The Black Wings of Cthulhu Vol 1 (Cthulhu Anthology #7) ★★★☆☆

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Title: The Black Wings of Cthulhu Vol 1
Series: Cthulhu Anthology #7
Editor: S.T. Joshi
Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 385
Words: 141K



S. T. Joshi

Pickman’s Other Model (1929)

Caitlín R. Kiernan

Desert Dreams

Donald R. Burleson


Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Copping Squid

Michael Shea

Passing Spirits

Sam Gafford

The Broadsword

Laird Barron


William Browning Spencer

Denker’s Book

David J. Schow

Inhabitants of Wraithwood

W. H. Pugmire

The Dome

Mollie L. Burleson


Nicholas Royle

Tempting Providence
Jonathan Thomas

Howling in the Dark

Darrell Schweitzer

The Truth about Pickman

Brian Stableford


Philip Haldeman

The Correspondence of Cameron Thaddeus Nash

Annotated by Ramsey Campbell

Violence, Child of Trust

Michael Cisco

Lesser Demons

Norman Partridge

An Eldritch Matter

Adam Niswander


Michael Marshall Smith


Jason Van Hollander

There was a distinct lack of Cthulhu in this collection. A VERY distinct lack. It would have been better to call this a collection of stories about authors navel gazing as cockroaches ate their belly buttons. At least I would have been prepared for the completely self-absorbed narcissists who wrote these stories. They weren’t all necessarily bad, but without a direct tie to Cthulhu or some of his equally evil and cosmic brethren, they just came across as authors spouting nonsense about nonsense. I confirmed that Joseph Pulver Sr is a blithering idiot and has the skill of an epileptic caught in the throws of a fentanyl withdrawal while falling off of Nakatomi Towers.

I still gave this 3stars because of the ones that did tie directly into the Mythos. And I really enjoyed them. But 3 or 4 stories out of a collection of 21 is not a very good track record. Joshi (the editor of this collection) and I have a very mixed track record. Sometimes I really enjoy what he’s put together and other times I think he’s on drugs and his selections are crap. He is definitely one of those people who think Lovecraft’s mythology deserves “special attention” instead of just playing in the sandbox.

I just looked on Devilreads and there are FIVE more collections of this series. That’s rubbish. I am “almost” tempted to sample them to see if they too are Cthulhu’less, but I’ve got 6 other anthologies to investigate first. Maybe when I run out and am desperate for a Cthulhu fix (as I take a swan dive off of Nakatomi Tower, hehehehe).


26 thoughts on “The Black Wings of Cthulhu Vol 1 (Cthulhu Anthology #7) ★★★☆☆

  1. Man, even if there were 3 or 4 stories you enjoyed I don’t see how that savage a takedown gets you to 3 stars. I mean, you just dropped this book off of the Nakatomi Tower.

    Someday I might take up one of these, but that day is still quite a ways in the future. But at least I’ll know where to go to find out where I should start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because enjoyment can cover a multitude of mediocrity. Plus, I just like cosmic horror 😀

      No worries, there are plenty more Cthulhu anthologies for me to read and for you to think about! No need to rush into something that you’re not ready for. Save it for that special book 😉


  2. Looks like Joshi should have stuck too Mario instead of breaking into HP sauce. Did you ever read all the originals? I cannot remember if we ever had a conversation on that topic.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve always been of the opinion that Lovecraft was wonderful as an ideas man, but his actual writing left a lot to be desired. For me, it was very dry and slow with barely anything happening to keep the pace up. A few were the exception to my little rule shadow of Innsmouth was very good, as were a few others that I can’t quite recall. But on the whole, I’m in the ‘loved his ideas, but wish the writing was more dynamic’ camp.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m curious which three or four stories you liked. This series has a lot of stories with Lovecraft as a character or stories that are merely Lovecraftian but not of the Mythos. So, you’re probably going to be disappointed with much in them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d have to go through and re-read it to remember. Overall, I didn’t care enough to take note, as I don’t ever plan on re-reading this or the direct sequels. There’s enough other Cthulhu material that will suit my taste better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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