Malka Older is a writer, sociologist, and aid worker. She is currently a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, where she teaches on the humanitarian-development spectrum and on predictive fictions, a lecturer in the genre fiction MFA program at Western Colorado University, and an Associate Researcher at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations. She has spoken at venues such as SXSW, the Personal Democracy Forum, the FWD50 conference, and the Hamburg International Summer Festival on topics including democracy, data, narrative disorder, and speculative resistance.

Her  science-fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post. She is also the author of the sequels, Null States (2017) and State Tectonics (2018), and the full trilogy was nominated for a Hugo Award. She is also the creator of the serial Ninth Step Station and lead writer for the licensed sequel to Orphan Black, both currently running on Realm. Her short story and poetry collection And Other Disasters came out in late 2019. Her short fiction and poetry can be found at WIRED, Future Tense, Leveler, Sundog Lit, Reservoir Lit, Inkscrawl, Rogue Agent,, Fireside Fiction, and others. She has written opinion pieces for the New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and NBC Think.

She has more a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development, ranging from field level experience as a Head of Office in Darfur to supporting global programs and agency-wide strategy as a disaster risk reduction technical specialist. In between she has designed and implemented economic development initiatives in post-disaster context; supervised a large and diverse portfolio as Director of Programs in Indonesia, and responded to complex emergencies and natural disasters in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Darfur, Indonesia, Japan, and Mali, in the last three as Team Leader.

Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at the Institut d’Études Politques de Paris (Sciences Po), completed in 2019, explored the dynamics of organizational improvisation during disaster response using the cases of Hurricane Katrina and the Japan tsunami of 2011. She has an undergraduate degree in literature from Harvard and a Masters in international relations and economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Johns Hopkins University.

She was named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, and has conducted research for the French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) on the human and organizational factors involved in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi crisis. She has published on the paradox of well-funded humanitarian responses; the securitization of disaster response in the United States; and the effects of competition among actors in humanitarian aid, among other topics.


27 thoughts on “About

  1. Would you be willing to do an interview? I’m an MFA student and published writer, and I loved your book and would like to talk to you about it and how it relates to politics in our time. (Couldn’t find your contact elsewhere, so I contacted you here.) Let me know, and I’ll reach out to publications!


  2. Hi, Malka,

    I too couldn’t find your email address anywhere so I’m posting here. Please write back so I can send you an invitation to EATING AUTHORS.




  3. Hi! Would you be up for an e-mail interview on Infomocracy and imagining alternatives to the nation state? I’m a Finnish freelance journalist, and as Finland is celebrating 100 years as an independent I figured we could use your insights on how to move forward. You can reach me at the email address provided if you’re interested or have any questions.

    Best regards,



  4. Hi Malka, we are looking for good / new science fiction. If you have not given away the rights for publication in Germany, German translation, maybe you could contact us. If that’s already done, sorry to bother you


  5. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how Information was formed. Was it the dissolution of the UN or the ICJ? If you’ve published anything on Information-like institutions outside the books, please share!


  6. Hi Malka,
    Thanks for the books.
    I’m reading State Tectonics now and thoroughly enjoying it. So far. nothing seems misrepresented! Stay well. Mindfully yours, Ellen Langer


  7. Having dismissed your site’s “newsletter” pop-up I can’t seem to find it again. I could probably just quit and reload the browser but I’m thinking it should be on this page.


    1. Sorry about that! I am still figuring it out myself (I tried to add a popup to my facebook author page as well, but I haven’t had confirmation that works). I will try to build something more robust in, but in the meantime I’ve added you manually to the list. Let me know if you don’t get a welcome email in a day or so!


  8. Your NYT Oped today (24 October) was terrific. I’m sending it to everyone to whom I’ve ever started a conversation with ” The US is NOT a democracy … ” Thanks,
    Jim Gaynor


  9. like so many people in the world I’m sure, I really enjoyed your New York Times article today. The way it ended reminded me of one of the major themes of Machiavelli’s discourses on Livy, an amazing book about republican democracy, if you haven’t read it recently. The three things that a republic needs to do to survive: 1, have an effective way to manage conflict between rich and poor. 2, have such a deep dedication to rule of law that no person is above the law. 3, be willing to change and add new laws to its government in order to meet changing circumstances.

    Keep up the great work!


  10. Dear Ms. Older

    My name is Ehud Maimon, I’m short fiction editor from Israel and I talk and write SFF. I’m working on a lecture that deals with the Centenal Cycle and would like to ask you a coupe of questions. I’d be regretful if you could write me, at the email I provided. Sorry to do it this way, but I didn’t find a contact.

    Thank you very much.


  11. Hi Dr. Older – I’m an adjunct instructor at Carnegie Mellon running a class on Ethics and Robotics. We’re currently looking for guest lecturers right now who can speak around the role of fiction and futuring in technology ethics and we’d be glad if you’re interested to help us on the matter!

    We can’t locate your contact details – I hope this is the best way to reach you.



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