23 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 145 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Armor Defense
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)
Although the extrapolation of military vehicles is moving toward the individual (mechs), that doesn't mean it will be quick or that it will totally encompass all warfare. In my science fiction novels, I extrapolated current naval warfare to space. I didn't get into the details of land based warfare, and I didn't get into the details of space based marine combat. I did touch these subjects, but because my novels concern the leadership and not the lower ranks, my focus was not the lower scale operations. I did get into some land based warfare in A Season of Honor, but that was still slightly peripheral. I used current capabilities in land based warfare as the baseline. This was technological and cultural shaping.
I suspect we will see more and more warfare move to individual machines in all areas. I extrapolate that like fighters in the Air Force, we will see undersea fighters, surface fighters, aerial fighters, land based fighters. I suspect we will see robot augmentation for some time, but I think battlefield commanders will want human beings in the fray. I may be wrong, but I think robots will never reach the unpredictability of the human brain. I don't think artificial intelligence will ever reach human or human-like levels. For this reason, humans on the battlefield will decimate robots. In fact, you can see in sports (except chess) that humans and human intelligence can always exceed the capabilities of robots. We shall see what the future will bring, but I would bet on humans for a long time.
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: