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Welcome to this AUGUST 2021 edition of Hackwriters. 22 years on-line, 7817 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.

Coronavirus UK: August 25th: 30,838 tested positive - 174 deaths (705 in last 7 days)
Get Vaccinated! It is still infecting and killing unvaccinated people.

Right now spare a thought for the people fleeing Afghanistan as the Taliban take over. Think of the women and girls of that country who will be denied education, jobs, freedom forever now. Donate to:

Taliban Humvee

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin' - Edwin Starr 1970
Right now the shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan is proof enough of the wasted lives on all sides, the wasted $trillion dollars.The women and girls of Afghanistan all have a great deal to lose right now. The Taliban are already shooting and killing and won't allow an extension to evacuate more Afghans. A tragedy for the world. A humiliation for the US Generals and President Biden and those who came before them.

August kicked off with Indiana Lee asking how one might find meaningful work as a writer.  I always found getting paid as a writer the hard part but it’s stunning to discover that there might be as many as 57 million freelance writers in the USA – perhaps more since Covid WFH.  James Campion ponders the self-destruction of four US Governors...

I’ve noticed how we’ve gone from altruism on the internet to monetising everything we do.  It’s a generational thing.  I started Hackwriters 22 years ago as a free magazine and free of advertising (except our own books – being the only way to raise any funds). The magazine is still free but nothing else is.  Reviewers are no longer content to get a free book from publishers to review but want pay as well.  And who is to say that is wrong, after all they are putting in the work. But I miss the idea of sharing ideas without money changing hands.  Everyone is busy monetising their blogs or Insta sites.  It’s progress – not sure it’s better, but it’s progress.

We are also way behind the curve in that we don’t allow hate speech or monetise it like Facebook and others do.  It’s disgusting that social media giants get rich off anti-semitic rants and anti-vaxxers etc; the internet has gone from brotherly love to anti-democratic vitriol. Zuckerberg’s already got his remote island ready for when he’s done with wrecking all our lives. I hope you know where it is.

I started thinking about all this when my pal Kitty sent me an article “How a Meaningless Life can make you Truly Happy” by Wendy Street (Refinery29.com).  Who is of course monetising nihilism, which is kinda of ironic, no? She writes ‘Right now, institutions of government that once defined generational moral authority are fetid and fragile. The news is under attack and being reframed as an enemy, not a resource, of the people. Science is edged out by conspiracies and 'wellness'. Participation in organised religion is declining. And we’re realising that our conceptions of wealth and success are physically and mentally destroying us.

She also cites Greta Thunberg in the essay and her path to activism to save the planet, well justified by the UN Report on Climate Change just issued, Greta has been saying we are at 'Code Red' for years already. She knows the future sucks big time and also knows that the powers that be are only pretending to listen. So even though we know human life is doomed by climate change and Chinese coal-fired power stations and activism in China will only get you tortured and jailed; it’s still your duty as a human being to be aware of what is happening and if possible do something about it.  China is the role model of total control now and over there, Big Brother really is watching you, recording you, thinking for you. Stop buying stuff made in China would be a useful start to register your disdain for this version of future and their abuse of the environment.

I write fiction which is full of kids seeking to find their purpose in life or survive against all odds, demonstrating their bravery and empathy for others along the way.  They tend not to crack when challenged, overcome all mental health stresses and hopefully go on to have happy healthy smoke-free fictional lives. The kids who won medals at the Olympics is proof enough I think that there are dedicated brave souls out there. Now they must find the strength to fight for the planet!

Enjoy August. Avoid hugs and kisses no matter the temptation. We are not in the clear yet. And go see Free Guy - it's a lot of fun.

**Check out Sam North's new novel 'A Cure for Sceptics' here. A fun story about our expectations of 'wellness' and our willingness to be scammed.

© Sam Hawksmoor  August 2021

Covid Numbers worldwide
- Source: Worldometers. *These figures more inclusive than John Hopkin's numbers

Mission Longshot Celebrating the publication of MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?

The climate is changing fast - the future of humanity is at stake, who wants to escape to an alternative planet on that spaceship with Elon? (Well not that actual spaceship but you know what I mean). Buy a ticket and enjoy the ride. But don't forget to buckle up. It might not go where you thought it would.

'Gripping adventures with highly engaging characters.' W. Leff - Goodreads

The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu
New for 2021 - A Cure for Sceptics - 'Like an undiscovered Cary Grant movie filled with wonderful characters'

A Cure for Sceptics
by Sam North
Publisher: Hammer & Tong (14th July 2021)
Paperback: 326 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8537465874

Delaney and Asha run the Berg City Office of City Oversight. Their role is to expose the shady characters running scams and fraud against the city. 300 complaints flood in for a $30,000 treatment that claims to abolish pain forever. Unfortunately the Mayor himself is touting the scheme. When Delaney finds himself left for dead at the bottom of a cliff he gets the message that he's supposed to leave this one well alone.
'A great human story that wears it's heart on it's sleeve.'
Dr Allen Cook - Bridgeport University

A Cure for Sceptics

*Keeping Hackwriters archived is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
Magenta - A chilling story of kidnapping, burning and strangeness set in the wilds of Lincolnshire

** The Heaviness, & The Repercussions of Tomas D - 'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'

By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
There's no safe place to hide from a lethal pandemic

Print & Kindle - Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear. 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.
a taster here The Last Ferry

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die: Endtime will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...'
Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Girl with Cat (Blue) Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award

'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.

'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
Judge, 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. - Honorable Mention

J&K 4Ever - A post-apocalypse love story
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. 
 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

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
Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download

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
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible '

*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
The Heaviness of Genie Magee '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

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.
* Also published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge

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