"In the grand scheme of things, it is time now to be as broad-minded as possible, even as broadband-minded as possible. Narrow thinking results in jihads and candidates like Sarah Palin. There is room in the universe (s) for one hundred billion galaxies, evolution, other civilizations, your God, my God, and of course the Big God." —Baba Ed
Twenty years from now, the United States has fragmented into liberal Pacifica (the West Coast), theocratic New America (the heartland), and other new nations. Against this contentious political backdrop, Baba Ed, the leader of a wealthy UFO cult, seeks contact with extraterrestrial civilizations via the Channel, a breakthrough communications interface with a high “AIQ” that renders the most secure system vulnerable, and threatens the new balance of power. A dystopic New America ruled by evangelicals hopes to bring Pacifica back into the fold, and the Channel may offer the means to subdue the “secular” region. Or to protect it, if the book’s hero Franz Sampaio is successful in his quest.
J.C. McGowan's science-fiction debut blends the wry humor of Kurt Vonnegut with the cosmic scope of Carl Sagan and the edgy near-future scenarios of William Gibson. The novel explores the clash of culture and religion in cyberspace and post-America; the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and higher powers; and the socio-cultural impact of "virtual life" on our existence, as it takes us on an imaginative, breathless ride through Bali, Tokyo, California, and exotic virtual worlds that range from the fantasy realm of Nigh Errant to the erotic Yabyum Palace to the evangelical Church of the Good Citizen.
"A unique alternative vision of the future, with richly portrayed characters and well thought out scenarios that are both creative and intelligent."—Gwendolyn Toynton in the online journal Primordial Traditions
"A masterpiece tale of techno sci-fi [and] political-cultural-economic commentary...incredibly funny, sardonic, visionary, and well-written." —Nomi M. Prins, author of Jacked: How 'Conservatives' Are Picking Your Pocket
"[McGowan's] extrapolation of current technological and societal trends is highly believable." —Rex Allen of Curled Up With A Good Book
“Funny, political and visionary...the novel references ideas familiar to readers of scientist-authors like Michio Kaku. It is downright rhapsodic about the universe.”—J. Emilio Rondeau, The Mars Quarterly
“Interesting and entertaining.…insightful political commentary”—Mike Brotherton, astrophysicist and author
“The story is a romp, jumping back and forth from Bali to Japan to California, and it is fun...But there is an aspect to this first novel of J.C. McGowan which lifts it above the mere level of comedy and elevates it to true social commentary.” —Marc Ladewig, author of Odysseus: The Epic Myth of the Hero
"Multiple plotlines gradually merge up until the stunning conclusion, when the characters come together in a grand Fellini-style finale of both mayhem and resolution."—Dr. Reeves Medaglia-Miller, Media Studies professor at George Brown College/Ryerson University, Toronto
"J.C. McGowan takes the cultural wars going on in the USA today to their logical conclusion...it's also a real page-turner, with a nice sci-fi mystery, and it's very funny."—Baz, Amazon.com
"McGowan's excellent debut sci-fi novel is a good take on the concept of self -awareness on the net, mixed with the depressing specter of End-timers running the government. He keeps it light with very aptly named products and corporate mergers of the future. The line between reality and virtual worlds is convincingly blurred as the story unfolds and the action is well written and fast paced."—Brian Keith, Amazon.com
"Fans of the cyberpunk masters, such as William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, will be right at home here."—Celtoid9 at Amazon.com