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The Dystopia Chronicles (Atopia Series Book 2) [Paperback]

Matthew Mather

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Book Description

12 Aug 2014 Atopia Series Book 2 (Book 2)

The second book in the bestselling Atopia series.

Cast out from Atopia, Robert Baxter undertakes a globe-trotting quest to find his friend Willy’s lost body, which just may hold the key to understanding the dangers facing his home…and Jimmy Scadden’s role in the disasters that are spreading across the world.

As Robert pieces together the puzzle, he realizes that mankind’s ravenous consumption of natural resources is no longer the most immediate threat to this world. As full-scale global war erupts and an ancient apocalyptic threat resurfaces, Robert must risk losing the ones he loves to save the planet from destruction.

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About the Author

After earning a degree in electrical engineering, Matthew Mather started his professional career at the McGill Center for Intelligent Machines. He went on to found one of the world’s first tactile feedback companies, which became the world leader in its field, as well as creating an award-winning brain training video game. In between, he’s worked on a variety of start-ups, everything from computational nanotechnology to electronic health records, weather prediction systems to genomics, and even social intelligence research. In 2009, he began a different journey, returning to the original inspiration for his technology career—all the long nights spent as a child and teenager reading the great masters of science fiction. He decided to write a sci-fi novel of his own, and the result was The Atopia Chronicles. He divides his time between Montreal, Canada, and Charlotte, NC.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It! Very inventive yet made believable by the authors' attention to detail 13 July 2014
By Bruce Keener - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's all-employee email included the following:

"We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices - in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs - are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention."

So scarily true. We barely have the time to spend our attention on deciding how to spend our attention, and, rest assured, it will not get better. In fact, if you want to picture what it might be like in a hundred years, Mr. Mather's book gives one of the best predictions I've seen for our future, a future in which we have virtual selves to extend our self far beyond what is currently possible, so that those selves can explore our multiverse, looking at future possibilities and advising avoidance of the unpleasant ones, and even screening what we, the "primary self" see, so that we are not overrun with advertisements and other attention-grabbing devices. Add to that some other technological advances, such as the technology to use weather to wage war, and add in a trillionaire's complex life in the multiverse, along with the lives of other important and interesting characters, all having some sort of flaw, but all (well, almost all) likable, and you've got a helluva good book. And it is.

But, that's only half of the picture. The other half involves how the "end of time" is brought about, and this is just as fascinating, if not more so, than the technology of distributed consciousness. I have always enjoyed end-of-time scenarios, and this one takes the prize for most inventive of all.

And, I must say that I really appreciate the research that Mr. Mather puts into his work. He has clearly done his research on AI, philosophy of mind (consciousness), biology (Simon Conway Morris' "convergent evolution"), and the various myths regarding the end of times.

I also like the fact that he keeps the action going, keeping your mind engaged throughout.

I highly recommend this book and the two predecessors in this trilogy (Atopia and CyberStorm)

Note that I was provided an Advance Review Copy at no cost.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Dystopia Chronicles' - What a ride! 22 July 2014
By Allan Edward Tierney - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
When I was a pre-teenager in the early Sixties I consumed science fiction like my life depended upon it, and I see now how to quite a degree it really did! The wide-angled approach I developed I put down squarely to reading SF. It was everything to me as I felt my mind being broadened and deepened. I read all the greats of that time, Heinlein, Asimov, Van Vogt, Anderson. Ellison, Vance and so forth. What a ride!

Then came the later writers and the intellectual content and modernist feel seemed to over-ride the mind-expansion and flight of imagination quotients or so it seemed to this old-timer. I thought I’d said a sad goodbye to classic SF as I’d known and loved it. Then the decades flew by and.... surprise! I read about a book called ‘The Atopia Chronicles’, how well it was doing sales-wise and what an unexpected hit it had become through word of mouth and little else. I read the reviews and bought it right away. As in my youth I was again and instantly hooked and mindwise transported. A man in his sixties was 12 again!!! All the magic of mind-expansion plus a rivetting plotline that carried me jaw-dropped along with it. I couldn’t put the thing down! ‘Loved it, totally loved it. Oh, and I forgot to say, I found the writing even BETTER than the greats I’d read in the Sixties and for me that’s really SAYING something!

So we come to the latest of Matthew Mather’s series on Atopia and the mind-magicians that weave their tech-spells in the ether around them. I have to say I wasn’t quite prepared for the wild ride of this book and my old brain got a real workout! Keeping track of the characters, what their timeline had been, was and could be was quite something. You know how great jazz kind of makes your mind move to places you’ve never been before and you don’t know quite how or why? Well the events of ‘The Dystopia Chronicles’ will do that for you if you are anything like me I’m certain. It’s a real workout for everything but the body as you relax and stimulate your mind, brain and even yes, your spirit.

Others have covered something of the characterization of the novel and a feel of the imagined near-future technological and software imaginings so I won’t go over those here. All I wanted to say to you is if you feel you are in need of some cyber wind in your hair and a good strong breeze blowing the cobwebs of your mind away then take this SF rollercoaster ride provided by Matthew here.

May you sit on giants shoulders thereby. ;-)

(As with other reviewers here I received a free copy of ‘The Dystopia Chronicles’ for review purposes.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Look Into Our Future Taken From Today's Most Controversial Science. 16 July 2014
By ashearer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Virtual or more appropriately, synthetic reality; distributed consciousness, information everywhere-all the time, what really constitutes the self? An infinite set of parallel universes, the complete isolation of the wealthy from the hard realities of life, while the great masses live in squalor. Peak population, wars over water, space, solar power, even the use of weather as a weapon. The computing power necessary to model future outcomes, doomsday scenarios depicted in ancient texts, prophets of the end of days.

Matthew Mather has managed to wrap many of the hottest topics in technology, medicine and science thinking people are talking about today into a science fiction thriller of the first order. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Often fiction paints a scarier picture of our possible futures.
The Dystopia Chronicles, the eagerly anticipated follow up to Mather's The Atopia Chronicles (and I would strongly recommend reading Atopia Chronicles first). The Atopia Chronicles (Atopia series)Questions get answered, mysteries unraveled. A solid author produces a sequel that doesn't disappoint but rather, delights. The new release is a headlong rush into a future we could see unfolding in many of the social behaviors and technological adaptations occurring at an ever increasing pace in our world today. Continuing the story of the most interesting and important characters from Atopia, Mather takes the "pssi kids along with the mysterious creator of Phuture News on a thrilling chase through virtual and physical locations teaming with characters made both sad and fearsome by mans' experiments gone awry. Collecting information from an amazing variety of well crafted characters and superbly described locations, the group must find answers to enormous questions so they can derail the sinister plans of a troubled former pssi-kid who has truly gone off the rails.

Mather's imagination is on full display here. This book takes a huge, thundering swing at concepts hard to describe, let alone craft a story around. The result is a resounding success. The book maintains a rapid, exciting pace while never leaving the reader wondering about the complex concepts woven into its story line. The end contains a twist that will make you wish for more. This story, the story of our existence, our past and quite possibly our future, like the multi-verse in which it ultimately takes place never has to end. I for one am looking forward to another installment.

Top Notch Science Fiction!
I received an free advance review copy of this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as good as the first book 17 July 2014
By brujaja - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Welcome to the rare pleasure of reading a second book in a series which is unmistakably every bit as good as the first book.

A selection of characters already vivid and lifelike continue to acquire breadth and depth as the action moves along -- and you won’t be waiting long for *that* to happen, because once the book gets started, all manner of freaky and unexpected things jump off. I just love a book where I really can’t say what’ll happen next.

Many of the themes from the first book involving AI, distributed awareness, and the validity of realities other than consensual objective reality are explored further here, leaving you with some really interesting food for thought.

I think this author is one of the best new voices in science fiction. His prose flows easily, even when dealing with complex ideas; his dialogue is natural and fun, and his works all seem to me to have that extra something which transforms really good writing into great writing.

I would like to add that “The Dystopia Chronicles” is absolutely essential for anyone who is wondering, But What Happened To The Cat?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel to The Atopia Chronicles 20 July 2014
By Jae Lee - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
A great sequel for Atopia Chronicles. I really enjoyed the first book, so I've been eagerly waiting for Dystopia. I received an advanced copy for review, and it was really an exciting book to read.

Be warned though, it is quite a complicated story line and a lot of details, so you really have to pay attention to what's going on while reading. With that said, Matthew Mather really is a master of complexity, and he really pulls it off well.

The author's writing has improved quite a bit since Atopia, and has really improved upon some of the weaknesses. Atopia was really entertaining, had a strong start, and great finish, but it was a bit slow around the first half. In Dystopia, he paces the story well so that it's really fin to read the whole way through. I feel that his character development as also improved, so that it really is a much richer story compared to the first book.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Atopia, but I'm just excited to see that the story just gets better and more interesting.

I really cannot wait till the third installment!
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