Dangerous Visions was originally published in 1967 and was the brain child of it's editor Harlan Ellison. Anthologies rarely attract the kind of attention that this one has over the years but then most don't win major awards for more than half a dozen of it's stories either.
Hugo award wins include Fritz Leiber's "Gonna Roll the Bones" (which also won the Nebula) Philip JosÃ© Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage" and Samuel R. Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah...". Philip K Dick's submission "Faith of our Fathers" was nominated while Harlan Ellison himself received a special citation at the 26th World SF Convention for editing "the most significant and controversial SF book published in 1967".
Not only are these short stories carefully selected and written by some of the finest writers of the genre but as the title suggests many were pretty risque for the 60's. To be honest though this doesn't even begin to explain the influence that Dangerous Visions has had over the years, the anthology is largely aknowledged as kick starting the "new wave" of science fiction that developed after that "golden age" of the 30's to the early 60's.
33 stories are included and each one a gem, with individual introductions by Ellison and forewords to the collection itself by Ellison, Roberts and the late, great Asimov - who considered himself too "square" to write a story for the collection.
Each of these shorts were original when published in the anthology and it's a testiment to the editor that he managed to put such a collection together. If I could only ever own 1 Anthology then this would be it, the author list speaks for itself (full list below) and includes JG Ballard, Philip K Dick, Fritz Leiber, Brian Aldiss, Frederik Pohl, Damon Knight, John Sladek, Roger Zelazny,Lester del Rey, Robert Silverberg and Samuel R. Delany.
Put simply, Dangerous Visions is a landmark in science fiction, one that can proudly stand against those literary snobs who look down their nose at the genre, even after 50 years in print the collection still has the magic, the ingenuity and above all some of finest short stories you will find anywhere. This is one book that should never go out of print, it's not just an Anthology but a piece of science fiction history.
Written on Friday 9th March 2012 by Antony.
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