Sci-Fi Fans and Election Nerds Will Love ‘Infomocracy’

Recommending a political/information thriller set in the mid-21st century.

July 25, 2016

Infomocracy: A Novel

by Malka Older

Published in June of 2016.

Infomocracy just might be the book that launches a new literary genre - the election/sci-fi thriller.

You will love Infomocracy if you are one-part political junkie, and one-part science fiction devotee. Does this describe you?

Believing that Nate Silver is a sexy genius, and having a propensity to spend time on FiveThirtyEight, is not a prerequisite for grokking Infomocracy - but it would help.

Infomocracy runs with two very big, and very interesting ideas.

The first idea is that the political revolution of the mid-21st century is worldwide local government. The geopolitical unit of organization is not long the state, but the 100,000 person centenal.  A centenal is a contiguous area of land where the majority of the inhabitants vote for a single political party. Governments are not tied to a particular geography - but rather to an ideology. The political party with the most centenals forms a supermajority.

Under this system of microdemocracy, political parties (and micro-governments) are free to form along narrow interest groups. World citizens can migrate to the centenals that best align with their ideology. Some political parties (and governments) are broad coalitions of interests (Liberty, Heritage, Policy1st) - but others are corporate political parties (Phillip Morris, Sony-Mitsubishi), and others have narrow interests (SecureNation).

Got all that? It gets more complicated - as Infomocracy is really a political thriller (or election thriller) disguised as science fiction.

The plot of Infomocracy revolves around a scheme of one of the governments to steal the decennial (once every 10 years) election.

This brings me to the 2nd big idea of Infomocracy. One of the main characters of the book (Mishima) is an agent/election-analyst/badass-security-asskicker for Information. 

Information is sort of a cross between Google, the Federal Election Commission, the U.N., and the Census Bureau (sort of).  Information is both a bureaucracy and service - a worldwide policy/technology mobile platform agency that is dedicated to providing the entire world with up-to-date data/facts/analysis on everything.  People no longer surf the web, read blogs, or watch TV - they go on their mobiles to Information.

If you are still with me at this point then that is a good sign that you should invest your time in Infomocracy.

Infomocracy is a book filled with interesting and complicated ideas about the future of government, technology, and knowledge.  The science fiction political election thriller that we didn’t know that we were waiting for.

What are you reading?


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