Null States

Hats off to Malka Older for enticing me enough to read a sequel to a more or less standalone book. Null States  is set a couple of years after Infomocracy and tackles yet another crisis in this ever-shifting and adapting “microdemocracy” that Older envisioned in the first book. This time, rather than natural disasters and election fraud, the benevolent-ish Google-esque “Information” organization is up against multiple potential assassination attempts in developing (or up-and-coming) centenals. What’s the end game? Who’s behind the hits?

I probably waited a bit too long to start on this after Infomocracy; there were plenty of character names that were familiar, but I couldn’t always place the name to the person I had first encountered in Infomocracy. It’s not necessarily anything that ruins the book or makes it impossible to follow, and in all honesty I’d rather be a little bit lost than have the author waste time and ink giving a condescending and awkward “last time, on Infomocracy” recap. Older also does a great job shifting the focus outward from the three principal characters in the first to another secondary character rather than just running a concept (or character, in this case) into the ground. My only complaint for both Infomocracy and Null States is a spoiler-y one and has to do with a particular character trope that I dislike. Worth noting, I guess, but it’s also not anything that ruins the books.

Published by

katherine

Stockholm-based translator and copyeditor of American extraction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *