Infomocracy: A Novel by Malka Older

Posted September 12, 2016 by Poonam in Reviews / 0 Comments

Infomocracy: A Novel by Malka OlderInfomocracy by Malka Older
Narrator: Christine Marshall
Published by Macmillan Audio on 07 June 2016
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Rating Report
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It's been 20 years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. 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.

©2016 Malka Older (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

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Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older is a science fiction and political thriller set in the future where an entity, called Information, controls all information and search engines. In this world, government has transitioned from nations to micro-democracies, with many different kinds of governance, corporate and otherwise, over small population Centenals. The story follows a few different characters with intersecting paths during a turbulent election period. Ken works for a campaign, trying to elect his employer and government in different Centenals and gain a majority standing. Mishima is an operative for Information, trying to see trends in the data and keep the spread of information as clean of corruption as possible. As the election season progresses, these two characters’ paths intersect many times as potential corruption slowly comes to light, creating a storm for the information and political world.

At heart, this novel is a political thriller, but it’s filled with technological advances that fit a science fiction story. While the storyline may seem confusing or dense at first, ultimately, I found it incredibly thought-provoking. The characters could have been more complex. In addition to the two main characters, the story is also told from the perspective to 3-4 additional characters. But the real focus of the story is in the world building, the dynamic progression of the election season, and how the different players interact with the changing political landscape. The details in the world building are fantastic and the characters’ brief sojourns in different Centenals bring each into clear and fascinating focus. and the supporting characters, residing in different Centenals and around the world, further fill up the story with rich detail and complexity. The Information entity and how it is incorporated into the daily lives of the people was especially fascinating and reminiscent of reality. The story-line is fast-paced, action-packed, and highly unique. I have never read a novel like this one and I really enjoyed it.

The narration by Christine Marshall was fantastic.  Her fast pacing voicing was perhaps a little challenging to decipher on occasion, but the pace of the story calls for fast speech. Ultimately, she did a great job. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fast paced political thrillers and science fiction.

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About Malka Older

Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and PhD candidate. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more than a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development, ranging from field level experience as a Head of Office in Darfur to supporting global programs and agency-wide strategy as a disaster risk reduction technical specialist. She has responded to complex emergencies and natural disasters in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Darfur, Indonesia, Japan, and Mali, in the last three as Team Leader.

Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at the Institut d’Études Politques de Paris (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of multi-level governance and disaster response using the cases of Hurricane Katrina and the Japan tsunami of 2011. She has an undergraduate degree in literature from Harvard and a Masters in international relations and economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University.

About Poonam

I have always loved to read, but being in graduate school makes sitting down with a book and a warm cup of coffee a bit of a luxury. Long drives, however, make audiobooks an amazing way to get my fix for a story. I have always loved the science fiction, fantasy and more recently paranormal stories. In addition to reading and science, I particularly enjoy a good craft beer and seeking out new (to me) and delicious food.

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