Welcome to this MAY 2021 edition of Hackwriters. 22 years on-line, 7798 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.
May 30th 2021:
Covid numbers worldwide. 170,445,840 - Total deaths 3,544,087
USA 34,024,809 - total deaths 609,015 - Source: Worldometers.
Any Lessons Learned?
| Celebrating the publication of MISSION LONGSHOT by Sam Hawksmoor
For any reader concerned about climate change and the future of humanity and wants to escape Earth 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.
Finally allowed to the cinema again Tuesday and what an amazing movie Nomadland is.
609,000 dead from Covid-19 will be sure to be grateful that Trump encouraged people not to wear masks, not to lockdown and promoted huckster remedies for the virus (yet received two million dollars worth of special drugs when he got ill with the virus). President Biden is getting the vaccine out and financial help to those who need it, but still some people resist. James Campion got his shot, get yours now!
So naturally the demagoguery in Brazil with Balsonaro produced the exact same results with a mere 460,000 dead (those lucky enough to be actually counted). He went even further than Trump to dismiss the virus as a ‘little cold’. He has wrecked the economy there and it will take years to recover. But let’s not stop there.
India is perfect example of hubris. PM Modi has ignored the virus, continued to have mass rallies, defunded hospitals, twice caused economic havoc (the first time when he abolished large currency notes and most of the middle-classes savings with no notice – the second was declaring a sudden lockdown that drove everyone out of the cities to go home and spread the virus across the whole nation). Now, despite India being the epicenter of vaccine production and having banned the export of vaccines, they are not being distributed and delivered into the arms of those that urgently need them. Indeed angry Indian people are actually beating up doctors and nurses when their relatives die because there’s no oxygen available. Bodies are being dumped in rivers. Officially 323,000 are dead but the NY Times reckons the true figure is more than a million. It just has to be with around 300,000 catching the virus every day, and there being an absolute shortage of hospital beds, oxygen and drugs to treat the dying. The people of India deserve better politicians - better lives.
I read Michael Lewis' book 'The Premonition - A Pandemic Story'. Publisher Allen Lane in the UK.
What a sorry story about the state of public healthcare in the USA and the incredible denial of Covid-19 by Trump and his henchmen. The role of the CDC
was nothing short of catastrophic and the part played by a few key individuals in recognising the seriousness of the virus and their struggle to get the White House to take it seriously is extraordinary. The woeful lack of preparation for a pandemic (despite a plan drawn up in the Bush years) and unwillingness to do the right thing it is illuminating. There were heroes who knew what was coming yet this book reveals just how Third-World the state of USA national healthcare is and how callous the private sector could be. Read this book if you want to be informed. It won't reassure you much however. America isn't 'safe' until 75% of the population are vaccinated and it's the last mile of that journey that is the hardest.
*It was a similar story in the UK at the beginning but at least the British (and Scots) went into lockdown and took it seriously. Yes there were some crazies and still are but on the whole we wanted to stay alive. 62 million vaccinated now.
Europe is fanatical in its hatred from the Astra Zeneca vaccine (which has helped to give immunity to 60% of the whole population in the UK and resulted in some areas being free of the virus as of time of writing). Macron disparaged it, likewise Merkel because it was ‘English’ and worked. This is turn led to millions refusing to accept it. Some countries in the EU would rather have the Russian jab, which is not official approved or tested. One wonders how many kickbacks went to politicians to favour the hugely expensive Pfizer jab rather than the UK one delivered at cost (with no bribes needed). The EU just accepted a 60 percent price increase for this jab so that tends to support the ‘kickback’ theory in my book. After all the non-elected Commission won’t be paying for it will they.
Right now in the UK we are emerging into the sunlight (and rain). The variant circulating in India might just take the smiles off our faces. You have to pray our feckless politicians don’t re-open the airports to India, Pakistan, Brazil and other countries for several months. There is huge pressure on them from the press, airlines, other politicians, to open travel corridors to Europe and America, but who is to say this will be safe and no one will bring back some new variant that will undo all the good that has been done? Sure I want to go somewhere warm, walk on the beach, have dinner with friends and laugh again but … beware of variants.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet and you are eligible – this might be your last chance to get some protection from the worst of it. Don’t wait. India is a prime example of a country that waited until the health service collapsed and now can’t even get enough healthy staff together to go out and vaccinate. Happy pity on the medical staff there.
Is there a lesson to be learned? Don’t elect demigods – or those who are driven by hate. There’s nothing to be gained except misery. If you’re reading this in Turkey or Russia or Iran or (insert undemocratic regime here), I’m sorry there’s only one candidate standing. You had a chance to say no, right?
© Sam North - Editor 2021
The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu
Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles. A definitive survival novel.
We Feel Your Pain
Hammer & Tong
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. The author evokes amazing, vivid pictures of St. Joes with human misery and the beach and Jasmina’s neighbourhood and the apple farm'. B. H. February 2021
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
*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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