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Welcome to this February 2020 edition of Hackwriters. 21 years on-line, 7700+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
PS we are mainly in archive mode now with sporadic updates.

Banksy Rat Paris

EDITORIAL: Can a pandemic be avoided? ?
Did someone mention 'peak' virus. Not now it's in Europe and spreading fast.

Covid-19 is making itself known worldwide now. The number of people infected is still rising in China and now in South Korea. Death toll stands at over 2,707 today. (25th Feb Worldometer stats). There are over 80,366 people infected so far in China, which shows a distinct slowing rate of infection to a thousand a day. 11,567 are currently on the critical list which actually is a positive indicator as it has hardly risen at all this past week. 27,898 have recovered from the virus. But we don't know any long term effects people may have from this virus. Now what about all the people with other diseases and infections that are now being turned away from hospitals because they are all full up? People are dying because operations aren't happening or drugs available. There is also the question of civil liberties and the consequences of 'locking up whole cities'. Aside from the emotional stress this must cause, will people in China accept total and often brutal control forever? There is a great deal we don't know and a great many more people affected by this virus than they are telling us.

Heaven help the world if it takes hold in India or Pakistan. US stock market is just waking up to the reality of this as Chinese factories only partially go back to work. Oil price is falling and gold rising, air travel in chaos. If you've booked an Easter break, guess again. I hope you have insurance and they will pay out. Invest in Bio-Tech maybe. If you can pick a winner.

Get ready for the second phase of the virus and a much bigger shock to the world economy as Apple's warning on iPhone production indicates and JLR and FIAT running out of parts for their cars. Car sales in China are currently down 92%. Hardly surprising since many aren't allowed to drive anywhere. Now with panic setting starting in Italy as people fall sick in the Lombardy region we must expect to to spread in Europe, especially as we have no idea how it got there yet. Rumours are that it is out of control in Iran. The ruling elite trying to supress information.

If you are worried about how to survive a Pandemic. *Do read my book 'Another Place to Die - Endtime'. It won't cure you - but it might help you survive. Print or Kindle.

In the UK we just survived Storm Dennis - barely. Thousands affected in the West, particularly Wales, which rivers overflowing, homes flooded and hundreds of cars washed away. It's a tragedy for many who have ben unable to get insurance following the last flood. Although I'm on the East and avoided floods, my whole garden fence blew away and my bay window filled with water as the wind ripped the leading off. I shall be up a ladder shortly...

Meanwhile Bernie wins New Hampshire but Mayor Pete is just one percent behind. Bernie will probably win Nevada too where Mike Bloomberg was found wanting in the debates. Perhaps common sense will prevail as Biden and Warren vanish from any chances of winning. The Iowa results are already irrelevant but Mayor Pete is at least fifty years younger than the rest of the pensioners running for president. And smarter. One thing is for sure America needs someone smarter and less vindictive that the current incumbent. See the Bernie Problem.

As expected, the chances of the Senate voting for Impeachment were nil. As James Campion quite rightly pointed out. Romney made an interesting play as the only honest broker in the Republican Party. If Trump stumbles, he'll be there to pick up his reward. (If Trump doesn't have him rubbed out first).

The trouble with acquittal is what devious crooked things will Trump get up to in his next term of office? It can only get worse and he'll have nothing to lose. Hope you have savings under the mattress. You might need them come 2021. You only have to look at the trillion dollar debts piling up in the USA as US billion dollar companies pay less and less tax. Where is the infrastructure spending? All going on a wall that is vulnerable to any breeze that's blowing.

This being the start of the Year of the Rat, which is supposed to be about prosperity – The UK leaving Europe on the 31st is perhaps taking quite a chance with our nations future.  On the other hand, at least it’s meant to be a positive year in the Chinese calendar, so here’s crossing fingers it turns out ok.  However it seems it’s also the kind of year wars break out and more weather extremes happen or as is quite likely, a worldwide pandemic that can cause a global financial crash.   So time to refurbish that bomb shelter in the garden and lay in supplies.

Meanwhile here in the UK we're departing the EU and sailing on a whim and a prayer, just like Jack Sparrow in hopes that something will turn up and our compass really does point to whatever you desire the most.  Since the ‘Year of the Rat’ seems to about getting and spending - let us hope that the stars align for a prosperous future as the chlorinated chicken mounts up and we're exposed to the extreme capriciousness of The Donald in trade talks. Boris has agreed to building HS2, the high speed train to Birmingham. I guess we have to build something to keep the economy going but please lets not expand Heathrow. Or not until all the planes are flying electric. Which could happen in five years.

Right now we’re headed for non-alignment with European standards in everything.  Cars, planes, food and medicines.  Just in case you think this might be a good thing, it will mean the further we deviate from European safety laws in manufacturing, the less likely we will be able to sell anything to Europe.  (Our main customer).  Did you vote this?  Didn’t think so.  So when you get laid off – do remember this about ‘progress’ and not personal.  Worth noting just how many manufacturers in the UK are moving to Holland right now. High skilled jobs disappearing fast. (Source: The Times 19th Feb)

This doesn’t mean that every rule and regulation is perfect or necessary.  But I’d quite like the brakes in my car for example to be every bit as good as the brakes made in Europe.  So I’ll hang on to my Citroen until we’re forced out of them and into a G-Wiz Mk2.

Oh, and I’ll only fly in an Airbus, rather than a Boeing, now we know how indifferent Boeing are to air safety.  (A Boeing broke into three pieces in Turkey just last week!) You might want to check what plane you’re on next time you’re flying anywhere yourself.  Just to be safe. 

I’m still adapting Girl with Cat (Blue) and writing episode 6 at the moment.  The further you go into a story the harder it gets.  Let’s hope I can find people to interest in the project. 

© Sam Hawksmoor February 25th 2020
Joint Editor
Read Girl with Cat (Blue) - 'funny, scary and full of surprises - a must read' LD

*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 Sam North Novels - still available to order on Lulu or Amazon
** The Heaviness, also recommended & The Repercussions of Tomas D -'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'
Girl with Cat (Blue) Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery 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 - Love and Devotion in the Wastelands
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.  She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive. '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 2015

By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
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 West - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Repercussions 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
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible with alternative facts '
*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

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
The Heaviness of Genie Magee Ruya

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