Again, Dangerous Visions [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Harlan Ellison
eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: The classic companion to the most essential science fiction anthology ever published. 46 original stories edited with introductions by Harlan Ellison. Featuring: John Heidenry--Ross Rocklynne--Ursula K. Le Guin--Andrew J. Offutt--Gene Wolfe--Ray Nelson--Ray Bradbury--Chad Oliver--Edward Bryant--Kate Wilhelm--James B. Hemesath--Joanna Russ--Kurt Vonnegut--T. L. Sherred--K. M. O'Donnell (Barry N. Malzberg)--H. H. Hollis--Bernard Wolfe--David Gerrold--Piers Anthony--Lee Hoffman--Gahan Wilson--Joan Bernott--Gregory Benford--Evelyn Lief--James Sallis--Josephine Saxton--Ken McCullough--David Kerr--Burt K. Filer--Richard Hill--Leonard Tushnet--Ben Bova--Dean R. Koontz--James Blish and Judith Ann Lawrence--A. Parra (y Figueredo)--Thomas M. Disch--Richard A. Lupoff--M. John Harrison--Robin Scott--Andrew Weiner--Terry Carr--James Tiptree, Jr.
eBook Publisher: E-Reads/E-Reads, Published: 1972
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2009
An Assault of New Dreamers
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Dumas wrote The Three Musketeers in 1844. Popular demand compelled him to write two sequels, Vingt Ans Après in 1845 and Le Vicomte de Bragelonne in 1848. Arthur Conan Doyle grew tired of Sherlock Holmes and ended his career as a criminologist (as well as that of Professor Moriarty as a master criminal) with a tumble over the Reichenbach Falls in "The Final Problem." The public would have none of it. Doyle, pressed to the wall, revived his immortal sleuth three years later with "The Adventure of the Empty House." In 1959 Evan S. Connell, Jr. wrote Mrs. Bridge and it became an instant classic of contemporary fiction. No sequel was possible, but the name became a literary catchphrase, and in 1969 Mr. Connell wrote Mr. Bridge. The creators of Captain America killed off that star-spangled warrior for Democracy and the American Way near the end of World War II. In the early Sixties the Sub-Mariner, Prince Namor of Atlantis, found Cap floating around perfectly preserved in a block of ice, and revived him. Isaac Asimov has had to suffer sequelization many times. No one will let him stop telling stories of Dr. Susan Calvin and her U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc.; stories of the Foundation; stories of Lije Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw. Ike is resigned. They have lives of their own.
I did not want to edit another Dangerous Visions.
A man may enter the Valley of the Shadow once because he has a taste for danger or because he simply doesn't recognize the terrain. But once having gone and come back, only a fool returns. In November of 1965 I began work on what I thought would be an interesting little project, the creation of an anthology of new stories, in a new mode, for the field of speculative fiction. Four and a half years later, fifty thousand hardcovers and God only knows how many paperbacks later, Dangerous Visions has become a landmark (for once my ego-dreams came true) and somehow, magically, as though it had a life of its own, Dangerous Visions has forced the creation of a companion volume, bigger than the original, and I sit here in lonely desperation, trying to beat a publication deadline, writing another Introduction. We both arrive at the same conclusion: I am a monumental fool.
Let me tell you how it happened.
No, wait a minute. Let me first tell you what Dangerous Visions did, apart from selling more copies of an sf anthology than any other in recent memory.
First, the awards.
Fritz Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bones" and Chip Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah..." won the 1967 Nebula Awards of the Science Fiction Writers of America in the categories of best novelette and best short story, respectively--incidentally beating out nominees by this editor in both categories. (Seldom has a man so willingly aided his executioners.)
At the 26th World SF Convention in Oakland, in 1968, Philip José Farmer tied for the Hugo Award in the Best Novella category with "Riders of the Purple Wage" from Dangerous Visions (for purists, he tied with Anne McCaffrey's "Weyr Search"); and Fritz took a Hugo with "Gonna Roll the Bones" for Best Novelette. (I got two Hugos that year, so I didn't feel the need to bitch or begrudge.)
And the Oakland convention gave me a plaque for editing "the most significant and controversial sf book published in 1967."
Dangerous Visions appeared on BOOK WORLD'S list of the best paperbacks of 1969. It was reprinted by the Science Fiction Book Club and sold over 45,000 copies. The Literary Guild offered it as a bonus selection. It has had--or will shortly have--translations or editions in Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy and France. It almost single-handedly helped bring into being a counter-revolutionary movement in the genre called "The Second Foundation," dedicated to eradicating all that Dangerous Visions stood for. Whatever that is.
I personally received over two thousand letters from readers of the book ranging from a telegram from an influential New York editor who said Congratulations on publication day of the most important sf book of the decade to a Mrs. S. Blittmon of Philadelphia who wrote, in part: "When I picked up your book 'Dangerous Visions' at the library & read the 2 introductions I thought it was going to be great. I cannot tell you how sick I feel after reading [and she named two stories, one my own]. You say you had a Jewish grandmother (so did I) but I think not; she must have been Viet Cong, otherwise how could you think of such atrocities. Shame, shame on you! Science fiction should be beautiful. With your mind (?) you should be cleaning latrines & that's too nice. Sincerely..."
Go please the world.