Sci-fi, 6/10 – December 2005
|It’s supposed to be the 2nd book in the bridge series but it’s pretty self contained. It’s about a rock-star celebrity wanting to marry a sort of computer-generated personality called an Idoru. It is not confirmed whether the Idoru is truly AI but she lives in the net more than the real world.|
The books main character is called Laney and he has a rare ability to be able to visualise data which I find fascinating because I have often wondered about it myself. Laney can look at telephone bills, credit card bills, travel logs, shopping receipts, Internet activity, etc and form a picture of what has been going on and how a particular person lives. Gibson calls this quantitative analysis and Laney is a “quant” that can find nodal points in seemly random personal data. Gibson even ponders whether a skilled quant can almost predict the future because data seems to give clues about where things are going. I have been into software visualisation for a couple of years and have written programs that look for patterns in software structures, highlight keywords and generate flow-charts for the purpose of linking software programs. So I really understood the fictional storyline of the book and the birth of the Idoru. Great stuff.