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Kirsten Imani Kasai

Kirsten Imani Kasai Kirsten Imani Kasai’s previous occupations include: hairstylist, make-up artist, retail drone,  box office sales, coat-check girl, “Worst Waitress in the World,”  positions in admin, management and marketing, and a two-day stint tying fishing nets. Kirsten’s fiction, reviews and poetry have appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. She lives in California with her husband and children. Here’s Kirsten Imani Kasai‘s website.

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Ice Song: This is a fairy tale

Ice Song by Kirsten Imani Kasai

I’ve never been a big science fiction reader, and so it took me far too long to get around to reading Kirsten Imani Kasai’s Ice Song. Its beautiful cover would draw my eye again and again in the bookstore, then I’d flip it over to read the back cover copy and think, “Oh. Submarines. Mutations. This is that science fiction book again.” Now that I’ve read it, I wish the blurb had contained one brief sentence that would have had me snapping up the book right away: This is a fairy tale.

Sure, the setting is an environmentally ravaged future, and the part-human, part-animal beings who populate it are made that way by mutation rather than by sorcery, but make no mistake: this is a fairy tale. Just as the key to Sorykah’s quest is hidden within a fairy tale told to her along the way, I believe that the key to enjoying Ice Song Read More

Tattoo: Back to Kasai’s ravaged yet eerily beautiful world

Tattoo by Kirsten Imani Kasai

Tattoo, the sequel to Ice Song, takes readers back into Kirsten Imani Kasai’s ravaged yet eerily beautiful world, picking up Sorykah’s story just after her rescue of her twin babies from the mad Matuk the Collector. She’d love to return to normal life, but fate has other plans.

Kasai’s prose is as beautiful as ever. In the haunting prologue, she once again evokes a fairy-tale atmosphere as she tells the creation myth of the octameroons: human/octopus hybrids like Sorykah’s acquaintance Rava. Then we move back into the present, where Tirai Industries is exploiting the octameroons for their ink. This ink is used in addictive tattoos that destroy the bodies and minds of their wearers, just as surely as the harvesting process destroys the octameroons and the ice fields in which they live. Sorykah learns that the very submarine ... Read More