11 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 133 Extrapolating Military Technology, and more 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 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.
The major areas in warfare technology are:
8. Environments (personal equipment)
Just as the limits in extrapolating a human weapon system is the weight, energy, and recoil a human can experience, so are heavy weapons systems constrained for the same reason. The limits are just different.
When I need to extrapolate a weapons system, I use these limitations to size the system and to determine the type of weapon. The point is, we have brought new variables into the extrapolation. The dependent variables are not just the time and technology. The new dependent variable is the vehicle. This means you need to extrapolate your vehicles before you can extrapolate their weapons systems. I hope you know something about military systems and about military vehicles. We will eventually get to vehicles, but for now, lets assume the sizes I mentioned before and add to them. The vehicle size will directly influence the weapons system.
First, there are infantry transports. These are jeeps to armored cars and armored carriers. They usually only carry infantry weapons. They sometimes are modified to carry heavier weapons. Just look at the German armored cars and armored half-tracks from WWII.
The next size is small tanks, then medium tanks, and finally, heavy tanks. The heavy tanks can include any large weapon vehicle. I suspect there could be vehicles that are much larger, but the bigger, the more difficult to maintain and protect. Unless you are a manga artist, really big stuff doesn't make sense.
What does make sense are ship type weapons and vehicles. You can extrapolate these to spaceships.
There are also aircraft type vehicles. Unless you know a lot about aircraft, I wouldn't even think about extrapolating weapons for them. Get the opinion of an expert like me. I might go into some detail when we get to vehicles.
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: