Last month, Ransom Stevens, who holds a Ph.D. in Particle Physics, came to speak to us at the Fremont Area Writers Club. He spoke about his novel, "Th...moreLast month, Ransom Stevens, who holds a Ph.D. in Particle Physics, came to speak to us at the Fremont Area Writers Club. He spoke about his novel, "The God Patent", addressing both how the book was written, and what processes he went through to get it published. He was one of the more precise speakers we have enjoyed at our monthly club meetings.
Stephens' first novel, The God Patent, while being an excellent read, it is also, in my opinion, something of a textbook in getting a story across.
Let me say that while I love to read, I am by far more critical of books, stories, essays, poems, songs and the like which are written by people I have met. There is a bit of a mystique about a book and its author if you are removed from that person. Nonetheless, I purchased the book at our club meeting and packed it away to read on my recent vacation. I should also note that while I am a fan of religious fiction, this book really only touches on religion, but lives in its characters, the story line, and in physics.
The God Patent is the story of software engineer Ryan McNear, his struggle with past mistakes--one of which caused both divorce and the loss of contact with his teenage son--dealing with the law, and finding his way in a life that seems to have turned against him.
The book is peopled with colorful and believable characters--each strong and well-developed--which will captivate or enrage you in the way Stephens handles them.
The book is also about the development of a technical process which purports to use the "creation energy" God used in the making of the Universe as a mundane power source. As the book develops, the questions of life, the soul, and the possibility of life after death are touched in a scientific way, one that will surely make the reader stop and think.
The idea of the book fascinated me, but I didn't want to like it. (See lame excuse above). The fact is I fell into the book and found myself reading long after my eyes thought it was a good idea, late into the night.
Being a critical reader I kept trying to catch up Stephens with plot pieces, but every time I was sure I had it worked out, he yanked the rug out from under me. At one point I was sure he had telegraphed the ending, and had set up to worm his way out of delivering what he had promised for at least the last third of the book. Once again I was wrong. Ransom Stephens delivered.
I asked Stephens how many drafts it took him to get his novel to the published level.