A science fiction political thriller novel about elections. Meaning, a book written precisely for me.
In the future, elections are done on a hyper-local level with major parties looking to piece together large numbers of small districts to achieve global parties. The system is run by a disinterested google-like corporation (Information) determined to keep the elections fair, and the information about the parties accurate. It’s a flawed system, but an interesting one. It all begins to go to shit when someone (radical activist? A rouge political party?) begin screwing with the tech behind the system. An unlikely duo of Information super-agent and idealist political consultant (hey, its fiction!) set out to solve the riddle of who is trying to bring down this ingenious (if flawed) political system. Along the way the encounter idealistic revolutionaries, brilliant technocrats, smarmy politicians, and evil proto-fascists. Oh yeah, and they fall in love.
The book is full of conversations on the nature of democracy, interesting thought experiments on what micro democracy can look like, clever refractions of the way we consume information, and interesting ideas for making the democratic process more transparent. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with some awkward coupling and some less than captivating action scenes.
Still, a very enjoyable read and one that resonates in this year of full on political craziness. When I was reading the book, I’d often check twitter and think, a logical extension of this shit show is Infomocracy.
Well worth your time if politics and/or SF are you game.