Ed. by Simon Strantzas
Robert Aickman, refined British master of the “strange story,” would have celebrated his centenary in 2014, an occasion that has seen a renewed interest in his writing. This collection offers up further evidence of his impact, in the words of editor Simon Strantzas drawing together “a sampler of how Robert Aickman’s work has become a significant source of inspiration for contemporary writers.”
The strange story (or, to use its more common contemporary designation, “weird fiction”) is, by definition, a hard genre to pin down. Supernatural happenings are of course essential, and also a misty open-endedness: these are dark fantasies thick with ambiguity and the unknowable.
The authors here do a good job capturing this flavour of Aickman’s writing in a series of gripping, uncanny tales informed by a general mistrust of other people (especially the normal-seeming ones) and the creepy feeling that things really aren’t going to work out well in the end.