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Literature: Dangerous Visions

Harlan Ellison doesn't think small. The fact that the above page-quote—the first paragraph of his original introduction to the book—is, if anything, an understatement, says a helluva lot.

For those of you who came into the movie late, I'll bring you up to speed: in the 1960s, Harlan Ellison had the idea of putting together a science-fiction anthology. But not just any ordinary anthology—his mad scheme was to collect stories from the best writers in the field. And not just ANY stories—he wanted stories that were, well, too dangerous to get printed anywhere else.

To cite just one example, from Damon Knight's afterword to "Shall the Dust Praise Thee?":

"This story was written some years ago, and all I remember about it is that my then agent returned it with loathing, and told me I might possibly sell it to the Atheist Journal in Moscow, but nowhere else."

It also features introductions to each story by Harlan, who talks about the writer, and an afterword by the writer about the story. This gives the reader an immense feeling of the community surrounding science-fiction, and was part of why the anthology was so well-received.

Dangerous Visions (1967) won a truckload of awards, and Harlan got a special citation at the 26th World SF Convention for editing "the most significant and controversial SF book published in 1967". And it's gone on to be perhaps the most influential science-fiction anthology of all time.

It had a sequel anthology, Again, Dangerous Visions (1971), and there were and sometimes apparently are plans for The Last Dangerous Visions, but... well, Harlan doesn't like to talk about it (though Christopher Priest (novelist) is happy to).

Tropes Associated with the Anthology Itself:


Tropes found in the Stories in Dangerous Visions:

The tropes found in each story (as well as in the introductions and afterwords) are listed under the story in question.


Chicks in ChainmailGenre AnthologySkeleton Crew
Lord of LightNebula AwardDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Lord of LightHugo AwardI Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
The Dandelion GirlScience Fiction LiteratureAgain, Dangerous Visions
The Dandelion GirlLiterature of the 1960sThe Dark Is Rising

alternative title(s): Dangerous Visions
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