Two of his novels, The Sky So Big and Black and The Duke of Uranium have been reviewed as having content appropriate for a young adult readership, comparing favorably to Robert A. Heinlein's "juvenile" novels. He has contributed to the Internet Evolution website.
He has done work in systems analysis, business statistics, software reliability theory, sentiment analysis, statistical semiotics, and formal specification.
Barnes's hometown is Bowling Green, Ohio. Barnes earned a B.A. degree from Washington University, an M.A. degree from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. degree in theater from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught at Western State College. He lives in Colorado. Barnes has been married three times and divorced twice.
The four novels in the Thousand Cultures series include the theme of the effects of globalization, at an interstellar scale, on isolated societies.
The Last President was originally scheduled for 2012, but was delayed due to disagreements between Barnes and the publisher over the direction the series was taking. The final book in the series was published by Ace in 2014. Barnes is considering re-writing the first two books to make them more consistent with his original conception of the series.
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