Author Archives: dan

93 Young Adult Fiction with William Campbell Powell

This week I’m talking with William Campbell Powell, author of EXPIRATION DAY, a Young-Adult Science Fiction Robot Crossover. Bill didn’t know he was writing YA until his editor at Tor told him he had. Coming of Age I’m not sure if YA … Continue reading

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Quantum Europe

Browsing alternate history maps like you do, and I got to wondering. Of course the borders in a given area (say Europe) depend a lot on historical contingency, the arbitrary choices of leaders, and plain old accident, but geography plays a role, too. … Continue reading

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Charming Lies chapter 1

Here’s the first chapter of Charming Lies, the historical fantasy currently in need of beta-readers! Comment below if you’re interested. ~~~ Chapter 1 The ropes pulled tight. Timurhan bin Metin stiffened his muscles and thanked All-Merciful God the smugglers had … Continue reading

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7th Mother

Sorry, no April Fool’s joke this year. But remember last week when I talked about making the 7th-son-of-a-7th-son fantasy trope make sense as a system? Well, it turns out I didn’t go nearly far enough. Flesh-Pocket, Melissa Walshe, and Peter Queckenstedt, … Continue reading

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Teenager Conlang

I’m so sorry http://danbensen.tumblr.com/post/112692988201/excessunrated-phonetic-description-of-annoying

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X^xth Son

Imagine a world in which being the seventh son of a seventh son (or whatever combination of number and gender) reliably made you magical. The result wouldn’t be as awful as a “magic gene,” a la Star Wars, but it … Continue reading

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3 Dimensions of goal-orientation

There are few better feelings than getting an email from Arianne “Tex” Thompson. Zzz! Goes my phone, and to the right of the unopened letter icon, there’s a line of text (in bold!) that says something like Schedulations! or The … Continue reading

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92 Obsession with Ferrett Steinmetz

This week I’m talking with Ferrett Steinmetz, who’s debut novel, Flex is out now from Angry Robot. Flex has been described as “Breaking Bad meets meets Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files,” and it has a lot of themes to explore (such as body … Continue reading

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Heavy Magic Poisoning

Magic accumulates through the food-chain, from plants  to herbivores to large predators, to humans. Eat enough wolf-liver and you gain the ability to make the world conform to your expectations. You become a baatar. ~~~ Kashin of the house of … Continue reading

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The Era of Kite and Rocket

Remember Abbas ibn Firnas? Here’s what might have happened if his glider had worked. “He flew faster than the phoenix in his flight when he dressed his body in the feathers of a vulture.”—Mu’min ibn Said The earliest known use for … Continue reading

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