Author Archives: dan

I’m not an Autobot, I’m an Atheist

I’ve just finished Fables for Robots by Stanislaw Lem. What a ride! Intergalactic electroknights, the creation of the universe, mad robotic philosophy struggling to come to grips with the gulf between the natural and the artificial. It basically read as … Continue reading

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Who walked around in circles in the park yesterday while writing the his book’s next scene on a kindle?

<it says “this guy”>

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The True Name of the Bear

I spent way too much time on a response to this tumblr post. Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, and a bunch of other Indo-European languages have cognate words for “bear” (arktos, ursus, ṛkṣa and so on). Germanic languages like English lack … Continue reading

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Just a bit of fun with magic knives

http://danbensen.tumblr.com/post/157452199175/brucesterling-i-would-buy-one-of-these-if-i When the Becalmer looms over you, shadows writhing on its talons as it reaches toward your pituitary gland. But the handcuffs that they used to chain you to the chair are iron. With an effort of will easier to … Continue reading

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The Ottoman Socialist Republic?

Gasp! An alternate history map that DOESN’T have a “Bulgaria” in it! And I don’t think it’s plausible. Okay, let’s say that the Freedom and Accord Party was more Marxist than IRL and they managed to kill or drive off … Continue reading

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I have a crazy idea for a Steven Universe alternate timeline

…in which Bizmuth shattered Rose Quartz and lead a protracted war against Homeworld. Five thousand years later, Earth has mostly been disassembled, but Mars, Venus, and several moons have been terraformed by human slaves. Wanting a weapon but unwilling to make … Continue reading

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All right!

I’ve finally managed to rework the beginning of Junction. The first four chapters have become two, and we got that first moment of wonder WITHIN the borders of the Amazon sample. Now all I got to do is some bits … Continue reading

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Dhih tauj nayin Payauld Thayth

You what I want to do? Put modern English (of the General American variety) through the sound-changes that Proto-Indo-European went through to get here. In other words, what might English sound like in five thousand years?   I /aɪ/ > … Continue reading

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Bulgarian has words for:

to wake up completely: разсънвам се (razsanvam se) Raz-san-vam se glosses as “apart-dream-verb reflexive” something like “I break up my dreams.” You can add the same suffixes and prefix to buzh- (the root for “wake,” cognate to Sanskrit “Buddha”) to get разбуждам се … Continue reading

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DeoThriller

On the northern slope of Mount Olympus, lightning struck out of the cloudless blue sky and an oak tree burst into flame. Glowing brighter than should any normally burning wood, the trunk split. It revealed a perfectly unharmed human baby. … Continue reading

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