THE PURPLE CLOUD by M.P.Shiel. Leyburn, UK; Tartarus Press; 2004. First hardcover edition, thus. What would you do if you were the last man on earth? The Purple Cloud, an acknowledged classic of early twentieth-century science fiction, explores this perennial scenario of imaginative writing in flamboyant, Decadent prose. After Adam Jeffson has become the first human ever to reach the North Pole, the world is poisoned by a mysterious purple cloud. Racked by horror and guilt, Jeffson, a latter-day Job, must find a way of living in a post-apocalyptic world piled high with the dead and their abandoned riches. And there is always the chance that somewhere, someone else has also survived. Shiel's extraordinary inventiveness and admirably reckless style have won him many literary admirers. H.G. Wells called The Purple Cloud a 'Colossal . . . brilliant novel'. H.P. Lovecraft wrote that the passages in which Jeffson 'roams through the corpse-littered and treasure-strewn cities of the world as their absolute master, are delivered with a skill and artistry falling little short of absolute majesty. Stephen King has acknowledged the book as a major influence on his novel, The Stand. This new Tartarus edition reprints the original unrevised text of the 1901 first edition, and reproduces J.J. Cameron's twenty-four illustrations from the magazine serialisation of the same year. Brian Stableford provides a splendidly illuminating introductory essay, 'The Black-and-White Mystery of The Purple Cloud'. Publication mid-March 2004. The Purple Cloud is sewn hardback book of 286+xv pages. Limited to 400 copies. Fine in fine dj.
OUT OF PRINT.
1 COPY AVAILABLE.