• A Timeline for Hodgsonian Fiction

    This is a possible timeline for William Hope Hodgson's weird fiction, and for stories published on this site. Note that none of it is carved in stone — not all stories on the site agree with each other. They may not agree with this timeline. Also, please note that the story positions on the timeline are only approximate.

    Please note further that Mr. Hodgson never wrote anything about space travel in any of his speculative fiction. Some stories on this site assume that Man achieved interstellar flight, encountered Great Monsters in space, and was eventually driven back to Earth. But stories in which Man never left the Solar System could also fit Mr. Hodgson's milieu.

    The Night Land, The House on the Borderland, the Carnacki stories, and the sea horror stories share a cosmology, even though they don't all belong to the same genres.

    We also have a chronological list of stories that are, or were, published on this site.

    The Days of Light
    Unknown antiquityCarnacki storiesThe origin of the Saaamaaa Ritual used by Carnacki, evidently known to, and perhaps created by, certain ancient abhuman priests.
    16th centuryCarnacki storiesThe Sigsand Manuscript is written.
    17th centuryThe Night Land, Chapter 1 "... a far vision, strangely hallowed with peacefulness and light."
    Late 18th century The House on the BorderlandEvents in the Recluse's own lifetime.
    1877 The House on the BorderlandThe Recluse's diary is discovered.
    Early 20th centurySea horror stories
     Carnacki storiesThomas Carnacki's cases.
    Man in Space
    1 million A.D.Across the Night Wall (begins)Three separate spacefaring civilizations pass. Encounter with the Eaters, between the stars, and flight back to Manhome.
    2 million A.D.The Door in the Wall
    The Slow Sun
    3 million A.D.  The Sun has cooled to gold and the Earth's rotation has been markedly slowed by tidal drag. Owing to the oblateness of the Earth, equatorial sea-floor is — very slowly — becoming dry, and lands near the poles are being inundated, with equal want of speed. The greatest of all building projects — the World Road system — is begun.
    4 million A.D.Narcissus (begins)Many have dug in underground to escape the extremes of temperature, now that Earth's days and night are greatly lengthened. Some mobile arcologies have been built. The first World Road is complete near the Earth's equator.
    5 million A.D.   
    6 million A.D. Earth's day has lengthened to months. High latitudes are inundated by the oceans; the former ocean floor in low latitudes is dry. Cities move round the world on fixed roads, staying in the light. The World-Road has been greatly expanded.
    7 million A.D.Red Giant's RaceThe Sun has cooled to orange. A vast procession of Moving Cities traverses the World Roads. The Earth has a band of dry land around its equator; the poles and the higher-latitude zones are drowned forever. Tribes of walkers accompany the Moving Cities.In higher latitudes, likewise, there are people following the Slow Sun in vast ships or fleets of boats.
    The Cataclysm
    8 million A.D.Narcissus (ends)
    A vast explosion bursts the world "along a great curve where it had weakness." An ocean falls into the rift and bursts into a super-Krakatoa. A great Valley is formed, comparable to the Valles Marineris on Mars. Massive die-off and volcanic winter.
     In the Lee of NightEarth's rotation slows to 1 day/year (tidelock), so that it always turns the same face to the Sun. One hemisphere is in eternal night.
    The Great Descent
    8.5 million A.D.Above
    Low the Ascomycotan Sky
    Children of the Hive (begins)
    The Valley cools and becomes habitable. The people known as the Road-Makers begin a long, slow descent into the Valley. Over countless generations, they slowly descend and adapt, building the Road from which they get their name. Some make dwellings along the cliffs; others remain with the very few Moving Cities to surve the Cataclysm, as they travel the Road. A small number of surviving Moving Cities will reach the Valley floor.
    9 million A.D. The Sun begins to die. The upward Earth grows quiet, cold, and "not good to live upon". Humanity cannot survive without protective clothing anywhere.

    Humans take over the floor of the Valley, displacing the dominant species there. They build cities along the Valley to the Bight where it turns northward, and continue their colonisation northward into the Shadow: but are repelled by the inhabitants of the Shadow, who are intelligent, but not human.
    The Days of Darkening
    10 million A.D. All biological life on the Earth's upper surface ends.
     Eve of EvilThe Road Makers increase their population and come to a time of ease and some decadence. They investigate the Forces which hold them in stalemate at the Bight. Exploration into time and other dimensions allows disastrous irruptions of other Outer forces.
       The decadent consort with Outside forces and with beast-men. The first Giants appear.
       The Road Makers are attacked by the inhabitants of the Shadow, and driven back from the Bight. Pandemonaeum and despair among the cities of the Valley.
       Telepathic gifts start to show up in humanity at moderate frequency.
    11 million A.D.   
    The Last Redoubt: The Second History of the World
    12 million A.D.Red Twilight
    Ex Machina
    And the Sky is Filled with Eyes
    The Road Makers repel their enemies and construct a great arcology at the Bight, the Redoubt, drawing its power from geoelectricity.

    Humanity retires within the Redoubt, continuing to tunnel down into the Earth to construct the Underground Fields.
       Outside the Redoubt, the Unforgiven and the Hybrids continue to mix with Outside entities.
       A rebellious sub-faction builds a second Redoubt, only 0.5% of the volume of the Great Redoubt, located far to the north.
       The Master-Word is encoded and fixed in human genetics.
    13 million A.D.  The Great Redoubt is completed: the last of the Underground Fields are hollowed and litten. Human population reaches 500 million.
    14 million A.D.DelightAge of the Flying Ships. Humanity turns outward again and explores the unknown and forgotten world beyond the two Redoubts.
    15 million A.D.The Wreck of the AetherwingUnprecedented developments within the Night Land bring an end to the age of exploration.

    The first appearance of Pneumavores and other Dark Forces.
      The ability to project the Master-Word telepathically is now considered the major criterion of true humanity.
    The Night Land
    16 million A.D. Nightfall. The Sun is no longer visible to human eyes.
      The North-West Watcher appears. The Redoubt is henceforth under siege.
      Foundation of the Guild of Monstruwacans.
      Appearance of other Watchers.
     The Siege of HumanityMonsters and Forces multiply within the Night Land. The Great Redoubt is attacked many times. The lower half-mile is abandoned and the Air Clog (force-field) is put in place around the Redoubt at ground level.
      The South Watcher is first sighted.
    17 million A.D.Lute
     Children of the Hive (ends)The South Watcher is first sighted.
    19 million A.D.ImagoThe last airship flight.
     A Mouse in the Walls of the Lesser Redoubt 
    The Fall of the Lesser Redoubt
    20 million A.D.The Night Land, Chapter 2
    The Testament of Andros
    At the Fall
    Seeking Survival
    The Lesser Redoubt falls. X journeys out into the Night Land and rescues Naani.
    From X and Naani, the inhabitants of the Redoubt learn of the habitable Land of Seas and Volcanoes in the old sea bed to the north.
     Awake in the Night 
     The Cry of the Night Hound 
    22 million A.D.Across the Night Wall (ends) 
    23 million A.D.The Guild of the Last MigrationSome humans attempt to colonize the Land of Seas and Volcanoes.
    The heresy of Scyrr.
    24 million yearsThe Inward Seer 
     The Astronomer
    Little Watcher
    The Earth Current weakens. The Watchers advance upon the Redoubt.
     Silence of the Night 
    The Fall of the Last Redoubt
    25 million A.D. The Earth Current fails. Almost all the Millions commit suicide to avoid the Pneumavores. A few survivors flee to the Land of Seas and Volcanoes.
    26 million A.D.The SeerThe last humans are living in the land of Seans and Volcanoes.
    27 million A.D. 
    28 million A.D. 
    29 million A.D. 
    30 million A.D. The last true human dies.
    The Earth Dies
    Tens or hundreds of millions of years Extinction of all life on Earth.
      Billions of years pass, far more time than has been accounted for up till now.
      Earth falls into the dead Sun.
      Many hundreds of billions of years pass.
     The Last of All SunsThe Sun falls into the great Central Star of the Universe.
     The House on the Borderland (vision ends)All lovers are reunited.
  • Grey Dog Tales Celebrates William Hope Hodgson

    Grey Dog Talesis 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.

  • Grey Dog Tales Interviews Dan Starkey

    Grey Dog Tales has an interview with actor Dan Starkey, who's recently given an audio performance as Carnacki.

    Previous articles over there this month concern Lovecraftianian fiction and more amusing canine material.

  • Grey Dog Tales' Hodgson Month — Conclusion

    John Linwood Grant of Grey Dog Tales has finished up a month-long celebration of William Hope Hodgson with several posts of interest.

    The Writer on the Borderland 9: An Editor Calls has, among other things:

    • A link to Alfred Hitchcock's production of Mr. Hodgson's sea horror story "A Voice in the Night";
    • Links and reproduced critical material;
    • A reprint of James Bojaciuk's essay "A Concluding Oink", from Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies No. 2, discussing the Hog (from the Carnacki story) and the swine-things from The House on the Borderland.

    The Writer on the Borderland 10: He's Alive, Jim includes:

    • "The Strange Case of the Books in the Night", an essay by Sam Gafford explaining how H. C. Koenig's efforts prevented Mr. Hodgson's work from being forgotten. (Mr. Koenig is mentioned in H. P. Lovecraft's letters for loaning Mr. Hodgson's books.)
    • Another essay by Mr. Bojaciuk discussing the identity of Thomas Carnacki's father.

    William Hope Hodgson 11: Critical Voices includes:

    • An interesting interview with Sam Gafford

    The Writer on the Borderland 12: All Hallows' Exhaustion includes:

    • A link to three Carnacki audiobooks narrated by David Ian Davies and published by Blackstone Audio.

    Blackstone Audio has another Carnacki story and The Night Land too, for surprisingly affordable prices.

    Grey Dog Tales also has a gallery of cover art for Mr. Hodgson's works, and in many cases, his photos are of less-beat-up books than ours are.

    Incidentally, Mr. Grant's longdog posts are frequently hilarious.

  • More Carnacki

    Intro page of Carnacki, Recorder of Things Strange

    M.S. Corley is working on a comic called Carnacki, Recorder of Things Strange. He's planning to release the first volume later this year. It looks quite good (obviously).

    John Linwood Grant has a new post on Carnacki at Grey Dog Tales which gives a good list of the new Carnacki stories published; and he also discusses Thomas Carnacki as a character with more human weakness than one commonly finds in the occult detective genre.


  • More Carnacki from Grey Dog Tales

    Grey Dog Tales' celebration of William Hope Hodson continues with a gracious mention of the Night Land website, and other items of interest, including interviews with Chico Kidd (A.F. Kidd) and William Meikle, and a new Carnacki story by J. Patrick Allen.

    Carnacki readers may remember Ms. Kidd and Rick Kennett as the authors of No. 472 Cheyne Walk: Carnacki, the Untold Stories, published by Ash Tree Press — a collection of Carnacki pastiche. The stories include incidents Carnacki referred to in Mr. Hodgson's original tales, but were never related in full.

    William Meikle has also published Carnacki stories, in two volumes: Carnacki: Heaven and Hell, from Dark Regions Press, and Carnacki: The Watcher at the Gate, from Dark Renaissance Books. The latter is currently published in a hardcover edition. eBook and paper are apparently planned but not yet available.

  • Other William Hope Hodgson Links

    William Hope Hodgson blog Sam Gafford's excellent blog.
    Forgotten Futures Carnacki Worldbook This RPG gaming resource by Marcus L. Rowland is a fascinating attempt to systematise the "Abnatural" elements in the Carnacki stories. Also has the Carnacki stories themselves.
    The Carnacki Cinematograph A fine flash site on Carnacki.
    William Hope Hodgson Enthusiasts Almost worth enduring Facebook for.
    William Hope Hodgson's 'The Night Land' A newer Facebook group devoted to Mr. Hodgson's magnum opus.
    William Hope Hodgson Alan Gullette's excellent page on this writer: contains several essays and much biographical and bibliographical material; a must-read.
    Clark Ashton Smith His appreciation of Hodgson.
    Great SF The Great SF page on Hodgson.
    Hobgoblin Press A small press that produces rare books by Hodgson, as well as some other writers of fantastic horror.
    Night Shade Books A page on their Collected Works, a five-volume set.
    Wildside Press The part of their fantasy classics subsection devoted to Hodgson.
    Philippe Druillet's illustrations For several of Hodgson's novels.
    The Hour Slips A fan site by Banks Miller.
    The NIGHTLAND Raymond C Leung's art-based Night Land fan site.


  • Sharks of the Ether

    A blue-green-aurora swirling over a snowy landscape
  • The Yellow Booke & Carnacki

    Oldstyle Tales Press are publishing an annual anthology of horror, ghost stories and weird fiction called The Yellow Booke. You can download the PDFs for free, or buy the books at Amazon. There are two volumes available, for 2014 and 2015.

    Volume II (the 2015 book) has a Carnacki story by Taral Wayne. I'm posting before I've had a chance to read it, but the opening looks promising and I'm looking forward to it.

  • William Meikle's New Novella Pentacle

    A book cover showing a red-lipentacleWilliam Meikle, who has published other Carnacki stories I'll mention later, has written a novella, Pentacle. The teaser reads:

    There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires; tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some—those who suffer—know better. They are drawn to these places to ease their pain. If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where your love might live forever.

    But that’s not the case for the residents of the Edinburgh house, for something has disturbed the quiet reflection in that old building. A creature has slipped through, sniffling and snuffling in all the dark places, disrupting the balance of time and space.

    And it's John’s job to fix it…by any means necessary. 

    The titular pentacle is one some of you will have read about before.

    Pentacle is available as an ebook at Amazon and also as a limited edition hardcover. It's published by Dark Fuse.