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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 70 Transportation

9 October 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 70 Transportation

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.

Transportation technology is the huge extrapolation in most science fiction novels.  In fact, the funny thing is that many science fiction authors extrapolate transportation and forget about the other types of technology.  Computers didn't exist until the second part of the 20th century--why didn't any one guess this capability.

In the extrapolation of transportation technology, we need to recognize that space ships don't just get Faster than Light (FTL) capability, the entire transportation of a culture changes.  Without government interference, transportation moves naturally away from communal toward individual transportation.  Most science fiction novels display the opposite.  This is both illogical and unhistorical.  We see in all transportation technology that the movement has always been from multiple, communal, complex transportation to simpler, individual transportation.  For example, in warfare, we start with chariots with two horses.  When the chariot was overcome for warfare, it was used for transportation.  As horses became stronger, people migrated to individual horses instead of chariots for transportation.  The horse drawn carriage was originally for the transportation of goods.  If there had been a market, it would have moved people too.  Instead we see carriages moving to something an individual owns and uses and from multiple to single horses. 

In powered transportation, we start with trains...  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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