Editorial – July 2020 : Watch That Space.

June 28, 2020 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

Is the world going to pot and not of the smoking kind?

I don’t know how it is for you people across the world but I find it worrying when any government stops listening to scientific/medical advice citing financial reasons or examples based on other countries. The fact that the latter has often had different criteria or just ahead making the same mistake again has no effect on their decisions. When applied to the coronavirus, it is even more scary. After all, the same people who are making decisions are also the same people who have also been self-isolating for the most part. As such, if they are like other people not used to being alone all the time (remember, I’m an agoraphobic with a close proximity to people problem amongst others) are likely to get spells of depression, odd sorts of paranoia and a general dislike of seeing the same four walls all the time. You know, the same feelings a lot of you people can relate tales of in the past three months. So why should politicians be any different or the exception to the effect, even if they can get some work done? Then it becomes problematic that they are also in charge and want to break their own curfew or loosen it for everyone. You do have to ask yourself again: should they be any different to ourselves in all of this and make poor decisions? Having exaggerated worries can make the differences between the choices they make. Doing things for the wrong reasons means there is likely to be a backlash. Yes, the young will recover easily but the ethnic groups, the aged and those with particular illnesses will be made even more vulnerable.

It’s all very well wanting to open the economy and getting children back into schools. The kids might not suffer such ill effects of the coronavirus but it doesn’t mean the teachers or parents are equally immune. It’s just asking for trouble. It won’t take too many mistakes for infections to rear their heads. As part of my problem, there isn’t a week that goes past where I get a cold infection and that hasn’t stopped during this entire period. The germs for all kinds of infections are still out there and they are just as likely to spread as much as corbid-19 and a lot of people are going to be nervous no matter what they get now.

Seeing new or resurfacing coronavirus spikes in China, Germany, the USA and India, with the list of countries growing every time I see a newscast tends to make me think we still need to exercise caution and certainly find better distance solutions, even for when inoculations are found. If you want to be a bit pessimistic, you think something like this won’t happen again where you live?

Humans are a very easily conditioned species. Told they are in danger, many know enough to not be to risk their lives. Told to relax things and people relax things too much, more so as most can’t gauge distance and how far to stay apart and it doesn’t take many people to be affected to raise the R factor. People really can’t distinguish between extreme danger and safety danger distances.

There lies the rub. Considering how last month China and Germany have thought that they have got coronavirus under control, cutting restrictions and a sudden rise in the R factor to double what it was before should be ringing alarm bells world-wide. Something in check isn’t a victory but a brief reprieve. Everything else is semantics.

The world is still a dangerous place and especially if you’re susceptible to infection.

Considering how people have been stepping out with less constraint on confinement clearly shows most people don’t like being stuck at home. However, the recent showing of people visiting the beaches and partying just means a wait of 14 days to see how many will be infected before backing down again into more isolation.

I mention the Gaussian Mexican hat graph from time to time where the extremes are at the ends and the centre is the average. You’re always going to have people who don’t think medical safety is going to happen to them and at the other end, people who are more cautious. At the moment, the graph normality needs to move in their direction and the least cautious down to removal by natural selection to be brutally honest. Evolution favours survival and politicians who don’t listen to their scientific support are just asking for trouble.

It would be so easy to do a parody of the current situation, it isn’t as though I don’t have a vehicle for it in the likes of ‘Snuffworld’, but our current reality is fast out-doing fiction with so many wrong decisions that I doubt if any writer could top it.


Thank you, take care, good night and safe distance is better than no distance.


Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info


A Zen thought: Common-sense depends on people knowing what common-sense is.


What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Not to do anything too stupid without some thought and thinking again not to go along with the crowd.


The Reveal: For those, like me, who suddenly found their macros in Word 2019 wouldn’t function after one of the recent W10 massive updates, despite following the screen instructions to turn it back on in Trust Centre Settings/Enable All Macros and nothing worked. There should have been a follow-up instruction to reboot Word the software to make it work.


Observation: Paranoid people don’t think they are paranoid, they just think that everyone is.


Observation: With the Queen stamps being released in the UK, is this the first time that an American artist, Frank Kelly Freas, has been on British stamps?


Merchandise You Think Would Have Happened: Considering the popularity of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, you would think someone would have tried to have marketed the Orion or Discovery foodstuffs.


For those suffering anxiety:   You can’t change the past, only improve the future.


Feeling Stressed: Breath at a distance.



I did think that having a lot of text about submitting material to SFCrowsnest would attract those with a compulsion to read and understand things the geek way. The main problem with the Internet is that it tends to encourage less reading, so time to take a different approach. The original notes will be left on July2009 editorial although the links aren’t likely to work.

With your cover email, tell me something about yourself so I don’t work in a vacuum. The boss in the tower, also called Stephen Hunt, describes me as a ‘Dutch Uncle’ in that I’m good with advice and can explain when I see something that is wrong. Egos should be left at the door as I’m only interested in your talent and how to improve it.


I always have a clarion call for new reviewers and if you have the yen to learn, you’ll quickly get the ropes if you’re never done it before but you must show me a sample, especially if you can follow my guidelines. We can usually get paper-based books in the UK but if you live abroad, then you might have to stick with ebooks. If you’ve picked a book we haven’t reviewed, then it stands a better chance of being used so use the SFC search engine to see first but I need to see how you would write for us.

The obvious qualification is a desire to read regularly and like to tell others about the book without giving away too many spoilers. The benefit is access to free books for the price of a review.

I want to give you the opportunity to get things right so look up the Review Guidelines link: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-want-to-write-reviews-for-sfcrowsnest-what-you-need-to-know-by-geoff-willmetts/


Although we can’t pay for submissions, what we do make up for is exposure. Only the Sci-Fi Channel gets more hits than us so it’s worthwhile getting us on your writer’s CV. Please avoid samplings from book’s you might be writing or have had in print elsewhere as I do check. New original work is best and whether I accept or reject, you will be told of any problems I see so you look your best and a grammar check that is equal to the pro-world. Even the boss finds me scarily accurate.

Flash or One-Page Fiction:-

Speaks for itself. The shortest fiction possible is also the toughest to write as no word must be wasted.

Link here for details: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/one-page-stories-or-flash-fiction-submissions-instructions-by-gf-willmetts/

Short Stories:-

The definition of a short story is anything up to 30 pages and then it becomes a novella. Bear in mind you want other people to read it on-line, stay somewhere between 5-20 pages. At least digitally, you don’t have to go double-line as HTML will do that automatically but think about being concise. If you want to send an attachment with these, then ask first and send as a TXT file as it removes most tetchy virus codes.

Look up the Short Stories Link by linking here: https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/so-you-really-want-to-write-an-sf-story-an-update-by-gf-willmetts/


The worse problem I see any samples is poor grammar. Although I don’t want you to think I seek perfection, the less work I have to do, the easier it is to focus on other problems you might have. It will also serve you in good stead if you ever approach paper-based publishers because they will send back any bad grammar samples because it’s not worth their time.

Good grammar is the tool of any writer. Don’t just depend on what you remember doing at school. There are plenty of decent grammar books out there, so remind yourself of the rules. If you think there are far too many to remember, get the major ones right before moving to the next so it becomes second nature.

This link, www.sfcrowsnest.info/the-guide-to-better-grammar-from-the-harrowed-hand-of-gf-willmetts/ will show you the common problems.

To submit, use our email address by joining the spaces as shown here: letters @ SFcrowsnest.info and use the subject matter as to what you’re submitting.

If you have any pastimes that can be used to pass the time in captivity, let me know and we’ll see if it can be turned into an article.

Comments directly to reviews should still work as before.

Good luck


Category: Culture, Offworld Report

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Leave a Reply