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State Tectonics

The Centenal Cycle, Book 3
Narrated by: Christine Marshall
Series: The Centenal Cycle, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Campbell Award finalist Malka Older's State Tectonics concludes the Centenal Cycle, the cyberpunk political thriller series that began with Infomocracy.  

The future of democracy must evolve or die. 

The last time Information held an election, a global network outage, two counts of sabotage by major world governments, and a devastating earthquake almost shook micro-democracy apart. Five years later, it's time to vote again, and the system that has ensured global peace for 25 years is more vulnerable than ever.   

Unknown enemies are attacking Information's network infrastructure. Spies, former superpowers, and revolutionaries sharpen their knives in the shadows. And Information's best agents question whether the data monopoly they've served all their lives is worth saving or whether it's time to burn the world down and start anew.  

The Centenal Cycle:

  1. Infomocracy 
  2. Null States 
  3. State Tectonics
©2018 Malka Older (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Mark
  • Berlin, MA, United States
  • 12-05-18

Great Resolution to a Brilliant "What If..."

I'm not really sure this would work as a stand-alone novel; if you have not read "Infomacracy", start with that one. That's the one which builds the world and asks "What If democracy was divided into manageable chunks of 100,000 people per 'state'?"

And, of course, there's the over-arching bureaucracy which "runs" microdemocracy: Information.

What's brilliant about this wrap-up to the Centenal Cycle is that it examines the benefits, risks, and drawbacks of the initial "What If", and draws the experiment to a plausible conclusion. At the same time, it leaves plenty of room for me to ask, "But What If it had been managed with...?", "But What If the bureaucracy had...?", and "But What If the corrupt elements were...?"

These are books about politics at the most raw: human interactions. These are also books about people dealing with the bad choices made by others, and then ultimately the bad decisions they made themselves. And, wonder of wonders, some of the characters are able to dig themselves out of previous bad decisions and actually be happy.

I see in some other reviews that some readers were not able to buy into Older's various narratives. I don't like thinking ill of people, but I can't help but wonder whether that's because something like 80% of the characters with viewpoint or speaking roles are women. I, frankly, found it refreshing to hear women being people, and not props. The men that are here are not "flipped stereotypes", except for one (who is explicitly not even given a name; he doesn't even have any lines). In fact, the men are also people.

The suspension of disbelief required for buying into the premise in the first book is rewarded in this book, because most of the unasked questions get addressed (if not answered). On the whole, I loved this trilogy, and will be returning to it from time to time (if only to be back in the company of Mishima).

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Boring...total waste of time

I kept waiting for the story and punchline. they never came. don't waste your time

0 of 3 people found this review helpful