Category Archives: Wonderful, Awful Ideas

Every Friday I post weird ideas that come into my head. Or maybe they come into your head and you tell me about them.

In either case, I’ll do a little write up. It might be in-world, it might just be a description. Then we talk about it. Wait for several years, and maybe some of these ideas will end up in one of my novels :)

The Hinterlands

Whew, what a vacation that was. I even got a chance to talk to my wife. We discussed urbanization. Our terrible vision of a future: extreme urbanization where cities are pressure-cookers of both problems and their solutions. The problem-solution cycle … Continue reading

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The Howling Specter of the Law

https://danbensen.tumblr.com/post/160261711980/exxos-von-steamboldt-slimy

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Bad Conlang Ideas

You know how some languages have nouns with singular, dual, and plural morphology? Why not more? I’m not suggesting a different suffix for every number. But what if we kept things simple? What if we used binary?This is a Wugun. Now … Continue reading

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Redundant English

I’m not feeling in a scifi mood today, so let’s play with languages! I was thinking about redundancy. There’s a certain amount of information in a given clause in English. What if we made sure that every word in the … Continue reading

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Switching Dinosaurs and Mammals

The Triassic was a battleground, in which dinosaurs and mammals warred to see who would inherit the niches left empty after the Permian extinction. At first, both sides seemed equally matched, with dinosaurs like Eoraptor (1) competing more less directly … Continue reading

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Let slip the Birds of War!

This started as a conversation with the Great Khan Melissa Walshe about how Central Asian horse nomads like the Mongols had a big advantage over city-dwelling people (hint: the answer is “horses.”) Melissa isn’t a horse nomad, but she does raise chickens and she … Continue reading

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The Kingdom of Phoneme

This week, I’m playing with awkwords! The Kingdom of Phoneme is in turmoil, torn apart by the factions around the brothers Hluatat and Derifum and meanced by the great general S’LãGs̩ of Abjad, as they fend of the piratical attacks of Captain KuLaEn’ZuLe … Continue reading

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The Choice of Lady Yu

A girl from a stifling culture gets rescued by the Mongols and finds a place for herself in the Mongol meritocracy, but is self-fulfillment worth killing a third of the population of Eurasia?

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Lazy-ass Fantasy names

A follow-up to yesterday’s post about lazy vrs. rigorous fantasy names: You know what bugs me? Fantasy names for things with obvious predecessors. Like fantasy-Japan being called “Naponia” or something. Bleh! It’s so lazy. Especially when obscuring those predecessors is … Continue reading

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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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