Infomocracy

Infomocracy by Malka Older (Tom Doherty Associates, 2016)
I first saw this science fiction novel reviewed in BookList’s online site, and wanted to read it badly enough to ask my local public library to get it by interlibrary loan for me. It was pretty good – I’d give it about 8 on a 10 point scale. It takes place in the 2060’s in various major cities around the world such as Tokyo, Jakarta, Paris, and a bunch of cities whose names are not familiar to me, being only an armchair traveler myself. I assume they are real cities in the Middle East, South America and Asia since the author’s bio claims she has been to all of them. In this world they have “micro-democracy” in place of nations, and each group of ten thousand citizens gets to vote for their preferred government every ten years. There are dozens of political parties to choose from, and an almost infinite amount of information available from the entity the Internet has evolved into 50 years from now. The “Information” is a global bureaucracy that keeps this supply of knowledge analyzed, updated, and transmitted. The main characters include a small set of Information employees, party employees, contractors, and activists who try to bring down the system (or save it, depending on their role) during the third 10-year cycle. It’s an imaginative concept and a thought-provoking plot.

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