Raymond Towers’ Preferred Method Of Vampire Creation

Circa 2014-15, I went looking for a plausible, pseudo-scientifically sound way of creating fresh vampires for one of my novels. I wasn’t taking detailed notes back then like I do today, so I can’t source this, but I did notice a correlation between vampire creation and real-life zombie creation in voodoo practice. After combining what I had researched from both sides, I came up with a formula, which you are free to use in your own vampiric writings. This was before Giant Trees Theory, mind you, so if you figure in a greater amount of oxygen available on Earth, an element included in my Method… Well, don’t try this at home!

The novel is titled The Black Rose, and it’s on Smashwords!



Step 1. Find a suitable subject. This method is not recommended for nagging housewives and their mother-in-laws, because you have enough problems with them as it is.

Step 2. Obtain a mild, or watered down version of zombie powder to induce a catatonic state. Zombie powder, available at your local voodoo shop, contains one or more of the following: ground up poisonous frogs, toads, and puffer fish. This is combined with certain plant extracts, ground up glass and human bone. Do Not Use this zombie powder in its regular strength, otherwise a zombie will be created, and not a vampire.

Step 3. Have the subject reach a state of mild dehydration by abstaining from drinking and eating for a day or two. This is to increase the amount of protein in the blood.

Step 4. For increased shock factor and / or aesthetics, you may perform a ritual in which actual blood may be imbibed. The blood may be taken from a normal human or a dehydrated human, and it would be best if the subject is willing … and alive.

Step 5. Ask the subject to lie down in a box large enough for them to fit in. Once the subject is comfortable, the box is to be filled with bits of rubber, broken glass, and if available, pith. (Look that last one up. It comes from the tiny center of a tree or the white portion of citrus fruit, just below the peel.) This material will build up the electrostatic charge around the subject.

Step 6. Have several people shuffle around the box with the subject inside of it, to promote the static charge into an electrostatic field. To further sensationalize things, instead of a simple shuffle this can be stylized into an elaborate dance involving masks, hooded robes, or even feathers. A laboratory able to reproduce an electrostatic charge is favored over a woodsy setting, but is of course detrimental to the sinister atmosphere of a cave, crypt or secluded grove. It is hoped that enough of an electrostatic charge will be produced as to cause the DNA of the subject to vibrate and evolve into a more primeval state, when mankind was much taller, faster, stronger and more oxygenated than it is in modern times.

Step 7. Expose the subject to direct sunlight as much as possible. Electromagnetic radiation will greatly speed the process along.

Step 8. After three days, wake the subject and study them while keeping a safe distance away. If they have a tremendous headache, act more like a zombie than a vampire, or don’t wake up at all, the entirety of these steps may have to be repeated with a new test subject. If they are ravenous for blood to stabilize their depleted blood cells, you have successfully created a vampire. Congratulations!

Be sure to keep an extra pint of fairly fresh, pure blood (vegan works best) nearby to replenish your vampire’s thirst for it. Since our sun has changed much since the Biblical days of giants, the vampire will continually want to revert to his or her former self, because the present radiation from our sun cannot maintain the changed DNA of the vampire. The addition of fresh blood on a regular schedule will ensure that the antibodies in your vampire’s blood have new cells to react with, because stagnation is what causes vampire blood cells to deteriorate. Fresh blood replenishes your vampire’s superhuman agility and strength, especially if the person who donates the blood is in robust physical condition.

Midnight Rendezvous 1 – horror short fiction

I’m so against the grain I almost never write about vampires. They’re just so burned out, right? Anyway, I wrote three of these shorts, then I shelved them for about 10 years. After that, I met a woman with a very dark past. I put her and the shorts together, and that was my inspiration for The Black Rose duology. Find out about the first novel, The Black Rose 1 – Genesis, by clicking on this link. Leave a like and I’ll post Parts 2 and 3.


Midnight Rendezvous 1

Midnight rendezvous in an empty graveyard, where although the climate is well tempered, frequent chills course through my body with each and every step that I take.

I’ve placed myself in no minor peril by coming to this most unholy site, to mingle among the darkest shadows and the ghosts of the dead. Yet risk my being I must, for so great is my longing for the one who has taken such a hold and captivated my aching heart.

There are watchers among the tombstones, keeping their distance at the moment, yet ready to pounce like angry snakes should the opportunity be allowed.

Into the cemetery I plunge deeper, ignoring those that would do me harm, for eventually I do discover her, below the branches of a dying tree. She is leaning against the trunk, her head turned away from me, and in her hand she holds a single black rose that is as dead as everything else here.

Ignoring my presence, she sways with the breeze, but I have come too far a distance and risked too great a stake that I defiantly refuse to be denied. Summoning my strength, I pin her against the tree, and in the waning and spotty moonlight witness the traces of warm blood on her lips that betray her recent feeding. My jealous ardor has been aroused at the thought of her embrace with another, and I utter a curse with envious words that the blood should have been my own.

And she knows this all too well, as she easily throws me onto the grass, discarding beside her the cloak that she wears and teasingly mounting me with her seductive form. Her fierce claws rip away at my clothing, unforgiving as they graze against my soft skin, until we are no longer restricted from one another and our bodies meet in the darkest of embraces.

For a brief time, the two of us are in union, issuing the soft moans from the lips of lovers that carry through the air and over the graves, inviting nearer those who sulk among the tombs. But in these moments of passion and climax my only thoughts are gathered towards the being whose body trembles and shudders above mine, while our hands are gripped tightly together.

And then her weakening and utter collapse brings her mouth dangerously close to my throat and the sharp needles that are her curse bring the taste of death into my flesh.

As before, I am torn in the midst of two worlds: The one, to preserve my carnal existence, the other, to succumb to the intoxicating fumes of the afterlife, until my thoughts fade away into the black night.

And when I awaken, cold and pale and naked, with countless new scars that I must account for, searching for the cloak that might have been left behind, and grasping at explanations for my absence, yet all the while looking past these mundane trivialities and further ahead towards my next midnight rendezvous.

Eternalised: Lovecraft’s Dark Philosophy Of Cosmicism

Trying to get into Lovecraft’s way of thinking, if he were alive today.


Descrip: Lovecraft’s dark philosophy of cosmic horror is known as Cosmicism, which focuses on the insignificance of humanity and its doings at the cosmos-at-large, in contrast to the anthropocentric philosophies in which many find intellectual reassurance. This form of non-anthropocentrism is crucial to the philosophy of Cosmicism.

Curious Archive: The Scariest Genre Of Science Fiction

So, I typed in ‘science fiction heroines’ on Youtube, and I got this about ten entries down. Go figure. Anyway, I’d kind of forgotten about the Annihilation movie. Maybe I should watch that one again. There is some good stuff here!


Descrip: If I were to ask you ‘what is the scariest type of science fiction?’ you probably wouldn’t say ‘Evolutionary Horror.’ …Mainly because it’s a name I came up with for this video, but also because it doesn’t sound particularly frightening. Evolution isn’t scary… or is it? Twisting through the history of sci-fi is a hidden subgenre that derives terror from the altered self — from the uncanny dread of a force beyond our control evolving the human into the inhuman. So, for this entry into the archive, we’ll uncover the terrors of this category, and dive into the type of sci-fi that I find the most fear-provoking of all…

The Black Rose 1 – Colonial Horror Novel Now Available

Recently re-released and reformatted. This novel of vampiric horror is currently available for $6.99 at Smashwords.

About this title: In 18th Century Delaware, the Latham brothers are seeking their fortune through taming the wild frontier. Among their workers are the exiled Romani gypsies, a people who harbor many dark secrets, including near immortality. Certain men will do anything to unearth these secrets. It seems that no one has the power to stop them. Many innocent lives will hang in the balance. Rating: HIGH controversy.

An excerpt from The Black Rose 1:

The house was in as much a state of shambles as the man standing before it, the young Alexander Latham thought bitterly, as he first cast his eyes upon it.

Once, he recalled, it had been a worthy place. It had been built in the early Georgian style, named after the pompous English kings of that era, set back fifty paces from the road and protected by paling fencing to the front and sides. The house’s long axis ran parallel to the road, that is to say, its broad face. On the first floor was centered the main doorway, with two large windows placed on either side. The clapboard siding climbed up to the second floor, where five perfectly symmetrical windows had been set. These balanced the placement of the windows and door on the first floor exactly. The roof was pitched in the gable style, hanging slightly lower than the top of the walls. The paint had been one of the more expensive hues of that time, in a combination of blue and gray. His grandfather, James Latham, had seen to the precision of the architecture personally, Alexander had been told many times in the past.

Once, this had been a proud place, but no more.

Now, the House of Latham was a neglected old woman. The fencing was crooked in some places, altogether missing in others. The paint was faded, the clapboard visibly warped by time and weather. The once grand front door was wide open and forgotten, as if the house were beckoning any passing wanderer at all into its no longer warm hospice.

“I do hope no one has squatted in the old place.” Alexander, nicknamed Zander, turned to face the driver of the carriage that had brought him out. “You can leave my belongings here on the road. I haven’t any coin to spare for you, besides that which I used to procure your services from your master. I shall carry it all in myself, in due time.”

“Yes, sir.” The driver replied. He was a big brute of a Negro named Reuben.

The young man had made pleasant conversation with the Negro, during the short ride from the nearby town of Morganville. The slave had warmed up to him sure enough, as Zander was an amiable sort, and even more so when he had a goodly amount of coin in his purse.

Zander had impressed the bigger man with the accounts of his misfortunes and his travels. He’d lived a comfortable lifestyle previously in northern Delaware, but more recently he’d lost his entire fortune due to a short but powerful streak of horrid luck. This had abruptly taken place when his budding company of carpenters had bolted outright to a competitor’s union, after said rival had promised the workers unreasonably higher wages. That the hefty promises wouldn’t be kept had mattered little to his carpenters, as the mere mention of more coin was enough to turn their loyalty against Zander. The loss of his livelihood had led the young man to abandon the places he’d lived in for most of his life. He had no choice but to uproot his entire history, and to retreat back to the place where he’d been born, but which he hadn’t set foot upon for nearly twenty years.

Smashwords Read An Ebook Week, March 5th Through 11th

From March 5th through 11th, Smashwords is having their Read An Ebook Week promotion. All of my titles will be reduced by 50%, with a few prices dropped so low they’re ending up at FREE! That’s 30 titles you can stock up on!

A breakdown of what’s available:

The Case Of The Missing Q-Drives – 99 cents!

The Throwback – $1.49

Verum Et Inventa Magazine – all eight issues, always FREE!

The World Changers – $2.99

Roaches In The Attic 2 – Independence – $2.99

Inspired By M.C. – $3.49

The Weeping Thing – 99 cents!

The Zombie Seven 1 – Hell’s Gate, And Beyond – $4.49

Raymund & Natalie’s Grand Adventure – $2.99

Before The Seven 2 – Scary Peter – $2.99

Thorns – True Tales Of The Weird – $2.49

Monster Mayhem – $2.49

Apocalypse Now! – $2.99

Roaches In The Attic 1 – First Contact – $3.99

The Black Cellar – $3.49

Dobrynia’s Path 2 – Ragnarok – $2.99

Before The Seven 1 – Don Diego Meets Lucky Luis – $2.49

Dobrynia’s Path 1 – Dark Harbinger – $2.49

The Two Sides Of Humburg – FREE

A Terrible Thing To Waste – $2.49

Demonic Murmurs – $2.49

Two Bedroom Cottage For Rent – FREE

Variant Worlds 1 – $2.49

Roaches In The Attic 0 – Non-Retrieval – FREE

Sonja’s Adventures: The 6 Biggest LARP Genres

The genres are medieval fantasy, post apocalypse, vampire, historical, sci fi / cyberpunk, and horror / mystery eras. I wasn’t familiar with all of these, and am looking to see how they make things work. Let’s see if I can find a vid on a Mad Max or cyberpunk LARP next.


Descrip: Live Action Roleplaying – or “Larping” – is a hobby of thousands of people worldwide. There are many settings in LARP – and today, I show you the 6 biggest.

Book Review: The Night Land by W.H. Hodgson

This book is in the public domain. I got my copy on Archive.org. Here is a direct link to the book page. Below is my review for the novel, as well as a setting description you can use in your own writing, RPG gaming or other creative projects.

Listen to the audiobook on Youtube:


The Night Land by William H. Hodgson

Reading date: 01.17.2023

Review – This book was published in 1912. I read Hodgson’s Borderlands book about a week before this one, and I thought I had an idea of what to expect, especially when I noticed my PDF copy has nearly 500 pages. The book starts off at a reasonable pace, and ends up that way, but the vast majority of it is travel time. The author goes well out of his way to stretch the journey out, even when nothing is happening in the story. Every story day, the author has to tell us that the main character stops to eat, stops to sleep, in many instances two or even up to four times on a single page. The main character will stop and philosophize often, for a page or two, on nothing important, nothing that furthers the story along, as he recalls memories from a past life or what he thinks might happen next. There are not enough monster encounters to keep the story lively. You would think there would be a pay-off after a battle with a strange creature, and sometimes there is, but other times the creature isn’t even described, and so the conflict falls flat after all that expectation that, please, let something exciting happen soon! There are good instances of suspense and battle descriptions, but they are few and far apart.

The main plot of the story is that the main character must make a long journey, find his lover and bring her back to his home location. After the tediousness and monotony of the first part of the journey, after he finds the lover the story actually gets worse. In addition to reading about how they eat and sleep, eat and sleep, often, we now have the main character philosophizing about love and romance, while walking deep in wild forests or volcanic fields. We get to read about how the lover has to do her hair up to look pretty for him, how naughty she is that she must be kissed every other page, or every page, and how she must even have her toes kissed, despite how many dangers lurk around every corner. If that isn’t bad enough, she starts running into the woods or other wild areas, playfully, lovingly, because she wants to be chased, until the main character has enough and begins beating her for it. But later on, he has forgiven her, and he plays his own ‘loving’ games, such as when he ties a strand of her hair around her feet, so she can’t run off anymore, and they both smile and kiss at how cute that is. Is this novel the predecessor of YA or what? Pardon me while I retch.

At the climax, every foe and monster lines up to prevent the protagonist from reaching home, even those that aren’t described, where the protagonist is half-dazed and fighting so much he can’t remember who he even fought. This is a major spoiler, but you probably won’t get as far as the end, if you do make the attempt to read this long, boring novel, so here goes. The lover dies, and that would have been satisfying to me after all the trouble she put the main character through. But stop! The power of love, yes, the power of love, fills the citizens of home, and the energy of that place conspire to bring the lover back to life. They live happily ever after, but I think she should have stayed dead after all that monotony, not to mention the long-winded despair and random musing the author put me through.

Don’t read this novel. Read the Borderlands book instead, and count yourself lucky. The Nightlands is as bad as reading the same five consecutive pages of the Borderlands book a good fifty times. Ten pages of boredom followed by a monster fight, rinse and repeat, and you’ll understand why I gave this book a 1 star rating.

Setting – Part 1

An exceptionally strong, young man lives in a mansion, surrounded by other mansions. This man happens upon a neighbor’s home, meeting a beautiful young woman whom he right away becomes fond of. They share an uncommon psychic bond and/or a kinship in their dreams. The man is attracted to this women, becomes smitten by her, and visits often. At one point, a small group of kidnappers attempts to take the woman, but the young man and the woman’s hounds repel the attack.

To test their love, the young woman visits town often, at night, to go dancing. This infuriates the young man, causing him to stay away from her. Later, he again visits her often. This time, the young woman asks her maid to dress as a suitor. In her manly clothing, the maid pretends to visit often and deceives the man into thinking he has a rival. When it seems that the young woman has more interest in the new ‘man,’ the young man is doubly infuriated and refuses to visit the young woman for a much longer time.

After a time, the young man’s heart convinces him to give the romance another try. He visits the young woman, who finally reveals the ruse and why she did it. They marry and spend many happy years together. Unfortunately, the woman dies during childbirth and the man is in many ways broken of spirit.

Part 2

The main character is born into another life, in a much different era, perhaps millions of years in the future. This era is bleak, with a dying sun overhead and great monsters everywhere. The main character is a gifted psychic, a quality venerated among his kind, and exalted to high positions with great responsibilities. As he uses his psychic gifts, he dreams of who he was in Part 1, and of the woman he once loved, and he remembers many things, considering them only musings, until the woman, who is also blessed with psychic powers, reaches out to him. They both remember who they once were in the ancient past. He can be with her again, he realizes, if he could only reach her, but he does not know where she is in that desolate world.

It isn’t easy to seek her out. His people have built a sanctuary in the shape of a giant pyramid, large enough to house millions. Near the pyramid are four mountains, lying in cardinal directions, but they are not merely mountains but massive evil beings who are slowly creeping toward the pyramid to devour it and the people inside, and to feed on their souls. The only thing preventing the mountains from coming closer is a force field based on that world’s ether, which repels the evil, and so they wait, these huge mountains, until they can strike.

The main character tells his peers of the woman, and the people she lives with, as he can see them, not always but sometimes, with his psychic mind. His peers look into past records, finding a group led by a rebellious leader, all of whom were banished from the great pyramid. The group traveled into the wilderness, in no specific direction, pursued and tormented by the wild creatures and other evil beings, such as giants. In time, they settled, building a smaller pyramid with a weaker force field around it. Even now, those people are struggling, and the force field waning. They will not last long against the menaces creeping ever closer.

In the great pyramid, the population sympathizes, but there is nothing they can do because they don’t know where the smaller group is, and even if they knew the location, they could not risk leaving their sanctuary. This angers a large group of young men or youths, who take arms and plot to leave the great pyramid at once, despite not knowing where to look. They go, and from the great pyramid observers watch their progress with powerful telescopes.

The army of youths fights off a number of giants, losing a good number of their kin. Part of their group splits off to return to the great pyramid. A new army is sent to retrieve them. Great cheers come from the pyramid when the adult men reach the returning youths, but this happiness is short lived. Another threat emerges, more powerful than the giants, capable of sucking human souls into it. Having no choice, the adult men sacrifice the returning youths, before the threat reaches and when it does, it destroys a large number of the adult army. The surviving adult men return to the pyramid, and the mothers cry for their lost sons.

Meanwhile, the remaining youths press forward, still seen in the far, far distance by the telescopes. A new threat emerges, a giant black house that mesmerizes the youths toward it, so it can eat their souls. From the great pyramid, great soundings are made, and psychic calls, to break the youths out of their spell. It seems to work. The youths recover their senses and start coming back home, until the giant black house increases its mesmerism and fully convinces the youths to enter its black door. The entire army of youths is eaten. The mothers cry again.

Part 3

After such calamity, of course the main character is compelled to leave the greater pyramid, alone. He is given to wear a suit of gray armor and armed with an iron rod or staff. The rod has a rounded disc at its end. It is powered by the ether of the world, focusing natural energy into fiery killing rays. The character takes peculiar route in seeking out the minor pyramid. He heads to the northeast, whereas the youth army had gone northwest, but later, due to the rough terrain, crosses the expand at great peril and takes up the northwest route. There are encounters along the way.


1. Indistinct but hostile Gray Man. Who is he?

2. Indistinct Silent Ones, who stand silent and attack only when disturbed.

3. A camp of sleeping, elephant-sized Giants and their horse-sized Hound.

4. Strange Doors that open suddenly in unexpected places, trying to swallow.

5. A giant Yellow Spider hiding under sand, creating a funnel to topple its prey.

6. The Evil Mountain, who will rally threats if it sees you. Why walk that way?


1. Hide in the brush and hope they don’t find you.

2. The ground gives way, you fall into the earth and the threats pass you by.

3. Time for battle, because it is too late to run.

After all of that, the main character stops to rest at a stream. He is chased by a Hound, hiding in the water, using the stream to cover his tracks as he attempts to avoid the great beast. He is forced to travel further west, passing very close to the House Of Silence that finished off the last of the Youth Army. Once he has cleared that vicinity, he turns north again.

Part 4

More travel, and then, more travel. The protagonist moves through barren lands, through lands dotted with with flaming plumes of gas, up slopes, down slopes, through a thick forest full of large dangers that are rarely described. During one upward climb, to a peak so he can look out at the landscape, he is chased by two proto-men with thick necks and shoulders. He manages to kill both, but it is a troublesome fight.

Later, the main character climbs up a large tree for sighting. A pack of proto-men comes to climb that very tree, all of them armed with large rocks. They are hunting a great, horned beast, with one proto-man leading the beast to where the others hide. When the beast comes in range, the wild men in the tree jump down on top of it. They try to kill the beast, and it kills off many of them, before the entire hunt moves elsewhere. And then, more travel, and more travel. Smaller dangers include snakes, spider-crabs and scorpions.

Through the psychic connection, the protagonist senses his lover is nearby, and she is. As it happens, the evil of those lands afflicted the people of the Minor Pyramid, so much that they threw open the doors to their refuge and ran outside, where the creatures and beasts swarmed over them. In many scattered directions they ran, with the evil beings chasing after them, and the lover, with her psychic sense, ran and traveled toward her distant lover.

Now that they are together, the protagonist takes time to care for his lover. Together, they begin the journey back to the Great Pyramid, but the pace is slower, and resources lessen because there are two of them now. Many creatures are out there looking for them, and for other humans who are still trying to evade the evil ones. Finding places to sleep is more difficult. At one point, other people fleeing are chased down by men with thick necks and shoulders, a second type of proto-men. The protagonist tries to save at least one, but cannot. Later, this another type of proto-man attacks his lover, two hairy men with four arms, the upper arms used to attack, and the lower with lesser strength used only to hold or pinch. The lover is injured slightly before he can kill the creatures. During their travel, the two are pursued by giant, smelly slugs, and other creatures not described, as well as snakes and scorpions.

In an odd twist, the lover becomes a liability. She demands excessive attention from the protagonist, wanting to be held and kissed, wanting even her toes kissed at times, despite how they are both exhausted and filthy. To be fair, the protagonist himself bestows great amounts of loving attention to her, but as this goes on, her cravings become obsessive, even demonic. At the start of this novel, we did see the lover playing games to test the main character, but now, when he does not tend to her whims, she will run off into the forest, forcing him to chase her down. He is greatly angered by her behavior, chastising her at first, becoming violent enough to whip her on the shoulders and arms with a stick, and yet, she still runs off, time and again.

This strange behavior reaches a crux when they reach the edge of a river. The protagonist builds a raft, but before they can start their way across, to reach an island and place of relative safety, the lover begins to act quirky again. This as a band of Humped Men arrive. The battle is fierce, with the main character giving and taking damage, as the threats attempt to take his lover away from him. She is suddenly light on her feet and runs off with several threats after her, while he stays to deal with the majority. The lover is armed with a knife, and when she returns, she will use the knife to stab the enemy and retreat, repeatedly, showing more energy and determination, strangely, than she has ever shown before.

Part 5

After the great skirmish, the lover manages to drag the protagonist onto the raft. It is she who navigates the raft through the river, stopping at an island. They rest on this island for a good number of days, until the protagonist gathers his health and does his best to repair his gear. This done, they travel downriver until it becomes necessary to leave the raft behind and continue on foot. The protagonist worries, as they are close to the giant black house.

Remember, if you will, Part 2, where the giant black house has eaten or destroyed the remnant army of youths. In this case, the protagonist decides to chance it, as traveling near to the black house is feasible and will cut the journey by several days. What the protagonist has not counted on is how the black house will affect his lover. The house affects the lover badly, putting her into a state near death. The protagonist is forced to carry his lover the rest of the way.

Every foe in the region comes out to stop him, in droves. The protagonist encounters foes he cannot even describe, and also large numbers of proto-men, hounds the size of horses, and great giants. Sometimes, the protagonist must fend with only one arm, as he carries his lover, or else he might put her down if they are too many. He passes the evil northern mountain, which has its eyes on him, but does not act against him.

The people of the Great Pyramid know he is coming. They send out a large number of armed soldiers, but the soldiers can only go so far before they come to a number of black hills. The hills are malevolent, seeking to destroy the soldiers, or to eat their souls. The soldiers can’t travel through the hills, but the protagonist and his burden must to reach safety. The psychic elders in the Great Pyramid give him mental support and guide him through as best they can. One last mob of giant hounds attacks the protagonist. The soldiers of the pyramid can reach most of them with long-ranged energy weapons, depleting their resources, and the protagonist must fight his way through the last of them.

Finally, the protagonist reaches the area of safety. There, it is discovered or realized that the lover has died. The protagonist is distraught for days, and also needs the time to recover from his wounds. In a sorry mental and physical state, he attends the lover’s burial. At this time, there is a great lamentation from his people, this sorrow and also admiration for his bravery, that it stirs up the energy of the Great Pyramid. The energy flows into the body of the lover, reviving her, and is seen as a miracle among all. The protagonist and lover are in each other’s arms, later married, and at the last a statue of he carrying she is erected, to commemorate his great endeavor.

Book Review: The House On The Borderland by W.H. Hodgson

This book is in the public domain. I got my copy through Standard E-Books. Here is a direct link to the book page. Below is my review for the novel, as well as a setting description you can use in your own writing, RPG gaming or other creative projects.

Listen to this book on Youtube:


The House On The Borderland by William H. Hodgson

Reading date: 12.29.2022

Review – This book was written in 1908. The start and ending of the story have some action scenes, but the larger, center section is a long description of cosmic events projected over tens of thousands or millions of years. The book was simply written, without a lot of artful prose, but in this case it was a good thing, as adding flourishes to the already long descriptions would have put me to sleep. The action scenes at the start were excellent, and probably set the basis for every pop movie depiction of a lone man inside a house, at night, defending against multiple attacks by outside forces/foes. The cosmic exposition clearly influenced Lovecraft in creating Cthulhu Mythos. The cosmic stretches I did not like, but I might grow to like them later, as I did not at enjoy C. L. Moore’s similar stretches in her Jirel Of Joiry stories, but after subsequent readings I have come to appreciate them as masterful. For now, I’m rating this book at 3 Stars.

Setting – A house in the forest, partially set back against a hill, secluded, driving distance or 20-30 minute walk from the nearest village. The house has multiple floors. It has a front and back door made of heavy wood, and a weaker side door that needs to be reinforced in a hurry, in case of siege. The windows on the first floor have strong iron bars.

A portion of the first floor is larger than the second. Foes can climb onto this short roof to get at the second floor windows, which are not barred. Foes can use a loose gutter pipe on the side of the house to climb onto the short roof.

The house has a small tower on one corner, adding a third or fourth level, plus its roof, allowing protagonists to look out over the forest, or to fend off attack with firearms. As a last resort, characters can climb up to the tower to make a final stand.

Half a mile from the house is a large pit or sinkhole. The pit is at least 100 feet deep, with dark cavities visible along the walls that could be ancient tunnels. It is difficult to climb down the edge to reach them. The pit formed recently, perhaps after heavy rains. Large conifers, pines, have fallen into the pit, and perhaps also a house or two, mixing in with still water, mud and/or clay. Protagonists could explore the pit and tunnels, learning that thanks to the recent formation of the pit, foes or nasty creatures have started emerging.

A tunnel from the pit branches out to the location of the house. Foes/creatures from the pit could travel to the house, possibly gaining entry through a basement or cellar, or digging their way through into the first floor. Alternatively, a door could be built into the cellar, covered over by barrels or other obstacles. If the characters can access this door, they could travel toward the pit and make a surprise attack against the foes. The area below the cellar could also have magic or energetic significance for the foes, that the protagonists have not discovered yet.

The foes at first do not want to kill the protagonists. Perhaps a character has killed a foe, by accident or deliberately, and this causes the foes to attack in force. Possibly, the foes want to capture the protagonists for a sacrifice to their deity, or an offering to a shaman or witch.

Naturally, the protagonists are unable to leave right away or call for help. They have no choice but to hunker down and bear through the attack(s). Village folk could be part of the problem or the solution. Most villagers might not know anything about what lies under the house or why the pit was formed, only hearing the rumbles after a great rain or thunder storm, but too scared to come out and investigate for themselves. There could be a village elder that suspects or knows the truth. Money or alcohol could get this person to talk.

Foes: In the first attacks, unclothed swine! Not kidding, they were unarmed, grunting pig people. A second foe appeared later. It was not fully described, but it had large, claw-like hands that left glowing white marks on its victims. This mysterious foe incinerated a cat through a window, and scratched a dog’s middle badly enough that the dog later became sick and died. Be careful not to let the sick dog lick your hand, especially if your hand has scratches or wounds on it already, or else you might get sick too. Infected people have a 50% chance of survival.

Inspired By M.C. – short story collection now available

Recently re-released and reformatted. This collection of short stories, novellas and poetry spans a number of genres, including fantasy, horror, science fiction, humor and erotica. The collection is currently available for $6.99 at Smashwords.

About this title: This is a collection of my artistic, romantic impressions, inspired from dialog with my female pen pal M.C. There is a broad range to these stories, including fantasy, horror, humor, science fiction and erotica. For a time, my entire perspective revolved around this singular woman. Da Vinci had his masterpiece in Mona Lisa, and in a similar vein I have mine in M.C. Rating: HIGH controversy.

This title’s page on Smashwords.

An excerpt from The Black Rose, included in this collection:

My dreams haunt me, of her. For weeks now, I have been having them. I have seen her everywhere in my house: on the porch during the morning hours, through the windows on both floors and in the various dark corners of the house during the day. Most recently, she has appeared at the foot of my bed, in the heart of the previous night.

So often have I seen this phantom, that I can now describe her with the utmost accuracy. She can’t possibly be of a higher stature than one or two inches past five feet. Her hair is fairly long, but I have not seen it in its entirety and therefore I cannot be completely certain. Her hair is either a very dark brown or as black as pitch, as are her eyes.

Those eyes, they pierce through me like daggers.

Definitely, her features are Spanish. With the slight upturn of her chin, she reminds me much of the regal portraits I have seen of that country’s queens and princesses. Her nose is pleasant enough, her lips sensual and thick, her jowls fleshy and soft, and her bosom prominent. Always, she is enrobed in a long and flowing gown of white, which seems to flow of its own accord, even when there is no breeze to taunt and stir up against it.

Were I any lesser man, or is it one less foolish, undoubtedly my house would already stand vacant. Alas, I have neither the relatives willing to take me in, nor the funds for me to procure a new place of residence. Any ideas of my departure most closely resemble a wingless fowl attempting to take flight. Ha!

My resolve has always been to remain here, in order to confront this enticing demoness that has chosen to plague me, if indeed a demoness it is…