In today's world, author James Bradley has come to realise some of his futuristic themes really aren't so far-fetched.
"The sense that reality is kind of outpacing the fiction that you're writing is really disconcerting," he told The Border Mail on Monday.
Bradley will discuss his latest novel Ghost Species on Thursday, July 30, as part of Future Tense, an online event to launch the 2020 Write Around The Murray festival program.
The Sydney writer will be joined by fellow author Lucy Treloar (Wolfe Island) from 6pm in a talk led by regular festival contributor Jason Steger.
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Ghost Species, Bradley's fifth novel, is set in Tasmania in the near future and centres on a secret project to resurrect Neanderthals.
"It's about extinction and de-extinction, loss and love, climate catastrophe and collapse," the author said.
The book was written, edited and published against the background of his parents' deaths, the summer bushfires and now the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Given present challenges, remaining realistic but not overwhelmed is a goal.
"The greatest kind of antidote to despair is action, do something," Bradley said.
"It seems to me that this kind of nebulous idea of hope is not much use.
"What we need is to be actually working to make things better, working to make change and that's where you actually find hope."
- writearoundthemurray.org.au for more details