Infomocracy: A Novel by Malka Ann Older
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's easy to get stuck in a rut and ignore the good SF out there that is idea-rich and go for the more common spy-tech thriller. Fortunately, this one has both. Mishima is a great post-cyberpunk spy, or perhaps it might be better to call her a spymaster. The world is run by information, and the Information department makes certain everyone's informed. That's especially good when the world has gone democratic in a much more advanced information age than what we've got now.
The sweetest part of this novel, aside from an eventually awesome story of election hijinks and the slow burn of Mishima's and Ken's relationship, has got to be how the politics is set up. Now let me be clear about something. I don't want you to let the politic-themed world-building get you down. It is kinda overwhelming near the beginning because of all the different factions, but the fact that anyone can belong to their version of the Ideal from anywhere in the world makes it pretty awesome. I had the great enjoyment of a much more futuristic version of this idea in Too Like the Lightning and I raved about that book, too, so I know this is a going concern that is speaking to us.
I mean, wouldn't you like to choose what polity you belong to, separate from nation or location? Oh yes, I'm all for Liberty or Philip Morris or EarthFirst or any of the number of splinter polities that fits your personality or your mindset. Of course, it still falls under the same crazy disadvantages of democracies in general. There are Supermajorities and if you don't happen to be voting for the biggest and most powerful ones, then you're lost and will have to adjust to whatever they have in store for you... World Wide. So of course everyone is pretty much disaffected, but we don't really see that side of it in this novel, because we're firmly in the heads of the pollsters and the Information department that is pretty much the lawmen and the ones that are determined to make sure the BS doesn't get out of hand.
Of course, it does. This novel has tons of great conflict, great action, interesting characters, and a very solid story that ends with a lot of great questions while answering enough to satisfy this reader nicely. :)
I'm definitely going to to be reading anything that this author comes up with in the future.
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
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