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Dangerous Space

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Dangerous Space is a collection of seven seductive stories by Kelley Eskridge, whose novel Solitaire was a New York Times Notable Book, with an introduction by Geoff Ryman (author of Was and Air). The opening story, "Strings," takes us to a world that tightly controls musical expression and values faithfulness to the canon above all else. By contrast, in the title novella, ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Aqueduct Press
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Jul 06, 2016 Lisa rated it liked it
There's so much helplessness in these stories. The main characters persevere and bear witness, which is certainly a mode of strength, but it's not the kind I want to read about. The helplessness is most evident in the speculative stories, but it shows up in the nongenre ones also. (Some of the stories gesture at speculative elements but aren't genre, imo.) There's also a puzzling fixation on binaries in some stories. My favorite story, the one with an unmitigated happy ending, was "Eye of the ...more
Jan 30, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Karen by: Sarah Kanning
I loved this book. Kelly Eskridge is an awesome writer, and a scary one, too! All of the stories are edgy and mysterios and wonderfully layered.

The issue of gender and identity really comes up in every single story but as something that is just there for you to see, never discussed and NEVER explicit. It takes a while for you to figure out, or rather, decide, what gender the characters are. Most of the stories are told in the first person, so that makes it extra tricky.

You might decide a charac
Strings- this vaguely reminds me of the title story in Unaccompanied sonata & other stories.
And Salome Danced - This is one of two stories with a gender-neutral character. Vonda McIntyre is the only other author I've seen do this.
City Life - A woman who can heal with a touch and the costs of doing so.
Eye of the Storm - I had already read this story in Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers. I like it but didn't feel the need to reread it.
Somewhere Down the Diamondback Road - I didn't particularly l
Fantasy Literature
May 27, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it it was amazing
Dangerous Space is a revelation. I had no idea these gorgeous short stories were out there. Put me on the list of people who will now read absolutely everything Kelley Eskridge writes, because if these are characteristic of her work, I want it all.

Eskridge often makes creativity her subject, writing movingly about various forms of art, especially music. The opening story, “Strings,” posits a world in which the classical composers are revered so completely that any deviation from their scores, no
Joell Smith-Borne
This is a collection of Eskridge's short fiction. It contains three stories about Mars, one of my favorite characters of all time. Eye of the Storm is the first story I read by Eskridge, and it turned me into a huge fan.
Aug 05, 2012 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't want to simplify these stories, and present only one take on a few of them; but the three stories about Mars are the ones that still stick with me. And probably will for a long time. So I am forced to if I want to keep this review from turning into a novella of it's own.

And Salome Danced, a mere 20 pages of this collection, is at first a story about a gender bending actor seen from the view of Mars, the director of a play.

Read it again, and there is the story that lays under nearly every
Oct 31, 2007 Schnaucl rated it really liked it
I really liked most of the stories in this anthology. It turns out that I'd read "Eye of the Storm" before(maybe in one of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies).

The first story, "Strings," didn't do much for me, probably because the end was so predictable. "Somewhere Down the Diamondback Road" didn't do much for me either, but that was probably due in large part to the nonstandard grammar. Few things turn me off faster than nonstandard grammar or stream of consciousness.

However, I rea
Apr 29, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
I heard this author interviewed on some NPR show and was intrigued enough to buy this book of short stories. The gimmick is that her frequent protagonist, Mars, is a bi-sexual character of unknown gender who takes on different roles in different stories - one time a director of a play in apparently modern times, another time a master of combat in a world with castles and princes. The characters use words like "guy" and "prince" for both male and obviously female characters - and I can really see ...more
penny shima glanz
Jul 29, 2008 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing
I don't often choose a book by it's cover, but as I was browsing the "new sff" at the library one afternoon, this slim volume caught my eye. Something about the burnt orange cover screamed power, intrigue, and different. It did not disappoint. Each essay within, while short, is not without a depth and development which left me begging for more and wondering where the next one would take me. I was moved hard by the first piece, "Strings" a both predictable and innovative story. I also greatly ...more
Jun 11, 2016 Heron rated it really liked it
Oh wow I have so much to say about this book. Which is its best praise.

I found Eskridge through Eye of the Storm, which is absolutely my favorite story of hers. And Dangerous Space the story is a close second. Her writing comes voraciously ALIVE when she's Mars, her ungendered narrator. It is absolute magic to read. Seductive, painful, utterly real. I want more Mars. I want Mars everywhere, everywhen.

Her other stories stirred me less, but I haven't stopped thinking about Eye of the Storm since
Jan 20, 2010 Colin rated it really liked it
Two of these stories were particularly awesome, "The Eye of the Storm" and the title piece. I enjoyed all of them a lot except for one. Intriguing genderplay and some good erotic writing as well. Hated the introduction, though. Anyone who claims that we are "beyond" politics as though that is a good thing and then uses the phrase "post-vanilla," well...sorry Geoff Ryman, you're a jackass. Thankfully Kelley Eskridge's work rises well above the jackassery. Recommended.
Tyrannosaurus regina
While these stories are all speculative fiction in some way, more than that they are all about people, people whose pain and happiness you become invested in shockingly quickly. The themes of music and the fluidity of sexuality and gender and gender roles permeate nearly all of the stories in the collection, and as far as I'm concerned there is not one weak link among them. Solid collection.
Aug 03, 2007 jillbertini rated it really liked it
Book of short stories. Science fiction/speculative fiction seems to be the genre.

Eskridge is a glorious writer, subtle, and writing about things that I didn't even know about myself until I found them in her words. I was nodding and saying, "Yes, that's me, too." In my opinion, the best writers open up new understandings or awarenesses of the self and world. She is one of those writers.
Dec 13, 2007 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: endeavour-award
Maybe I'm just a sucker for her writing. I adored her first novel, Solitaire, and this is a collection of her earlier short stories. While not as good as the novel, the title story is simply amazing. Interesting science fiction based around music.
Mar 02, 2009 Ian rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic novella!
I love how you are never once told the gender identity of Mars. It really puts a lot of power into the reader. One of the best pieces of writing I've ever had the pleasure to read.
May 22, 2008 Tania rated it really liked it
My review is up on The Short Review at along with many more reviews of short story collections and anthologies.

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Kelley Eskridge is a fiction writer, essayist and screenwriter. She is the author of the New York Times Notable novel Solitaire and the short fiction collection Dangerous Space. Solitaire was a Border Books Original Voices selection and a finalist for the Nebula, Endeavour and Spectrum awards. The short stories in Dangerous Space include an Astraea prize winner and finalists for the Nebula and ...more
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“Unbelievable,” I said when it was done. And Brilliant and Audio crack and That one will be everyone’s breakup song, and so on, because great is never good enough for the artists; they always want to know exactly what you mean and which nanosecond of the song you mean it about.” 2 likes
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