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Dangerous Space Perfect Paperback – June 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


With an introduction by Geoff Ryman, this collection from wonderfully primed-for-action Aqueduct Press shoots onto the must-have list for this year... (Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column) --Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column March 23, 2007

a well written and intriguing collection from a truly fearless author. (bookslut) --Bookslut

...a unique kind of science fiction, wherein the alien land we are enticed to explore is the human soul itself... Eskridge does a wonderful job describing the ache of love (the beautiful desperation of human relationships!), and she tests the limits of our vicarious, readerly hearts... (Seattle Times) --Seattle Times

About the Author

Kelley Eskridge is a novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. Her short stories have been finalists for the Nebula and Tiptree awards, winner of the $11,000 Astraea Writer's Award, collected in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and adapted for television. Her novel Solitaire was a New York Times Notable Book, a Border Books Original Voices selection, and a finalist for the Nebula, Endeavour, and Spectrum awards. A movie based on Solitaire is currently in development. She lives in Seattle with her partner, novelist Nicola Griffith.

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Aqueduct Press (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933500131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933500133
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joan Leib on June 7, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
"Dangerous Space" is a collection of seven short stories by Kelley Eskridge. Although some of them have scifi and/or fantasy elements, most are not what you'd call "strictly" scifi. These are the kind of edgy, intriguing stories that the term "speculative fiction" was invented for. I was not familiar with Eskridge's work before reading this, but I will definitely be seeking out her other stuff.

The "dangerous space" of the title can, of course, be interpreted in many ways. I think of it as that place inside you where your most extreme emotions live, where you keep them pressed down so that you can function; the place you go to, willingly or not, when something or someone touches you in just the right way. Eskridge's writing is all about exploring the intensity of emotions -- emotions that take you over, that drive your existence, that grab you and won't let go until they've shown you what you need to see, even if you don't want to see it.

Eskridge plays around a lot with gender and sexuality; several of the stories involve main characters whose gender is never explicitly made clear, and several include bisexual behavior. I'll be honest and say that in at least two cases I simply assumed the main character was female and didn't realize until the end that it had never really been specified. In another case, I noticed early on that Eskridge was avoiding any mention of the character's gender, and I found that it really worked in that case. Sex, being one of the things that people tend to feel pretty strongly about, appears in many contexts and configurations in this collection; many of the stories involve a strong undercurrent of lust: innocent and jaded, smooth and kinky, requited and un.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Megan VINE VOICE on April 27, 2008
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Rarely have I been so amazed, so impressed, so flat-out blown away by a collection of short stories. Even among those few writers who are skilled at the form (John Varley and Connie Willis spring to mind for science-fiction readers), their short stories can't compare to their full-length novels. They may be enjoyable, interesting thought exercises, but short stories never seemed to carry the heft or the excitement that I knew an author was capable of.

Well, scratch all those assumptions when it comes to Kelley Eskridge. As much as I loved "Solitaire," her only novel to date (and let's work on that, can we?), "Dangerous Space" moves Eskridge into another level entirely, as far as I'm concerned. The stories in this collection span the spectrum, from contemporary fiction to classic sword-and-sorcery fantasy to hard sci-fi and speculative fiction. And yet, while in another author you might be frustrated by this flitting from one genre to another, Eskridge is so talented at whatever she sets her hand to that I found myself wondering what else she might be capable of.

Love, and the many maddening, variable, indefinable forms it takes, are major themes of Eskridge's work. That's what makes the character of Mars so wonderful. It might seem a gimmick to have such a gender-neutral recurring character - indeed, from a lesser writer, that's exactly what it would become. But Mars is more than an exercise. S/he challenges our very assumptions about gender, making us first obsess about his/her sex, and then gently showing us, by the end of each story, how silly and unimportant such concerns are. Man, woman - it doesn't matter, Mars is a force of nature, one of the most complex, complete, and fascinating characters I've ever had the pleasure to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gray373 on December 1, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
Although I loved Dangerous Space as a whole, the character that appeared in 3 of the stories and who stood out for me the most was the gender ambiguous Mars. I have tried to put into words just how powerfully and interestingly I thought Mars was written below (there may however, be spoilers in this review, so please do not read on if you would rather wait to discover Mars for yourself).

Mars And `Dangerous Space'.

"And Salome Danced"

This first Mars story did not fail to haul me in and intrigue me about Mars from the very beginning. Here, the character's voice strikes me as strong, vibrant and female, even though no allusion to gender is ever mentioned, apart from where concerned with the morphing of Salome. I am not sure if this is just me imposing my mental voice and liking of strong female voices on Mars or if it is something else about the character that does this.

Within this first Mars incarnation, the raw and magnetic dance of power and sexuality that (s)he has with Salome is almost like a duel for each other's soul. Salome strikes me as the ultimate emotional vampire, eager to manipulate one's concept of perception and self for the rich energy and life source that can be derived from the passion of desire, and yet - Mars, quite uniquely, where others (like Lucky) are confused, at every step of the way - seems to understand this hidden game and draw on the power of essence almost innately, no matter how much (s)he is both pulled towards and repelled by this attraction and the dangerous space it compels Mars to.
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