Dangerous Space

Dangerous Space

"...wherein the alien land we are enticed to explore is the human soul itself."
(The Seattle Times)


"Drink deep and discover that though this brew's flavor
is anything but vanilla, you believe in goodness after all."

-- from the introduction by Geoff Ryman, author of Air


Dangerous Space is a Locus Best of 2007 collection.
The novella "Dangerous Space" is a finalist for the 2009 Nebula Award.

Published by Aqueduct Press.

"It takes a special talent to write about emotions this raw without embarrassing yourself. In Dangerous Space, the very talented Kelley Eskridge offers tales of the human heart that are searing, moving, and true."

Matt Ruff, author of Bad Monkeys

"Richly imagined, moving, and very sexy, these stories about music, art, sex, and identity will make you rethink all the categories you thought you knew."

Julie Phillips, author of James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon

Buy the book

A musician struggles to express herself in a society that mercilessly controls artists and art. A 'sound guy' on tour with an indie rock band encounters the full power of music unleashed and out of control. A man searches desperately for a mysterious woman in a crumbling city. A young woman ruled by anger finds hope in a woman who feels no pain.

These are some of the people who find themselves in Dangerous Space, a collection of short fiction from author Kelley Eskridge -- seven seductive stories of people risking the dangerous space between each other, and within themselves, and finding love, loss, hope or joy.

Among the stories in Dangerous Space are two Nebula Award finalists, two James Tiptree Honor List stories, and a winner of the Astraea Prize. The collection's closing story, "Alien Jane," was adapted for an episode of the SciFi Channel series Welcome To Paradox.

"...a well written and intriguing collection from a truly fearless author."

"...sometimes a writer just sweeps me off my feet and I forget what I was supposed to be doing. Such is the case with the title story from Kelley Eskridge's collection Dangerous Space. While the year is less than half over, this has garnered my vote as one of the best stories of the year."

"...this collection from wonderfully primed-for-action Aqueduct Press shoots onto the must-have list for this year -- and probably onto a few award ballots as well... Eskridge is one of those writers who, in a better world, would not even be thought of science or speculative fiction. She'd just be called: good writing."
The Agony Column

"This is the best collection of stories I've read in forever. Cutting edge in every sense, Eskridge mines the raw edges of emotion -- love, lust and fear -- and places her characters in settings just a bit different to our own -- the near future, the recent past, or the slightly fantastic. If you like Kelly Link, Nicola Griffith or Neil Gaiman, you'll love Kelley Eskridge."

"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..."
The Seattle Times

"...compelling and imaginative stories peopled with characters that may live in worlds which are purely fictional but who struggle with everything that it means to be human."
The Short Review

"This story ["Dangerous Space"] had me completely in, as they say, the palm of its hand, putty-like. Highly, highly recommended, just like the entirety of the collection."
Shaken & Stirred

"As short story collections go, this is one of the best of the year, with incisive, often subtle character studies combined with down-to-earth contemporary fantasy elements...The great writing here is at the service of fascinating people and unusual situations."

"Kelley Eskridge can sound like Samuel Delany, Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, or Joanna Russ, while still maintaining her own unique throaty, modulated voice."
Asimov's SF

"This is the kind of art that the word "queer" fits perfectly. The stories aren't specifically lesbian, and they're not specifically gay, but they render any sexual preference wondrously possible. The biological gender of Mars, protagonist of three of the collection's seven stories -- including the hypnotic novella-length title tale -- is never specified: some will read her as a woman, and her passion for the mesmerizing male lead singer of an indie rock band as straight; some will read him as a man, and the same passion as gay. Eskridge juggles the ambiguity with surefooted physical, emotional, and sexual intensity."
Q Syndicate

"Eskridge proffers a tantalizing taste of just how good and savory futuristic fiction can be."
The Baltimore Sun

"The innovative talents of an emerging Seattle science-fiction writer, with her raw yet heartfelt perspective, are showcased in a fine new collection of short fiction, including an indie music novella that provides the book's title."
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"With its kaleidoscopic variety of settings and prose styles, this short story collection by Kelley Eskridge is comprised of many spaces rather than just one... Eskridge is skilled at creating atmosphere and physical detail, and uses her skill to present thought-provoking stories, ideas that linger in the mind's eye."
Strange Horizons

"Kelley Eskridge doesn't tell you everything. She leaves space in her stories for readers to work things out for themselves. But here's the rub: She sets things up so that readers will not always be completely sure what they've found. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that they may not be completely comfortable with what they find. As the title implies, these spaces are dangerous."
SF Revu

On the radio

To The Best of Our Knowledge
conversation about gender
and a reading from Dangerous Space
Segment begins at 38:30.

Read stories from Dangerous Space

"Strings," a story of music. You can also watch "Mad Rush," a vid made in response to the story.

"And Salome Danced," the first story
of Mars and a Tiptree Prize Honor List story.

"Dangerous Space," the newest Mars story (in PDF format).

Watch a vid for "Strings"

See the vid full size here or at YouTube.

Interviews and conversation

Interview on The Short Review

Talk of gender and writing
on Ambling Along the Aqueduct.

A commentary on the story "Strings"
at Strange Horizons.

Questions and Answers
about Dangerous Space