18 July 2006

The Boats of the "Glen Carrig": Introduction to the Project

The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" is novel of 17 chapters. It is relatively short, about 130 pages in length. It isn't Hodgson's most famous work, or his best work, but it was influential, and that influence is felt even today in the work of writers such as China Mieville. The work came out of Hodgson's experiences at sea -- he left home to become a sailor at the age of 13. This may be reflected in Hodgson's decision to begin the work with a touching poem called "Madre Mia" -- "My Mother."

Te novel uses a framing technique in which the author claims to be presenting an old manuscript that he discovered; Hodgson also uses this technique in The House on the Borderland. This allows him to use an archaic style.

The novel is in the form of an adventure and survival story, but we see Hodgson introducing a number of slightly creepy and disturbing elements. This novel can be considered a warm up or finger exercise for the author's later explorations into more overtly supernatural horror such as the Carnacki stories and his nautical ghost stories, and also his supernatural science fiction work such as The Night Land.

Parts of this work have a slow feel, like a trip paddling up a stream in a lifeboat, so rather than edit the text, I have tried to adapt my reading to the material, giving it a kind of ambient feel, and pausing here and there to let the material breathe a bit.

This book was published in 1907, and is now out of copyright. If you would like to read it, you can find the text online from multiple sources, including Project Gutenberg. If you want to read a print edition, I highly recommend picking up volume 1 of the Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson. This is part of a very nicely designed five-volume hardcover set published by Night Shade Books, and if you enjoy Hodgson I recommend the whole set. The last volume is due out this year.

I am making this work available under a Creative Commons license. The license I've chosen is Attribution/Non-Commercial/ShareAlike version 2.5 You are allowed to use and distribute this work, and also any derivative works, but you must give me credit. You can use this work and any derivative works only for non-commercial use. If you distribute a derivative work, that work must be licensed using the same Creative Commons license.

For ambience I have chosen to use Creative Commons music and background sound. I don't know for certain yet exactly what music I'll be using for each chapter, so music credits will be included with each chapter, but for the first chapter, I've chosen dark ambient work by Samsa, from the album The Laurentian Divide. This album is available for download at darkwinter.com. I've also chosen to use some water and boat sounds taken from the album Thaw -- Field Recordings from Minnsesota, available at wanderingear.com.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy this project.

MP3 file

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