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Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories (original 1967; edition 1967)

by Harlan Ellison

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1,236206,440 (4.01)35
Member:tomwynd
Title:Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories
Authors:Harlan Ellison
Info:Doubleday (1967), Edition: Book Club Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Anthologies (inactive)
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories by Harlan Ellison (Editor) (1967)

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English (19)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This was a real disappointment. It's a complilation of short stories by some of Sci-Fi's heavy hitters, published in 1967, that was apparently a real game changer in the direction SF was headed, and threw off some of the old outdated notions of the SF precursors and dared to think differently. Trouble is, from my perspective, many of the notions here are equally outdated for our times. I guess it's harsh to judge writers from almost 50 years ago by today's standards, but on the other hand I think the really quality SF writing of any era still stands the test of time. An example in this book is the Phillip K. Dick story, which still has the power to shock and unsettle all these years later. A few others also retain that power, but most fall far short. And the problem is, there's such a self-congratulatory air to the whole enterprise, in the form of Ellison's intro and then his foreword before each story, that you can't help but be annoyed by it.
The writers were, according to Ellison, really encouraged to tear up the rulebook and give us something shocking, so it's kind of disappointing how pedestrian many of them are. I know, unfair perhaps, all these years hence. But the thing I noticed the most was that old bug bear of us feminist SF fans - the gender relations. Could you writers in those days, asked to look into the future, really not foresee a world in which this was a little different? There are quite a few stories that reference the idea of "free love" type arrangements, where both sexes are free to have sex with whomever they like, whenever they like, but I think I have gained an important understanding about that concept in general, which is that it comes very much out of the male perspective, of having women sexually available to them on tap, and really doesn't stop to look very long at how this societal change would effect women. So this was a slight disappointment, but overall the lack of quality of the stories is the main problem. Also, having an introduction to ever single story from Elsion, who is a jokey, blokey presence, wore a bit thin after a while. ( )
  HanGerg | Dec 26, 2014 |
Originally read in the '70s - re=read. Much more dated than "Again, Dangerous Visions".

Thirty-Two Soothsayers (introduction) by Harlan Ellison

Evensong by Lester del Rey. - OK, a bit dated
Flies by Robert Silverberg. - dated
The Day After the Day the Martians Came by Frederik Pohl
- dated
Riders of the Purple Wage by Philip José Farmer (Hugo Award for best novella)
- dated and too long
The Malley System by Miriam Allen deFord
- quite good
A Toy for Juliette by Robert Bloch
- ok
The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World by Harlan Ellison
- quite good
The Night That All Time Broke Out by Brian W. Aldiss
- ok
The Man Who Went to the Moon — Twice by Howard Rodman
- dull
Faith of Our Fathers by Philip K. Dick
- quite good
The Jigsaw Man by Larry Niven
- quite good
Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber (Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette)
- dull
Lord Randy, My Son by Joe L. Hensley
- quite good
Eutopia by Poul Anderson
- quite good but a bit predictable
Incident in Moderan and The Escaping by David R. Bunch
- dull
The Doll-House by James Cross (pseudonym)
- Ok but a bit predictable
Sex and/or Mr. Morrison by Carol Emshwiller
- good
Shall the Dust Praise Thee? by Damon Knight
- dated
If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? by Theodore Sturgeon
- terribly dated
What Happened to Auguste Clarot? by Larry Eisenberg
- ok
Ersatz by Henry Slesar
- dated
Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird by Sonya Dorman
- quite good
The Happy Breed by John Sladek
- ok
Encounter with a Hick by Jonathan Brand
- ok
From the Government Printing Office by Kris Neville
- ok
Land of the Great Horses by R. A. Lafferty
- excellent
The Recognition by J. G. Ballard
- ok
Judas by John Brunner
- dated
Test to Destruction by Keith Laumer
- ok
Carcinoma Angels by Norman Spinrad
- ok
Auto-da-Fé by Roger Zelazny
- dated
Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany (Nebula Award for best short story, 1967)
- excellent ( )
  SChant | Nov 1, 2014 |
Great stories. I could do without Ellison's moralizing intros though. This SOB loves the sound of his own voice, written or spoken. It's just not necessary, with the cute let-me-tell-you-about-this-guy prologues. Half the book's pages are his own rants. Someone needs to tell him to STFU.

Okay, I'll do it:
Harlan, just for five minutes. STFU. Nobody cares what you think. So please. STFU.

Great stories though. ( )
  DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
Somehow, somewhere, my original copy of this went missing, I finally got tired of missing it (and Again, Dangerous Visions), and am incredibly grateful to find it in this SF Masterworks edition. It has a print inside, in the front of the original cover (and thank you, to whoever was so thoughtful).

I often read the other reviews of a book before adding my own, here. Sometimes everything that needs to be said has been said. Not this time.

If you don't own, or haven't at least read, this and the companion volume, you're missing a chunk of life that you aren't even aware is missing. Sure, some of the stories, from a distance of (oh my god) more than 35 years, are dated, and may not light the fire in you that they did in me, in that long ago time.

Each story in this has an introduction, and an afterword (all written *then*, and you must read them in that context), and those alone make it worthwhile. I'm looking forward to the pleasure of reading this again, and I have the joy of all those extra forewords and introductions to the book itself, added (mostly) in 2002.

Yes, it's true. This is the British version (with a price tag label stuck over that shows a price of $17.95). ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 3, 2013 |
First published in 1967, Dangerous Visions was editor Harlan Ellison's attempt to make the case for science fiction as a literary genre and to shake up the genre itself in order to push it towards something new and better. At the time Dangerous Visions was the largest collection of original science fiction short stories. It has become something of a legend in the 40 plus years since it was published. By insisting on all original work, no reprints of earlier material, Mr. Ellison hoped to provide a platform for ideas and stories that could not find a home in the periodicals of the day, visions of the future too dangerous for ordinary publications.

Reading the anthology some 40 years later most of the stories struck me as largely pedestrian, the kind of stuff one typically found in early science fiction magazines. They are all well-written; they are all entertaining, but only a handful struck me as dangerous or visionary. Some make contain very mild social critique. A few suggest there is no God. One creates a future society where incest is the norm. Most of them are material that would comfortably find a home on the Syfy channel today.

Samuel R. Delany provides the only truly dangerous vision in his story "Aye, and Gamorrah..." Mr. Delany imagines a future full of space travel that comes at a very high price. In order to survive the harsh conditions of space, "spacers" must be surgically altered to resist high levels of radiation including a process which renders them genderless. "Aye, and Gamorrah..." is the story of one such "spacer" on a visit to earth where he must face the advances of "frelks" unaltered humans who are sexually attracted to the genderless and passionless spacers. Readers of Mr. Delany know that he never shied away from discussion of sex and sexuality and the possible forms it might take in humanity's future. The rest of the stories in Dangerous Visions seem afraid of sex by comparison.

But the real reason to read Dangerous Visions in 2012 is the introductions Mr. Ellison wrote to each of the 33 stories, which are the only introductions I've really enjoyed reading. Gossipy, opinionated, intended to reveal the authors of each story, they succeed in creating a portrait of the editor who wrote them by creating portraits of the authors in the book. Many of the authors in Mr. Ellison's book did go on to do great work, but most of them are people I've never heard of before, in spite of Mr. Ellison's assurance that this was an author to watch. However, through his introductions, some of which are as long as the story that follows, Mr. Ellison brings each author to life as a character in an ensemble piece which is the world of science fiction circa mid-1960's. For that alone, Dangerous Visions is a useful and entertaining record.

Which is one reason why I found it such a shame that none of these visionary authors saw a future with a place for gay/lesbian people. References to LGBT people are limited to a few bits of casual homophobia both in the stories and in the introductions. I'm willing to cut people in history a little slack, but even in 1967 this was a backwards looking view. Pro-gay social movements were already visible in the major cities of America if not the countryside in the 1960's. Since so much of the publishing world at that time was centered in New York City, I find it difficult to accept that none of the writers in Mr. Ellison's book were aware of LGBT people. They're supposed to be visionaries. They're supposed to imagine the future. We would have to wait several more years for writers like Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K LeGuin, Octvia Butler to make room for gay and lesbian characters in science fiction. You can see a hint of his future in Mr. Delany's story, but that's the only one in Dangerous Visions that sees a future with anything other than fully heterosexual people in it. ( )
  CBJames | Jul 5, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellison, HarlanEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian, W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, PoulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asimov, IsaacForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ballard, J. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloch, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brunner, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bunch, David R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cross, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
deFord, Miriam AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
del Rey, LesterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delany, Samuel R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dick, Philip K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dorman, SonyaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eisenberg, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emshwiller, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farmer, Philip JoséContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hensley, Joe L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, DamonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lafferty, R. A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laumer, KeithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, FritzContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Neville, KrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niven, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pohl, FrederikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodman, HowardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sladek, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Slesar, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spinrad, NormanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sturgeon, TheodoreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, JonathanContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Contains

A Toy for Juliette by Robert Bloch

Dangerous Visions 1 by Harlan Ellison

Dangerous Visions 2 by Harlan Ellison

Dangerous Visions 3 by Harlan Ellison

Evensong by Lester del Rey

Flies by Robert Silverberg

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Book description
Contents:

Foreword 1: The Second Revolution - Isaac Asimov
Foreword 2: Harlan and I - Isaac Asimov
Thirty-Two Soothsayers (introduction) - Harlan Ellison
Evensong - Lester del Rey.
Flies - Robert Silverberg.
The Day After the Day the Martians Came - Frederik Pohl
Riders of the Purple Wage - Philip José Farmer
The Malley System - Miriam Allen deFord
A Toy for Juliette - Robert Bloch
The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World - Harlan Ellison
The Night That All Time Broke Out - Brian W. Aldiss
The Man Who Went to the Moon — Twice - Howard Rodman
Faith of Our Fathers - Philip K. Dick
The Jigsaw Man - Larry Niven
Gonna Roll the Bones - Fritz Leiber
Lord Randy, My Son - Joe L. Hensley
Eutopia - Poul Anderson
Incident in Moderan and The Escaping - David R. Bunch
The Doll-House - James Cross (pseudonym)
Sex and/or Mr. Morrison - Carol Emshwiller
Shall the Dust Praise Thee? - Damon Knight
If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? - Theodore Sturgeon
What Happened to Auguste Clarot? - Larry Eisenberg
Ersatz - Henry Slesar
Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird - Sonya Dorman
The Happy Breed - John Sladek
Encounter with a Hick - Jonathan Brand
From the Government Printing Office - Kris Neville
Land of the Great Horses - R. A. Lafferty
The Recognition - J. G. Ballard
Judas - John Brunner
Test to Destruction - Keith Laumer
Carcinoma Angels - Norman Spinrad
Auto-da-Fé - Roger Zelazny
Aye, and Gomorrah - Samuel R. Delany
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743452615, Paperback)

The best and most honoured science fiction anthology of all time, newly restored and introduced by its revolutionary editor, Harlan Ellison. This massive anthology contains 34 short stories, including Nebula-Award winning stories by Samuel R. Delany and Fritz Leiber and Hugo-Award winning stories by Fritz Leiber and Philip Jose Farmer. Includes stories by some of the best science-fiction writers who ever lived, writing at the height of their storytelling powers. All stories were chosen originally by Ellison.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:27 -0400)

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