Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
Briohny Doyle is the author of the Cli-Fi novel The Island Will Sink, and the nonfiction book Adult Fantasy. She is a Lecturer in Creative Practice (writing and literature) at Deakin University.
The Island Will Sink
Briohny Doyle | Brow Books (2016) | ISBN: 9780994606808
In a not-too-distant future perpetually on the brink of collapse, catastrophe is our most popular entertainment.The energy crisis has come and gone. EcoLaw is enforced by insidious cartoon panda bears and their armies of viral-marketing children. The world watches as Pitcairn Island sinks into the Pacific, wondering if this, finally, will be the end of everything. Amongst it all, Max Galleon, anxious family man and blockbuster auteur, lives a life that he cannot remember._____Max Galleon is an immersion director. Immersions involve hypnotic suggestion and sensory stimulation. His brother, Tom, becomes involved in a cult that takes hypnotics and hallucinogens. This cult is being helped by Dr Gabrielle Stern, who is investigating a new form of mass consciousness. Tom makes contact with Max, and Max becomes interested in the cult, joining them in their unified state. But something goes wrong. The cult members die, except Max, Tom, and Gabrielle. Tom is left in a coma. Gabrielle eventually dies.At some point while Tom was still in a coma, Max outsourced his memory to the cloud. This happened after the Sleeper Cult Catastrophe, as Jonas seems to believe he could see Tom in real life, yet he was born after Max's operation.Ellie Galleon, unhappy with her husband, initiates a radical therapy. She suspects something of Max and Tom's involvement with the cult, and engages a research program incorporating the digitised mind of Gabrielle. Using the ability to directly manipulate Max's memories as well as immersion technology, they generate a scenario where Tom is being treated by Gabrielle. Enlisting Max in her treatment, Gabrielle also starts an affair with Max. Once the curtain is lifted, Max is able to make peace with his past.
Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
This is the third in a series of posts by scholars who attended the Anthropocene Campus Melbourne, an event hosted in September by Deakin University as part of the larger Anthropocene Curriculum project. Over the four days of the Campus, 110 participants from 49 universities (plus several art institutions and museums) attended keynotes, art exhibits, fieldtrips, and workshops based around the theme of ‘the elemental’.
Earlier this year, at the Emerging Writers Festival panel on ‘Writing the Anthropocene’, I was asked if I thought that, in imagining a future world for my 2016 novel The Island Will Sink, I also had an ethical responsibility to ‘get it right’. The question was asked by a writer who also worked as a sustainability officer in community organisations. It led to more uncomfortable questions: As a writer of fiction, is it a problem to use the predicted extinctions and environmental catastrophes of the not too distant future to produce (amongst other things) stakes in a literary production? (more…)