The ghost of Harlan is going to get me for putting his book so close to a Fantagraphics thing.

§ November 6th, 2023 § Filed under publishing, zines § 5 Comments

My apologies for skipping out on Friday’s post…I’d been a little under the weather, and I’m still recovering though I’m feeling much better now. Not COVID, thankfully (and I got the most recent booster just a couple of weeks ago), but still, enough to throw me off my game.

So I’ll just try to do a little catch-up today, noting some things of interest, like (courtesy Daniel T.) this search engine for the Amazing Heroes comics ‘zine. Well, the link takes you to a page explaining how it was made, with a link to the search engine itself. But it’s worth reading the behind-the-scenes because, man, if I spent this much time putting something together I’d want people to read about my travails, too.

But I’ve tested it out on a couple of things, and it seems to work fine. Now I have an whole run of Amazing Heroes and its associated specials here at home, and over the years, mostly because of writing for this site, I’ve had to dive deep into the collection to research somethin’ or ‘nother and it would take a while because unless I knew right off the top of my head where it would have been, I otherwise would only have a vague sense of where to locate it and I would spend an inordinate amount of time paging through the mags. Anyway, this was quite the project, and I hope it stays around.

Also of note, I just found out there’s a new edition of Harlan Ellison’s legendary anthology Dangerous Visions on its way early in 2024:

That’s a wild color. I discovered this via a post on Bluesky via J. Michael J. Straczynski, who says he’s providing a new introduction to the volume (which makes sense, since the infamously-unpublished Last Dangerous Visions is in his hands). Another new intro is by Patton Oswalt, which…I mean, sure, why not, I like him, I’m sure both he and JMS can provide a modern context as to the importance of this book, and the cutting-edge nature of the work at the time.

It’s been a while since I’ve read Dangerous Visions. I don’t even own a copy, which is why I’m happy to have this new edition (and my choice of hard or soft covers, apparently being released simultaneously next March). I do wonder how the stories have aged since the book was first released in 1967, and how much time may have blunted those cutting edges. I do own a battered hardcover of Again, Dangerous Visions which is probably due a new poke-through after sitting on my shelf for many a year. (Or I can wait for that book’s reissue next summer.)

I don’t want to relitigate the whole Last Dangerous Visions thing here, which you can read about on Wikipedia if you don’t know the details. But I do wish JMS the best of luck wrestling that beast…the Wiki entry does claim that Blackstone (the publisher of the DV reissue) will be releasing Last Dangerous Visions late next year, but surely no one can blame me if I say “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

5 Responses to “The ghost of Harlan is going to get me for putting his book so close to a Fantagraphics thing.”

  • Jack says:

    It’s been an age since I read it-bought a copy in a used bookstore back in my teens, don’t ask how long ago that is-but I’m almost certain that “Aye, And Gomorrah” by Samuel R. Delany has probably held up the best, mainly because it’s a hugely queer coded story once you get under the hood, and its themes of gender are decades ahead of its time. Much like, lets face it, Samuel R. Delany. Otherwise, most of the book is a lot of mainstream SF writers trying to be edgy, by the standards of the 1960s. The Philip K. Dick story got a hilarious call out in a posthumous Dick book for Harlan Ellison saying he was high when he wrote it, and while I loved Philip Jose Farmer’s “Riders of the Purple Wage” back in the day, the last time I read it I was struck by a nasty undercurrent of misogyny in it that 17 year old me missed, and I’ve never read it again.

    Always preferred Michael Moorcock’s side of the New Wave of SF back in the 1960s anyway, but YMMV.

  • JohnJ says:

    Weirdly, the story I still remember most from DV is “In the Barn” (I think that’s the title) as a strange precursor to “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
    Looked over the list for TLDV and was most struck by a story credited to “Firesign Theater” Used to have all their records but haven’t heard from them in ages.
    I did order a copy of “The John Varley Reader” after reading this, so you did help sell a book. Somebody should have tried to film his Gaea Trilogy.

  • Chris Gumprich says:

    “Blackstone (the publisher of the DV reissue) will be releasing Last Dangerous Visions late next year,”

    I read that as BLACKTHORNE, and was very confused for a minute. Though it does seem like the sort of thing they would have done.


  • Mikester says:

    Chris – believe it or not, I first misread it in the exact same way.

  • Snark Shark says:


    Finally, a Harlan Ellison written Nervous Rex!