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​Lavington science fiction author creates Maxwell Empire series

Janet Howie

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INVENTION: Maxwell Partington, of Lavington, uses calculations to add weight to his science fiction. "It's fantastic, what you can think of," he says. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

All work is done by robots, but humans are still paid so they can do whatever they want, travel, sports or even a job if preferred.

There is one World Government and religion is banned.

Such is the background to a series of books written by Lavington's Maxwell Partington as he creates a reality that is fiction but grounded in his ideas for the future.

The Maxwell Empire books, available online and in Lavington's By The Book, have been written in the past year but their origins date back two decades.

Then Partington created plays for English language classes he taught in South Korea, so students could practise following dialogue and saying their lines at the correct time.

This format has been retained in book form.

"COVID-19 meant young people were isolated physically, but not electronically, hence with the books being written as two-person plays, they countered isolation," the writer said.

Now retired, Partington, 77, has worked as a physics and science teacher, farmer, tour operator, milkman and website designer and also lived in Thailand, Nigeria and China.

Better access to health services encouraged him to return to Australia about 10 years ago and settle on the Border.

He admits with a grin the books contain "all Maxwell's prejudices".

"Much too many humans," he said.

In his version of 4576, the world has only two billion people, humans and animals are valued equally and all characters agree the world used to be overpopulated.

Robots are taking the DNA of all Earth species to other planets to repopulate.

"I figured out if you wanted to send humans as human, and cows and dogs and cats and various other things, you'd need a spaceship from the Murray to Melbourne long and Bendigo to Bright wide," the author said.

Family experience of dementia made Partington keen to keep his mind active.

"Just letting your brain not do anything is really not good in my opinion, this is why writing the books is good," he said.

"My idea is that they can go on forever."

The Maxwell in the title actually refers to his character Julius Maxwell, the founder of World Government.

"It was a really bad choice because when you say 'Maxwell Empire' and you Google it, Robert Maxwell comes up," Partington laughed.




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