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Above the Ether: A Novel
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Above the Ether: A Novel

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A mesmerizing novel of unfolding dystopia 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 a future very like today, Above the Ether follows six sets of characters moving through a landscape and a country just beginning to show the signs of change. A father and his young children fleeing a tsunami after/>

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Arcade Publishing
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  39 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are so many things I want to relay about Above the Ether by Eric Barnes, that I am not quite sure I can give this book the justice it deserves. Set in the near future, we are thrust into the lives of ordinary everyday people faced with a ravaging earth. There are some characters I can sympathize with while others not so much. A father tries to protect his children from the floods as they abandon their home looking for safety. A married couple suffering the devastating loss of both of their ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoy dystopian genre, all these different ways to end the world as we know it. Climate is one way to go. Popular enough to command its own subgenre, climate related science fiction can be very compelling, possibly because it’s so tragically realistic. In this book the global warming is very real and it is devastating. Wild fires, raising waters (albeit not in a geographical proximity that would have been a practical solution to both), tsunamis, earthquakes, storms and so on. There is a city ( ...more
Tonstant Weader
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Above the Ether takes place the day after tomorrow, or so it seems. An earthquake in the gulf at the same time as a hurricane creates an epic wave that devours the gulf coast. Never-ending fires render communities unlivable. Drought devastates farmland. Dandelions and mollusks and nature in general seems to have run amok. Eric Barnes describes a dystopic future that is only a tick of the clock from our present, a future where the climate catastrophe we have done little to avoid arrives. And yet, ...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley-read
this is a non-formatted book that jumps from part of one story to another while there is no connection until the end of the story (if then). this is a world that has been destroyed by the deterioration of 'the city' because of the lack of jobs and the loss of production. more and more repairs public works were delayed as the roads, bridges,levees and canals began falling apart.

Barnes inflicts his people with some bizarre ecological disasters, such as when one city is swallowed up by
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of climate fiction & apocalyptic fiction
To say that I'm a climate fiction fan never sounds quite right to me because they're usually disastrous human extinction events that completely untether modern civilizations and I find them fairly terrifying, but I am drawn to them. So when I saw this, I knew I needed to read it. I have to admit that it was actually hard to read quickly because it was so vivid even though the prose was stark. I'd never have expected that dandelions could be expressed as something so suffocating and relentless. I ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Above the Ether by Eric Barnes is a highly recommended prequel to his climate change science fiction novel The City Where We Once Lived.

The stories of six sets of vastly different characters are told in short vignettes set in the climate changed world Barnes first created in The City Where We Once Lived. The weather patterns are unpredictable and violent, while the ground is poisoned, and the government is unable to provide any assistance. This novel covers the changes before, that l
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's not technically post apocalyptic, but it still feels that way. We get stories from 6 unnamed, unconnected people, juxtaposed with snippets of descriptions of phenomenon- some already happening and some easily envisioned. It all works to effectively create a hauntingly realistic vision of the near future- maybe 20 years coming.

It's not only the climate change that is horrifying- although the looming, ever-present extreme weather in different cities in the book do have that effect. The horro
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An earthquake and a hurricane hit the Gulf together causing a devastating tsunami in the Southeastern United States, wildfires are causing devastation in the west and fierce storms are hitting other parts of the United States; drug addictions are destroying people and families. From different parts of the country, six sets of people fleeing destructive forces and natures converge on a city that is already broken. It’s a chilling story of a future built on today’s environmental and societal probl ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that there were multiple points in reading this that I thought about stopping because the material is so heavy. I think the writing style is extremely interesting and I loved following all of these different characters from such different walks of life, but the subject matter is hard for me to read at times because I feel like this could be our future in 20 years.

All in all, I would absolutely consider reading this, but I’m not sure I’m willing enough to give this another read i
E.C. Frey
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Speculative and sobering glimpse into the world towards which we are going

The prose in Above the Ether is hypnotic. At times, it was repetitive but that seemed to have an even greater impact.

The story also was often disjointed and the jump between characters jarring. It made it a bit confusing. However, as a means of conveying disruption, it was highly effective.

The prose and the story were very compelling. Just be prepared to loosely follow the characters. It's worth it.
Paul Galloway
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yikes, this is a great book if a bit depressing. It's been a while since I've read an "end of the world" sci fi book and this book hits home because you can so easily see it becoming true. It is well written, and even though it jumps around a bit between the people involved it is not confusing. At times it feels like the author is preaching; it's not overbearing but he is preaching to the converted where I am concerned.
I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this book.
Harve Lemelin
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Great novel. Providing multi-narrator perspectives at the onset of a socio-ecological collapse.
Suzi McGhie
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very choppy, convoluted, and depressing. Did not care for the style of writing. Jumbled descriptions of a cast of characters’ travels through a deteriorating climate.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2019
Monica Sessoms
rated it it was ok
Aug 01, 2019
Liz Beazizo
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Mar 24, 2019
Charlotte Adams
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Jun 14, 2019
Christina Stockard
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Jun 05, 2019
Megan Houde
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Aug 08, 2019
Damaris Rodela
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Aug 22, 2019
Maria Kiguthi
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Jul 26, 2019
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Apr 28, 2019
rated it it was ok
Aug 20, 2019
rated it it was ok
Oct 07, 2019
Helen Thompson
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Aug 16, 2019
Bam Jam
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Jul 28, 2019
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Aug 25, 2019
Richard J. Alley
rated it it was amazing
Jul 06, 2019
Craig Pearson
May 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Authors need to snare their reeders quickly or they are lost. I hate the word dystopian but that fits this work exactly. I could not get into this book because of its seemingly disjointed characters. I did not know where this was going and the author did not keep me interested enough to find out.
Ed Mackel
rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2019
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Eric Barnes is writer of the novels Above the Ether (Arcade Publishing, June 2019), The City Where We Once Lived (Arcade Publishing), Something Pretty, Something Beautiful (Outpost19) and Shimmer (Unbridled Books), an IndieNext Pick. He has published numerous short stories, and works as CEO of The Daily Memphian, host of Behind the Headlines, and publisher of a number of community newspapers.