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OCTOBER Editorial

Welcome to this Autumn edition of Hackwriters. Read us and our amazing archives too. 17 years on-line, 7355 articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.

Zanzibar Editorial: October 2016 -

Well it’s not long now until the US election and the world may have to get used to Trump being in charge of the free world. My personal view is that he will implode before this given his history and bullying demeanour, but I’ll let our regular columnist James Campion speculate on all this, but I am nervous about the prospect and feel not a little queasy at the idea.

This October sees a few changes here at Hackwriters.  We have moved to a remote converted stables for starters and although BT have promised we can have a fast broadband connection it turns out it just crawls along. Infinity is not what it used to be. It is so hard to live without connectivity now.  Banking, work, social life – all is conducted on-line and without it you are plunged into a third-world existence.  Except even they have better broadband than the UK. 
It's worse than I thought - BT is a disaster so far.

I have begun teaching at Lincoln University and this month, among other things, we have been discussing the transformation of career/work/future expectations in a world where Uber everything is happening.  It will be interesting to explore the rapid imposition of AI technology into everyday life.  Self-drive cars will expropriate millions of taxi drivers, 1.7 million in the USA.  More than that – it may subvert the very concept of car ownership.  If you don’t drive the car, perhaps ownership might be redefined?  Cars spend a great deal of time standing idle outside your home or on the street.  So a bored self-drive car could make itself available to others by the hour.  An Uberdrive.com system could rapidly evolve where you lease a vehicle for the time you need it and one vehicle could technically serve several on your street, from the commute to helping someone go shopping, picking up the kids from school and then back to pick you and others up for the ride home. Your car could earn more money than you do!
There are some benefits to self-drive of course.  The old who can no longer drive could use your car, the young to get them to social events and back and never have to lose their licence ever again. In fact, perhaps you can drink if you aren’t driving, no longer will the designated driver have to stay sober. (This might be a hard battle to fight in law later).

Oddly enough there are also 1.7 million truck drivers in the USA and they are the most vulnerable to being replaced by self-drive solutions. Straight roads, grid system, easy to navigate. And according to The Times 26.09.16 global shipping might go the same way. You don't need crews or engineers anymore and super-tankers would be less vulnerable to blackmail without crew in a hijack. The downside - if you don't own your own truck, taxi or supertanker you are screwed. (And I just discovered self-drive tractors are being used in the fields already - so there go the farm jobs). Expect a new version of Luddites out there on the highways with burning tyres and giant logs some time in the future. Right now the only way to defend yourself against the future changes are owning property. Well if there is a mass decimation of blue-collar jobs world wide - no one will be buying houses. They won't even have money to rent and they can't all retrain to sell junk on Amazon or Ebay. Revolution will come. Start building defences now.

As others realise they could save money by not buying a whole car then insuring it, let alone service it, car ownership could rapidly fall and then with it all the jobs that go with it.  Building a car, parts, selling, servicing, insuring.  Currently the UK manufactures 1.71 million cars a year and it is a big reason why the economy is so strong.  How long will it take for Uberdrive to kill the car economy?  Could be as little as six years?  You will be shocked how quickly this could happen, but can you remember a world without a smartphone?  The word smartphone only came into common usage in 1995 and the first phones weren't exactly useful.  Back then you had a Palm Pilot or Blackberry if you wanted to communicate.  Who then would have guessed ‘everyone’ would be 'smart' by 2016.

AI will invade all the professions of course, medicine, law, publishing, already there is software being refined that will write a novel and automated news services with feeders from layman news uploaders are usurping how we ‘get’ our news and it’s veracity.  A scary number to contemplate is that 66% of Facebook users get their news from Facebook or Ladbible.  They don't buy newspapers either and fewer magazines. How long before 'print' becomes unviable. Lay your bets here.

I am about to buy a new Mac.  But I can’t buy and load any software, there isn't a DVD slot.  I have to 'rent' my software now and it’s all in the cloud and the cloud is all about giant power consuming server farms.  Take those down and we shall be blind.  And in the kingdom of the blind – the one with access to software will be king.

Social media + AI + a change in the idea of ownership will transform society but how will it play out and who gets the money?  The power?  All of this is up for grabs. Definitely something for discussion.

Have a great October. If I am tardy in responses its because I have just had a hernia op and I am VERY sore.

© Sam North October 2016
author of 'Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles' - the only pandemic guide-book you need

Enjoy the Fall   See any article you like – please share it. More to come as the month progresses.

*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended.
The spy/romance Repercussions of Tomas D set in the Blitz has a small following now. Spread the word.

New in 2016: J&K 4Ever - A touching young love story in a post-apocalypse
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.  She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive. 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
*New - J&K 4Ever

Sam Hawksmoor
Marikka 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 2015

By Sam Hawksmoor and Sam North (2015 version)
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. 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. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?

Review from the First Edition:
'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 - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Repercussions Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going

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
*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

The Heaviness published by Hammer and Tong
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 this year. If you enjoyed it, please post a remark on Amazon or Goodreads. It all helps. * Just sold to Marti Y - The Turkish publishers of TOZ
The Heaviness of Genie Magee

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