“Matthew Mather asked if I would take a look at his latest creation, a set of six novellas that Mather calls The Atopia Chronicles, set for release on August 11. I was intrigued by Mather’s interest in the approaching symbiotic relationship between man and machine as signified by the great change they tell us is approaching. It will be such a great change, they’ve given the moment its own name: the Singularity. Dramatic. Eh?
So, Matthew Mather has written a multi-part story that tells us what people will be doing as the Singularity draws nigh and let me tell you, it looks like we’re going to be busy. Author Mather has created a unique environment, named Atopia that physically consists of an island floating free in the Pacific Ocean. Atopia is a nation unto itself but all that national sovereignty business may not be required after the Singularity passes, which will occur as soon as the rest of the world logs into Atopia’s pssi net. Say what, you say? Pssi net, that’s poly-synthetic sensory interface for you noobs. The pssi is what makes it possible for individuals to access the virtual net and to experience the world, well, virtually, which of course, also means that many, many modifications can be made by and for individuals to suit their personal tastes. Imagine the possibilities.
But wait, there’s more. With all the different virtual worlds to choose from, we begin to understand that Atopia, via its computer scientists and business men and ladies, has supplied the means to access the multiverse. If it doesn’t turn out to be as much fun as one had imagined, one can always hit the panic button and return to base.
These alternate realities are referred to as phutures. A “phuture” is an alternate future reality branching off the present moment. As one of Mather’s characters tells us, “Some scientists, initially on the fringes, had begun claiming that these weren’t simply simulations, but had become portals into alternate parallel universes forward along our timeline…” Intriguing idea.
Matthew Mather has constructed the larger story into six smaller stories, the smallest pulling maybe forty pages on the Kindle and the largest at a hundred and fifteen. The stories are filled with interesting and memorable characters but take care in not confusing who is human and who is a computer construct. Mather describes the Atopia stories as “sidequels”, all starting at the same moment in time, so you can start by reading any of them in whatever order you choose. Each paints another stroke across the world of Atopia, eventually combining to solve the mystery that connects them. The suggested reading order is Blue Skies, Childplay, Timedrops, Brothers Blind, Neverywhere and the conclusion Genesis & Janus, although The Atopia Chronicles are styled to be read in any order the reader chooses. Choice, by the way, is a big deal in Atopia.
For a wild ride on a multi-layered track, try Matthew Mather’s The Atopia Chronicles. Available at Amazon.