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Old 11-06-2016   #1
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Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

I have read all of the notable comparable classic ghostly writers, such as Oliver Onions, L. P. Hartley, John Metcalfe, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Henry James, Edith Wharton or Elizabeth Bowen, but I'm curious which modern writers are writing in this sort of style. Reggie Oliver is the only one I'm aware of. Ramsey Campbell's older Demons by Daylight work is a good example, too.

I'm looking for writers of eerie and disquieting stories of quiet reflection and melancholy rather than cosmic horror.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 11-06-2016   #2
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

I suspect you would like Grabinski, James, if you haven't already read him.
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Old 11-06-2016   #3
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
I suspect you would like Grabinski, James, if you haven't already read him.
I have read him, and I do like him.


'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 11-06-2016   #4
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

Peter Straub's short fiction might interest you also, lad.
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Old 11-06-2016   #5
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

Unsure how they'll compare to de la Mare or Aickman (as I'm shamefully not well acquainted with their work yet), but as far as "eerie and disquieting stories of quiet reflection and melancholy" is concerned, I think Quentin S. Crisp's work might fit the bill. All God's Angels, Beware! might be a great place to start, namely because of his story "Ynys-Y-Plag."
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Old 11-06-2016   #6
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

That story of Quentin's is a good example of the sort of stuff I'm looking for. It's certainly comparable to some of de la Mare's work.

I need to check out more of Straub's fiction. I have only read Ghost Story. What else is good?

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 11-06-2016   #7
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

I enjoyed Ghost Story, Shadowland and If You Could See Me Now. Floating Dragon was the beginning of my lack of interest in Straub's novels.
Any collection of his short fiction is pretty representative.
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Old 11-06-2016   #8
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

E.F. Benson's ghost stories are worth a read, but he might not be considered modern. Then there is Simon Strantzas and Richard Gavin who are.
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Old 11-06-2016   #9
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

I have read the ghost stories of the Benson brothers. E. F. Benson's The Room in the Tower has that sort of dream-like atmosphere and emphasis on parallelisms found in Aickman.

I will check out the other two. I don't have anything of theirs, apart from the Strantzas edited Aickman's Heirs.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 11-07-2016   #10
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Re: Modern writers similar to Robert Aickman and Walter de la Mare?

I suggest _Conference with the Dead_ by Terry Lamsley.
Conference with the Dead by Terry Lamsley — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

Some of the stories in the book are ghost stories, such as the M.R. James-style "Blade and Bone". I find that Lamsley's stories are like Aickman's in one important aspect, and unlike Aickman's in another important aspect. Lamsley's stories are like Aickman's in that strange things would be related for most of the tale, and it wasn't clear to me what was behind it all. But he is unlike Aickman in that the mystery does not last; at the end of the story the reader realizes why the events in the story happened. Even if I am mistaken in thinking that this is the kind of book you're looking for, I think Lamsley's fiction is well worth reading on its own terms.

Another suggestion is _Northwest Passages_ by Barbara Roden.
Northwest Passages by Barbara Roden — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists


Michael Dirda, who is a champion of our genre, wrote in his introduction to this book: "Besides these gifts, one other aspect to Rodens imagination should be underscored. Along with a flair for creating atmosphere and feelings of increasing apprehension, her work is consistently pervaded by a quiet sadness about the human condition."

I though very highly of two stories, "Endless Night" and "Northwest Passages". I gave a slight edge to the former; my fellow goodreads members gave the edge to the latter.

"Reality is often dangerous...And of course be prepared for a big change; something indescribable, unpredictable. " -- Robert Aickman
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