Reading this for the third time I noticed things in the text that I’d missed before. The naked Japanese girl who appears in the road before Berry Rydell,and then disappears is, of course, Rei Toei, the AI pop star around whom the entire trilogy swirls.
There’s more than that but I’m not giving away any spoilers.
There’s a whole subtext on the growing gap between the elite and the hand-to-mouth existence of the rest that’s an extremely accurate prediction of contemporary cultural decline – he wrote this book over twenty years ago but he gets the armed police drones, the saturation of tech, the fragmentation of nation-stations and the cosseted existence of the global elite.
Glad I went back to it.