Profile of N. K. Jemisin

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This profile moderated by N. K. Jemisin.


N. K. Jemisin writes about magic, the stars, food, and eroticism, all of which she considers to be primal human needs.  Formerly of Boston (and the BRAWLers writing group), and a Viable Paradise emerita, she is currently establishing a foothold scenario in New York City and expects to have fully infiltrated the speculative fiction community there within a year.




2003. Short story, science fiction. On the hostile planet called Bittersweet, war is extinct but so is privacy. What is the price of freedom?  Abyss & Apex

"The Narcomancer"
2006. Novelette, fantasy. An evil master of sleep-magic torments a small village in the land of Gujaareh. Cet, a priest of the Dream-Goddess, must overcome both the narcomancer and his own temptations to survive. Set in the same world as the "Tales of the Dreaming Moon" series. Helix

"The Brides of Heaven"
2005. Short story, science fiction. On the planet Iliyin, a colony of women struggles without men. Is a mysterious pool of alien water a blessing from God, or a deadly curse? Forthcoming in Helix in 2007!

"Dragon Cloud Skies"
2004. Short story, science fantasy/slipstream. The sky has turned red and the clouds now dance. A tale of the Earth's final days. Strange Horizons. Also forthcoming as an Escape Pod episode!

"Red Riding-Hood's Child"
2003. Short story, erotica/dark fantasy. Wolves are hunting a youth named Anrin. Some of them are human. Fishnet.

2004. Short story, "food fantasy". On a snowy Milano night, a stranger walks into a restaurant with some very strange ingredients. Is Franca chef enough to cook them? You better believe she is. Scattered Covered Smothered (not available online). Winner of an Honorable Mention from The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 18th collection. Also available as an Escape Pod podcast!

"Too Many Yesterdays, Not Enough Tomorrows"
2003. Short story, science fiction. Can love survive the fracture of the universe? Ideomancer.

"Better Than Ketchup"
2003. Drabble, humorous fantasy. Dragons? Try collard greens. Forthcoming in Flashshot: Year Two.


Locus (Richard Horton)
on "The Narcomancer"

The new online magazine Helix offers a particularly good third issue. Among several strong stories I'll mention particularly... "The Narcomancer," by N.K. Jemisin, a fairly traditionally shaped story, very well done, about a man who brings peace to those who need it by easing their way to death -- at considerable personal cost, which cost is revealed as he is sent to "heal" a family torn by internal strife (rivalry between an older and younger wife) and by external strife (mysterious bandits).

Carl Brandon Society
on "Cloud Dragon Skies"

A poetic portrayal from the point of view of Nahautu. Her pristine world with her family is benignly invaded by scientists whose decision to intervene with the cloud dragons of her world wreak unexpected consequences -- especially for her as the daughter of the one man whose opposition to the help goes unheeded. Jemison's deft handling of the protagonist's voice and her inner conflicts perfectly filter the larger issues of technology vs. natural order, and the consequences of humanity's choices in this battle. Though dealing with broader concepts, the story never loses sight of the personal struggle and ramifications on an individual level, and provides a beautifully wrought conclusion to the dilemma with a melancholic weight that truly gives life to this unique character.

on "The Narcomancer"

There is an underlying sense of yin and yangthe blending of the female and male aspects of every human beingwith an allusion to bisexuality. The unpleasant topics of rape, sexual abuse, euthanasia, and capital punishment are swathed inside the poetry and philosophy of this world. I saw allusions to Wicca, Buddhism, and other religious teachings in this beautifully written, gentle story, effecting a fantastic journey to a discovery of higher truths and the role of spirituality along the path.

Speculative Literature Foundation (Tiffany Jonas)
on "L'Alchimista"

[N. K. Jemisin]'s story sample was the standout. With a cultural and culinary emphasis reminiscent of Joanne Harris (Chocolat, Five Quarters of an Orange), the characters jump off the page, and the reader can nearly taste the garlic and onion, the seared meat, and the pappardelle.