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Creator: William Hope Hodgson
William Hope Hodgson (1877 1918) was an Englishman who held many careers throughout his short life: sailor, soldier, personal trainer, and so on. However, he is best remembered for his career as an author - specifically, an author of horror, fantasy and SF works, particularly the novels The House on the Borderland and The Night Land.

At age 40, while serving in World War I, he was killed by an exploding shell.

Works by William Hope Hodgson with their own trope page include:


Other works by William Hope Hodgson provide examples of:

  • Action Girl / Action Mom: The ship's cook in The Boats of the "Glen Carrig"; the captain's widow too, to an extent.
  • Alien Kudzu: The lichen from "The Voice In The Night".
  • All First Person Narrators Write Like Novelists:
    • The Ghost Pirates
    • Averted in The Boats of the "Glen Carrig". The narrator is relating the story to his son, and actually tells it how you would expect someone to tell it in those circumstances; for example, there is no actual dialogue in the book itself.
  • Apocalyptic Log: One is found in The Boats of the "Glen Carrig"
  • Cosmic Horror Story: A notable forerunner of the genre, with The House on the Borderland and The Night Land especially significant.
  • Damsel in Distress: As well as the occasional Damsel out of Distress.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hodgson himself in his private letters to his friends. Had he wanted to, he probably could have made a living writing comedy instead of horror and speculative fiction.
  • Everybody Lives: Demons of the Sea and The Thing in the Weeds
  • A Father to His Men: A recurring character type in his works.
  • Framing Device: Fond of these.
  • Inn of No Return: "The Inn of the Black Crow".
  • Living Ship: "The Derelict" has a monstrous Attack of the Killer Whatever version.
  • Purple Prose: Some sections of his private letters to friends are intentionally written this way for comedic effect.
  • Rated M for Manly: A large chunk of his output consisted of stories best classified as "Action-Horror" rather than simply "Horror"; these stories typically featured small groups of men (often experienced sailors with a fatherly, Badass leader) who faced off against Eldritch Abominations (or, in the case of The House on the Borderland, it's just one man (and his faithful dog) who faces off against the horrors). Even in the yarns where they didn't win (or died), they sure didn't go down without a fight.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Different stories occupied different parts of the scale, with The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" being far on the idealism side and The House on the Borderland (which was a precursor to the Cosmic Horror Story) being as far on the cynicism side as a work of fiction can be. The Night Land and most of his other stories fall somewhere between the extremes of these two novels.
  • Sole Survivor: A Tropical Horror and The Ghost Pirates.
  • Stock Shout-Outs: The plot concept of "The Voice in the Night" was subsequently used as a Shout Out for single-episode plots in many works, in many different media, although some of them may have been inspired by the much-expanded Japanese film version of the story, Matango aka Attack of the Mushroom People.
  • Thematic Series: Hodgson wrote that three of his four novels — The Boats of the "Glen Carrig", The House on the Borderland, and The Ghost Pirates — made up "what, perhaps, may be termed a trilogy; for, though very different in scope, each of the three books deals with certain conceptions that have an elemental kinship".
  • Theory Before Phenomenon: "Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachthani", "The Derelict"
  • Urban Fantasy: A lot - but not all - of his horror/fantasy output fell under this.
  • When Trees Attack: The first section of The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" involved a land full of prehensile-branched flesh-eating trees.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The climax of The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" initially seems to be our heroes racing against the clock as they try repair their new ship so they can escape the island before its Eldritch Abomination inhabitants get another chance to attack them. Then, when they're finally out to sea, the monsters suddenly reappear and board the ship, and a final battle - the real climax - ensues.


Algernon BlackwoodGothic HorrorDennis Wheatley
E. T. A. HoffmannSpeculative Fiction Creator IndexTom Holt
Black HouseHorror LiteratureBreak of Dark
James HerbertAuthorsTom Holt

alternative title(s): William Hope Hodgson
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