Infomocracy

Malka Older. Tor.com, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8515-4
Older’s sparkling debut, the first full-length novel from the novella-focused Tor.com imprint, serves as both a callback to classic futurist adventure tales by the likes of Brunner and Bester and a current examination of the power of information. In the (slightly implausible) future, most of the world is part of a massive democracy divided into “centenals” of 100,000 people. Governments are global and overlapping, and each centenal decides which government to belong to. A worldwide organization known as Information manages elections and attempts to keep governments’ campaign promises in check; the governments themselves range from corporate ones such as PhilipMorris to more traditional ones with names like Liberty and Policy1st. Ken, a Brazilian of Japanese descent who works for the Policy1st government, is attempting to research non-Policy1st centenals that might be willing to change governments in the upcoming election. After he learns of a potential conspiracy involving the election, he ends up working with (and falling for) Information agent Mishima. Older creates a fascinating future world and populates it with a wide variety of characters with believable and interesting motivations. She also throws in some great action scenes and nifty technology. This intriguing thought experiment is perfectly timed to leave readers pondering the meaning of voting and representative government in the run-up to the 2016 elections. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/11/2016
Release date: 06/07/2016
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-7653-8514-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-7948-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-7653-9236-7
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