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Literature: Idoru
Idoru is a Cyberpunk/Post-Cyberpunk Speculative Fiction story written by William Gibson. Set in Tokyo, it is the second book of the Bridge Trilogy.

Rez of the Lo/Rez band has announced he is going to marry Rei Toei, an Idoru/a digital celebrity. Chia visits Tokyo to find out the truth. Laney, an ex-analyst, is hired to find out what’s wrong with Rez. However, the Russian Kombinat is not letting these two people know what is really going on behind the scenes.

In 2006, an anime film version was announced, but to date, nothing has come of it.

Tropes Used:

  • Artistic License - Linguistics: The Japanese loanword for "idol" should be properly romanized as aidoru, not idoru.
    • Of course, the i in "idol" is pronounced "ai" in English already, and indeed in at least one extant audiobook recording the narrator pronounces the book's title as "aidoru."
  • Author Avatar: Colin Laney to William Gibson, in a way. Laney's talent for identifying nodal points was meant to be a metaphor for Gibson's own perceived ability to identify bits of the future in present-day.
  • Beige Prose: Like other William Gibson novels, played straight. Sentence fragments. Everywhere.
  • Berserk Button: When Zona Rosa realizes Chia is in danger, she freaks out. Big time. In the end, she saves them by accident. She hacks the central fan community and claims Rez died at the love hotel. The fans immediately converge there for a mass vigil, stopping any more damage.
  • City Noir: Tokyo
  • Corporate Samurai: Blackwell is a typical Gibson example of such and is introduced in such a way that you think he'll be a bad guy, but turns out to be a rare positive example and one of the most reliably trustworthy characters in the book.
  • Crapsack World: Tokyo’s Western World.
  • Post Cyber Punk: Can be classified as one or the other, depending on who you ask.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain
  • Cyberspace: Chia’s chapters with her Sandbender computer loves this trope.
  • Defictionalization: Virtual celebrity singer? Just give Vocaloid a few years...
  • Do Androids Dream?: Rei Toei. In fact, her dreams are literally the music videos.
  • Everything Is Online: Laney uses information online, including music likes, to track down and analyze specific aspects of the person he’s tracking.
  • Fangirl: Chia, Mitsuko, Hiromi and tons of other unnamed girls.
  • Face of the Band: (In-Universe) Rez of the Lo/Rez band.
  • Fat Bastard: Chia believes Hiromi is one. She's proven right in the end.
  • Femme Fatale: Rei Toei
  • Flashback: Mostly in Laney’s chapters. He often remembers his old work while analyzing the nodal points.
  • Gratuitous English: Used intentionally, found in descriptions of Japanese advertisements, clothing, drinks, and instruction labels.
  • Hikikomori: Masahiko.
  • Hologram: Rei Toei, the idoru herself.
  • Idol Singer: Lo/Rez and Rei Toei.
  • Industrial Ghetto: Tokyo’s Western World. It is basically Tokyo’s old remains left untouched after the earthquake.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: Not nearly as blatant as in the Sprawl Trilogy, but Japan has definitely fared much better than the U.S. or Russia since the global economic crash.
  • Jerk Ass: Hiromi Ogawa.
  • Le Film Artistique: The first of the two documentaries for Lo/Rez. Lampshaded when Laney thought it was hard to follow at times. However, the documentary shows the band being disconnected from the world through stress and travel, a major reason why Rez is marrying the idoru, who is always connected to the world by virtue of only existing in cyberspace.
  • I Am Legion: Rei Toei is not just one, but many idorus.
  • The Mafiya: In Japan, the Russian Kombinat (or Combine) are setting up a shady business deal. They want to acquire a programming unit for nanotech assemblers, which are banned technology in Russia.
  • Matrix Raining Code: Laney sometimes sees this while he is analyzing nodal points. So does Chia when she is using her sandbender program.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Chia Pets are toys.
    • The Walled City, the hacker community, is named after the Kowloon Walled City.
    • Slitscan is an animation that’s created by image by image.
    • Zona Rosa is a neighbourhood in Mexico City.
    • Rei Toei’s name and personality are inspired by the Toei company which includes Toei Animation.
  • The New Russia: Part of the history behind the Bridge Trilogy
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: (Semi) In-universe. The avatar for Chia's Venice program is an effeminate pop-star looking man with an impressive coat. It is mentioned that in order to avoid litigation, they had to change one of his eyes (but why just one, Chia wonders?)
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Blackwell to Kathy Torrance
  • Otaku: Masahiko is a computer otaku.
  • Playful Hacker: Zona Rosa.
  • Product Placement: Pocari Sweat of all things, though obscure references like this are one of Gibson's trademarks.
  • Projected Man: Rei Toei, the idoru.
  • Recursive Reality: The Walled City is basically Tokyo itself managed in the style of Second Life
  • Revenge: Kathy Torrance hates Laney a lot.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Rei Toei.
  • Robotic Spouse: The premise.
  • Robosexual: The premise, again.
  • Scenery Porn: It perfectly describes Tokyo especially to anyone who has visited or lived there.
  • Scenery Gorn: When it isn’t Scenery Porn.
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Techno Babble: Gibson doesn't spell out exactly how things work in any of his novels. See Viewers Are Geniuses below.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe
  • Translator Microbes: Computers and earphones seem to do the job.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future
  • The Verse: Part of the Bridge Trilogy
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Not only do readers need to contend with Beige Prose and a lot of fictional Techno Babble, they need to understand some of the Tokyoite and hacking culture.
  • Virtual Celebrity
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Maryalice uses her handgun-shaped cigarette lighter for this near the end of the book. The illusion collapses when, in a drunken haze, she forgets it's not real and tries to shoot someone with it.

Ice StationLiterature of the 1990sImajica
IdlewildScience Fiction LiteratureI Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

alternative title(s): Idoru
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