Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Idoru
William Gibson
Berkley Books, 383 pages

Idoru
William Gibson
William Gibson was born in Conway, South Carolina, spent his childhood in southwestern Virginia, and left the United States for Canada when he was 19. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and their two children. His first novel, Neuromancer, won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award in 1984. He is also the author of Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Burning Chrome, and Virtual Light.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: All Tomorrow's Parties
SF Site Review: Idoru
Bibliography/Mediagraphy
alt.cyberpunk FAQ
Blue Shift on Cyberpunk
An Interview with William Gibson

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rodger Turner

Advertisement
Let's suppose you're a rock & roll star, unbeset by scandal, uncomplicated by interacting with the general populace, unfettered by having staff catering to your every whim. You begin to get fascinated by the evolving cyber-technology and AI. You spend more and more time hooked up to the net. As time passes, you find yourself drawn closer to an idoru, one of the Japanese idol-singers. This is despite the fact that they which are personality-construct AI software rather than a human being. This was happening to Rez of the super-group Lo/Rez. Then the rumour surfaced on the net that he was going to marry Rei Toei, an idoru.

William Gibson has crafted Idoru, a marvelous novel of intriguing characters and precocious technology. He introduces us Chia Pet McKenzie, the rabid fan who flies to Japan to discover if the marriage rumour's true, all the time hooked into the net via her laptop made from recycled parts and gemstones by a commune in the Pacific Northwest. We meet Blackwell, the Australian ex-convict who saved Rez's life after a concert riot took him prisoner for ransom. He's now Rez's security guy. We never do learn how Blackwell got the scars which cover a large percentage of his visible skin. Then there is Laney, the orphaned net nodal scavenger who, as a boy was the subject of government drug testing which has proven to make the recipients psychotic stalkers of political figures. He's hired to data-mine the truth of the rumour after skipping out on his producer, Kathy Torrance, who wouldn't let him save a potential suicide he discovered by trolling the terabytes of data accessible on the net. Why? Because it would affect the ratings of her meta-tabloid, Slitscan. All come together as they find that the centre of their universe now is Rez. They and the other characters scamper (sometimes unwillingly) to determine how serious this rumour is.

Without the somewhat bleak feeling of Virtual Light, William Gibson is able to weave into this complex tapestry of characters a simple plot which shows us how dangerous the future may be. How secure is our personal data and do those we turn into celebrities have any right to expect personal privacy?


Copyright © 1996, 2002 Rodger Turner

Rodger has read a lot of science fiction and fantasy in forty years. He can only shake his head and say, "So many books, so little time."


SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to editor@sfsite.com.
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide