News | Friday, 12th April 2019

Horror expert edits anthology of ‘weird fiction’ trailblazer

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes has put together The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson

The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson
Dr Aldana Reyes has collated ten of Hodgson's tales

The works of an influential ‘weird fiction’ author killed in action during the First World War have been republished in an anthology edited by a University academic.

William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) was a British writer renowned for his short stories that merged elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy, as well as his post-apocalyptic fantasy novel The Night Land.

The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson, “ten nerve-wracking episodes of horror penned by the master of atmosphere and suspense”, is edited by Gothic and horror fiction expert Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes.

It is the latest in the British Library’s ‘Tales of the Weird’ series.

Following his death near Ypres, Hodgson’s work has continued to be published posthumously and been cited as an influence by twentieth century fantasy and sci-fi writers and beyond. 

Key player

Dr Aldana Reyes, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and founder member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, said: “In his long essay Supernatural Horror in Literature, H. P. Lovecraft wrote that William Hope Hodgson’s fiction was of ‘vast occasional power in its suggestion of lurking worlds and beings behind the ordinary surface of life’ and that he was ‘second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious treatment of unreality’.

“Hodgson has, in time, been recognised as a key player in the development of the weird tale, a subgenre of speculative fiction concerned with the limits of human experience and the unknowability of the natural world that brings together elements of the horror, science fiction and fantasy literary traditions.

“This new collection brings together the best of his 'weird' tales in an affordable paperback edition.”

Dr Aldana Reyes also edited The Gothic Tales of H.P Lovecraft, published by the British Library in 2018, and is editing two more volumes of the ‘Tales of the Weird series coming out later this year: Roarings from Further Out: Four Weird Novellas by Algernon Blackwood and Promethean Horrors: Classic Tales of Mad Science.

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