The good writers are able to take old concepts, and find new ways to apply them, or adapt and twist them to fit into today's world. Charles De Lint, one of my favorite authors, does a good job of that on a regular basis, and I think he's out done himself on this book! In "Spirits in the Wires" De Lint addresses the concept of the fairy world becoming integrated with our modern technological age. This isn't the first time De Lint has explored this concept, but out of his books I've read, this is definitely the most focused on technology so far.
What happens when a major internet site develops it's own consciousness? Taking that a step farther, what happens when that site gets infected with a virus? Chaos is what happens! Now we find some familiar characters from Newford struggling to pick up the pieces, and find a way to "heal" the spirits of the internet.
While exploring the fantasy world's place in today's technology, De Lint also has his characters wrestling with the concept of identity. After all, are you a real person if you were "born" on the internet? What makes a person a person? How do we find our importance and worth? I really enjoyed watching some of these characters explore their own personalities!