The Dream of X, by William Hope Hodgson, Donald M. Grant Publisher, 1977

{Ed. Note: This article is another contribution from LibraryThing user astropi.}

William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) was a sailor, bodybuilder, photographer and soldier, but more than anything else a writer. His works focused on the realm of the unknown, supernatural, the strange and bizarre. Some of his classic works include The House on the Borderland,  The Boats of the “Glen Carrig”, The Ghost Pirates, and his magnum opus,  The Night Land. Clark Ashton Smith said of The Night Land,  “In all literature, there are few works so sheerly remarkable, so purely creative, as The Night Land“, and H.P. Lovecraft called it “one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written”. The Night Land is also massive at around 200,000 words. The style of this novel is purposely archaic and repetitive. Hodgson realized this might be difficult for some readers, which is at least one reason why the novel was also released as an abridged 20,000 word novelette titled The Dream of X. This condensed version of The Night Land saw it’s first stand-alone printing in 1977, nearly 60 years after Hodgson died.

The novelette itself is an imaginative, fun, fantastic, and enthralling read. It craftily combines science fiction, horror, fantasy, and romance. What really sets this specific edition apart from others is the amazing illustrations of Stephen Fabian, which were created entirely for this edition. The illustrations truly capture the dark, somber, terrifying, and yet beautiful world that Hodgson so carefully molded. The result is a gem of a book! Not only is it a pleasure to read, it is also a visual pleasure. Best of all, it is wallet-friendly. Unsigned copies can be had (depending on condition) for around $25. The signed limited editions are harder to find, but typically asking prices are between $70-100. A small price to pay for a wonderful novelette containing the incredible imagination of Hodgson with the fantastic illustrations of Fabian.

About the Edition

  • Published by Donald M. Grant in 1977.
  • Print run of 2500 copies.
  • 200 slipcased copies were SIGNED and numbered by the artist.
  • Printed in Danvers, Massachusetts.
  • Paper is 80# Monadnock Caress from New Hampshire.
  • Fully illustrated by artist Stephen Fabian (b. 1930), including 14 full-color plates.
  • All copies came in a full-color dust jacket.

Pictures

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Book and Slipcase
The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Endpapers
The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Sample Text and Illustration #1
The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Sample Text and Illustration #2
The Dream of X, Donald. M. Grant Publisher, Colophon

2 thoughts on “The Dream of X, by William Hope Hodgson, Donald M. Grant Publisher, 1977

  1. What I enjoy about Books and Vines is the variety of literature you and others present to your readers. While I am limiting myself to LECs only as new purchases and rebindings, I do enjoy reading your posts about books I may never own, but like to read about.

    1. Thanks Don! I am thrilled to get contributions from dlphcoracl, Neil, Robert, astropi, etc….it does allow a much larger diversity of what gets posted. I hope over time more people send in contributions to expand it even more. In any case, I appreciate your being a subscriber, and the many comments you chime in with! Still looking fondly at the rebinding picture you sent!

Leave a Reply