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Black Wings of Cthulhu 2: Eighteen Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

(Black Wings #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  398 ratings  ·  39 reviews
This second instalment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series contains eighteen stories by leading contemporary writers, all drawing upon themes, images, and ideas from the life and work of H. P. Lovecraft. Caitlín R. Kiernan has written a poetic reinterpretation of “The Hound,” while Nicholas Royle plays a fascinating riff on the existential horror of “T ...more
Paperback, 391 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Titan Books (first published February 19th 2011)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Aaron Meyer
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, first-reads
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway to read and review. When I seen this collection was being edited by S.T. Joshi I was rather excited and had really high hopes for the quality of tales to be read, what I got was rather middle of the road. I felt that he would of been better able to piece together a solid book of stories than he did. With that being said, it is true every story can't be perfect, especially with such a diverse bunch of writers, and there are some really solid stories ...more
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I could only give it three stars. Too many weak stories to offset the good and mediocre. It becomes difficult for authors once confined to a sub-genre to really excel. There are just too many Cthulhu books out now, it's almost like zombie fare, there just cannot be that many good stories in a sub-genre like this. I'll stick to Laird barron and Caitlin Kiernan. My favorite was actually the Jason Brock story. ...more
David Marshall
There are some outstanding stories here but the overall standard is slightly uneven.
Trace Reddell
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This fine collection of stories covers a good range of Lovecraftian themes, from the horrors of the cosmos to those of the backwoods. As might be expected, a good deal of intertextual references and metanarrative commentary play out, none better than Rick Dakan's "Correlated Discontents." The creepiest stories are Steve Rasnic Tem's "Waiting at the Crossroads Motel," Donald Tyson's "The Skinless Face," and John Langan's "Bloom." The best stories in the collection, with their mix of weird humor, ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
Druhá antologie lovecraftovských povídek, stejně jako ta první, není žádný zázrak. Ne, že by tam nebyly dobré povídky, ale je jich zatraceně málo.
Líbil se mi třeba Odvrženec, Mrtvá média, nebo Rozkvět a ještě možná jedna či dvě další, jenže těch povídek je tam osmnáct a ty ostatní bohužel za moc nestojí.
Ty tři hvězdičky jsou možná i trochu moc, ale mám Lovecrafta rád a tak jednu přidávám za snahu. Jo, kdyby se z tří dílů Černých křídel udělal jeden a vybraly se do něj ty nejlepší kousky, byla b
Dávid Novotný
As previous collection, this books offers stories inspired by legacy of H.P.Lovecraft. And as in most collections, quality varies. There are some good ones and some forgettable ones. Some of them are using verified motives of old artefacts, ancient ruins and evil gods and they are able to bring up that old school horror atmosphere. Other are more experimental and sometimes you are not sure what is actually happening - same as in some HPL stories.
Ian Casey
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Embryonic Lovecraft geek that I am, it was high time I tried one of the billion or so Cthulhu anthologies on the market and Black Wings of Cthulhu 2 happened to be the first to hand. Here we have eighteen authors with as many stories and as many radically varied interpretations of what it means to be ‘Lovecraftian’. The commonality here is certainly thematic rather than stylistic.

Some take it quite literally by openly discussing the author – to the extent that two stories feature characters chan
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Anthologies are always a mixed bag, and this one is a mix of good stuff and great stuff. Of all of the Lovecraftian collections, these two books would be the ones I would recommend to people wanting to know what the adjective "Lovecraftian" should mean. ...more
Jason Brock
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I read this a bit ago, during the proofing stage. Once again, Joshi proves why he is the master of recognizing the weird in modern literature. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book!
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read!
Jason Williams
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lovely collection of Lovecraftian stories.

Det är en salig blandning även i del två av denna serie. Ibland (som t.ex. "Dahlias", som var bra men obegriplig, av Melanie Tem) undrar jag verkligen varför de finns med i en samling dedikerad till skräck i Lovecrafts anda. Men det är bra ändå, precis som den första volymen. Förmodligen bättre än den, till och med. Topparna är nog inte riktigt lika höga, utom Darrell Schweitzers (även ansvarig för fantastiska "Howling in the Dark" från förra boken) novell “The Clockwork King, the Queen of Glass
Huckle Buck411
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Like the first volume of Lovecraftian short horror stories this second entry in the "Black Wings of Cthulhu" was a mixture, some stories closer to Lovecraft's style and others not so much. All stories covered a take on a dive into madness for the main protagonists. There was one story IMHO, 'The Wilcox Remainder' by Brian Evenson, that I would have added something extra to the ending to make it even more creepy. The story that stayed with me the most was 'The Skinless Face' by Donald Tyson. Thou ...more
Bart Hill
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories are not all based on the style of HP Lovecraft, but more in the tradition of spooky/eerie tales that Lovecraft explored. In other words, it is sometimes said "Lovecraft never met and adjective he didn't like." The writes of these 18 shorts do not try to mimic his writing style, but used Lovecraft's themes to create unique, updated stories based on Lovecraft (the man) , the region (New England), and themes.

I bought this book for $1.00, and got far better stories t
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lovecraftian, horror
Most anthologies are hit and miss. Sadly, I skipped along through this one as a good deal of it just didn't catch my fancy. I'm admittedly a fan of Lovecraft specifically and not horror generally. It's not fair of me to demand Lovecraft knock-offs from authors, but when things stray too far outside the Cthulhu Mythos I start losing interest. I was disappointed at the fact that several stories included in this lacked a Lovecraftian feel, in my opinion, which really undercuts an anthology with "Lo ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
O něco slabší než první díl. Pozitivem je, že opět v podstatě absentují výrazně špatné či nekvalitní momenty, na druhou stranu je zde oproti "jedničce" o dost méně těch opravdu dobrých a vyčnívajících. Většina povídek je spíše na jedno přečtení, zpětně bych měl chuť vrátit se snad k výborným Rozkvětu, Prázdné Tváři a Vyvolenému; jakýmsi způsobem uvízly v hlavě i Konkurz, Mrtvá Média, Jiřiny a Když se smrtí probudím. Zbytek sbírky má ovšem poměrně nízkou "re-read value". ...more
Edric Unsane
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: anthology, horror
A decent collection of short Lovecraftian fictions that, at times, couldn't captivate my interest or imagination. I felt a majority of the stories in this anthology just felt flat, and weren't indicative of the Lovecraftian universe. That being said, I still liked the book, and the stories were edited well, if not curated a bit poorly. Your mileage may vary. ...more
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A collection of really excellent disturbing short stories, some of them directly linked to Lovecraftian tropes and references, but most of them just saturated with the atmosphere, but original. These are all quality stories and not pastiches or 'tribute' stories. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another Lovecraftian anthology I picked up for $1 at a Dollar Tree (sadly, they did not have volume 1) . . . as with most anthologies, it's a little hit-or-miss, but far more hits than misses. There are some really enjoyable and wonderfully creepy stories in this one. I enjoyed it. ...more
Christina Adams
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
There are a few good stories in here definitely interesting and well worth reading, with twists I didn’t see coming, —- but they weren’t many.
Josh Towzey
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it

The Abject
King of Cat Swamp
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A few good stories, a few meh
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Some good stories here.
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
“When Death Wakes Me to Myself” by John Shirley – 2,5*
“View” by Tom Fletcher – 4*
“Houndwife” by Caitlín R. Kiernan – 4,5* - Caitlín does not dissapoint, though I liked her story from the previous volume a spec more.
“King of Cat Swamp” by Jonathan Thomas – 3*
“Dead Media” by Nick Mamatas – 3,5
“The Abject” by Richard Gavin – 5* - Came to me as a big surprise but this was one of the pinnacles of the anthology for me. The bleak atmosphere of the trip and the events that came with it resonated really
Travis Crockett
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I reviewed all of the stories in this video.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De media un poco peor que el volumen uno, tanto por la ausencia de obras maestras del calibre de "Pickman's other model", "Copping squid" o "Lesser demons" (que de todas formas alguna hay, pero menos) como por la presencia de un número nada despreciable de relatos que están porque tiene que haber de todo.

"Houndwife", de Kiernan, y "The abject", de Gavin, son mis favoritos, aunque el cuento de Jason C. Eckhard, "And the sea gave up the dead" me sorprendió muy gratamente. John Shirley y Don Webb j
I’ve not read the first one, but I had to pick this up in the library when I saw it. Its format is lovely, I like the style of the font and illuminated start letters. Plus, this states in the header which story you are on, which not all anthologies do, and that’s very helpful.

The content was the usual mix of stories I quite liked, some I didn’t like, and some I was neutral on – with one exception that I didn’t really know how to feel about. ‘Casting Call’ walks the line of being offensive, bolt
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
At first I wanted to dwell over each and every story of this book, but eventually it is going to be a rather short review. "Black Wings..." are merely acceptable. I'm a deeply devoted Lovecraft fan, I absolutely understand the incredible amount and quality of inspiration his tales have been for numerous writers over the decades, hence my disappointment. Many of the stories included are not "lovecraftian" in any way, some are poorly written, some are just boring and/or awkward. I found only 2 or ...more
The Irregular Reader
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway

Like all compilations, this book was a mix of the good, the mediocre, and the not so great.It's a tough genre, and living and writing in the world of H.P. Lovecraft can be a challenge. Overall, the good stories aren't enough to counter-balance the weaker ones, and the book requires a bit of a feat of strength to finish.

If you are a fan of the genre, or of Lovecraft himself, this book is worth a look over if you can find it at your local library. Other
Karolína Svěcená
Z dvojky mám poněkud rozpačité pocity. Má svá plus: vybrané povídky působí tematicky i kvalitativně uceleněji, jsou poměrně krátké, takže četba příjemně ubíhá, a žádná není vyloženě špatná. Jenže ve výsledku mi kniha přišla nezajímavá. Povídky sice mě bavily, některé se mi vážně líbily, ale žádná ve mně nezanechala výraznější dojem. Horko těžko si teď, nějakou dobu po přečtení, vzpomenu, o čem jaká povídka vlastně byla.
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Sunand Tryambak Joshi is an Indian American literary scholar, and a leading figure in the study of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and other authors. Besides what some critics consider to be the definitive biography of Lovecraft (H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, 1996), Joshi has written about Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken, Lord Dunsany, and M.R. James, and has edited collections of their works.

His literary crit

Other books in the series

Black Wings (6 books)
  • Black Wings: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
  • Black Wings III: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
  • Black Wings IV: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
  • Black Wings V: New Tales Of Lovecraftian Horror
  • Black Wings VI: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

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