Plot Summary

  • Steffens presents Australia, the late-discovered, isolated continent. Long isolation preserved huge mineral wealth and produced stunning biological diversity, with quirky oddities such as the marsupials and platypus. Humans arrived 50,000 years ago. They lacked boat building techniques but probably made use of an ice age. The population, even counting the 'recent' Western majority, is relatively small, most of the flat surface remaining (semi-)desert for lack of rain-capturing mountain ranges except in the east. Sea life is even richer and rare, especially in the world's vastest Great Barrier Reef. It's a crucial coast protection but under threat from climate change and farming-caused erosion and fertilizer. Ill-considered species importation caused disasters on land. Climate change already spells massive disasters, from drought and floods to crocodile expansion. The largest neighboring island, jungle-covered mountainous New Guinea, is very different, with a matching mix of Melanesian tribal cultures.

    - Written by KGF Vissers


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