The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Synners juxtaposes two visions of Los Angeles, the big business of Olympic Boulevard and the ruined piers of the Mimosa, the post-earthquake name of the Manhattan-Hermosa strip. In the realm of corporate entertainment, artists such as sometime lovers Visual Mark and Gina, as well as unhappy commercial writers such as Gabe Ludovic, struggle to survive in the wholly profit-driven Diversifications, Inc. In comparison, the Mimosa hacker culture resembles a family, providing a warm haven for youthful hackers such as Gabe’s emancipated daughter Sam, her friends Keely and Rosa, and their father figure, the all-knowing Fez. The two worlds meet when a new medical technology—“sockets”—permits the first human direct neural interface with the global net.

Diversifications, Inc. purchases the copyright to the sockets in an attempt to capitalize on the next market phenomenon, virtual entertainment. The company immediately implants Visual Mark and Gina so that the video artists can have product ready when the newly socketed emerge from their operations. For Visual Mark, whose reputation for hot video rivals his legendary drug use, having sockets provides the opportunity for which he has waited his entire life. With an entire system in which to visualize new scenes to go with new music, he quickly leaves his body, or “meat,” behind. His advanced imagination allows him to expand into a new creature, the first synthesized human, existing only in...

(The entire section is 517 words.)