Welcome to this MARCH 2022 edition of Hackwriters. 23 years on-line, 7853 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. March 30th 2022
Coronavirus UK: 80,830 new cases - 303 deaths 29.3.22
Get Vaccinated! Get Boosted! 6 Million + have died from Covid - it is rising again in the UK.
*Washington University claims that the true figure of global (excess mortality) is 18.3 million deaths. (Lancet 3.22)
|Editorial: Democracy in Peril
The war against Ukraine grows more lethal day by day. Kyiv is being squeezed and bombed. Erasure of a whole country is in progress. Now Putin plays the commodity card. He will prevent the export of wheat and other essentials until August 31st from Russia. Knowing that he is preventing Urkaine from exporting wheat (and planting it) he is aiming to blackmail or starve millions. Already Eygpt has banned food exports. They remember that the Arab Spring began because of food shortages and price rises. Lebanon will be in a particular bind to feed its population. If you felt Russia's war against Ukraine doesn't affect you, think again when you fill up your car or wonder at the price of everything in the supermarket. There is talk of Russians retreating from Kyiv but who can trust Putin now?
Over 4 million refugees have fled Ukraine so far (UN Data 3.29.22) - Russian troops have made deliberate attacks on working nuclear reactors which could endanger all of Europe. Indiscriminate bombing of cities - destruction of infrastructure and food supplies makes a mockery of Putin's claim 'We are all one people,' if that was true he wouldn't be murdering them on an industrial scale. He is starving Mariupol to death. Kyiv is clinging on - pray for those brave enough to defend it to the last.
So, what did we learn about democracy lately? The thing we thought we had and Putin demonstrated how it could be erased in just days in a country of 44 million people. Who’s next on his journey back to the USSR? Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova? He already took Belarus without a shot being fired.
Living under the umbrella of NATO might have given you a sense of security up until late February 2022, but now we know that European nations are reluctant to fight alongside Ukraine (with good reason) but at least have imposed the kind of sanctions will affect Russia’s ability to survive financially. Illegal cluster bombs and cruise missiles are pounding Ukrainian cities daily. Paratroopers are dropping from the skies. Children are dying. Russian soldiers too,10,000 so far estimated (25,000 injured). We can't accurately count the Ukrainian dead, corpses are abandoned as they are forced to flee as Russian pounds them and mines the roads.
No political party in Europe wants to be the one that tells it’s people that for sanctions to actually work we’re turning off the Russian gas and oil and yes you are going to be VERY cold and most likely unable to afford to fill up your car, oh and by the way, get ready for inflation at 20 percent. And yes I know how hard it will be to survive the cold. Today it actually looks like we will have the courage to stop buying Russian oil 'soonish'. Shell has finally stopped and President Biden made an announcement to ban Russian oil and gas and coal imports. Europe is to reduce imports of the same by two thirds by the end of March next year. Governments know it is hard to get voted back into office making people colder and poorer. Boycotting Russian oil and gas totally is the only way to end this war and deny Putin money. This war is costing him plenty and the Russian people will suffer for his folly. (As will we).
Barring Russian banks from using Swift and denying Aeroflot access to Europe sends a strong message but Putin doesn't care. The real danger is the Wagner Group of lethal militants 4000 strong who are already inside Ukraine and killing Kremlin targets. Luckily Zelensky is still standing defying Putin's absurd demands.
The Ukrainians are going to fight and will have to face years of resistance. Putin may well flatten all their cities in time and there will be days, months even when it will be hard to find the courage to contine to resist. Putin will starve them just like Stalin before him. I hope they find a way to starve the Russians accupying their country by retaliation. *One wonders what is happening to Covid in Ukraine? Is anyone testing? Treating victims?
Impossible gas prices and an endless threat to democracy are ahead of us in the West. You might be wondering about how to protect your family, your jobs, your homes from the threat of nuclear war. Putin has threatened to use it and I guess we had better believe him. Unlike you, he has his fur-lined nuclear bunker organised and he’s stolen all the Russian wealth already – he thinks he can survive.
Hell, even before Putin attacked Ukraine our politicians in the UK were already threatening to take away our central heating under the ‘Green Net Zero Agenda’. Around eighty percent of our homes will not be compliant with the new energy efficient rules from 2025 and it might cost each individual owner around £25,000+ to try. Landlords wouldn’t be able to let their homes without that investment. We are talking billions and where would we find all the builders and craftsmen to do it since we voted for Brexit. Cynically put, it's perhaps an opportunity for Ukrainian refugees to work and regain their dignity if only the UK Government would let them in! Nevertheless, everyone would rather they were able to live in peace and rebuild their own country. I hope that day will come sooner than later and we will be generous in helping them do that.
We no longer live in the free world. Democracy was only ever on loan. Just because we didn’t have to think about it much since WW2 ended or perhaps since the Cuban Missile crisis, it turns out that it is a fragile thing and guess what, America might re-elect Putin’s lickspittle buddy Trump in 2024, the date when democracy in the USA ends too.
You can donate to help Ukrainians here: https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal
Do it now!
© Sam North March 2022 - Editor -
A Cure for Sceptics
by Sam North
Publisher: Hammer & Tong ( July 2021)
Paperback & kindle: 326 pages
Delaney and Asha run the Berg City Office of City Oversight. Their role is to expose the shady characters running scams and fraud against the city. 300 complaints flood in for a $30,000 treatment that claims to abolish pain forever. Unfortunately the Mayor himself is touting the scheme. When Delaney finds himself left for dead at the bottom of a cliff he gets the message that he's supposed to leave this one well alone.
'A great human story that wears it's heart on it's sleeve.'
Dr Allen Cook - Bridgeport University
‘a brilliant and intriguing tale’ Amazon
**Sample Sam North's new novel here.
Covid Numbers worldwide - Source: Worldometers.
||Celebrating the publication of MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?
The climate is changing fast - the future of humanity is at stake, who wants to escape to an alternative planet on that spaceship with Elon? (Well not that actual spaceship but you know what I mean). Buy a ticket and enjoy the ride. But don't forget to buckle up. It might not go where you thought it would.
'Gripping adventures with highly engaging characters.' W. Leff - Goodreads
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'.
'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
||'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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