Looking for something beach-worthy with a diplomatic twist? How about reading Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds?
Why you’d want to give this to a teen: In this futurist game of Diplomacy, Africa wins. A (mostly utopian) vision of Earth in the future.
Excerpt: “For all that Eunice’s death hit the family hard, it wasn’t long before she was shunted from the headlines. A simmering sex/vote-rigging scandal in the Pan-African Parliament, a dispute between the East African Federation and the African Union about cost overruns on a groundwater bioremediation programme in former Uganda, a stand-off between Chinese tecto-engineers and Turkish government mandarins concerning the precise scheduling of a stress-management earthquake along the North Anatolian fault. On the global scale, continued tensions between the United Surface Nations and the United Aquatic Nations regarding extradition rules and the extent of aug access rights and inter-regional Mechanism jurisdiction. Talk of expanding the scope of the Mandatory Enhancements. A murder attempt in Finland. Threat of industrial action at the Pontianak space elevator in western Borneo. Someone in Tasmania dying of a very rare type of cancer, something of a heroic achievement these days. Only at the household, only in this part of the East African Federation, had the clocks stopped.”