20 November 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 112 Extrapolating Military 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 writing about military technology, Star Trek and Star Wars just don't get it. We are already seeing the way weapons work in an advanced era. The answer is Electronic Counter Measures and Electronic Counter Counter Measures. "Shields" may be possible in the future, but the question about shields is how do they work. Shields are about as scientific and logical as transporters.
Something that really works well today and will be even more powerful tomorrow is electronic warfare. Electronic warfare is very powerful and can be easily explained. If you read my novels The End of Honor and The Fox's Honor, you will see how electronic warfare works in the future and today. The extrapolation is very simple and basic. Anyone who is familiar with computers knows that computers can be attacked electronically. Further, electronic signals can be attacked in many ways. In the future, the power of electronics will be used to infiltrate the computers of the enemy and to block and attack their electronic signals.
Think of attacking the electronics of an enemy like attacking a garage door. You can bash the garage door open, but how much easier is it to block the signal of your neighbor (so they can't open it), infiltrating the software (so you can open it), or damaging the software (so the enemy can't use the door). You can imagine how an attacking and defending enemy with an even more complex system, like a laser or slug throwing weapon can be affected by electronic signals.
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: