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Publisher's Summary

It's been 20 years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. 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 corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: How do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time when so many have so much to gain?

Infomocracy is Malka Older's debut novel.

©2016 Malka Older (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"A fast-paced, post-cyberpunk political thriller.... If you always wanted to put The West Wing in a particle accelerator with Snow Crash to see what would happen, read this book." (Max Gladstone, author of Last First Snow
"Smart, ambitious, bursting with provocative extrapolations, Infomocracy is the big-data-big-ideas-techno-analytical-microdemoglobal-post-everything political thriller we've been waiting for." (Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings)
"In the mid-21st century, your biggest threat isn't Artificial Intelligence - it's other people. Yet the passionate, partisan, political and ultimately fallible men and women fighting for their beliefs are also Infomocracy's greatest hope. An inspiring book about what we frail humans could still achieve, if we learn to work together." (Karl Schroeder, author of Lockstep and the Virga saga)

What listeners say about Infomocracy

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amber W.
  • 2016-11-03

Good story, bad narration

I found the story very engaging and enjoyed it a lot, however I never could quite get immersed in it, mostly because of the narrator's constant mispronunciation of the Japanese names (which make up about half of the characters), as well as fairly poor attempts at various accents.

8 people found this helpful

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  • The Holmquist's
  • 2016-12-27

Pattern Recognition-Snow Crash Remix. So good!

Feels like diving headfirst into a mash-up of early Neal Stephenson (think Snow Crash) and William Gibson (think Neuromancer or Pattern Recognition). Good fast clean cyberpunk fun with just enough twistiness and interesting reality to get your brain going.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence Maccherone Jr.
  • 2016-06-24

Not enough excitement

Lots of great character development. Lots of great context setting. Very good narration. Just not enough happening.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Midwestbonsai
  • 2016-09-12

At heart, this novel is a political thriller

Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older is a science fiction and political thriller set in the future where an entity, called Information, controls all information and search engines. In this world, government has transitioned from nations to micro-democracies, with many different kinds of governance, corporate and otherwise, over small population Centenals. The story follows a few different characters with intersecting paths during a turbulent election period. Ken works for a campaign, trying to elect his employer and government in different Centenals and gain a majority standing. Mishima is an operative for Information, trying to see trends in the data and keep the spread of information as clean of corruption as possible. As the election season progresses, these two characters’ paths intersect many times as potential corruption slowly comes to light, creating a storm for the information and political world.

At heart, this novel is a political thriller, but it’s filled with technological advances that fit a science fiction story. While the storyline may seem confusing or dense at first, ultimately, I found it incredibly thought-provoking. The characters could have been more complex. In addition to the two main characters, the story is also told from the perspective to 3-4 additional characters. But the real focus of the story is in the world building, the dynamic progression of the election season, and how the different players interact with the changing political landscape. The details in the world building are fantastic and the characters’ brief sojourns in different Centenals bring each into clear and fascinating focus. and the supporting characters, residing in different Centenals and around the world, further fill up the story with rich detail and complexity. The Information entity and how it is incorporated into the daily lives of the people was especially fascinating and reminiscent of reality. The story-line is fast-paced, action-packed, and highly unique. I have never read a novel like this one and I really enjoyed it.

The narration by Christine Marshall was fantastic.  Her fast pacing voicing was perhaps a little challenging to decipher on occasion, but the pace of the story calls for fast speech. Ultimately, she did a great job. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fast paced political thrillers and science fiction.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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12 people found this helpful

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  • Jorge Valdez
  • 2016-07-31

non stop thriller

older takes you on a wild unforgettable ride! best book of the summer! str8 up!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2020-02-13

The politic system of the future?

Election drama in an alternate political system.

The author likes long complicated sentences and the narrator skims through the book quickly and not always with the intonation spot on. That was a bad combo. I had to really concentrate all the time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H. Oberlander
  • 2017-04-29

Too much is never explored or explained.

It's ironic that this is titled "Infomocracy", since one of the themes in the book is too much information quickly becomes no information, but at the same time the book immediately throws so many concepts and characters at you it's hard to follow or even find the plot. The main theme and action eventually become clear, but there are so many themes that are alluded to and never explored, so many ideas that are brought up and never explained, that the actual story gets lost and it feels more like an "over-your-head" lecture with some cardboard characters thrown in now and then.

I believe the narrator tried to add some excitement by reading at an uncomfortably fast pace. Instead of creating excitement she is on to the next idea before the first one has had time to "land." I might have enjoyed the book more if it was read at a slightly slower pace. I can just barely recommend this book, but only in print.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kyle
  • 2021-08-13

Not a stand alone book

I selected this book without knowing that it was part of a trilogy. However, the story just stops and never really went anywhere. Thinking planned series, each Harry Potter book can pretty much stand on its own, this one cannot. So disappointed, I didn’t even bother returning the title because I wanted to make sure this review stayed up. Either buy all three or none at all.

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  • Willie-B
  • 2021-08-13

Not really a good example of cyberpunk

The editor's/author's choice to classify this book/series as cyber punk feels like a huge disservice, and is the main reason this is not a 5 star review.

I have mixed feelings about this book being cyberpunk, as if it weren't listed as cyberpunk I would not have listened to it, but at the same time there are certain expectations that come along with the classification, and it was a letdown that almost none of these tropes made an appearance. It feels like the little that does address cyber punk tropes were thrown in as an after thought just so the book could fit into a relatively small collection of cyberpunk literature on auditable.

The book/series was a fun listen overall, but it is a huge stretch to call it a cyberpunk novel. It is more of a spy thriller set in the future. There is little in the way of the traditional cyberpunk staples: there are corporate governments, but the overall tone is bright and cheerful.

Probably the most cyberpunk tech described in the book would be the minor bio mods that simulate goose flesh on the back of the neck when it senses something out of place (this makes appearances in the 1st and 2nd novel). The characters are jacked unto the net and use projections as a display that can be projected at eye level or pushed further away so others can also view the image. These projectors may be implants, but the author does not spend much time detailing the tech. It is easy to imagine the projectors being some type of VR/AR glasses or contacts.

Overall, I enjoyed the books. and had this been correctly identified as a thriller set in the near future (almost all of the tech in this book feels like it is maybe 10 years out) then it would be a 5 star review across the board. I just feel like people should know what they are getting.

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  • J
  • 2021-05-21

Better as a Short Story

Some interesting elements and original additions to the cyberpunk genre, but this would have been better served as a short story or novella. As a novel, it feels bloated. Could probably listen to an hour or two at the beginning and the last two hours and you have more than you need.