William Hope Hodgson was, like his contemporaries Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen, one of the most important, prolific, and influential fantasists of the early twentieth century.
His dark and unsettling short stories and novels were shaped in large part by personal experience (a professional merchant mariner for much of his life, many of Hodgson’s tales are set at sea), and his work evokes a disturbing sense of the amorphous and horrific unknown.
While his nautical adventure fiction was very popular during his lifetime, the supernatural and cosmic horror he is most remembered for only became well known after his death, mainly due to the efforts of writers like H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, who often praised his work and cited it as an influence on their own.
By the later half of the twentieth century, it was only his weird fiction that remained in print, and his vast catalog of non-supernatural stories was extremely hard to find.
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