Sea Above, Sun Below

 

Thanatos 2 (1)

Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother’s body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, a peeling snake-priest, and more.

Sea Above, Sun Below is influenced by Western myths, some Greek, some with biblical overtones, resulting in a fusion of fantastic dreams, bizarre yet beautiful nightmares, and multiple narrative threads that form a tapestry which depicts the fragility of characters teetering on the brink of madness.

SASB Cover Introduction Chris ViaThe special overseas pocketbook edition of Sea Above, Sun Below (366 pages) is now available from Corona/Samizdat. In addition to a new cover, it features an introduction by the talented BookTuber and perspicacious critic Chris Via (Leaf by Leaf). The price is 10€/10$. Shipping is around 5.42€ airmail. To purchase, send an email to rick.harsch@gmail.com and let Rick know how many copies you want and what your mailing address is.

“There are darker parts in Sea Above, Sun Below that reminded me of Borges. They are outnumbered by the lighter parts (and by ‘light’ I mean the sun) that made me think of the science fiction of J. G. Ballard. Light and darkness are important to this as well as the vast vista of sky as seen in all directions through the eyes of skydivers falling to earth. It’s a sensory novel that asks of its readers to open their minds to the eternal…but not just that because as in Borges or in Ballard, Sea Above, Sun Below also plumbs the depths of the human subconscious–the root memories of our beings–those existing in prehistory and myth that lay at the deepest recesses of the mind of anyone who has ever been human. George Salis here brings at least some of it to the surface and into the light. We see a father with an Icarian dream of sprouting wings to fly; we see two lovers death-spiraling like eagles.

The intersect of all this myth and dreams into story makes this a great book.”

Read more reviews on Goodreads.

Watch a Leaf by Leaf video review here.

 

Praise

“‘Only when the ether becomes the blood of the clay-born will humans ever know any certain abode beyond the surface of the earth.’ Who, in his first novel, writes such as this? A visionary wunderkind if not a poet-demon. This in the intensely wrought intellectual and spiritual, if nihilistic and angelic Sea Above, Sun Below by George Salis, who writes sentenses of succubusted wise men inhabiting him from the foetal stage, allowing him at the same time freedom to roam and range where only the greatest sentence artificers survive without water. That is to say more than that Sartre was right to be mystified by Flaubert, for the writer Salis was not made, but borne, and was a writer even before that.”

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

“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

“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, award-winning author of A Greater Monster

“Sea Above, Sun Below is a second coming of demoted wanderers and is made of the starstuff needed to extend the life that doom guarantees.”

– Barton Smock, author of Ghost Arson

“I have never been more tempted and never more afraid to fall than after reading Salis’ creation. Sea Above, Sun Below engulfs you into the thoughts, fears, and lives of the complex individuals he has created. Winding through fallen skydivers and lost legends, every page brings an intense captivation that leaves you craving the next. Salis weaves myth and fantasy through science and rational thought so intensely, you are left believing that they should have never been ripped apart in the first place. There truly are no words for the experience to be had through these pages, and I urge everyone to take the leap themselves.”

– Kaleigh Dandeneau, author of Something Akin To

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 savor the complex fascinations to be found in this expertly crafted book.”

– L. S. Popovich, author of Undertones

“There are no boundaries between reality, the fantastic, and dreams, and this gives George Salis a lot of room for the poetic and mythical mode of writing, which he is clearly adept at. […] This is some grand, well-crafted prose. […] I cannot express how much symbolism there is, how much allusion is going on. This is a book that showcases a mind of great learning.”

Chris Via of Leaf by Leaf