Colin Laney is a character from William Gibson's Idoru novel. Laney is an orphan who took part in drug testings and developed a massive Attention Deficit Disorder. Then, as an adult, he is trained by mysterious French scientists who work for a fictional company called DatAmerica.
The novel, set in relatevely near-future Tokyo deeply changed by a huge earthquake, has Laney as strange data analizer who searches for nodal points of information. This makes Laney a most interesting character, as he cannot explain his gift but he actually sees patterns and "points" that somehow unveil people to him. He is able to find out who is shagging who, and why. This talent is kept in a fog throught the novel, even though everything depends on it, but there are some hints that it could have been created by the drug experiments made on young Laney.
Laney's talents, we are told by Gibson, are the "opposite of concentrating". It's when you look at nowhere in particular and suddenly see "faces on the clouds". Only, Laney does this to data and sees people's lives, loves and shopping lists. For anyone who has had the brief, yet unsetteling experience of not concentrating on something and then seeing things suddenly differently, Gibson's description is startling familiar and makes one wonder about the nodal thing. Of course, Gibson made most of it up. Still..
Laney has some similarities with Case, Neuromancer's hero, as he starts off as a outcast without work or perspectives and finds himself dragged into a strange, mysterious plot. In Idoru, however, we do not find a Tessier-Ashpool like company, but instead the rock band Lo/Rez, now an imense part of showbiz. Also, instead of an ICE-surrounded Wintermute, we get an ice-surrounded japanese Idoru ReiToei.
As Laney meets with ReiToei, with rockstar Rez himself and remembers his previous job at Slitscan, a celebrity factory, we are introduced to his version of cyberspace, including virtual glasses and Sandbenders. The data browsing, however, creates visions like Neuromancer's.