Robert Aickman is another contender for the best writer you’ve never heard of, so his centenary (on 27 June) is a perfect moment to sample his ‘strange stories’. Tartarus Press has done valiant work in keeping Aickman in print by publishing handsome hardback editions, and now Faber & Faber is reissuing several paperback collections this summer and a couple of rare novels. His debut collection, Dark Entries, is available now and includes an insightful biographical essay from Ramsey Campbell, Britain’s premier horror author and a friend of Aickman.
Cold Hand in Mine, re-published on 3 July, is the 1975 collection that made his name and includes the award-winning Pages From a Young Girl’s Journal. This cultish author’s admirers include Neil Gaiman; The League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss, Jeremy Dyson and Reece Shearsmith; and bibliophile Barry Humphries, who wrote that Aickman’s fiction “…captures the very texture of a bad dream which may start, as such dreams do, beguilingly; until the dreamer (and reader) feels the first presentiment of encroaching nightmare – and cannot wake.” Look out for further collections The Wine-Dark Sea (August) and The Unsettled Dust (September) as well as novels The Model and The Late Breakfasters this month in the Faber Finds series.