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, erotica, and creative nonfiction to take readers through mind-bending journeys into the transcendent, the sensual, the mystical, and the fantastic.
As for Salaam’s story, “The Taming,” I found the narrative choices and the design of the point of view intriguing. Of course, both of those things make it a more opaque, nontraditionally structured story. After all, the worldview of an animal is quite different from that of a human (or even alien, the way most… »
Ancient, Ancient wouldn’t let me stop reading. Not just because some of the stories were interconnected, but because they were so good that I kept wanting to guzzle down more of them. I tried to force myself to pace my reading, to take my time, to linger, but I was seized with an almost fugue… »
Salaam’s stories employ magic and time travel, spacecraft and prophecy to explore deeply human questions about motherhood, sex, identity, and inequality. Written in lush, precise prose and deeply rooted in feminine experience, they evoke feelings both hauntingly familiar and disorientingly alien. Though readers who are not frequent consumers of science fiction may find a few… »
In her introduction to Kiini Ibura Salaam’s debut collection, Ancient, Ancient, Nisi Shawl mentions her response to a question about the effect of the Afro-diaspora on genre literature: ‘‘Everything is going to get a lot sexier.’’ The very first story in this collection, ‘‘Desire’’, proves that right out of the gate. A delightful folkloric tale, it… »
Salaam’s fictional worlds range widely in scope, but they are bursting with exuberant, poetic life. Her protagonists seek satisfaction on multiple levels, whether they know it or not, and sensual fulfillment is inseparable from intellectual or emotional achievements.
The ancient mysteries of life hold in their grasp the power of seduction. We find seduction, being led away, in a sexual experience, a sensual touch, the coming of a new life or death, the physical movement of bodies in a dance, the allure of magic, the call of nature, the possibility of a new… »
The stories in Kiini Ibura Salaam’s debut collection, Ancient, Ancient, from feminist science fiction publisher Aqueduct Press, are imbued with the urgency and expansive scope of imagination that we’ve come to expect from the best of science fiction. Salaam takes us to distant places but makes them familiar in unsettling ways, ably transforming the fantastic… »
This new collection of arresting and beautiful stories by Kiini Ibura Salaam draws the reader immediately into a world of magic and struggle.
Salaam’s collection of 10 reprints and 3 original stories introduces readers to alternate worlds built around magic, sensuality, sexuality, and the search for emotional comfort, however tenuous.
This latest issue of Cascadia Subduction Zone is one of their best, IMHO. The emphasis this time around is on the creative process with visual art taking center stage. Two essays stand out: Kiini Ibura Salaam’s “Painting and Writing: My Yin and Yang,” and Mark Rich’s “Line Improvisation: Notes by the Fly in the Web.”… »