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Daniel Bensen
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My Bio

Daniel M. Bensen writes speculative fiction, including science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy. He lives with his wife, daughters, and in-laws in the Balkan Tower of Matriarchy.

Fellow Tetrapod

1 min read
Alright, here we go! My speculative-evolution serial novel Fellow Tetrapod is finally live on Royal Road. Go check it out. If it looks like your sort of thing, follow the story. It updates every weekday. (if you want to know more…) Koenraad Robbert Ruis used to be a paleontologist, but now he’s a cook at the United Nations embassy to the Convention of Sophonts. His bosses must negotiate with intelligent species from countless alternate earths, and Koen must make them breakfast. It turns out, though, that Koen is rather better at inter-species communication than any other human in this world (all nine of them). Everyone loves to eat (certain autotrophs excepted). Fellow Tetrapod is an speculative-evolution office comedy about food preparation, diplomacy, and what it’s like to be a talking animal.​ Serialized every weekday on Royal Road ( and (one week earlier) Patreon( ​Cover art by Simon
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The Cicada

3 min read
So, there I was, stalking the East Aegean cicada*. Its insistent, gearbox cough rose out of the electric pulse of the other insect life on the hillside behind the restaurant in northern Greece. When the buzzing stopped, I knew I was close, but it still took me another minute of looking before I picked it out against the bark of a sycamore**. The bug's spotted olive-gray shell matched the tree perfectly, but its symmetry gave it away. I called over Maggie and her cousin and pointed the cicada out to them. They went off to find a half dozen cast-off molts. I showed them the folded, piercing mouth-parts, telling the girls how the nymphs suck sap from tree roots until they climb out of the ground and molt into adults with wings but no mouths. If that's a metaphor, I don't want to use it. And I don't have to! Doing research for this newsletter, I found out that at least some adult cicadas do feed. Anyway, so do I. The reason we were at this restaurant in the first place is because I was
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Doing Good

1 min read
So there we were, giving this stranger 200 leva. "What? Are you serious?" He wasn't being sarcastic. He really wanted to check that what he thought was happening was actually happening. His face scrunched up, trying not to cry. That was when I was finally sure this wasn't all a scam. read on
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