11 November 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 103 Subversion, Economics, 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.
We are all familiar with 1984. It is the seminal work concerning intrusive and coercive government. We also know little about the economic or political system in the novel. George Orwell left the details unexplained, but we can guess at the basis. Unfortunately most science fiction authors seem to have a utopic bent--they don't seem to be able to extrapolate political or capital systems very well. Perhaps it is because they didn't understand them. Jack Vance seems to be the most erudite science fiction author when it comes to cultures, political systems, and markets. His societies are multifaceted and multicultured. They are not all cut from the same mold. Many science fiction authors don't appear to realize that every society and culture is different and that every planet will have at least one, but usually many different cultures and societies. There are at least 200 separate languages on the planet earth. Each language denotes a different culture. Among each language is likely many subcultures. Among each subculture is more than one society. There are mixtures of each subculture and society. We have not begun to discuss the political, economic, or social differentiation of cultures, societies, or nations.
I recommend you explore these concepts in your extrapolation of science and that you write clearly about them--this is a key part of the setting of your novel.
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: