Savoy Books 
Savoy Dreams

Edited by David Britton
and Michael Butterworth


213mm x 153mm 209mm x 148mm

Hard/Soft covers

First publication


ISBN 0 86130 069 6 (Hard)

ISBN 0 86130 068 8 (Soft)

Savoy Dreams

  A special limited edition collection (1,000 copies) of fiction, articles and graphics, and the second in Savoy's planned trilogy of anthologies which commenced with The Savoy Book in 1978. Contains a selection of the letters which Michael Moorcock wrote to JG Ballard when the latter was Prose Editor of Ambit magazine, with the drug references left in. The full correspondence—sans drug references—formed Moorcock's account of his adventures in the movie capital of the world, Letters From Hollywood (Harrap, 1986). Police raids and litigation delayed publication of Savoy Dreams for four years, but on the plus side we were able to include detailed coverage of these raids as well as the 1982 trial and imprisonment of David Britton.

• A few copies of this title are still available. See the Orders page for purchase details.

  Publication in 1984 proved to be doubly auspicious when we hit censorship of a different kind hitherto unknown to us—'political correctness'. After advance ordering copies of the anthology, the radical alternative UK bookshop Compendium Books—early enthusiastic stockists of Savoy—declined to accept them.

The following correspondence took place between Compendium's Chris Render (author of the Biff strips), and ourselves:


To the Boys and Girls at Compendium:

Enclosed please find 10 copies of Savoy Dreams (as promised some years ago!). More if you want them!

All best, Michael Butterworth.


Dear Mike,

Thanks, but I'm afraid this kind of stuff just isn't our style anymore. Sorry. Chris Render.


Dear Compendium,

Sorry to learn that Compendium would not carry Savoy Dreams. Whenever we have been in London Compendium has always been the one bookshop we could rely on to supply off-beat, non-categorical fiction. Since the '60s you have earned the justifiable reputation of being the alternative bookshop, anti-authoritarian and anti-censorship (which Savoy Dreams has set out to be). So it is a source of no small regret that our anthology could not find a home with you.

We can think of no other provincial publisher (and very few in London) who have been subjected to more authoritarian censorship and harassment than Savoy. We expected Smiths and Menzies to refuse the book (as, indeed, they have), but for Compendium to join them, we suppose, indicates just how much the times have a-changed.

David Britton/Michael Butterworth.


Dear assholes,

I've got enough boring letters to open every morning without you two whining because we don't want to stock your book.

In my note I was trying to be tactful, but as you choose to write us a deeply insulting letter I'll tell you why we're not stocking it.

The pseudo-mystical soft porn you specialise in is very, very conservative and deeply boring. I mean, down here it's 1984 and our customers are just not interested in such pretentious twaddle.

Piss on you.

Chris Render.


Several years later our vinyl recordings were effectively banned by the UK independent record collective The Cartel (Rough Trade, Pinnacle Records, etc.), making it impossible for us to get distribution for our records. This was censorship on both fronts—by the police and by the New Puritanism (yet to reach its apotheosis in Blairite Britain). Unwittingly, Compendium started The Savoy Wars, the name we gave our public fight-back.

  • Illustration of Contributors—JOHN MOTTERSHEAD
  • Doin' That Savoy Shuffle (Article)—ANDREW DARLINGTON
  • Savoy Under Siege (Article)—MICHAEL BUTTERWORTH
  • Cities of the Red Night: A Review—MICHAEL MOORCOCK
  • The Place of Dead Roads (Fiction)—WILLIAM BURROUGHS
  • Adam and the Ants (Art)—JAMES CAWTHORN
  • Introduction to the Bernard Manning Blue Joke Book (Article)—MICHAEL GINLEY
  • A Hurricane in a Night Jar (Fiction)—MICHAEL BUTTERWORTH w/illustrations by DAVID BRITTON
  • In the Gas Oven (Fiction)—TOM THOMPSON
  • An English Exile in Hollywood (Letters)—MICHAEL MOORCOCK
  • Tarzan: A Myth Man in the Age of the Macromachine (Article)—BURNE HOGARTH
  • Cosmic Whore Batter, and others (Poems)—HEATHCOTE WILLIAMS
  • Tales From the Cramps (Pictorial Fiction)—KRIS GUIDIO
  • Lords of Misrule (Fiction)—M JOHN HARRISON
  • Unsettling the World (Article on M John Harrison)—COLIN GREENLAND and NIK PRATT
  • Book Reviews (Catalogue of Savoy Books 1976-1984)



"It seems so much more than five years since Britton and Butterworth first troubled the sleep of British publishing. Savoy Books was a glossy dream of everything they liked: Michael Moorcock's The Golden Barge, Jack Trevor Story and Henry Treece, Samuel Delany's The Tides of Lust and Ken Reid's Fudge the Elf. S and F and drugs and rock and roll. To support the business they sold bootleg records and got busted; they sold porn and got busted again, weekly. Savoy Books silted up the basement where Mike Harrison sat furiously writing A Storm of Wings. Britton went to jail. The Manchester sewers subsided. Vile winds blew down Deansgate. Time to go.

Instead. they keep on going. This sumptuous limited edition has a psychedelic cover featuring Adolf Hitler. On the back, an ad for four Savoy Books that never appeared, over Man Ray saying: "The public? I think they must accept what comes to them." Inside, Heathcote Williams, William Burroughs, M John Harrison, pages of Cramps fanzines, Tarzan and Ted Nugent and PJ Proby, nasty news cuttings, Butterworth's nova hymn to Captain Beefheart and Britton's mephitic Art Nouveau. All that was radical. But Savoy are still doing it, and they throw in "A Report from Prison" to show they know what they're doing.

Literary editors grimace nervously over the sherry. You're never safe with Savoy."



"I greatly enjoyed reading Savoy Dreams."



"A fine example of grace under pressure... An object of considerable cultural significance."



"Money well spent, not least for its especially articulate and timely account of the way obscenity trials are now being conducted in Britain."



"A marvellous book! A super dip."


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