Grey Dog Tales is hosting a month-long celebration of William Hope Hodgson. (Since I was bringing the site up, I'm a little late with this notification.)

William Hope Hodgson is often praised for his fantastic vision. He's not often praised for his characterization. Yet John Linwood Grant, in a post entitled "The Writer on the Borderland 1: Hodgson and Carnacki", points out that Mr. Hodgson's characterization of his occult detective Thomas Carnacki shows some humanizing characteristics not so clearly depicted in other writers' counterparts.

I note that the same effect takes place in The Night Land. Mr. Hodgson often depicted protagonists who were desperately afraid of the weird threats they confronted: I believe a courageous character showing fear to be part of his technique for making his Outer Monstrosities fearful. X, the unnamed hero of The Night Land, is a brave, determined man and an accomplished fighter; and he regards certain of the Night Land's creatures with utter dread.

Mr. Grant is the author of Tales of the Last Edwardian, a series of ghost or horror tales. They are available for free from Smashwords.

In the second half of the post Tim Prasil discusses how an anti-supernatural canon historically came to inform the literary concept of the mystery story.

Mr. Prasil is the author of the Vera Van Slyke occult detective stories.