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Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  545 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Hardcover, 540 pages
Published September 2001 by SFBC Science Fiction (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 18, 2015 Jonfaith rated it it was ok
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

I'm done. Such pains me, but not to the degree of this prose. I had thought of an italicized voice-over about some hardscrabble researcher reporting from Tahrir Square about unearthing a noisome text from a "mad Arab" ... I was going to punctuate such with
Wilum Pugmire
Apr 27, 2017 Wilum Pugmire rated it it was amazing
This is one of ye finest collections of Lovecraft's writing that I have enjoy'd. The excellent Contents includes some of Lovecraft's finest stories and others deem'd "lesser" works--and it amazes me how satisfying many of those lesser tales are. "Pickman's Model" is judged by many as weak because they predict its ending early on--& yet that ending is the least interesting aspect of this story of a sinister aspect of ye long-dead past and ye creatures that may haunt that past and seep into mo ...more
5.0 to 5.5 stars. I have not read all of the stories in this collection so this review will cover those that I have:

"The Call of Cthulhu" (6.0 stars): My favorite Lovecraft story and arguably his best.

"Dagon" (5.0 stars): Another superb story set squarely in the Cthulhu mythos.

"Winged Death" (5.0 stars): A great, short story not directly part of the "Cthulhu Mythos" but with vague references thereto. A chilling revenge story with a great ending.

"The Rats in the Walls" (5.0 stars): On my short
Luna kisser
Sep 20, 2010 Luna kisser rated it it was amazing
winged death WAS THE 1ST TIME READ
the rats in the wall GAVE ME THE CHILLS
the colour out of space CLASSIC
the outsider READ A FEW TIMES NOW
the shadow out of time ALWAYS PAUSE AND MAKES ME THINK
pickmans model LOVE THE ART THOUGHTS
the festi
É O'Conghaile
Aug 09, 2014 É O'Conghaile rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
Wow is Lovecraft racist. In the author description it says he grew up and lived in Rhode Island, as a 'proud' member of an aristocratic family. There's why, if we wonder. With wealth and power, comes creepy abuses. His racism can be very difficult to read around.

Beside that, some of the stories (6 out of 19, or about 30%) were actually quite good. His writing can be overly-explanatory, but in the case of the shorter stories, are not to the exhaustively unnecessary extent as with hg wells. The wr
Aug 19, 2010 Gabriel rated it really liked it
Right now this is the only HP Lovecraft I've read (sans his essay on Supernatural Literature), so I can't comment on whether this is the best or not ... but I can say that the selection is such that I left knowing a full deal of the Cthulu Mythos of which he is so famous. In fact, due to the way the book is organized, an argument could be made that every story included in here is part of the Cthulu world view. Even "The Rats in The Walls" and "Pickman's Model" - though they do not mention the Ol ...more
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was ok
Apparently I am not to be a Lovecraft fan. I have tried reading his fiction several time and never seem to get into it. Good selection of his stories in this book both long and short. Several good ideas for plots but the writing seems to drag.
Dec 24, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it
Creepy. Very creepy. I'm not sure why I've never really read Lovecraft before, since I always loved Poe and stuff like that when I was a kid, but after a lot of harassment from my son, I finally plowed through this collection, which I had actually bought a couple of years ago. Reading Lovecraft is a bit of a commitment I would say, because his prose is dense and sometimes quite technical, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Each of these stories has its own special brand of weirdness and ho ...more
Nov 14, 2007 James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyoned reading or writing horror
Shelves: horror
This is my favorite collection of Lovecraft short stories that is outside of the Dream Cycles. Its also a really great place to start if you have never read him before. It is available exclusively from the science fiction book club, but can be found on Amazon or used book stores pretty cheap now because its been out for awhile. It has the classic neccessities like "The Call of Cthulu," "The Color Out of Space," and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." It also has some rare stories and even ones like "Wi ...more
Vikki Marshall
Nov 03, 2013 Vikki Marshall rated it really liked it
Like Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft is a literary master of the macabre, in this collection of 19 stories we get to read some of Lovecraft’s best tales. He takes us on an ingenious journey, from dreamlike primeval discoveries on to confrontations with evil spirits, we face terrifying beings existing in isolated environments and almost always we encounter the madness of genius. We meet Lovecraft’s infamous Cthulhu in its realm, Pickman’s mysterious model, sea monsters, secretive decaying buildin ...more
Stefan Yates
It's kind of weird for me to be writing a review of a book that took me almost 5 years to read, but let me start out by saying that I actually did enjoy the majority of it. I found this to be a really interesting read not only for the content itself, but also from the context of Lovecraft's influence on the genre of horror as we know it today. My issues with the stories is that the theme and tone are so similar from story to story that I had a hard time differentiating when one ended and the nex ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 25, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
This is just the latest collection of H. P. Lovecraft that I've had. Mostly (early on) you had to find paper bck collections and older pulp collections. Of late the world has "discovered" him "again" (along with his contemporary and friend Robert E. Howard).

I am not primarily a "horror" fan but Lovecraft is just...different. Lf a writer can achive terror, that is creat the atmosphere and emotions without resorting constantly to the gross-out school of horror he's got my attention. I like some go
Aug 19, 2012 Ron rated it liked it
Most of the short stories in this collection are based on the Cthulu mythos. Interestingly enough the stories that I enjoyed most only briefly mention the mythos as a backdrop. "The Rats in the Walls" was a great story about the main character's increasing madness after moving in to an ancestral estate. "In the Walls of Eryx" is an interesting tale with a twist about an explorer's growing panic after becoming disoriented on an alien planet. The eeriest tale in the book, in my opinion, is "The Th ...more
Austin Taylor
Aug 07, 2013 Austin Taylor added it
Shelves: 2014
I found it worthwhile to experience Lovecraft's writing first hand. A lot of interesting ideas. I found the longer stories to be rather tedious, especially since they tended to be very similar (The Shadow Out of Time, The Mound, At the Mountains of Madness). Others were absolutely haunting (The Rats in the Walls, The Color Out of Space, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Thing on the Doorstep, Winged Death). In general, he is an author who has many flaws (lack of characterization, repetitiveness, ov ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Mindy rated it liked it
I got through most of this and liked it, but toward the end the stories seemed to have the same formula over and over. I've read Lovecraft before but it was over ten years ago and I'd forgotten some of it.

I'm intrigued by the idea of Ctulu and aliens who came to Earth while the planet was still forming and are living in the depths of the oceans. I wonder if this had anything to do with the story behind the movie "The Abyss," where they find a benevolent alien species in the deepest part of the A
Jim Bradford
Jun 25, 2009 Jim Bradford rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a fantastic collection of H.P. Lovecraft's works. It's not complete, by any means, but it has all the greats - The Call of Cthulhu, Pickman's Model, The Dreams in the Witch House, Dagon, Winged Death, The Shadow Over Innsmouth (My favorite!), and At the Mountains of Madness.

The stories range from intellectual to terrifying, and while Lovecraft's writing can be dry at times, most every story pays off by the end; usually in the most chilling ways. If you're at all interested in Lovecraft'
Jan 06, 2017 Geoff rated it it was amazing
This is a Science Fiction Club Book exclusive, so unfortunately it is a hardcover made from cardboard with glue bindings. The reason why I'm complaining is because the collection of stories is so good! Pretty much the best of Lovecraft is in here, along with the novellas: The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Mound and At the Mountains of Madness. These three will pretty much give you everything you wanted to know about Lovecraft, but you also get a lot more selections which make this a pretty large co ...more
Scott A. Nicholson
Aug 02, 2008 Scott A. Nicholson rated it it was amazing
Hands down, the best collection of Lovecraft stories I've yet come across. Has Call of Cthulhu, Mountains of Madness, Dagon, Shadow Over Innsmouth, the Thing On the Doorstep, just to brush the surface, all some of his best work that you just can't find in a single volume. There are very few-must read stories that are not included in this collection, for which I can only assume were ommitted by space constraints, as the text very nearly reaches the 500 page mark.
Jul 07, 2008 Megan rated it did not like it
When I told my dad that I wanted to read some Lovecraft, he seemed skeptical that I would like it. Being that he and I tend to have the same taste in sci-fi/horror stories and movies (and Lovecraft is his favorite) I decided to try and read some anyway. It was very frustrating as I kept losing track of the details (not usually an issue for me), and while I really wanted to like it, I did not. Next time I will take his advice - this author is not for me.
Isaac Troll
Aug 06, 2015 Isaac Troll rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
I've had many people say to read lovecraft, so I thought I would try. I find the writing slow and boring, to the point of this book puts me to sleep every night after 5 pages. I've heard so many good things about lovecraft I'm surprised i find it so hard to keep reading.

I'm glad the call of cthulhu was at the beginning of the book since it was the one most people told me to read. But I don't see myself being able to finish this book.
Jan 15, 2008 Blütt rated it it was amazing
it's only lovecraft collection i've read (i'd LOVE to read another comparable one. suggestions?) and i read it repeatedly. kind of a slow, thinking read, as it often describes "mathematical" (for lack of a better term) situations, but if i guess if ya can't deal with that, lovecraft isn't for you. it's horror, but thinking-person's horror. old-school and mind-bending, he's probably a "love him or hate him" kind of writer. no gore, just psychological, fantasy-type stuff.
Jun 18, 2013 Justyna rated it it was amazing
This is truly a great selection of stories, perfectly presenting the style and atmosphere of Lovecraft's prose. Suitable both for those wanting to start their journey into the world of lovecraftian mythos and for those wishing to have all the best stories in one place.
Some of the works included can only be described as classics of the horror genre, like "The Call of Cthulhu" (a story that never gets old) or "At the Mountains of Madness".
David Leingang
Nov 22, 2011 David Leingang rated it it was amazing
A great collection of Lovecraft stories! This was the first anthology I purchased of H.P.L.'s fiction and after reading a few of the stories previously I was very happy at the selection and order in which the stories are layed out. With essentials like "The Call of Cthulhu", "Dagon" to name a few, anyone just getting into Lovecraft would be lucky to have this in their untrimmed claws.
Nov 06, 2010 Dylan rated it it was amazing
So far this book, or collection of short stories I should say is absolutely amazing! The way H.P. Lovecraft gives such detail to his writing makes you almost fear turning the page as if once you do the beast will be right before your eyes. I definitely suggest that you read some of his work if you haven't already.
Jul 15, 2011 Elliott rated it it was ok
Lovecraft's strong aristocratic bent calls to mind "The Turn of the Screw," but "The Call of Cthulu" is in genre all its own; an admixture of Gothic horror, fantasy, and science fiction appropriately deemed, "weird fiction."
Aug 03, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
The first time I've read Lovecraft and I'm hooked. My favorite stories were The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Rats in the Wall, The Colour out of Space, and At the Mountains of Madness.
Apr 02, 2009 John rated it really liked it
I love this author for the spooky atmosphere & for his amazing skill at describing creepy architecture. The writing can be rather ponderous & pedantic, & some of the sentences taken out of context are hilarious. Yet Lovecraft's writing provides horror-fantasy that I require.
Nov 21, 2007 Karina rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, fantasy, horror
My ex-boyfriend mentioned Lovecraft a lot, and this story collection looked interesting, but in the end it turned out not to be my thing. I still haven't finished this book, though I did read a couple of stories. I'll have to give it a try another time again...
May 24, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Second reading, with renewed and profound rapture: DEC 2016.
Nov 03, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Great compilation of stories from HP Lovecraft, including all time classic "The Call of Cthulhu".
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: Black Seas of Infinity 8 23 Oct 21, 2012 04:15AM  
  • Historical Lovecraft
  • The Book of Cthulhu
  • The End of the Story
  • Résumé with Monsters
  • The Hastur Cycle
  • Haggopian and Other Stories
  • The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales
  • The Yellow Sign & Other Stories
  • Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane
  • The War of the Worlds : Mars' Invasion of Earth, Inciting Panic and Inspiring Terror from H.G. Wells to Orson Welles and Beyond with audio cd
  • Cthulhu: The Mythos and Kindred Horrors
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror
  • Lovecraft Unbound
  • New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror
  • On Her Majesty's Occult Service (Laundry Files, #1-2)
  • Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
  • H.P. Lovecraft: A Life
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a
More about H.P. Lovecraft...

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