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Old 05-19-2005   #1
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Topic Nominated Robert Aickman

I don't know if Aickman has been cited as an influence by Ligotti himself, but am I the only one to think that there is more than a feeble link between those two?

I would have to look at it more closely, and try to write something somewhat elaborate on the subject, but as far as I recall them, such stories as (in no particular order) : The Swords, Into The Wood, The Hospice, The Clock Watcher, The Next Glade, The Trains,... come to my mind as good examples of similarities both in subject and in style.

I may also add that they are among the few authors that I can read again and again with the same pleasure...

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 05-19-2005   #2
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Re: Robert Aickman

For me, and his writing is a special pleasure of mine, the best of Robert Aickman's work is suffused with that same oneiric quality as Ligotti's, coupled to a sense of foreboding and helplessness. Perhaps his work isn't as nihilistic as TL's but the poetry is certainly there.

The stories you mention, ElHI, are all excellent examples of Aickman's style but, for those who've never tried it, most of his work is worthy of reading (and, of course, re-reading - I completely agree that Aickman's stories merit closer inspection a third, fourth, fifth time...).

Particular favourites of mine are The Houses of the Russians, The Inner Room and The Same Dog, as well as those in the previous post.

Tartarus Press publish the definitive collected "strange stories", as Aickman liked to call his work (often, his ghostly fiction contains no apparent ghosts at all) but it's also fairly easy and inexpensive to pick up copies of the US editions of Cold Hand in Mine and Painted Devils on Abebooks.

[Plug] See my site below for more details.

Brian Lavelle

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Old 05-19-2005   #3
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Re: Robert Aickman

Brian,

How can I have forgotten that we had such an eminent aickmanologue as yourself in the ranks of TLO. It surely is not a coincidence!

And you have every right to plug your excellent Aickman site!

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 05-19-2005   #4
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Re: Robert Aickman

ElHI,

You are very kind. Thanks for your comments about the site - my aim is to spread the word as far as possible about Aickman and it's a bit of a labour of love. Sadly, one other thing he shares with Thomas Ligotti is his relatively unknown status in the greater scheme of things. I think Aickman is perhaps the best writer who no one ever reads, and he deserves better than that.

As for the epithet aickmanologue, I've never been described as that before! Perhaps I should have a T shirt made up...

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Old 07-20-2005   #5
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Re: Robert Aickman

Next month I am finally planning to order COLLECTED STRANGE STORIES OF ROBERT AICKMAN. This is going to be quite a treat... and an expensive one!

I have heard that Aickman has written two novels which have never been published. I was wondering if they will ever draw attention of the publishers...

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 07-20-2005   #6
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Re: Robert Aickman

Only one novel ('Go Back At Once') remains unpublished, although I suspect it isn't as "strange", supernatural or dark as his short stories. Both of the published novels are lesser works than some of his best stories, although still enjoyable.

There are three unpublished plays ('Allowance For Error', 'Duty' and 'The Golden Round') and a magnum opus entitled 'Panacea: A Synthesis', which I believe to be a vast philosophical tract.

Perhaps some day, someone will oblige and publish these items...

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Old 08-08-2005   #7
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Re: Robert Aickman

Greetings,

It's always a joy to discover other admirers of Robert Aickman. He remains my favourite author, one whose abilities often leave me awe-struck, even after multiple readings of the same piece.

Coincidentally, my next collection of macabre tales, Omens (forthcoming from Mythos Books), is dedicated to Ramsey Campbell and Robert Aickman.

Best Wishes,
Richard Gavin

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Old 08-09-2005   #8
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Re: Robert Aickman

Hey Richard,
Good to know about your next collection Omens. I'm halfway through Charnel Wine and I must confess that I really like it.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 08-11-2005   #9
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Re: Robert Aickman

Quote Originally Posted by s_wielh";p=&quot View Post
Hey Richard,
Good to know about your next collection Omens. I'm halfway through Charnel Wine and I must confess that I really like it.
I'll second that.
I just finished Charnel Wine and enjoyed it greatly.
I'm excited to learn that there's a second collection coming.

Best wishes,

Waff's
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Old 05-03-2007   #10
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Re: Robert Aickman

Having systematically re-read all TL's stories in recent months, I'm now doing the same for Robert Aickman. He is the writer who comes first to my mind when asked: if you enjoy TL, who else do you enjoy?

=========
At the start of my RA re-read, I have been particularly struck by 'My Poor Friend' (which amazingly I can't recall reading before) -- a very strange tale (even for Aickman!) that takes place in the British Parliament and even features Harold Wilson with his fish and chips!

It a disturbing tale. Highly recommended.

==========
Another: 'Larger Than Life'.
This is superficially a satire on spiritualists and religionists ....with some sexy underclothes!
Extemely weird.
It even has a Lewisite!

The vision at the end is most unsettling


==============

It has suddenly struck me that this anthology (collection):
WE ARE FOR THE DARK containing six stories (all shown as written by Robert Aickman and Elizabeth Jane Howard ) - (my copy Mayflower Dell 1965) - is the only forerunner of 'Nemonymous' that I can think of, as the stories are not allocated in print to a particular author. We do now know that each story is written by just one of Aickman or Howard and which story is whose, but we don't know this if we only depend on the book itself:

Perfect Love
The Trains
The Insufficient Answer
Three Miles Up (a masterpiece! - des)
The View
Left Luggage

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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