"It is the great white whale of science fiction: an anthology of stories
by some of the genre’s greatest names, collected in the early 1970s by
Harlan Ellison yet mysteriously never published. But almost 50 years
after it was first announced, The Last Dangerous Visions is finally set
to see the light of day.
The late Ellison changed the face of sci-fi with the publication of
anthologies Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions, in 1968 and
1972, which featured writing by the likes of Philip K Dick, JG Ballard,
Kurt Vonnegut and Ursula K Le Guin. Ellison, who was known for his
combative nature – JG Ballard called him “an aggressive and restless
extrovert who conducts life at a shout and his fiction at a scream” –
announced a third volume, The Last Dangerous Visions, would be published
in 1974. Contributors were said to include major names such as Frank
Herbert, Anne McCaffrey, Octavia Butler and Daniel Keyes.
But the work never appeared, and in the words of the Encyclopedia of
Science Fiction, it “became legendary for its many postponements”. The
encyclopedia notes that “a series of illnesses certainly impaired
Ellison’s fitness for the huge task of annotating what had soon become
an enormous project”; in their study of Ellison, The Edge of Forever,
Ellen Weil and Gary K Wolfe say the anthology ran to over a million words."
Via Esther Schindler.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics