Gateway Essentials: William Hope Hodgson

William Hope Hodgson, the son of an Essex clergyman, spent eight years at sea as a merchant seaman, sailing around the world three times and receiving the Royal Humane Society’s medal for saving a life at sea. He published his first story in 1904 and his first novel, The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’, in 1907.  His two most famous works followed over the next five years: 1908’s The House on the Borderland and 1912’s The Night Land. He was killed at Ypres in 1918.

A manuscript is found: filled with small, precise writing and smelling of pit-water, it tells the story of an old recluse and his strange home – and its even stranger, jade-green double, seen by the recluse on an otherworldly plain where gigantic gods and monsters roam.

Soon his more earthly home is no less terrible than his bizarre vision, as swine-like creatures boil from a cavern beneath the ground and besiege it. But a still greater horror will face the recluse – more inexorable, merciless and awful than any creature that can be fought or killed.

You can find The House on the Borderland and more of William Hope Hodgson’s work via his Author page on the SF Gateway website, and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Sciecne Fiction.