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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 125 Extrapolating Military Technology, Integrated Weapons

3 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 125 Extrapolating Military Technology, Integrated Weapons

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
3.  Countermeasures
4.  Defense
5.  Communications
6.  Robots
7.  Vehicles
8.  Environments (personal equipment) 

We are already getting into the integration of individual weapons with personal equipment.  I didn't intend to go there, but integration is the wave of the future--for better or worse.  The worse part is the cost--it really costs a lot to integrate equipment that you risk your life on.  Federated or semi-integrated equipment is less expensive, plus if something goes wrong with federated equipment, some of the equipment still works.  With fully integrated equipment if you lose the control systems everything is toast.  That's why I like semi-integrated equipment.  That is equipment that is integrated for use, but can be still used as an individual piece.  In other words, your weapons is semi-integrated into your helmet displays and controls.  When you have on the helmet, the weapon integrates automatically.  If your helmet fails, the weapon still works, you just lose some of the capability. 

A wise designer would put features that are for the weapon (stabilization, direct targeting, safety controls, personalization, etc.) in the weapons and features for the helmet (targeting, low light visibility, communications, controls, etc.) in the helmet. 

So, for individual weapons, the future must be electronics and integration.  This is the way of the world.  Remember, however, that along side those electronic and integrated weapons, there will still be the simpler kinds.  This is what we find today.  As the technology gets better, the newer equipment will incorporate more electronics and integration, the old stuff will go to the next level down and surplus. 

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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