Sneak peek at new Australian dystopian novel, Days Like This by Alison Stewart

Dystopian novels are certainly on the rise at the moment particularly those aimed at Young Adults. Penguin are publishing several dystopian novels in 2011, but are particularly excited about Days Like This by Alison Stewart, a cautionary dystopian tale set in a walled, futuristic Sydney that has been devastated by global warming. Firstly because it is set in Australia and also because this novel was runner-up in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which is a huge accolade for author Alison Stewart.

Enjoy this sneak peek at the blurb, cover and extract. . .

I want to go back to the days when life made sense. The days before our parents became strange; before the warming ate away at all the living things in the world; before The Committee and their Blacktroopers. Before the Wall.

Lily is a prisoner in her own home. Forced to stay inside by The Committee and guarded by their increasingly distant parents, Lily and her brother Daniel are beginning to ask why. Then, when Daniel disappears just before his seventeenth birthday, Lily knows she is next.

She has to escape.

But who else is out there?

And can anyone survive days like this?


Lily and Kieran broke free of the mass of people and sped along, swerving and skidding, navigating around the rubble. Kieran strained to keep them upright because the road bulged and shuddered. The people they passed looked terrified. Many covered their ears to try and block out the earth’s noise. The Wall, which swung in a tight semi-circle around Sydney’s exclusive water-view areas, had disappeared.

Now, a new tide of people scrambling away from the foreshore swept them up. Lily caught another glimpse of the Wall as the noise intensified and the ground shook more strongly. Kieran unexpectedly veered off in an odd direction, not straight for the Wall as he should have done. She opened her mouth to shout a question but then she saw something that silenced her. In the distance rose a fresh wall of water, far bigger than the first. It swirled and crashed between the trees and the houses, gathering a solid wedge of debris. People trapped within this vicious washing machine were tumbled and flung like rag dolls.

Kieran accelerated up a steep incline, away from the water that followed with its gruesome cargo. Worryingly, they were travelling back towards the open sea and the exposed southern headland of the harbour. Lily hoped Kieran knew what he was doing.

‘Run!’ she screamed to the people flashing past. ‘Run!’ but the clamour sucked away her voice. They knew what was coming because they ran with their bodies hunched over and their arms covering their heads. Twisting erratically, Kieran steered at such a speed, Lily’s head snapped back and forth. On and up they went, with the massive new wave closing in fast behind them.

Days Like This will be published on 1 August 2011.


A fantastic, home-grown dystopian novel that should prove popular with teachers as well as students.

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