The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories cover

Swan River Press

The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories Nicholas Royle

Limited Edition $40.00

Cover Image: Bill Bulloch

"An uncanny effect often arises when the boundary between fantasy and reality is blurred . . . " – Sigmund Freud

Nicholas Royle’s stories are "immaculately sinister", according to Olivia Laing in the Times Literary Supplement, while Phil Baker, in the Sunday Times, described Royle as "a real craftsman of disquiet".

In his third collection, The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories, Royle focuses on archetypes and phenomena that, through their particular melding of the familiar and the unfamiliar, produce uneasy, or uncanny, effects. In these stories he writes about doppelgängers, ghosts, dummies, disconnected body parts, impaired vision, the dead and the prospect of death, not without a macabre sense of humour.

These stories reflect Royle’s continuing development as an exponent of the form, in which he is always seeking to learn and to grow, and to push against boundaries.


  • "The Other Man"
  • "The Blind Man"
  • "Sitting Tenant"
  • "The Trees"
  • "Hide and Seek"
  • "The Blink"
  • "The Empty Flat"
  • "The Dummy"
  • "Maths Tower"
  • "Dead End"
  • "The Reunion"
  • "Moving Out"
  • "Jayne Anne Phillips"
  • "The Family Room"
  • "Cuckoo"
  • "This Video Does Not Exist"
  • "Lancashire"
  • "Acknowledgements"

Nicholas Royle is the author of two previous collections, Mortality and Ornithology, as well as In Camera (with David Gledhill). His seven novels include The Director’s Cut, Antwerp, and First Novel. Reader in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, he is head judge of the annual Manchester Fiction Prize and series editor of Best British Short Stories. He also runs Nightjar Press, publishing original short stories in chapbook format.


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