Monday, March 9, 2009

Kelley Eskridge's "Dangerous Space" (novella, free): A gay love story,

in the backdrop of a small music band's rise to fame.

There is a very tiny speculative element: a device that lets a member of the audience experience the emotions of any member of a live music band.

Story obviously addresses a limited audience - not only because of gay issue, but because the "bands" aren't the dominant means of music production everywhere.


  1. While there are many stories that network brains, the one that has stayed with me is Arthur Clarke's "Patent Pending". But the device is central in Clarke's story, & only peripheral here.

Fact sheet.

First published: Dangerous Space (collection of author?), 2007.
Rating: B.
Download full text from author's site.
Nominated for Nebula Award 2008 in novella category.


Kelley Eskridge said...

Thanks for taking the time to read "Dangerous Space."

I'm curious -- why do you characterize it as a "gay" love story?

Tinkoo said...

Kelley: I normally put a very short summary in title - so feed subscribers need open only the body of posts they consider interesting.

In this case, I wanted to put "A gay love story, in the backdrop of a small music band's rise to fame" in title, but I think title was becoming too big - so I broke the sentence.

Incidentally, is "gay love story" a wrong classification? I thought that was a major theme.

Kelley Eskridge said...

Thanks for the response.

Sure, I understand about the titles. I was more questioning the characterization of the story as gay, because it implies that you read Mars as a male character.

There's actually no gender characterization of Mars in the text. That's the most speculative element of the story, in my opinion as the writer.

I'm always interested in what gender people assign to the character, and wondered what led you to believe that Mars is male.

Tinkoo said...

"There's actually no gender characterization of Mars in the text.": Is that so?

I don't normally reread stories, & not likely to reread it again. But "Mars is male" was a pretty strong feeling I got partway through the story. I can only speculate how - it's been a couple of weeks since I read it.

First the name "Mars". It's Hindi equivalent is clearly male, but I don't think I was very clear on this in the beginning. Perhaps the association got stronger based in character's behavior - seen from my cultural lens. I'm an Indian - could that have suggested a certain sex based on specific behavior? Not sure. May be check the reaction of a few western readers?

Kelley Eskridge said...

Part of the point of writing the story this way is to give people a lens through which to examine their own cultural and personal assumptions about gender.

I have written 3 Mars stories so far. There's a spectrum of reaction from western readers -- different people read the character in the same story as male or female. Sometimes they notice the lack of gender references, and sometimes they don't.

From my perspective, all human behavior is accessible to all human beings, regardless of biological sex or gender. That's the point of the Mars stories, and that's why it interested me to see you describe it as a gay love story. For me, love is love, and there's no essential qualitative emotional difference between the experience of love for two people of the same sex as for two people of the opposite sex. I'm happy to call "Dangerous Space" a love story. I just don't call it gay.

Tinkoo said...

OK, Kelley & thanks. I've posted this clarification for my feed subscribers.

Kelley Eskridge said...

That was nice of you, thanks. I appreciate your having the conversation with me.