After years and years of putting it off, I recently made the jump to cyberpunk literature. Cyberpunk, for those few who don't know, is a subgenre of sci-fi in which the focus is on "high tech and low life" - thanks, Wikipedia! Artificial intelligence, cyborg implants, secret societies, and bleakness - I LOVE it! Granted, I am a big fan of cyberpunk movies such as Brazil, Blade Runner, The Matrix trilogy, Strange Days (love Ralph Fiennes in it!), Johnny Mnemonic, as well as the animated series Aeon Flux, yet I never attempted to read any of the subgenre's literature. However, thanks to a friend who owns a used bookstore, I was able to find paperback copies of William Gibson's works, known to many as one of the "fathers" of cyberpunk.
After delving into the awesome book In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides (read my earlier blog post review!), I decided to set my sights to the future and so delved into IDORU by William Gibson. The result was an awesome feeling of being Alice in a dark cyberpunk world. The story takes place in 21st century Tokyo (our time now) after the millennial earthquake as singer and celebrity Rez from the band Lo/Rez declares that he will marry Rei Toei, also known as the IDORU - a virtual media star that exists only in cyberpace. Add to it a young girl named Chia McKenzie from Seattle who is on a mission to track down her fan club's star, a fisher of information patterns named Laney who is hired to seek out certain "nuggets" of information, love hotels, Slitscan, endless bowls of ramen noodles and Russian mobsters and you've got just a stroll in the park . . . sort of. I will admit that it took me quite a while to get used to Gibson's writing style of short, direct and almost staccato speech, yet once I was able to settle in and enjoy the ride, the ride was quite a trip. In fact, after realizing that IDORU is second in the Bridge Trilogy, I immediately went to the library to pick up a copy of the first book, Virtual Light.
As I stated on my Facebook page, Gibson has hooked me and I go willingly into the dark light. . . . .
So glad to have made your acquaintance, Mr. Gibson.