Kiini Ibura Salaam is a writer, painter, and traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle child of five, she grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood with oak and fig trees, locusts and mosquitoes, cousins and neighbors. Kiini's work delves into spheres of human liberation, human connection, and evolution. She employs speculative fiction and creative nonfiction to take readers through mind-bending journeys into the transcendent, the mystical, and the fantastic.
Kiini Ibura Salaam’s Ancient, Ancient, provide multiple routes through Black history, memory, myth, and sensuality.
If you want vibrant, sensual, gut-punching, and wildly imaginative speculative stories centered on Black identity, gender, love, body, and becoming—you can do no better than Salaam’s collection here. Take your time with these—they’re stories to ponder and savor.
Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others (2002) Kiini Ibura Salaam, Ancient, Ancient: Short Fiction (2012) Saladin Ahmed, Engraved on the Eye (2012) Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You (2012) Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories(2011) Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove (2013) Terry Pratchett, A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction (2015) Samantha Hunt, The Dark Dark (2017)… »
Kiini Ibura Salaam is one of the finest stylists in speculative fiction and her book of stories, When the World Wounds, is quite spectacular. I’m really haunted by two of the stories in the book, “Because of the Bone Man” and “Hemmie’s Calenture,” and think I might need to reread them as a master class… »
Not all of the stories in Kiini Ibura Salaam’s recent collection of short fiction examine the paths of deities and humans converging, but two of the longest do–and juxtapose those meetings with wrenching moments in history. In “Hemmie’s Calenture,” a woman escaping slavery during the War of 1812 is pulled into the conflict between two… »
When The World Wounds engages central SF&F questions with power and grace: In this vast universe, how can we (human, alien, animal, tree, insect, rock, microbe, water) survive each other? How can we heal from the trauma of our differences? How can we be different together? For Salaam, our imaginations, our rituals and festivals, our… »
When the World Wounds is not an easy book to read, but it is one that is well worth the time spent both for the stories told and for the absorbing, poetic prose of Salaam. While the stories in this collection share certain themes and modes of writing, they are all singular experiences that can’t… »
The second collection from Tiptree Award–winner Salaam (after Ancient, Ancient) assembles five speculative fiction short stories and a novella that explore themes of freedom and the challenge of coming to terms with foreign lives and alien worlds. The skillfully done second-person point of view of “The Malady of Need” emphasizes the protagonist’s double entrapment by prison… »
Dystopian stories have recently been en vogue, but Kiini Ibura Salaam’s collection of speculative fiction, When the World Wounds, strays from imagining the bitter end and instead considers the personal or communal challenges of healing once disaster strikes. Salaam’s handful of stories finds characters approaching brutal moments of trauma or dealing with its direct aftermath. Many of… »
The stories featured in Kiini Ibura Salaam’s collection When the World Wounds encompass a variety of styles and approaches to the fantastic and the speculative. Some explore familiar settings and relationships, while one opts for one of the most challenging feats in science fiction: accurately conveying a set of alien perceptions in terms that come off as… »