My friend and fellow writer Matthew Mather has just released a new book called CyberStorm. For those who don’t know Matthew, he is the author of the very successful Atopia Chronicles, which can also be found on Amazon. Atopia has been highly ranked in both the Technothriller and High Tech Scifi categories for over a year in its several incarnations and has numerous five and four star reviews. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you lick it up. Matthew is a very talented writer, and his concepts of future cybertech stretch the imagination. I picked up CyberStorm today and will review it as soon as I read it, which may be in about a month because of my own projects. For those of my readers who don’t have other projects, go ahead and start. CyberStorm also has a number of good reviews already, with twenty listed on Amazon for a 4.9 star average. Enjoy.
Matthew Mather is re-releasing his near future science fiction series Atopia this weekend as The Atopia Chronicles. This was originally released as a single long novel, then as a series of novellas. It is worth a look by anyone interested in Dystopian futures. This is basically the review I wrote at Amazon with a few changes. Atopia is the story of people caught up in a world of nanotech and virtual reality in which anything is possible. Reminiscent of the stories of John Brunner (Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up), who won the Hugo for his look at futures where everything seems to work well, but things are quickly going to hell, Mather does a great job of transporting the reader into a world of everyday virtual reality. The characters take everything at face value, while the reader is left to wonder at the complete insanity of this strange world, much as people from the 19th Century would look at our world. The people seamlessly link with computers, giving them the ability to split parts of their personalities (splinters) off in order to be more than one place at a time, and multitask to an extreme. Some carry this beyond extremes, and don’t have enough central personality left to function as real people. Others pursue the potential of living in fantasy, or rent their own exploits out to audiences who pay for the privilege of being a champion surfer, or at least looking through the senses of one. In many ways the story seems to follow the trends of today’s society, where people engage in as many pleasurable activities as possible to avoid dealing with reality. In the novellas the great majority of people are not happy with their state in a world of shrinking resource. Virtual reality is seen as a means of keeping them happy while reducing resource expenditure. After all, if one can be satisfied with a virtual car, there is no need to mine and process ore and use energy to make a new one. Of course, Atlantis is not the only city to work on this process. There is another corporation out there, the enemy, that is willing to go to any lengths, including mass murder, to get rid of their competition.
The characters are very memorable, and each book in the series is written from the viewpoint of one of the main characters. There is the ex-military man who is in charge of security at the independent nation of Atlantis, the floating city which is the test bed for the new technologies. The stoned surfer who rents out his experiences to those without the skill or the nerve to do them on their own. The scientist who developed many of the techniques of the virtual world, and sees the premature release of them by a greedy corporation as the seeds of catastrophe. The assistant security chief, a man with a dark secret which spells disaster for the city. And the publicist who tries the system in the real world, and is cut off from it, becoming out of touch with everyone around her. All is set in a background world in which nations strike at each other through plausibly deniable weather events, and everything is on the edge of a major collapse that could lead to the death of billions.
I found Atopia to be a fascinating and entertaining series in which the author immersed me into another world. Not the world I want to live in, but one that is possibly in our future considering current scientific and societal trends. I highly recommend Matthew Mather’s series of Novellas. Get them while they’re hot. You won’t regret the minor investment.