Author Archives: dan

Virgo triumphat Alexandri!

I just finished reading Nemesis Games, in which the characters wonder what would have happened if Darius III had not tried to retreat from the Battle of Gaugamela. The larger Persian army might well have won. Well? And then what? … Continue reading

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The Bottom of the Food-Chain

So let’s start at the beginning. You want to populate the living world? It starts with energy. Usually that energy comes from the sun, so the first issue I should tackle in designing an alien ecosystem should be harvesting sunlight. … Continue reading

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98 Memory and Landscape with Rebecca Roland

  Rebecca Roland‘s epic fantasy Fractured Days, the sequel to Shards of History. Lewy Body Dementia Implied Spaces The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks Malala Yousafzai The Valles Caldera Dragons would definitely live here … Continue reading

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Dinosaur con-lang

Let it be said that I listen to commenters! When a linguist and a dinosaur-nut both told me to write a dinosaur con-lang, I couldn’t say no! So first of all, what sort of sounds did dinosaurs make? It turns … Continue reading

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Blowing up a beetle 2: the bones

We’re back with giant bugs and how we can get them. Last time we talked about the biggest problem with giant arthropods: their circulatory system. Today, it’s on to the bones. First of all, forget that old saw about exoskeletons … Continue reading

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Blowing up a beetle 1: the blood

Last week I talked about the three basic ways to approach speculative biology, and this week I’m starting with the first: getting inspiration from real animals. For example, bugs. Sci-fi writers love bugs. They’re gross, they’re weird. They’re…tiny. So why … Continue reading

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Paranormal Electricity

So I was watching Everything Wrong with Paranormal Activity and I thought, “wait a second. Those ghosts can reliably slide kids across the floor? Not to mention all the door-slamming and chair-stacking and house-imploding they do. Where does the energy … Continue reading

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Why design aliens? How?

  I’ve tried to do different things with my writing: Satire, Police procedural, Adventure, Political Intrigue, Romance…and it got me wondering. Maybe I’ve spent enough time away from my first love, speculative biology. So this post is the first in … Continue reading

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Unlikely Influences

What Daniel M. Bensen learned about writing from teaching ESL Check out my guest post on Kate Heartfield’s series Unlikely Influences.  

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97 Short Stories with Shawn Scarber

This is Shawn Scarber, author of Night Witch, a story in A. Lee Martinez’s Strange Afterlives anthology. He’s also written a hell of a lot of short stories, some of which have even gotten published. A. Lee Martinez, oh my! Rosemary Clement Moore … Continue reading

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