Ever wondered what it’s like to feel so strongly about an issue that you’ll go to jail for it? This novel, based on real-life environmental blockades but set within a humorous sci-fi universe, is a journey to the centre of nonviolent civil disobedience by an author who has been there repeatedly over decades. In a hilarious romp through the universe we meet eco-pirates, space heroines, Indigenous people and farmers united against corporate greed, corrupt governments and environmental destruction. With our world plagued by wars and global warming, its insights into the possibilities of nonviolence action bring hope and inspiration. With incisive social/political commentary, witty dialogue and some laugh-out-loud moments, it’s ultimately a love story: love for each other, for place and for doing what you believe in. It’s been described as ‘a masterpiece’, ‘a clever critique of contemporary issues’, ‘terrific stuff’ and ‘very very funny’. So stick out your thumb, strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride.
Said about Locked On!
Marty Branagan’s Locked On is a rip-roaring, rollicking rip-off of the venerable Douglas Adams universe–and all the froodier for it. Adams was anything but precious and actively encouraged fanfic. If the Hitchhiker’s author chose such an in-venerable, vulnerable stance for his opus, what more fitting way for a pen-hungry fan to tenderly manhandle it than with an ode to non-violent demonstration?
Branagan, apparently no stranger to the songs, campfires and occasional rubber bullets of peace protests, lets his activist credentials shine. The novel toys joyfully with Adamsian tropes, building to a fantastically silly crescendo of sci-fi intertextuality. Yet while it does this aptly it is also, quietly, a detailed cross-section of the forces at play during a mass nonviolent action. Meanwhile, it fits in more one-liners than Oscar Wilde’s deathbed and even manages a romantic intrigue or two. You might learn something–you’ll hardly even notice.
– Edward Allnutt