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Black Wings: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

(Black Wings #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 ratings  ·  109 reviews
From the depths of R'lyeh come twenty-one brand-new, utterly terrifying, and thoroughly entertaining short stories of horror and the macabre! 

Taking their inspiration from works by Lovecraft himself, prominent writers such as Caitlin R. Kiernan, Brian Stableford, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Shea, Darrell Schweitzer, Donald R. Burleson, and David J. Schow delve deep into the p
Hardcover, 427 pages
Published July 2nd 2010 by PS Publishing (first published May 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  1,127 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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mark monday
a mixed bag: a lot that interested and a lot that annoyed. not a keeper overall, but certainly a few gems in the collection.

 photo cthulhu medeival 1_zpsrflofgnh.png

4 stars

"Violence, Child of Trust" by Michael Cisco
"The Correspondence of Cameron Thaddeus Nash" by Ramsey Campbell
"Lesser Demons" by Norman Partridge
"Tempting Providence" by Jonathan Thomas

In "Violence, Child of Trust,"Cisco ingeniously and horribly reimagines Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury as a squirmy tale of a family of very different brothers, the kidnapped women
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos , S.T. Joshi accomplishes two primary things. First off, he gives us probably the best summation of H.P. Lovecraft and his "successors" (some more literal than others...I think pun intended) that has ever been put to pages and secondly, he manages to convey his great dissatisfaction with the majority of anything ever referred to as Lovecraftian. For those without much time to read but a desire to take in something a bit "bile-ridden", look up the cha ...more
Tim Pendry
My heart generally sinks when I pick up a genre anthology - I usually end up severely disappointed and not a little resentful at the pot-boilers I have had to wade through - but this is a wonderful exception.

Not that it is perfect. Lovecraftian stories do not easily translate to the American South West and California and it is usually, though not always, a mistake to set such stories in deserts and sunshine.

We can also do without literary experimentation in a genre where the forms are well set,
Will N Van
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lovecraftian
Unless every selection is absolutely abysmal (not in the dreadful Lovecraftian sense of the word), I'm generally lenient with fiction compilations. The editor knows that I have a penchant for the subject matter, and if I'm not moved by a particular story or feel that it was poorly written, I can at least say "they published this garbage, so why can't I be published?" I found only two or three of the twenty-one offerings in S.T. Joshi's "Black Wings of Cthulhu" that fell into this category, the r ...more
John Goodrich
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. A Lovecraftian anthology that stands among the best in the field. This belongs with Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos and New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos as one of the greatest collections of stories in tribute to Lovecraft.
Not an outstanding Anthology, but a very good start in this series of six volumes and counting!

Usually I`m not into Caitlin R. Kieran work, but this time she nails it big time with "Pickman’s Other Model". This is an interesting & attractive story. Our central character is mesmerized by a old actress now, a movie starlet in her 20`s, and her unexplainable (horror/ cultist) short films. This has some erotic content to it, but it`s more intriguing, strange and scary, than anything else.

Nancy Oakes
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird, lovecraftian
I've rounded my rating to 4 on this one from about 3.8; while pretty well written, some of the stories just didn't do it for me. I have a longer review here; feel free to bounce over and take a look.

In Joshi's anthology, Black Wings of Cthulhu, although the stories are not all limited to the dreaming god himself, he does make an appearance or two. For the most part, the cosmic horror Lovecraft was able to convey so well is maintained, as is his focus on the utter helplessness of human beings in
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: H.P. Lovecraft fans, fans of weird fiction

30/8 - 200 pages in and I've read about 8 of the stories. So far while none of them have truly horrified me (in fact last night, after reading 4 or 5 of the stories I dreamed about a dessert buffet table where I searched for and found scones with jam and cream), they were differently weird and a bit spooky. The monsters (where applicable) were well described, I could imagine them without difficulty despite the fact that most of them were not humanoid. So far my favourite has b
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's true that I don't much care for story collections, although I do have a softer spot in my heart for the related story compilation format; and I just had a chance to read two better-than-average ones, actually, Mark Brand's Thank You, Death Robot and S.T. Joshi's Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian
Jeannie Sloan
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is just a quick opinion on this magnificent book.Joshi really outdid himself with this one.It was worth the $60 I payed for it.The stories are wonderful and don't fall into that trap of using too many thoughts and words from the Mythos of Lovecraft.There is a little similarity in the stories in that they are all interesting and well thought out.I will write more later but for now if you can afford this book-it's $43 at -then buy it!
Oct 11, 2010 is currently reading it
Shelves: horror, anthology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I admit I didn't read all those stories (which is typical of my anthology reading habits), but those I did read were pretty good stories in the key of Lovecraft. I was surprised and pleased by how many of them were set in the American Southwest, which, despite the sunshine, can be eldritch places indeed.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Some of the stories captured the Lovecraftian feel of cosmic horror and dread. However, most of them felt like homages to Lovecraft rather than his style or genre.

Overall, a decent compilation of short stories by authors who are more in love with Lovecraft than his craft.
Tim Knight
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Looking forward to the second one. Must read more of W.Pugmire's works.
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Great stories, must of them. Faithful to the lovecraftian storytelling or Mythos. Nice reading if you are a Lovecraft fan but wish for a more modern twist. Avoid if you are a lovecraftian-purist.
Daniel Wesolowski
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Couple of clunkers, but a few really good stories, some of the best tribute fiction I have read.
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: lovecraftian
I had been seeing this anthology in bookstores for some time, and finally decided to pick it up. I love a good Lovecraftian anthology and looked forward to reading this. As with any anthology, there are good stories, as well as ones that are less so. I'll talk about a few of the stories below.

Pickman's Other Model (1929) by Caitlin R. Kiernan is easily one of the better stories in this anthology, if not the best. Well written, Kiernan captures a lot of the Lovecraftian theme alongside the very s
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pickman's Other Model - Caitlín R. Kiernan – 5* – Just awesome, the atmosphere here is so thick you can slice it with a knife, I could literally feel and see the era. Not to mention that the story itself is pretty intriguing, the history of some obscure films and one mysterious actress alone made this a unique experience through and through and the images Kiernan creates are very vivid.

Desert Dreams - Donald R. Burleson – 3,5* – Rather typical lovecraftian tale which was not badly written but br
Jordan Anderson
The dates that show when I read this are misleading. It actually took me months to finish this anthology. As it seems to be with the last few books I've read, this one sat around on my shelf for a long time while I went on to read bigger and better novels and collections.

Yes, this Lovecraft inspired anthology is perhaps one of (if not THE) weakest ones I've had the misfortune of having to read. S.T. Joshi is like the John Joseph Adams of Cthulhu collections; he values style over substance and l
Brian Sammons
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
My full review of this pretty darn good collection of Cthulhu Mythos stories can be found here:
Dylan Rock
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine first volume in this Lovecraftian anthology series, the stories are of excellent quality with a few misses
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
****Pickman's Other Model by Caitlin R. Kiernan: This answers a few questions I didn't even know I had, regarding the ghoul changelings from Pickman's Model who were left with human families. Nicely done.

***Desert Dreams by Donald R. Burleson: Interesting premise (I especially liked that part where the protagonist discovered unexpected beauty where he was anticipating a total nightmare), but in the end it was just too vague to really hit home.

***Engravings by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.: Once again, i
Mitchell Woods
Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Three stars is my way of giving this book two ratings. Some of the stories would earn four stars from me on their own. Most of them hardly deserve two.
To me, Lovecraftian horror is a creeping gloom that numbs the mind rather than exciting the flesh. It's the compassionless abyss of an uncharted universe. It's the sea of formless abominations seen swimming in your vitreous humor just before waking on a dark morning. It's the invisible machines which orchestrate every thought and deed, yet which
Jeff Raymond
As a fan of all things Lovecrafty, a new anthology of Mythos short fiction curated by ST Joshi, the leading Lovecraftian scholar was very exciting.

As someone who doesn't really love short fiction, and has found a lot of the mythos short story collections wanting, I was a little ambivalent about trying yet another one.

The good news, overall, is that Black Wings of Cthulhu is good. It's not superlative by any means, but it's not a disaster like many of the other compilations I've read. It's good,
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is actually more of a 3.5 stars. I had not read Lovecraft before piling into this book, but as I have started to go through some of his better known stories since beginning the volume, it has grown on me even more. The stories are relatively diverse and take up the "Lovecraftian" themes loosely, so you have a few stories that are period pieces, some with aliens, some with Cthulhu-like creatures, and a lot of dread and madness. The stories in general focus heavily in the "painting the p ...more
Ian Robinson
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent collection of contemporary Lovecraftian horror. Part of the charm of Lovecraft was the period setting - the horror of his time was less about blood n guts than about spiritual and psychological terror; the regular, often somewhat academic, gentleman encountering something bizarre or inexplicable that led him to have a glimpse of the true nature of the universe and the horror of humanity's minuscule part in it. In this collection, the setting is modern day. people range from the acad ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Usually a collection of short stories such as this will get 3 stars, no matter how much I like it. Naturally no matter how good a collection of stories is, there will be differences in quality between the stories and indeed, different ones will click more or less with different readers. This book was really, really excellent. All the stories were wonderfully Lovecraftian in different ways (but mercifully, as Joshi the editor mentions in his introduction, don't try to mimic his style) and the tal ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the best Lovecraft-themed anthologies I have seen: the stories are smart and varied and tend toward actual cosmic chills rather than just throwing out references to Cthulhu and R'lyeh. Some actually use Lovecraft, or shades thereof, as a character; "Passing Spirits," by Sam Gafford, did an especially good job of this, though it was more funny (and ultimately touching) than macabre. Michael Shea's "Copping Squid," though, was genuinely frightening, as was Michael Cisco's "Violence, Child o ...more
A pretty great anthology of stories related to Lovecraft by them but not derivative of his works.

I was a little leery having just read Searchers After Horror, also edited by S.T. Joshi, which I only enjoyed about half of. Plus, I'm not too big a fan of Joshi as it is.

But the stories were great and I enjoyed it very much. I bought the second volume right away and only lack of funds had kept me from buying the third yet.

When I have a little more time I will do a more in-depth review story by
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Surprisingly low. I had first read the second part of this anthology and weirdly enough, it was slightly better than this one. Even for as huge Lovecraft admirer as me, these 3-4 stories I kind of liked were not enough to make up for the rest - and the rest was just awkward if not plain crappy. Though disappointed, I intend to check the third part of Black Wings - in hope it is, on the contrary to this one, not going to make me want to skip the whole stories (which is extremely rare thing to do ...more
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BLACK WINGS 1 15 Apr 14, 2010 02:12PM  

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Sunand Tryambak Joshi (b. 22 June 1958 in Pune, India) 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 ...more

Other books in the series

Black Wings (6 books)
  • Black Wings of Cthulhu 2: Eighteen 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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