Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 24 years on-line, 7,940 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. July 31st 2023 - Previous Editorial here
Editorial: Summer Musing
Plan for every emergency if heading off on vaccation this August.
Sad to report the death of Sinead O'Connor. James Campion reflects on the life of his hero. Heatwaves and fire cause havoc on Rhodes Island, Greece and elsewhere in Europe. The Spanish election result inconclusive; Putin financing the rise of the far right in Germany as he systematically destroys Ukraine. If you want understanding of how we got here read 'The Road to Unfreedom' by Timothy Snyder. It will terrify and inform you.
Taking the Cure
Meanwhile, the Cure: 29 days ago, I’m on a drip as they pour Rituximab into my veins. My second and last dose (I hope). Around six hours as it is drip fed into me. Rituximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis, and myositis. But I have none of these problems. I have kidney failure and somehow or another the doctors have persuaded me that knocking out my immune system will somehow ‘restart’ my kidneys. Side effects can include acute headaches, nausea, but to be truthful, thanks to nurses drip feeding steroids into my system first and taking two paracetamols I remain fine. Sadly, the fluid goes straight to my legs and by the end of the treatment each time, I weight around 4 to 5 kg more. The fluid will come off shortly and I make sure I take these heavy legs for the obligatory 10,000 steps afterwards. They say there is a 70% chance of a cure within six months. This is slightly better odds than they gave me 17 months ago when they told me I had around three to six months left to live.
The other side effect is more serious as you lose immunity to everything for around five years. So, no crowded planes or bars or cinemas for me in my future. I will be extremely vulnerable to colds or flu, not a problem in summer but as my holly bush is laden with berries right now, it promises a very cold winter. (Old wives’ tale I know but sometimes they are correct). Fortunately, as I no longer teach, I won’t be exposed to students in the fall when they come fully loaded with germs into the classroom.
Half of being cured they say is having a positive attitude, which will be a stretch for me, being someone who generally believes the worst will happen. I have resolved to read more for the next year at least. I have already read and highly recommend The Future of Geography by Tim Marshall as your starting point. Reading at least gives me a chance to travel in my mind. Perhaps I might start a new novel, lots of research needed so that will keep me busy. With luck I won’t have to even keep going to hospital as I think they’ll wait now till September to see if it has worked. Hopefully they won’t be on strike if I need them meanwhile.
We are very lucky to have the NHS in the UK. Yes, it is virtually impossible to see a GP or a dentist these days but although it moves slowly, once treatment starts, they treat you well and aim to get you better. The nurses (who let’s face it do all the work) have been amazing. Whether the UK can keep paying for it is a moot point. At least for now I remain optimistic I will recover.
PS: Took myself to see Asteroid City, Wes Andersen's latest movie. Ok enough already - please make movies again Wes. If you want to write plays, write plays. Don't torture your audience. Pastels we like but enough already.
Now I've seen Indiana Jones. Nazi's again and I am probably the only person in the world who doesn't get Phoebe. I would have wanted to stay in Syracuse as well...
*PS. If you haven't seen the new Mission Impossible 7 yet, go now. It's the best thriller for a long time. Enjoy the ride.
© Sam North July 2023
Editor and author of The Cure for Sceptics and Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles
The Book of Ashes
New from Sam Hawksmoor
Hammer & Tong - print and kindle
'an immensely satisfying story' -
Walli Leff on Goodreads.
'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards
An extract from the Book of Ashes
||The Book of Ashes -
Some secrets are meant to be kept forever
Delaney and Asha run their own investigation company now. Hired to find a writer who stiffed a client of $10,000 - things go bad pretty fast.
"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."
'We Feel Your Pain'
by Sam Hawksmoor
Published by Hammer & Tong
Print or Kindle from Amazon
||We Feel Your Pain – So you don’t have to.
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?
how far will you go to save one life?
Gerry is convinced aliens are going to attack on Millennium Eve - Y2K night. Everyone else is preparing for the end of civilisation. When it happens only Gerry notices aliens land. He and his spacenut pals Jolene and Kali race to be the first to greet them...
'Climate change, lost alien civilisations, adventures in deep space. Great fun with endearing characters'. Kitty Thomas
The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu
*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'
The new edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
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
||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'.
* Screenplay a quarter-finalist in the Creative Screenwriting competition 2023
'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
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- 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
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