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Dangerous Visions

Entry updated 17 May 2021. Tagged: Publication.


Original Anthology series edited by Harlan Ellison. Dangerous Visions (anth 1967), whose success inspired its successors, was a massive and influential anthology of 33 stories and copious prefatory material; it became strongly identified with the New Wave in the USA. Among its stories, "Aye, and Gomorrah ..." by Samuel R Delany, "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber and "Riders of the Purple Wage" by Philip José Farmer won major awards, respectively a Nebula as best short story, a Hugo as best novelette, and a tied Hugo as best novella. Dangerous Visions was followed by Again, Dangerous Visions (anth 1972), which was larger still, although it created less stir. Its 46 stories included two more major-award winners: "When It Changed" by Joanna Russ and The Word for World Is Forest (1972; 1976) by Ursula K Le Guin, which respectively received a Nebula as best short story and a Hugo as best novella. Again, Dangerous Visions used only authors who had not appeared in Dangerous Visions.

A third and still unpublished instalment, again with wholly new authors – «The Last Dangerous Visions» – became legendary for its many postponements over the decades since its first announced publication date of "approximately six months" after Again, Dangerous Visions (see the introduction to that volume), although Ellison went on record as saying in 1979 that over 100 stories were bought for it and released a contents list (June 1979 Locus) of 113 stories; there are many reports of later acquisitions. One sternly adversarial account of the anthology's history is the widely discussed The Last Deadloss Visions (1987 chap; rev 1987; rev vt The Book on the Edge of Forever 1994 chap) compiled/written and published by Christopher Priest. At around the same time, Charles Platt compiled a necrology of those who had died waiting for their stories to be published.

In November 2020, Ellison's literary executor J Michael Straczynski announced that «The Last Dangerous Visions» would be completed and submitted to publishers in Spring 2021, albeit without the many stories withdrawn and published elsewhere, and omitting an unspecified number of further tales now regarded as outdated or otherwise no longer suitable for inclusion, but with the addition of much new fiction never selected or even seen by Ellison. [MJE/PN/DRL]

see also: Taboos.

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