Above the Ether

A mesmerizing novel about a modern day dystopia, as six sets of people move through a landscape and a country beginning to show the signs of profound and awful change. From Arcade Publishing, June 2019.

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“Barnes’ spare and chilling prose flows from one horrific scene to another without, surprisingly, alienating his readers, perhaps because the heart of his narrative ultimately reveals an abiding faith in the power of human compassion. A first-rate apocalyptic page-turner.” - Booklist

“A multilayered and deftly crafted dystopian novel that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction collections. . . . All too plausible.” - Midwest Book Review

“In twenty years—or less—people will have a hard time believing that this is a work of the imagination; that's how convincingly Barnes plays out the signs and omens of our times. That he conjures this dark forecast without ever naming a soul or the cities they live in does not make the story more otherworldly, but only more chillingly recognizable.” - Tim Johnston, NY Times bestselling author of THE CURRENT

Above the Ether depicts a dystopia more terrifying because of its proximity to our own, yet this novel is also saturated by hope. In this world, people can rise above their pasts, and humanity can endure change and hardship. Barnes is also just a terrific writer of both story and sentence.” - Elise Blackwell, author of THE LOWER QUARTER and HUNGER

“The world of Eric Barnes’ novel Above the Ether suffers destruction of Biblical proportions. Flood, fire, pestilence, famine — the rolling cataclysms have an Old Testament tenor and scope. Though the novel builds in intensity as the story lines interweave, it derives its power from the poetic quality of its language.” - Chapter 16

Praise for The City Where We Once Lived:
“Barnes's new novel is a rare and truly original work: a hard-edged fable, tender and unflinching, in which a man's descent and renewal is mirrored by his city. An eerie, beautifully written, and profoundly humane book.” - Emily St. John Mandel, author of STATION ELEVEN

“Prescient . . . haunting . . . a cautionary tale about a world that feels a hair's-breadth away.” - Shelf Awareness, starred reviewed.

“Written in a gorgeously spare language that perfectly reflects the dystopic future this novel depicts, The City Where We Once Lived kept me enthralled throughout. At the core is a deep and admirable compassion for humanity.” - Chris Offutt, author of COUNTRY DARK

"A controlled burn of a book, full of horror and sadness and, once the fire dies down, the beauty of new growth. In the tradition of J.G. Ballard and Margaret Atwood, Eric Barnes gives us a dying neighborhood of outcasts who save the world that has cast them out." - John Feffer, author of SPLINTERLANDS

"Eric Barnes' The City Where We Once Lived is a most original novel, surprising and fierce - a dazzling puzzle of grief and utopia, dystopia and hope." - Minna Zallman Proctor, author of LANDSLIDE

“Barnes’s ... violent, haunted, and creepy novel about failing societies will attract readers of dark, postapocalyptic fiction." - Library Journal


Praise for Something Pretty, Something Beautiful:

"Elegantly constructed and lovingly, tenderly, savagely written.... The most harrowing portrait of American boys careening into manhood that I've ever read. And the truest." - Benjamin Whitmer, Satan Is Real


Praise for Shimmer:
"Case's slow but accelerating downward spiral drives the narrative.... The corporate intrigue should hook anyone fascinated by the collapse of Wall Street and the crimes of Bernie Madoff." -- Publisher's Weekly


Eric Barnes is the author of four novels, Above the Ether (Arcade Publishing, June 2019) , The City Where We Once Lived (Arcade Publishing), Shimmer (an IndieNext Pick from Unbridled Books), and Something Pretty, Something Beautiful (Outpost19), which The Millions called a "remarkable book …  where cars are freedom, stories are everything, and home is thick with ghosts.” He has additionally published more than 40 short stories.

Barnes is also CEO of The Daily Memphian, The Daily News, The Nashville Ledger, The Knoxville Ledger, and The Hamilton County Herald. Since 2010, he has hosted Behind the Headlines on WKNO TV.