Tag Archives: The Goose’s Wing

The Goose’s Wing

“What man-made machine will ever achieve the complete perfection of even the goose’s wing?” – Abbas ibn Firnas It’s the 1050th anniversary of the invention of the hang-glider, and Andalusian peace activist Tariq ait Fortun falls into the talons of … Continue reading

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Tales from Alternate Earths 2

I am pleased to announce that the new Tales from Alternate Earths anthology is out! In it you’ll find alternate history stories about such subjects as the 21st-century secession of New England from the British Empire, the voyage of Christopher … Continue reading

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Kiteworld

From the Nahua pyramid-towers to the great sandstone ramps of the Mediterranean, from the Da Peng pagoda to the minaret-trees of the Yanomami Caliphate, this is Kiteworld. Uncountable thanks to Bruce Munro, consummate map-maker and collaborator, who took my althistorical/geographic … Continue reading

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The Goose’s Wing is finished!

“What man-made machine will ever achieve the complete perfection of even the goose’s wing?” – Abbas ibn Firnas I finished that alt-hist short story! It’s a nice, hefty 8,300 words long, and will probably end up a little longer. In … Continue reading

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The Goose’s Wing: Early uses of gliders

Gliders were originally used for spectacles in praise of their patrons. But there was also growing demand for gliders for purposes religious and practical (message delivery). Higher demand for silk lead to better-established trade routes with Arabia, which lead to slightly lower silk prices. When … Continue reading

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The Goose’s Wing: first line

The last echoes of the call to worship fade into the heat rising off Cordoba, and against Tariq’s back the glider shivers. But you want more, don’t you, you rapacious hordes? You’ll get it — the whole first scene of … Continue reading

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The Goose’s Wing: Materials and Design

Remember Era of the Kite and Rocket? I’m writing a story set there, but the world needs some more buildin’! I started a thread on the Alternate History Forum, but here’s what I got so far: First, I should point … 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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Hang-gliders

“A thousand years before the Wright brothers, a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician, and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine.” What if he had been successful? How might functional gliders in the 9th century … Continue reading

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