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Aickman's 'strange stories' (his preferred term) are constructed immaculately, the neuroses of his characters painted in subtle shades. He builds dread by the steady accrual of realistic detail, until the reader realizes that the protagonist is heading towards their doom as if in a dream.
Dark Entries was first published in 1964 and contains six curious and macabre stories of love, death and the supernatural, including the classic story 'Ringing the Changes'.
Robert Aickman (19141981) was the grandson of Richard Marsh, a leading Victorian novelist of the occult. Though his chief occupation in life was first as a conservationist of England's canals he eventually turned his talents to writing what he called 'strange stories.' Dark Entries (1964) was his first full collection, the debut in a body of work that would inspire Peter Straub to hail Aickman as 'this century's most profound writer of what we call horror stories.'
Robert Fordyce Aickman was born in 1914 in London. He was married to Edith Ray Gregorson from 1941 to 1957. In 1946 the couple, along with Tom and Angela Rolt, set up the Inland Waterways Association to preserve the canals of Britain. It was in 1951 that Aickman, along with Elizabeth Jane Howard, published his first ghost stories entitled We Are the Dark. Aickman went on to publish eleven more volumes of horror stories as well as two fantasy novels and two volumes of autobiography. He also edited the first eight volumes of The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories. He died in February 1981.