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Hackwriters The International
Writers Magazine

JAN 2023

Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 24 years on-line, 7910+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on.

Happy New Rabbit Year to all our readers - January 27th 2023 (Or Cat Year if you live in Vietnam)

Editorial: What will 2023 turn out like?

Rabbit years bring peace they say. We can hope.
There's a lot of bad news at the moment but things can change. By summer we'll see more positives than negatives. Keep that as your goal in mind. Happy New Year.
Year of the Rabbit

Tragic and inexplicable mass killing in California again on the Chinese New Year's Eve. Even more absurd is that it was the 33rd mass killing in the USA in 2023 so far and we're still in January - it's 39 mass killings now with the latest shooting in Half-Moon Bay! Meanwhile America has reached its debt ceiling - all I can say what took them so long? - I've been there for months already.

The point of Democracy is that you accept the results whether you like them or not and move on. Something that seems to have escaped the attention of voters in Brazil and Republicans in the USA. Not that the E.U. can boast of being exactly democratic. One can't even vote for the people who actually run things in Brussels and the MEP's seem to be bought and sold wholesale by Qatar and others.

Can't you be more positive a reader asked. I thought about it and no, not really. Sadly no one gave me rose-tinted glasses for Christmas. Whether climate change, politics or strikes or Putin or China etc ... one can only see things are going to be worse. The IMF predicts a world-wide recession. But this is now. Let's try to project better outcomes as inflation pressures recede.

You, dear reader, might be thinking that ’23 just has to be a better year than ’22.  Which to be honest was a lot easier than ‘21, right?  The vaccine worked, life returned to normal, or at least would have if Putin hadn’t declared war on Ukraine and completely wrecked the world economy, not forgetting completely destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure.  Right now millions of Ukrainians are huddled in basements or underground shelters in -20c temperatures wondering how much more ‘love’ they can take from fanatical Russians.

What will 2023 bring us?  Will inflation be tamed or is this a lull before energy prices climb even higher? The strikes by railway workers, posties, teachers, nurses, ambulance drivers, border guards ...et al in the UK are crippling small businesses and big companies as well. I suspect there will be so many layoffs in the private sector and service industries this year it will be frightening.  On the other hand brief amusement was brought to us by the Republicans in Congress fighting over which far right idiot will become Speaker of the house. James Campion discusses just how much humiliation can McCarthy take and the GOP's main agenda Women's Reproductive Rights Ban. In other news, Indiana Lee wonders if the car has a sustainable future this month.

There is a political inevitably that the UK socialists will win the next election but quickly find themselves completely controlled by the Unions (whose loyalties are to Putin not the British people).  People desperately want life to return to normal and heating gas prices to fall, but that too might be wishful thinking.  Putin can sell his gas for four times the price he got before the war, even with sanctions. We are financing his war. Why would he want peace in those circumstances?  In fact, why stop at Ukraine. Belarus might be the next domino to fall, Putin already controls Lukashenko, and then who knows, perhaps he can test our resolve to defend Estonia or Lithuania from attack. Finally Germany has agreed to send Leopard 2 tanks but how quickly will they get there? They are urgenly needed now.

Will South Africa survive as energy is rationed and the ANC tears itself apart and corruption goes unchecked? How many other ANC sofa's are stuffed with Euros and dollars one wonders? Can industry keep going, rationed to a few hours of electricity a day?

Now we have the Republicans back controlling Congress dedicating themselves to wrecking the US economy to spoil Biden's presidency. Paralysis will ensue and everything will move further to an extreme. James Campion discusses Trump - who had a very bad week. Musk meanwhile has gone down the fascist rabbit hole and taking his fortune with him. Has he no one who can say 'stop' to him? I guess not. What goes up must come down... one hopes he goes back to running Tesla where there is a profit to be made for now, but China can build it's own E.V.s cheaper.

Being a natural pessimist I don’t see any sunlit uplands in '23 but fervently hope I am completely wrong (as usual).  Hackwriters is about to head into mostly archive mode.  Things change and evolve.  We are resolutely Internet dinosaurs at 24 years online. Besides, AI Chatbots will soon supplant most blogs and journalism. Already one fashion house is using AI to design their new dresses. It takes ten seconds apparently and Ford are getting rid of all their design staff and going to use AI to design their new EV ranges. Worried yet? You should be. I'm actually looking forward to my doctor being replaced by intelligent AI bots. At least I'd be able to talk to it. (Wonder what the correct pronoun is for a semi-sentient AI Doc Bot?)

I’m hoping to travel more whilst I still can and find that elusive warm café to write the next book in.  The one lesson of Covid for us all is never to postpone that big adventure you promised yourself.  The moment might pass and you won’t get the chance to go again.  I certainly got that message in a year I developed kidney disease, had a heart attack, caught Covid and as a consequence, shingles.  It was like winning the upside down world lottery.  *Yes I have made sure I am fully vaccinated against Covid and ‘Flu.  I am determined to keep away from hospitals in '23.

Good luck to all our readers in 2023 and welcome to the Year of the Rabbit.

*My new mystery novel The Book of Ashes is now published - a murder in the snow-
Download or order the print version now.
'an immensely satisfying story' - Walli Leff on Goodreads.

© Sam Hawksmoor - Editor - January 2023

The Book of Ashes
New from Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
Hammer & Tong August 2022 - print and kindle

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

I miss you so much... even when you’re right here
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. When it happens 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'.

'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' 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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