• Minami Minegishi

Recently I read William Gibson’s Idoru for the first time, which is kind of weird considering how much I love William Gibson and the fact that the book’s been out for 15 years now, but when it was first published I was in the middle of a very stupid boycott of the author based on the fact that he’d decided to move his stories from a relatively far-off dystopian cyberpunk future to a time just a handful of years away. By the time he shifted to an even nearer future for the trilogy beginning with Pattern Recognition I was ready to deal, but Idoru kind of fell by the wayside.

Its plot revolves around an impossibly famous older Japanese rock star who scandalizes his fans and the celebrity-industrial complex by falling in love with a pop star named Rei Toei—who happens to be computer generated. Like most Gibson novels it uses a fairly basic heist-movie plot structure to get to the book’s real meat, which is William Gibson philosophizing about the ongoing evolutionary relationship between humankind and the technology we’re building. In this case there is a decent amount of thinking regarding the particular nature of Japanese fame, and how an infinitely reproducible, highly customizable pop star might be the ultimate fulfillment of obsessive fans’ desires. (In typical Gibson fashion, his prediction eventually came true.)