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Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 24 years on-line, 7,960 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. OCTOBER 2023 - Previous Editorial here

War in Israel with tragic results - it can only get worse. Earthquakes in Afghanistan, thousands dead. Meanwhile Putin bombs Ukraine to Republican applause... sickening. Dr Marwan Asmar was in Jerusalem two weeks before Hamas attacked with mixed feelings and comments on Gaza now. James Campion ponders the utter insanity of the war in Israel.

Editorial: What are you afraid of?

Ill health? Climate Change? War with China? War with Russia?  Or both simultaneously. The Far Right rising again in Europe and America?  How about A.i.? Mass illegal migration?  Energy Costs and Shortages? War?


Pretty much all of the above are imminent.  Reading the Sunday papers or listening to the news (not Fox or GB News) you can only come away with a pretty bleak view of the future and precious few solutions that don’t curb your freedoms to enjoy life.  I have just read John Gray’s book The New Leviathans that builds on the philosopher Hobbes and predicts the end of liberalism and the rise of kleptocracies everywhere, including the USA, which will revert to a kind of neo-feudal state with elites and extreme poverty and violence.  We already live in a world where Musk on X claims he is promoting ‘freedom’ but filling the world only with ‘hate’. Orwell would have understood that so well. *Meanwhile in this months issue James Campion says Trade Unions are back in vogue in the USA.

 Whether young or old, it doesn’t matter which, both are equally affected by the future but may have different fears.  The young must fear the coming of A.I. to take their jobs (especially the boring jobs, the starter jobs). Young professionals will certainly fear A.I., that includes lawyers, doctors, economists, journalists, academics and as the Hollywood strikes revealed, actors, writers, and musicians.  (This editorial is free of any A.I. influence).  Then add their concerns about global warming. We learn this week that A.I. computer hubs consume billions of gallons of fresh water that is needed for farmland. Everyone may want to protest that, some will want to vote for political parties that promise to eliminate cars entirely - in Wales (UK) all cars have to travel at 20 mph already and they are no doubt ordering many red flags to hold up in front of them for the coming mass unemployment due there.

Sadly protests in the UK and Europe won’t make a damn bit of difference as most of the pollution (from coal-fired power stations) that is driving up the global temperature are located in China and India. Both are still building coal-fired power stations and protesting in China is illegal and ill advised in Modi’s India. As an aside Bloomberg (9.27.23) states that 62% of Apple factories based in Asian countries are at risk of flooding due to global warming and most are fuelled by fossil fuels (Natural Gas or Coal).

So whereas we can establish being young isn’t much fun anymore, the old have multi-level problems, ageing, health, obesity, the consequences of decades ill advised diets, smoking, alcohol. Combine this with a declining workforce in European healthcare systems it’s not trending for a good outcome. Then factor in a total lack of places or money to house millions of elderly unable to care for themselves (especially in the UK) we are heading for a social care disaster. (Unless you have money, a lot of money).  Global warming will also produce shortages of food, ever-higher prices and as populations’ age shortages of labour to work in food production. (See Japan).  As world temperatures rise the food we are used to eating will fail to grow.  Some crops can adapt but feed nine billion people as it is predicted to be by 2050?  I have my doubts.  So food security and your right to access it will be paramount. (Just like all the dystopian novels tell you). Malthus may yet be proved right.

You might argue that A.I. will solve all these problems. We might get lucky and not re-elect Trump in the USA, but pity Ukraine if they do.  The sc-fi writer Paulo Bacigalupi wrote about food companies solving the world food problem by coming up with ‘nutrition free food’ and millions died of starvation with full stomachs. (The Wind Up Girl). We already have a UPF (ultra-processed foods) that have caused mass obesity.  And instead of teaching people to eat healthily we give them a diabetes drug Ozempic to gorge on instead, courtesy of Novo Nordisk (now the most valuable company in Denmark. 
Don’t think things looked any better in the sixties.  There was the permanent threat of nuclear war (from Russia as ever). It affected the psyche of a whole generation who learned to live for the moment rather than invest in the future. After all, many people back then didn’t think there would be a future.  It’s ironic that those same people are still alive and facing the same threat from Russia again.  It meant that many people, me included, didn’t make plans or get a pension until far too late.  It was a case of damn, I’m still alive, I’d better get a proper job and get on the housing ladder before it’s too late.

I asked my nieces and nephews what they fear and although they parrot climate change, all their worries are mostly about school, exams, their immediate future, they don’t seem to look at the wider view.  Maybe that’s healthy.  My youth was definitely blighted by fear of nuclear war (my school was next to the atomic bombers airbase).  They are definitely worried about personal safety, knife crime, being on the wrong side of wokeness and are extremely devoted to political correctness. I never once worried about my personal safety when a kid, except for what might fall out of the sky one day.

So many people now say ‘I never watch the news or read a newspaper.’ They get all their ‘news’ from on-line or Tik-Tok which is totally free of fact checking or balance. So everyone has opinions on everything but no actual knowledge.  Worse, they seem happy with that because algorithms deliver them more water from a poisoned well to reinforce those new set of views by the minute.

My friend says ‘What does it matter, we all die in the end.’ That’s factually true, but wouldn’t you prefer to choose when and where and how? Yes, I believe mankind is driving climate change, no I don’t believe that we will ‘solve’ the problem in time to save the bulk of humanity or the wild animals.

Solutions of the hairshirt variety will not be politically acceptable and people will just elect people like Trump who tell them it’s a hoax, even as Category Six hurricanes sweep their houses into oblivion.
That’s my fear.
Oct 3rd" PS: Saw Dumb Money which is all about the 'little people' investors against the evil hedge funds who stood to lose billions shorting Gamestop. Starring Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Seth Rogen and a host of others its a real David vs Goliath story. Not quite in the league of 'The Big Short' but very much a social media portrait of the USA today. Go see.

© Sam Hawksmoor October 2023
Editor and author of We Feel your Pain & The Book of Ashes

The Book of Ashes
New from Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
Hammer & Tong - print and kindle

'an immensely satisfying story' -
Walli Leff on Goodreads.

'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards

An extract from the Book of Ashes

Book of Ashes The Book of Ashes -
Some secrets are meant to be kept forever

The Case:
Delaney and Asha run their own investigation company now. Hired to find a writer who stiffed a client of $10,000 - things go bad pretty fast.

"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."

'We Feel Your Pain'
by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693
Published by Hammer & Tong
Print or Kindle from Amazon

Pain Cover We Feel Your Pain – So you don’t have to.

The Case:
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?
Mission Longshot MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?

Gerry is convinced aliens are going to attack on Millennium Eve - Y2K night. Everyone else is preparing for the end of civilisation. That night only Gerry notices aliens land. He and his spacenut pals Jolene and Kali race to be the first to greet them...

'Climate change, lost alien civilisations, adventures in deep space. Great fun with endearing characters'. Kitty Thomas

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'

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

Another Place To Die

Girl with Cat (Blue) 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'.

* Screenplay a quarter-finalist in the Creative Screenwriting competition 2023

'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
Judge, 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 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 of Genie Magee 'The Heaviness'
betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.

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

Read Part Two: The Hunting of Genie Magee
- the fight for the right to exist
The Hunting of genie Magee

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