Published in 2012 by CreateSpace
So, I have on the table next to me three books by Ray Mazza. These books make up The Day Eight Series. They are self-published and most experienced readers know that a great number of the self-published are fair to middling and I am usually tempted to grade them on a curve, the thought process being, " Well, it's pretty good considering it's a do-it-yourself job and she did it all herself." This is much the same thought process I have when I do handyman work around the house and I proudly show it off to my wife - it's pretty good but certainly not professional.
I let these three books sit on my to-be-read pile for about a month.
I was not in the mood for, "Well, it's pretty good, considering..."
So, I pick up book one and about 15 pages in I am thinking, "Where is he going with this?" I read the back cover a couple of times and decided to give it a few more pages. Where are the human simulations running on computers? Where's the "catastrophic event" coming from?
By page 35 I decide I kind of like the main character, Trevor Leighton, and I'll ride it out a bit more.
On page 71, we hit pay dirt. My mind is blown. We are introduced to the simulations. Most importantly, we are introduced to how they are developed. Such a simple idea (and complex at the same time). Good sci-fi takes you to new places and shows you some new stuff. Great sci-fi takes what you already know and puts a little tilt to it, a twist that makes you see everything in a new way. It's all the same. It's all different.
Mazza's series is about human beings simulated on a computer. I figure he knows something about this since his bio shows that he has worked on several "Sims" projects. If you are not familiar with the Sims games, well they create a little world for you to interact in. In a way, they are very, very, very limited versions of Artificial Intelligence. They also show the glaring deficiencies of trying to develop it the way we have so far. This book shows a new path to achieving that effort and the series makes you question if you really want to.
So, in this book, Leighton, a talented programmer working for a tech company called Day Eight is screwing around with the firewall on his company's servers so he can download movies at work. That firewall breach starts a chain reaction that knocks out much of the internet and fries the computers in his office. On his flash drive, though, is a message from a dead girl that claims she is trapped. Since his office is closed for the time being, Trevor decides to do a little investigating and that is where the trouble starts.
These three books are not "pretty good, considering they're an indie effort." They are good. Period.
I rate book one in this series 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on July 16, 2012.
"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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