This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction, by William Breeze. Foreword by David Tibet.
This volume brings together the uncollected short fiction of the poet, writer and religious philosopher Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947). Crowley was a successful critic, editor and author of fiction from 1908 to 1922, and his short stories are long overdue for discovery. Of the forty-nine stories in the present volume, only thirty were published in his lifetime. Most of the rest appear here for the first time. Like their author, Crowley's stories are fun, smart, witty, thought-provoking and sometimes unsettling. They are set in places he had lived and knew well: Belle Epoque Paris, Edwardian London, pre-revolutionary Russia and America during the first World War.
The title story 'The Drug' stands as one of the first - if not the first - accounts of a psychedelic experience. His 'Black and Silver' is a knowing early noir discovery that anticipates an entire genre. 'Atlantis' is a masterpiece of occult fantasy, a dark satire that can stand with Samuel Butler's Erewhon. Frank Harris considered 'The Testament of Magdalen Blair' the most terrifying tale ever written. Extensive editorial end-notes give full details about the stories.