The Big God Network

a novel by J.C. McGowan

J.C. McGowan's science-fiction debut The Big God Network 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.

THE SETTING: 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.


“Finally a new satirical post-cyberpunk SF voice with elements of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and the likes but with the added dimensions of Tom Robbins."
–Grant Garden, reviewer in Amazon U.K.

"The Big God Network reveals a unique alternative vision of the future, with richly portrayed characters and well thought out scenarios that are both creative and intelligent....Anyone who enjoys William Gibson and knows even a little about religion or mythology will enjoy reading this book." --Gwendolyn Toynton of Primordial Traditions

"Interesting and entertaining...Insightful political commentary." --Mike Brotherton, astrophysicist and author of Star Dragon.

 "[McGowan's] extrapolation of current technological and societal trends is highly believable."-Rex Allen of Curled Up With A Good Book

"It is written in an extremely tight, quickly intercut cinematic style that is new and refreshing…As in any great work by Vonnegut, Heinlein, or Leven…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." --Reeves Medaglia-Miller, Media Studies professor at George Brown College/Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)

"The Big God Network is 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.

"A masterpiece tale of techno sci-fi [and] political-cultural-economic commentary...incredibly funny, sardonic, visionary, and well-written....The Big God Network's themes are scarily potential outcomes based on the country's current direction. The details, humor and observations are exquisite." --Nomi Prins author of Jacked: How 'Conservatives' Are Picking Your Pocket and It Takes a Pillage

“One of the most original things I have read.”
-–Patrick Barrett, author of
Shakespeare’s Cuthbert

"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

"J.C. McGowan takes the cultural wars going on in the USA today to their logical conclusion...[it's] a real page-turner, with a nice sci-fi mystery, and it's very funny. The purple passages of randy (but virtual) sexual encounters had me hooting. Everything is gloriously over the top here, but the author just gleefully glides you along, and his subtle comic barbs just get sharper."-Baz at

"A fascinating future world that resonates nicely with the one we share today. Things like the Samsung-Maserati ZX economically conjure a whole history of economic and technological change, as does the option of paying in Reagans or euros. “Netsick” makes a worthy neologism, and “hijacking someone’s reality” conveys worlds."-Colin Piprell, author of MOM

"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 at

"Fans of the cyberpunk masters, such as William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, will be right at home here."-Celtoid9 at

"It's out there, yeah...and it rocks...[the] writing is absolutely wonderful."-Eden Tyler, author of The Abandoned Edge of Avalon

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About the Cover

The cover of The Big God Network was designed by graphic artist Cristina Portella, who has created album covers for Milton Nascimento, Maria Rita, Gilberto Gil, Ana Carolina, and other renowned Brazilian musicians.


About the Author