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THE GRASS IS ALWAYS BROWNER

This speculative fiction novel begins 250 years in the future when Australia is governed by the Yabras, an indigenous dynasty. Abajoe, 21, lives with family members in an empty apartment building in deserted Meanjin, the state capital city evacuated after famine and flooded by risen sea level. He grows food hydroponically and experiments with hybrid meat animals, half rabbit and half possum, to discover population limits by dynamic modelling under harsh Australian conditions, with grass always browned by drought. His findings influence immigration policy and relations with Bhakaria, a crowded neighbouring nation with territorial ambitions. The epic story follows his life and loves as Prime Minister in a culturally divided nation, surviving by insurrection and forging a new future for all the people from experience of sectarian conflict in history.

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FUTURE OF THE PASTORAL IDYLL

In 1995 Theodore Kaczynski wrote Industrial Society and Its Future in which he proposed overthrowing the economic and technological basis of the present society. His reasoning was that individuals had become over-socialised, pursued false goals and lacked autonomy. Scientists and technologists were culpable of pursuing surrogate goals and marched on blindly regardless of the welfare of the human race. His evidence of the failure of the industrial system is leftism, which he regards as a symptom of the disruption of the power process. His solution after revolution is to disperse technologies and organisations, with most people accepting hardships to live idyllically close to nature, feeding themselves as peasants, herdsmen, fishermen or hunters. His paper is available on the Internet.

My novel The Grass Is Always Browner (2011) tells a different epic fictional political thriller of several generations of a people, beginning in the year 2237, based on current technological trends, including climate change. Independently of the Kaczynski analysis, industrial society collapses after famine and coastal flooding, with the population dispersing from urban centres to grow their own food and self-sustain on acreages. Political organisation is led by a dynasty of Aboriginal people, who arbitrate in religious conflict between the descendants of European settlers and immigrants from Asian countries.

Both works forecast attempts by ordinary people to regain the idyllic state of nature idealised by the Romantic poets and later by hippies. To reach it, dystopian transition conditions could be necessary. However, lives could be improved by it and this story enables us to consider modifying the direction of technological development or even rejecting it.

The Grass Is Always Browner is on Amazon. Further information: https://martinknox.com

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