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In a not too distant future, Zola, exiled to a remote island, surrounded by airborne electronic devices, receives a package… So begins the recently published novel Dronikus, by Maleny author Marko Newman (pictured).

It is an adventure story which follows Zola as he moves through a world in chaos – one where anti-government protestors are met with fierce reprisals from robotic security forces, masses of climate refugees sleep on city pavements, rainstorms flood the streets and, everywhere, these AI-driven devices, the dronikus, patrol. 

Eventually Zola is forced to confront his brothers who control an immensely powerful family corporation. They are genetically engineering future generations of the privileged, creating super-humans who can survive the cataclysm. 

Zola connects with communities that are resisting the powerful malign forces led by his brothers, leading to a David and Goliath dramatic finale. 

Dronikus is a fast-paced yarn, unfolding in a world that is so familiar, a world of love and hope, of pain and sorrow, peopled by heroes and villains. By imagining a future just beyond the horizon, the novel evokes questions and choices that are all too present in our minds today. It’s an exciting, thought-provoking read.

Marko has lived in the hinterland for more than a decade, having come to Australia from South Africa in the early 2000s. For much of this time he worked as a film-maker and curator at the Ration Shed Museum in the Cherbourg Aboriginal Community. He is now a full time writer. 

Dronikus is available locally at Rosetta Books in Maleny and online at



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