URGENT AND IMPORTANT! W.H. Pugmire needs our help.

URGENT AND IMPORTANT!!! Pete Rawlik just sent me this instant message:

“Our community has a problem. Check out Wikipedia’s article on Wilum which they are considering deleting because he is a non celebrity.”

At the Wikipedia discussion page, I see the following:

“…I would be more comfortable about deciding this if we could hear from someone familiar with the Lovecraft world who could opine on how much weight to give to those critical discussions of his work…”

So we ALL need to reply to these editors and let them know that (a) W.H. Pugmire is one of the most well-known writers in the Lovecraftian community, that he (b) is known as “The greatest living Lovecraftian writer” by MANY, and (c) anything else you think to add to this discussion.

I am still trying to figure out how to reply to these guys, I’m NOT a Wikipedia expert, but here is the discussion page:


And here is the Wikipedia page for Wilum:


If you know how to reply to the editors, please comment below.

41 responses to “URGENT AND IMPORTANT! W.H. Pugmire needs our help.

  1. It might be helpful to crossconnect Wilum’s page to other WIKI pages. I’ll see what I can do ..

  2. If you’re a Lovecraftian, you know who Wilum is. It’s that simple. If he’s not a “celebrity”, NO ONE in the Lovecraftian community is, including S.T.

  3. Willum is something of a legend as far as I’m concerned. I will go to the Wiki page and see if I can add anything;never tried before. But this cause deserves action. Thanks for the heads up Mike.

  4. I am deeply touched by the response. I consider myself a very minor underground weird writer. You’ll never see my work in the YEAR’S BEST anthologies or published by a mainstream outfit–there is no commercial audience for my work. I write for Lovecraftians–you are the reasons I write, and that is all I need to feel fulfill’d. Thank you so much for your support.

  5. I added to the discussion as well, Mike. I hope it helps. I understand the need to audit Wikipedia, but deleting Pugmire’s article would create an incomplete picture of Lovecraft himself. One of the brilliant things about Lovecraft is the influence his work has had throughout the years. Pugmire is an undeniably important example of that influence. In fact, that Lovecraftian influence is passed from generation to generation by writers like Pugmire. Lovecraft aside, would Wikipedia delete its entry on Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky simply because he is less well known than his influences – authors like Chesterton, Poe, Hoffman, or Gogol? Scholars would surely scoff at the idea. Why would deleting Pugmire be any different? Why not delete August Derleth’s entry while you’re at it, Wikipedia? Ridiculous.

  6. In a world where a local newscaster or radio host is considered a celebrity the person is a superstar.

  7. I added my own two cents to the discussion. The deletion seems unreasonable in the light of defining the Lovecraftian world at large. I would love to rant but I’m trying to maintain a very straightforward discussion of this! Phh. I am struck by the irony of the whole thing. To quote my comment on the discussion, “when you’re dealing with a niche subject matter such as the Lovecraftian field, in which many notables know each other personally due to the field’s size limitations and general tradition of camraderie, it seems counterproductive to discard noted opinions and documentation of someone’s career simply due to the collegial relationship of the person stating the material.” Ye gads.

  8. I added my own two cents to the discussion. The deletion seems unreasonable in the light of defining the Lovecraftian world at large. I would love to rant but I’m trying to maintain a very straightforward discussion of this! Phh. I am struck by the irony of the whole thing. To quote my comment on the discussion, “when you’re dealing with a niche subject matter such as the Lovecraftian field, in which many notables know each other personally due to the field’s size limitations and general tradition of camraderie, it seems counterproductive to discard noted opinions and documentation of someone’s career simply due to the collegial relationship of the person stating the material.” Ye gads.

  9. Holy crap, Wikipedia is not user-friendly. Nevertheless, I’ve eventually added my support. Pugmire occupies a coveted placement on the site and I won’t stand to have such notoriety be stripped away.

  10. Having added my vote to the discussion on AfD, one important point is that you not only need to tell people why the article should be kept, you need to vote to keep it. The sad part of Wikipedia is that a subjects notability is not half as important as how notable the people who hang out in AfD think it is.

  11. As Rhonan says, there’s an attitude amongst the Wiki Powerusers that if they haven’t heard of it, it needs deleting, and they usually get their way (speaking both from personal and impersonal experience). Good luck.

  12. Happy birthday, Lovecraft eZine! Without you, I wouldn’t know about Wikipedia’s plan to delete the article on Mr. Pugmire – one of my favorite Mythos writers! I have gone to the comments page and added my defense (I’m tanuki2001 if you want to see what I said). To add a comment, you have to edit the page which requires you be registered at Wikipedia.

  13. It took a while but I was finally able to add a comment. Hell, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has a freakin’ page! Wilu deserves one too.

    • I really appreciate the opportunity to add my voice to the outcry today, to be an active part of the Lovecraftian Community. Wilum deserves to be on Wikipedia, and I am glad we sent that message today.

  14. The person who initiated the delete is obviously an anti-Pugmire troll. There are a few of these on the Internet who love to badmouth me. He has now added a new comment suggesting that S. T. Joshi’s high opinion of my work is invalid because S. T. has appeared with me on YouTube!

    • First off Wilum, don’t take it personally. The person who proposed your article’s deletion most likely doesn’t care about you one way or the other. Wikipedia runs on the dynamic tension between a number of different factions. One of those splits is between those who have very high standards for notability and try to get any article that they think doesn’t measure up deleted, and those of us in the Article Rescue Squadron who try to save any article we think might be useful for some future researcher. Part of the problem is that the standards of notability are vague enough that usually boils down to who makes the best argument, and by who, I mean how significant their editorial activity on WIkipedia has been.

      As for the comment about S. T. that actually is part of the rules. The fact that he knows you disqualifies any comments he’s made about your significance from counting in the discussion. Just as publication in journals edited by people you know does not count as an independent publication for the purposes of notability.

      Ultimately, whether the article is saved or not will probably come down to whether the Administrator that makes the decision is part of the Deletionist or the Preservationist faction.

  15. Thank you so much for clearing that up. In that case, being listed in Wikipedia is of absolutely no importance to me, if such are the “rules” of inclusion. That the opinion of the world’s greatest Lovecraftian scholar is invalid because we are mates–that completely disqualifies the importance of the entry itself in my eyes.

    • I mentioned in my contribution to this debate, that removing Mr. Pugmire’s article would provide an incomplete view of Lovecraft and the modern Lovecraft circle. Discounting the opinion of the pre-eminent authority on Lovecraft because he appeared in a YouTube video with Mr. Pugmire once again eliminates any thoroughness that would make Wikipedia worthwhile. It seriously makes me question the value of Wikipedia as a whole. This has been a very interesting (and enlightening) experience. How many articles are currently on Wikipedia now that have been watered down and left incomplete by this deletion process? As a current student I can honestly say that I do not use Wikipedia for research. I can’t imagine why anyone would. I do, however, use it to learn more about individuals, groups, events, etc. in a casual manner. It’s disappointing to learn that it isn’t as thorough or inclusive as I thought it was. Whether or not the article is deleted does nothing to diminish the importance of Pugmire to his peers, and to the Lovecraftian tradition. I think time and proper scholarly venues will prove that.

  16. Their main argument seems to be that my work is fan fiction (and I call it so) and that anyone who admires my writing is a “fan fiction enthusiast” and therefore has no voice in the matter. Being paid for work does not seem to make one a professional writer in their eyes, because my publishers are all dismissed as small press print-on-demand outfits and therefore of no importance whatsoever. Thus I am class, by Wiki standards, as none-notable.

  17. I didn’t even know you had a Wikipedia page, Wilum. Your work is very good, not just fan fiction–but high-quality weird fiction which evokes Poe, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and many others. But, most importantly, your poems and prose possess a unique vision and voice. What I am saying is that I hope you don’t get discouraged by the Wiki thing. Just keep writing, man. And thanks for being so accessible; most writers are not.

  18. I find this the reverse of discouraging. I have never had any interest in being on Wiki, and other friends have done all of the work there on my behalf. Now that I know of their rules of inclusion, I find Wikipedia entirely insignificant. But what this has done, for me as a writer, is to show that I have really loyal fans and I love you for the support that you have shewn. I’ve been a Lovecraftian for a long time, and I can attest that THIS is the finest time to be a Lovecradtian, as a fan or as a professional genre author. Just the amazing fact of Mike’s spectacular eZine makes it all worthwhile. I take my writing very seriously, and I strive for excellence. It is the work that matters, and any amount of pleasure that it gives to readers. Kisses, my darlings! xoxoxoxoxo

  19. I read some of the stuff about this on Wikipedia & it seems that one of the thihngs they are complaining about is that the page is insufficiently referenced – unbacked assertions, in other words. If you could get references from legitimate sources backing the material, quoting correctly from references and so on, maybe this would go quite a way to addressing the problem.
    I don’t know whether it is the celebrity issue as much as the ‘quality’ of the article.
    I know of plenty of authors who are not celebrities but are unthreatened in the status of their Wikipedia pages.

  20. Kat’s been typing away, and has added the “Pub Weekly” blurb. The hater can shut up and die now. “PW” can’t be argued against. And how can anyone go against “Le”, let’s recall it currently has 2 tales up for possible Stoker reccomendations — if that don’t make it a “real” mag can’t imagine what would…………. .

  21. From the discussion page – “If you came here because someone asked you to, or you read a message on another website, please note that this is not a majority vote, but instead a discussion among Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia has policies and guidelines regarding the encyclopedia’s content, and consensus is gauged based on the merits of the arguments, not by counting votes.”

    • So, opinions only count if they are from “the secret inner circle” of Wikipedia, eh? I would simply state that ANYONE who has contributed to or added to an edit DOES count as a contributor.

      • Part of the consensus process is to give more weight to the opinions of people who have been active with Wikipedia as a whole prior to the current discussion, than to people who just created an account. The thing to remember is that it is not a voting process. It doesn’t matter how many people vote to keep the article, what matters are good arguments and evidence showing that the article meets Wikipedia’s standards of notability. Sadly, how notable Wilum is within the Lovecraftian, or even larger horror community is not relevant to the deletion discussion.

  22. The problem is that the bar for authors for notability is really high. A friend of mine, the late Rebecca Neason, had several books published by major publishers. One of them even cracked the top 10 on the New York Times list. She is not considered notable enough for her own page. One of the biggest problems for notability for authors working in genre fiction is that one has to hit a really high level of significance before the academic community takes note and scholarly articles get written, or the larger literary takes note and provides recognition. Otherwise, you know, it’s just those Lovecraft fanboys emulating the master.

    • I bet they’d take mundane crap like Dean Koontz simply because THEY have heard of him. Why don’t they have people that have an awareness of the subject-matter deal with it instead of the “Comic-Book Guy” stereotype of a know-it-all abusing his imagined power?

      • I suggest you look at the sources used on WIlum’s Wikipedia page; then go to Dean Koontz’s page, and look at the sources there. The reason Koontz’s page does not have a notability flag is that it has sources like the National Catholic Register, Associated Press, the BBC, San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times. Those are unquestionably independent professional news sources. Wilum just doesn’t have that sort of coverage, and being covered by a journal where the editor knows you doesn’t count by Wikipedia’s standards. Sadly, the worst problem with WIlum’s page is a direct result of how prominent he is in the Lovecraft community, He knows too many other significant people to get what WIkipedia calls independent coverage from within the community

  23. I hadn’t seen an update on this and just checked out the Wikipedia page again. It not longer had the notice about the nomination for deletion. When I checked out the “Talk” page, I found this: “This page was nominated for deletion on January 16 2013. The result of the discussion was keep.”

    Yeah! It looks like folks did it!

  24. Update: The effort by the user calling himself Pernoctus to have the article about Wilum deleted from Wikipedia has been officially terminated. The discussion page says “The result was KEEP. While the article needs improvement, the subject meets Wikipedia notability guidelines. SouthernNights (talk) 13:20, 4 February 2013 (UTC)”.

    Total and well-deserved victory by the Lovecraftian community!

    As others have noted, while Pernoctus invoked real rules about notability it did seem like the effort was personal, and in effect tried to marginalize the entire genre community by calling it too closely-knit to be objective about its own members.

  25. Pingback: Wilum Pugmire is “Notable”. « Miskatonic Books Blog·

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