Book - 2016
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"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."--Front jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Tor , 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765385154
Branch Call Number: SF/Fantasy Old
Characteristics: 380 pages ; 22 cm


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May 06, 2019

"Imagine there’s no countries. . . . And the world will be as one."
A world without nations? Check.
World democracy based on the magic number of 100,000 voters per area? Check.
Instant information available 24/7 so people can make informed decisions? Check.
Benevolent worldwide oversight by an information agency to ensure no one games the system? Check.
Despite this utopian construct set in the near-future, humanity still manages to screw it up.
Older has created a cyber-political thriller set in an interesting world. First book in a trilogy.

Dec 07, 2017

The novel is set in the future where most of the world has subscribed to micro-democracies, where every centenal (100,000 people) vote for who they want in power. The first 50 pages are a bit hard to get through because it's setting the background for the novel. After that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I thought the political reality in the novel was fascinating and the espionage added the excitement. Highly recommended.

sit_walk Aug 31, 2017

Required reading for all librarians and data lovers. Speculative fiction about politics and information (ho hum, I hear you saying...) that's smart, fast-paced, feasible, and just downright great!? Doesn't get much better, folks.

May 26, 2017

I looked forward to reading this book, but it reads like the dramatization of a grad student’s term paper. Data and analysis are brought to the forefront in an attempt to build the drama, but the beneficial use of them is repeatedly glossed over. (I’m guessing that’s because databases and spreadsheets are not that exciting.) I cannot concur with the critical acclaim the author has achieved. The protagonists are devoid of personal history or compassion. A few of them experience a major natural disaster, and they shrug it off like it was a thunderstorm, intently focused on the elections instead of the well-being of people suffering around them.

Try as I might to get into the book, it kept bouncing me out. Newbie writers are told to “show, don’t tell” their story, but the author clings too tightly to that advice. The notions of supermajorities, centenals, and decennial elections are intriguing, but what makes a supermajority? Is it 55%, 60% or 75%? What powers does it have compared to a centenal? The author’s world implies an Earth that’s a static terrarium. This is analogous to bad science fiction where rocket ships’ engines make sound in the vacuum of outer space. To keep centenals at their maximum 100,000 population, the boundaries would have to be continuously adjusted. Who draws the lines? The greatest sin the author commits is against herself. Once a writer creates a world, then she has to live by that world’s rules. Centenal governments replace cities and countries, but the author fails to escape Earth’s customs and traditions and continuously references the old political geography.

The author’s writing style is quite good. The only other saving grace I could find is that the story works as a satire. The author creates the concept of “microdemocracy” and there is very little democracy in her world.


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