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    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2008
    When I was a child, my father always had some sort of science fiction book on the go. One day I found his copy of Dangerous Visions hiding in the back of his bookshelf and it changed the way I thought about science fiction in general.

    For those who don't know, it was a science fiction compilation edited by Harlan Ellison and the stories inside were supposed to be a far step from what the authors of the time were comfortable writing. He asked Philip K. Dick to write a story written while on, or inspired by LSD. Phillip Jose Farmer wrote a story that was so incredibly fluid and peyote-infused that I didn't even know he got known for writing pulp about men who looked like Tarzan and acted like James Bond until years later.

    Has anyone else ever read this book? Think it's a good idea to do something along the same lines?
  1.  (1272.2)
    You know the story of 'The Last Dangerous Visions', right?
    • CommentAuthoradrian r
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2008
    Glad you brought that up, Cat: I feel Harlan gets entirely too much adulation for his cantankerous persona, and it'd be good to see him back it up with some more writing and less contrariness. He was recently mouthing off about the way the writers' strike was settled, as if he could have achieved a better result.
  2.  (1272.4)
    Given that he's a WGA member of fifty years' standing, I think he's entitled to say what he likes about the way WGA does business.

    I'd like to see him write more and fight less, but, given his standing bibliography, I think he's backed up plenty.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2008
    I'd be a fan of Harlan Ellison if the only thing he ever wrote was his little bio's on the flaps of his books, because he has so many crazy ones. But I've also read "The Essential Ellison" cover-to-cover and that kind of solidifies my view that he's just a fantastic talent. And on top of that, I have listened to him reading his own work on "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral" which is worth listening to for "Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish" alone, but has much more to offer as well.
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2008
    You could not find a more vigorous defender of artist's right than Harlan. Some of the stories from Dangerous Visions and Again Dangerous Visions still rattle in my brain - now I have to go find my copies ...
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2008 edited
    Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral is indeed awesome. He is one of the best readers I've ever heard. He also reads his own story on the audiobook of McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales.

    My dad went to South Missouri State, and while he was there, Ellison came for about a week, did some reading, taught some classes, etc. He said it was pretty interesting, except for Ellison's bad language and general surliness. Of course, my dad later became a preacher, so take from that what you will.

    Also - Penny Arcade encountered him once. It wasn't pretty. (scroll down a bit)