Review: “These Black Winged Ones”, by W.H. Pugmire

The following review is by Matthew Carpenter.

These Black Winged Ones by W.H. Pugmire is a chapbook issued by Myth Ink Books. It is a limited edition with only 100 copies printed. I think some may still be available from the publisher, for the astonishing bargain price of $9.00.

First I need to say that the production values are marvelous. The cover art by Luke Spooner is gorgeous and perfectly evocative for the story. The introduction by Peter Rawlik is almost as long as the story itself and it was quite moving. In fact I think it was the most poetic prose I have ever read by Mr. Rawlik. He echoed my thoughts about Wilum almost exactly.

And now we come to the story itself. It originates from some passages in The Call of Cthulhu by Lovecraft, from the “The Tale of Inspector Legrasse”.

There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight.

and

All denied a part in the ritual murders, and averred that the killing had been done by Black Winged Ones which had come to them from their immemorial meeting-place in the haunted wood.

Using this background and setting to good effect, Wilum gives us a meditation on the lengths a woman will go to, to finally dream. She will sacrifice anything (one) for this sensation. I absolutely adore this story. Often I think Mr. Pugmire is most interested in conveying a mood in prose rather than a plot, achieving anoesis with his words. Here he does so magnificently, but with exquisite attention to the details of characterization and dialogue.

This is the best thing by Mr. Pugmire I have read in a long time.

I was not so enamored of Inhabitants of Waithwood, mainly because the dialogue fell flat to my ear. In These Black Winged Ones, Mr. Pugmire makes no pretense to vernacular and what we have is perfection.

Is there a flaw? Yes! It is not the hand tooled leather volume that this prose so deserves. Bravo, Mr. Pugmire. More please. All Lovecraftians must have a copy.

Get your copy here!

4 responses to “Review: “These Black Winged Ones”, by W.H. Pugmire

  1. Many thanx to Matt for this review! And to Mike and ye eZine for posting it here. The story was one that I’ve been wanting to write for years, but I just couldn’t find my way into it plot-wise until recently. I think this chapbook may be sold out, or close to it; but I have revised the story, adding several hundred words, and that new text will be published in a British Mythos anthology this year.

  2. Wow, I saw a few sales come in via mobile as I do some chores around the house, and then found this. Thank ye very much for posting this review, both to Matthew for writing it, and Lovecraft Ezine, Mike Davis, for publishing it. Plus of course, Wilum and Peter for writing the chapbook.
    If Lovecraft Ezine readers want 10% off their order, put this Discount Code in the Order Form when purchasing: WHPMYBTBW
    We do have a number of them left, get them now before they are gone 🙂
    Cheers,
    Anthony
    Myth Ink Books

  3. Reblogged this on Myth Ink Books and commented:
    This made our day, a review of These Black Winged Ones, by Wilum Pugmire, our 1st chapbook with an Introduction by Peter Rawlik, Illustrated by Luke Spooner. Thank you to Matthew Carpenter for the review, Mike Davis and the Lovecraft ezine for publishing it!

  4. Hello! Often times while reading LOVECRAFTIAN literature and or posts, I tend to feel/think that the writers and readers of horror phantasmagoria stories forget that the horror comes from dreams or behaviors that cause one to imagine visions of monsters, demons or misunderstood individuals. I mainly believe humans have the capacity to become despondent over real or imaginary hurts and experiences. Waking to one’s own devils or problems that are not resolved either cause the individual artist, writer or potential monster to create their own world where they are plagued by the troubles that need to be resolved or cannot be without assistance of a psychiatrist, minister, or shaman.
    Since the writer and reader are aware of the potential dictators like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin who murder by the thousands, the potential victim of nightmares, dreams and unfulfilled life experiences is defeated in the horror of regimes and empires that are allowed to fester and envelop the world into calamities which the populace and or individuals do not believe they will face the evils… The horror lies within ourselves. The monster is in front of the self, the family, the community before the behaviors destroy the monster or the world around it.
    Of Course, the reader of this idiotic set of paragraphs will commit to thought and word, “Where did the blogger learn to think and compose? And what in the world becomes of this poorly written blog, blogger who know one cares about on the Internet?” ATK

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