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Dangerous Space Perfect Paperback – June 1, 2007

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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: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 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: #1,976,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
These are stories that will stick with you long after you put them down.
Ashley Megan
In a way, this also mirrors the character of Mars, who throughout, remains a strong, evolving, magnetic and thoroughly intriguing entity.
Eskridge often makes creativity her subject, writing movingly about various forms of art, especially music.
Terry Weyna

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
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
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 esmatt on November 30, 2007
Format: Perfect Paperback
This collection of stories gives more than reading pleasure, it gives a view into many places most people don't even think to look. Using various settings and characters Kelley Eskridge tells the story of people. Through these characters we are in their skin as Eskridge skillfully reaches into the feelings and motives of the stranger you are sharing a public space with or acquintainces who you can follow from limited knowledge to the most intimate of friends and lovers.

Using art in all it's forms makes it possible for the author to share insights through the eyes and feelings of her characters. In doing this the author shows her observational abilities to the nth degree. For me the most powerful of these arts was the music. I don't know if this author is also a musician but she really gets the scene, it's authentic. It's difficult to say in just a few words how smart this book is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dulcinea on November 27, 2007
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I can recommend this book without hesitation. This is idea-driven fiction, but not the kind that wastes words on explanations and excuses. More dreams and nightmares than mere stories, they lead down unexpected roads to destinations made familiar by the raw emotions they evoke. The gender ambiguity of the characters has the effect of turning them into mirrors, accessible to any reader -- an incredible accomplishment given how strictly gendered art often is (and society at large). And the writing is cool the way a cult movie is cool, with a daring intensity and an underground edge unmatched in the mainstream. All in all, an amazing collection of stories.
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