Isabel (kittiwake)'s Reviews > Idoru

Idoru by William Gibson
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read in February, 2010

Alison Shires, glimpsed first as animated headshots, five months into his time at Slitscan, had been an rather ordinarily attractive girl murmuring her stats to imagined casting directors, agents, someone, anyone.
Kathy Torrance had watched his face, as he watched the screen. "'Babed out' yet, Laney? allergic reaction to cute? First symptoms are a sort of underlying irritation, a resentment, a vague but persistent feeling that you're being gotten at, taken advantage of . . . "

The teenagers in this book are totally at home on the net. Fourteen-year-old Chia is a member of the Seattle chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club, whose fellow fangirls send her to Japan to stay with a member of the Tokyo chapter and try to find out the truth behind the rumours that rock start Rez is planning to marry an idoru, a virtual singer who is projected as a hologram and does not actually exist. Quantitative analyst Laney, who has a talent for finding nodes of relevant information among the undifferentiated mass of data on the net, is also in Tokyo having been hired by Lo/Rez's management to investigate the same thing. Chia finds herself in big trouble before she even gets off the plane, while Laney's previous employers, the producers of a muckraking TV show about celebrities called Slitscan, haven't finished with him yet .

In this book, the equivalent of The Bridge is the The Walled City, a virtual copy of the Walled City of Kowloon, an online community set apart from the net, which you can't visit without an invitation and where the rules of the net do not apply. The nanotech buildings of the real Tokyo that are mentioned in "Virtual Light" are really quite odd and I can see why people who aren't used to them find them unnerving.

If anything I liked this even more than "Virtual Light", as it goes into more depth about the consequences of the new virtual reality technology on various groups in society, such as fangirls, unsociable teenage boys and the criminal underworld.

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