Guest blogger Sean Patrick Hazlett celebrates Halloween and the release of the anthology Weird War III!
THE YEAR TO END ALL YEARS
To say 2020 has been a tumultuous year would be an understatement. Each month could’ve been a standalone geopolitical thriller. A once-in-a-century pandemic that swept through the United States killing roughly two hundred thousand souls to date; one of the most contentious election cycles in US history muddied by conspiracy theories and Russian intrigue; the adverse economic impact of COVID-related business shutdowns driving the highest US unemployment rate in decades; civil unrest in major US cities resulting in the most costly riot damage in US history; Western wildfires causing billions of dollars and destroying millions of acres that turned the sky blood-red; and increasing tensions between the world’s two most populous nations over the contentious Line of Actual Control in the Himalayan foothills.
THE SEASON OF SAMHAIN
In the wake of these dark times, we prepare to celebrate Halloween, a holiday tracing its origins back to the melding of Christian and ancient Celtic traditions. Samhain, the pagan forerunner of Halloween, was a festival that marked the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice—when the harvest ended and the darker half of the year began. It was a time when ancient peoples believed the veil between worlds was weakest; when otherworldly beings could enter our realm from their dark and dismal dimensions.
For those of us born in these darker months, Halloween has a special place in our hearts. The cooler temperatures, the darker days, the falling leaves, the pumpkin patches—all aspects of the season that bring us all back to our beginnings.
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Sean Patrick Hazlett is a technologist, finance professional, and science fiction, fantasy, horror, and non-fiction author and editor working in Silicon Valley. He is a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest, and over forty of his short stories have appeared in publications such as The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, Terraform, Galaxy’s Edge, Writers of the Future, Grimdark Magazine, Vastarien, and Abyss & Apex, among others. He is also an active member of the Horror Writers Association.
In graduate school, Sean assisted future Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter at the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project where he developed strategic options for confronting Iran’s nuclear program. For this analysis, he won the 2006 Policy Analysis Exercise Award at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Sean also worked as an intelligence analyst focusing on strategic war games and simulations for the Pentagon, where he drew on his experience training the US military as a cavalry officer in the US Army during the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Sean holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and bachelor’s degrees in History and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
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