Welcome to The Darbas Cycle, the online home for the Darbas series of fantasy novels by Dan Conover.

AMadness-web-600That’s me, by the way. Dan. Unless it says otherwise, the guy who wrote the books is the same guy speaking when you read pages and posts here. I’m kinda on the DIY side.

All the stories that populate this little imaginary world of mine began with a vivid dream I had more than a decade ago. I told my wife about it, and when people started buying some of my short stories a few years later, she suggested I go back and look at those dream notes to see if there might be a novel in it. And it turned out there was.

Siobeth-web-600The story that runs through A Madness, Siobeth and on through outlines for the next three books (a hypothetical series I call The Key to Darbas) is something of a tweener. It straddles the line between traditional epic fantasy and  conventional science fiction. It takes place in a distant future that looks quite a bit like our not-so-distant past.

And while the epic fantasy genre typically presents sword-and-sorcery tales that feel like expressions from some medieval version of our collective unconscious, this story takes place in a culture that in many ways resembles an exotic variant of our 18th century.

I went on to write two other novels with no relation to this world, but the thing about the world that contains these stories is that it wouldn’t leave me alone. Even when I was desperately trying to put it all behind me and move on, I’d find myself wasting an entire Saturday writing down notes on history and culture and characters. Because once I wandered into this place, I wanted to explore it.

I called this website The Darbas Cycle because there are stories in its past, stories in its future, and stories that move laterally.

And it boils down to this: If enough people want to read those stories, I’ll be happy to write them. Not only that, I’d like to ¬†share that world (and its readers) with other writers — particularly those who are just starting out. More on that later.

Dan Conover

Dan Conover

If you’re a reader of A Madness or its sequel, Siobeth, this is where you’ll find the maps I mentioned in the books. I’m adding other goodies, too.

If you’re new to these stories, or just browsing, here’s an introduction to the books (A Madness, Siobeth), plus a teaser to what lies ahead.

But the main thing is you, the reader. After all these years, I’m totally looking forward to meeting you.