About the book:
A mesmerizing novel of unfolding dystopia amid the effects of climate change in a world very like our own, for readers of Emily St. John Mandel's Station 11 and Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood.
In this prequel to Eric Barnes's acclaimed cli-fi novel The City Where We Once Lived, Above the Ether, six sets of characters move through a landscape and a country just beginning to show the signs of cataclysmic change. A father and his young children fleeing a tsunami after a massive earthquake in the Gulf. A woman and her husband punishing themselves without relent for the loss of both their sons to addiction, while wildfires slowly burn closer to their family home. A brilliant investor, assessing opportunity in the risk to crops, homes, cities, industries, and infrastructure, working in the silent comfort of her office sixty floors up in the scorching air. A doctor and his wife stuck in a refugee camp for immigrants somewhere in a southern desert. Two young men working the rides for a roadside carnival, one escaping a brutal past, the other a racist present. The manager of a chain of nondescript fast-food restaurants in a city ravaged by the relentless wind..
While every night the news alternates images of tsunami destruction with the baseball scores, the characters converge on a city where the forces of change have already broken--a city half abandoned, with one part left to be scavenged as the levee system protecting it slowly fails--until, in their vehicles on the highway that runs through it, they witness the approach of what looks to be just one more violent storm.
About the author:
Eric Barnes is the author of two previous novels, Shimmer and Something Pretty, Something Beautiful. He has published more than forty short stories in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, The Literary Review, Best American Mystery Stories, and other publications. By day, he is publisher of newspapers in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga that cover business, politics, the arts, and more. On Fridays, he hosts a news talk show on his local PBS station. In the past, he was a reporter and editor in Connecticut and New York. Years ago he drove a forklift in Tacoma, Washington, and then Kenai, Alaska, worked construction on Puget Sound, and, many years ago, he graduated from the MFA writing program at Columbia University. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.