Update on W.H. Pugmire

For those who don’t know, Wilum Pugmire was hospitalized Thursday night with heart problems (thanks to Will Hart for letting us know).  I guess I should have known something was wrong because I emailed him Thursday to see how his Thanksgiving was going, and he didn’t reply.

Anyway, I just spoke with him on the phone.  He told me that the prognosis keeps getting worse each day — the doctors are, in his words, treating him like a terminal patient.  He said he honestly does not know if he’s going to die or not.  However, he’s in really great spirits.  He told me that if he does die, he has accomplished everything he set out to do.  He had the goal years ago of wanting to be known as a Lovecraftian writer, and he feels he has done that.  I replied that not only has he accomplished it, but that I agree with Will Hart — he is the world’s greatest living Lovecraftian writer.

He has a relative bringing him a couple of Lovecraftian books tomorrow — he says if he dies, he wants to do it with a Lovecraft book on his chest.

Wilum may be feeling chipper, but this news has hit me and I know a lot of others hard.  Wilum is one of the nicest people on the planet.

I can’t release personal details, but I am checking in with him again tomorrow and I’ll report back here after I speak with him.  Please, everyone, feel free to comment below if you would like to pass a message on to him — I’ll print the comments out and send them via overnight postal mail to Wilum on Monday.

(Image by Andrea Bonazzi)

126 responses to “Update on W.H. Pugmire

  1. Wilum, my thoughts are with you kind sir. I hope your condition improves so you may intoxicate us with this miserable experience. Take care,
    Robert Crosby

  2. My Dear Wilum,
    My thoughts and best wishes are with you. I can only hope you’ll surprise everyone by finding new strength and being discharged back to your home.
    I am still hanging in and now have nurses visiting most everyday for one reason or another. But my issues do not seem as immediate as yours.
    Just want you to know that this friend wishes you well. You’re aid and faith in my work pulled me up when I was down. Thank you.
    Get better.
    Yrs,
    Adam

  3. Another thing he said to me was that not only does he feel he accomplished what he set out to do, but he did it HIS way. Wilum is definitely his own person, and I once told him that he’s a shining example of “being true to yourself”, no matter what anyone else thinks. He’s a bright light in this world — one that I fervently hope does not go out.

  4. Hi Mike,

    Wish Wilum all the best from me. Let him know I received his Facebook message and I was pleased to hear that I brightened his day. I hope I am able to correspond with him again one day soon about Lovecraftian fiction.

    Cheers,

    Greg

  5. As Lovecraft has inspired him, he has inspired me as well as many to write lovecraftian fiction. Cheers to you W.H. Pugmire, like your idol, your words will feed the minds of millions for years to come.

  6. I had no idea he was hospitalized. All I can say is that his stories have been a huge influence on me since I first stumbled across a copy of Deathrealm back in the late 80s. W.H. Pugmire is a phenomenal talent whose contributions to Lovecraftian literature are exceeded by his personal literary voice, a unique voice, a brilliant voice, a voice that will resonate as long as literary genius us appreciated.
    Be well W.H.! The world needs more Pugmire tales!

  7. Very sad to hear this. We had exchanged emails just a few days ago and he was feeling poorly. I had no idea it was this bad. Wilum is one of the nicest people I have met – not only at the Lovecraft Film Festival but in life. What a giving person and unparallelled writer of weird fiction. Happiness to you Wilum, and courage. Hopefully this will pass soon and new stories will beckon. All the very best and deep wishes for a full recovery – Reber “Chip” Clark

  8. Tell Wilum thanks for his kind words of encouragement on my YouTube recording; His support has helped me to carry on recording when I have been discouraged.

    & also, send him a big hug and my dear wish to meet him in the flesh one day.

  9. Wil, I’m so sorry to hear this. I sincerely hope it’s not terminal. Thank you so much for your work in the Mythos. It’s the passion and love of writers such as yourself that keeps the Lovecraft world alive.

  10. Try to find words, but nothing came. So, I send you all the strength I can, that of friendship and respect. Dear Wilum, it’s as simple as that: Lovecraftian family needs you!

  11. Wilum —

    You’ve been a delight & an inspiration to me for some three dozen years & counting. I fully expect you to add at least a couple of dozen more to that tally.

    Despite our long epistolary (& now online) acquaintance, after all, we’ve never met … & surely neither of us is going anywhere until that omission has been remedied.

    Yr humble & obedient servant,

    Dan Bailey

  12. I don’t know Wilum well, but have had the privilege of some internet interaction. I hope for the best here, and hope also that Wilum knows he has touched even quite distant lives.

  13. Oh no, this is horrible. I’ve always really liked Wilum’s stories, and he had always come across as a lovely bloke on forums and the Internet. Please pull through mate from a fellow Lovecraft fan.

  14. Get better Wilum. You pushed me into the unknown of writing and helped me succeed. You are the best present day Lovecraftian writer there is and an inspiration to all of us and we need you.

    When we emailed each other on Thursday I had no idea that you were as bad off as you obviously have become. I’m sorry that I was as abrupt as I was. I just want for you to be better and healthy; enjoying the success that you so richly deserve.

    All of my strength to you, old gent.

    Jeffrey J. Taylor

  15. I’m not good with words, and English is not even my language… Just a great hug, and all my best thoughts for a so wonderful person, and a so great author. There are a lot of stories still to write…

  16. Mike, let Mr. Pugmire know from me that it’s clear from these comments he’s touched an incredible amount of lives and that if anyone has captured Lovecraft’s spirit and inherited his legacy, it is W.H. Pugmire.

  17. Sunni and I are hoping that you feel better, dear. We knew you were a bit sad during our last visit.

    Perhaps this period of rest and bout of medicine will set you right. Still hoping to see you on 12/3 when we’re up for S. T.’s recital.

    Much love and positive energy is heading your way from Sunni, Bill and I, and Mary and S. T. as well!!

    Feel better!

    We love you!! XOXOX

  18. Mike (and Bill) thanks for your updates. This news came as a big shock to me, having known of Wilum for decades but only recently connected on FB. Wishing the best to Wilum and the doctors for positive and proactive treatment. Wilum rightly should feel he’s accomplished great things for Lovecraftiana and hopefully things will work out so that he will continue to do more before joining HP and the others beyond the veil.

  19. I think it’s a testament to his personality and to his talent to see just how many people are posting here. Mike, please pass that on to him, and please pass on my personal wishes for his well-being. He offered to co-write a story with me, and I mean to hold him to that!

  20. Please Wilum,
    Get better–we all want you to pull through this and I want to see you again–in person.
    Much love
    Ellen

  21. He is one of the nicest people ever. With his ill health and busy writing schedule he took the time to read my stupid story and listen to my stupid songs and comment on them and even sent me a new story of his own to read. He is a poet of the macabre and a ray of sunshine at the same time. My thoughts are with him. We need another 20 years of Pugmire as a bare minimum.

  22. Hey, Wilum! So sorry to hear that Cthulhu has got its tentacles into you. Hang in there! My last visit to Salt Lake City was made better by all the time we spent together, and I was looking forward to hanging out again at World Horror in March. Let me know if I can ship some of Dr. Muñoz’s “Cool Air” your way — we need you around!

    If there’s any way I can help, let me know!

    Scott Edelman

  23. All the good wishes and hopes I have are sent to you my friend. I’ve spent many happy moments watching your you tube videos, enjoyed them all. Your books have pride of place in my Lovecraft collection and some of your stories have given me a few sleepless nights, not many authors can claim that! All the best from your fellow old geezer.

  24. Wilum,
    You are the BEST Lovecraftian author that I have ever read.Know that I am pulling for you very much.I love you and love your work.Let me know if there is anything I or any of your fans can do for you.
    -Jeannie Sloan

  25. Wilum
    It was such a thrill and honor to meet you earlier this year and to spend a brief but so memorable time in thy grotto macabre. I send healing thoughts and energy in your direction. You already rank amongst the Lovecraftian eternals; however – I insist the Universe allow us to take hideous and baroque tea in the future – and fully expect to do so with you – our pinkies held ambivalently aloft.

  26. I last got a message from him early Thursday, and yes, he seemed in good spirits, but much of what he had to say had me worried. As he is not likely to be able to receive emails, please send him my best wishes and let him know that, brief though our acquaintance has been, he has become a very, very important figure in my life, one of the writers I admire most, and certainly one of the kindest, most generous human beings it has ever been my pleasure to know. Whatever happens, he is well loved by many, and has enriched our lives more than I, at least, can say.

  27. Wilum, I had the rare privilege of meeting you in person at MythosCon this January, & I have every hope of doing so again . . . your dark light shines so very brightly in the Lovecraftian world. Take care, friend, & keep fighting.

  28. Is there even a debate as to who the greatest Lovecraft writer of our time is? You are the light in our darkness and the darkness in our light. Don’t shuffle off this mortal coil just yet, dear sir, for we still have need of you here in the waking world. You have proved that Lovecraftian fiction is a legitimate art, and given so many of us courage to carry on the torch that Grandpa left shining so brightly. I’ve never met you, and yet I feel as though you are my friend. Neat trick, that.

  29. Get well, Wilum.

    You have not yet completed “ye awfull Desygne” …

    You know what happens to those who disappoint the Old Ones, Wilum …

  30. Please wish Wilum all the best from me. I was most touched when, last year, I contacted him regarding a book of his that I was unable to find through a UK seller. He promptly replied, saying that he would buy a copy for me from a U.S. seller, have it sent first to him, sign it, and then send it on to me (along with some other goodies!), all at his own expense! I think this speaks volumes about the kind of person he is!

    Get well soon, Wilum!

  31. Wilum,

    Please get well soon. Kayla and I have you in our thoughts. You are a loved and cherished friend of ours as well as countless others.

    -Jacob

  32. Good thoughts and hopes coming his way, he’s always been the most approachable author I’ve ever talked (well emailed) with.

  33. Wilum,
    I am deeply saddened to read that you are feeling so poorly, you have so much more work to do but first, you must take care of yourself. You are so young and we need you here to write more stories!
    Darkest Love To You,
    Your Autumn Sister
    Ashleigh

  34. Sincere wishes for healing and recovery to write more stories! Love your writing!

    Amy – a life time performing and loving SF& F and all things Lovecraftian in NYC

  35. I’m sorry to have heard of Mr Pugmire’s illness. I have not read a great deal of his work to date but of what I have read I greatly admire. He has always provided interesting insights into any discussion I have followed covering ‘Weird’ fiction on the particular forum I am involved with.

    Get well Wilium.

  36. Dear Wilum,

    I just read your story ‘The Zany of Sorrows’ to experience the writer that you are and will always remain. I really hope you’ll recover.

    Johan, in Delft, The Netherlands

  37. Dear Wilum,

    We have briefly corresponded on TLO. I feel a genuine and special connection with your works. They are singularly poignant to me in a way few writers can touch.

    I hope this message reaches you. You are in my thoughts.

    John.

  38. Hi Wilum,

    please get well soon! I hope to meet you at many MythosCons yet. The world is a richer place because of having you and your wonderful books in it. And once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the books you’ve given me. They are treasures of my library.

    Bless you!
    Yrs
    Martin

  39. Wilum dear,
    This is not fair. It’s leading me to think all sorts of cynical thoughts. After all, not only are you the greatest talent, but you are also the single sweetest person I’ve ever met. The world needs your gentleness, darling. There are too many rough beasts lounging about. I know that Great Spirit must want to gather you close, but please, we need you here longer!

  40. My dear Wilum,

    I was very sorry to learn of this setback with your health. Rest well in the knowledge that I and indeed the entire Lovecraftian community are sending much love your way.

    As someone who is both a friend and an inspiration to me, I’m afraid I must *insist* that you get well.

    Warmest wishes to you, dear gent.

    Richard

  41. Recently finished Some Unknown Gulf of Night, which I think is a masterpiece, and a fine and worthy tribute to Lovecraft’s inspiration.

    I was alarmed to read Wilum’s recent announcement of his retiral from weird fiction, with its stark picture of his state of health and personal circumstances, and appalled to hear that he had been hospitalised shortly after.

    Willum, you have many books yet to write, and fans all around the world thinking of you – look after yourself!

  42. I haven’t read any of Wilum’s books, but anyone who writes Lovecraft stories is a friend of mine! Here’s my advice to Wilum:

    Pack your things, and get the hell out of the hospital. if they can’t give you a proper diagnosis then what’s the point of being there? On the way home buy a nice big bottle of malt whisky then, and home nice and warm, churn out a Lovecraft short story on how hospitals suck. 🙂

    All the best Wilum, and make sure you DO get well soon. Think positive!

  43. I’m with Ronnie! Good advice. I hope you can overcome Mr. Pugmire, if not, it is a great thing to have accomplished what one has set out to do in life one’s own way. Your works will endure even if the body does not, and we all hope for the best for you.

  44. Wilum,

    I sincerely hope that you get better soon. We’re all here counting on you. I can’t wait ’till you get back from the hospital and see the completely voluminous outpouring of love that all of your friends have shown you. Get well soon, dearest friend.

    Yours
    Mikey Abolafia

  45. Wilum, please know that my thots are with you during this time. Everytime I think of you, I’m instantly transported back to the old Cyclops where we worked together. You will always be a hero to me, you’ve worked tirelessly on things that mattered to you and didn’t let others drag you down. I have always admired your way of thinking. Get well soon brother! David Wilson

  46. All the best for Wilum: I hope the doctors get their act together and are able to do something to help – we all love Wilum’s work and Wilum!

  47. Willum:

    I’m a long-time viewer of your Youtube videos who just got around to reading your fiction a few days ago (“Inhabitants of Wraithwood” in BLACK WINGS). I admire your devotion to all things Lovecraftian.

    Best wishes during this difficult time.

    Nicole Cushing

  48. Wilum, I’ve just discovered your work in the past year or so, and eagerly look forward to delving into all the rest. Let’s hope some of your doctors’ more ominous hints turn out to be nothing but over-cautiousness. Hang in there and get strong again.

  49. please pass on our love and that he’s in our thoughts and we know he’ll come out of this okay. everybody loves wilum. – ann and jeff vandermeer

  50. Hey Wilum,
    What the hell are you doing lying there?
    Your writing is waiting for you and we’re all waiting to read it.

    Steve.

    Newcastle upon Tyne.
    England.

  51. Wilum, I sincerely hope that you get better real soon. I’ve so enjoyed “The Tangled Muse”, I at least want to convey that to you. Keeping my fingers crossed (and drawing an Elder Sign) for you.
    Best Regards, Patrik.

  52. Wilum,
    You write some of the most beautiful fiction I’ve ever read. We’ve only exchanged two or three emails but each time you were very kind to a “fanboy” like me. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Jordan Krall

  53. Dear Wilum,

    My prayers are with thee. I am calling on entire pantheons on thy behalf. Stay strong, get well, recover quickly, and keep that green ichor flowing.

    Iä, Wilum, iä!

    Scott Nicolay

  54. You’re in my thoughts, Mr. Pugmire. I really hope you get through this. I’ve rarely, if ever, met such an inspiring as well as talented person. Your generosity and kindness is amazing.

  55. There aren’t many people left in this world who embody originality, talent and class and whose work pushes other artists to their limits. It is my deepest hope we do not lose one of these people. Get well, Willum. For you, for us and for the imagination.

  56. The Sorcerer Departs

    I pass . . . but in this lone and crumbling tower,
    Builded against the burrowing seas of chaos,
    My volumes and philtres shall abide:
    Poisons more dear than any mithridate,
    And spells far sweeter than the speech of love. . . .
    Half-shapen dooms shall slumber in my vaults
    And in my volumes cryptic runes that shall
    Outblast the pestilence, outgnaw the worm
    When loosed by alien wizards on strange years
    Under the blackened moon and paling sun.

    – CAS

    But, dear Wilum, you yet have many more volumes and philters to inscribe for us. I hope you can come home soon.

    Matt

  57. PS – before I went into oncology I was an internist for more than 10 years – if you ever want to talk medicine just drop me a line.

  58. Wilum, my dear Lovecraftian Queen. I have not known you long, but your enthusiasm for all things Eldritch and horrifying has infected me with a renewed excitement to write within the fantastic world created by Lovecraft. I hope to Great Yuggoth that you recover from your ailments and are able to continue to enrich our lives with your utterly unique perspective on life, love and literature for many long years to come. Should you not, rest assured that your spirit will live on through all of us lovers of weird. We love you Ms. Pugmire. We love your writing, we love your strangeness, but above all, we love you for just being you. You will never be forgotten.

  59. Wilum, you are one of the nicest and most generous people with whom I have come into contact. We never met in person, but you have responded most generously with your time when we communicated online. You even sent me one of your books, complete with personal inscription, just because I said I was eager to read your work.

    Your strength of character and kindness is evident, not just in the extraoridnary care you provide for your mother, but in every aspect of your public life. I have high hopes that you will pull through this latest bout with illness. You’re one of the good ones, and there are far too few good ones out there. Best wishes to you, friend hopfrog, I will keep you in my thoughts.

  60. Wilum, You remain in our thoughts and we wish you a speedy recovery. You still have so much to give and many days to live…Feel the love of your fans, friends and family…you are loved.
    See you soon,
    Andy & Brande

  61. Wilum,

    I distinctly remember the time you became active online and joined TLO. I do hope we’ll have you back soon. Really looking forward to reading your upcoming collections. Get well!

  62. .

    Brother Pugmire!

    It’s been a pleasure getting to know you over the last few years and I trust that one way or another, here or there, we’ll yet get to know each other better.

    All my love.

    ———-th-

    ps: if you want your copy of Monsters & Mormons sent to the hospital, I can do that; the gentleman sending you this comment can email me the info if you can’t get to a computer yourself (I will try emailing you now though)

  63. May the nighgaunts look over you whilst you sleep, and the Great Old Ones speed your progress back to health. All the very best – Carl

  64. Wilum, take care and I hope your health improves. I’ve never met you but I love your work and your attitude towards weird fiction and life. We don’t want your essential salts, we want you alive and well!

  65. Please try hard to get well soon and return to your post, Mr. Wilum! Planet Earth will be so boring without you and your fabulous, friendly screen presence.

  66. Chin up Old Gent! Your beautiful writing and thoughts are much needed thing in this day and age. The world is a better place with you in it being who you are and what you do. Looking forward to more Pugmire wrought mania and decadence in the alchemy of your words.
    Be well and my the dreamlands carry you far.
    You are in our thoughts.
    IA! IA!
    Nick the Hat

  67. I have yet to read any of your fiction Mr. Wilum H Pugmire (ordered ‘Some Unknown Gulf of Night’ just recently), but I’m an avid follower of your youtube-channel. You come across as such a kind and lovingly passionate human being. It is very inspiring to be witness to. I can only echo Quentin’s words about how your touch reaches beyond great distances to remote places such as the one I find mysELpH in. Get well soon Mr. Wilum! If you yourself wish so.

  68. Get better, Wilum!

    Even though I have never met Wilum personally. He is truly one of the kindest and most brilliant people I have ever known. I have been lucky enough to share online correspondence with him on many occasions.

    Wilum you know this story well. But for those who don’t, this illustrates your extreme kindness and love for the craft:
    I am just a biology major in college, who has a love for Lovecraftian horror and wanted to put together a small horror-focused zine. I was introduced to Wilum through one of his long time friends and I asked Wilum (thinking it was a long shot) if he would be willing to write a short story for a zine I was putting together…. and he did! Needless to say I was amazed and humbled that someone of Wilum’s noteriety would be willing to help…. but obviously at that time I didn’t truly know Wilum! His amazing short tale is still unpublished, as the zine has been having major delays. (But don’t worry Wilum, I will continue to jump these hurdles and get your work out to your constant readers!)

    I truly hope you will get back into fit and fighting shape and continue to churn out your dark and beautiful tales.
    You are truly one of the most brilliant, kind and amazing people I have ever known. I wish you godspeed and want you to know that you have an entire legion of friends and fans cheering you on and awaiting your return to good health (and your videos!).

    Warm Regards,
    Joe Villari

  69. Willum, we just heard the news from Skyler and wish you all the courage and best to face whatever comes. I sure wish i could find the pic of you and Skyler sitting by the bbq at that long-ago party.

    Maggie Nowakowska
    Susan Matthews

  70. Wilum, your old buddy Bryan Moore here. Brother, you are not allowed to check out just yet as you’re only 60 years old. I’m 48, bud, and there’s a lot more to be done yet! Regardless, good health to you, and there does need to be many more tales from the Sesqua Valley! As ol’ Dr. Munoz would say, “Never underestimate the power of the human will….”. All my love and best wishes straight from the heart, you ol’ pal Bry

  71. You have left an indelible mark on Lovecraftian letters. In so doing, you have attained a kind of literary immortality that is the goal of ever writer. Judging from some of he other comments, you are one of the finest people one would want to meet. Please get better.

  72. I know Wilum on Facebook, and had the privilege of sharing a house with him in the ’80s. Wilum, you still have writing to do, so please, get well quickly.

  73. Wilum, I am one of your Facebook friends and, while we have not communicated that much, I have always enjoyed your writing and your vlogs. I’m sorry that you are not well and I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    You have always impressed me not only as a talented writer but also as a good-hearted person. We need more people like you in the worl, not less!

    Please take care of yourself and get well soon!

  74. Adding my voice to the throng of well-wishers, Wilum, along with my gratitude for the stories you’ve given us all. Sending psychic strength your way!

  75. Hoping for your quick and complete recovery, Wilum.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And pages to write before I sleep,
    And pages to write before I sleep.

  76. Willum:–

    Doctors commonly have no idea what is going on with a patient. Don’t let their pessimism infect you. Heart palpitations are normal, especially in the current state of the world. Take it easy, stay hopeful, wait and see. If you think you MIGHT kick this mortal bucket, write a Last Willum and Testament making everything public domain, and create a torrent with the COLLECTED WORKS OF WILLUM PUGMYRE, ESQ., and seed it until the Elder Ones draw you from the earthly plane to the celestial realms beyond Nir and Alathoe. You’re not going to die if you don’t want to.

  77. More than one hundred answers in less than 2 days here… that’s clear, dear Wilum: you HAVE to get well !

  78. Wilum –

    My thoughts are with you and I wish you a speedy recovery. It’s been a pleasure to have your work featured in Dark Discoveries and the little NW anthology Jonathan and I published a few years back. I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm for both DD and myself over the years.

    It’s wonderful to see how many people’s lives you have touched and I hope that it helps you to fight this.

    – James

  79. I think this extensive list of heartfelt comments, and the great writers/editors/fans who appear upon it, acts as a true testament to Wilum’s respectable legacy and how much folks just appreciate him. Thanks to Mike for keeping everyone updated, and we hope everything will turn out for the best.

    Aaron

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