6 Books with Sabrina Vourvoulias

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… »


An American Gods Reading List: 9 Stories of Deities & Men Mingling in the World

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… »


L.A. Review of Books—What Art Does: When the World Wounds

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… »


The Future Fire Reviews When the World Wounds

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… »


Publishers Weekly: When the World Wounds

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… »


Necessary Fiction: When the World Wounds

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… »

More Altered Bodies, Familiar Histories: Kiini Ibura Salaam’s When the World Wounds

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… »


The Next Best Book Blog: Page 69 Test

When the World Wounds is my second short story collection, in which I explore the dark, the sensual, and the mysterious. The three stories, two novelettes and one novella collected in When the World Wounds examine the tumultuous nature of the human condition through such wild imaginings as sensual encounters with deer, escapism in a… »


Bogi Reads the World: 2016 SFF Novella Recommendations

New Orleans after the Katrina flood, with ghosts – or are they? – Mardi Gras dancers, death and the difficult process of rebirth. This is a story that does not shy away from destruction of a perfectly non-fantasy sort, and examines in great detail how natural disasters can further amplify preexistent inequalities… but it is… »

More Three Quarters Wolf Moon

A few pages into “The Pull of the Wing,” one of the stranger stories in Kiini Ibura Salaam’s very strange collection When the World Wounds, the “message-center” of the protagonist, WaLiLa, pulses, as it calculates “the risk at getting caught” trying to sneak into the chamber of the elders. The result? “Two slivers less than three-fourths… »