Q: So what was it about the subject matter of IDORU (IDORU means idol) that first engaged your interest?

GIBSON:It all began when I was reading an article about the real idoru scene in Japan, which is this sort of shameless Milli Vanilli factory that turns out these completely artificial little girl pop singers, who aren't expected to have a very long shelf life. And in the course of this they mentioned one delightfully anomalous case in which they somehow forgot to attach a physical girl to the product - and perhaps because she didn't really exist, she became a cult figure, and it sort of kept rolling and rolling until she was having gallery shows of her watercolours in Tokyo and publishing books of haiku, which were selling fairly well. And I thought that was very resonant somehow. I don't know, it got me going somehow, I thought it resonated with V.R. and with this idea of the very expensive Coke commercials where Humphrey Bogart dances with Marlene Dietrich. Also I love the idea that someone is paying the Humphrey Bogart office somewhere for the right to use him.

There is a virtual idoru in Japan, although I didn't know about her until I'd finished the novel. She's somewhat of a garage effort, but she is there and I keep track of her, I go to her web-site occasionally and download new pictures.

Actually I'm trying to do a Q & A with her for an American style magazine and I sent her twenty questions. They're being translated for her now, or for her handlers as the case may be. She's named Kyoko Date, although she's sometimes called DK96, and she's just this perfect little Japanese idoru babe with rather unlikely long legs.

I thought she'd be more like an anime, but she's more like what they call an eigin-head in the computer-person generation. She looks almost like a human being, but actually she looks like a girl designed by boys who haven't had too much hands-on experience with girls, and I suspect that might well prove to be the case. She really does look like the product of otaku in a big way.

1997, Part of an interview by Andy Diggle, FUSION Online Magazine, about Gibson's novel "Idoru" (published 1996)