Tor.com content by

Joan Aiken

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
All

Fiction and Excerpts [2]

The Cold Flame

Here is the whisper in the night, the creak upstairs, that half-remembered ghost story that won’t let you sleep, the sound that raises gooseflesh, the wish you’d checked the lock on the door before it got really, really dark. Here are tales of suspense and the supernatural that will chill, amuse, and exhilarate…

We’re pleased to reprint Joan Aiken’s short story, “The Cold Flame.” The People in the Castle—available April 12th from Small Beer Press—collects this and 19 other wildly inventive, darkly lyrical stories from Aiken’s impressive career.

[Read more]

Reading in Bed

Enjoy this reprint from Joan Aiken’s short story collection The Monkey’s Wedding: and Other Stories  from Small Beer Press.

 

Reading in Bed

Francis Nastrowski was a young Polish officer. He had once been rich, but was so no longer. Some of the habits of his bygone grandeur still clung to him, however. He was apt to say “Put on my boots” or “Fetch my horse” to whoever was there, even the major, and he was incurably vain, and fond of good wine and reading in bed. Harmless pursuits, one might say, but they nearly led to his downfall.

He was stationed in what had once been the only hotel of a small fishing village. One night when the days drew in, and summer waned, and the tops of the waves began to whiten, he and his friends had a present of burgundy, and on that, together with other, more potent spirits, they managed to become, if not drunk, at least very, very friendly.

[Read more]