The Grass is Always Browner is a fiction story by Martin Knox, author. Australia 250 years in the future is governed by an Indigenous dynasty, within a kinder and more scientific version of the current Westminster system of democracy. Youthful Abajoe is renowned for sharing his resources with others and eventually becomes Prime Minister. The story extrapolates trends from the early 21st century.
The protagonist Abajoe and Paula, his friend, experiment with cross-bred rossits, part rabbit and part possum, to discover the dynamics of human reproduction in adjacent territories where food and water supply are variable. The purpose is to identify, from experiments with the rossit model, human population limits in the distant future.
Australia is secular whereas populous Bhakaria is a sectarian state with their religion Yamenism. The neighbours compete for living space and share resources with immigration and trade.
The religious divide is a source of epic political conflict and civil war. Abajoe walks with his people on a long march of civil disobedience. He survives 15 years of imprisonment and torture, but returns to public life as an Elder, with his wife Siti as Prime Minister bringing peace.
The story balances possible realities of disasters and conflict. The novel extrapolates trends from the early 21st century. It is ecumenical, apolitical and concerned with practical problems. The solutions are relevant today on a continent beset by uncertainties.
Available on Amazon: The Grass Is Always Browner By Martin Knox
Disciplining a minority could be motivated to validate an authority.
Philosopher Michel Foucault (1926 – 1984) in his book Discipline and Punish described punishment of offenders as changing from brutality done before a mob, which was both a deterrent and demonstration of tyrannical rule. Treatment of prisoners by brutal public spectacle was replaced by Bentham’s panopticon design (one was built at Port Arthur in 1858) which applied principles of surveillance, normalisation and evaluation to correction. Prisoners were subjected to silent, lonely psychological torture. Foucault’s thesis is that discipline methods reflected the wishes of the mob to be firmly ruled, but is that still true today?
Punishment has fewer adherents today and the public may be less vindictive. Is today’s treatment of prisoners sufficiently humane to discipline them for more positive roles? Hopefully suspended sentences, non-custodial detention, bonds, education, counselling, kindness and other methods are being used for more empathetic treatment. On the other hand, refusal by the majority to respect Indigenous people, by moving Australia Day from January 26th, also known as Invasion Day, to a less provocative day, could indicate little kindness in the general public. Disciplining of people humanely into the Australian culture may not be a reality for many years.
My novel The Grass is Always Browner is speculative fiction about Australia’s distant future.
The Grass Is Always Browner (2011) is a speculative fiction political thriller by Martin Knox.
Australia is the driest continent, with a population of 25 million. A thought experiment with a biological model predicts population 250 years in the future. The scenario has a secular Aboriginal prime minister, Abajoe, trying to stop sectarian conflict, civil insurrection and conflict with neighbours. He is in love with Siti, an Indonesian. Industry and the economy have collapsed following famine and a previously urban population has dispersed from coastal cities, to live on acreages for self-sufficiency. Cities are deserted and flooded by rising sea levels. The novel extrapolates credible future living conditions with sound science and innovation. This epic tale explores in detail a forecast of an arguably dystopian Australian future.
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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