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Disco Sour

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A politician addicted to dating apps embarks on an existential odyssey to save democracy from being swiped away.

In the aftermath of a continental civil-war, nation-states have collapsed, the European Union™ holds on, preventing anarchy.

Bastian Balthazar Bux is a leading member of The Federation®, the European network of civil society and local governme
Paperback, 150 pages
Published May 24th 2018 by Unbound
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Manuel Antão
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Plebiscitum: “Disco Sour” by Giuseppe Porcaro

"My new app, Plebiscitum (®), will allow anyone to express their opinions anytime, anywhere, and will include geolocalisation systems"

In “Disco Sour” by Giuseppe Porcaro

This novel at first sight provokes in me worry of "assessing someone's democratic ability" and if people don't match to certain criteria, what, no right to vote? I agree Democracy should be a "very important school subject";
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So this was an interesting book. I’m not quite sure I “got” it. I’m American and I felt like I would have understood and appreciated the political side of it better if I was from Europe. I’m just not that familiar with how everything works over there.

The book does raise some fascinating ideas about the future, especially the intersection of politics and technology (“Tinder-politics”). I enjoyed that exploration.


I d
Thomas Strömquist
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Very impressive debut book and a some time mind blowing journey. The future world that Porcaro describes is part scary, part depressing and part better than the here and now, much as I expect it to be.

The world building is definitely the best part of the book, and sometimes the many pop culture and tech references makes me feel like we’re in an alternate world from our own, rather than a future one. I wish it was the case, because I got stuck at times by reminiscences of VHS cassettes, DAT tapes
Len Evans Jr
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Really liked this... First off the main character in the book (Bastian) is beautifully complex and someone I came to know and care for rather quickly. I was also impressed by the world-building in this book, while there is much that is similar to our current world and the things that differ are important, interesting and thought-provoking. The whole idea of elections/propositions morphing into polls on an app was both intriguing and frightening. The only thing that bugged me a bit about this boo ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
In a post-civil-war high-tech world where voting has been relegated to cell phones and just about everything is trademarked, I was struck by how close to Malka Older's work this was. Voting blocks are ideological and boundaryless in a true sense and even children can vote.

It's truly democratic... but, unfortunately, random.

Not so for the plot. This bit of worldbuilding is fairly interesting but in my opinion, wasn't explored to great lengths. I kinda wish it had been.

Rather, the plot took over
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Being extremely busy in the next 3-4 weeks, I can't spend much time on this review (sorry Giuseppe!), but I want to write at least something while the story is still fresh in my mind.
Please, never mind my grammar, Runglish is strong with me today ;)

The book was an extremely quick and enjoyable read for me. I am not going to retell the story, since the blurb describes Bastian's circumstances and adventures pretty well.

I loved the cultural references that tie this alternate reality to ours. A vul
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disco Sour is a fast-paced, wild ride in a version of a future which might just come true! From the get-go I was thrown into a vortex of an alternative world. A world after a continental civil war where nation states have collapsed and the European Union™ is the only front remaining to fight for democracy. A world where everything is trademarked and you can buy a weird Christmas tree with drone fish? (I can’t even remember, you guys, this was some weird trippy experience at times) from an airpor ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, digital, 2018-reads
*I was sent an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Disco Sour is a short interesting novel. We follow Bastian who has to attend a conference (that's held in Chile btw!), but in the travel things get messy. All this in a futuristic post war world.

At first it took me a while to understand the story, mostly because I'm kind of null in politics and how organizations interact. The tradamarks® got me confused too, but after a few pages I got used to it.

The worldbuildin
The setting is the not so far distant. A civil war ravaged Europe leaving the European Union as the only government entity left. Bastian leads a small lobby group with an agenda to promote more youth involvement in elections. He attempts to attend a conference in Chile but his travel plans are thwarted (he begins to think it is part of a bigger conspiracy). As he travels he has weird flashbacks of sexual adventures. He finally arrives at a conference where a rival has almost obtained endorsement ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sour is in the name, what can one except. This project was public funded by the look of the acknowledgements list and, while some aspects of it were quite interesting, it ultimately came across somewhat self indulgent. The concept is neat, the setting is the near future, copyrighted to exhaustion (which probably seemed like a great idea at the time, but results in seriously aesthetically® tedious® text® like that) and just and trendy, technology obsessed and vapid. Democracy is under attack (the ...more
Histoire et fiction
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disco Sour is a (rather short) novel about a future where Europe, after undergoing a civil war, has become a collection of micro-States where politics is no longer the prerogative of elected politicians and is in large part managed by interest groups. The main character, Bastian Balthazar Bux, is working for the Federation, an umbrella organization for these interest groups. He finds itself at odds with an ambitious rival, Nathan (“the alleged illegitimate son of Roman Polanski”), who wishes to ...more
Johanna Nyman
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The collapse, threat and possibilities of democracy, travel in time and space, war, love and peace, a journey around the world but in the end just within one person. A book difficult to describe or classify, but a great read full of emotions. Gave me moments of beautiful reflection about a whole range of things and what more can we demand from a book but for it to spark the internal journey.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok

Review is coming.
Ivy Ngeow
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fast-paced political dystopia debut. Disco Sour is set in post-continental civil war world. The main protagonist is Bastian Bux, a member of the Federation TM which is a network in Europe. Bastian has been dumped via an app called the Breakupshop which notifies you when you are dumped and simultaneously blocking the dumper so that the dumpee cannot contact the dumper anymore.
Bastian is pissed off naturally and he ups his G and T consumption for a few nights. As a young career upstart, he is ne
Jessica Hatch
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DISCO SOUR is fun, fascinating, and all-too-creepy in how close to home its intersection of technology and democracy hits. This debut novel (from a guy who knows his stuff!) would be at home on lists with The Manchurian Candidate and Antisocial Media.

Reviewer disclosure: I copyedited a draft of DISCO SOUR in summer 2017.

Vanilla Me
A (political) suspense, placed in a post-continental war contemporary world.

Bastian is running against time to get to a conference in Chile to deliver his speech and defend democracy. His journey is plagued with set-backs and delays orchestrated by a political rival. Throw in an almost permanent state of confusion courtesy of above mentioned rival, a loss of his Morph® phone (Bastian's whole life was on it) and constant pondering over his multiple break-ups, and here we have a character so fract
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Disco Sour a first novel by Giuseppe Porcaro, crowd-funded by Unbound Digital, is a first person narrative by Bastian Balthazar Bux. When we meet him he is drowning his sorrows in cheap gin to ameliorate the pain of learning he has been dumped by his latest boy-friend via a text message from the BreakupShoptm . It quickly becomes clear that we are in the presence of the fabled unreliable narrator. Between the drink and his romantic distress Bastian’s thought patterns ricochet in so many directio ...more
Peter Herold
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I received an ARC copy and was looking forward to reading a European-themed (Among second prize winners for 2017 "Altiero Spinelli Prize for outreach: spreading knowledge about Europe" ) novel whose main character is bisexual (though the bi-word is never used, which is kind of nice and normalising ... he simply has male and female partners.) However I stopped reading after one-quarter of the book: I found the writing style too much like listening to someo ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. I was excited by the idea of a science-fiction novel revolving around apps and a seemingly gay protagonist. Well, I was partially correct in my assessment of that.

Porcaro is a debutante fiction writer and this book was publicly-funded through a project called Unbound. The fact that the book did not have an editor proved one of its downfalls. For one, the synopsis does not touch on the main themes of the book, that of a general mess-up who spends the
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Review published on The Curious SFF Reader

Set in the aftermath of a continental civil war, Disco Sour follows Bastian, a member of the Federation, an European network that holds the world together.

In the opening scene, we learn that Bastian was dumped through the Breakupshop®, an app that sends you a notification when you are dumped while blocking all information about your former partner so that you can’t contact this person anymore.

While being dumped is never nice, being dumped through an ap
Julie Morris
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the aims I had when I started volunteering for blog tours was to find new genres and books that I would not normally choose in a book store and to push my reading out of its comfort zone, to stretch my literary horizons. This book marks the zenith of that goal so far.

We are dropped into a dystopian future, around one thousand years from now, as seen through the eyes of the main protagonist, Bastian Balthazar Bux. There has been a civil war in Europe which has destroyed the previous politi
Marthese Formosa
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I was offered an ARC of Disco Sour by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the setting of this book. Being from a EU country, I thought that the idea of a civil war within the EU and the disintegration of national states was quite original for a sci-fi novel.

This novel is told in first person, from Bastian's point of view. It has a great introduction and a great ending. It took me a while to get into the book. This is usual for me but the premiss was good and despite al
Kike Ramos
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq
English / Español

DISCLAIMER: I recieved an ARC copy of this book directly from the author in an exchange for an honest review. My thoughts here are mine and I didn't get paid to do so.

Disco Sour comes out on May 24th

In this book, we follow Bastian, a guy who works in an international association in a not so distant future from ours. After he gets dumped by his boyfriend, he learns that a person he doesnt like will try to sell the idea of a new app that could replace the democratic process of el
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ok. finally comes my very much delayed review of Disco Sour.

Disco Sour is a short book but within its few pages it is a lot of things:

It is an adventure story in which the main character travels across the world to save democracy from being ruled by algorithms. It is set in the future, in a world with an alternative history (in which the Euro crisis sparked a continental civil war in Europe).

It is also the story of a man with a broken heart.

It tackles the serious subject of democracy but is al
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt
i want to start out by saying I received a copy of this in exchange for a review. I wish I could leave a more positive one but I want to be honest. it's part Uglies trilogy, part Brave New World. It's also really bizarre and anachronistic. If it's the near future why is the protagonist using myspace? all this cool new technology and everyone uses Myspace? It's an interesting study in what it's like to be disconnected from our phones and social media in an ever connected world though, we begin to ...more
Henrik Soderman
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant dystopian novel, set in a post-civil war Europe. It acknowledges its literary lineage with a quote from "We" of Zamyatin on the first page, and sets out the new social and political order with the same detachment and observation as "Brave New World", "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984".

Except that here the main character is not just a small person in front of the Big System, but instead one of the shapers of the post-war "new order". The shape and form of the new society is still being fough
Matti Niemi
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in a post-civil war Europe somewhere in the not-so-distant future, Disco Sour is an eclectic mix of a love story, adventure novel, political statement and just good sci-fi. For about a 50-hour journey across the globe we get to follow an activist turned bureaucrat who is going through many life-turning events at the same time, battling pressures from inside and outside.

The world of Disco Sour is detailed and intriguing, though the story only offers glimpses to the past and future. I always l
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every time I start a new book, I really hope I will be able to relate to the characters or at least to the situations these characters are put through. Reading Disco Sour gave me both… and gave me life!

Despite the fact that the story is set in the post civil-war future, not much has changed for the humanity. Appreciation for ‘Millennial’ luxuries is still there. A drink and especially a cocktail is the solution to everything. Starbucks is still selling coffee in red cups. People are still lookin
Angus Mcfarlane
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A lighthearted zany romp through a dystopian near future where the world has taken up the Chilean neoliberal economic experiment. I made the mistake of reading this through in pieces: my wife read it in one hit to fill time before flying back from Antofagasta and seemed to get a more coherent impression. I think this is enjoyable at a conceptual level, but the flow of the story is difficult and the length of time spent stuck in airports unable to get here he is gong is frustrating (me feeling sy ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Disco Sour is a short novel describing a potential future Europe that is managed by interest groups and no longer by (well) intentioned political figures. At first, I was a bit worried at the amount of new information given in the first pages of this dystopian story. However, the book quickly turns into a very interesting journey into the life of Bastian in a world where technology and politics are fully intertwined. I was very impressed at Giuseppe’s first attempt at writing a literary work. Th ...more
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As a political geographer, Giuseppe Porcaro has been interested in how the intersection between technology and politics is moving towards uncharted territories in the future. He has recently published a series of scientific articles about how the internet of things and algorithms will change policymaking. He also focused on narrative-building and political representations in the European Union


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