Woo hoo! Kelley's novella, Dangerous Space, is a finalist for this year's Nebula Award. You can read it free here.
And, y'know, you really should go read it. Here are some things people have said about the novella and the collection of the same name:
"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
"...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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
So you see--you have to go download that .pdf right now. Go on.
With any luck at all, we'll be in Los Angeles in April to cheer every single finalist in every single category. This year, pleasingly, we know almost everyone. Here are they are:
"Little Brother" - Doctorow, Cory (Tor, Apr08)
"Powers" - Le Guin, Ursula K. (Harcourt, Sep07)
"Cauldron" - McDevitt, Jack (Ace,Nov07)
"Brasyl" - McDonald, Ian (Pyr, May07)
"Making Money" - Pratchett, Terry (Harper, Sep07)
"Superpowers" - Schwartz, David J. (Three Rivers Press, Jun08)
"The Spacetime Pool" - Asaro, Catherine (Analog, Mar08)
"Dark Heaven"-Benford, Gregory (Alien Crimes, Resnick, Mike, Ed., SFBC, Jan07)
"Dangerous Space"-Eskridge, Kelley (Dangerous Space, Aqueduct Press, Jun07)
"The Political Prisoner" - Finlay, Charles Coleman (F&SF, Aug08)
"The Duke in His Castle" - Nazarian, Vera (Norilana Books, Jun08)
"If Angels Fight" - Bowes, Richard (F&SF, Feb08)
"Dark Rooms" - Goldstein, Lisa (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 07)
"Pride and Prometheus" - Kessel, John (F&SF, Jan08)
"Night Wind"-Rosenblum, Mary (Lace and Blade, ed. Deborah J. Ross, Norilana Books,Feb08)
"Baby Doll" - Sinisalo, Johanna (The SFWA European Hall of Fame, James Morrow & Kathryn Morrow, Ed., Tor, Jun07 (trans. from the Finnish by David Hackston)
"Kaleidoscope" - Wentworth, K.D. (F&SF, May07)
"The Button Bin"-Allen, Mike (Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly,
"The Dreaming Wind" - Ford, Jeffrey (The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Ed., Viking, Jul07)
"Trophy Wives" - Hoffman, Nina Kiriki (Fellowship Fantastic, ed. Greenberg and Hughes, DAW Jan08)
"26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" - Johnson, Kij (Asimov's, Jul08)
"The Tomb Wife" - Jones, Gwyneth (F&SF, Aug07)
"Don't Stop" - Kelly, James Patrick (Asimov's, Jun07)
The Dark Knight - Nolan, Jonathan; Nolan, Christopher, Goyer, David S. (Warner Bros., Jul08)
"WALL-E” Screenplay - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter (Walt Disney June 2008)
The Shrine - Wright, Brad (Stargate Atlantis, Aug08)
"Graceling" - Cashore, Kristin (Harcourt, Oct08)
"Lamplighter" - Cornish, D.M. (Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2, Putnam Juvenile, May08))
"Savvy" - Law, Ingrid (Dial, May08)
"The Adoration of Jenna Fox"-Pearson, Mary E. (Henry Holt & Company, Apr08)
"Flora's Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her
Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) -Wilce, Ysabeau S. (Harcourt, Sep08)
I haven't read many of them this year--Kelley's novella, of course, Graceling and Little Brother. I'd like to read the Richard Bowes novelette (he's always good) and Gwyneth Jones's story (she's one of the sharpest writers out there). I've also heard amazing things about Brasyl. (Why the fuck isn't it available on Kindle?)
Kelley and I were just talking about this time thirteen years ago when we found out we'd both been nominated for Nebulas--K for "Alien Jane" and me for "Yaguara". (Different categories, thank god.) It was the first time for both of us. We were thrilled--crazy mad happy. We were painting our new house when the news came. We threw the paintbrushes on the floor and went straight out for champagne and a fabulous dinner. We got treated very strangely at the fancy restaurant--it turns out we had paint in our hair. We didn't care. It was a wonderful evening. My congratulations to everyone who's nominated. I hope you party as hard as we did that night (and might tonight...)