Radical Mycology by Peter McCoy

Radical Mycology Book

Best audience for Radical Mycology: Folks who are serious about mycology: Moderate beginners who aren’t afraid of a lot of information all at once to Pros after a more broad perspective or ideas for new dimensions of study, experience, and exploration. Note: This is not a mushroom ID book.

Candace said: This is truly a thorough study of mycology that goes beyond mushrooms as we most often think of them. McCoy goes into scientific, spiritual, and ecological depth in describing the roles fungi have played on our planet since the very beginning. He describes the science of fungal growth with clarity that a novice like myself could understand despite the complexity of the terminology and chemical interactions that comprise that growth. His how-tos range from easy, cheap, DIY projects a beginner might try to solid suggestions for professionals and serious mycologists with or without home, lab, or mycological business experience. I loved that Radical Mycology includes both the science and historical context for understanding fungi.

Whether you’re interested in growing mushrooms for medicine or food, making various mycelium medicines or preparations, mapping your understanding of the mycological world view to a cultural or historical  context, or just seeking new ways to incorporate the study of spores, molds, and fungus into your life, Radical Mycology offers an engaging read on your chosen subject.

I particularly loved that McCoy included a reasonable primer on topics like Biodynamic farming, Alchemy, and the Doctrine of Signatures to give the reader a basic grounding in a diverse set of systems of thoughts before tackling how mycology relates to or functions within those systems. He truly offers a wide variety of ways of interacting with and thinking about the world of the fungi. For me, this was a text book, DIY, and philosophy all rolled into one. Good on ya, mate!

Sue said: Peter McCoy has written a textbook on mycology. He thoroughly and articulately describes the world of fungi from evolution to cultural use to biological cycle to cultivation and beyond.

For many mushroom lovers, their enjoyment of our fungal friends stops at the kitchen counter. Some many extend their interest to mushroom hunting. Those of us with a scientific glint in our eyes want more and McCoy provides more. Much more.

The common barrier to learning more about the fungal kingdom is the language used to describe even basic processes like making mushroom extract. Even as a professional herbalist working in a lab, I had to dredge through instructional manuals which seemed to be written by androids. How I wish I had McCoy’s book then. My life would have been so much easier.

McCoy self published his book which gave him more autonomy in writing. A publishing company would have asked him to turn his book into several books to increase their profit margin. McCoy masterfully wedges his romance with mycology and his 15 years of experience of hands on experimentation into one hefty tome. It’s destined to become a classic.


The bottom line: We give Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing and Working with Fungi by Peter McCoy 2 thumbs up.

Order it straight from the author: Radical Mycology