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Infomocracy

(Centenal Cycle #1)

by
3.55  ·  Rating details ·  4,295 ratings  ·  788 reviews
It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. 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
...more
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Tor.com
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Justin Eells Narrative disorder is a term for a tendency to read imaginary sequences into a situation. For instance, we see a stranger leaving the neighbor's house…moreNarrative disorder is a term for a tendency to read imaginary sequences into a situation. For instance, we see a stranger leaving the neighbor's house and dream up an elaborate affair. I think Older wanted to create a future in which something we think of as at least somewhat normal is diagnosed as a disorder.(less)
Buck FYI, the ansible was developed by Ursula K Le Guin in the early books in her Hainish Cycle, years before Ender's Game.

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Bradley
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

In the latter half of the twentieth century, most of the world (a few areas like Saudi Arabia excepted) has moved to a form of government called micro-democracy. The world is divided into “centenals” of about 100,000 people each, and each centenal votes for its own separate government. The political party that wins control of the most centenals wins the Supermajority, which gives that party additional political clout and power, although the
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BlackOxford
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, american
The Logic of Democracy

Democracy is logically problematic. Its success depends upon the acceptance of a number of rather awkward propositions by the entire electorate. Key among these propositions is that everything is negotiable. If any political issue is perceived as ‘make or break’ by any faction, democracy is threatened and will likely deteriorate into tyrannical dictatorship or fragment into civil war.

There is a corollary to the requirement for universal negotiability: in a democracy no
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Philip
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
4ish stars.

I liked this way more than I expected to. I'm typically not into political sci-fi especially when it's idea-heavy versus character-driven like this is. The ideas are just so intelligent and relevant and interesting that it worked for me.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to last. The first part of the novel is all politics and info-dump. We see the world through the eyes of a few different characters but they seem to be there only incidentally because we don't really
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Mike
So I may be a bit biased in my assessment of this book. Unlike many other sci-fi and fantasy stories with brash, action oriented kick-ass heroes saving the day, the real heroes of this book are number crunchers, data analysts, and nerds. Sure there is also a ninja in the employ of a global information corporation, but she does her time in analyzing data just like the everyone else. Being an electron shephard myself I have always thought the importance of data analysis and control was under ...more
Amanda
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
This was a really good book that I didn't particularly enjoy. Definitely a case it's not you, it's me. The politics of real life are a bit too horrifying for me right now to appreciate politics in my fiction.
Carlos
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
To be fair , i was not into this book from the beginning , so i felt kind of forced to finish it. That aside the book never grabbed me, the premise behind it was that in the future all countries have united somehow and have become fewer entities (conglomerates of countries) , Every 20 years there is an election that determines which one of the major players gains the supermajority (world domination in a way). the society is stratified in such a way that there this units called centennials that ...more
Sarah
May 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not at all what I was expecting. I saw the "ocracy" and thought it would be an information government. Instead, it's more like this company called Information gathers data and analyzes it to track the election process. They're the source for absolutely all types of information so it's not just elections, but elections are what the book is about.

I think this was a pretty good book but I didn't really love it. The characters seemed very two dimensional to me and the story itself was so
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Monica
Malka Older writes a near future tome that hits close to home. In this media rich, propaganda, lies, deception, misinformation, deflection and if that doesn't work; voter suppression. This novel looks at information as currency as operatives of various factions try to influence an election. It was a fascinating book that hit far too close to home. Right down to the description of sense of hopelessness/uselessness described when the information network was down. This one was chalked full of ideas ...more
K.J. Charles
Sep 10, 2017 added it
Shelves: sci-fi
I gave this a try at the end of last year when I was in bleak despair about politics, and had to give up because the existence of fictional politics on top of real was just more than I could handle. I'm extremely glad I came back to it. This is a cracking techno-futurist thriller about information, democracy, election-stealing and more, a highly enjoyable twisty tale of political skulduggery with plenty to think about. (I love the idea of microdemocracy--the world divided into centenals of 100K ...more
Book Riot Community
In the future, countries don’t exist anymore. The planet is a patchwork of independent governments, ruling constituents in blocs of 10,000 neighbors at a time. Every 10 year there’s an election in which governments try to get the most territories possible — the Supermajority. Watching over all of this is Information, a sort of global internet-news source-election commission-social media hybrid of an organization. But not everyone loves Information, or the election cycle. This book, told from the ...more
Maryam
Actual rating 3.5

So I enjoyed this book, it was well organized, well written and the idea well processed. So why I cannot give it more than 3.5 stars? I don’t know really! Just that it didn’t have anything to grasp me, to excite me at some moments, to make me grab something and cannot let go. It just didn’t.

This book is a political thriller/techno spy book and happens in a future which nations/countries have less power than the policy of the governor. Basically worlds is divided to “centenals”
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Kaa
Okay, wow. That was intense, beautifully written, and so completely relevant. One of my favorite reads this year.

International politics are a major interest of mine (my undergrad degree is in international affairs) and I love the "what-if" part of spec fic in general, so I found the hypotheticals on the future of democracy and international governance in this series completely fascinating. (The author did a great interview on some of the inspirations for the book, for anyone else who finds
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P. Kirby
Goodreads needs an "I give up" option, rather than "I'm finished."

Infomocracy's premise is timely, especially after the recent debacle that was the U.S. presidential election. Namely, a premise where given access to heaps and heaps of information, the average voter still remains uninformed and distracted by the shiny.

There was a study, done with minimally educated voters who, given a hypothetical ballot, picked the names of famous serial killers over randomly generated names as well as over
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Scott  Hitchcock
DNF @15%

Maybe it was just too soon to read a book with a political tone with the continuing unrest in the country between the libbies and pubbies but the story also lacked a direction and the writing didn't flow.
Scott
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Probably the easiest 5 stars I'll give this year, what a great book! And it's the author's first so that makes it even more surprising.

There's a lot in here that probably flew right over my head, mostly because I don't follow politics, but the story was told in a very engaging way with very engaging characters.

It's an extremely interesting view at what the world would be like with global democracy and an all encompassing information system. What happens when people try to exploit the system?
Lena
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing


Malka Older is a prescient über educated marvel and her debut novel reflects this. A tale of election fraud released in 2016? Genius.

Infomocracy is a near future, globe trotting, political thriller. Global politics have become Centenal based, in other words land areas encompassing one hundred thousand people are effectively their own nation state. There are many global parties to choose from (gasp! more than two, who could possibly keep up?) and every ten years there is a global election for
...more
Standback
I don't think this book really knows what it's for, or what it's trying to do.

If it does, it sure hasn't given me any hints.

Infomocracy presents a world where politics have become both much, much bigger, and much, much smaller. It's a micro-democracy - the world has been split into "centenals," blocs of 100,000 people each, and each centenal elects its very own government. What does remain vast and global is an outfit called Information - an all-encompassing entity providing instant, constant
...more
Lisa
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2016/0...

Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older was a fascinating blend of technology, politics, big corporations and conspiracy. Everything in this world revolves around Information, a corporatized database of sorts that contains pretty much everything. It’s like Google, research libraries and government databases all rolled into one mega-powered Information solution. Pretty much, it’s all the information in the world contained and
...more
Yoly
I had high expectations with this one, but I knew it wasn’t my cup of tea within the first few chapters. So the rest of what I read felt like pure torture :)

I loved the whole setup, the idea of centennals, the concept of micro democracies but that’s it. I didn’t care for the characters, I think the author didn’t give us a chance to get to know them.
I wouldn’t say this book is a thriller, although the blurb says it is. Political? Yes. Sci-fi? Yes. Thriller? Uhm… I don’t think so.

I think the main
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Viv JM
This was quite an enjoyable techno-political dystopian thriller. Occasionally, it felt a bit too much like watching the news - what with the US elections, Brexit and so on! However, although it was an interesting read, I felt the characters were a little bit flat, and at times I just found it a bit boring (though maybe that comes from feeling a bit politicked-out in real life). I do think it was well written though, especially for a first novel, and I would certainly consider reading more from ...more
Stevie Kincade
(Audiobook) 4.5 stars

If she were to choose the quote that is found above the entrances to Information offices worldwide, it would be the one that said "Democracy is the worst system...except for all the other ones".

"Infomocracy" is a brilliant political thriller set in the not-too distant future. Malka Older's world runs on "micro democracies" which are made up of individual "Sentinels" of 100,000 voters.

Our story is set during election season in the 3rd ever global vote to determine the
...more
Allison
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I feel like a good portion of this book went over my head, and it took me several weeks to finish it. That's several weeks of googling political and economic terms side-by-side with the novel. That DOES NOT MEAN I DIDN'T LOVE IT. I love working hard for an enjoyable reading experience if the experience is actually worth it, which this was.

I think Older has written an entertaining, brilliant, and somewhat terrifying glimpse into what the future may have in store for us. Corporate assassins,
...more
Sarah
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
(Warning: basic plot spoilers ahead)

Finished this tonight and really enjoyed it. This is a political science fiction thriller set in a future world where countries are replaced by units of 100,000 people called centenals. This is referred to as microdemocracy. Each of these centenals is able to vote on their own form of government, and the government with the most centenals (known as the supermajority) acts as the intergovernmental peacekeeper.

Ken is working on the campaign for Policy1st, who
...more
Matthew Quann
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
In the near-future world of Infomocracy, the world's political system is comprised of territories divided into 100 000 person "Centenals" who vote to elect a global supermajority. In Older's story, we're quickly approaching the third global election--they happen once a decade--and all sorts of backstabbing, espionage, campaigning, and technological manipulation lie between the election and a new world order. Complicating matters is search-engine-become-law, Information, which regulates the ...more
Joe
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, Charles Stross's Singularity Sky, and television's The West wing collide in this debut novel by Malka Older.
The world has been divided into micro-democracies with populations of 100,000 each and every 10 years these "franchises" vote on their leadership and the party that won the most "centenals" becomes the ruling party. What will people do to ensure that their party stays in power or that that their party comes into power?
Malka Older delivers a novel that puts the
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~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
Futurists worlds where geographic lines basically cease to exist almost seem to be a thing this year. It is a really interesting concept and I am enjoying reading the ideas even if this particular book didn't do much for me.

In Infomocracy, all but a handful of countries have ceased to exist. In their stead are the centenals, neighborhoods of 100,000 people that can vote on their own government regardless of what neighboring centenels may vote for. The government that controls the most centenals
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Didi Chanoch
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Max Gladstone blurb for this book is "If you always wanted to put The West Wing in a particle accelerator with Snow Crash to see what would happen, read this book," and I it's as good a single line pitch as any for it.

Older does an incredible job creating a believable future, with complex politics and tech and a society that is different than any we know, and yet is clear descendant of our world. I'm usually a character guy, and while this book has many diverse, interesting, and distinct
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Aristotle
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Electioneering
Can you give me the definition of the word.
"To work for the success of a particular candidate, party, or ticket in an election."

Electioneering
Can you use the word in a sentence.
"The election will not be lost or won as the result of a few weeks of electioneering."

This book is a real struggle. I haven't finished but sometimes i write early reviews as a cathartic release. The purging of my negative emotions helps me finish the book.
If you find the endless coverage of Russian influence
...more
Silvana
Interesting idea of a world - micro democracy! - but impenetrable as a story. Characters, plot, narrative, dialogue, none kept me glued to the pages.

I was initially interested with this book due to the author's background - a former social worker who worked in Indonesia (she even included Jakarta as one of the settings here) - but I need more.

DNF at 51%.
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Centenal Cycle (3 books)
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“We find that the people who hate each other that much rarely view the same type of Information.” 6 likes
“you can give a voter Information, but you can’t make them think.” 2 likes
More quotes…