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Welcome to this February 2021 edition of Hackwriters. 22 years on-line, 7773 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.

Covid has reached 114,438,262 cases worldwide and 2,538,691 deaths. Source: Worldometers. Feb 28th 2021
Covid USA: 29,202,824 infected with 524,669 deaths

Don't Relax Yet - We are still a long way from 'normal'.

Year of the Ox
The USA passed the 500,000 dead from Covid mark recently (The Worldometers source number is way ahead on this). It a huge death toll over and above deaths from flu, heart, cancer and road accidents and crime. Every death is trauma for those left behind to mourn. In the UK we are on a slow route out of lockdown, made possible by the fact that 20.1 million have been vaccinated so far. (Curiously politicians in Europe denigrate the Astra Zeneca vaccine which the majority of people have had here in the UK, despite the fact that no one has fallen ill and more importantly no one vaccinated has ended up in hospital with Covid. Studies in Scotland show a 94 percent efficacy for the Astra vaccine.) The result is the UK economy will power ahead of Europe as life returns to normal. Meanwhile the virus is surging in France and Germany and millions of doses of the UK vaccine lay idle in store because of a political vendatta against the UK. Macron and Merkle it seems would actually prefer for their people to die than get protection.

Trump is acquitted for a second time despite overwhelming evidence presented in the Senate, so the Trumpist virus continues to spread with no known cure. Cowardly Mitch McConnell attacks Trump after voting to acquit him and now supports his run for the 2024 election. The Republican party is officially the organ for white supremacy now and is ultimately doomed by demographics even though they will rig the vote next time for sure.
Then there's Texas, Land of the Freeze. James Campion ponders their individualism.

Right now you're probably wondering how come your paper boy drove past you this morning in a Ferrari. Yes, every kid in the neighbourhood is a multi-millionaire on GameStop. You might be jealous, you are probably shaking your head and saying this has to be the top of the market and it's doom all the way down from here on. You might be right, but what if you're wrong? One hopes at least a few of those kids cashed out early. If you're going to gamble, bet on horses. At least you know what and when you're going to lose the moment you throw your money down. But meanwhile you might want to consider opening a Ferrari dealership!

Biden is in the White House and this certainly makes the world a safer place and gives those without jobs or struggling in America some hope. (Oddly enough a great many of them who voted for the other guy who in reality didn't give a shit about them except on election day.) The Republicans, of course, do not want to help, have never wanted to help and do their darndest to make sure there is always an underclass to shine their shoes and wipe their floors.  So, the Democrats will struggle to get anything done in the Senate such as raise the minimum wage. Biden has started fast. *How Biden got elected is due to black voter migration says James Campion. So expect a lot of Republican States to do some fast gerrymandering before 2022.

At some point Q-Anon needs to be addressed and all those who have been duped to realise that they have been manipulated from Russia all this time. Putin must be sulking now his candidate is marooned in Florida. But don’t rule out Trump from causing damage and spreading his malign influence on the GOP for years to come. Only 7 Republicans it seems has any balls to call him out, even though he lost the election big time. Read about The Big Lie here. Hard to believe this was once the party of Abe Lincoln.

In the UK we are adjusting to being outside the EU and discovering just how much paperwork is required to export to, or buy anything from, Europe. At some point people will wake up and realise that they may have to boycott everything European to make them understand that the UK market matters, but we are nowhere near that point yet.  Vaccine wars have already started and this isn’t because they don’t work, it's to cover the embarrassment of the EU Commission in neglecting to order them in good time and the total failure of the French to develop a working vaccine.

*One wonders what the true figure for Covid deaths is in France where they have over 20,000 a day catching it and mysteriously their Covid death numbers have hardly risen in a month. Clearly, they are holding back the true numbers as their hospitals are just as full as the UK’s. It could be closer to the UK number as seniors death rates were 35% higher in 2020 than 2019. Of course, many countries aren’t reporting the true numbers for various political reasons. In the UK it is difficult to hide the figures and say what you will about the Government, transparency is there for all to see.

Everyone is saying ‘once we're all vaccinated, we can go on holiday again’.  I very much doubt this will be true. The borders are closed, the planes are grounded, as are ferries and ships. The reality is, if mass travel starts up again before the people in your destination are also vaccinated, won’t the whole darn thing start up again? The vaccine prevents you from hospitalisation but not from transmitting the virus. Covid loves to travel. Then there's travel insurance. It's going to get very expensive. Don't buy airline shares yet.

James Skinner has sent me a February update from Spain:
There is so much going on in Spain both politically as well as the race to vaccinate the population for the COVID-19 that it is hard to write a sensible note. However, I continue to state that Spain is literally out of control. We have the result of Catalan regional elections that have descended into protests and extreme violence, the other one is the my constant report that Podemos' (We can) Vice President Pablo Iglesias is at the helm and determined to destroy the present Constitution that is based on a Monarchy. He wants to turn Spain into a Communist Republican state following the paths of Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela, eventually destroying the capitalist system, nationalising everything including the whole of the banking system.  The President, (Socialist - PSOE) is a mere puppet and spends his time running around the world in the government's private jet (Falcon), a sort of Air-force One.

Finally, not to forget the thousands of millions in aid that are due from the European Union. I suppose you know that they are meant to create private, productive companies and jobs.  Ha Ha. Every Tom Dick and Harry in the political spectrum from state to small town councils are demanding a piece of the cake. The economy? Going for a burton as thousands of jobs are lost. Spain's tourist trade is non-existant. Say no more.

February then is for staying home, being sensible, having patience and perhaps staying away from speculating on the stock market. Let others cry when the bubble bursts.

Take up macramé or learning a language, anything to keep you sane.

Stay safe - stay home - wear a mask if you go out to buy food.

© Sam North February 2021

Read Sam Hawksmoor’s new novel  ‘We Feel Your Pain – so you don’t have to’.  Order now!

*Sam's short story Nadia was been shortlisted for the Screencraft Cinematic Short Story Competition

Pain Cover

We Feel Your Pain
Hammer and Tong December 2020
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693

Review: 'I really enjoyed living with Delaney, Asha and Maria. And I particularly revelled in that obedient and loving dog, Rufus.  They were lovely characters and it was a good story. You evoked amazing, vivid pictures of St. Joes with human misery and the beach and Jasmina’s neighbourhood and the apple farm'. B. H. February 2021
The Case:
Delaney (42) and Asha (22) run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people.  When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right?  But what if the scam works?  What kind of scam is that?
We Feel Your Pain is available in print and as a download

All pain teaches us something - it is for you to understand what that lesson might be.
- Guru Gurajani

* Keep abreast of the latest virus numbers here. Source:

The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu
Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles. A definitive pandemic novel.

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 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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