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The God Patent Paperback – December 16, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Vox Novus; 1st edition (December 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984260005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984260003
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,173,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...classic battle between faith and free will [with] unusually deft infusion of legitimate but accessible science... a narrative that sings of the heart and the scientific method as two parts of the same song." -San Francisco Chronicle (edited by author)

"The God Patent really drew me in, not just because of the hard-charging plot and the vivid characters but also because this story is wrapped around one of the central conflicts of our time: faith in science versus faith in religion. Ransom, to his credit, avoids easy or didactic answers. Instead he pulls readers into a dense and nuanced argument that leaves us buzzing with questions." --Tamim Ansary, bestselling author of Destiny Disrupted

"This book is truly amazing. It combines philosophy, theology, science, humor, and great characters all in one outstanding story. This is that rare book that makes you seriously reconsider and reevaluate your idea of what the universe is all about. It is engrossing and fascinating, the kind of book that makes you sad when it's over and you want to read it all over again." --Miles Dylan, singer/songwriter, philosopher/sage

"This story of life, physics and spirituality will blow your mind. You won't put it down until the last page, and when you look up, you will see the world in a totally different way." --Joe Quirk, bestselling author of Exult.

"When software engineers ruled the world...The heart of this tale is a science-versus-religion battle over a couple of patents that promise to unlock the secrets of the universe and turn the power of God into an ExxonMobil wet dream. On one side is Ryan and a new batch of quirky friends that includes a heartless lawyer (is that redundant?), a dedicated scientist who is sexy enough to lure Ryan back from the dark side and a teenage whiz kid.... The other side includes the usual suspects: the evil government in cahoots with an evil corporation in cahoots with an evil university run by a rightwing religious megalomaniac. Just your typical Houston suburb barbecue crowd. Ransom Stephens skillfully weaves together multiple plot lines and characters in a fast moving story that kept me hungry for the denouement and some baby back ribs. I loved hating the bad guys in The God Patent.... Ransom Stephens got it right. The Petaluma scene. The suspense software. The dark side in all of us that is battling our hardwired angels." --Tim Noun at Book Case, for the Petaluma Argus-Courier

"Every time I finish a really good book, I get depressed because I'm loath to leave behind the characters that I've come to know and love, and the world in which I was immersed. I've had that feeling since reading The God Patent. I feel altered, and I'm sad to leave that world. The book inspires one to seek excellence, to be a better person. To choose life. What more can you ask for?" --Ann Clark, Founder Sacred Wilderness

"...the first debut novel to emerge from the new paradigm of online publishing. What distinguishes this classic battle between faith and free will is its unusually deft infusion of legitimate but accessible science... An ambitious first novel that uses Stephens' experience as a particle physicist, director of patents, public speaker and single father in a narrative that sings of the heart and the scientific method as two parts of the same song." --San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Ransom Stephens, Ph.D., is a professor of particle physics turned writer and speaker. He has worked on experiments at SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, and Cornell; discovered a new type of matter and was on the team that discovered the top quark. During the tech boom that ended in 2001, he directed patent development for a wireless web startup and, a few years later became an expert on timing noise which is something that you don't care about other than that it paid his bills as he wrote The God Patent.

Ransom lives in Petaluma, California and makes a living by writing novels, giving speeches, producing and MCing literary events, helping engineers solve problems, and teaching writing seminars. He is the author of over 200 articles on impossible subjects like quantum physics, the future of publishing and parenting teenagers.

His first novel, The God Patent, is set in the battle between science and religion over the nature of the soul and the origin of the universe. The story is wrapped around the role of faith in both science and religion and concludes with a surly adolescent math prodigy's discovery of the nature of the eternal soul.

More About the Author

I am Ransom Stephens. In my novels, I try to put intriguing characters in a good story built on a scientific premise.

My first novel, The God Patent, is built on quantum physics and my second, The Sensory Deception, is built on the relationship between the senses and the mind.

My books are shelved in science fiction, but my science is accurate, cutting edge, and I work hard to make it accessible and fascinating without taking up so many pages that it slows down the story. I like the kind of novels that make you feel like you've been survived something with the characters so that when you put down the book you feel exhilarated, maybe a bit exhausted, but kind of pumped, too, you know?

My professional background is in particle physics research and technology development. As a particle physicist, I got to participate in a few cool discoveries: a new type of matter, the R(1525), a particle formed in the fusion of two photons--not a big deal, the sort of thing that interested about 30 people--and, along with a thousand other physicists at Fermilab, collaborated on the discovery of the top quark. In high tech, I got to lead a team of engineers in solving a tough timing noise problem that enabled the development of high speed technology that's still emerging--the sort of thing that made a handful of executives a ton of money (I still drive a Civic). Through that, what I really did was write tons of software, spend a great deal of time trying to find weak signals hidden in strong backgrounds, wrote and presented lots of papers, and got to travel to places like Vietnam and Russia.

Right now, I'm working on a series, Timescapers, which is about a schizophrenic physicist who believes that the voices he hears are his own voice speaking from his future(s). I'm also on deadline for a nonfiction neuroscience book that focuses on distinctions and similarities in topics like talent & skill, discovery & creativity, intelligence & intuition, and so on. The working title is The Left Brain Speaks but the Right Brain Laughs.

I write for electronics trade magazines, including plenty of popular science--the Higgs boson, gravity waves, radiation, philosophy of science, ... You can find links to my science articles at

Thank you for reading my work and, if you have a chance, for reviewing it. I've learned a lot from my reader reviews, for example, my writing seems to do a good job disappearing behind the characters and story: readers can't seem to decipher my personal political and religious beliefs (or lack thereof). You're welcome to guess, and if you ask (ransom [at], I'll tell you, but please don't blame me for what my characters say and do, if I had better control of them, none of this would have happened.

Thank you, Ransom.

Customer Reviews

Combining fiction with good science makes a very interesting read.
Garry Bowes
This was a thought provoking read steeped in well developed characters and a plot that had me rooting for them.
Rhonda R. Carpenter
Seems like the author got bored and just decided to end the book the easiest way he could think of.
J. stephenson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
***Spoiler Alert*** I am prefacing this review with a spoiler alert mainly because I will probably come off sounding like a spoil-sport as I give this book a slightly less glowing review than the vast majority already posted.

A major theme of the "story" appears to be faith and patience and we are brow-beaten with it from very early on in the book. I suppose it is fitting, then, that attempting to read this book is a major exercise in faith and patience. Faith in the author that there is a story buried in there somewhere and patience to wait for him to finally get around to it. I finally lost both just shy of the half-way point in the book. I was about to pack it in a third of the way through the book but the author finally hit an actual plot point and revealed a general direction for the story. Up to that point the author had been doing character development and leading us through a year in the life of four of the characters while he set up various sub plots. Unfortunately his characters are one dimensional: (SPOILER) the rich tech manager whose marriage fell apart and lost his job and sank into drugs and strippers, the "damaged" and rebellious teen who just happens to be a math super-genius, the beautiful physicist who is passionate about the purity of science and the greedy and sleazy lawyer. Even after spending a third of the book developing the characters they still came off as more caricature than character and I found myself not caring about any of them. After the first plot point is revealed I continued reading, hoping the pace would pick up. Instead I was introduced to a new group of characters that had to be developed.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Steve Allen on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I quickly found myself engrossed in this book. I got that deja vu feeling (all over again) akin to what I felt the first time I picked up a John Grisham novel. Only this book has a science/consciousness angle instead of a legal beagle angle. You can tell that Ransom spent time as a particle physicist just as you can tell that Grisham spent time as a lawyer. The results are that the books feel authentic. They also keep the cast of characters to a handful. It turns out to be a nice little read. It also enticed my to purchase Feynman's Lecture (3 volume set) but that may not be everyone's cup of tea! One last note, be a great book to turn into a movie!
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Austea on June 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK: Where am I coming from? I was born 'in the field' as my hardcore evangelical missionary parents would say, and stayed in the church until about 18. I have recently retired from 50 years as a patent attorney after working for some years in San Jose but mostly in Australia, firstly for the country's largest R&D organisation and then in my own practice. I have been subscribing to Scientific American for 60 years and to New Scientist for decades, and I have read all the non-specialist writings of Richard Feynman that I can find, plus a bunch of biographies of him. While I read very little fiction, I was intrigued by the free summary, so bought the book. And, it did not disappoint – at first.

Setting: Ryan McNear is a software jock expert in neural networks. He has a great job in Silicon Valley, a good wife and much loved teenage son, only to lose all to drugs after meeting a hooker at the buck’s night of his good work-buddy Foster Reed. Though he gets off drugs he cannot pay support, his wife slaps restraining orders on him preventing him from contacting his son and he leaves California a wanted man. Before all this and in much happier days Ryan and Foster decide to cash in on their employer’s incentive scheme to encourage patent filings. It’s a great lark, each being confident of pulling the scientific wool over the eyes of both their employer and the Patent Office thereby winning the cash bonuses. Foster writes up a scheme for harvesting quantum vacuum energy using a particle collider and Ryan writes up a method that allows genetic / adaptive improvement of multiple neural nets working in tandem. Ryan’s invention can be used to run Foster’s collider.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Scott SanFilippo on May 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Pleasant but not real deep story despite a ton of physics and religion. It just fails to please. I made it through because the characters are interesting enough, and the plot seems like it might become exciting several times... But like the main character, it charts a mediocre and ultimately unsatisfying course through the meaning of life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By blondie on November 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting and thoughtful read that combines science and religion. Ryan McNear and Foster Reed are hot shot engineers during the dot com boom and subsequently write two patents that forever change their lives. One patent is a rewrite of Genesis so to speak and is a design o create energy from nothing - as in Genesis. The other patent is an algorithm for the soul. Ransom Stephens includes a bit of simple quantum physics mixed with artificial intelligence and religion, begging the question: Can they be reconciled? There were some interesting ideas postulated in this story. I also really enjoyed the vivid characters Stephens paints. I really enjoyed getting to know Ryan and Kat. They are quite an unlikely pair, but it really works in the book. I think the characters are the best part about this novel. There was also a small twist at the end that I didn't see coming. All in all, it's enjoyable and thought provoking.
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