28 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 150 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Communications
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)
In all communications, but especially military communications, immediacy and simplicity are the goals. Immediacy means it is always available. Simplicity means it is easy to use and operate. We have come a long ways in both of these areas. Originally, radio communication systems required a fully trained operator. Signal systems like flags, telegraph, signal lights, required a fully trained operator (and a special code). Military communications systems are still somewhat complex compared to civil systems, but they are getting better.
For example, a military radio system can automatically use any standard band transmission (UHF, VHF, or FM) based simply on the frequency input by the operator. The same system has anti-jamming capability and is encrypted. The operator just has to input the correct frequency and use the radio. This is a long way from earlier systems that were either only anti-jam or encrypted. The earlier radios required timing signals and extensive setup. They tended to drop codes and have clarity issues. Modern radios have significantly improved on the older systems.
The big deal here is that communication systems can be jammed, and they can be intercepted. Military communications require protection from both.
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: