Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Sensory Deception Paperback – August 6, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“Thoroughly gripping and quite smart, I found myself swept up in the story.” —Robert A. Burton, MD, author of A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind
“Writers get asked to provide cover quotes for a great many books. Most, sadly, are forgettable. Some, on the other hand, are quite good, and the rare few are exceptional. Rarer still are the ones that make your jaw drop. Ransom Stephen's The Sensory Deception is one of those very rare few. Smart but never pretentious or heady, exciting without being mere noise, The Sensory Deception provides an insider's look at the world of the mind, video games, and venture capital, all wrapped up in a seductive, breathtaking tale of all-too-human folly. Stephens’ characters are brilliant and real and fated to make sensational, dangerous errors, all on the path to realizing the larger truth of their real humanity. I wish I could back and read it all over again—right now.” —David Corbett, award-winning author of The Art of Character
“As with his debut, The God Patent, Ransom Stephens swings for the fences with The Sensory Deception—and he hits another home run, somehow managing to incorporate virtual reality, Somali pirates, the plight of sperm whales and the deforestation of the Amazon into a thrilling and unique story of romance and adventure.” —Robert Kroese, author of Mercury Rises
“Ransom Stephens amps up the tension with his realistic portrayal of virtual reality. A rollercoaster of a ride using the relationship between the senses and the mind, Stephens builds a story with unrelenting momentum.” —Robin Burcell, bestselling author of The Black List
“The Sensory Deception has it all—page-turning action (in such far-flung locations as Somalia and the Amazon rainforest), the bleeding edges of immersive virtual-reality, the rarified world of Silicon Valley startups, eco-activists, Somali pirates, psychotropic substances, and more. Deception is impeccably researched, from the biology of whales, to the neurology of perception, to the socio-economics of modern-era pirates. The story starts at a galloping pace, and never lets up. Dr. Ransom Stephens, a physicist turned novelist, follows-up his previous The God Patent exploration of science and religion with a new science thriller that mines the depths of human consciousness, and the potentials of technology to lift our race to new evolutionary heights.” —Steven Meloan, author of The Shroud
"Ransom Stephens' imagination is limitless in his ability to lead the reader through scenarios across the globe...The Sensory Deception is a worthy read with fascinating concepts." —pressdemocrat.com
About the Author
Ransom Stephens is a former physics professor and fifth-generation Californian. After earning his PhD from the University of California–Santa Barbara, he conducted cutting-edge particle physics research and taught at the University of Texas at Arlington. He then moved into the high-tech arena, leaving academia to work for a wireless web start-up. Drawing on his scientific work, Stephens penned the techno-thriller The God Patent. He lives in Petaluma, California.
Top customer reviews
Farley, Ringo, and Chopper each have unique specialties and temperaments, and are matched with Gloria from the venture capital company that funds them. The characters are well developed, and the negotiations about commercial vs. idealistic experiences and setting and meeting development goals ring very true, especially the fortune cookie comments of the VC partner who seems to be auditioning for an episode of Shark Tank.
Along the way, they deal with Somali pirates, Amazon natives, and many bumps in the road. Some of the twists may challenge believability, and some literary teasing around drugging subjects underserved the plot, but the concept of being able to be so immersed in an experience as to come out changed and the story of those determined (both true believers and their converts) to make it possible is inspiring and only slightly off from where current VR development is pushing the envelope.
The main sci-fi in this story is “virtual reality”, which is fairly old. In fact, I wrote a novel 15 years ago describing pretty much the same thing, only without the more recent whiz-bang stuff Stephens describes. Being a scientist, he explains the hardware and software a lot better than I did. The equipment used to record the required data is pretty much what is used for special effects in a lot of movies. From that standpoint, it’s only mildly interesting. One of the subplots is the venture capital world of Silicon Valley, which Stephens depicts very accurately, and somewhat sympathetically.
However, this book is actually about full-on, militant environmentalism. While the beginning is somewhat slow, the book becomes a techno-thriller to some extent. Although I have a background in engineering/construction management, the strong bias toward protecting the earth’s ecology was very appealing to me. To some extent, Stephens even made a case for some of the “piracy” that goes on in Somalia, in the sense that he depicts how the local politics and interference of the developed nations forced the natives out of their traditional industries and into desperate measures. However, the main focus is on how the rain forest is being systematically and maliciously destroyed, which is decimating our natural resources and our atmosphere. Other ecological themes are explored.
Okay, on to writing. Stephens’ forte is the typical short, punchy action style popular in the genre. He does it well, so the pacing is good. Most of the characters are complex enough to be really interesting, although the male and female leads are pretty much stereotypes of the beautiful, heroic protagonists. The book starts in the gimmicky “medias res”, which is written in present tense, switches throughout most of the book to flashback in past tense (or normal narrative style), then reverts back to present tense for the ending. This bothered me, having to make that reading shift for no discernible reason.
Overall, I kept turning the pages and enjoyed the action and the messages. The writing is certainly strong enough to carry the blatant proselytizing, although if you are the type to deny global warming, don’t bother. If you are concerned about the future of the earth, you might enjoy this novel.