Thursday, February 25, 2016

Guest Post: How Dinosaurs Can Fix Your Wedding

Funny story, actually. I was at my very first-ever convention, all the way back in 2013. The phenomenal Jennie Goloboy had just plus-one'd me into the SFWA party suite, and I was keen to flex my neonatal networking muscle - so I asked her what she was trying to sell.

"Well," she said. "I have this one client, Dan Bensen. He's written this time-travel romance called Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen, and..."

I don't actually remember anything she said after that. The mere mention of that title shut my brain down like an EMP going off in the middle of Manhattan. 

And now, three years later, it is actually, really a real book: written, illustrated (ILLUSTRATED!), printed, and published. And here, today, the Tyrannosaur Groom himself will expound on - what else?

How Dinosaurs Can Fix Your Wedding
by Daniel Bensen

Trals Scarback, war leader of the Ethlek, has an opportunity and a problem.

The opportunity is a weapon of otherworldly power that fell out of the sky.

The problem is Andrea, who claims to be a soldier from the tomorrow of tomorrows. The weapon, her powersuit, will only work for her. Plus, she has killed several of Trals's men.

Trals's tribe is of two minds: either the foreign woman is war booty or she is an enemy warrior and should be killed, her hair flown from the poles of the tents of the women of the sons she killed. If Trals wants the use of Andrea's powersuit, she must officially join the tribe, so she is no longer an enemy. And there is really only one way to join an Eethlek tribe.

The following is a description of an Eethlek marriage ceremony.

If the woman is foreign, she must apply to the Leader of the tribe, the one who leads its triceratops herd who commands raiding and gathering parties beyond the boundaries of the camp. If he (leaders are almost always men) agrees that his warrior deserves to be a husband and father, the marriage proceeds. If not, the woman if free to choose some other man in the tribe. Then the Driver, the one who drives the herd from behind and governs within the boundaries of the camp, must agree that the tribe has enough resources to support a new member. The woman gives up her possessions to the tribe, and in return gets all the necessities to start a new life with her husband: a tent, a pot-sack, heating-stones, leather robes, metal tongs if she's lucky, and a triceratops, chriostenotes, or raptor egg depending on the season. Then the tribe's Revalatee holds a public trance, and its Sayer interprets the revelation for the congregation (it's almost always a blessing for the marriage).

Expert paleyarntologists have reconstructed
one of the dinosaurs in question.
There is then a recitation of the saga describing the historical event that separated the tribe of the husband from the tribe of the wife. If you happen to be a time-traveling soldier from the 21st century and had never heard of the Ethlek before a week ago, the saga is the origin myth of the Ethlek themselves. You will learn that long ago there was a city on the floodplains that are The Face of God. That city was Megga, and its people died when the salty tears of God killed the crops they had foolishly planted. In the chaos the followed the fall of Megga, everyone died or scattered except for a small band of people who followed a Driver who taught them how to drive the triceratops before them and a Leader who taught them how to steal food from the tyrannosaur. Soon, all people who lived on the Face of God were the children of this Driver and this Leader, and they were They who Talk Alike.  Ey-Thke-Lek

Finally, each newlywed cuts off a lock of their hair and braids it into the hair of the other. They retire to their new tent, where they summon the angels of the heavens to take up residence on the Face of God. And that's where babies come from.

About the book:

Groom of the Tyrannosaur Queen is a time-travel romance with dinosaurs.

Former soldier Andrea Herrera isn’t happy with where her life’s taken her. Specifically, to Hell Creek, Montana, 65 million years before the present. As far as careers go, making sure the dinosaurs don’t eat her paleontologist clients comes in a pretty dismal second choice to serving her country. But when their time machine malfunctions, Andrea and her team are trapped in a timeline that shouldn’t exist with something a hell of a lot more dangerous than terrible lizards: other humans.

Need more help? Well, look no further - because dinosaurs can fix your everything!


The Kingdoms of Evil



TV Tropes




Deviant Art

Monday, February 8, 2016

ConDFW Schedule

So I recently heard the most phenomenal, life-changing bit of advice, from my amazing particolored pal Darusha. It seriously blew my mind. Are you ready? Here it is:

"Because everything flies by at the speed of light, no one knows you're not around a lot. They think they just missed you. So you can not tweet or blog or facebook or whatever for ages, then so long as you don't start with a big long "sorry I haven't been here," no one will notice that it's been a while."

Where have I been? No, pal - where have YOU been?!

Well, I'll tell you where I'm GOING to be - at ConDFW this weekend! Rumor has it there'll be a couple of other cool folks there - something something Scalzi? So if you haven't put the finishing touches on your Twilight Sparkle costume and poured out some kibble for the kids... might wanna get on that.  See you there!

Interstellar Archaeology: Part One – Initial Findings 
Friday, 5PM - Madison
Panelists: John DeLaughter (M), Michelle Muenzler, Tex Thompson, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Rachael Acks, Linda Donahue
The first of two panels where we inflict discover startling artifacts of OBVIOUS alien origin and our esteemed (and indeed, TRAINED) archeologists in turn tell us what the artifacts are. Light hearted fun, and bring ear plugs! This year we will visit Jakku in Star Wars VII. ROOOOOOAR!

Friday, 6PM - Adams
Tex Thompson, Martha Wells

Return of the Lone Western 
Saturday, 11AM - Hamilton
Panelists: Sabine Starr (M), Scott A. Cupp, Tex Thompson, Linda Donahue, Patrice Sarath, Bill Crider
Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight brought signature Western back to the cinemas this past month. Is it a sign the Western is back? Or is it just a fanboy’s dream? Our panelists talk about cinematic Westerns and their effect on writing Westerns in today’s world.

Escape from the Slush Pile
Saturday, 12PM - Hamilton
Panelists: Julia S. Mandala (M), Lillian Stewart Carl, Tex Thompson, Adrian Simmons, William Ledbetter
The perennial panel returns at a new time as we tantalize people with mistakes and errors you should try to avoid. Beware: someday you may end up here if you do not learn from your mistakes. Come and learn from our editors what to avoid so you don’t end up on – the slush pile.

Broke Down and Out of Gas... in Space 
Saturday, 4PM - Madison
Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Paul Abell, Martha Wells, KM Tolan, Chris Donahue, T.M. Hunter
Because even Furiosa occasionally gets a flat. Let's talk about all the fun you can have when spaceships break and flux capacitors blow – and how our favorite characters MacGyver their way back into action!

Artemis: Guys vs Gals 
Saturday, 5PM - Jackson
Guys: Michael Ashleigh Finn, Mark Finn, Aaron de Orive, Stephen Patrick, Adrian Simmons, Stephen Sanders
Gals: Mel White, Linda Donahue, Rachael Acks, Julie Barrett, Kathy Turski, Tex Thompson
An idea proposed by the Gentlemen Nerds while they were talking to some Redheads we know, then floated to Programming. Who will prove to be the superior gender? We will find out!

Researching the Technology Tree
Sunday, 11AM - Hamilton
Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Scott A. Cupp, S. Boyd Taylor, Larry Atchley Jr., Stina Leicht
The Technology Tree is the path that humans take to find out technology. In other words, you need to learn how to make steel before you can make really good swords. Guns won’t fire if you haven’t learned the recipe for gunpowder – and that’s before learning the difference between corned powder and serpentine powder. Where in the technology tree is your world? How do you find out? Our alternate history experts talk about this and more. 

Money Makes the Multiverse Go Round
Sunday, 3PM - Hamilton
Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Frances May, Melanie Fletcher, K.B. Bogen, Stephen Sanders
Whether you trade in credits, simoleons, rupees, or Flanian Pobble Beads, one thing is clear: money doesn't grow on trees (unless you're Donkey Kong), and you're not going to get very far without it. Come enjoy a rousing discussion of the weird, wild, and often ridiculous workings of our favorite fictional economies – guaranteed to be worth every woolong!