I like this version much more than the original, this engages you from the beginning and gives you the idea that something is developing between the characters.
Also,the depictions of the whole HKI are more subtle and it let you know about it little by little, making all that complicated information more diferible.
But well, beside the improvements which nobody else will know there are, I should add that the whole concept of the HKI is far too impresive, in fact, I think there are a lot of it that you can exploit for further stories, continuations or not; but that world emerged from it is far too interesting and complex, and a lot of possible outcomes of how humanity will grow united to such fantastic technology, the pros and the cons, everything is a great chance for show it through more perspectives.
The way how the main character begin to relate to that other mysterious one is so sweet, is like communicating with a ghost that makes you feel alive, so ironic and yet beautiful.
But in a whole different matter, is awesome how with a convenient social media as the HKI humanity can become more unite, that´s another new perspective in this story; no longer you will have to worry to be alone because of being introverted or being isolated from what´s trendy, or for being incapable of adquiring knowledge so fast as others, for the mind has no limits and well properly exploited, it can achieve whatever we wish for.
The vastity of things we can learn to do within seconds, almost like if we were living in The Matrix. The question is, what we learn with HKI is usable outside it? people will remember what is like living in real life and doing things on their own? or they have grown too attached to technology that without it they could die? is somewhat like what we are living now, but taken to the extreme.
Also, Another interesting question out there. If everyone is connected and united, and we can be friends with everyone, there are still social classes? there are still those mental limits that allow humans to classify themselves and mistreat others? Maybe there will be no longer more hatred, or envy, or sadness or whatever drives the humans to be as bad as they have become.
And if they are no longer that bad, how our world is recenting that? uuh, there are a lot of social, cultural, economic and enviromental implications in all of that.
Because all of our fears are mainly due to the fact that we are alone and that´s taken too far sometimes, making us do stupid things, so if we are no longer alone, we no longer make stupid things, for there are no more fears, no more limits to our minds. That´s what real evolution means?
This story does a great work, not answering all of that at once, but instead, showing us little by little, from a peculiar perspective from a peculiar character, through his eyes and life. He is more like an anomalie in the system, and exception, and that makes for a lot of interesting events. How the human potential can overpower that of the machines.
Also, this tale is of the same lineage than those of William Gibson, for it has the same feeling of cyberpunkish and technocratic world than his. Even with the same weird programmatic language; but this goes beyond that, because at some point, it mixes with fantasy and supernaturality that the bondages became blurred and everything seems to be connected somehow, making for a very credible and edible story about technology, humanity and things we can´t understand.
Without any doubt, a must read short story, for all its implications and interesting thematics. Maybe of the first published works of this author, but not for that irrelevant, this shows the beginning of a prolific career and one that must be followed, we don´t know what we can testify in future stories: totally recommendable!
(review of free book)