The Monstrosities of the Outer Circle

by Timothy J Jarvis

Towards the end of William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Hog’, Carnacki explains the motives of the tale’s cosmic horrors to his circle of listeners in the following terms:

The monstrosities of the Outer Circle are malignant towards all that we consider desirable […] They are predatory – as all positive force is predatory. They have desires regarding us which are incredibly more dreadful to our minds when comprehended than an intelligent sheep would consider our desires towards its own carcass.

I wonder why it is so many recent tales of cosmic horror have fallen back on the banal fear of being treated as mere beasts fit for the shambles. Hodgson’s intimation is more dread, more awful.