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Null States: Book Two of the Centenal Cycle
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Null States: Book Two of the Centenal Cycle

(Centenal Cycle #2)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  787 ratings  ·  153 reviews
"Kinetic and gripping" NPR on Infomocracy

Null States continues the Centenal Cycle, the series beginning with Infomocracy

The book The Huffington Post called "one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history"
One of The Washington Post's "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2016"
One of Kirkus' "Best Fiction of 2016"
One of Book Riot's "Best Books of 2016"

The future of dem
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by
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NekroRider Going to contradict the other answers and say that everyone should start with Infomocracy (Book 1) before jumping into this (and honestly I'd venture…moreGoing to contradict the other answers and say that everyone should start with Infomocracy (Book 1) before jumping into this (and honestly I'd venture to say this goes for most sci-fi and fantasy series). Its very important to understanding the full context of the events of Null States, the political system, party dynamics, Information, the tech etc. as well as fully understanding the characters, their significance, relationships to each other etc. Read Infomocracy. This is a great series and deserves to be read in full for greatest appreciation.(less)

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3.86  · 
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 ·  787 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Thanks to Netgalley for the Arc!

When I read the first book in the series, Infomocracy, I loved it for the hardcore idea-based SF couched in a technothriller base, and Null States continues on in the same tradition.

Only, this next novel isn't all about a high-tech election based on micro-democracy with a mix of intrigue and corruption. Rather, it's about population areas outside of the Infomocracy and an assassination that grows ever more complicated as the novel progresses.

In a lot of ways, it's
I'm so glad I read this book, versus listened to it. I listened to book one, and struggled to understand what was happening for part of it. With this book, it didn't take me long to remember some of the parties/companies and individuals. This time, we spend lots of time with Roz as she investigates an assassination in a micro-democracy in Darfur that is slowly getting used to Information and its many feeds and ways of working. Mishima's back being amazing and undercover. Roz and Mishima end up u ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I actually finished this book about a week ago- so this review is long overdue.

Null States follows Roz primarily into Darfur. Darfur is a previously Null State (where there were no Information feeds and no microdemocracy existed). They need help getting some of their feeds set up and ensuring the microdemocratic process is running smoothly. On the first day, their head of state is killed and explosion as Roz and her team are looking on. Roz stays to investigate and assist with a second election
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

"This is what we do - we deal with the dangerous, sociopathic, power hungry individuals the people elect."

Another winner from Malka Older! These might be near future political thrillers but it feels like she’s ripping the headlines while entertaining and challenging you.

...for the most part refugees are recognized as a good bargain - treat them well and they will vote for you more loyally than citizens who were born in your Centenal.

Mishima and Ken are back but Roz, another operative for
Miquel Codony
Null States, de Malka Older
Valoración: 2,5/5

Si “Infomocracy” nos presentaba la idea de microdemocracia a través de un thriller que servía de excusa para construir un escenario en el que construir una especulación francamente interesante, “Null States” lleva las cosas un paso más allá y profundiza en las limitaciones y contradicciones de este sistema. El problema, para mi, es que como novela es un texto menos eficaz que su predecesora: a nivel puramente argumental, su capacidad para atrapar al le
Michael Scott
To-do full review:
+++ The idea of the Centenal series, of exploring the impact of a new political system through a sci-fi setting.
++/- The centenal political model, despite its flaws (so many!), allows for an investigation of a truly global system. The role played in the global political system by non-affiliated (null states) or recently affiliated states, such as China, Russia, and the Sub-Saharan states, leads to the current installment in the series: Null States.
--- Where did the story go?!
Book Riot Community
You can breathe that sigh of relief you’ve been holding: this follow-up to Infomocracy is just as delightful and interesting as the original. Indeed, Null States retains the charms of its predecessor (a fascinating concept, a thrilling pace, a richly imagined political fantasy, etc.) without being just a dull extension of it. So we get to see what microdemocracy looks like in new places (e.g., a just-barely-post-dictator Darfur) and under new threats (e.g., wars with holdout nation-states or the ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
The conclusion was such a fantastic rush - I can't wait for the third novel!

(Thank you to for providing me with an e-arc)
Sequel uses an assassination/conspiracy investigation (and other sub-plots) to further explore the interesting future non-geographic "micro-democracy" Older invented in Infomocracy, this time looking at less-developed "centenals" and relationship to those remaining classic nation-states.

The resolution of the conspiracy isn't exactly satisfying, suggesting a 3rd novel is in order.
Scarily prescient look at micro democracy, the challenges of social media and curated information. Fair warning though that it's a middle book and leaves threads hanging for book 3.
Older's works are idea novels - so if that doesn't interest you, don't enter these waters.

In the previous book, the big election toppled Heritage's supermajority and that party is now threatening secession. While Older's first novel was pretty self-contained, her second installment follows three different characters: Roz, Mishima, and Ken as agents of "Information." The main story line through this novel is Roz in DarFur where Information is trying to establish and stabilize centenals in a form
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This second entry in Malka Older's Centenal Cycle continues right in the vein of the first, delivering a sharp-witted and richly-detailed take on an imminently possible, not-too-distant future, just as set out by her debut. We pick back off shortly after the election shenanigans of the preceding volume and venture into the territory of a recent adopter of the microdemocracy system; meanwhile, halfway around the world, tensions grow between the edges of microdemocracy and the eponymous "null stat ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 rounded up)

The hook for me with these books so far is probably the variety in the food, the locations most of the events take place and Mishima.

Malka Ann Older’s books in the “Centinal Cycle” take place in a futuristic yet recognizable world, she manages to cleverly show you how one event affects the entire political-sphere that her characters are in. Reading someones imagination of a plausible future that is also majorly inclusive of non-western countries is always fun for me to read.

Wiebke (1book1review)
I wasn't into this as much as Infomocracy, which I actually thought was a standalone.
Part was I think that was much harder to follow on audio and might be better in another format.
Another part was that I couldn't get really invested into the main characters of this one.
What it does though is dive much more deeper into the politic side of the story and micro democracies and the role of information in the system.
So I guess if that is what interested you already most in the first you will get along
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rounding up because the ideas about primacy vs free access to information are fascinating. It took me quite a while to get into the book but I'm glad I didn't give up.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sequel to Infomacracy. In this version of our future, a good portion of the world is now run by micro-democracies voted for by 100,000 people apiece. Some of these governments have only one centenal in the world; other governments are made up of centenals that span continents. Stitching all of these democracies together is Information, a non-partisan organization that functions like a combination of a the internet and a UN.

Information officer Roz is deployed to a centenal in DarFur that just j
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, lgbtq, scifi
I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars. In Null States, Malka Older continues to explore the near future laid out in Infomocracy, where the world is experimenting with micro democracy as a form of government and Information is the omnipresent internet/search engine/bureaucracy that founded the system. In the first book we explored elections and democracy as a concept.

Here, the author continues to lay out the pros and cons of the seemingly Utopian setup, t
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Zedsdead by: Next in series
Shelves: favorites
Ye gods I love this complex, riveting series. Not thrilled about the cliffhanger-ish nature of a couple of the plot threads though. Older can't write book three fast enough.

Plot points:
(view spoiler)
Bridget Mckinney
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
It took me a long time to read Malka Older’s Infomocracy. I couldn’t get into it right away when it came out last summer, and then the 2016 election happened and it was, perhaps understandably, just far too painful, upsetting and infuriating for me to even think about reading a book centered around election shenanigans for a good while. After a couple of false starts earlier this year, I picked up the paperback of Infomocracy and couldn’t put it down. Luckily, I had an ARC of Null States waiting ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love that Malka Older's initials are MAO. It's as if she was born to comment on political systems, and to make up new ones. I find the pan-global, post-national world of micro-democracies she has created, in which both nationalism and narrative are considered to be diseases, to be both well-informed and hopelessly idealistic - and it is clear that she does too. Watching her set it up, test the model, and find the places where it frays is almost as much fun as watching her terrifically competen ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second book in the Centenel Cycle is even better than the first. And it's that rare thing, a modern Utopia, rather than a dystopia. It has it all - strong female characters, mostly nonwhite, set in diverse places (mostly Asia & Africa), the US is nothing but a distant memory. I really appreciate this series and look forward to the next book.
Mishima is an amazing badass, but Roz stole my heart. More action-packed than the first, but with the same high-quality writing and thoughtful commentary on governance and information transparency. Bonus for all of the wonderful friendships between fabulous women - Maryam was another favorite character.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Seriously love this series so far. Technopolitical thriller AF. Read this if you’re a weird sci-fi wonk or something. Recommended.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasty
Such a brilliant read. As good as the first, if not more well crafted:
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this.
Jeanne Boyarsky
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This book continues the first nicely. There's a nice review of who the characters are. The book explores more parts of the world (Africa and China) with an emphasis on "low density information" areas. It's interesting seeing how the characters who are used to everything being available deal with that not being the case.

We get to see a few different governments including 888 and China1. We also see the impact of neutral/non-Information areas like Switzerland (surprise) and mainland China.

The auth
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Null States really disappointed me. I loved its predecessor, Infomocracy. In fact, I first joined Goodreads to review Infomocracy. Unfortunately, I do not think the sequel lives up to the first book.

Null States is an example of two of my most hated trends in genre fiction: every concept is now stretched into at least a trilogy, and the lengths of books are inflated.

This book drags badly. It is inflated to over 4oo pages by a slow A plot and a bad romance story. Malka Older includes several othe
Shreerag Plakazhi
Malka Older is still a fantastic world-builder. The Information world is full of well arranged elements and compelling political intrigue. I'm hoping she writes a short story collection to learn more about how life is like in smaller centenals.

Null States itself is alright. It's well written, in a prose still befitting of the first book, Infomocracy. However in terms of the story it falls a little flat. I was not invested in most of the characters lives or romances (something I think there was
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Older manages to advance the world, maintain the original characters we love, and add in new personas that we feel connected to. This plot driven high intensity novel propels you through its pages with action and intrigue - just as I would expect from this fantastic sequel to Infomocracy. There were lovely character moments, but the majority of this book is full of adventure and the exploration of themes related to surveillance, autonomy, and the quest to find a government.

Disclaimer: I receive
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“You’ll get used to it,” he says. “In any case, I find it interesting that you think of this as the past.”
“What do you mean?”
Suleyman gestures, drawing her gaze over the shacks of organic material, the sand-and-scrub wasteland, the distant evaporation plant, the images painted on brick that provide intel and entertainment. “This could just as easily be the future.”
“Voters lose interest, growing either complacent or frustrated.” 1 likes
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