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Many years ago I read a collection of stories that had not been published, not because of their quality but because of the challenging themes.

I am trying to remember the name of the story, and its author, that begins with the hero helping some traders that were being robbed. The traders are selling some metal that is vital to everyone, but no one wants to acknowledge it, as the planet where it is mined the inhabitants practice incest. The hero travels to that planet, falls in love with the daughter of the trader, and stays in that planet. Anyway, the story discusses race improvement through inbreeding.

The editor of the book, if I am not mistaken is Isaac Asimov. Or at least, he wrote the introduction to the collection. Many of the authors in that collection were award winning.

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    Uh, forgive if I ask the obvious question, but if these weren't published, what did you read them IN?
    – Radhil
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:27
  • @Radhil Banned books get de-banned. For example, Thomas Middleton's play The Revenger's Tragedy was banned (for valorizing the idea that commoners could kill nobles if I recall correctly) for a few centuries in the UK. Now it's a film. :)
    – Lexible
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:56
  • The uncensored version of Wildes Portrait of Dorian Gray was only recently released (well, within the last 5 years or so).
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:58
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    Banned in which country/countries?
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:58
  • Can you clarify what the "challenging themes" were? Was it banned for discussing inbreeding? For graphic descriptions of, um, "breeding"? Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 12:27

1 Answer 1

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Sounds like an anthology called Dangerous Visions, collected by Harlan Ellison. The story you mention is called "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?" by Theodore Sturgeon. See this Wikipedia entry on this story.

It is about an Earthman who comes to the planet Vexvelt, shunned by the rest of colonized universe for unknown reasons. He finds it a utopian paradise, but then discovers to his shock and horror that incest is actively encouraged there. When it is shown that the reason that the planet is a paradise is because of this encouragement of incest (or, rather, the non-suppression of sexual instincts and urges including incest), then questions are raised of the reader as to how we face "unpleasant" issues.

I haven't heard anything about any of the material in Dangerous Visions being banned.

As one of the comments points out (and see its ISFDB entry), "If All Men Were Brothers . . ." has been anthologized in other collections, some of them edited by Isaac Asimov. But I think the collection the asker is referring to is most likely Dangerous Visions, because Isaac Asimov did write the intro to DV, and also because the asker remembers the collection as being transgressive and having "challenging themes," which fits the theme of DV.

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  • The short story you IDed here was included in plenty of other anthologies and collections
    – Trish Ling
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 1:22
  • This fits and Asimov did write the intro. to DV. Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 4:26
  • Good points in the above comments. I added a note to my answer about those.
    – Pixel
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 6:34
  • Thank you very much. I will try and get the Dangerous visions. I think the person that answered it got it right. I read the anthology but did not rememeber the name. Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 1:02
  • It's also possible that you are conflating Dangerous Visions with The Last Dangerous Visions. The story you refer to was indeed published, but Harlan Ellison (for reasons still unknown) wound up sitting on submissions for LDV, and the book was never published, although 32 of the stories were eventually published elsewhere, and apparently part of it was published. But Ellison's failure was fairly famous among SF circles and may have influenced your recollection. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 18:57

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