Small investment, big payoff. Aickman has long been an undervalued and out of print author but is now experiencing a small revival, and this novelette is an ideal place to start. Like much of Aickman, "The Inner Room" is an entrancing seduction, an impossible mystery, and a melancholy siren song. Here memory, psychology, and the external world overlap and confound one another. This is neo-romanticism at its best, shrugging aside the mundane to expose a secret entrance to unfathomable and hazardous depths. Though often characterized as "horror," it's much better to label such Aickman stories as literary dark fantasy--or to use his own term: "strange stories."