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Terra Nullius

by Clare G. Coleman

An uncomfortable but very relevant novel with a vision of the future that hit me right in the face. A race of aliens with reptile-like features, but not very different from us, colonises the earth.Their methods are reminiscent of the colonisation of Australia by the Europeans: they kill entire tribes and steal children to use as slaves. Jacky, kidnapped as a child and escaping from his terrible life, I found especially touching and brave.

Extract

Stumbling over slippery branches, sharp rocks and fallen trees, almost invisible in the darkness, he tried his best to run for it. Half running and half crawling, stumbling and repeatedly falling he scrambled as deep into the woods as he could. The moon went into the clouds again and in the darkness he fell and fell again. He tripped, tripped and tumbled, in the end he crawled, it was too dark even to walk. On hands and knees he crawled under a low scrub, into a scratchy dry thicket, tearing his skin on sharp twigs and thorns that had already torn their way into his clothes.
Pulling his kitchen knife out of his pocket he removed the scraps of cloth he had wrapped around the blade to stop him cutting himself. His empty stomach growled its complaints in the silence; it would be a help in staying awake, watching and listening for the inevitable searchers. Not that there was anything to eat even if he wanted to.
Just before he fell into darkness, he remembered: he had forgotten his shoes.

Parallels

The Handmaid's Tale by Margareth Atwood
Benang by Kim Scott
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara
 

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