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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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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:


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Voices of the Voiceless, from Baylor University Press, 2019, on Amazon, edited by Zoe Knox and Julie de Graffenried, is a valuable cache evidencing that the Soviet antireligious hegemony was prosecuted with cruel determination in many eastern countries and resisted by the faithful of many religions with great conviction and hardship. One-page documents reveal how antireligious governments not only forbade practice of religions, but demanded obeisance to the totalitarian atheism, as satirised in Orwell’s book 1984.

Evidence of persistent religious devotion, dissent, competition, extremism and martyrdom, is juxtaposed against evidence of official prejudice, ignorance, repression, persecution, destruction, illegality, greed, corruption and murder.

Voices of the Voiceless presents evidence of a heartless social experiment that failed harming millions of wholly innocent people. Most books seek to divert, amuse, chronicle, record, access, discuss, support, inform, expose, confront, shock or persuade. This book is different. The editors have cleverly separated the pieces for readers to reach their own conclusions.

Your conclusions from preview may be different to mine. To prompt you to check the evidence in this marvellous book, mine are that the Soviet anti-religion policy was considered necessary but its failure unexpected. It was prosecuted by malignant totalitarianism, not by toxic atheism. It was a failure of humanity as much as by religious intolerance.

The materials do not include conforming voices that may have been voiceless but had nothing to say. Atheism presumably proceeded in school science lessons without much objection. There is no indication how prevalent or minor was religious dissent overall. Was it so limited authorities didn’t acknowledge futility until the 1980s?

Soviet atheism and ultimately communism failed because they misconceived faiths could be suppressed. The atheists attempted to amputate a rich part of Russian culture, not just religious worship, but also Christian art, idealism, critical thinking and social reform. The Soviet authorities were ruthless and determined, as if religion could be excised from the mind like a dysfunctional growth from the body, when it has already metastasized. This wonderful book showed me that the Soviet anti-religion experiment could not succeed because individuals’ rights to their religion were deeply engraved on their psyches. When you check the evidence, your take might be different. I recommend this wonderful resource.

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