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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 122 Extrapolating Military Technology, Personalized Weapons

30 November 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 122 Extrapolating Military Technology, Personalized Weapons

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.

The major areas in warfare technology are:
1.  Software
2.  Weapons
3.  Countermeasures
4.  Defense
5.  Communications
6.  Robots
7.  Vehicles
8.  Environments (personal equipment) 

So really, in the extrapolation of individual weapons, the use of slug throwers where the slugs are propelled by chemical reactions (gun cotton) will likely predominate any future military technology especially in gravity.  All that silly stuff about laser beams and plasma rays are likely just not going to happen.  The Star Trek phasers are likely a non-starter although the Taser has some potential.  That's another type of weapon we will explore, but for now let's continue with the most likely weapon.

If we aren't going to get away from chemical slug throwers (normal guns, rifles, pistols) what will really change in the weapons.  The electronics will change--you say, there are no electronics in my pistol--that's what will change.  The first big push is already happening, weapons are slowly acquiring the ability to know their user.  The first step is a system that only allows the owner of the weapon to fire it.  This is being pushed politically, but it is slowly making inroads because it is a great idea.  If you can prevent your enemies from taking and using your weapons (and ammo) you have half won the logistics in a conflict.

In WWII the Soviets were geniuses in using the German's weapons and ammo.  The Germans weren't as good at it, but they did reuse the Soviet tanks and large weapons.  The Soviets designed their weapons to use German ammunition, but made their own such that the Germans couldn't use it.  They made, for example, a 76mm anti-tank gun that would fire the German 75mm projectiles and shells.  The 76mm shells would not fit in a German weapon.  There are numerous examples of this through the war. 

In the case of weapons with electronics, you can design a grip to acknowledge only the owner or a group of users (like a computer)--this prevents the enemy, a child, a criminal, or anyone not authorized from using the weapons.  Pretty neat trick.

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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