Dangerous Visions

Dangerous Visions

by Harlan Ellison (Editor)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425061763
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/1983
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Harlan Ellison is a multiple HUGO 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'. His groundbreaking anthology DANGEROUS VISIONS was instrumental in defining the New Wave movement. Harlan Ellison lives in Los Angeles.

Date of Birth:

May 27, 1934

Date of Death:

June 28, 2018

Place of Birth:

Cleveland, OH

Place of Death:

Los Angeles, CA

Read an Excerpt


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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Dangerous Visions 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 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!
KevlarRelic on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Heard it was pretty good somewhere, so I decided to check this book out.I read half of the stories, but had to stop because the book was boring me to tears. A year later I picked the book up again and discovered that the part that was boring me to tears was reading the lengthy introductions and authors notes. This time I skipped all that worthless padding and got straight to the real meat of the book, which was some of the most original (even today) and exciting science fiction I have ever read. Someday I'll get around to reading the first half again, but for now, this book was just half excellent.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Harlan Ellison is one of the best SF short story writers around. He's also a very good editor & seems to know everyone in the field. Here he's collected the best of the best. He introduces every story quickly, concisely & often humorously. He's also included an afterword for each story by the author. I don't know that I've ever seen that before. It really works & between them, I got a lot more out of each story.
albertgoldfain on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A well written collection of speculative fiction compiled in 1967 by Harlan Ellison. Although Ellison's own submission to the anthology is nothing special, he has done a good job of sequencing these works and colourfully introducing each author in the context of the times. My favorites were the novella "Riders of the Purple Wage", "A Toy for Juliette", "Gonna Roll the Bones", "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister", "Carcinoma Angels". None of the stories fits the conventional sci-fi mold. Some are thought pieces, others are surprisingly twisted, but the writing is top-notch throughout.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I bought this collection of 33 science fiction stories because it was recommended in A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction on its "5 Parsec Shelf" of the best books in the genre. Here's what it said about the book: Anthologies, no matter how excellent, have seldom had enough impact to be "classics." But the first Dangerous Visions, edited by Ellison, was not only a wonderful sampling of the writers working in the exciting late '60s, it revolutionized science fiction in the matter of attacking more controversial subject matter. It further claimed the book "revived the moribund science fiction short story as a form" by publishing "stories considered unpublishable by the American magazines." In his introduction, Harlan Ellison, said his purpose was to publish "taboo" stories, "all new stories, controversial, too fierce for magazines to buy... a canvas for new writing styles, bold departures, unpopular thoughts." In other words, dangerous visions, particularly dealing with religion, politics, violence or sex.I've been a huge science fiction fan since childhood--especially of the science fiction short story, because at its best it's mind-expanding. I looked at the night sky with fresh awe after reading Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall;" his "The Dead Past" made me see the very nature of time in a new way. Stories such as Vernor Vinge's "The Ungoverned" made me think about the limits of freedom. Did any of the stories in this anthology work the same magic for me? Decidedly not. Maybe these stories were shocking or groundbreaking in 1967 when they were published. But in 2012? Even for 1967, I thought very few of these stories were innovative or thought-provoking. About a good third of the stories I couldn't for the life of me see what could have ever been controversial. Several stories such as Larry Niven's "Jigsaw Man," Henry Slesar's "Ersatz" and John Sladek's "The Happy Breed" seemed ridiculous to me, all the more for the sober afterwords of Niven and Sladek insisting this could be our near future. After 45 years, I'd say the near future has arrived--and doesn't look anything like what they feared.Take the first seven stories that comprise about a quarter of the book. Lester del Rey's "Evensong" opens the anthology and tackles religion. I thought frankly Arthur C. Clarke's "The Star" published in Infinity Science Fiction in 1955 and C.L. Moore's "Fruit of Knowledge" published in Unknown in 1940 are both more provocative, more subversive--and much more memorable. (Ditto regarding almost all the other stories with religious themes such as Damon Knight's "Shall the Dust Praise Thee," Jonathan Brand's "Encounter With a Hick," and John Brunner's "Judas.") Robert Silverberg's "Flies" has some gut-wrenching misogynist violence that I could see making it hard to place with a magazine editor, but I didn't think the story had enough payoff to justify the content. Frederik Pohl's "The Day After the Martians Came" examined the potentially explosive issue of race--puerilely. Ray Bradbury's "Way in the Middle of the Air" published in Other Worlds in 1950 and later included in The Martian Chronicles is much more incisive and provocative on the subject. The next story is Philip Jose Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage." In his introduction to the story Ellison said this is not just the longest story in the anthology at over 30,000 words, but the "best" and the "finest." So, I started the first few paragraphs. And reread. And reread. Really trying to comprehend what I was reading. And by and large failing. Yet increasingly suspecting Farmer was trying to imitate James Joyce. This was solidified when I turned the page to read more. I flipped towards the end of the story and saw its last chapter was titled "Winnegan's Fake." You know, I really hated James Joyce's Ulysses, but at least I could respect it as innovative, original, and erudite. But when you're copying a style rolled out in 1922 in a 1967 st
JohnFair on LibraryThing 8 months ago
These stories were touted as being shocking and almost impossible to print when they were first published way back in the late sixties. It is instructive (one way or another) to note that most of these stories wouldn't elicit anything more than a 'so what' these days. The single exception to this would be Theodore Sturgeon's 'If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?'. which is one of the better written stories (IMO anyway :-))
clong on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A groundbreaking and influential anthology of thirty-three short stories of speculative fiction. Several of them are quite strong, but others didn't do much for me. The Farmer, Dick, Leiber, Hensley, Cross, Dorman, and Laumer stories were my favorites. The introductions (by Ellison, except for his story), and afterwards (by the individual authors) added a lot to the collection, and gave a great sense of perspective on the evolution of science fiction writing.
JudithProctor on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Harlan Ellison and I have totally different tastes in SF. I don't want stories in which people get raped, have totally nasty things happen, etc. Once in a while is fine, but the stories I sampled ran too high on either being nasty or else using such 'clever' language that I found the story unreadable.
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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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