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W. H. Pugmire , Augie Wiedemann
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 May 2008
Sesqua Valley & Other Haunts is a collection of horror and dark fantasy tales in the tradition of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, set in the mysterious Sesqua Valley - a dark and sinister locale imagined by W.H. Pugmire. The reader will find carefully crafted tales of Lovecraftian horror and the Cthulhu Mythos artfully coloured with the lavish touches for which W.H. Pugmire is famous. His stories are not mere pastiche, but finely wrought stories that transport the reader into a foreboding and enticing realm of hororr and dark fantasy.

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SESQUA VALLEY & OTHER HAUNTS + The Fungal Stain And Other Dreams
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Mythos Books LLC (5 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780978991142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978991142
  • ASIN: 0978991141
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire was born on May 3, 1951, in Seattle, Washington. He was obsessed with horror films until he was sent to Northern Ireland to serve a two-year mission for the Mormon Church. Not allowed by his Mormon authorities to attend horror cinema, he switched to reading horror fiction, and became addicted. When returning to the States he discovered Arkham House and became an obsessed fanatic of H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, a fanaticism that manifested itself in his own writing of weird Lovecraftian fiction. This obsession to write tales in homage to Lovecraft never abated, and it now rules his life. He writes book after book of the stuff, and will continue to do so until his happy day o' Death.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
NOTE: The following review refers to The Fungal Stain and Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts, the two works of W.H. Pugmire's that I have read to date. Rather than give a tale-by-tale run down (and take away the pleasure of reading his tales for yourselves!) I have decided to give my opinions of his works overall and situate them within the Lovecraftian/weird tale sphere as a whole. Thus, this review is applicable to both of the above-mentioned equally-recommended books and as such will be posted for both. I cannot tell you which is the better of the two works as I enjoyed them both! Thus, I urge you to treat yourself and purchase both, especially at the bargain prices offered by Amazon! If I had to pick one, though, then perhaps The Fungal Stain is slightly more polished stylistically (which the author himself concedes due to the maturation of his style and the involvement of the erudite hand of the legendary S.T. Joshi as editor). Other than this, both volumes contain fine stories. Now, onto the review proper...

I only recently had the pleasure of coming across the work of Mr. Pugmire. I have been a fan of weird fiction for a while and wanted to try something different to the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Dunsany, Ligotti, etc. I was aware of the fact that there was a whole range of fiction that describes itself as `Lovecraftian', although I was quite reluctant to pursue these, being of the opinion that they were somehow `derivative' or `pale imitations' of the old gentleman's unmatchable cosmic horror. To some extent, I stand by my pig-headedly elitist stance and would rather pursue good literature in other areas than read a bunch of second-rate clones and purveyors of Internet fan fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars blasphemous wonder 10 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A splendid collection of unique Lovecraftian horror where the Dreamlands and Yog-Sothothery become one in a fantastic and umbral valley. Whereas much Cthulu Mythos fiction references the exterior facets of Lovecraft's creations, the squamous space horrors, the forbidden books and poorly-equipped students of esoteric lore, Pugmire keys into the poignancy Lovecraft's best work evoked. The characters herein are all outsiders yet we feel for them as we follow their weird and wonderful relationships. There is no simplistic dualism of good and evil, there is instead a complexity and depth to Sesqua Valley and its inhabitants that makes us understand them and turns them into mirrors for the odd aspects that we all possess.
Also, alongside the Lovecraftian tales, are original tales of horror such as The Zanies of Sorrow, which echoes Oscar Wilde's darker explorations of human nature, and A Vestige of Mirth, which contains more than a hint of Thomas Ligotti's bleak puppetry. In short, this is a collection of poetic terrors that I would recommend to those who love fiction that is original, beautiful and poignantly disturbing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable piece of frippery 27 May 2010
Stylistically, W.H. Pugmire is an acquired taste, in that at times it's a little like Wilde decided to write cosmic horror. It took a little perseverance to gain the music of this work, but once the tune is heard, you're hooked. He strikes a line between classic Lovecraftian pulp and Dunsanian fantasy, evoking a Washington state where reality has worn as thin as Lovecraft's New England, or Campbell's Severn Valley, and 'the other' lethargically stretches into the 'real' world. For Lovecraft fans (and I am one) it's a tentacle free treat, and a worthy addition to any HPL library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bit like James Havoc, but Pugmires a Sweetie 13 Sep 2011
As you very likely have gathered by now, Sesqua Valley & other Haunts are lyrical Early Decadent Lovecraft, though with characters, & cherfull zest, very much M. Pugmires own.
"Selene" (ascended, it seems, from the terrestial former Innominandum "Apotheosis") is a personal favourite; does one espy a tip of the turban to Beckfords "Vathek"?
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars stories that never seem to work... 23 April 2010
I tried to 'get into' this book, honestly I did, but I had to give up half way through.

It's just that some of the stories seemed too dull and uninspiring. Sorry, I really hate to 'dis' other people's hard work but I don't think this selection of stories delivered.

I couldn't empathise with any of the characters as they seemed just too, haaa, how can I say it? They just seemed too 'arty' and frankly some of the stories just seemed to be ramblings on about nothing in particular. If any of these stories were ever made into a film, it'd be the sort of low budget film I'd just fall asleep in half way as NOTHING HAPPENS...
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