When a mega corporation hires an information retriever to uncover the whereabouts of an anarchist group using integrated digital technology to doctor broadcast images, finding them is only just the beginning.
Set thirty years in the future, SIMULACRA reveals a world in which mega corporations and the government unify forces to better influence public opinion. Under the auspices of the Agency of Public Activities (“APA”), the federal government effectively regulates the full spectrum of public entertainment, monitors public taste and employs crafters to refashion digital feeds directed at consumers. Unicorp, an amalgam of Intellicorp Integrated Digital Technologies and Goliath Pictures, holds a monopoly over seven industries, providing considerable assistance to the APA. Though antitrust laws have been relaxed and restrictions on the use of marijuana removed, one might imagine a less regulated nation; however, the increased concern for security has beefed up the police presence and extended the use of public surveillance though the assistance of Intellicorp. Only those who live in the neglected slums called the Freezones can escape the corporate influence of companies like Unicorp.
The Simulacra, a small group of anarchists based in one such Freezone, attempts to disrupt the upcoming national election by utilizing integrated digital technology to doctor political broadcasts, particularly President Conrad’s televised addresses to the nation. When the White House pressures its corporate supporter Unicorp to eliminate the threat, a Director of an investigative arm of Intellicorp, IAN GUNN, hires an information retriever by the name of SIMON WAYLAND, an ex-crafter of the APA, to ferret out the whereabouts of the group and its leaders PROTEUS and LOKI. SIMON soon finds himself out of his depth as Simulacra evades his every attempt to track them down. But before SIMON can throw in the towel, IAN encourages him to let Simulacra find him.
By taking a less than professional interest in THALIA HALLORAN, LOKI’S sister, Simon unwittingly stumbles into Simulacra’s orbit and comes face to face with its polarized leadership in the form of Loki, the devil-may-care prankster, and PROTEUS, the calm, philosophical spirit behind Simulacra’s anti-corporate agenda. SIMON inspires nothing but distrust and contempt from the group, but PROTEUS, a renegade master crafter of the APA, surprises everyone by taking a keen interest in SIMON and finally letting SIMON go.
But SIMON soon learns that IAN had given him the assignment, not to discover information which was already known, but to play an ordinary man who heroically brings PROTEUS to justice — a victory for the regular law-abiding consumer. Intellicorp, now supporting the President’s opponent, has been paying LOKI to undermine the reputation of the President and to ultimately offer up PROTEUS as the necessary sacrifice. SIMON, disgusted with his status as a pawn in a battle Simulacra was never meant to win, launches his own investigation; but he’s unable to stop either the inevitable death of LOKI or the capture of PROTEUS for reconditioning. His refusal to play along loses him a job, leaving the reluctant hero SIMON to reflect on how he might fulfill his promise to PROTEUS to make things right again.Now a renegade himself, SIMON has found his true calling.