Speculating reality: a review of Claire Coleman’s "Terra Nullius"

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Samantha Lejeune


Fiction has the power to show the reality of people’s experiences and spark emotion in those who read it. Speculative fiction especially has been used to observe our political and cultural climate and project an image of what is possible, even probable, through speculating about worlds that are unlike our own reality. My shelf is filled with speculative dystopian novels; George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, exploring surveillance and censorship in an authoritarian State, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, studying conservative approaches that tyrannize women. Terra Nullius, written by Wirlomin Noongar woman, Claire Coleman, sits beside these classics in its own right, detailing the dystopia generated by colonialism in Australia.

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Lejeune, S. (2020). Speculating reality: a review of Claire Coleman’s "Terra Nullius". NEW: Emerging Scholars in Australian Indigenous Studies, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.5130/nesais.v5i1.1578