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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 76 FTL (Faster than Light)

15 October 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 76 FTL (Faster than Light)

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.

If you want to get anywhere in the universe, you need some method of moving Faster than Light (FTL).  In extrapolating science we can see means of non-FTL transportation.  The most obvious are those that have worked in our solar system--hydrogen/oxygen rocket engines.  There are many others such as solar sails, fusion acceleration, fission acceleration, electromechanical, photon, particle acceleration, there are more and more to be discovered.  If you are working in the intra-solar system regime and 100 to 1000 years in the future, you will want to explore these methods.  You will also want to apply complete orbital dynamics to your universe.  In a universe where fuel for movement isn't a big deal, the orbital dynamics should be less of a problem.  In any case, if you are moving around in space and from a planetary surface into space, you need an understanding of orbital dynamics, gravity, and atmospherics.  You basically need to understand what it takes to get into space, achieve orbit, and return to a planetary surface.  Start studying.

The trick is what to do when you move more than 1,000 years into the future.

There are still other areas of extrapolation to exploit.

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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