cover image Alias Space and Other Stories

Alias Space and Other Stories

Kelly Robson. Subterranean, $40 (464p) ISBN 978-1-64524-025-9

Across 14 short pieces, Robson (Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach) demonstrates a dizzying versatility, dipping into both science fiction and fantasy—and sometimes blurring the line between the two. Whether historical fantasies like “Waters of Versailles” and “What Gentle Women Dare,” or far-flung future explorations like “We Who Live in the Heart” and “Intervention,” her disparate stories are subtly tied together by recurring themes. Many share a strong sense of family, both found and biological, as in “Two-Year-Man” and “Two Watersheds.” Robson’s work also frequently touches on feminism, gender, and queerness, as in her three-story Toronto cycle, comprising “The Desperate Flesh,” “Skin City,” and the title story. Meanwhile, with the Nebula Award–winning “A Human Stain” and the terrifying “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill,” Robson delves into horror to explore violence against women. Some of these stories are uncomfortable, even disturbing, in their raw emotion and uncompromising vision, and even the more reassuring tales still challenge preconceptions and the status quo. This is a superb showcase of Robson’s talents. [em]Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (May) [/em]