17 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 139 Extrapolating Military Technology, Electronic Counter 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)
For electronic countermeasures to work properly, there is also the detection of other electromagnetic systems. There is also electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM). For example, if I can detect a missile, I can use a countermeasure against it. If I can't detect a missile, I can't use a countermeasure. This is more important than you might imagine. It is possible to use barrage jamming against electronic systems. The problem is that it is impossible to jam all frequencies without ruining your own capability. Further, the enemy can get around barrage jamming through various means--one of the most effective is to simply destroy the jammer. A device sending off any powerful electromagnetic source is a target. This is the main way we get rid of radar missile systems, you wait for the enemy to turn on the radar, and you use a radar seeking missile to blow it away.
These are great ideas for science fiction novels. The best way to use electronics against any target is to not use the electronics until the last moment--this gives the enemy less time to use countermeasures and less time to target you. In my novels, I have special operation spaceships that are stealthy to get close to enemy large ships and attack them. Electronics use reveals your position and allows the enemy to counter and target you. In large systems that aren't trying to hide, the overuse or the unrestricted use of electronics also make them a target. Further, countermeasures and counter countermeasures can be used against any electronic system.
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: