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Dangerous Visions (SF Masterworks) Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Dangerous Visions is a landmark in science fiction, one that can proudly stand against those literary snobs who look down their nose at the genre -- Antony Jones SFBOOKREVIEWS blog

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: SF Masterworks
  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Reprint edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575108029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575108028
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This classic anthology of speculative fiction (a deeper form that standard sci-fi) deserves the praise and influence it has enjoyed since 1967. These stories were indeed dangerous for their era, and most of them have proven to be well ahead of their time, retaining the power of expanding your literary horizons even today. Some of these stories are downright shocking - including the submissions from Miriam Allen deFord, Robert Bloch, and Carol Emshwiller. Others are bizarre to the point of great insight - like the stories from Brian W. Aldiss, Larry Eisenberg, and Norman Spinrad. Others have the great social commentary and human drama that most sci-fi writers would kill to be capable of - especially the submissions from Frederick Pohl and Howard Rodman.
The true key to this compilation is the editing work of Harlan Ellison, whose sarcastic and caustic personality shines through almost every page, even though he only wrote one of the stories himself. (That isn't self-glamorization, because his submission is an endorsed sequel to Bloch's story.) Ellison's introductions to each story combine the best in praising and roasting, and he certainly located many fascinating writers. Here we can see up-and-comers who later went on to greater things, along with intriguing unknowns who encourage where-are-they-now speculation. Another groundbreaking aspect of this collection is Ellison's use of afterwords by each author to comment on their own stories. This is usually successful except for a few cases of self-aggrandizement by the writers, and at least one attempt to explain a sub-par story (J.G. Ballard). Aside from a few minor clunkers, there is just one story that may have once been dangerous but is now a flop. That's the 70-plus-page novella from Philip Jose Farmer, which has aged wretchedly with an overload of creaky 60's politics and an unreadably faddish writing style. That's about the only story here that's not still capable of opening new horizons all these decades later.
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Format: Paperback
Say what you will about Harlan Ellison, but you've got to admit he's got great taste.
I was lucky enough to this up for a measly $.75 at a local used bookstore. Believe me, it was money well spent.
There are a few duds in this collection (doesn't every anthology have some?), but they are by far outweighed by the gems. Some examples of the latter: the outrageous Joycean wit of Philip Jose Farmer's "Riders Of The Purple Wage", the dream-like beauty of Carol Emshwiller's "Sex And/Or Mr. Morrison", John Sladek's shockingly prophetic "The Happy Breed", and Kris Neville's Salingeresque humor in "From The Government Printing Office".
If you like science fiction, or just enjoy well-crafted stories, by all means - seek this out.
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Format: Paperback
Too many good and great stories in this one to list in this review. Keep in mind that these were original stories which were never before published. A rare phenomena indeed for SF. Often, it turns out that only a small portion of the yearly writings in the SF field is good. It was a time of changes back then. Many daring, not before tolerated ideas.
At the time these stories were written they were considered _dangerous_. They remained dangerous for a long time and when I read them in these days I can see why. Innovating and shocking they still are, well some of them. A great read and necessary reading for SF lovers.
This book has also useful for-and afterwords.
Lately, many o.o.p. books are instilled with new life, but I don't think this will be available long. It can't hurt to have a bit of a history of SF on your shelves. However, it remains a period book. Some dated stories, but always interesting.
No SF library is complete without it.
One other reviewer mentioned some favorites. The Bloch story is tremendously fun to read. As is the PKD story.
Good reading here.
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Format: Paperback
Of course these stories aren't as "dangerous" or revolutionary as they were when they were published 35 years ago. The culture and SF have evolved quite a bit in that time. That said, its still a pretty good collection of stories, and even more interesting as a piece of SF history.

Harlan Ellison deserves a lot of credit for preserving this book as it was, resisting the temptation to update it (like certain directors have futily tried to update their older movies). This includes his introductions, which are written in the venacular of the time, dig, (and which less secure writers might have been embarassed by). To be honest, I found them the most entertaining part of the book, and they give the reader a great insight into the time in which they were written.
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Format: Paperback
This is Harlan Ellison's ground-breaking 60s SF anthology for which he invited writers to explore "dangerous" themes that were generally considered taboo at that time. Even now, many of these tales still retain the capacity to shock. Like most anthologies, the quality of the content is uneven, but the overall result is elevated by Ellison's story introductions, the afterwords to each story by the writers themselves, and the general sense that one is reading a serious attempt to push the genre in a more significant direction. Standouts include stories by Ellison himself, Fritz Leiber, David R. Bunch, Sonya Dorman, JG Ballard, and Norman Spinrad. Interestingly, the only real stinkers in the book are produced by veteran writers: Theodore Sturgeon, Damon Knight, and Poul Anderson.
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