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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 62 Computer Science and Technology

1 October 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 62 Computer 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

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

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.

Let's discuss the extrapolation of computer technology.  Believe it or not, computer technology followed a very similar path to aviation.  However, because computers were not regulated, we saw a geometric increase in computer technology that we didn't see in aviation.

In the beginning, computers were 100% utilitarian and only available for science and science research.  In spite of this, there were those who developed more than science with computers--games for example.  The wealthy were not really interested in computers, but there were early expensive tools and computers the wealthy and experimenters used--the Altair 6 is one.  But something happened on the way to the future, three low cost computers became available to the general public: the TRS-80, the Apple II, and the Commodore Pet.  This immediately brought over a million programmers and experimenters into play. 

Computers are not computers without software.  Until the advent of the three experimental computers above, there was no purpose for computers in the business or home environment--there was little or no software the average person could use.  Almost immediately, an experimenter invented the spreadsheet.  This was an fundamental software invention that led directly to a business use for computers.  This was followed quickly by editors and database programs.  There had been database programs for the giant UNIVACs.  There were word processors.  There had not been anything for small office use before.  Business offices suddenly had computing power available to them.  The other side of this development was games.  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, and my individual novel websites:

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