Joe Michael Straczynski announced this week that he had completed the work on the late Harlan Ellison's legendary "lost" Science Fiction anthology The Last Dangerous Visions. JMS had been appointed Ellison's literary executor and was charged with bringing Ellison's books back in print. He announced late last year that he was working to realize Ellison's dream of completing work on The Last Dangerous Visions and getting it published.
JMS announced on Facebook this week that work on The Last Dangerous Visions was complete:
"THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS has at last been completed. The final draft went off to the agency that will be handling the sale about fifteen minutes ago. This has been a massive effort…112,000 words…tracking down the estates of the original writers to be included in the book and nailing down some newer A-List writers; fans of Harlan's who wanted to be a part of TLDV. (And for the record, Harlan continued to buy stories for the anthology right through the 90s and stopped only due to illness. He saw TLDV as a living document and fought to keep it relevant when some stories became less timely or were supplanted by real-world events.)
I will have more to say about the contents at a later date, but suffice to say that they include some of the most visionary writers in the science fiction genre over the last 48 years."
The original Dangerous Visions, published in 1967, and its follow-up Again, Dangerous Visions, which debuted in 1972, both edited by Harlan Ellison, have long been viewed by critics, scholars, and fans as two of the most important and influential anthologies ever published in the field of science fiction. They overturned the tropes of the form, created careers for many newer writers, and birthed the New Wave Science Fiction movement that forever changed the genre. They paved the way for every subsequent new wave of Science Fiction ever since, including Cyberpunk. Ellison had promised a third and final volume, The Last Dangerous Visions, for 1974, but the years stretched into decades, prompting debate, criticism, legal issues, and claims that the final book was vaporware.
If and when The Last Dangerous Visions is published, it will close off one of the most enduring "lost" projects in the Science Fiction field.