Cover of first edition (hardcover)
|Author||Edited by Harlan Ellison|
|Illustrator||Leo and Diane Dillon|
|Genre||Science fiction anthology|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Followed by||Again, Dangerous Visions|
A path-breaking collection, Dangerous Visions helped define the New Wave science fiction movement, particularly in its depiction of sex in science fiction. Writer/editor Al Sarrantonio writes how Dangerous Visions "almost single-handedly [...] changed the way readers thought about science fiction."
The list of the authors' names reads like a Who's Who of 1960s science fiction. Ellison introduced the anthology both collectively and individually while authors provided afterwords to their own stories.
Awards and nominations
The stories and the anthology itself were nominated for and received many awards. "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber received both a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award for Best novelette, whilst Philip K. Dick's submission "Faith of Our Fathers" was a nominee for the Hugo in the same category. Philip José Farmer tied for the Hugo Award for Best Novella for "Riders of the Purple Wage". Samuel R. Delany won the Nebula for Best Short Story for "Aye, and Gomorrah..." Harlan Ellison received a special citation at the 26th World SF Convention for editing "the most significant and controversial SF book published in 1967."
The popular collection was followed by an even larger 1972 sequel, Again, Dangerous Visions. The projected third collection, The Last Dangerous Visions, was started, but controversially remains unpublished. The final book has become something of a legend as science fiction's most famous unpublished book. It was originally announced for publication in 1973, but other work demanded Ellison's attention and the anthology has not seen print to date. He has come under criticism for his treatment of some writers who submitted their stories to him, whom some estimate to number nearly 150 (and many of whom have died in the ensuing almost four decades since the anthology was first announced). In 1993 Ellison threatened to sue New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) for publishing "Himself in Anachron", a short story written by Cordwainer Smith and sold to Ellison for the book by his widow, but later reached an amicable settlement. British SF author Christopher Priest critiqued Ellison's editorial practices in a widely-disseminated article titled "The Book on the Edge of Forever". Priest documented a half-dozen instances in which Ellison promised TLDV would appear within a year of the statement, but did not fulfill those promises. Ellison has a record of fulfilling obligations in other instances, including to writers whose stories he solicited, and has expressed outrage at other editors who have displayed poor practices.
Illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon accompany each short story.
- "Foreword 1 - The Second Revolution" by Isaac Asimov
- "Foreword 2 - Harlan and I" by Isaac Asimov
- "Thirty-Two Soothsayers" (introduction) by Harlan Ellison
- "Evensong" by Lester del Rey. This is described by its author as an allegory. It details the capture of a being, identified at the end of the story as God, by Man, which has usurped God's power.
- "Flies" by Robert Silverberg. It was inspired by a quote from King Lear: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport."
- "The Day After the Day the Martians Came" by Frederik Pohl
- "Riders of the Purple Wage" by Philip José Farmer (Hugo Award for best novella)
- "The Malley System" by Miriam Allen deFord
- "A Toy for Juliette" by Robert Bloch
- "The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World" by Harlan Ellison
- "The Night That All Time Broke Out" by Brian W. Aldiss
- "The Man Who Went to the Moon — Twice" by Howard Rodman
- "Faith of Our Fathers" by Philip K. Dick
- "The Jigsaw Man" by Larry Niven
- "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber (Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette)
- "Lord Randy, My Son" by Joe L. Hensley
- "Eutopia" by Poul Anderson
- "Incident in Moderan" and "The Escaping" by David R. Bunch
- "The Doll-House" by James Cross (pseudonym)
- "Sex and/or Mr. Morrison" by Carol Emshwiller
- "Shall the Dust Praise Thee?" by Damon Knight
- "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?" by Theodore Sturgeon
- "What Happened to Auguste Clarot?" by Larry Eisenberg
- "Ersatz" by Henry Slesar
- "Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird" by Sonya Dorman
- "The Happy Breed" by John Sladek
- "Encounter with a Hick" by Jonathan Brand
- "From the Government Printing Office" by Kris Neville
- "Land of the Great Horses" by R. A. Lafferty
- "The Recognition" by J. G. Ballard
- "Judas" by John Brunner
- "Test to Destruction" by Keith Laumer
- "Carcinoma Angels" by Norman Spinrad
- "Auto-da-Fé" by Roger Zelazny
- "Aye, and Gomorrah" by Samuel R. Delany (Nebula Award for best short story, 1967)