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Welcome: Editorial: Greetings Jan 4th
**January Editorial to Come - Just back from travels today. Happy New Year to all our Readers
Christmas Carol Service at St James Minster. Ambitious solo of Ave Maria filled the rafters. Many parents videoing away at their loved ones. Anyone noticed how tortuous those words are to the carols we can barely sing anymore?
Ah well only once a year at least. For more on Christmas see James Campion's Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge...
Been reading an article about George Holtz on Bloomberg about his research and practical development of the self-drive car (A Honda in his case). At first one reads this as an essay in how a genius hacker want to take on Tesla and make the best self-driving system in the world with intuitive AI - but as the long interview goes on you realise he is that guy who invents the robotic hand in Terminator! Yes the guy that leads to world domination of evil machines who crush mankind. OK, you say, self-driving car, that's the future and given how boring it is to drive in the USA it can only be an improvement. Holtz should try his car on Lincolnshire Roads in the UK and all the 90 degree bends. Funny to think LA is to impose a driver at the wheel of driverless cars to basically kill the concept. Why not a man with a red flag in front as it was 116 years ago?
But Holtz doesn't want to stop at AI cars, he thinks in ten years pretty much all the jobs are going to go over to AI and he wants to be the driving force behind it. Banks, Law, Education, Manufacturing, Food production, you name it, even Journalism (Fox News could only improve). In twenty years
all jobs will go and he thinks we will be 'liberated' from the drudgery of 'work'. He doesn't mention what then 8 Billion people will actually do with their time except sit at home and enjoy VR. Without 'jobs' people won't have homes. Won't have VR. Will have revolutions, starvation, chaos. And they'll be sleeping in self-drive cars that have nowhere to go.
Well Donald Trump sure knows how to make enemies. Does America really want the ENTIRE Islamic world on its back, not to mention a sizeable quantity already living within the USA? Has anyone done a cost analysis of what he is committed to? Let me see - The Great Mexican Wall that most certainly the Mexican won't be building themselves (unless it is to keep Americans out). The deportation of all Mexicans and Muslims and or containment thereof. (The USA rounded up all the Japanese and Germans in WW2 questioning their loyalties to the USA so there is a precedence). But essentially do people really want a fat mean mouthed bully to be President of the USA? Don't give him a chance to bankrupt the whole country. Don't give him oxygen. But then again his rival Cruz is hardly sane either. 330 Million people in the USA and no one with any economic or political sense to run the place? Scary. Amusing that President Putin has Trump as his pin-up on his locker though.
Some American stats to worry about:
Source: Shooting tracker, Gun Violence: numbers of gun incidents in the USA up to 3 December 2015
62 shootings at schools
12,223 + people killed in gun incidents
24,722+ people injured in gun incidents
I guess it's true what they say about gun control, 'Guns Control People'. Buy some more ammo for Christmas people, shoot that Commie Bastard Santa out of the sky before he makes anyone happy...
|Quite how we got to December alive amazes me. All the terrible things that have happened in Paris and elsewhere in the world thanks to IS (Daesh) are one thing, Turkey’s posturing in the aftermath of them shooting down a Russian warplane is another. Neither one of them seem to be actually shooting at Daesh, but only at those who oppose Assad or in Turkey's case killing Kurds, the only people on the ground actually dealing with Daesh criminals face to face. Obviously Turkey has been selling the stolen oil from Syria (and their President personally profiting from it) For once Russia can be believed on that with clear photo evidence shown in the newspapers this week.
Now the UK has at last voted to tackle Daesh in Syria let's hope the international effort will eventually overcome this murderous ideology. It won't be easy, but is very necessary for the future of Syria if it is ever to return to a decent society where children can grow up in safety. The refugees to Europe might even increase as Assad and Russia step up their assaults on Syrian people as now they have taken back Homs, the birthplace of the rebellion.
Meanwhile closer to home some disasters have cost me plenty. Putting petrol in my diesel tank one day and then locking car keys and house keys in the car. But yay, when I finally was rescued by my friend Kate, I found the spare keys exactly where I put them the day I bought the car. I have a spatial memory. I can remember exactly where things are – as long as no one moves anything or dusts! But remember anyone's name or birthday or address or phone number… impossible. Weird.
I was reminded of this as I went back to my old school last week of November to talk to students and teach a couple of classes. Seeing the classroom where I had struggled to learn Math, French or pretty much everything else was torture. But it was fun to teach the little kids whose enthusiasm for constructing a ghost story was in marked contrast to the older ones who gritted their teeth and checked their watches from the first minute determined to learn nothing. That’s what I remember most about school, full of kids who hated being there and just waiting to go home. Made no sense then and makes no sense now.
I wish I had been a better student back then. But I was never going to master math, physics or anything really, especially sports. I loved history and English and geography and these were always the soft, much neglected subjects and ‘wouldn’t help you get a job,’ according to my father. I have spent a lifetime writing, enjoying history, travelling and teaching. I may not have made a fortune, but I have definitely demonstrated that they did help me get a living. The curriculum now is as restrictive as it was then and just as inflexible and most likely driven all the ‘good’ teachers (the interesting eccentric ones) out of the profession. I am forever grateful to the Reverend Taylor who brought the Roman way of living to vivid life and spurred an interest in history and research. I think by age 12 you know what you are good at and should be able to select a curriculum that goes towards your personal interests. If you find units one academic year that suddenly grab your attention, take those as well. A personal menu for education; how I’d love that to happen. Perhaps then the sullen faces would disappear?
That said I was chaperoned on my day at school by a couple of wonderful bright kids whose enthusiasm for learning and words and ideas was bursting at the seams – so to Sharma and Victoria I say a huge thanks.
In January I will be working on getting a new book together with Dominic Robson, my designer. A nice cheerful little apocalypic love story.... details in the new year. Meanwhile here's other Sam's thoughts on Rejection - the bugbear of every writer.
I wish all our readers a great Christmas and New Year. Stay sober, buy only what you need, enjoy small moments and avoid rows! I'm heading to London to see family and friends so we won't get a new edition out until around the 8th of Jan. Our seventeenth year starts then - crazy.
© Sam Hawksmoor December 2015 - Joint Editor
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: The Endtime Chronicles are recommended. Buy the spy/romance Repercussions of Tomas D set in the Blitz first. You know you want to. Check out the new book Marikka published by Hammer & Tong
||MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2015
Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book
‘Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk 2015
The all new 2nd Edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
By Sam Hawksmoor and Sam North (2015 version)
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?
Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy Williams - Amazon.co.uk
||Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going
The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here
'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
|'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.
An original Genie Magee story
The Heaviness published by Hammer and Tong
Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Kindle & print
Thanks to readers who have been buying this title this year. If you enjoyed it, please post a remark on Amazon or Goodreads. It all helps.
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