Welcome to this October 2021 edition of Hackwriters. 22 years on-line, 7827 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.
Coronavirus UK: 49,156 tested positive - 45 deaths (869 in last 7 Days) - Oct 18th 6pm
Get Vaccinated! It is still infecting and killing unvaccinated young people and rising!
October Editorial: Pray tell what time does the *doomsday clock say today?
What are the odds on China declaring war on Taiwan this very month? The consensus (including President Putin) seems to be it won't happen until 2025 or never, as they can crush it using cyber weapons and take it without force. Nevertheless whatever they do, China can be pretty certain Biden will be asleep at the wheel, that American Generals will need to form a committee to make a decision and a cyber attack it can overwhelm Taiwan in a day - maxiumum three and they won't care about casulties. They will also be calculating the odds on whether this will trigger WW3 or the rest of the world will blink and keep ordering the plastic toys. They will also have control over 90% of the world's supply of computer chips once they take Taiwan. So what's it going to be? You might want to hedge your bets here - or runaway and hide. *The clock still says 100 seconds to midnight
I had a blood test last week. If you read the news or listen to the BBC you'd think hospital staff are collapsing from over work and there is utter chaos in the hospital corridors. I walked in, put on mask, they drained a whole armful and I was out in ten minutes. Everyone was polite, smiley and everything was working smoothly. I had an MRI exam on a Sunday! The NHS works a 7-day week schedule. Reflect on that all of you who believe the media hysteria. Of course, no one told me just how LOUD the MRI machine would be. Just 20 mins they said. 40 minutes later I was peeled out of the darn thing deafened. All the time I was thinking of that certain scene in Goldfinger - 'No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die'. It was that kind of experience. I have no idea why the MRI scan has to be so deafening (even with earphones) but reasonating magnets 10,000 times more powerful than the earth's own core will do it.
Nevertheless the UK is fuctioning. Brussel sprouts are still available in the market! There is petrol for sale in the garages here and no queues. Perhaps the media live in a parallel world where the last tin of caviar is to be fought over in Waitrose - but here in forgotten Lincolnshire we don't eat caviar - ever, and there is no Waitrose either.
It was time to come home after three weeks away. Having had to queue twice to get petrol (as the first pump ran dry as I was using it) I was probably the only one in the line-up who was actually going some place. The others were just topping up in case they had to drive more than three miles, as they’re all working at home anyway. Panic is contagious, it has no logic to it. No one needs to have their tank full unless they are planning a long journey or delivering goods.
Prior to filling my car – I was pretty chipper. I’d been in London caring for my sister who'd just had a cancer op and taken the opportunity to wander a little as she attended follow ups at St Thomas’s (just across from the House of Commons). London was busy, vibrant and I absolutely loved my stroll along the embankment seeing all the restaurants are busy again. People seemed to be smiling. Almost no one was wearing a mask, but then again, almost all are vaccinated.
Once my sister was released to my care, I took her to Borough Market for a belated birthday lunch at Applebee’s Seafood. It’s become a tradition to celebrate there with the buzz of the market people passing by. To be honest she didn’t think she ever make it given her health, so it was a kind of double celebration. For her it was probably a triple celebration as she was pretty sick of my vegetarian saltless cooking and was looking forward to cooking her own meals once she could stand properly again. So I didn’t feel guilty when I finally escaped to Bath to see my best pal Kitty and her husband, not forgetting Biscuit the dog (recovering from having his nuts removed).
Bath was busy again, tourists and students have returned. It’s so nice to return to Café Lucca for coffee and enjoy a cider at The Royal Oak (Wednesday was Irish Folk music night and they were pretty damn good). We’ve all had almost two years of hell and it’s such a pleasure to be able to do simple things and enjoy being with people. All made possible by science and the vaccines.
I reluctantly left Bath on the weekend (once I scored enough petrol) and headed home – battling the traffic on the M4 and M1. I noted two fatalities on the journey - yes people drive too fast and take foolish risks.
We are so lucky in the UK that most (but not all) people have had the vaccine. There is a rump of sceptics that won’t, around 5 million people, and the daily death toll is almost entirely of those people. I read about idiots in the USA who’d rather take deworming agents than get the vaccine (and die anyway). It’s very hard to understand this but since they are almost all Republicans – it’s hard to have any sympathy. Social Media is truly evil, spreading doubt and fear and I suspect Zuckerberg will one day end up behind bars for crimes against humanity. Meanwhile if you are filled with anxiety Indiana Lee has a few ideas for you.
I feel privileged that I live in a country that takes healthcare seriously and we can visibly see the benefits of mass vaccination. Sure some folks can be panicked easily into filling up their cars or stripping the supermarket shelves of toilet paper & pasta but for those of you reading this abroad and believing the British supermarkets have only empty shelves it’s a huge media lie. The supermarkets are groaning with food, and shelves are already choked with Halloween and Christmas dross that keeps the Chinese economy afloat apparently. Believe your eyes not the hysterical news, social media or the endless negative reporting about the UK in the NY Times. If you have to worry about something - pray for Taiwan.
Meanwhile I have just seen 'No Time to Die' - all the explosions and exotic locations you could want and two 007's! Fun movie with not a super-hero in sight.
The pubs are open, the restaurants are full, there are a million job vacancies if you're looking for work and if you can’t get petrol, the trains are still running. Panic is for wimps. (You might want to stock up in winter sweaters given the gas prices though).
© Sam North October - Editor - and yes buy my new novel 'A Cure for Sceptics'!
Ever been scammed in healthcare? Then is novel is for you.
A Cure for Sceptics
by Sam North
Publisher: Hammer & Tong ( July 2021)
Paperback & kindle: 326 pages
Delaney and Asha run the Berg City Office of City Oversight. Their role is to expose the shady characters running scams and fraud against the city. 300 complaints flood in for a $30,000 treatment that claims to abolish pain forever. Unfortunately the Mayor himself is touting the scheme. When Delaney finds himself left for dead at the bottom of a cliff he gets the message that he's supposed to leave this one well alone.
'A great human story that wears it's heart on it's sleeve.'
Dr Allen Cook - Bridgeport University
‘a brilliant and intriguing tale’ Amazon
**Sample Sam North's new novel here.
Covid Numbers worldwide - Source: Worldometers.
||Celebrating the publication of MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?
The climate is changing fast - the future of humanity is at stake, who wants to escape to an alternative planet 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.
'Gripping adventures with highly engaging characters.' W. Leff - Goodreads
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'
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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