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Malka Older & Arkady Martine: Political Protest in Speculative Fiction

Authors Malka Older and Arkady Martine discuss politics, protest, AI in government, and cultural assimilation in speculative fiction, through the lenses of their latest books, State Tectonics and A Memory Called Empire.

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The critically-acclaimed trilogy that began with Infomocracy reaches its thrilling conclusion in State Tectonics as the future of democracy faces existential opposition

State Tectonics concludes the trilogy that began with Infomocracy:

• The book The Huffington Post called "one of the greatest literary debuts in recent history"
• Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington PostThe VergeFlavorwireKirkus Reviews, and Book Riot
• A Locus Award Finalist for Best First Novel

The future of democracy must evolve or die.

The last time Information held an election, a global network outage, sabotage by major world governments, and an uncontrolled 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.

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Like Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice and Iain M. Banks' CultureA Memory Called Empire is a space opera debut that will reinvent the genre.

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation.

Malka Older is a humanitarian worker, a Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics, and has a PhD in governance and disasters. She has applied her experience in humanitarian aid to her three novels, including Infomacracy, in The Centenal Cycle. The New York Times praised her books, saying "Futurists and politics geeks will love this unreservedly." NPR called them "kinetic and gripping."

Arkady Martine is an historian of the Byzantine Empire and writer. She has advanced degrees in Byzantine History and Classical Armenian, and works as a city planner. Her highly anticipated novel,  A Memory Called Empire has received praise from Ann Leckie ("Perfectly balances action and intrigue with matters of empire and identity..."), Charlie Jane Anders ("Super fun and ultrafascinating...") and Malka Older ("Daring, beautiful, immersive, and often profound.").

600 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

This event is FREE and open to all. Let us know you’re coming on Facebook.

Earlier Event: March 13
Alma Katsu: The Hunger
Later Event: April 5
Box Brown: Cannabis