Kirinyaga (short story)

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Author Mike Resnick
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Published in Fantasy & Science Fiction
Publication type Magazine
Publication date November 1988

"Kirinyaga" is a science fiction short story published in 1988 by Mike Resnick and is the first chapter in the book by the same name. The story was the winner of the 1989 Hugo Award for Best Short Story[1] and the 1989 SF Chronicle Award. It was also nominated for the 1989 Nebula Award for Best Novelette as well as the 1989 Locus award.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The story is set on an artificial orbital colony that recreates an African savannah environment. It follows a man named Koriba, the mundumugu of a Kikuyu tribe living there. Koriba was raised in a Western tradition and received several graduate degrees. Later, he led several Kikuyu colonists to Kirinyaga to recreate a traditional Kikuyu utopia. When he kills a newborn child he believes is a demon, Maintenance (the people who maintain the environment and orbit of Kirinyaga) decide to send an investigator to see if they need to interfere with and regulate the Kikuyu traditions. Koriba is unbending in his insistence that Maintenance not interfere with their traditions no matter how much they dislike them. In the end Maintenance informs Koriba that they will not tolerate the killing of infants, and thus he begins to train the young men of his tribe to be warriors.


  1. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. (September 4, 1989). "Sci-Fi Fans Meet to Ponder Genre's Present". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ The LOCUS Index to SF Awards