Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions

4.3 31
by Harlan Ellison
     
 

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One of the most influential anthologies of all time returns to print, as relevant now as when it was first published
 
Anthologies seldom make history, but Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories is a grand exception. Along with Moorcock's New Worlds, it defined the New Wave movement. Dangerous Visions set an…  See more details below

Overview


One of the most influential anthologies of all time returns to print, as relevant now as when it was first published
 
Anthologies seldom make history, but Harlan Ellison's 1967 collection of science fiction stories is a grand exception. Along with Moorcock's New Worlds, it defined the New Wave movement. Dangerous Visions set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards—not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who's who of 20th-century SF.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780759230842
Publisher:
EReads
Publication date:
05/19/2009
Pages:
650
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.44(d)

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION: YEAR 2002

by Harlan Ellison

What a long, strange, jam-packed eventful trip it has been, I said to Mike Moorcock the other day. It wasn't d�j� vu, not exactly; but it was resonant of the days in London when we strolled from Ladbroke Grove to the tandoori restaurant we frequented. "What a long, strange, jam-packed eventful trip it has been," I said to Mike as we walked along like Mutt and Jeff, that huge bearded talent who had almost singlehandedly created what was to become known as the New Wave in fantastic literature, and the 5'5" upstart Yank just coming into his Warholian 15 minutes of Fame. That was more than thirty years ago. And the other day I said the same thing to Mike.

All so strange and exhausting, this journey. So filled with good and evil, friends and enemies, achievements and failures, deadlines met and deadlines missed (some by decades).

Friends still--like Mike and Bob Silverberg and Carol Emshwiller and Norman Spinrad and Phil Farmer, to name just a few to be found in this book and still in this world as I sit here writing on my Olympia manual typewriter--and friends so heartbreakingly gone--Bob Bloch and Roger Zelazny and Ted Sturgeon and Henry Slesar and Lester and Phil, Howard, John and John, Kris, dear old Fritz and Ray Lafferty and Damon, Poul and all the others who were smiling and writing and kicking ass when I first said what I said to Mike on Portobello Road. More than thirty years ago.

This book is one of the successes. It was a dream I'd had long before I actually did the job. A dream I had offered to another anthologist, when I was editing a lineof paperbacks in Evanston, Illinois in 1961 ... and she had shined it on. Same dream I discussed with Norman in my treehouse in Beverly Glen in 1965; same dream I saw coming through the anal constriction of the genre like the Super Chief in amber, as Mike and his compatriots kicked out the chocks with New Worlds. A dream of "our thing" standing crystal mountain tall beside mimetic, naturalistic fiction, proffering visions and answers and what-ifs that no Faulkner or James Gould Cozzens or Edna Ferber ever thought possible. Oh, that was a great deal taller than a 5'5" dream.

And had I known how tough a job it would be, had I known the vast shitstorms that would gulleywash me, I have no doubt that I'd have done it anyway. Not because I'd be any dopier or foolhardy than has been my style all these years, but because this dream is now celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary, and it is still the all-time bestselling anthology of speculative fiction ever produced. It has been in print continuously since 1967, and the awards and individual story reprints it has amassed are unparalleled. So the opprobrium has been worth it.

For those of you who came into the movie late, you'll turn a page or three and find the original Forewords to the book written by Isaac (who was too uncharacteristically and idiotically humble to write a story for the book, on the wholly bogus grounds that he was a geezer, couldn't write "the new thing," and didn't want to embarrass himself) (of all the people I've known in my strange, long, jam-packed life, I can't think of any I adored more than my pal Isaac, but I tell you--as I told him--the demur was horseshit), and there--after you'll find my own original, long-winded Introduction. You'll know what's what and understand DV's place in the literary landscape by the time you emerge on the other side. Then begins the book. This terrific book.

This dream, this success, was intended to be a miracle; and it came to pass. Then. And now. And thirty-five years in between. Many of the boys and girls who first read it in high school are now, themselves, stars of the genre of the phantasmagoric. To those kids, the name DANGEROUS VISIONS has the snap, crackle & pop of the sense of wonder about which we all prattle.

Muhammad Ali once quieted the rabble chiding him for his braggadocio by smiling and telling them, "Ain't no brag if you can go out there and do it!"

If this 21st Century intro to a watershed literary event of the 20th seems surfeited with an asphyxiating hubris, well, I admit to not doing humility very well, yet nonetheless there are things in one's life that are enshrineable, and even the most flatulent braggart may be permitted a hoot or two when speaking of such peaks of greatness. Ain't no brag.

I once met John Steinbeck. I don't think we exchanged a word, I was a kid, he was a god; but I met him. I marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in one of the pivotal events of Our Time, and though I was a mere molecule in that wave, I am eternally proud because I was there. I can count among my closest friends Asimov, Leiber and Bloch, three of the most wonderful men who ever walked this earth, and they liked me. In this way I know I am worth-while, if not righteous. Such men would not be friends with a creep.

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Meet the Author


Harlan Ellison is a multiple Hugo, Edgar, and Nebula Award–winning writer and editor. He wrote the script for the hugely popular Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," the Nebula Award–winning novella A Boy and His Dog, and many acclaimed stories, including "Shatterday" and "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream." He lives in Los Angeles.

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Dangerous Visions 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. 33 short stories in Speculative Fiction by 32 different writers. When Ellison began to compile this, his purpose was to publish a book that was exactly what the title says it is; Dangerous Visions. The writers sometimes wrote stories that they had wanted to write for years but knew that no one would publish. Sometimes, they dug up old stories that had been rejected by every publisher around. Every one of these stories is designed to make you question your beliefs and what you know to be right. This book covers everything from God and Religion, to homosexuality, to incest, to murder, sanity and insanity, life and death, and fate and many, many more. I will definitely read this again at some point. Ellison writes an introduction for each story, and the writer of the story writes an "Afterword" where they get to explain what their intent was for the story, or how the story came about.
RHWright More than 1 year ago
Of the contents, what I can I say that someone else hasn't in the 40+ years since this classic was published? This is some of the finest short fiction of any genre ever collected. That makes it a must have is the current price. Less than $5? Sold! Get it now, don't even wait 'til later today!
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Bryce Wilson More than 1 year ago
About a quarter of the stories are badly dated. The rest hold up well not a bad hit to miss ratio for any anthology.
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