My Books

The Frustrated State: How terrible tech policy is deterring digital Australia

Publication date: September, 2017

Australia is currently facing an unprecedented wave of change driven almost entirely by highly disruptive technological innovation.

The incredible growth of the Internet has spawned a huge clutch of start-up companies which are challenging the basic operation of every business model. New technologies are flooding into Australia and revolutionising the way we live our everyday lives. Successfully managing this change has emerged as one of the biggest issues in our lifetimes.

And Australia’s political leaders and policymakers are getting it completely wrong.

The past decade of technology policy development and implementation by the political sector has been catastrophic for all concerned.

The broadband sector is in chaotic disarray, following a decade of poisonous political warfare on how best to upgrade Telstra’s ageing copper network. Australia’s video game development industry has virtually collapsed; our most successful IT startups are deserting our shores in droves; our Internet is now comprehensively controlled and monitored by law enforcement, and our emerging renewable energy sector has just been handed a death notice.

And let’s not even get into the billions being wasted on failed government IT projects.

The Frustrated State will be the first in-depth examination of how Australia’s political sector is systematically mismanaging technological change and crushing hopes that the nation will ever take its rightful place globally as a digital powerhouse and home of innovation.

It will also humbly offer a few basic suggestions to resolve the situation.

No Brother

Publication date: September, 2017

No Brother is a story told in two halves.

In the first, a small group of highly trained martial artists keep watch over the darkly glistening towers of a near-future city of Sydney. The discovery of new technology has unlocked the heights and made nuclear weapons irrelevant. But it has also placed remarkable power in the hands of a tiny elite, subject to all of humanity’s frailties and desires. And power has no loyalties; only uses …

In the second, a decade earlier, some of the same characters grapple with the trials of youth in their migration to the same metropolis. Early adulthood is a time when young men are bound tightly to each other by hard-won ties of brotherhood. But other forces swim in the same murky seas, and all bonds must be tested.

No Brother is a meditation on power from one who has studied it up close for more than a decade. It is a coming of age story from a young writer who left a remote community to come to Australia’s largest city in his late teens. And it’s a striking vision of a possible future where the extreme discipline of martial artists intersects with radical technological change.