Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Don't-tell-me-you-believe-all-that-junk Literature

I've been checking out Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology from the library over and over again for years, and I'm about halfway through it. I check it out today and see where some sweet, geek-kindred soul has affixed the above description to this durable old copy. Just wanted to record the blessed fact. The world feels richer already.
Published in 1967, it features Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Samuel R. Delaney, and numerous others (Ellison calls them all soothsayers). Isaac Asimov's foreword reminisces concerning those bygone days when science fiction was "don't-tell-me-you-believe-that-junk literature...don't-fill-your-mind-with-all-that-mush literature." It's as if they're all running a victory lap. Ellison's intro: "What you hold in your hands is more than a book. If we are lucky, it is a revolution." Color me now and forever a glad sucker for this kind of thing.
I'll look to lay down a review at some point.


thredd said...

okay well you are using really well constructed sentences: and i think i understand you? because you write often and read a lot: and this is what you do/ ok done with "preface" now on to subject: all of those great writers:[please range with me- and you usually do] had to write under the realm of sci fi: [then it was considered "not a ligitemate form of literature"] to be able to creatively express amazingly potent and explosively true ideals.
and all of those "ideals" have come true in almost every way.
is this what you are saying besides : showing us the cool foto of an aritfact? from then?
onto other things: different arena:
and i am always late to school
two books:
same author:
the savage detectives
and 2666/ robert bolano
i cannot tell you what it is doing to me: it is slightly like moto diarie but no revolution?
anyway: this is my drive-by

thredd said...

also my last capthcha was "imperson" and i take a fence

Rachael said...

Will you be in the Boston area anytime soon? I organize events for an local episcopal church, held at a bar downtown, "theology on tap, " and we would love to have you. Perhaps if you are headed back to Martha's Vineyard sometime?

jdaviddark said...

That's exactly it, Ramsie. That AND the better-way-of-putting-it you added unto it. sci-fi tells it over and over again.
and bolano. i believe you. i've been meaning to start down that road for some time now.
sarah speaks an affectionate and intimidated hello from the other room.

jdaviddark said...


I'd certainly be up for it. TO my knowledge, Boston isn't in my immediate future, but I'll certainly keep you in mind whene'er I'm up there again. In the meantime, feel free to E me at david dot dark AT vanderbilt dot edu

Variations On A Theme said...

In the trenches with Dick this past summer, I found myself getting sidetracked by Ellison. His biography by Weil and Wolfe is spectacular, though I didn't get to read it all. (I only got to read any of it because of your brother and his connections at Vanderbilt library...)

A guy in the summer course (for which I wrote about Dick) wrote about Ellison's A Boy and His Dog. He actually did two phone interviews with Ellison (whose like 80-something now, I suppose). He said Ellison was personable and interesting and full of info. in the first interview, where they talked for nearly an hour. And the second time, he was what the sf world expects of Ellison: short-tempered, irritable, dismissive.

I was so jealous he actually got to speak with Ellison! I told him I was just going to have to interview Dick. We decided that Dick, of all the dead sf writers, is the one most likely to make himself accessible from beyond the grave.