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Monday, March 03, 2014

3.5 Sniffs Review: MEMORIES WITH MAYA by Clyde Dsouza #Giveaway

Title: Memories with Maya
Author: Clyde Dsouza
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Clyde Dsouza
Release Date: February 27, 2013
Source: Clyde Dsouza  Booksniffer Review Tours ☆ Tour Schedule
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A story of one man's determination to HACK his destiny, even if it meant challenging Divine Providence...

The story looks at how augmentation technology will affect emotions, intimate human relationships, and our very evolution as a species.

"EMOTIONS ARE LIKE A VIRUS, a common cold...disrupting the flow of logic in the mind." Daniel reminds himself.

Dan's work involves creating commercially viable AR solutions. The recession and an explosion of data-cops is drying out his streams of income.

He turns to close friend, Krish, a researcher in Artificial Intelligence, in the hope that they can come up with ideas for the Entertainment market. His girlfriend, Maya, and her family return to their homeland after her father passes away.

Dan and Maya continue their relationship via Dirrogates (Digital Surrogates), experiencing human touch through haptics. Krish gets a job at the prestigious A.I.R.I. Using AIRI's lab, Krish and Dan, create an advanced visor with Augmented Intelligence built in.

They dub it "Wizer."

A Board member at AIRI sees potential in the Wizer other than what Dan and Krish have in mind.

At a test in a nightclub, things go wrong...

Can the Wizer "insure memories" and be a catalyst to accelerate the journey toward eventual Singularity?

The (subtle) underlying philosophy in the story is about preparing the common man for our eventual Technological Singularity. If the goals of Transhumanism are to be embraced, they need to be explained to everyday people, in everyday language and using everyday settings. Only then can a road-map for Transhumanism be built.

Memories with Maya also poses the question: Can we transcend the Human Lifecycle?

The plausible science in the story details how AR & AI will merge to create Digital Surrogates in our own likeness - our DIRROGATES.

Daniel and his best friend Krish are on the fast track to success with their AI technology working for AIRI, when tragedy strikes one night at a night club during a demo. Maya, Daniels' girlfriend and Krish's sister, is gravely injured in the ensuing chaos. What comes from Maya's accident is a digital surrogate - a Dirrrogate - that brings to life the memory of Maya.

I really liked the story in MEMORIES WITH MAYA. I didn't really understand much of the digi-talk, but the story between the scientific lines was beautiful and thought provoking. The Wizer that Daniel and Krish created was very interesting, and I liked how Dsouza showed how it could be used for better or worse. In science fiction, there are a lot of very advanced technologies that are thought up, but that take us years to actually be able to create.

What Daniel created from his grief over Maya - a Dirrogate - brings to life the memory of the one he lost. In MEMORIES WITH MAYA, Daniel's creation of Maya's Dirrogate raises questions about ethics and religion. Is what he created right or wrong? Is he going mad for wanting such a realistic version of Maya around all the time? Or is he just a grieving man trying to keep the memory of the woman he loved alive? The grief process is different for everyone and Maya's Dirrogate is the manifestation of Daniel's.

MEMORIES WITH MAYA merges the lines between Transhumanist beliefs that technology can make humans a newer and better race and those of other religious beliefs. This thought provoking novel will make you contemplate the lengths we go to to move on, but also remember those we are grieving. It's a very fine line, and sometimes that line can be crossed, where how we grieve moves into the potentially unethical.

The Guy: Daniel is a very smart and versatile person. He's all about doing his own thing and doesn't like committing to any one person in a relationship. Not only does Daniel work on AI with his best friend Krish, but he also does his own version of high-tech DJing in night clubs. He had a casual relationship with Maya, until she moved back to India with her brother Krish. While I was reading, I felt that in some ways, Daniel seemed emotionally stunted. He doesn't show emotion very often and I think that is why it took him so long to commit to Maya. This may also be why he went kind of crazy in his grief, although sometimes genius comes out of crazy. In his work on AI, Daniel is more of the visual and ideas side of the equation, whereas Krish works on a lot of the coding and algorithms.

The Girl: Maya is a girl with dreams of working in classical dance. She's a beautiful girl, and she doesn't give up when others say she can't do something. She just works all the harder. Maya loves Daniel, but for fear of driving him away, she doesn't confess to him how she feels, until he comes to India to work on the Wizer project. She showed the ultimate sacrifice for the man she loved by protecting him while he was unable to do so himself. When I think of Maya, I think of her as a vision. It's hard to explain why I think of her this way, but it's like she's, well, a memory, a vision, being brought to life. And I guess technically in the end, she is.

In MEMORIES WITH MAYA, the villains are the ones responsible for the chaotic events that lead to her death. I won't say who they are, but what happened to cause Maya's death was based in the greed to corrupted men, working with a group of terrorists. They were greedy for money and power, and it didn't matter who had to pay the price for it.

There isn't much in the romance department in MEMORIES WITH MAYA, but it's all very heartbreaking in the end.

Maya and Daniel had a casual relationship going, until she moved back to India. They still had a casual long distance relationship, until Daniel went to India to work on the Wizer project. Things heated back up and Daniel finally committed himself to Maya, but it was all cut short that night at the club.

Their relationship is filled with regrets and missed opportunities. And those are some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the book.

I'm always really excited when the title of the book shows up in the story, and the moment when it does was very bittersweet. Using Maya's Dirrogate, Daniel is making new memories with Maya.

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