Written by: Robert Aickman and Elizabeth Jane Howard
Published by: Tartarus Press
Page Count: 258
ISBN 10: 1905784422
ISBN 13: 978-1905784424
Where to buy: Tartarus Press, Amazon, and other fine book retailers.
We Are for the Dark is a remarkable collection, and one that can be said to have kick-started the ‘Aickmanesque’ short story. Credit for the genesis of this sub-genre of the ghost story should be given jointly to Robert Aickman and his collaborator in We Are for the Dark, Elizabeth Jane Howard. Contributing three tales each, the authors were not identified with their own stories when the book was first published in 1951.
We Are for the Dark contains six stories: ‘The Trains’, ‘The View’ and ‘The Insufficient Answer’ are by Robert Aickman, while ‘Three Miles Up’, ‘Left Luggage’ and ‘Perfect Love’ are by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
R.B. Russell’s new Introduction is based on his interview with the surviving author, Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Hello readers and fellow devotees of the weird and terrorific,
This is one that I’ve been sitting on for about a week, simply because the insanity surrounding a certain day where most people gorge themselves on fowl and sides took quite a toll on this particular editor. Granted, it was just my wife and I, and we ate leftover pizza and watched horror flicks all day… but that’s not the point.
Let’s just say it’s been a busy time, despite the relaxed holiday.
But I’m not trying to make excuses, so let me just say “sorry this took so long to post” and let the inimitable Joseph Pulver, Sr. get on with telling you all about this book.
Upfront let me confess the only Aickman I’ve read is Cold Hand in Mine Strange Stories. Yes, sadly, we all have holes in our reading we cannot explain, and this is one of mine. I always meant to fill this one in but never got around to it. Reading this collection will be the first step in correcting that error.
In We Are For the Dark ( a reprint of the 1951 edition) Aickman and Howard each have three tales. Aickman “The Trains”, “The View” and “The Insufficient Answer” and Howard contributes “Three Miles Up”, “Left Luggage” and “Perfect Love”. Each of these tales were new to me, and the Aickman works are nearly as marvelous as I remember the tales in Cold Hand in Mine.
Fans of Aickman’s eeriness and supernatural mysteries will find this collection most rewarding. Not wanting to be tainted by any information about the works this collection contained, I skipped the introduction and jumped into the tales, yet as I search for spoiler free things to tell you about this collection, I find a passage from the intro sums things up quite nicely, “Aickman’s stories are strange, puzzling and unnerving, and pave the way for future stories in a similar vein. If Howard’s are rather more conventional, they are no less rich or lacking in a terrible power to disconcert and unnerve the reader.”
Any fan of Aickman’s who does not know these works will find them most appealing, and perhaps enlightening. And fans of the “strange story” and weird fiction in general, will find these six tales a very fine addition to their unnerving reading experiences. 4 out of 5 tentacles.
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Minion (Reviewer)