Thursday, February 13, 2014

Matthew Mather Adds Atopia Offshore

Atopia Chronicles
With the world facing overpopulation and diminishing resources, the initial marketing campaign to seek a solution could have said anything and still succeeded. The world's first artificial island owned by a corporation was set afloat in the Pacific Ocean and invited two classes of people to populate it.

The first class included the world's elite, wealthy families looking to escape the crush and clutter of the struggling world. The second were talented, gifted individuals that helped manage and maintain the sovereign city-state it had become overnight. But that wasn't the only marketing pitch for Atopia.

From day one, Dr. Patricia Killiam had always envisioned Atopia as the launching point for something better — a program that creates a virtual reality so complete and conniving that the population's wildest dreams and self-gratifiying wishes can be made real with a mere thought.

Atopia discovers a breakthrough that bends the mind.

If you can imagine living in the world but having your perception of the world altered to censor advertising and annoyances, then you've imaged an introduction Atopia's first scientific export. Killiam and company have created a software program that blends virtual reality and the real world.

The program enables you to augment your perception. But more than that, people can use it to interact with the world around them — with computable data readily available in their visual cortex — or invent entirely new ones that transform a small apartment into a lavishly appointed estate.

Or perhaps, you want something more. The program can help you be two or more places at once by giving your primary perception the experience it wants while your material body takes care of more mundane tasks via a secondary proxy. It can transport your mind to any place on the planet, step inside someone else's real time experiences, and simulate children to prepare you for the real thing.

Aside from the immediate practicality of it all — giving the brain everything it wants without the need for increasingly scarce resources — the program slowly begins to unlock one profound application after the other. And it doesn't take long to appreciate that if someone has an infinite number of possibilities to change human perception then it will eventually change humankind.

Told as a string of interconnected short stories from a number of characters and unique perspectives, Matthew Mather does a remarkable job at easing into a new, fantastic, and frightening world of altered and immersive realities. Most of them teeter back and forth between dream and nightmare.

A few more graphs about Matthew Mather.

Matthew Mather
Science fiction inspired Matthew Mather so much that he pursued a career in technology. From his first job at the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines, Mather went on to found one of the world's first tactile feedback companies. Along the way, he worked with a variety of other start-ups, including computational nanotechnology, weather prediction systems, and social intelligence research.

Five years ago, however, he found himself drifting back to the place he started — imagining the future with the masters of science fiction. Except this time, it was his imagination that would create a near future world of altered realities.

The Atopia Chronicles By Matthew Mather Imagines 7.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

There is something not quite likable about any of the characters Mather introduces and the way he introduces them — short stories that only somewhat adhere to linear time — works most of the time. But where these failings and occasional typos might otherwise make a book boorish, Mather's near-future imaginings and societal challenges are all too predictive to pass up. It's a must read.

You can find The Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather on Amazon. The book is also available at Barnes & Noble or you can download it for iBooks. If you are concerned about occasional errors, the audiobook reads over them with a cast of six narrators, each taking up different characters and chapters to bring additional life to the story.
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