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193mm x 125mm
First UK publication
ISBN 0 86130 023 8
A delicious erotic dream explodes into an uncontrollable nightmare of perversion, violence and insanity after an accident at a secret germ-warfare laboratory allows a deadly vapour to infect Southern England. Originally commissioned for the notorious Essex House series of erotic Science Fiction, The Gas became an instant collector's item when it was published in America in 1970. Republished for the first time by Savoy, with a new introduction by Philip José Farmer, the book brought instant hostility from the Manchester authorities. On a raid conducted on our offices in October 1980, three thousand copies were seized. Also seized were two thousand copies of Samuel Delany's The Tides of Lust and one copy of Jack Trevor Story's Screwrape Lettuce. As a result, no UK distributor would touch The Gas. This was to be the fate, by association, of many Savoy titles purely because of the name 'Savoy'. Charles Platt's best novel, and one of Savoy's most consistently requested titles.
Harry Douthwaite jacket art.
Eighteen years after publication, the Savoy editions of The Gas and The Tides of Lust, were listed in the UK's Bizarre magazine as two out of five of the most obscene books to have been published in Britain. Notoriety travels.
A few copies of this title are still available.
"The Gas is not just a passing phenomenon. Unlike most works called pornographic, which some dunderheads will call this, The Gas has a definite plot and a logical sequence of events and motivations. It doesn't exist just to provide space for one sexual encounter after another, and hang any consideration of genuine human emotions, or the proper unities of space and time and the constraints of the real world... What the reader of what is called pornography expressly doesn't want is humour. He takes the worlds in this type of fiction seriously, and any hint that the writer might be having fun offends him. Now and then Charles Platt has his tongue in his cheekand God knows where elseso let a certain type of reader beware."
PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER (From his introduction)
"This is a disaster novel way beyond the wayward wish-fulfilment of John Wyndham. There is no escaping a consideration of the compromises, repression and hypocrisies that hold society together."
"An excellent novel."
MAURICE GIRODIAS, Olympia Press
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