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"Ultimaya 1.0" -- a Spiritual Sci-Fi Journey

(June 29, 2012)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/29/12 -- Wellness coach and Harvard graduate Saniel Bonder's new novel "Ultimaya 1.0: The Trouble with the Wishes of Leopold Stokes" ( reveals truthful insights in a way that only fiction can.

The book centers on protagonist Leopold Stokes, a small-town Carolina bank CEO who, at a glance, appears to have accomplished the American dream. Set in the early 1990s, before most people became fluent in computers, the technophobic and stingy Stokes buys a laptop from a techie friend. He stumbles upon a program called Ultimaya 1.0, which has "virtual" software claiming that it can fulfill his deepest wishes. What unfolds is an existential, spiritual and eventually romantic adventure as the god-like program shakes Stokes' entire life out of its usual controlled order.

"Powered by a subtle sense of humor, brisk pacing and an action-packed, metaphysically nuanced storyline, this novel is simultaneously entertaining and enlightening; it's powerfully moving and edifying without coming across as preachy or heavy-handed," writes a reviewer from Kirkus Reviews.

"A wildly interesting novel of ideas that interweaves a cracking good story with rich speculations at the border of weird science, spirituality and the outer reaches of self discovery," says spiritual scholar and author Jean Houston.

At first Stokes' seemingly charmed existence becomes even more privileged -- he gets a mansion, servants, extreme wealth, national political power. The Ultimaya program seems to be a karmic accelerator, but it's also got a "kick." Despite his fulfillments, Stokes is far from happy; in fact, his fantastic journey forces him to reexamine his life and look more deeply at its meaning.

"The book tries to pay homage to classic tales in several genres that play with our take on reality," says Bonder. "One reviewer said 'Ultimaya 1.0' is a mix of 'The Matrix' and 'Alice in Wonderland.' I wanted to explore the strangeness and psychic unsustainability of how many of us today seek to make our dreams come true, and suggest that there are longer views on life that may bring greater joy."

About Saniel Bonder

Saniel Bonder received his bachelor's in social relations from Harvard University, partaking in a unique curriculum that focused on the fields of psychology, culture and social behavior. An internationally recognized personal advisor and expert in "down-to-earth" spirituality, Bonder advises busy individuals on managing their daily lives while enhancing their personal fulfillment and also reaching their full potential.

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Ginny Grimsley

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