Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison

I remember when I first read this, the ideas were striking. Almost 40 years later, re-reading it for the book group, there's nothing dangerous and not a lot of visions, either. Two of my favorite stories are in this book: "The Day After The Day The Martians Came" by Frederik Pohl, and "Gonna Roll The Bones" by Fritz Leiber, but they were not enough to overcome the forewords and introductions. Harlan's ego oozed out of the introductions in such plenty that I expected the book to be glued together by it. It was lucky if there was a paragraph on the actual author because the rest of the intro would be about Harlan.

The most egregious egoboo Harlan gave himself was when he asked Robert Bloch to continue his Jack the Ripper series, but in the future. Bloch came up with "A Toy for Juliette," a story that was complete in itself and rather satisfying. Harlan didn't like what Bob wrote, so he wrote a story to follow it, "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World," which, like the title was too long and rather diffuse.

Harlan is GoH at Minicon in two weeks and having reread this so recently, I'm not sure I'll be able to look him in the eyes without saying something.
Tags: books

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