4 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 126 Extrapolating Military Technology, Military Surplus
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)
Surplus is one method of cultural and technological shaping. I use this all the time in my science fiction novels. This is especially good for civilian characters and setting that use military-like equipment. Let's look at the real world. In the future, there won't be less weapons or more peaceful people. There will not be less military equipment. In the future, as humans move to more harsh environments, there will be more weapons and more military type equipment. This should be obvious. For example, we have NASA, but most of the people who use NASA equipment are military or ex-military. Most of the equipment meets military specifications. Who do you think the first people in space are and should be. They will be military people who are explorers. We will get to exploration later.
The equipment designed for the military and government use, gets recycled as surplus. You hope it gets recycled as surplus. Lately, the US government has been pronouncing certain equipment as military only and prevents its sale to civilians even after the military is done with it. Military trainers are one such item. This is an interesting method to keep military equipment out of the hands of civilians. You might call it a means of controlling people so their equipment can't compete with military equipment. In space and the real space age, such controls will do nothing except hamper space exploration and civil use.
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: