on 2 April 2013
I like science fiction and I liked this story although it was difficult to know what category to put it in. The start seemed a bit hesitant and some of the language and terms use made me realise that I have probably lead a sheltered life. After this it seemed to be a story showing how some new hardware / software was developed for artificial intelligence. A lot of computing terms were used, these gave me no problems. This device called a Wizer made me think of the newly developed "Google Glasses" at least in appearance.
There were a few strange sentences where an edit would not go amiss for example "I put it on the platter and wore the headset on."
Later on in the story I thought it was going to develop into a murder mystery but it covered a more advanced form of artificial intelligence.
I am still not sure how to categorise this story but I did like it and felt the descriptive style worked well with both the characters, particularly Maya of the title, and the location / devices.
on 19 March 2013
I was intrigued into picking up Memories with Maya as, although it is fictional, it deals with concepts that, realistically, could come to fruition in our ever-changing technologically cyber-savvy world. Written by `Creative Technology Evangelist' Clyde DeSouza, who is known for exploring technologies such as Augmented Reality, Real-Time Game engines and Stereoscopic 3D (not concepts that I was overly familiar with, but that did not in any way detract from my understanding and appreciation of the novel) it brazenly pushes the boundaries of discovery when it comes to exploring the impact these new technologies may have on free will, personal relationships, and society as a whole. Suffice to say, it also delves into the moral and ethical dilemmas such advances will, no doubt, raise and, in this sense, is a clever, analytical exploration of a combination of concepts and values, sure to appeal to the senses of readers who love to explore, question and indulge themselves in the fantastical but all-too-real new-age intelligences we now face as a global community.
In saying so, this is not a novel strictly reserved for scientifically-minded readers. The storyline has a wider appeal, following a time-honored pattern of success, with strong, interesting characters and an interesting plot, with obstacles, suspense and a side of romance thrown in.
Although it did take some warming up, the novel really picked up pace about a third of the way in, so I encourage readers to stick with it. Just when I was least expecting it, one of the main characters "was no more"...I won't say much more here, so as not to spoil it for others. But I will say that this unexpected turn of events flipped the story on its side and, from there on in, the pace really picked up, with some interesting developments keeping me hanging on till the very end.
At just 215 pages, it's a comfortable read which can definitely be enjoyed in one or two sittings. And at just over $4.00, the `food for thought' it provides, aside from the story itself, is a worthwhile investment. I am more than sure that the concepts DeSouza cleverly describes and brings to life throughout the novel are ones we might be facing in this digital era a lot earlier than we may think.
on 18 June 2013
Memories with Maya is an intriguing tale that at its core deals with the often tricky complexities of human relationships and loss. Overlaid is a neat story about two clever guys and their ideas for the next big thing in "augmented reality" - what some of us will remember as VR but what the world will more likely come to know as Google glass or some such like. Fortunately there is not a lawnmower man in sight.
I found the story to be a good one grounded in an interesting concept and not too long. However, for me, the shorter length was a slight draw back. I think the book might have benefited from letting the story breathe and grow little more. Whilst I left it with good thoughts I was also left wanting more, which is no doubt a plus for the author and his writing style. I think my issue was that I felt there was a level or dimension to the story that could have been made more of and I noticed it. That's not to say the book as it stands is not good. As I hope is clear, I think it is, and I'd definitely recommend it. That being said it probably would have earned itself a 15 rating in old BBFC classifications given some of the `adult' themes but again this was well done, not sleazy or titillating and in places tender and evocative of the relationship which was at the core of the tale
If I was to be hypercritical I think the two threads of the narrative didn't quite mesh or sit as comfortably together as they might, and the key moment when things changed was a little out of the blue, with the aftermath too quickly dealt with. Nevertheless I think it worked, certainly well enough for the story to be very readable, compelling and enjoyable. What we end up with is a relatively traditional tale about a boy and a girl mixed up with an interesting take on where technology might be headed, and the many possibilities and ethical dilemmas it might bring.
I commend the story and give it a solid 3 and a half stars.