William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) is an author more people should be aware of. He wrote essays, short fiction, novels, and poetry, most in the genres of horror, fantastic, and science fiction. Much of his short fiction appeared in pulp magazines in the U.K. and U.S.
Because he had ran away to be a Merchant Marine at age 13, an experience he grew to hate, many of his stories were clearly influenced by this, especially his “Sargasso Sea” stories. Most pulp fans are probably aware of him due to his occult detective, Carnacki, or perhaps his various sea stories or mention of his works by H.P. Lovecraft.
For those wanting to delve further into Hodgson, there is a semi-annual journal, Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies. Three issues have appeared so far in 2013, 2014, and 2016. All are available on Amazon. These journals have essays, poetry, artwork, and even short fiction, all focused on Hodgson and his work. They are edited by Sam Gafford, a long-time scholar and editor of Hodgson’s works. I’ve gotten all of them over the years and look forward to each one.Read More
Fatale is inspired by a mix of crime noir and Lovecraftian horror. And like Incognito, we get a series of essays in several issues from Jess Nevins and others. The series ran 24 issues (originally planned as 12) from 2012-14.
The story concerns a mysterious femme fatale named Joséphine. She seems long lived and never ages, with flashbacks at different parts of her life going back to the ’30s, with the main storyline set in modern times. Jo is being pursued by a dangerous cult that wants to sacrifice her to their Lovecraftian gods. And the leader has very real and sinister powers.
Jo has an effect on men, something she can’t always control, that compels them to help her — as a lover, guardian, or the like. And it usually doesn’t work out well for the men in question.Read More
A new magazine that has come out is Skelos. It’s billed as “the journal of weird fiction and dark fantasy.” Like others, it was launched with Kickstarter, but you can still order issues. I subscribed to the first four and recently received the first issue.
As noted, the focus is on weird fiction. In an editorial, this is given as the fiction that came from Weird Tales and from a variety of authors: Arthur Machen, Ambrose Bierce, Lord Dunsany, and on into H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, and the many who followed them. And it also includes artists like Margaret Brundage, Virgil Finley, and the like. So pretty impressive company.
The first issue (Summer 2016) seems to set the stage for future issues. We get a collection of short fiction, a couple of novelettes, and some poetry. But we also get some essays and even an illustrated story. There is also a selection of a half-dozen book reviews.Read More