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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 129 Extrapolating Military Technology, still more Military Surplus

7 December 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 129 Extrapolating Military Technology, still more 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

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) 

What happens if military and government technology doesn't get passed into the civilian population?

I answered the question above, but I'd suggest it would make a great science fiction theme question.  I'm not sure anyone has used it yet, so that's a freebie. 

Overall, the concept of military surplus drives middle 20th Century science fiction.  From Have Space Suit Will Travel where the government's castoff becomes a boon to a young experimenter, to other novels where military surplus is the basis for experiments and designs.  However, that is a broader view then I am trying to express.  Although very complex pieces of military and government equipment certainly place in the theme and plots of science fiction, it is the very basics that fuel my novels.  For example, in my Ghost Ship Chronicle novels, the Traders use military surplus weapons, space suits, and combat suits for a variety of reasons.  The ultimate idea that militaries spend large amounts for equipment at the peak of technology means that they are the wealthy group demanding and using the newest technology.  It shouldn't surprise us that civil groups in need of the most modern equipment possible would choose to take surplus equipment at a much lower cost.  There is much more to this, however.  The concept of the government as the sponsor of technology is an important one.  This is the idea of exploration--an entire subject for extrapolation.  I'll take a little time to discuss this before we move to heavier weapons.

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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