Infomocracy

Infomocracy

Book - 2016
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Baker & Taylor
Two decades and two major elections after a powerful search engine monopoly pioneers the switch from warring nation-states to a global microdemocracy, three high-ranking political insiders struggle to advance their agendas in the face of increasingly corrupt adversaries.

McMillan Palgrave

Read Infomocracy, the first book in Campbell Award finalist Malka Older's groundbreaking cyberpunk political thriller series The Centenal Cycle and the novel NPR called "Kinetic and gripping."

A Locus Award Finalist for Best First Novel
The book The Huffington Post called "one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history"
One of Kirkus' "Best Fiction of 2016"
One of The Washington Post's "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016"
One of Book Riot's "Best Books of 2016 So Far"

It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

PRAISE FOR INFOMOCRACY

“A fast-paced, post-cyberpunk political thriller... If you always wanted to put The West Wing in a particle accelerator with Snow Crash to see what would happen, read this book.” —Max Gladstone, author of Last First Snow

"Smart, ambitious, bursting with provocative extrapolations, Infomocracy is the big-data-big-ideas-techno-analytical-microdemoglobal-post-everything political thriller we've been waiting for." —Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings

"In the mid-21st century, your biggest threat isn’t Artificial Intelligence—it’s other people. Yet the passionate, partisan, political and ultimately fallible men and women fighting for their beliefs are also Infomocracy’s greatest hope. An inspiring book about what we frail humans could still achieve, if we learn to work together." —Karl Schroeder, author of Lockstep and the Virga saga



Baker
& Taylor

Two decades and two major elections after a powerful search engine monopoly pioneers the switch from warring nation-states to a global microdemocracy, three high-ranking political insiders struggle to advance their respective agendas in the face of increasingly corrupt adversaries. A first novel.
"It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line."--Front jacket flap.

Publisher: New York :, Tor,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765385154
Characteristics: 380 pages ; 22 cm

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sit_walk Aug 31, 2017

Required reading for all librarians and data lovers. Speculative fiction about politics and information (ho hum, I hear you saying...) that's smart, fast-paced, feasible, and just downright great!? Doesn't get much better, folks.

r
ReedLeon
May 26, 2017

I looked forward to reading this book, but it reads like the dramatization of a grad student’s term paper. Data and analysis are brought to the forefront in an attempt to build the drama, but the beneficial use of them is repeatedly glossed over. (I’m guessing that’s because databases and spreadsheets are not that exciting.) I cannot concur with the critical acclaim the author has achieved. The protagonists are devoid of personal history or compassion. A few of them experience a major natural disaster, and they shrug it off like it was a thunderstorm, intently focused on the elections instead of the well-being of people suffering around them.

Try as I might to get into the book, it kept bouncing me out. Newbie writers are told to “show, don’t tell” their story, but the author clings too tightly to that advice. The notions of supermajorities, centenals, and decennial elections are intriguing, but what makes a supermajority? Is it 55%, 60% or 75%? What powers does it have compared to a centenal? The author’s world implies an Earth that’s a static terrarium. This is analogous to bad science fiction where rocket ships’ engines make sound in the vacuum of outer space. To keep centenals at their maximum 100,000 population, the boundaries would have to be continuously adjusted. Who draws the lines? The greatest sin the author commits is against herself. Once a writer creates a world, then she has to live by that world’s rules. Centenal governments replace cities and countries, but the author fails to escape Earth’s customs and traditions and continuously references the old political geography.

The author’s writing style is quite good. The only other saving grace I could find is that the story works as a satire. The author creates the concept of “microdemocracy” and there is very little democracy in her world.

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