Cold Hand in Mine: Strange Stories

Scribner's

First US Printing, 1977

Hardcover; 252 pp.

Cover art by Edward Gorey

The author's fifth collection; contains eight stories:
The Swords; The Real Road to the Church; Niemandswasser; Pages from a Young Girl's Journal; The Hospice; The Same Dog; Meeting Mr Millar; The Clock Watcher

 

Painted Devils: Strange Stories

Scribner's

First US Printing, 1977

Hardcover; 234 pp.

Cover art by Edward Gorey

A US-only reprint collection; contains eight stories:
Ravissante; The Houses of the Russians; The View; Ringing the Changes; The School Friend; The Waiting Room; Marriage; Larger than Oneself; My Poor Friend

 

The Collected Strange Stories of Robert Aickman - Vol. I

Tartarus Press/ Durtro Press

First Printing, 1999; edition of 500 copies

Hardcover; 398 pp.

Cover art by Steven Stapleton

Collects all of the author's strange tales (in 2 vols.), including the contents of:
We are for the Dark; Dark Entries; Powers of Darkness; Sub Rosa; Cold Hand in Mine; Tales of Love & Death; Intrusions; Night Voices

 

The Collected Strange Stories of Robert Aickman - Vol. II

Tartarus Press/ Durtro Press

First Printing, 1999; edition of 500 copies

Hardcover; 470 pp.

Cover art by Steven Stapleton

Collects all of the author's strange tales (in 2 vols.), including the contents of:
We are for the Dark; Dark Entries; Powers of Darkness; Sub Rosa; Cold Hand in Mine; Tales of Love & Death; Intrusions; Night Voices
Born in London, England in 1914, Robert Fordyce Aickman's "strange stories", as he preferred to call them, were destined to become part of the grand tradition of British supernatural literature.
Today, Aickman is often considered, by this writer certainly, as one of the finest of the "modern masters" of weird fiction.

My first exposure to his work came by way of his collection Cold Hand in Mine. His writing is subtle and poetic, and his stories are often open to multiple interpretations, often ending ambiguously. This is not to say that they are any less effective or satisfying. On the contrary, the opposite is usually true, and few modern writers have produced work as eerily disconcerting or thought provoking as Aickman. In a review of the posthumous collection Night Voices: Strange Stories, Paul Kincaid wrote that "[Aickman] writes a precise and elegant prose, full of sharp perceptions of the ordinary, so sharp that a niggling sense of unease slowly develops without anything out of the ordinary actually happening."

If you are not familiar with Robert Aickman, I encourage you to seek out his books, many of which are often available in multiple editions. I think you'll be glad you did.
- Doc, April 2007

A Brief Bio of Robert Aickman

Aickman was born into a family with a literary heritage: he was the grandson of Victorian novelist Richard Marsh, author of the popular occult novel The Beetle (1897). Although he was originally trained in his father's profession of architecture, his interests lay elsewhere: he served as a chairman of the London Opera Society and was active in the London Opera Club, the Ballet Minerva, and the Mikron Theatre Company in London. Along with his writing, he is probably best remembered for co-founding the Inland Waterways Association, a group devoted to restoring and preserving England's inland canal system.

Over the course of his writing career, Aickman published eight collections of original stories and four reprint collections, as well as a handful of novels, novellas, and non-fiction works. A number of other works were left unpublished at his death, and many of these remain so today. He also edited the first eight volumes of the Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories between 1964 and 1972. He was married to Edith Ray Gregorson from 1941 to 1957. Aickman died of cancer in 1981.
- Doc, April 2007