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Another Place To Die

by Sam North

The Next Great Flu Pandemic is coming.
Are you prepared?

'It will keep readers in suspense, laced with gritty-gallows humor'
Charlie Dickinson

'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 Williams -

Order Now direct from Publisher :

Another Place To Die

James Campion
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All opinions expressed herein are wholly reflective of the writers and contributors to hackwriters. All work is copyright of the writers &

Hackwriters is a non-profit , non-paying journal based at an academic institution but welcomes contributions from writers. We reserve the right to publish and edit material in accordance with our editorial policy - see submissions


Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - OCTOBER 2007

The Best Place to Live?
Curious thing came across my eyeballs today. Ten best places to live in the USA. I realised that I haven’t been to any of them or heard of nine of them. No one has ever written to us from those places or mentioned them before. Money Magazine lists them as the best places to live.
1. Middleton, WI, 2. Hanover, NH, 3. Louisville, CO, 4. Lake Mary, FL, 5. Claremont, CA,
6. Papillion, NE, 7. Milton, MA, 8. Chaska, MN, 9. Nether Providence, PA 10. Suwanee, GA

The categories are economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a sense of community. Middleton, Wisconsin is judged the best place. A slice of heaven they say. Kurt Sonnetag the Mayor says it’s a very walkable community and has a bike path. ‘It’s a small town with a sophisticated feel’, another resident says. Close to the University, it has 17,500 people. The median property price is just under $300,000 and property tax is $5000 pa. There’s a good choice of restaurants and although it has cold winters, it has hot summers.

I’d contrast that with the town I am living in the UK, Petersfield, Hampshire, which has a population of 14,000 and also bills itself as one of the best places to live in England. Average property price for a two bed terrace runs at $480,000 (240,000 sterling) and $660,000 (330,000 sterling) for a detached family home with parking. Walking is encouraged, as the parking attendants are pedantic in extreme. You can commute to London in one hour thirty mins and there are three Universities within 18 miles in any direction, Chichester, Winchester and Portsmouth. It has a low crime rate, has nice friendly people (except for ghastly the neighbours on one side of me who would embarrass the Simpson’s) and markets with fresh produce at least three times a week. It has restaurants that cater for all kinds, and churches for most beliefs. However, we had no summer at all this year and expect a wet cold winter.

It is almost as dull as Middleton. I'm sure.

If I were going to chose to live somewhere, would I be looking for sense of community? Or low crime? Or good economic opportunities? It seems like a no brainer, but actually I don’t think I do. My choice of Petersfield was clearly influenced by my former choice of habitation, Southsea. I had to walk past the methadone clinic and piles of vomit outside the pubs on the way in to work every day, so I knew that if I had to own a place I’d rather heroin wasn’t on sale on the streets. It may well be, but I kinda hope they have to go to Southampton for it – one of the ugliest cities in the UK (Thanks to German bombers and post-war British architects).

I was forced to buy the cheapest place I could find because I am a teacher and well that explains that. So although living near the station, it is at least convenient and safe and I have a garden (eating the runner beans I grew for lunch as it happens). So that’s all sweet and cute. But is it enough?

If I were putting together a best of list, I’d be listing: Is there a coffee bar I can go to up until ten p.m. or later? Are there any art house cinemas? Is there a sandy beach I can walk my dog on? Is the weather good at least for half the year? Is there a good selection of restaurants? Are there art galleries? Do people get together and invite you to dinner just because they are curious? Do people smile when you go by? Do artists and writers like living there? Is there a good road out of town? A good connection to a major airport?

I guess to be fair Petersfield has some of this and if you drink, there's more than enough pubs to get wasted in. My neighbour could recommend a few, no doubt. But this this pretty much eliminates 80% of the towns in the UK. Even Guildford, one of the best and most expensive towns in England is crawling with kids on the lash every night looking to get drunk as fast as they can. It's ingrained in the UK culture now, pretty much in every town across the land. It can be pretty intimidating and gets ugly in the early hours.

One can consider some towns in France maybe, particularly the beach aspect. Anglet/Bayonne/Biarritz for example. Nice or Cannes maybe. But then the French know nothing about decent coffee. San Sebastian in Spain is pretty cool, grand homes and apartments and a lively cultural scene, worth considering at least, but a tad crowded in summer.
So Amsterdam perhaps. No beach, but a fun town on many levels and they have art, coffee bars, a vibrant changing population and lots of Universities and Colleges. Is it affordable? Well you could do worse than live in the De Pijp area with the many bars and restaurants and on the tram route to town. Property prices have gone up 350% in the last five years here and you would be paying London prices for an apartment. Tax is deductible if you own so that’s fuelled the boom. However that perk may cease soon and that might cause the property market to cool rapidly. So rent for now. Can you work there? There are all kinds of jobs and Holland is a high-tech kind of place so if skilled in that area, you could be in luck. Amsterdam definitely fits the bill.

As does Vancouver, BC, Cape Town in South Africa (as long as you live in a safe neighbourhood, can avoid the Tik (crack epidemic) and get out before Zumo takes over the presidency), Melbourne (I hear is good) San Francisco is extremely civilised and fun too. However none of these are small towns and they have transient populations and often high crime or other problems such as gangs and drugs. Perhaps every city has that problem now. I guess that's why people flee the cities for Middleton. Which is often why these small 'safe' towns are also full of bored, crazy kids with nothing to do except experiment with drugs and sex. (Ok I am sure there are some kids who don't experiment, read Virginia Wolfe and do wonderful things for charity, but not many ok.)

But what exactly is quality of living? Is it being safe, quiet, or part of something organic, creative, edgy? I kind of like an ethnic mix, lively streets, a choice of venues and good newspapers. Part of what makes Vancouver great is something simple as The Georgia Strait - the free newspaper that hooks the city together. London has tons that try to do that, as has New York, but they are never going to be listed as one of the best places to live nor would they care. They exist because that's where all the big jobs are and if you want a big job, you go to the big city. It ain't rocket science. But what if you want to raise a perfect Stepford family? Then check out the top ten best places to live in the USA right now. Want to have an interesting life and keep your secrets? Go to the city. Otherwise come live in Middleton or Petersfield where everyone knows your business and you theirs.

If you were going to compile a list of ten best places to live in your country, what would they be? And why? Let me know.

© Sam North - Editor October 2007
see submissions for email address.

The MA in Creative Writing at Portsmouth University starts another year this October. Apply now for 2008 entry: The current students have all got their major projects under way now. Novels, screenplays, children's fiction, speculation fiction, crime novels, you name it... If you need support and like a good encouraging peer group, join us. Might do you good to live in Portsmouth for a year but you don't have to. Students come down from London once a week and further afield. Apply now to avoid being disappointed. You do not have to be published to join us, but you do have to have a portfolio of some interesting writing already to hand. *Hackwriter published writers especially welcome. Come to Sherlock Holmes country (yes this is where it all started on Elm Grove in Southsea).

Meanwhile, you worried about your health this winter? Read my book 'Another Place to Die'' . If you have the slightest worry about how to survive the coming flu pandemic, you need this book and all the proceeds go to keep Hackwriters going. In the UK newspapers 31.08.07 they were quoting a Home Office paper called: Planning for a possible Influenza Edpidemic and predicting 650,000 'extra' deaths this winter in the UK if it breaks out. There will also be a shortage of coffins, not that you need them in a mass grave. It's all in my book, you don't need this report. Another Place to Die is a guide on how to survive the pandemic. So order now for your autumn reading. (Maybe Amazon will do you a deal on a coffin too!) You will not be disappointed.
See the review from Ian Middleton.

Someone who just read it described it as: ‘Thought-provoking, horrifying and moving’ It’s essential reading for anyone who wants to survive the next flu pandemic. You just might want to be prepared. The Government is taking it seriously. Are you?
Order the book now. If you want to be prepared for the coming flu pandemic you will need 'Another Place to Die'


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 books go back into the site. If you live in New York they can be ordered at the Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren Street. These titles are able to be ordered at Amazon who keep stock see below and can be ordered from Waterstones all over the UK and Hatchards in London and for less cost direct from in the UK and USA

Another Place To Die
by Sam North

ISBN: 978-1-84753-899-4
The Next Great Flu Pandemic is coming. Are you prepared?

'It will keep readers in suspense, laced with gritty-gallows humor'
Charlie Dickinson
'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 Williams -
Fascinating, frightening and compelling, Another Place to Die is the ultimate page-turner which I guarantee will result in many late nights under the bedside light with you uttering, ‘just one more chapter!!’ Ian Middleton

Read the first chapter on line
Order Now direct from Publisher :
Another Place To Die

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
& Waterstones

Or buy direct from Lulu Press plus delivery charges

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.

Diamonds - The Rush of '72
By Sam North

ISBN: 1-4116-1088-1

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

Now printed in the UK and available from
& Waterstones

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