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Edited and Translated by Brian Stableford

“What benevolent demon must I thank for thus surrounding me with mystery, silence, peace and perfumes? O bliss! That which we ordinarily call life, even when it can encompass happiness, has nothing to compare with this life beyond life which I have come to understand, and which I savor minute by minute, second by second.” – Charles Baudelaire, “The Double Room”

Gathered together in the present volume, edited and translated from the French by Brian Stableford, are sixteen tales of hashish and opium, many of which have never appeared in English before. From the pioneering “The Club of Hashishins” by Théophile Gautier, to Louis Latourrette’s bizarre “The Phantom of Opium,” this hallucinogenic sampling of psychotropic fashionability and fin-de-siècle exoticism, with its quasi-autobiographical accounts of smoking dens and decadent forays into dreams and visions, will be a welcome addition to all drug libraries, and of the greatest interest to any connoisseur of psychoactive literature.

About the Editor
Brian Stableford has been publishing fiction and non-fiction for fifty years. His fiction includes an eighteen-volume series of “tales of the biotech revolution” and a series of half a dozen metaphysical fantasies set in Paris in the 1840s, featuring Edgar Poe’s Auguste Dupin. His most recent non-fiction projects are New Atlantis: A Narrative History of British Scientific Romance (Wildside Press, 2016) and The Plurality of Imaginary Worlds: The Evolution of French roman scientifique (Black Coat Press, 2016); in association with the latter he has translated approximately a hundred and fifty volumes of texts not previously available in English, similarly issued by Black Coat Press.

Paperback, 296 pages