Black Wings of Cthulhu 5: Twenty New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror

Edited by S.T. Joshi. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-78565-691-0
The 20 short stories in Lovecraft scholar Joshi’s fifth Black Wings anthology include some imaginative variations on familiar themes of mind-bending encounters with cosmic horrors. Nicole Cushing’s “Diary of a Sane Man” is especially effective at transforming a comfortable, mundane setting—a well-to-do suburban neighborhood—into a nightmare realm as an academic goes for his nightly walk during a snowstorm. In Sam Gafford’s “Casting Fractals,” a journalist’s study of a dead colleague’s notes, which at first appear to be mere ravings, allows him to glimpse the hidden force behind the major tragic events of the mid-20th century, from political assassinations to earthquakes and other natural disasters. And Stoker Award–winner Caitlín R. Kiernan demonstrates the effectiveness of incremental, subtle suggestion in “Far from Any Shore,” about the terrifying aftermath of the unearthing of an artifact. Though there are some clunky attempts at mimicking Lovecraft’s sometimes baroque prose (“Stepping out of my hateful vehicle I spoke the remembered formula, pushing spectral language into the hungry wind”), most entries are high quality. Fans of Lovecraft pastiches will be satisfied. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 01/01/2018
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-0-85768-784-5
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-78329-573-9
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