14 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 136 Extrapolating Military Technology, Electronic Countermeasures
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)
Countermeasures are way cool in writing science fiction because they are the way of modern warfare, but most modern science fiction writers don't have a clue about the science--especially the science of warfare. I wrote a little about physical countermeasures, now, I want to move to electronic countermeasures. I already mentioned the use of LASERs and directed IR as a countermeasure against IR missiles. This is the way of the future. Eventually, the IR countermeasures will become better than the IR attack systems and the IR missiles (weapons) will get better--or the technology will reach a plateau. Plateaus in technology aren't as rare as you might think. There are some areas where technology still has a lot to explore and others where it is well vested. IR and fast missiles are one of them. Radar and fast missiles are another. The plateau is the aircraft. Missiles and aircraft have certain physical limits, the problem is the missiles tend to be faster and able to out turn any aircraft. The aircraft are at a limitation plateau. On the other hand, the aircraft can usually outmaneuver the missiles. Missiles fast and not super maneuverable. Aircraft slower and more maneuverable.
Designers tried, for a while, to build faster, higher flying, and more maneuverable aircraft. The missiles still won, by a margin. The plateau was the aircraft limitations, the solution was countermeasures. The first countermeasures were physical: chaff (against Radar) and flares (against IR). You run out of chaff and flares, and the enemy improves the missiles to exclude them. You are back to the problem of maneuver and aircraft limitations. The solution is electronic countermeasures.
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: