cover image Ancient, Ancient

Ancient, Ancient

Kiini Ibura Salaam. Aqueduct (, $18 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-933500-96-6

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)