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The Voice in the Night by William Hope Hodgson

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“The Voice in the Night” is a 1907 speculative fiction short story by William Hope Hodgson. It is about a sailing boat that encounters a solitary, disfigured man in the northern pacific and hears his horrible tale.

Here’s a great story from an author I have never read before. It’s always nice to discover new authors who write awesome stories! After doing a little research about him I wasn’t too surprised to find that he was a contemporary of H.P. Lovecraft, because this story has a similar feel to those other great horror stories from the turn of the century. If you like classic SF and horror stories then you’ll probably really enjoy this one too – I sure did!

Non-Spoiler Summary

Ghost ship by Jim Sorbie, CC 2.0 License

George is keeping watch over his crew’s boat one foggy night when he hears an inhuman voice call out to him from the dark. Startled, and a little bit worried, George wakes the captain and the two of them talk to the unseen speaker and try to coax him nearer. The voice will have none of it, but does ask for provisions – which are floated out to him. He returns later to thank the 2 sailors and tell them his story of how he and his sweetheart ended up there – so far from anywhere. It seems that the ship they were passengers on had some bad luck… quite a bit of it in fact! Not only did it go down, but the 2 of them were left behind! They did finally get away and come across another ship – but it wasn’t what they hoped it would be. It was out of the frying pan into the fire for them as things only continued to get worse. Man, some people have no luck at all!

My Two Cents

  • Story: 4 stars – I really enjoyed the creepy sea setting, and I liked the idea of the mysterious nodules. A true, classic horror story!
  • Writing: 4 stars – This story was written very well, but you can tell it is over 100 years old though. I enjoyed the tone and style of it, and if you like classic stories you’ll probably like this one too.
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars – Despite some of the creepy images in this story, it was still a blast to read and find out what happened to the poor, unlucky couple!

Where To Find The Voice in the Night

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you enjoyed “The Voice in the Night” then you might also like “The Fog Horn” by Ray Bradbury – about two men in a rural lighthouse who witness an ancient creature rise from the deep ocean.