25 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 56 Science and Technology
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.
In spite of the advance of technology brought about by computers, the ultimate and even the immediate is not fully imagined. I hope some science fiction author can get parts right. Today, there just aren't that many scientists or technicians writing science fiction. If you remember, I noted that most of the hard and the great science fiction writers from the near past were either scientists or they were technicians (technical experts in one field or another). The extrapolation of science is impossible if you don't understand science. That is a basic and incontrovertible rule in writing science fiction.
Let's say you understand science, and you are able to extrapolate technology and science. It is actually easier to extrapolate technology because technology is applied science. You can usually look at the knowledge level of science right now and predict where technology will be in 10 to 20 years. This is because the science of today takes at least that long to become technology--applied science. Therefore, the science for optical drives was in use in the laboratory easily 10 to 20 years before it was applied to CDs and CD-ROMs. Before that, the laser was invented and had absolutely no use in applied science. It was an experimenter's tool for more than 30 years before anyone thought there might be a use for it. The uses of lasers is incredible and in many ways unpredictable until the advent of computers. Computers gave lasers a method and means of use. There are many parts of science like this. Perhaps we should take some and use them as examples. 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: