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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - March 2011

So almost 30 years ago. Yep that's 1983 I seem to recall, I had this paperback out with Sphere Books called 'Ramapo'. It was most likely placed in either Science Fiction or Thriller sections and it concerned the unlikely scenario of the Americans building a nuclear reactor on an earth fault on the Hudson River at Indian Point. At the very moment some anti-nuke activists attack it to close it down, it is struck by an earthquake somewhere in the 8 Magnitude. Meltdown ensues and people start to flee Manhattan. Everyone said that it was 'pure fantasy' at the time. Yet here were are with a nuclear reactor of the same American design - now fifty years old, built on an earth fault with the added complication of a Tsunami and earthquake at 9.1 magnitude. This is now science fact and people are beginning to wonder just how you evacuate 40 million people from Tokyo, for how long and how the hell do you feed them? In my book all hell breaks loose as people go crazy and start shooting and looting. (When I was writing it in Brooklyn Heights that is exactly what people were doing over gas rationing following upsets in the middle-east. Sound familiar?) I might remind you that there is still a reactor operating at Indian Point that is built on a very real earth fault. Doesn't mean anything will go wrong of course, but worth reminding of the fact if you live near Buchanan...

When you write speculative fiction you run risks that what you write is just that, speculation, and it will never register with a reading public. I did it again with my novel 'Another Place to Die'. Written in 2006 I was predicting a flu pandemic followed by a financial meltdown... which is exactly what we got. Ok few people actually died in real life (22,000 +) but we got the financial meltdown. You don't want to know what I am writing next. You really dont.


N Wood

The tragedy in Japan is all too horrifying to contemplate. Thousands dead or missing, nuclear reactors exploding. It's uncannily akin to all those dystopian Manga movies that we all enjoy so much. But nevertheless this is real and it will take a herculean effort to put things right and traumatise a whole generation. We wish the Japanese people well.

To see something beautiful and help you understand something, even a little bit about Japan, go see 'Norwegian Wood' in your local art house cinema right now. Lush, obsessive,it is a guilty pleasure to watch a psychological meltdown. If nothing else, see it to show solidarity with Japan. The author Haruki Murakami also wrote 'After the Quake' about the earthquake in Kobe in '95. He interviewed survivors and shows a place trying to recover from the shock. If you want to understand what it means to survive a mega-quake, read his book.

Welcome to the March edition of Hackwriters written by contributors from all over the world. Change is riding the globe right now and Libya is the current centre of freedom and pain as the people struggle to be free of yet another tyrant.  Gaddafi will kill as many as to has to to to keep power and we shall be shamed by our inaction to help ordinary Libyans. (It is very typical that Africa’s longest serving tyrant Mugabe sent elite solders to kill innocent Libyans. Perhaps once peace is restored in Libya they can return the favour. It would seem only fair.) Gaddafi has clearly 'bought' the rest of Africa's silence. And now the Japanese earthquake will divert our attention away from the bodycount in North Africa to the bodycount in Japan. However congratulations to President Sarkozy and PM Cameron for getting the UN No-Fly resolution through, but this isn't game over by a long shot. Gaddafi is a wily fox and his son is pure evil.

The west reacts slowly, only now imposing no fly zones and such.  Seems to me, as an outsider that the people of Libya would be happy to have some help in crushing their tyrant… At least bomb all the military airfields and disable armouries in Gaddafi’s charge. Meanwhile the oil price threatens to destablise the economic recovery and yet more money flows to Saudi Arabia. That just cannot be a good thing. The murder toll rises in Libya daily and we are just standing and watching. Does anyone remember Bosnia at all when we let Serbs drive in slaughter thousands of innocents? We learn nothing it seems and it looks as if help will get there too late to help them. But help them we must, for all our futures.

In this issue James Skinner discusses the future of Spain, which financially is deteriorating. It is in a lot more difficulty that most people are aware. Others look at travel in safer parts and there seems to be a theme in school memories in our fiction section. There's more to come but here’s hoping that peace and liberty come to the Middle East for all.

Here's hoping that it warms up in the UK soon. Spring weather urgently needed I feel to cheer us all up. Right now I am preparing my first ebook. A digital version of my Sherlock Holmes novel. It's an experiment for now. The hype says e-books are what everyone reads now- so I shall discover if this is true. I don't expect to had it ready until April. Always good to cast another eye over an older work and see where it can be edited though. That's the future constant re-editing. Orwell was right I guess.

Meanwhile househunting and await call back from agent to see if I have been successful in my offer. Moving North to the land of lincrusta and patterned carpets. Stunned by the choices some people make in their decor. I wonder if we can persuade the Chancellor to impose a 100% tax on lincrusta. I'm going to be facing weeks of hard work to scrape it all off the walls. Sigh.

Lots to read in this issue. Pass it on. Cheers.

© Sam North March 29th 2011
Author of 'Diamonds - The Rush of '72'

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Editor –

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this March edition from all over the world. Many thanks too to those who have bought my books recently (Discounts now available via Lulu). Another Place to Die has passed the 2990 figure now and that cheers me up. I will be discontinuing this title soon as I am in the process of selling a new version of it to a mainstream publisher. Now if I could get Mean Tide or Diamonds to sell as well, I'd be really happy. It really does help keep Hackswriters going. Take care out there.  Get writing.

Enjoy Modern Thai Food. Read Oi's fantastic recipies
Mean Tide by Sam North *Buy now and get 25% off
Mean Tide - a tale of spiritualism and a young boy's fascination with a murdered man. Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'

His father has disappeared, his mother is sick. Oliver, recovering from chemo, is sent to live with his psychic Grandma by the river in Greenwich. Oliver quickly discovers he is living with a world of strange people. When he finds a dog with its throat cut on the riverside, everything changes. Oliver wants to find the people who did this terrible thing and discovers the terrible truth about himself. (Young Adult Mystery)

The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North
*Buy now and get 25% off
ISBN: 13: 978-1-4116-3748-1
302 pages - Lulu Press USA
'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble
& Waterstones
*New revised ebook edition due April 2011 - Print version will cease at that time.

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