Books by John Barnes

John Barnes is the award-winning author of many SF novels, including Orbital Resonance, A Million Open Doors, and The Sky So Big and Black. With Buzz Aldrin, he wrote Encounter with Tiber and The Return. He lives in Colorado.


THE LAST PRESIDENT by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Fans of the previous entries will keep reading."
The final entry of Barnes' near-future apocalypse trilogy (Daybreak Zero, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
LOSERS IN SPACE by John Barnes
Released: April 12, 2012

"Overall, accessible, gripping and poignant. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
Despite the campy title, Barnes (Tales of the Madman Underground, 2009) spins a space-travel tale with scientific and emotional substance. Read full book review >
DAYBREAK ZERO by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 2011

"A stunning premise that would have benefited from a lighter approach, less baggage and more focus."
Near-future apocalypse, the second entry in Barnes' projected trilogy, following Directive 51 (2010). Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2009

"Due to its length and the frustration of waiting some 100 pages between the start and continuation of some story lines, only the most stubborn of readers will stay past the 37 dead cats to the tiresome, if very tidy, ending. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)"
With excruciating, mind-numbing detail and a lot of swear words, 17-year-old Karl chronicles the first six days of his senior year. Read full book review >
THE ARMIES OF MEMORY by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 2006

"Still top-heavy with cultural referents, but thoughtful, well plotted and intriguingly populated—the best so far in a worthwhile series."
Another adventure for troubadour-spy Giraut Leones of the Thousand Culture's Office of Special Plans—whose mission is to steer humanity down a path between war on the one hand and solipsistic retreat into virtual reality on the other. Read full book review >
GAUDEAMUS by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Nov. 4, 2004

"Even at this length, a narrative that should be—and often is—pure fun repeatedly gets bogged down in philosophical debates. Not Barnes's best, though entertaining enough."
Like Finity (1999), a tall story that keeps getting taller . . . and taller . . . and taller. Read full book review >
THE SKY SO BIG AND BLACK by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"A winner."
Latest in Barnes's series (Candle, 2000, etc.) in which, in an alternate future, the meme (mind-controlling algorithm) Resuna has infected everyone on Earth, binding them into the hive-like intelligence called One True. Read full book review >
THE MERCHANTS OF SOULS by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Soporifically plotted story of ideas that, despite some sly social satire, gets lost in interminable talk about human identity, truth, and memory."
Third volume, with two to follow, in the 29th-century adventures of Giraut Leones, troubadour, diplomat, spy, and now host of the personality and memories of his dead school chum Raimbaut. Read full book review >
CANDLE by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"Disappointingly obvious, and going nowhere."
A yarn that takes place somewhere—though it's unclear precisely where—in the universe Barnes created for his splendid Kaleidoscope Century (1995). Read full book review >
FINITY by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 11, 1999

"From the author of Earth Made of Glass (1998), etc, a virtuoso piece of probability-juggling that mostly adds up—until that dreadfully anticlimactic non-ending brings you back to, er, reality with a thump."
College professor Lyle Peripart, the descendant of American expatriates, tries to ignore the various Reichs that rule the world following the Axis victory in WWII over a century ago, until the powerful industrialist Geoffrey Iphwin, interested in Lyle's clever statistical analyses, hires him. Read full book review >
APOSTROPHES AND APOCALYPSES by John Barnes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 20, 1998

"Concerns that in Barnes's fine novels may be assets, or minor flaws—density; limited originality; pedestrian writing—become problems in the shorter format; annoying, too, is the presumption of a largely teenaged audience."
Barnes's first collection, comprising 13 stories, including four previously unpublished, and eight essays, is divided, obscurely, into sections headed "While you Wait," "For the End," "Let Us Spend some Time," and "Talking to People Who Aren't There." Read full book review >
EARTH MADE OF GLASS by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1998

"Despite the top-heavy multiple-culture backdrop, this is an intelligent, well-researched, adroitly handled and absorbing cultural clash with a notably surprising conclusion."
Sequel to Barnes's far-future A Million Open Doors (1992), set a millennium hence at a time when Earth's scattered colonies, long isolated by the vastness of interstellar distances, are reestablishing contact via the newly invented "springer" or instantaneous transporter. Read full book review >
ENCOUNTER WITH TIBER by Buzz Aldrin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 17, 1996

"Still, Aldrin brings an unmistakable hands-on realism to the details of space exploration, and Barnes lends his expertise to the overall structure and packaging. (Author tour)"
Alien-contact/ancient-astronaut ``infotainment'' from Aldrin, the second man on the moon (Men from Earth, 1989, etc.) and leading novelist Barnes (Mother of Storms, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
ONE FOR THE MORNING GLORY by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Not as compelling as Barnes's superior sf, but his fans shouldn't be too disappointed."
Following a streak of science fiction successes (Kaleidoscope Century, 1995, etc.), Barnes takes a stab at light fantasy. Read full book review >
KALEIDOSCOPE CENTURY by John Barnes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1995

"Grim, sinewy, consistently surprising, and—despite Barnes's habitual, and always irksome, present-tense narration— unforgettable."
The latest from Barnes (Mother of Storms, 1994, etc.) opens on Mars early in the 22nd century, where Joshua Ali Quare wakes from a long illness with only scattered memories; among his few possessions is an advanced computer containing hundreds of documents, many contradictory, detailing his past lives. Read full book review >
MOTHER OF STORMS by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: July 1, 1994

"But the present-tense narrative kills off all sense of drama, and the whole impressive enterprise weighs a ton and a half."
The author of A Million Open Doors (1992) here spins a near- future global catastrophe yarn. Read full book review >
A MILLION OPEN DOORS by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"All in all, another impressive performance."
Another thoughtful, well-handled, polished coming-of-age yarn from the author of the splendid Orbital Resonance (1991), etc. The far future, with thousands of human colonies isolated from one another by vast stellar distances, offered enormous scope for social engineering according to exotic parameters. Read full book review >
ORBITAL RESONANCE by John Barnes
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Involving, well-balanced YA fare, with just enough complexity and insight to attract a wider audience."
Worthy whack at a near-future coming-of-age novel, set aboard an asteroid shuttling between Earth and Mars in the year 2025; from the author of Sin of Origin (1988) and The Man Who Pulled Down the Sky (1986). Read full book review >