Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson
Daughter of Bad Times is set in the not-so-distant future, where rising sea levels have begun to swallow entire islands. Levee walls are built around cities that can afford it – those that can’t are relocated as refugees. Rin Braden was devasted after the death of her lover Yamaan, but everything changes when she discovers him miraculously alive in Eaglehawk Migrant Training Centre. Eaglehawk, situated in Tasmania, is the way corporations get to clean up the image of immigration detention centres and create a secondary revenue stream by using the migrants for labour in their factories. Here, they are reduced to a binary state of sleep, work, sleep, work until they work back the cost of their detention and earn a place in the outside communities.
Rin’s mother is CEO of the company that runs Eaglehawk and offers exit strategies for drowning countries. Rin lives her life, as heiress to this company, under the expectations of the wealthy, those of class, and her mother. When Rin decides to finally fight for her relationship with Yamaan, she undertakes a difficult path to prove to her mother, society, and to Yamaan himself that they can work. The fight is not for Yamaan alone, but for who Rin really wants to be in a world full of corruption and empty of humanity.
Daughter of Bad Times is a view to a dystopian future that is already creeping upon our doorstep. It shows a world where corporate influence on government, corruption and greed find a response to environmental refugees. It is a warning about what will happen if profit becomes the priority and compassion gets left by the wayside. The near-slavery conditions of these ‘futuristic’ immigration detention centres are excluded from the labour laws of the countries they operate in – which hits closer to home than the future is.