Uncommon Places: A Collection of Exquisites by W. H. Pugmire


  • March 2012
  • ISBN 978-1-61498-023-0
  • 270 pages
  • Paperback



"An aura of dissolution and decay suffuses the 22 stories in this collection of fantastic fiction from Pugmire (The Tangled Muse), the self-billed “Queen of Eldritch Horror.” “Inhabitants of Wraithwood,” a coda to H.P. Lovecraft’s horror classic “Pickman’s Model,” swirls images from expressionist art together with drug-fueled nightmares to convey a world where “the barrier betwixt art and nature, reality and dream” has been blurred. Lovecraft’s influence is notable throughout, particularly in the title work, a lengthy sequence of prose poems that infuses Lovecraftian set pieces with eroticism and morbid romance. There are also tribute tales that evoke the work of Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe, the latter in “The Host of Haunted Air,” a modern reworking of his gothic fever dream “The Masque of the Red Death.” Mood, rather than plot, is the main concern of most of these short, poetic pieces. Readers with an appetite for the weird and the decadent will find Pugmire’s work a rich confection."

— Publishers Weekly

For more than four decades, W. H. Pugmire has delighted and astonished his many devotees with vignettes of perfumed prose-poetry that rival the work of Baudelaire and Clark Ashton Smith. In this new collection, which contains both new and reprinted pieces, Pugmire once again stakes his claim to be the most accomplished prose stylist in contemporary weird fiction. Here we find the shades of Lovecraft, Poe and Oscar Wilde—that dandified British author whose life and work hover over this collection like a sea-mist. We explore the shadows spawned in Sesqua Valley... Providence, Rhode Island... and Gershom, a city of artistic exiles. The title work is an impressive sequence of prose-poems, each segment inspired by an entry in Lovecraft's Commonplace Book, fusing delicate prose-poetry with the terror that only the landscape of the fantastic imagination can elicit.

This new collection includes all of the original works which first appeared in The Tangled Muse, Wilum Pugmire's highly-limited (and now, out of print) Centipede Press omnibus, together with a number of newly-written and rather disturbing prose-poems that see their first publication here. The title work also appeared in The Tangled Muse, but the author has added 10,000 additional words to it for this edition—most of the new material being a segmented sequel to J. Vernon Shea's "The Haunter of the Graveyard."

Uncommon Places features cover artwork and interior illustrations by the fantastic Swiss artist, Gwabryel, specially commissioned for this edition. Read an interview with Gwabryel at the Innsmouth Free Press.


"Inhabitants of Wraithwood"

"Some Distant Baying Sound" (color version)

"Uncommon Places"

"House of Legend" (color version)


This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 26 February, 2012.