The City Where We Once Lived: A Novel

Simon and Schuster
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In this “eerie, beautifully written” novel, a city decimated by climate change becomes a haven for outcasts—until people start coming to them for refuge (Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven).
 
In a near future where climate change has severely affected weather and agriculture, the North End of an unnamed city has long been abandoned. Aside from the scavengers stripping the empty city to its bones, only a few thousand people remain, content to live quietly among the crumbling metropolis. Many, like the narrator, are there hoping to escape the demons of their past.
 
But now strangers are showing up in the North End, telling stories of social and political collapse in the South End and beyond. Faced with a growing disruption to his isolated life, the narrator and the rest of the citizens of the North End must choose whether to welcome these outsiders as neighbors or confront them as invaders.
 
The City Where We Once Lived is a haunting novel that combines a prescient look at how climate change and industrial flight will shape our world with a deeply personal story of one man running from his past.
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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 3, 2018
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Pages
244
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ISBN
9781628728842
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Dystopian
Fiction / Fantasy / Urban
Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In just three years, CEO Robbie Case has grown
Core Communications, a data technology company,
from 30 people to over 5,000. Now a $20 billion
company made legendary by its sudden success,
Core is based on a technology no other company
can come close to copying, a revolutionary
breakthrough known as “drawing blood from a
mainframe.” And Robbie, its 35-year-old CEO, is
acclaimed worldwide for his vision, leadership and
wealth.
Except that all of it is based on a lie. The technology
doesn’t work, the finances are built on a Ponzi
scheme of stock sales and shell corporations, and
Robbie is struggling to keep the company alive,
to protect the friends who work for him and all
that they’ve built. Each day, Robbie tries to push
the catastrophe back a little further, while his
employees believe that they are all moving closer
to “grace,” the day their stock options vest, when
they will be made rich for their faith and loyalty and
hard work. The details of the lie are all keyed into
a shadowy interface that Robbie calls Shimmer, an
omniscient mainframe that hides itself, calculates
its own collapse, threatens to outsmart its creator
and to reveal the corporation’s illegal, fragile
underpinnings.
Shimmer is the story of a high-tech crusade nearing
its end. The shell game Robbie has created is finally
running out of room. And Robbie is the only one
who knows or who has a chance to make things
right. Or is he?
A breathless debut novel that charges the
atmosphere with suspense and surprise and
delivers complex characters you can root for in
spite of their flaws, Shimmer is Robbie’s race
against the truth.
Brad Thor's Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW!

"Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014)." --Booklist

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER?

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

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 Eleven 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, 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.
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