Publication Date: May 1, 2012
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Ancient, Ancient collects the short fiction by Kiini Ibura Salaam, of which acclaimed author and critic Nalo Hopkinson writes, ''Salaam treats words like the seductive weapons they are. She wields them to weave fierce, gorgeous stories that stroke your sensibilities, challenge your preconceptions, and leave you breathless with their beauty.'' Indeed, Ms. Salaam's stories are so permeated with sensuality that in her introduction to Ancient, Ancient, Nisi Shawl, author of the award-winning Filter House, writes, ''Sexuality-cum-sensuality is the experiential link between mind and matter, the vivid and eternal refutation of the alleged dichotomy between them. This understanding is the foundation of my 2004 pronouncement on the burgeoning sexuality implicit in sf's Afro-diasporization. It is the core of many African-based philosophies. And it is the throbbing, glistening heart of Kiini's body of work. This book is alive. Be not afraid.''
About the AuthorKiini Ibura Salaam's fiction has been included in such publications as Dark Matter, Mojo: Conjure Stories, and Dark Eros. One of her earlier (and most distinctive) stories, ''Of Wings, Nectar, and Ancestors,'' was translated into Polish, and two of her short stories, ''Desire'' and ''Rosamojo,'' were praised in Publishers Weekly. Her essays have appeared in Essence, Ms., and Colonize This! Her article ''Navigating to No'' sparked a spate of radio interviews, a television appearance, and a college seminar, as well as earned a personal commentary award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her essay No, which appeared in both Ms. Magazine and Utne Reader, was included in the Longman Publishers composition guide, Reading Into Writing. Though she was born and raised in New Orleans, Salaam lives with her daughter in Brooklyn.
Praise For Ancient, Ancient…'Kiini Ibura Salaam's collection of short fiction, Ancient, Ancient, demonstrates that she deserves to be considered one of today's most promising contemporary genre writers. With writing that challenges assumptions on gender, the nature of fantasy, the uses of myth and much more, she offers the readers stories that they will not soon forget. A marvelous introduction to a marvelous writer.''--Jack Womack, author of Random Acts of Senseless Violence
''Kiini Ibura Salaam is a natural-born storyteller and a gorgeous writer who chooses her characters and words with the care and skill of a poet. Her stories are transformative, wise and vivid with the quality of fantasy and fable. I loved reading this!''--Sheree Renee Thomas, author of Shotgun Lullabies: Stories and Poems and editor of the award-winning Dark Matter anthologies
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. A lusty god temporarily bestows his sexual spark on a worn-out and unappreciated young woman in ''Desire.'' The world of mothlike aliens who feed on the heated ''nectar'' of human sexual energies is explored in three linked tales. A young man's grandfather sends him time traveling into danger as a punishment in ''Battle Royale,'' while ''Rosamojo'' is a straightforward revenge story about a young girl who uses magic to punish her rapist father. Unearthly magics frame ''Ferret,'' an intriguing snippet about a space colony ship guided by animal divination, and ''Marie,'' in which a pregnant Creole woman is willing to sacrifice anything to feel at home in New York City. Salaam's unusual settings and lonely characters will call to readers who hunger for sex, identity, or just a place to belong. (May) --Publishers Weekly