An Imp of Aether by W. H. Pugmire
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Cover art by Andrea Bonazzi. Cover design by Dan Sauer. 6x9 Paperback, 232 pages.
The passing of Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire in the spring of 2019 was a grievous blow to his many friends, colleagues, and devotees, but his literary legacy is likely to endure for decades to come. In this volume, which spans the spectrum of his work from the 1980s to the present day, Pugmire demonstrates why he became perhaps the leading proponent of Lovecraftian short fiction in his time.
Several tales are set in Pugmire’s Sesqua Valley—a parallel to Lovecraft’s Arkham Country, and based on the Pacific Northwest topography he knew from a lifetime’s residence. But beyond the mere evocation of landscape, Pugmire’s tales are enlivened by the presence of vivid, piquant characters—male and female, gay and straight, sinister and naïve, all of whom contribute to the atmosphere of refined strangeness that was Pugmire’s signature achievement.
But Pugmire’s work extended well beyond mere Lovecraftian pastiche, and in such tales as “The Barrier Between” and “The Boy with the Bloodstained Mouth” he demonstrates both originality and skill in weird creation. In sum, this volume is a testament to the pioneering imagination of one of the most distinctive writers of his generation.
W. H. Pugmire (1951–2019) was the author of Weird Inhabitants of Sesqua Valley (2009), The Tangled Muse (2011), An Ecstasy of Fear (2019), and many other volumes. He lived for most of his life in Seattle, Washington.