Home » Fiction » #11057
Asked by p_reilly on Mon 18, Jun 2012 01:08pm :
Ran across this book around 2005. Australia is unihabitable, and I think
the permanent population either evacuated or was killed off long before,
but now you're able to sign up and go for a sort of survivalist trek across
Anyway, I think the catch is that it's government-controlled, and the
people they allow to go are ones they don't want to come back. So
basically they're attracting misfits, loners, etc., and just leaving them
in Australia to die.
Along the way, they also run into some colonies of prisoners that were
dumped there too, so they have to fight them off.
Really thought this was called "Going Home" or something like that, but
can't seem to find it.
Answer by admin on Tue 19, Jun 2012 12:03am:
The book is "Getting Back" (1999) by William Dietrich.
"Getting Back" is available from Amazon.com:
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Various descriptions of the book:
"Stifled and frustrated by company policy, Daniel jumps at the chance to go
on a wilderness challenge in the Australian Outback. However, when he
arrives he realises that the corporation does not intend for him to survive
"It's the late 21st century and all's right with the world, which is
exactly what's driving Daniel Dyson nuts. Unemployment, hunger, war, are
all in the past since mass privatization has revolutionized the quality of
life and the entire planet is now run by the ultra-efficient United
Corporations, a single entity with a name that speaks for itself. Dyson
loathes his drone-filled office in the Pacific Northwest, and the feeling
is mutual. He resorts to small acts of sabotage for minor thrills until he
encounters beautiful and dangerous Raven, who tells him about Outback
Adventure--an updated Outward Bound. The program drops city dwellers into
an Australia recently depopulated by a bio-engineered plague, where they
begin a survival trek to a pick-up spot on the coast. Dyson meets other
malcontents during the brief training period and joins a trio of quirky
misfits who are all seeking freedom and adventure. What they don't know is
that Australia is actually a penal colony without jails, a la Escape from
New York. Prisoners and the problem-citizen "tourists" are drugged,
abandoned in different areas and left to fend for themselves. Dietrich (Ice
Reich) pits the new arrivals against the criminals in a battle of wits that
highlights the joys of discovery and the zest for life that wilderness can
inspire. The novel's centerpiece is a terrific battle, with Dyson and his
group defending an abandoned skyscraper against the onslaught of a
prisoner-rigged siege tower, using desks and files as projectiles and auto
parts as armor."
"The main entity: "United Corporations' the universal employer and de-facto
government does however have a problem (issue - there are no problems) in
that the remaining 76/100th of folks are not happy.
Daniel Dyson is one of the not happy. As is Tucker, Amaya and Ico and a few
others even one who does not know she is unhappy (Raven).
UC gives the the chance to change all that. Pay a years salary and get the
adventure of a lifetime where the ultimate chalenge is to survive. After
which you will of course be one of the "elite".
Trek to Australia and try to live long enough to get back out again. Just
make to to the Exodis Point, we will be ther waiting for you.
Not to worry - the bioengineered plague that wiped out the population of
"down under" is gone, all you need now are your wits and whatver you can
carry on your back.
"A strange mix of post-apocalyptic survival tale and dystopian satire on
corporate excess it doesn't really work on any front. The
survival-against-the-elements part feels wholly derivative; from the
Australian outback setting to the challenges characters are confronted by
it all feels like a weak rehash of a Mad Max movie or any other near-future
survivalist tale. Equally the satirical elements don't go anywhere new or
fresh. The 'giant corporations take over the world and turn people into
drones' idea has been done numerous times before, better and far more
"Getting Back is a futuristic thriller, an eco-fable with a touch of
'Survivor,' Mad Max, and Avatar. The world's population has doubled.
Wilderness exists only in old movies. Every region on Earth has been
explored, organized, and tamed. But in this brave new age one secret
organization promises the most forbidden pleasure of all: a true outdoor
adventure. The price is a year's salary. The destination is a continent
that disease has put off-limits. And the catch is that on this expedition,
you may never return...
In the belly of a shimmering 21st Century pyramid, Daniel Dyson occupies
Cubicle 17 and fantasizes about love and escape. By day he pursues petty
ways to subvert his overly programmed life. By night he flirts with a
shadowy group that dares him to rebel and reclaim his autonomy. Then he
stumbles onto Outback Adventure.
Outback doesn't advertise and keeps its Internet site heavily encyrpted.
Yet Daniel, partly to seek deeper meaning in his life, partly to find a
woman who doesn't want to be found, soon finds himself taking a perilous
trek across the forbidden continent of Australia. There, Outback has
promised he will find out what it means to be truly alive, to test his
limits, and to understand real survival. What he and his two dozen fellow
adventurers don't know is that all their high-tech gear and all their plans
haven't prepared them for what lies ahead."