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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - November 05

November 21st:
Freezing fog, six hundred miles of cones on the motorway, autumn in the UK is not quite the joy that say people in New England seem to enjoy. (Not that I have ever been there in the fall).
Nightmare journey. Why can't we have roads as good as France or Germany? It is too much to ask that when they fix a road it stays fixed for a few weeks at least?

Selling a house in the north of England requires special skills I feel. Disguising the damp for one thing, deciding on the right house aroma that will make potential buyers part with their hard earned money is another. I rather like the casual approach of the people I am trying to buy a house from in the south. They haven't picked up the mail in months, there's a shattered mirror in the living room, mould in the loo, they have no heat on, it looks like they left in a hurry or were dragged off by the police. And yet in the south in our desperation to buy we overlook these signs of slovenly living, ignoring the obvious point that if they live like slobs then the rest of the house will be a botch job. Up north they'd knock twenty grand or more off the price if they thought you didn't care about the place. Oh well, we shall see how it goes.

If you check out Hackwriter's front page you'll see that is a torrent of new material and we are backfilling our film and reviews pages with new material. It's interesting for me to see students reactions to books and films that were popular some years ago. Seeing them now for the first time without the hype surrounding them, some of the mystique disappears and often they are gravitating more to the original book than the film which I guess is good news for the book.

If you are reading this instead of the magazine you have missed around forty articles this month - sample, read, enjoy, we exist for your reading pleasure.

November 14th
Book launch for The Curse of the Nibelung a Sherlock Holmes Mystery went well, if you missed it, well take a look on the front page or just go here to Book Launch

November 9th
You should be podcasting someone told me today. I don't think so. It would mean having to record everyting and put it our there and since I'd rather die than have to listen to Horward Stern there is probably enough vitriol out there to go around already. There is nothng actually wrong with writing is there? I know Bill Gates recently promised that the printed book will disappear in ten years (on a flying visit to the UK end of October) but I like reading. I like words and podcasting can be interesting and filled with emotion but surely it is a different animal.
If I want to listen to the spoken word I listen to BBC Radio 4 (You can find it on the web at all the broadcasting you'll ever need about politics, arts, drama, issues. It is absolutely the best there is and yes it is radio, not podcasting and so information is verified, opinions balanced and Foxnews it ain't.

Perhaps you are suffering from stress the doctor said… November 7th

Apocalypse Now my friend? Paris is burning – literally as I write this. Last night 1500 cars burned, 395 arrested and now the unrest in the immigrant population has spread to Dijon, Toulouse, Nice, Lille, Marseille, Rouen... 300 towns and cities now. Buses are burning in Yvelines and warehouses are on fire in Le Blanc Mesnil area and Clichy-sous-Bois. 12 days of rioting and how soon before the army is called in and we call this what it is - a muslim revolution, rather than discontented 'racaille' to use Sarkozy's term. (Conspiracy theories abound centering on CIA Black Ops campaign - aiming to bring France in line on their position on Iraq). Curfew begins. Much be disconcerting to those still living who remember wartime. Meanwhile three million are starving, cold, hungry and homeless in Pakistan – the news cameras having moved on, leaving them stranded in their misery after the quake. President Bush is in the doldrums, his power draining away and his pale shadow Tony Blair starring at the abyss as his legacy is swallowed in the folly of Iraq and the reality that words and gesture politics are no substitute for real reform and infrastructure investment. As I write this he is already backing away from wanting to lock people up for 90 days without trial. Two Davids vie for his crown, but I fear the throne will be tainted and overshadowed by grim economics for a generation to come. For light relief we think of Chuck and Camilla in New Orleans with a bucket and spade.

On the horizon bird flu and a pandemic beckons with the onset of winter. Of course should you survive it – like the plague of five hundred years ago - it will do wonders for property prices and social mobility. Even the rich man’s castle will be affordable in a deserted land. Good to know that all those vital social workers will be first in line for an inoculation come the day. (It begs the question as to whether one wants to survive in a world made up entirely of social workers – now that’s a horror movie.)

China looms ever larger. Building one coal fired power station a day they say and we can look forward to them taking not only all out jobs away but becoming a nation entirely engulfed by poisonous fumes from their increased prosperity. No doubt the ice caps will melt just a tad faster and crops will fail as well, whole cities might disappear as tides rise ever higher.

But it there not a conundrum here? If they have all our jobs and make all the things we need, how will be afford to buy them? I imagine there is some magic formula for checks and balances, but on the whole we can look forward to decades of poverty and the riots in Paris will spread to our own cities and everything will be like Escape from New York but without the hope of Snake Plisken to safe our sorry asses.
Doom is seductive no? Got a better plan? A place to hide? Can we all suddenly be self-sufficient? The answer is no as the last farmland is consumed by yet more housing that will hardly outlast the 10 year guarantee.
Hope lives over the rainbow – you can see it if you look hard from the millennium tower.
It can only get more interesting, as the Chinese say.

Sam North editor

Welcome to the November Edition:

We welcome Caitlin Metland who is joing the staff as asistant editor. It's a packed edition now
Richard Turner muses on why we travel, Ari Kaufman has been crossing America in search of genuine destinations and has found us the Field of Dreams in Tri-Towns. Antonio Graceffo has not only written on martial arts but Vanessa Hyde discusses his latest collection of published Cambodian travel stories (most of which have appeared in this journal).
Pablo Delgardo encourages us to get out of our cars and rtide the trains in LA and Kyle MacDonald advises us on when to accept a ride in Europe and why you should always buy a fan in Canada!
James Campion keeps us up to date with US politics and remembers Rosa Parks whilst Eric Lehman writes on friends, the making and losing of. Michelle Attridge ponders the pain of dieting. Naseem Javed discusses Stinky Branding and the smell of money making.
Dan Schneider keeps us up to date with the latest DVD releases and reviews Curtis's White's book The Middle Mind, Gemma Roxy Williams was last seen reading
Iain Sinclair's book on the poet John Clare.
Lauren Almey has a new story to entertain us with in 'Clarity after the rain'. whilst Ryan Moore goes to a stripper club and finds more than he bargained for.

There will be more to come so don't forget to come back later and tell your freinds we are here.

** My new book The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery has just been released
Copies can be ordered from all the usual on-line retailers and via the web link here:

Yes you can get in printed in the UK via Amazon UK.

Sam North - Editor

We at Hacks are self supporting and if you want to support us, buy Sam's books - All the funds from the sale of the book go back into the site. See below.

The Curse of the Nibelung
A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North

ISBN 1-4116-3748-8
$19.98 Retail - 300 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

Or buy direct from Lulu Press at special price of $12.95 US

If you are looking for a good read this Christmas Sam North's book Diamonds - The Rush of '72 is available also. $19.95 from in the USA or on special offer from the publishers direct - see box below.

Or buy direct from the publisher from only $12.95 plus shipping

Diamonds - The Rush of '72
By Sam North

Buy now from
'a terrific piece of storytelling' Historical Novel Society Review

Now printed in the UK and available from

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