23 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 54 yet more Technology and Themes
Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
I am writing about the extrapolation of science and technology to be able to write science fiction. I made the point that it is almost meaningless to try to fully extrapolate a universe (world) that is 10,000 years in the future (and maybe 1,000 years in the future) without applying some cultural and technological shaping.
By shaping the cultures of your science fiction universe, you can shape the science and technology that is extrapolated. Here is how I culturally shaped the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox to make the 10,000 year extrapolation work.
The opposite of cultural shaping is cultural assumptions. For example, Clark, Heinlein, Asimov, among others assumed we would still be using sliderules during the era of space flight. They were great science fiction authors, but their extrapolation of science and technology wasn't that great. However, many times it is better to assume the technology you have--not! It is always better as a science fiction author to see what is happening in science and try to extrapolate technology from it. For example, if these great science fiction authors had the rudiments of knowledge about computer systems, they might have extrapolated correctly that these systems could eventually fit in your pocket. This is how you put the future science and technology into science fiction.
One author who has been able to significantly extrapolate science and technology is John Brunner. Brunner predicted computer viruses. He predicted government run lotteries. He predicted many technologies and uses for technologies well beyond his time. This is the key to great hard science fiction. I'll discuss more tomorrow.
Also remember, I'm trying to show you and give you examples of how to write a science fiction theme statement and turn it into a plot.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: