reprint of THE GHOST PIRATES now denounced this ‘new’ work and questioned if it was truly the same author.  Thankfully, August Derleth, encouraged by Koenig, saw the potential and produced the omnibus THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND AND OTHER NOVELS through Arkham House in 1946.  This was, however, the last appearance of Hodgson in FFM and it is not known if this was because Mary Gnaedinger no longer wanted Hodgson material or if Derleth wanted it all himself.


This cover, and interior illustrations, was by FFM regular Lawrence Stevens.  To my eye, it is a fine cover for the novel and, had I been alive to see it on the stands in 1945, would have snapped it up in a second!









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Who’s Got the Copyright?

Every so often I’m asked about the copyright status of Hodgson’s works.  Now, I’m no copyright expert or lawyer but this is something that, as a publisher of works by/about Hodgson, I am understandably curious about.

Recently I found an online search that presents copyright information on writers, artists and their copyright holders.  Here’s what they had to say about WHH:

Contact for William Hope Hodgson   1877-1918

William Hope Hodgson was killed in Flanders on 17 April 1918 and his estate passed by his will (probate London, 30 August 1918) to his widow Bessie Gertrude Hodgson. The will of Bessie Gertrude Hodgson (probate Manchester, 12 November 1943) bequeaths all her husband’s copyrights to his sister Lissie Hodgson. Lissie Sarah Hodgson died in Barnstable, Devon in May 1959, and her estate passed (adminstration London, 14 September 1959) to Arthur John Alfred Dudley. The will of Arthur John Alfred Dudley (probate Bristol, 30 July 1971) can also be consulted in the London Probate Office. All of William Hope Hodgson’s writings, published and unpublished, are out of copyright in the USA from 2003, but his unpublished manuscripts will remain in copyright in the UK until 2040.

This would seem to state that anything written by WHH (published or unpublished) is out of copyright in the US.  Interestingly, the unpublished material is still in copyright in the UK until 2040.  Anyone able to clear up why that is?  And does that mean that a US publisher cannot distribute the unpublished material in the UK?

For those interested, the information for this came from the WATCH file at:



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Hodgson Artists Needed!

I’m looking for 3-4 artists to help me put together a comic of Hodgson adaptations.  The artists should be familiar with Hodgson and versed in the comic book format.  Experience and publishing credits are not as important as enthusiasm and commitment.

The stories will be adaptations of Hodgson tales “The Voice in the Night”, “A Tropical Horror”, “Out of the Storm” and “From the Tideless Sea”.  Each story will be roughly 8 pages long.

This comic will be produced and published by myself through Ulthar Press.  It will have a full color cover and b/w interiors.  The style of the book will be similar to the old EC comics like TALES FROM THE CRYPT and THE VAULT OF HORROR.

I’m looking for artists who can do pencils, inks or complete pages as well as a good letterer.  Payment will be in contributor copies.  If you’d like to be a part of this project, contact me at: with “HODGSON COMIC” in the subject line and please include some samples!

Hodgson has, unbelievably, been ignored by comic publishers and it’s time to change that!

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Ulthar Press website!

I’ve just released a website for my new small press company, ULTHAR PRESS, which I’d like to invite everyone to come and visit!  I started this primarily as a way to publish SARGASSO as well as my book of essays, HODGSON.  Things have continued to grow and, although Hodgson will always be a focus of Ulthar Press, we’re planning on some other projects as well.

The next title to appear from Ulthar Press will be the Centennial Edition of CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER!  This book will restore the texts to the original 1913 edition for the original 6 stories and the earliest possible editions for the remaining three.  I am currently writing an extended essay about the Carnacki stories that will form the introduction for this volume.  In it, I will examine the stories as well as discuss the enduring popularity of Carnacki as well as his place in the annals of both weird and mystery literature.  Expected release date will be November, 2013.  Help us celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carnacki’s first book appearance!

After that, fans can look forward to the release of CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES featuring new tales of Hodgson’s ghost finder by writers like Jim Beard and William Meikle.

Additional projects in the pipeline include new editions of the works of Oliver Onions, the Benson brothers, more occult detectives and much more!  I hope you will join us on this eldritch journey!

Come visit Ulthar Press at:


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“Mr. Lovecraft? Meet Mr. Hodgson.”

Many Hodgson readers came to WHH through H.P. Lovecraft’s highly influential essay, Supernatural Horror in Literature.  The praise that HPL reaped on Hodgson make it impossible for readers to not want to search out and read these books.  But, how did Lovecraft discover Hodgson and what did he have to say about WHH that isn’t widely known?

Andy Robertson (who runs the excellent website, The Night Land, and which any Hodgson fan should be reading) has recently helped to answer some of those questions by posting various comments which HPL made in his letters to his friends.  Although some mentions are quite short and perfunctory, others are brimming with the excitement that Lovecraft felt over Hodgson’s work. 

This is an excellent aide for further research and study of both Hodgson and Lovecraft and I highly recommend this page.  Of course, a vast majority of Lovecraft’s letters are still unpublished so there is always a chance that more will turn up.  Andy welcomes contributions and additions from any source so let him know if you have something to share!

Go to:

It’s worth the trip!


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wt coverSome time ago, I picked up a copy of the January, 1947, issue of WEIRD TALES.  I did this primarily because that issue was the first publication of Hodgson’s Carnacki story, “The Hog”.  This was also Hodgson’s first appearance in the highly influential magazine which is surprising.  Despite Hodgson’s death in 1918 and WEIRD TALES not beginning until 1923, it would have seemed like a natural fit for WHH’s fiction and it is curious that Hodgson’s widow never, so far as we know, submitted any of WHH’s tales to them.  (At some point, I plan on analyzing WHH’s American vs British sales.)

I had bought the issue with two goals in mind:

1) I wanted to see if there had been any editorial natter connected with how the story came to WT and its provenance.  Sadly, the issue had absolutely NO additional editorial information.  The story was presented cold with no introduction or any clue for new readers about who Hodgson was or anything about Carnacki’s history!  However, the editor must have held the story in some esteem as it was the first story in the magazine as well as being mentioned on the cover. (I am not sure if the cover was meant to illustrate “The Hog” or if it was just a stock cover they had lying about.)

2) I also wanted to do a textual comparison with the version of “The Hog” which was presented in Arkham House’s CARNACKI volume which came out later that year in 1947.  Upon examination, I found that there was essentially no difference between the two except for occasional punctuation.

The issue did have ONE thing that I did not except and that was an excellent piece of artwork that accompanied the story by famed WT illustrator, Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981).  For many years, Coye provided artwork for WT and many other pulps and remains one of the most influential artists of that period.  Some do not care for Coye’s unique style but I have always found it to be extremely evocative and moody.

In many of Coye’s artwork, one finds the theme of sticks and there is an intriguing story behind that:

One recurring feature in Coye’s work is the motif of wooden sticks, often in latticework-like patterns. This was inspired by a 1938 discovery in an abandoned farmhouse.

Coye had returned to the North Pitcher, New York, area where he spent much of his childhood. While wandering deep in the woods, Coye discovered an abandoned farmhouse. Boards and pieces of wood which had been set perpendicular to one another surrounded the site. Neither inside nor out could Coye find an explanation for the presence of these crossed sticks. In the years following, Coye remained interested in the significance of his discovery.

When Coye returned to the site in 1963, there was nothing left of the building or the sticks (the area had suffered severe flooding), and he never found out why the sticks were there or who it was that had arranged them in such a manner. Because of the strangeness of the entire experience, these forms never left Coye, and they appear in many of his paintings and illustrations.

The incident also inspired Coye’s friend Karl Edward Wagner to write the award-winning story “Sticks”. (This information comes from Wikipedia but I have also heard this from other, independent sources.)

It is my opinion that this ‘stick’ motif is also represented in the movie THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

Sadly, I do not own any collections of Coye’s artwork so am not sure if this piece has been presented before but it was something that I had never seen so I am passing it on here.  I think it is a very strong illustration and am curious to hear other opinions. (This illo, unfortunately, has no ‘sticks’.)

whh hog illo


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Vintage Ad, Part Four

This is the last ad which appeared in the back of the 1921 Holden & Hardingham edition of CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER.  As explained previously, inserting ads was common practice among many publishers back in this period and was a way to hopefully attract more customers.  Previous ads which we’ve reproduced have been for THE NIGHT LAND, MEN OF THE DEEP WATERS, THE CALLING OF THE SEA and THE LUCK OF THE STRONG.  This last ad concerns THE GHOST PIRATES.  It is worth nothing that the other novels (THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND and THE BOATS OF THE “GLEN CARRIG”) were not included in these ads.  Perhaps that was because the publisher believed that their reputation did not require additional ads?  If so, that would mean that these volumes were considered more ‘in need’ of an extra push through advertising.  Although this is pure speculation, I often find it more interesting to consider what is ‘not’ in evidence than what is.  Notice also that, unlike the other ads, this one does NOT contain quotes from reviews.

Transcription comes after the graphic.

whh ad gp



Crown 8vo, Cloth, with Attractive Pictorial Jacket.

Price 2/6 net.      (Postage 4d.)

  It takes a good deal of skill to tell a ghost story

well.  We are no longer contented in these days

with the old-fashioned, white-sheeted gibbering,

clanking ghost that used to send shudders through

our unsophisticated forbears.  The thing has to be

done in much more artistic fashion nowadays, and

it is no easy matter to be both sufficiently thrilling

and sufficiently convincing for our tastes. The

author, however, as he showed in The Boats of Glen-

Carrig, has the gift, and in The Ghost Pirates he has

provided a thrill which should satisfy the most

exigent reader.  The true keynote of mystery and

horror is struck almost on the first page in the crude

remark of one of the hands of the ill-starred brig

Mortzestus–“There’s too many blooming shadders

about this ‘ere packet,” and from the moment when

the narrator first sights one of the “shadders” to

the tragic end the atmosphere of gloom and terror

deepens almost in a regular progress.  The relish and

vigour with which The Ghost Pirates is conceived makes

it a more suitable companion for land travel than

for sea-faring–which is a testimonial to its ability.


12 York Bldgs., Adelphi, Lodon, W.C. 2

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Still a few copies left of SARGASSO #1!  The first issue of The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies has been selling great and getting strong reviews so don’t miss out on your copy.  Only $20 plus $5 s&h or $10 s&h outside USA via paypal to  THIS ISSUE WILL NOT BE REPRINTED so don’t miss out and get your copy now!

sargasso cover


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Vintage Ad, Part Three

Here is the third ad which appeared at the back of the 1921 edition of CARNACKI, published by Holden & Hardingham.  This time the ad is for Hodgson’s THE NIGHT LAND which, even back then, may have been a difficult sell to uninformed readers.  I wish that we knew the circumstances under which H&H reprinted all of the Hodgson’s books in 1920-21.  Why did they do that?  How did it come about?  Sadly, like much of Hodgson, we will probably never know.

A transcription of the ad follows the graphic.

whh ad nl



Crown 8vo., Cloth, with Attractive Pictorial Jacket,

Price 2/6 net

(Postage 4d.)

“A remarkably fine piece of narrative . . . a tour de

force.”–Morning Leader.

“This extraordinary love tale . . . Mr. Hodgson is gifted

with a strong imagination.”–Pall Mall Gazette.

“It cannot be denied that ‘The Night Land’ is a wonder-

ful effort.”–Manchester Courier.

“A daringly imaginative love story, and as such you will

find it a very original and remarkable book.”–Bookman

“Mr. Hodgson shows himself to be strong in imagination

and mysticism.”–Athenaeum.

“Mr. Hodgson has achieved a tour de force.”–Morning


“Mr. Hodgson’s novel is impressive–nay, more, it is

haunting. For its spiritual beauty and imaginative art

I cordially recommend it.”–Occult Review

“The book is in every sense remarkable . . . The style

in which it is written, the theme of which it treats, and the

eerie imaginative quality which abounds in it are all exceed-

ingly rare and fascinating, so that when once it has been

taken up one cannot leave it for any length of time.”–

Vanity Fair

“The story is one that claims and holds the attention

from start to finish of a novel of considerable imaginative

power and striking originality.”–Country Life



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


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sargasso coverIf you’ve been putting off getting a copy of the first issue of “SARGASSO: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies” then you’d better not delay!  After Necronomicon, pre-order and contributor’s copies, I only have about a dozen left of the 150 print run.  This book will NOT be reprinted so it’s only going to go up in price if you don’t snag a copy now!  It includes essays by such Hodgson scholars as Mark Valentine, Jane Frank, Emily Alder, Phillip Ellis and many more as well as new Hodgsonian fiction by Pierre Comtois and William Miekle.  It’s over 200+ pages with artwork by Pete von Sholly, Nick Gucker, Allen Koszowski and more.  Can you really risk missing out?

Copies are available for $20 (plus $5 s&h in US and $10 s&h foreign) via paypal to: but they won’t last much longer!




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