Robert Aickman, the supreme master of the supernatural, brings together eight stories in which strange things happen that the reader is unable to predict. His characters are often lonely and middle-aged, but all have the same thing in common: they are brought to the brink of an abyss that shows how terrifyingly fragile our piece of mind actually is. 'The Unsettled Dust', 'The House of the Russians', 'No Stronger Than a Flower', 'The Cicerones' and 'Ravissante' first appeared in the Sub Rosa collection in 1968, but the stories were published together as The Unsettled Dust in 1990.
"Strange Stories Indeed"
First published in the US in 1988 and in the UK in 1990, The Wine-Dark Sea contains eight unsettling stories that explore protagonists' fears and desires, at once illogical and terrifying, and culminate in a disturbing and enigmatic ending. Aickman's "strange stories" (his preferred term for them) are a subtle exploration of psychological displacement and paranoia; his characters ordinary people that are gradually drawn into the darker recesses of their own minds. For fans of the horror genre, Robert Aickman is a must read.
"Aickman's Psychological Evaluation of Humanity"
One of the preeminent writers of weird fiction, Robert Aickman is celebrated for his unsettling and often ambiguous "strange stories", but he once wrote that "those, if any, who wish to know more about me, should plunge beneath the frivolous surface of The Late Breakfasters," his only novel, originally published in 1964.
Cold Hand in Mine stands as one of Aickman's best collections and contains eight stories that show off his powers as a 'strange story' writer to the full. The listener is introduced to a variety of characters, from a man who spends the night in a Hospice to a German aristocrat and a woman who sees an image of her own soul. There is also a nod to the conventional vampire story ("Pages from a Young Girl's Journal") but all the stories remain unconventional and inconclusive, which perhaps makes them all the more startling and intriguing.
"Distinctly underwhelmed by this collection"