The Future of Publishing and Ransom Stephens’s The God Patent

Ransom Stephens has a new article up on OpenDemocracy about the future of publishing, predicting how Long Tail economics will play out in practice. Drawing analogies with the transition to digital media in other industries, he argues that “the revolution will not be led by an established publisher.”

True to his own theory, Ransom Stephens has chosen to publish his novel The God Patent on scribd.com. It's the story of a laid-off engineer, Ryan McNear, who has lost custody of his son, and is advised by a Constable to get the hell out of Texas.

Ryan muses, “The two relevant things to keep in mind when you run away are, first, you have to choose a direction and, second, since you can’t run away from your problems, you might as well run toward their solutions.”

Ryan makes it to Petaluma, California -- but his problems don't stop coming. He moves in with a a weaselly lawyer-landlord and a child prodigy, but when some joke patents taken out with one of his former colleagues are acquired by an Evangelical university, Ryan’s Texan past catches up with him, and he gets embroiled in a battle between Science and Religion over the origins of the universe and the existence of the soul.

The God Patent -- a wry, knowledgable story of heartbreak, cutting-edge scientific research, staying afloat in hard times while trying to steal a march on the system, and the eternal struggle between faith and reality -- takes us deep into the heart of contemporary America.

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