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Black Wings III: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

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This third installment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series contains seventeen stories by some of the foremost writers in contemporary weird fiction, using the ideas, imagery, and atmosphere of H. P. Lovecraft’s tales as springboards. Jonathan Thomas opens the book with a chilling tale of biological horror set in Lovecraft’s native Providence, Rhode Isl This third installment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series contains seventeen stories by some of the foremost writers in contemporary weird fiction, using the ideas, imagery, and atmosphere of H. P. Lovecraft’s tales as springboards. Jonathan Thomas opens the book with a chilling tale of biological horror set in Lovecraft’s native Providence, Rhode Island. Caitlín R. Kiernan melds brooding melancholy with Lovecraftian cosmicism in her tale, while Simon Strantzas weaves an ingenious variant on Lovecraft’s concept of the ghoul. Darrell Schweitzer and Donald Tyson probe the notion of alternate worlds in their tales. This volume takes the reader on imaginative journeys around the world. Don Webb finds Lovecraftian horror in the wilds of Texas; Peter Cannon’s characters encounter the denizens of Innsmouth on a trip to China; Mollie L. Burleson enlivens the American Southwest with terrors out of history. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., revivifies Lovecraft’s ancient New England seaport of Kingsport, Massachusetts, while in their collaborative tale W. H. Pugmire and Jessica Amanda Salmonson do the same with Lovecraft’s iconic Arkham. The volume concludes with a searching rumination on Lovecraft’s early tale “From Beyond” by Brian Stableford. Black Wings III demonstrates how H. P. Lovecraft’s work continues to inspire some of the best in contemporary weird writing.


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This third installment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series contains seventeen stories by some of the foremost writers in contemporary weird fiction, using the ideas, imagery, and atmosphere of H. P. Lovecraft’s tales as springboards. Jonathan Thomas opens the book with a chilling tale of biological horror set in Lovecraft’s native Providence, Rhode Isl This third installment of S. T. Joshi’s critically acclaimed Black Wings series contains seventeen stories by some of the foremost writers in contemporary weird fiction, using the ideas, imagery, and atmosphere of H. P. Lovecraft’s tales as springboards. Jonathan Thomas opens the book with a chilling tale of biological horror set in Lovecraft’s native Providence, Rhode Island. Caitlín R. Kiernan melds brooding melancholy with Lovecraftian cosmicism in her tale, while Simon Strantzas weaves an ingenious variant on Lovecraft’s concept of the ghoul. Darrell Schweitzer and Donald Tyson probe the notion of alternate worlds in their tales. This volume takes the reader on imaginative journeys around the world. Don Webb finds Lovecraftian horror in the wilds of Texas; Peter Cannon’s characters encounter the denizens of Innsmouth on a trip to China; Mollie L. Burleson enlivens the American Southwest with terrors out of history. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., revivifies Lovecraft’s ancient New England seaport of Kingsport, Massachusetts, while in their collaborative tale W. H. Pugmire and Jessica Amanda Salmonson do the same with Lovecraft’s iconic Arkham. The volume concludes with a searching rumination on Lovecraft’s early tale “From Beyond” by Brian Stableford. Black Wings III demonstrates how H. P. Lovecraft’s work continues to inspire some of the best in contemporary weird writing.

30 review for Black Wings III: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bogdan

    Easy, but fun to read: Dimply Dolly Doofy - Donald R. Burleson (about a special baby) Spiderwebs in the Dark - Darrell Schweitzer (multiple realities) Hotel del Lago - Mollie L. Burleson ( a ghostly town in the middle of the desert) And the better ones: The Hag Stone - Richard Gavin ( a stone has the power to take you in another dimension) Waller - Donald Tyson (maybe the ending wasn`t as expected, but the ideea was great) The Man with the Horn - Jason V. Brock ( the person next door could be an unusu Easy, but fun to read: Dimply Dolly Doofy - Donald R. Burleson (about a special baby) Spiderwebs in the Dark - Darrell Schweitzer (multiple realities) Hotel del Lago - Mollie L. Burleson ( a ghostly town in the middle of the desert) And the better ones: The Hag Stone - Richard Gavin ( a stone has the power to take you in another dimension) Waller - Donald Tyson (maybe the ending wasn`t as expected, but the ideea was great) The Man with the Horn - Jason V. Brock ( the person next door could be an unusual neighbour) Down Black Staircases - Joseph S. Pulver, Sr (the style was hard to follow, but you have to love the ideea and the story) The Turn of the Tide - Mark Howard Jones ( there are strange things afoot) Weltschmerz - Sam Gafford, nicely written and intense in the same time. Thistle’s Find - Simon Strantzas (yep, again a machine that can send you to another dimension has a big role here) Further Beyond - Brian Stableford (and another mysterious concoction could bring to you another dimensions, but still, a good take on the ideea) Overall, I liked 8 stories and 3 were ok. The other 5 of them were (by the way of the story of the writing) in the "not Interested" zone. Not bad, but I felt that the first volume was better. The overall impression could be somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Toolshed

    So, this was another fun read. First off, I thought this was going to be the weakest installment but reading the second half I found out that the quality was strangely balanced. These are a couple of stories which didn't do much for me (but still managed to attain a certain level of quality in my eyes): Houdini Fish - Jonathan Thomas Dimply Dolly Doofy - Donald R. Burleson (pleasantly disturbing, but does not offer much other than that) Spiderwebs in the Dark - Darrell Schweitzer Waller - Donald Tyso So, this was another fun read. First off, I thought this was going to be the weakest installment but reading the second half I found out that the quality was strangely balanced. These are a couple of stories which didn't do much for me (but still managed to attain a certain level of quality in my eyes): Houdini Fish - Jonathan Thomas Dimply Dolly Doofy - Donald R. Burleson (pleasantly disturbing, but does not offer much other than that) Spiderwebs in the Dark - Darrell Schweitzer Waller - Donald Tyson (though I kinda appreciate the original premise and some good ideas) Thistle’s Find - Simon Strantzas Further Beyond - Brian Stableford (the second story in this anthology written as a reply to HPL's "From Beyond", I guess I don't care much for the original story either; I really liked Stableford's Pickman story in the first installment as well as his novel "The Empire of Fear", but this one felt too much like a straight pastiche in the vein of August Derleth which brought very little new to the table) Hotel del Lago - Mollie L. Burleson (I loved her story in the first Black Wings, especially for its minimalistic and straightforward approach, but this one felt somehow lacking) These are the better (or best) ones in the anthology: The Hag Stone - Richard Gavin (Richard's story was a pinnacle of the second installment and this one was pretty good as well; I like how he uses relationships as a means for the supernatural element to surface) Underneath an Arkham Moon - Jessica Amanda Salmonson & W. H. Pugmire (loved this one, the twisted imagery, the language, the strange poetic quality embedded in the story - these are the stories I like) One Tree Hill (The World as Catalysm) - Caitlín R. Kiernan (Well, it's CRK, not much else needs to be said, I love her - though Pickman's Other Model still remains her best from this series of anthologies) The Man with the Horn - Jason V. Brock (props for engaging in a dialog with TED Klein on this one, it was pretty amazing, especially the hallucinatory passages) The Megalith Plague - Don Webb (Don Webb is probably the biggest find from all these authors, I loved both of his stories in this series immensely - this had a real Wicker Man feel to it, I enjoyed the gradation and especially the apocalyptic ending, love those if they are done right) Down Black Staircases - Joseph S. Pulver, Sr (I was OVERMOON while reading this story of Joe's /a bit of an internal Lovecraft eZine Podcast joke/ - he has taken the experimental approach and did a brilliant job with it, I liked how the story flowed, slowly unraveling, even though it was hard to follow at times, but that's just what makes me tick) China Holiday - Peter Cannon (this would be a pretty unimaginative story if it wasn't for the ending which made up perfectly for the kinda slow-paced description of the holiday which really takes up most of the story - the toilet scene is strangely haunting, and it's the minimalism that does the trick) Necrotic Cove - Lois Gresh (HANDS DOWN THE BEST STORY IN THE BOOK - I was immediately drawn to this strange landscape that the author has created, and was deeply moved by the story of these two... creatures; and the style, oh man: the writing is first-class in this one) The Turn of the Tide - Mark Howard Jones (I was captivated by the strange relationship between the three main characters, and intrigued by the (post?)-apocalyptic feel of the whole thing) Weltschmerz - Sam Gafford (judging from this and his other story in this series, Gafford must be a blast at parties lol, but the yarn he spins immediatelly caught my attention and managed to do so right until the end)

  3. 4 out of 5

    7thTrooper

    Novellsamlingar är alltid lite speciella. Det är toppar och dalar på ett sätt som inte riktigt finns när man läser romaner. I synnerhet antologier med flera författare lider av detta syndrom. Så det är imponerande att S.T. Joshi har lyckats igen för tredje gången, förmodligen bättre än i de två tidigare delarna. Genomsnittet på alla novellerna är bra och det finns egentligen bara en enda riktig dal, kanske två. Brian Stableford är tillbaka och återigen orkade jag inte ta mig igenom hans novell. Novellsamlingar är alltid lite speciella. Det är toppar och dalar på ett sätt som inte riktigt finns när man läser romaner. I synnerhet antologier med flera författare lider av detta syndrom. Så det är imponerande att S.T. Joshi har lyckats igen för tredje gången, förmodligen bättre än i de två tidigare delarna. Genomsnittet på alla novellerna är bra och det finns egentligen bara en enda riktig dal, kanske två. Brian Stableford är tillbaka och återigen orkade jag inte ta mig igenom hans novell. Jag har bara läst hans Lovecraftiana så det är fullt möjligt att hans andra böcker är bättre. Men i det här sammanhanget så funkade han inte. Simon Strantzas "Thistle´s Find" funkar inte heller så bra. Men det finns skyhöga toppar, just som innan. Darrel Schweitzers "Spiderwebs in the Dark" är en nästan mysrysig historia med bra språk och intressant premiss. Liksom i de två tidigare delarna är hans bidrag en av de absolut bästa. Kiernan och nykomlingen Louis H. Gresh har också starka bidrag med mycket stämning och fint språk. Den sistnämnda jämför himmlen med "the color of a dead baby" och om inte det är en lovande öppning så vet jag inte vad som är. Men den som lyser allra starkast är Joseph Pulvers "Down Black Staircases" som är en briljant blandning av Lovecraft och William S. Burroughs. Överlag så fortsätter serien starkt.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Félix

    Sure, Gavin's, Kiernan's and Strantzas' are stories that could have appeared in BWI or II, also, the first and las stories are clever variations on Lovecraft's own From Beyond. The rest falls too often on a kind of generic weird-cosmic-horror not so different (not different at all, in fact) to the one you could find in any Lovecraft/Mythos anthology (and there's a lot of them). We have come a long way fron the groundbreaking first volume and I'm sorry to say that, for a series that started with s Sure, Gavin's, Kiernan's and Strantzas' are stories that could have appeared in BWI or II, also, the first and las stories are clever variations on Lovecraft's own From Beyond. The rest falls too often on a kind of generic weird-cosmic-horror not so different (not different at all, in fact) to the one you could find in any Lovecraft/Mythos anthology (and there's a lot of them). We have come a long way fron the groundbreaking first volume and I'm sorry to say that, for a series that started with such strong statement against pastiche, BW is becoming fast its own pastiche.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Trace Reddell

    A decent entry into the "Black Wings" series, but compared to the first two volumes, this collection was marred by more stories that just didn't feel complete. Tyson's "Waller" is a good case in point. I really loved the premise, was engaged by the storytelling, but the whole thing just stopped with neither adequate completion nor enough compelling mystery to provoke more thought. Mollie Burleson's "Hotel del Lago" feels more like a sketch -- again enticing but just not complete as a narrative. A decent entry into the "Black Wings" series, but compared to the first two volumes, this collection was marred by more stories that just didn't feel complete. Tyson's "Waller" is a good case in point. I really loved the premise, was engaged by the storytelling, but the whole thing just stopped with neither adequate completion nor enough compelling mystery to provoke more thought. Mollie Burleson's "Hotel del Lago" feels more like a sketch -- again enticing but just not complete as a narrative. While several of the stories involved more sex than earlier volumes, a couple of the stories pushed the limits of gratuitous sex/violence even beyond the misogynistic to the inappropriate. Gafford's "Weltshmerz" took a disturbing-enough turn toward (view spoiler)[serial killer porn as it reduced an otherwise compelling female character to a victim (hide spoiler)] . Strantza's story, "Thistle's Find," centered around (view spoiler)[an abduction-torture-rape scenario (even if what looked like a naked girl of 15 was in fact a ghoul from another dimension, the guys get off because the breasts are "tiny" and the "mons" bare and "labia" swollen) that repeatedly described male arousal (hide spoiler)] . Spoilers be damned, there is no excuse for this kind of fantasy of male on minor-aged female sexual abuse (kidnap, torture, rape), and it has no place in this or any other anthology. Don Webb's "The Megalith Plague" was one of the main highlights of the collection, as was Pulver's "Down Black Staircases," and I thoroughly enjoyed Brian Stableford's "Further Beyond," which wrapped up the volume on a high note.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Israha

    O něco lepší, než "dvojka". Vyřadit Hotel Del Lago (krátká a bezobsažná zbytečnost) a Čínskou dovolenou (brak na úrovni začátečnické fanfikce) a zbude velmi silná povídková sbírka, která ne vždy spolehlivě vyděsí, ale v mnoha momentech dokáže napnout, znechutit, zaujmout a strhnout. Někoho možná ne úplně potěší fakt, že některé povídky (Zdivnor, Kopec Jeden strom, Pavučiny ve tmě) jsou spíš než lovecraftovský horror horrorem barkerovským, ale osobně nevidím důvod přehnaně hnidopišit - rozhodujíc O něco lepší, než "dvojka". Vyřadit Hotel Del Lago (krátká a bezobsažná zbytečnost) a Čínskou dovolenou (brak na úrovni začátečnické fanfikce) a zbude velmi silná povídková sbírka, která ne vždy spolehlivě vyděsí, ale v mnoha momentech dokáže napnout, znechutit, zaujmout a strhnout. Někoho možná ne úplně potěší fakt, že některé povídky (Zdivnor, Kopec Jeden strom, Pavučiny ve tmě) jsou spíš než lovecraftovský horror horrorem barkerovským, ale osobně nevidím důvod přehnaně hnidopišit - rozhodujícím kritériem je jejich kvalita a čtivost, ne subžánrové zařazení. Highlighty? Černými schodišti pod zem (!!!, jeden z nejlepších kusů napříč všemi třemi díly antologie), Weltschmerz, Muž s rohem, Houdinky, Děravý kámen. A také Pod arkhamským měsícem, díky své neodolatelné bizarnosti.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josh Towzey

    Favorites: The Hag Stone Further Beyond One Tree Hill (The World As Cataclysm)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Raul Gil Marquez

    The worst so far, nothing impressive just the last tales are “something interesting”, the rest are really bad

  9. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    This anthology of new weird tales inspired by Lovecraft was much better than the one I read earlier this month. The book opens and closes with short stories inspired by Lovecraft's From Beyond; I thought the closing piece was the stronger one. There are a few stories here that I didn't quite care for, but overall there are some quality pieces that make this a must read for any Lovecraft fan. This anthology of new weird tales inspired by Lovecraft was much better than the one I read earlier this month. The book opens and closes with short stories inspired by Lovecraft's From Beyond; I thought the closing piece was the stronger one. There are a few stories here that I didn't quite care for, but overall there are some quality pieces that make this a must read for any Lovecraft fan.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John R. Dailey Jr.

    THE OLD ONES ARE AT IT AGAIN IT IS... Hello, great stories in this one. Most deserve a full length book. You've got to watch them "OLD ONES", they are always up to something. Thanks. THE OLD ONES ARE AT IT AGAIN IT IS... Hello, great stories in this one. Most deserve a full length book. You've got to watch them "OLD ONES", they are always up to something. Thanks.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Buffy

    I'm not really a huge fan of Lovecraft but I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this book. There were some really chilling stories in it. It's a good book to read when Halloween is coming up. I'm not really a huge fan of Lovecraft but I was surprised to find that I enjoyed this book. There were some really chilling stories in it. It's a good book to read when Halloween is coming up.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Marshall

    An excellent Mythos anthology! http://opionator.wordpress.com/2014/0... An excellent Mythos anthology! http://opionator.wordpress.com/2014/0...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emma Slaughter

    Perhaps it's a testament to how desensitised human beings are becoming, but I didn't find these stories scary or unsettling in the slightest. That said, they are very good stories. Perhaps it's a testament to how desensitised human beings are becoming, but I didn't find these stories scary or unsettling in the slightest. That said, they are very good stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Lambert

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ran

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hamilton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Brock

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rita L. Woods

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Wren

  21. 5 out of 5

    Todd M

  22. 5 out of 5

    deez nuts

  23. 4 out of 5

    Greg Pycroft

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  25. 4 out of 5

    BLEKket

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eric West

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dillon jeffries

  28. 5 out of 5

    Konstantinos

  29. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Koen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Sherrock

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