Best 1908 Adventures (3)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 3, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1908 adventure novels. Happy 110th anniversary!

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William Hope Hodgson’s supernatural adventure The House on the Borderland.

Directly over a vast chasm near a remote Irish village, some two hundred years before our narrative begins, someone has built a weird stone house — circular, with “little curved towers and pinnacles, with outlines suggestive of leaping flames.” As our narrator — the Recluse, whose journal it is that we’re reading — soon discovers, the house is a space/time portal. He’s oppressed by a hallucinatory vision, in which he travels to another planet (or dimension) where he finds a version of the house; and he’s attacked by humanoid “swine-things,” who emerge from the chasm. The house also transports the recluse to “the Sea of Sleep,” where he reunites with his lost love — who warns him that the house was “founded on grim arcane laws.” The man is afforded a cosmic vision of Earth passing through eons to its destruction… and he’s infected by a luminous fungus!

Fun facts: Via this book and the Radium Age sci-fi novel The Night Land (1912), among other writings, Hodgson pioneered a strain of cosmic horror that would prove influential on the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.

Arkham House’s 1945 edition

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1908 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS: 1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS: 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES: 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES: 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES: 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES: 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES: 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES: 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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