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.

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“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.”

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Praise

“Salis is a young writer who refuses to give in to the market pressures of bland commercial prose. He uses language as a site of experimentation. You don’t need much plot when you have linguistic feats of that calibre to keep you going.” The Kenyon Review

“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 NightSea 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, 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 savour the complex fascinations to be found in this expertly crafted book.”

– L. S. Popovich, author of Undertones