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Monday, December 9, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 131 Extrapolating Military Technology, Heavy Weapons

9 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 131 Extrapolating Military Technology, Heavy 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
     Heavy Weapons
3.  Countermeasures
4.  Defense
5.  Communications
6.  Robots
7.  Vehicles
8.  Environments (personal equipment) 

To a degree, heavy weapons are both an extrapolation of individual weapons with the addition of technology that might not be possible with smaller systems.  So, the analog of the sling is the trebuchet.  The analog of the crossbow is the siege crossbow.  The analog of the rifle is the cannon.  With new technologies, we get systems without current or possibly future analogs (at least not for a long time).  The accelerator rifle's analog is the accelerator cannon.  It is quite likely we will soon see accelerator cannon because the power supply is so large.  Likewise, a laser weapon requires either chemical or a very large power plant.  The airborne laser was a chemical laser.  It is unlikely, but not impossible for a chemical laser to be individual.  Likewise, microwave weapons and other crowd dispersal systems require a large power supply.  They are more suited to heavy weapons that individual weapons. 

We saw this transition in machine guns (automatic weapons).  They started as Gatling Guns a type of cannon used by the artillery and slowly moved to become large machine guns and later individual machine guns.  Today, individual machine guns (automatic weapons) are the mainstay of the ground military.  The opposite transition occurred with shaped charge weapons.  Tank buster shape charge weapons started as infantry weapons (pazerfausts and bazookas) and later were used in main guns and aviation systems.

In general, military weapons see their greatest improvements and technological increase during wartime.  They usually are developed to counter an enemy.  This the EIDs of terrorists used to counter defensive armor on military systems.  Most of these are shaped charges of one kind or another.  By the way, they all had their advent in anti-personnel weapons.  

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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