Idoru

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Gibson, William. Idoru. New York: Putnam, 1996. New York: Berkley, 1997. Also available in audio cassette.

An idoru is a VR celebrity personality that the rock star Rez wants to marry. See this novel for a Gibsonian high-tech, cyberpunk world like Virtual Light in tone—featuring media saturation and very wide-scale surveillance made possible by searching for information in cyberspace. Note convergence of the organic and mostly cybernetic high-tech as a central motif: from a personal computer's system soft-ware described as "worn and spectacularly organic" (Berkley edn. 44), to the nanotech buildings of a rebuilt Tokyo whose "apparent texture" is "a stream-lined organicism," compared to H. R. "Giger's paintings of New York," at least in WG's future world (108). Most central is the possibility that the idoru—a construct of pure information—may be literally incarnated through nanotechnology. Note also the cybernetic character Zona Rosa, who turns out to be the cyberspace presentation persona of a sick and deformed young woman who "has lived for the past five years in almost complete denial of her physical self" (376); cf. and contrast A. McCaffrey's Ship Who Sang, and K. O'Donnell's Mayflies, cited in this section. The issue of humans and our bodies is raised in the Neuromancer series, and in in Idoru we have a young woman who wants to be a virtual character, and an idoru who may want flesh. Students of cyberspace as a virtual place should consider what must be added to the data of Rez's life to make Rez real to Colin Laney, a very proficient, drug-enhanced student of cyberspace: to the corporate data must be added the information generated by the fans of the Lo/Rez group, plus "a third level of information," Rei Toei, the idoru, so dense in information that her "dreams" are rock videos (312-13 and f.). See WG's Virtual Light: VL and Idoru can be read as prequels to All Tomorrow's Parties, a definite sequel to the action of Idoru. (RDE, 31/12/97; 02/12/01)