A tiny tropical paradise off the coast of Australia, Norfolk Island is notoriously laid-back, its inhabitants friendly and independent-minded. They have to be—with no defences and no way to get immediate assistance from the mainland, Norfolk’s population learned to be self-reliant.
When the first boats of refugees arrive, the island welcomes them, offering food, clothing, and shelter. Then more boats arrive, followed by even more…overwhelming the islanders’ abilities to provide assistance. Outnumbered by desperate refugees, the inhabitants appeal to the distant Australian government for help.
When the government finally responds to the crisis, it does so by demanding all refugees relocate to a processing facility in Papua New Guinea. Unwilling to leave and risk their newfound security, the refugees take control of the island, destroying communication systems and seizing the airport.
What began as a desperate search for asylum has become an incursion—an invasion Norfolk’s population has no way to combat. They are on their own.
Chillingly plausible, Norfolk imagines a conflict between nations and refugees that could well come to pass, where a genuine need for asylum devolves into aggression and terrorism.