Writer, Reader, Winter Swimmer
When the ageing, guilt-ridden leader of a radical post-apocalyptic sea colony changes his mind about saving humanity, he must escape the living hell he’s created and start life somewhere else.
DOVIE SWIFT watches people die. He is the leader of a seastead colony, once called StarSeed, floating in waters off the east coast of Tasmania. He sits by the bedside of his dying cousin LEDA and reflects on why he settled offshore, how the colony changed over the decades, and the deliberate splintering of family, liberal values, and old moral codes after the First Collapse in the 2050s.
A new world of climate catastrophe and political instability demands we imagine our future with fresh eyes and unfamiliar tools. 2084 is one such depiction. It is born of urgency and passion; a compelling need to make friends with uncertainty.
StarSeed, a seastead off the coast of Tasmania founded by entrepreneurs and environmental activists, is now a prison under a bio-centric dictatorship. Most people are sterile. Markers such as ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation are no longer divisive, as they once were onshore. In this alternative society, complex acts of supreme loyalty are the sole measure of survival.
See my Obituary Writing Site at www.livelifetwice.com
I was born in Sydney on the same day as my sister, eight years apart.
I’ve been a university tutor, co-owned bookshops and cafes (Sappho Books and Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore)
and have a Bachelor of Communications (Hons) and a Doctorate (DCA), from the University
of Technology, Sydney.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with melanoma, with my sister dying of the same cancer the
following year to the month. This has strengthened my resolve to live each moment fully.
My first novel, THE GLASS HEART (HarperCollins, 2000), was also published in Greece by
Govostis Press. I travelled numerous times to Armenia, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to
research my next novel, BONE ASH SKY (Hardie Grant, 2013, Aust/NZ/UK, Govostis, GREECE, 2016) which I began with
the aid of an Australia Council grant and residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in
Ireland. A previous version of BONE ASH SKY was shortlisted for the ‘Writing Australia’
Unpublished Manuscript Award. My novella INTIMATE DISTANCE (Text, 2012) was one of the
winners of the Griffith Review/CAL Novella Prize. My new novella, ZORBA THE BUDDHA, is runner-up in the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award and published by Spineless Wonders, with an audio-drama coming soon, featuring award-winning actor Vaishnav Suryaprakash.
I’ve written prize-winning short stories, featured in poetry and prose anthologies and my journalism has been published in The Independent, Al-Jazeera, The SMH, The Age, The Australian,
SBS Voices, Daily Life, HuffPost, The Big Issue, ISLAND, Audrey Magazine,
Dumbo Feather and Australian Author. My work has been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Italian.
I write obituaries and have been co-judging the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Award for Literature since 2014 as well as the Australia reMADE Poetry Competition in 2019.
I live in Queensland’s Noosa hinterland, on acreage surrounded by National Park, lakes, rivers and my beloved ocean.
When I write my only concern is accuracy. I try to write accurately from the poise of mind which lets us see that things are exactly what they seem. I never worry about beauty, if it's accurate there's always beauty. I never worry about form, if it is accurate there's always form.
Ring of Bone