Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Infomocracy by Malka Older

Wow, this is hard book to classify. I found it hard to get into at first - really, really hard. It's set in a near-distant future where nations no longer exist but governments do. Every 10 years groups of 100,000 people choose which government they want to live under.

Many of the governments have formed from corporations, like Coca-Cola and Philip Morris. Others are remnants of former nation states; Liberty it seems pretty clear has sprung from the United States. There is also a global internet organization called Information that is like Facebook and Google etc. many times squared.

I had a hard time getting into Infomocracy because there are so many characters, and many had names I am unused to so I wasn't immediately able to picture even whether they were male or female. The action also jumps all over the world, and the names of all the governments were confusing. The world building was grand and chaotic, and the important characters were compelling. (Some of the characters introduced in the beginning faded away into minor importance.) 

Once I got about 100 pages in I really enjoyed Infomocracy. I wonder if my interest was partly sparked by reading this during the U.S. political conventions. There is a lot of subterfuge, and questions about who can trust who, and think I found that more interesting because there is a U.S. presidential race going on. 

As I said, this book is hard to classify. It's hard to even say, for example, that If you liked xxx, you will enjoy InfomocracyIt is a very intelligent work, and it was refreshing to read something that really, really is not English or American-centric. I recommend it to science fiction readers willing to take a chance on something a little unusual, and to readers looking to take their mind off American politics and the election by reading a book about...politics and an election.

The Galesburg Public LIbrary has Infomocracy as a print book and as an ebook.

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