Close to the Enemy

Stephen Poliakoff. BBC.
The greatest TV drama series for yonks, possibly the greatest ever.
Crystallised post-Nazi 1946 tensions and half-ruined aftermath in Britain, including off-kilter Aickmanisms and toffee apples.
The Hotel was a wonderful character in itself.
Retrocausal echoes from Brexit and Trump. Potter’s Eton’s playing fields. And now today’s nuke macho to follow jet engines.
Did anyone notice Visconti ‘Death in Venice’ moments…?

Year’s Best Weird Fiction – Vol. 3



Guest Editor: Simon Strantzas  —   Series Editor: Michael Kelly

Stories by Rebecca Kuder, Nadia Bulkin, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, Marian Womack, Brian Evenson, D.P. Watt, Kristi DeMeester, Robert Aickman, Brian Conn, L.S. Johnson, Michael Wehunt, Ramsey Campbell, Matthew M. Bartlett, Genevieve Valentine, Reggie Oliver, Tim Lebbon, Lynda E. Rucker, Sadie Bruce.

(To see any of my previous reviews of above authors, please click on the tags below.)

My previous Undertow Publications reviews HERE.

When I review this latest Year’s Best Weird, my comments will appear in the thought stream below.

Aickman’s Heirs


A real-time review by Des Lewis

AICKMAN’S HEIRS edited by Simon Strantzas

Undertow Publications 2015

Dedicated to the memory of Joel Lane 1963 – 2013

I have just received this book as purchased from Amazon UK.

Stories by: Brian Evenson, Richard Gavin, John Howard, David Nickle, D.P. Watt, Nadia Bulkin, Michael Cisco, Lynda E. Rucker, Michael Wehunt, John Langan, Helen Marshall, Malcolm Devlin, Daniel Mills, Nina Allan, Lisa Tuttle.

My other ‘reviews’ of Robert Aickman.

I intend to real-time this book and, when I do, it will appear in the thought stream – to be found below or by clicking on this post’s title above.

THE STRANGERS – Robert Aickman

A real-time review by Des Lewis.

image THE STRANGERS and Other Writings By Robert Aickman

Tartarus Press 2015

Just received this book as purchased from the publisher.

My previous reviews of Tartarus Press books HERE.

My previous ‘reviews’ about Robert Aickman HERE.

In due course, I shall real-time review this book. These thoughts will be found below in the thought stream or by clicking on this post’s title above.

Robert Aickman – a new article

Laird Barron’s recent eye-opening article on Robert Aickman’s ‘The Hospice’ HERE.


 Something I wrote in 2013 on my blog:

“I don’t want to harp on about this, but I genuinely think that – at least in
part – that The Hospice (and Into The Wood?) forms a tribute to ‘The Magic
Mountain’ by Thomas Mann and covers many of its themes which you can tick off
one by one. And I think we know that Thomas Mann was one of Aickman’s major
influences according to his letters. But I have been the first to decry this biographical
type of literary criticism based on my life-long interest in the Intentional Fallacy!
So I am torn.”

My original real-time review of ‘The Magic Mountain’ (including comparison with Aickman) started HERE

A book I have compared to both ‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann and ‘The Hospice’ by Robert Aickman is ‘The Inmates’ by John Cowper Powys: HERE

“and a dog’s eyes answered his stare with a look of such unutterable loneliness…” – from ‘The Inmates’

My proposal is that Aickman would not only have been a big fan of Mann but also of Powys.

Discussion forum thread about all this HERE.