Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman

Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman

Terra Nullius is the debut novel from Claire G Coleman, which explores an Australia being invaded by an alien from faraway lands. But this isn’t the story of Australia’s past. This is its future.

Despite branching into science fiction, the parallels to Australia’s history are obvious, and in using language familiar to our history, Coleman explores the gaping cultural divide and misunderstanding of our ancestors anew. Dealing with a topic often ignored is a delicate operation, but in removing it from history and placing it into the future Coleman highlights the absurdities (and cruelty afresh) of invading new lands and enslaving or killing off its people.

Coleman is generous enough to give the invaders a voice in this book, and even illustrate the differences of opinion within them. Offering the perspective of the invaders allows readers to see their ignorance, even if they cannot wholly forgive them for it. But the desperation of the invaded is clear, and a stark reminder that while the invaders have moral decisions to make, the invaded are stripped of any power—their options are to give in or to give up.

Terra Nullius deals with important themes, but Coleman makes the story accessible, and broadly empathetic. Coleman’s perspective is clear, but this is a book of hope for the future, more than revenge for the past. Settling into Australian literature as a story of identity within the land, Terra Nullius illustrates not just the individuals who make up Australia, but the fighting spirit ingrained in the land itself. 



View More Recommendations

Back to Home Page