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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 146 Extrapolating Military Technology, even more Armor Defense

24 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 146 Extrapolating Military Technology, even 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

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) 

There are potentially many means to provide armor defense many potentially that don't use armor.  I discussed countermeasures already, but these are not necessarily countermeasures, they are materials used for armor protection.  For example, a local plasma field, layers of armor and plasma, layers of armor and magnetic fields, and etc.  In my novels, I routinely mention ceriplast and plasteel.  Ceriplast stands for ceramic plastic while plasteel stands for plastic steel.  I leave it partially to the reader's imagination to determine exactly what ceriplast and plasteel is.  This is how Jack Vance does much of his technological and cultural shaping--he gives names to things and that makes them real.  This technique is especially powerful when the names self describe their purpose or material.

There are potentially other means of producing defensive armor.  I wouldn't go for shields--they sure sound great, don't they?  But they have no basis in any known science.  I can see a plasma field or a magnetic field, but what exactly is a shield.  Just too Manga for me.  I'm not so certain about tractor beams either--you have to have a basis for the science and there is no basis for beams that can move other vehicles--that is, unless you have gravity control.  Gravity control could potentially explain shields, tractor beams, and certain types of propulsion systems, but the problem is that with gravity control, many other technologies need to come into play.  The assumption with gravity control is that I can force objects away from the target.  There is much more here than just shields, and this moves into the next type of defense--area defense. 

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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