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Again, Dangerous Visions: 46 Original Stories Edited by Harlan Ellison Hardcover – 1972
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OVER 40 SHORT STORIES FROM HARLAN ELLISON, KURT VONNEGUT, ROBIN SCOTT, JAMES TIPTREE, JAMES SALLIS, LEE HOFFMAN AND MANY OTHERS. Minor marks to covers. DJ not present. Interior is clean with no writing etc. Strong binding. All pages are present. Nice book great price!
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Top Customer Reviews
I know that Harlan Ellison is acknowledged as a genius, but I’m afraid in my full nerdboy role as Amazon reviewer I can only give this anthology three stars. I appreciate that this may reflect poorly on my taste in science fiction, but I found it very disappointing. I realise that this is only the second half of the original edition and that it may have been a significant anthology at the time of its first publication in 1972, both in the context of the time and in the evolution of science fiction. However, I am reading it for the first time in 2016 and having gradually worked through over a hundred pre-1975 anthologies in the past three years, in comparison with much that I have read, I find most of the stories in this volume pretty second-rate. To me they often appear to be just trying to make some kind of point as being shocking or different.
Of these twenty three stories, thirteen are actually ten pages or less once the introduction and afterword are taken away, and I tend to find this length of story difficult to get my teeth into. The one novella-length story of hundred pages long (“With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama” by Richard A. Lupoff) I found particularly dated and the lengthy portrayal of white supremacists distasteful. Back in the early 1970s when I read “Dangerous Visions” I probably hung onto the brilliant Harlan Ellison’s every word, but now, aged sixty four, I find his strong opinions and apparent constant need for drama distinctly tedious.
The stories that I liked best were those by James Tiptree Jr, Terry Carr, Thomas M. Disch, and Gregory Benford.
Here is the list of stories:
(1) “Soundless Evening” by Lee Hoffman
(2) “ ” by Gahan Wilson
(3) “The Test-Tube Creature, Afterward” by Joan Bernott
(4) “And the Seas Like Mirrors” by Gregory Benford
(5) “Bedsheets Are White” by Evelyn Lief
(6) “Tissue” by James Sallis
1: at the fitting shop
2: 53rd American dream
(7) “ Elouise and the Doctors of the Planet Pergamon” by Josephine Saxton
(8) “Chuck Berry Won’t You Please Come Home” by Ken McCullough
(9) “Epiphany for aliens” by David Kerr
(10) “Eye of the Beholder” by Burt K.Filer
(11) “Moth Race” by Richard Hill
(12) “In Re Glover” by Leonard Tushnet
(13) “Zero Gee” by Ben Bova
(14) “A Mouse in the Walls of the Global village” by Dean R. Koontz
(15) “Getting Along” by James Blish
(16) “Totenbuch” by A. Parra (y Figueredo)
(17) “Things Lost” by Thomas M. Disch
(18) “With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama” by Richard A. Lupoff
(19) “Lamia Mutable” by M John Harrison
(20) “Last Train to Kanakee” by Robin Scott
(21) “Empire of the Sun” by Andrew weiner
(22) “Ozymandias” by Terry Carr
(23) “ The Milk of Paradise” by James Tiptree, Jr
"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.
Although, "Again, Dangerous Visions" contains authors I didn't think I'd like (Dean Koontz, Thomas Disch), I was surprised that I liked their stories and even found myself wanting to read more of their stories. After 42 years "Again, Dangerous Visions" still has the power to introduce new writing (if not new writers, although for the most part these writers were new to the public in 1971) to a new audience.
Despite the stories' age and the time of publication at the end of the "60's", the 60's didn't really end until 1971, only one of the stories seems dated by the times or vernacular of the characters.
Though some may complain of Ellison's introductions to the stories, I find his writing a pleasure to read (see my reviews of "The Glass Teat" and "Harlan Ellisons Watching"), providing insight and personal recollections of the writers he includes in the book. In some cases his stewardship brings about the best in the writers contributing to the book. Just waiting for "The Last Dangerous Visions" Harlan!