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This novel tells of a fictional couple’s journeys in idyllic careers, from a philosophical perspective.

Chance was a selfish entitled university student in Australia, having acquaintances but few loyal friends. Employed in Canada, he took risks and when they didn’t work out he gradually became more responsible. He was ambitious and his career emulated the Camel, Lion, Dragon and Child, told in an allegory by philosopher Nietzsche, in his novel Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883). Disillusioned with his job and wanting a child’s freedom to create, Chance quit his employer’s treadmill.

He became a physics researcher back in Australia and met Megan, an elite athlete and psychologist. They became partners. He helped her train using phenomenology, learned from philosopher Heidegger. He introduced her to Mihaly’s ‘flow’, a timeless psychological condition. Megan became self-coached and won a place on the Olympics squad. But her success with flow led to banning by nanny state officials, who wanted competitors to have equal success.

Megan and Chance are individualists who want to be virtuous. They study various philosophies and pursue free competition, abjuring collectivism. When they catch Covid, will they conform to quarantine and vaccination demands?

The story is speculative fiction, that exposes how their individual freedom is vulnerable to trends in athletics, ballet, sport, academia, media and capitalism, as described by Debord, in his book The Society of the Spectacle, 1967. After years of irresponsibility, they commit to living like scrub turkeys, with freedom and independence.

They avoid living like bees, conditioned for lives of work and dependence, without sex.

Turkeys Not Bees is available on Amazon. For reviews see


I am releasing my new fiction novel: Turkeys Not Bees. It explores a near future of capitalism and totalitarianism controlling human evolution.

The story tells how two young people take on the establishment when their sport and then their health are threatened by emerging totalitarian control. 

Chance wants to apply his physics training in his job and resists being coerced to run in the hamster wheel of meaningless work and futile consumption. Analogous to Nietzsche’s camel, lion and child, he wants autonomy. Returning to university he meets a champion athlete also doing a PhD, in psychology. He encourages her to coach herself and with Heidegger’s phenomenology she investigates her lived experience of pole vaulting. She improves using Mihaly’s ‘flow’, a psychological condition of optimal achievement.

The Athletics Association, pursuing a policy of levelling outcomes for profit, ban her from using flow. The couple resist. 

At the Olympic Games they both catch Covid. The subsequent restrictions on them are oppressive and they join with others in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience.

Reviewed by

David P Jones – Philosophy Student

August 12th 2022

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