To anyone who has read the original collection of science fiction stories by renowned Sci-Fi masters of the 70's that Harlan Ellison released, this sequel packs all these that were missed, such as Philip Jose Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage". Even doubters of repeat success will enjoy this book, as the one refreshing rule (rarely broken) is that each author could only submit ONE story. There were no other rules. Oh yeah, and Kurt Vonnegut's in it too!
I read "Dangerous Visions (SF Masterworks)" when I was 20 or 21 and Harlan Ellison's introductions impressed upon me. As an aspiring writer it was educational to read of how the writers came up with their ideas and of course there were the stories that were of a remarkable quality. "Again, Dangerous Visions" impresses for completely different reasons.
"Again, Dangerous Visions" was published in 1971 and these stories impress for their explorations of changing moralities which demonstrate that if there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action then some of those reactions can't be anticipated and might not lead to the utopia we envisioned that the change provide. The writers of "Again, Dangerous Visions" explore and extrapolate on the issues of the day showing us what could happen. The stories are still relevant today because each generation is confronted with similar issues. The technology may change but the choices don't.
In reading "Again, Dangerous Visions" you find some commonalities in the stories, for instance all the writers who wrote of a future Earth write of one that is so polluted man has had to abandon it, or if man has stayed can literally be eaten by the affects of pollution. No story in "Again, Dangerous Visions" was written later than 1971 so some of the political and social changes to ward off the pessimistic outlooks of these writers was not certain or clear.
In one case of synchronicity by two authors, Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ their stories seem like they could be companion pieces or different chapters of the same book. Remarkable for an anthology.Read more ›
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Most of the stories in this sequel to Dangerous Visions are below average. Again, Dangerous Visions happens to include my favorite story 'Moth Race' by Richard Hill. It also includes, 'With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama' by Dick Lupoff' a story about a colony of whites at war with a colony of blacks. This story will be the focus of my review.
The story was hyped by the editor as, "Friends, there has never been a thing like this one before, in or out of the field of SF. One expects some eye-openers... but nothing like Lupoff. He takes the solid gold award for chutzpah Above and Beyond the limits of Gall... frankly, had no other story than this one been written for Again, Dangerous Visions, the book would have been worth reading." It was nominated for a Nebula award but didn't win. When I watched the war movie Saving Private Ryan a scene in the movie would remind me of this story.
'Boomer Boys' is dangerous because it's told from the point of view of the racist 'New Alabamans' who are at war with the planet 'New Haiti'. The story is told in part through a succession of speeches the New Alabama leadership give - as observed through the eyes of the servicemen 'gyrenes' in the story.
The first speech is given at the end of the soldiers training, "who ever said anybody needed - a commencement speech - to tell him to blast the uppities out of black space... some bigbellied Senator from Talledega? Sheeh! What if it was the Governor himself? what could he say about the war that everybody didn't know already anyhow? We all knew what would happen... the same thing that happened on O'Earth, before the Jewrabs pushed everybody else out and left the colony worlds to shift for themselves. Who needs speeches?Read more ›