Quirky, solitary, code-obsessed narrator finds herself in a wholly constructed artificial world, one where individuality seems increasingly impossible and relationships are all suspicious. It's hard to know what's real and what's created, ideated, an experiment being performed by the overarching corporation or an act of systemic sabotage being perpetuated by someone working from within that very system.
Themes include: computers, games, video games, game theory, cryptography, cryptanalysis, networks, branding, marketing, advertising, identity, subversion, falsehood.
If this is cyberpunk, though, and I think it is (the Neuromancer reference sealed it for me), it's vegan cyberpunk, homeopathic, back-to-the-land cyberpunk. The artificial world isn't a virtual one, and the mysterious coded messages arrive on paper. That isn't to say it's a throwback to another time; the absence of technology doesn't preclude the discussion or consideration of technology. I'm not sure that description sounds very appealing, but PopCo itself is really interesting for such a fast, light read. I have more to say about this, but blogs are not academic papers. Right?