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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

#UAEReads: Books transcend reality for Clyde DeSouza

A virtual reality guru shares his five favourite books.
Clyde de Souza is working on his second cinematic VR film. Reem Mohammed / The National
Clyde de Souza is working on his second cinematic VR film. Reem Mohammed / The National

For Clyde DeSouza, reading offers an escape – much like the virtual worlds he creates. The Dubai-based virtual-reality filmmaker and technology adviser at Real Vision, a creative technology firm specialising in mixed- reality experiences, calls reading “a way to un-jack myself from the system, to stray into hallowed ground. Reading, to me helps in keeping the creative and curiousness in me alive”.

DeSouza, is also the author of non-fiction book Think in 3D, which is well-known among 3D filmmakers in Hollywood, and the sci-fi novel, Maya, published by Penguin/ Randomhouselast year. He is working on his second cinematic VR film, following the successful launch of Dirrogate – a short film that brings the graphic-novel format to virtual reality. Dirrogate, which is based on Maya, was invited to appear on Samsung’s MilkVR platform.

Despite his cutting-edge high-tech work, when he needs to retreat to the written word, his format of choice is a “trusty old” iRiver black-and-white e-reader with no Wi-Fi.

“Reading is an important part of my life as it allows me to escape to a place inhabited by a different species of people. It takes me away from the ‘vowel’-eating people who inhabit the real world.”

His 5 favourite books:

Nexus by Ramez Naam

Because it is science fiction – hard science fiction – at its finest, by an author who takes you on a fascinating ride, extrapolating how nanotech will integrate with us as humans.

How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil

Yes, the same Ray Kurzweil whose name is on synthesisers at rock gigs. His foundation in science is so solid, Google just had to have him heading their out-of-this-world initiatives.

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Guy exudes this down-to-earthiness (but then, a successful evangelist would have that) and it shows in this book. It brings a refreshingly honest take on a popular subject [entrepreneurship].

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Because, why not?

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

My introduction to science fiction – to futuristic thinking itself – came in part from this series of books. The book was far ahead of its time.