In Idoru, by William Gibson, the idoru is more human than Laney. Rei Toei, the idoru, is a completely virtual media star, a synthespian. Laney is a quantitative analyst with a concentration deficit that he can adjust "into a state of pathological hyperfocus," thus enabling him to be "an extremely good researcher" (Gibson 30). Growing up in the Gainesville Federal Orphanage, Laney inadvertently restricted control over his future identity. Only considering the program's rewards, he voluntarily participated in a series of experimental drug tests. Many of the tests included the substance 5-SB, which "tends to turn males into fixated homicidal stalkers" (Gibson 174). Laney doesn't feel he has a choice to change his situation and simply
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Nominally a "research assistant on a project" at DatAmerica, a group of French scientists teaches Laney to detect "nodal points" within masses of unorganized data (Gibson 31). Throughout his training, Laney is uncertain about these nodal points, but the scientists seem unwilling to explain. Regarding him as expendable property, they cancelled his project, and "there didn't seem to be anything else for Laney to do at DatAmerica" (Gibson 31-32). Laney's status is below that of a standard employee, since they never trained him to use Realtree, DatAmerica's best quantitative analysis software (Gibson 192). He is merely a better piece of software. Laney feels at home searching on DatAmerica for information wherever directed. His boss at Slitscan watches him "the way an experienced artisan might watch a valued tool that had shown the first signs of metal-fatigue" (Gibson 66). Laney's employers use him as a tool, and treat him with the respect of an object. Although "everyone has a [business] card," they issued none to Laney (Gibson 169).
The idoru exhibits humanlike traits and emotions. Rei is almost childlike, "she kept turning on her heel -- his heel -- to twirl the hem out" (Gibson 305). Her curiosity is exemplified by her eagerness to explore and desire to learn. She was excited about having recently seen many new places and things, but appeared sad when told she wasn't supposed to enter someone's personal site