WHEN NEIGHBOURS COME TO STAY
250 years in the future, Australia’s small densely populated neighbouring country Bhakaria could cast envious eyes on large and sparsely populated Australia. Martin Knox has written a speculative fiction novel The Grass Is Always Browner.
Immigration is discouraged by Australia’s harsh climate and by strict border controls. Nevertheless, workers enter and a religion Yamism grows, with a majority of Australians becoming followers.
The nation has suffered severe droughts and famines, dispersing city populations for self-sufficiency. Low-lying areas are flooded by rising sea levels.
The story follows the epic rise of the Yabras, an indigenous family who become a dynasty ruling democratically with science.
Will Prime Minister Abajoe be able to limit immigration, end religious conflict, prevent civil war and maintain peaceful relations with Bhakaria? Siti, a feisty Bhakarian woman activist, becomes his partner.
The story continues through 50 years, with dystopian realism and rearrangement of the institutional furniture to accommodate future Australian society, trending now.
Abajoe leads his people to avert conflict, copying strategies that worked for historic statesmen: Chiang Kaishek, Mandela, Ghandi, De Valera and Parnell. Will he be able to create lasting peace?
The book is 462 pages of relevant content, delivered with page turning at a brisk pace.
Available: Amazon. See reviews: martinknox.com
AUSTRALIAN DISTANT FUTURE
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
UNKIND PUBLIC DEMONSTRATED
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.
AN AUSTRALIAN 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.