Welcome to this JUNE 2019 edition of Hackwriters. 20 years on-line, 7600+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
Once again celebrating Hello travel.com - Hackwriters Best Travel blog 2018:
||Editorial: June 21st
We are in Brexit paralysis. It's official. The economy is falling off a cliff (Car industry in particular down 25%) and there won't be any decisions on staying or going until Oct 31st - Halloween was never as scary as this. The politicians are battling it out as to whom will Captain the Titanic - whether Johnson or Hunt it probably doesn't matter as Corbyn will benefit from the total chaos and we shall all be stuffed. The UK this summer is not a happy place. I guess it's now too late to Revoke Article 50 - so we are stuck with either a Johnson who wants to leave on October 31st, or after forcing an election, Corbyn as PM who also wants to leave (but pretends to Remain). One will deliver a hard brexit and destabilise the economy - the other a Marxist who will nationalise of all industry wholesale, collapse the pound and ruin the country. This is not an attractive proposition.
At the moment the media is flooded with Boris news, (and actual floods as the British summer gets into full swing) also Iran attaching limpet mines to passing oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz which is not exactly a good idea for the environment to say the least. Nor shooting down US Drones in international airspace. Is it caution that prevents Trump from reacting or simply that he hasn't a clue how to respond (despite surrounding himself with gung ho hawks). More importantly for the UK what are our treaty obligations in the Middle-East in case of war and are we ready? Does any or our equipment work. The F-35s we ordered certainly don't and our Navy is under resourced and perhaps as events unfold it might be that Jeremy Hunt might be the better candidate for a war situation than Johnson, certainly better than Corbyn who will automatically side with Russia and Iran against the USA our only 'friend'. Worrying times.
*Today - being a non rainy day
walked with friends on Sandilands beach with Mr T (the dog) who immersed himself in the mud. So sad to see the Grange & Links hotel gone and the Golf Club closed. I think of all those people who have retired there and wonder how they survive without a proper grocery store. My childhood was spent sailing there in summer in a Fireball, but now the sand is right up to the coast wall and it would be a real struggle to launch there. Our East Coast seasides look so forlorn - no wonder people fly to Spain. But let's hear it for 'The Fat Seagull' an excellent little dog friendly bar/bistro in Sandilands with fresh cooked food. There's a great sandy beach to walk on and this wonderful oasis of a bistro to make the trip worthwhile.
The previous week we remembered D-Day 75 Years ago. The biggest battle of Europe.
President Trump has been visiting the UK in a State Visit that went remarkably well and attended the D-Day events in Portsmouth and in France. In France President Macron along with Mrs Merkel, Mrs May, Mr Trudeau and many Prime Ministers etc from across the world gathered to remember. At least 300 survivors from that battle were also in attendance both in Portsmouth and France. I imagine few of them ever thought they'd survive the invasion, let alone live so long.
It's important to remember D-Day, not just because it eventually brought the end of WW2, but because right now we seem to be so casually drifting towards trade wars and chaos in Europe, America and China and a possible world-wide recession. These things can get out of hand, as history tells us. With the rise of right-wing extremism in Italy, Hungary, even Germany (or left-wing extremism in Spain) the stage is set for trouble down the road. An Anderson shelter will not protect you this time around I fear.
The End of the Road?
I think the time has come to say goodbye. When we started this project in Cornwall, Clinton was still President, Blair the Prime Minister. We spent a year waiting for Y2K to bring the world to an end at the start of Millennium. 1999 seems likes an eon ago. A whole generation of kids have grown up with the internet in their veins as smart phones, ipads and then Facebook and Instagram grabbed their attention (losing Myspace and a host of other alternate futures along the way). We had 9/11, the London Bombings - the financial crisis and we were reporting on it all, every step of the way.
Of course now it feels like end of times with Trump. All the freedoms are being rolled back. Reckless debts that will only come home to roost once someone else is in the White House (if he ever leaves) that will cripple the USA- add to the mix the madness of Brexit - the future looks bleak. But then again we survived the past twenty years - we shall probably get through to the other side of this, but not unscathed I fear. The coming of 5G might change everything, who knows. In twenty more years Earth will be playing host to 10 billion people. Will they all eat? If so what will they eat? What about the quality of water, the air, the state of the planet. So much to stress about.
Although we have our reliable regular contributors, we aren’t getting the readers we used to. Perhaps after twenty years we have outstayed our welcome. Things have moved on. We look old fashioned. Generation Z have so many other choices and to be honest – long articles seem to put potential young readers off and we have this deliberate policy of no interaction – so no space for trolls to smear their obsessions.
I have been thinking about this for a while. I shall miss it of course, but since we are not going to modernise I guess we should just accept that this is it and bow out gracefully. I suppose it could cause a crisis of identity. You do one thing for twenty years it’s got to be wrench to suddenly stop. They’ll be the urge to comment on all the things that are bound to happen. Trump, Brexit, Tariffs, Plastic – even war. It's a toxic, crazy world that the Donald has created, but then again perhaps this is the time to think about doing something else that matters or what the hell, doesn’t matter.
Retirement is slightly scary. What does it mean exactly? I close the magazine and instantly cease to exist. Of course not. The same for our contributors. James Campion is always working on a new rock and roll book, James Skinner is working on an erotic novel, and others have lives and loves and some have hospital appointments. Perhaps the only person who will be affected is me – no longer suffering with guilt and panic at the end of every month that I haven’t got a decent cohort of articles assembled. It will be a period of adjustment, the magazine will be archived of course and still exist, perhaps on an out of reach shelf in that endless warehouse from Indiana Jones. People can still search and see what they wrote 19 years ago and giggle at their naivety. Or retrieve something for their memoirs. It will still have a use. It just won’t be updated.
I recently have had an insight into a post Hackwriters life. Looking after someone’s dog for a month. God they are demanding. Mini Schnauzers are very strong-willed routine led creatures. How easy it would be to just be this retired writer walking his dog in the park every day saying sorry every time this small beast snarls at another dog, whatever the size. Is this my future? No more worrying about events. No travels. Hmm, this is not quite what I intended for the last semester of life.
"You could start a blog," someone suggested, not realising the irony of that perhaps.
"You could write another new book that few people ever read.” Another friend told me, which doesn't fill me with joy. (Although I am working on a new book that has become something of a nightmare).
I could also finish decorating the house and weed the garden. This too fills me with something, not sure what exactly.
Anyway – this is my problem. Yours is to read this last month of Hackwriters, share the articles and fiction you like and sigh that along with all the closures on the high street – early digital stuff is also vanishing. The digital past is going fast. We are the 78rpm of the Internet. A strange curiosity not selling anything (except our books that few ever buy) or even harvesting your data and selling it on. A website that deliberately makes no money. How weird is that?
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
No wonder we’re disappearing.
My thanks to all our writers such as James Campion, James Skinner, Abigail George and Martin Green; all those past and present and our dedicated readers too. You have been part of history. Not everyone can say that.
From Martin Green 15th June 2019 - a long time correspondent for Hackwriters:
I seem to recall writing a note of thanks to Sam North and Hackwriters when it appeared they were going into retirement. Now it seems that this is actually going to happen so again I want to expression my appreciation for having my stories appear in this publication for a good many of the twenty years it’s been online. I also enjoyed reading the other stories and the articles that were published monthly. Not having my monthly Hackwriters read will leave a hole in my life but twenty years is a long time and I understand Sam’s need for something new and different. So here’s wishing him all of the best in whatever direction his “retirement” takes. Cheers.
© Sam North June 21st 2019
Author of Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles
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) - Shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award 2018
'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.'
26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
2018 - 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- 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
The new edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
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
||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
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