Photo by Nicole Melchionda
Photo by Nicole Melchionda

George Salis is the author of the novel Sea Above, Sun Below (River Boat Books / corona/samizdat) and the editor of The Collidescope. His fiction is featured in The DarkBlack DandyZizzle Literary MagazineHouse of ZoloThree Crows Magazine, and elsewhere. His criticism has appeared in Isacoustic, Atticus Review, and The Tishman Review, and his science article on the mechanics of natural evil was featured in Skeptic. He is currently working on an encyclopedic novel titled Morphological Echoes. He has taught in Bulgaria, China, and Poland. Find him on FacebookGoodreads, and Instagram (@george.salis).


“Salis’ prose is creating a new vanguard of metaphysical, metacognitive postmodern magical realism. He possesses an ability to seamlessly incorporate mythological storytelling with a fresh structure and a unique interpretation of modern consciousness. The result is work that hearkens to a new Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, and Karel Čapek. Salis’ vision is one that is revolutionary in letters.”

– Garrett Zecker, author, actor, and teacher of writing and literature

“George Salis’ debut novel Sea Above, Sun Below is a real treat, a feast for the mind and a dizzying rollercoaster of a read. It’s an example of magic realism at its best.”

– Erik Martiny, author of The Pleasures of Queuing

“Salis’ book flung me from the deep ditch of my sorts back into the space where literature is a wonder, where I probably was when I was George Salis’ age, where the alembic, that disguise, produces the illusion of writing that is effortlessly fresh and new. Nothing like Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night, Sea Above, Sun Below yet provided me the same feeling of discovery, and I was reminded of how great writing is sure of itself regardless of its discursions, and I was young again, young enough to look up references, alert again, alert enough to revisit the peculiar shivering nowhere of an inexpressible literary high.”

– Rick Harsch, author of The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas

“While his characters struggle in their own ways to find transcendence in the transient passage of their earthly lives, Salis crafts transcendence in the very language of his poetic novel.”

– David David Katzman, author of A Greater Monster

Sea Above, Sun Below is a rich and masterful novel. Reading it is like falling, which is a metaphor the novel makes ample use of, falling into a magical realm. The picture widens as you proceed, and the sky behind you is full of Halley’s comets, decaying gods, and past memories discarded like ballast. I encourage you to savour the complex fascinations to be found in this expertly crafted book. ”

– L. S. Popovich, author of Undertones

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“In ‘The Second Skein,’ Salis retells the moment when airplanes collided with the twin towers, but he’s chosen a perspective that I’ve never seen before. Rooted in surrealism, in an impressionist accounting of those planes as well-organised flocks of birds. It’s a terrifying use of beautiful objects in nature to embody the horrific manipulation of engineering to destroy human life. But he roots it all in three distinct characters with outrageous qualities, drawing them so convincingly that the entire experience is a bit like drinking too much. Dizzying. His story is at times hilarious and shocking, a beautifully dense celebration of the senses, history, and obsession. It evokes fond memories of the intoxicating cadence of Pynchon in his prime.”

– H. Andrew Lynch, editor of Black Dandy

“‘The Second Skein’ is incredibly strange…It’s also purposefully herky-jerky, in a life-flashing-before-your-eyes sort of way, where one moment you’re following the reaction of a character to the scene as it unfolds, then next you’re in their childhood, reading about a terrible nail-biting habit…but there’s also a Rube Goldberg machine aficionado who designs overly complex contraptions and a Russian bodybuilder cum immigrant haunted by his rival’s ghost, each with their own important role to play. Salis’s passages provide some of the most vivid and beautiful writing in Black Dandy….”

– Derek Thomas Conrad of Out of that World: Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews

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‘George Salis’ “In Communion with the Invisible Flock: Erasmus Karl and the Nidificant Manuscript” is so bizarre and out there that it’s just plain refreshing. The way the author plays with academic language to tell the story of an unknown Human-Bird species is both beautiful and hilarious.’

– Lucy Peckford, Goodreads review


“Salis writes beautifully for such a dark subject. There’s color in his language, but it’s all maintained with a stern sense of control. The theological angle layers in another level of apprehension (due to the practitioners’ fanaticism), and contrasts nicely with the gruesome whole. Speaking of, the details of sickly, rotted, and festering bodies—while disturbing—are expertly illustrated…. Gross! And yet engrossing. The end is a real treat, a total culmination of the foreboding dread that is resurrection.”

– Derek Thomas Conrad of Out of that World: Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews on “The Thinker” (starred review)

“The story looks at what this faith has done to this man’s children, how it has shaped them and warped them. And how, when all is revealed, there are some things that do not transubstantiate. That belief alone is not always enough, especially when that belief is selfishly motivated and ignorantly maintained. It’s an interesting story that manages to maintain a mood of rot and faith, and is certainly worth checking out.”

– Charles Payseur of Quick Sip Reviews on “The Thinker”

The Dark

“‘[The Lightning Conductor]’ is magical and tear-inducing.”

– Will Byrnes, Goodreads review

“It was lovely to see my daughter savour the stories like she did, particularly ‘The Lightning Conductor’ by George Salis, which filled my own mind with wonder and brought a lump to my throat.”

– Robin Bree, Goodreads review

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“Salis’s writing is mature, analytical, thorough. What I appreciated the most is the author’s ability to talk about complex topics in a manner that is comprehensible to a wide audience.”

– One of the judges of the Davidson Award for Integrity in Journalism