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Monday, September 30, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 61 even more Transportation Science and Technology

30 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 61 even more Transportation Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I'm writing about the patterns we see in technology and science.  I'm writing about transportation right now.  We know the ultimate for transportation moves from suborbital to orbital, then intra-solar system to inter-solar system.  You could extrapolate as far as inter-galactic.  We know writing that moves this far technologically.  The question is how.  In hard science fiction, the author posits a means.  In soft science fiction, it just exists.  The point is the technology and the capability.

The how of space transportation is a very interesting part of the extrapolation equation.  In The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox, I extrapolate space transportation as ships in warp type FTL (Faster than Light) flight.  I assume a situation similar to today with spaceliner travel for the majority and individual ships for the minority wealthy.  This is a reasonable assumption.  This assumption and extrapolation may be completely wrong.  If we evaluate the other possibilities, the extrapolation looks better and better. 

In the age of aviation, regulation makes individual ownership of aircraft very expensive.  We can expect his same model with space craft.  Governments will not want individuals to have this ability to travel.  I expect their resistance to be at least as bad as the current regulations with aircraft.  The model of ships may be even better with many able to own small intra-solar system ships and the minority unable to own inter-solar system ships.  We see similar problems with computer technology.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 60 more Transportation Science and Technology

29 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 60 more Transportation Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

In technology, we always see a similar pattern since almost the beginning of time. First, comes the science.  The Wright Brothers studied flight, built wings, practiced with gliders, designed an engine, built a wind tunnel, etc. before they put together all the science into the technology of flight.  Technology, in this sense, is the application of science.  The Wright Brothers did the science, then they applied it to build a flying vehicle. 

Second, comes the early wealthy experimenters and owners.  The airplane was originally envisioned only as a plaything for the rich.  There were exhibitions, but most of the early effort was for entertainment.  The military also took an interest and during the first opportunity, put aircraft to use in warfare.  The development by the wealthy experimenters and the military resulted in the first airlines in the 1920s and 1930s.  Notice that the technology went first to the rich and then the military.  The result was then air transportation for the wealthy.  Flight on airliners was too expensive for the average person.  The next step, also propelled by war, was the creation of less expensive aircraft and the beginnings of mass individual transportation.

Unfortunately, government regulation has prevented the quick next steps in aviation--that is low cost individual aircraft.  That will change.  What I want you to note is that without the wealthy, generally technology will not flourish.  You have to have someone who is willing to pay high prices for early high tech consumer products.  You also need wealthy experimenters.  This is very clear in computer technology.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 59 Transportation Science and Technology

28 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 59 Transportation Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

What other concepts can we extrapolate.  Travel is another relatively easy field to extrapolate.  If we look at the model of ground transportation, we can see the change from mass transportation to individual transportation.  No one moves the other way--that is, not without government coercion.  We can expect automobiles to move from ground to air.  Right now, most governments are intentionally preventing air transportation from moving from individual private to individual public.  Automobiles did that long ago.  For example, in ground transportation, individual private is a chauffeured vehicle.  Individual public is a taxi.  In aviation, we talk about private aviation (individual private) and charter.  Eventually, aviation will reach the point of everyone having a flying vehicle.  The problem, from the beginning, has been governments.  Government don't want you to have the freedom of aviation travel--they can't control it well.  Eventually, we will get there, it will just take some leaps of technology.

In aviation, we can also expect low orbit transportation, eventually.  Government are also trying to keep this under wraps.  The commercial aircraft are slowing getting closer and closer to Mach 1.  When they finally and efficiently exceed it, there will be a kerfuffle with government regulations, but eventually, the governments will allow low earth high Mach travel.  That isn't far from low earth orbit.  The government doesn't really want people to have access to space, but eventually, they will need it and want it.  There will likely be a race to orbit like you can't imagine and if that race is controlled by commercial entities, it will be peaceful and profitable.  If it is government, it will be exclusionary and warlike.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Friday, September 27, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 58 Energy Science and Technology

27 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 58 Energy Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I've mentioned a lot about books and writing and some about music in the extrapolation of science.  There are obvious extrapolations that everyone should understand.  Energy is one obvious extrapolation.  Energy production will go to fusion.  Solar panels will get more efficient--they will likely never get efficient enough to be used for cost effective energy production, but they will fit more and more niche areas.  Think of solar powered calculators.  Fusion energy will likely get smaller and smaller.  Will it move to the level of a battery--likely not, but who is to say.  This is where a great science fiction author can provide some hard science inventiveness to produce a future technology.

Batteries will become smaller and more powerful.  The decrease in size and increase in power will likely not be geometric, but linear and incremental.  Already, we are seeing devices that are almost all battery--think iPhones.  The devices and their batteries are disposable.  If you think of technology changes through the ages, things that were dear became disposable.  In general, many scientific inventions that didn't fly were of this variety--like paper clothing.  Clothing is disposable--by the way.  We just don't think of it that way.  The movement of things to become more and more disposable is related to the device, the power provider, the repair-ability, and the speed of change.  An piece of electronics is ultimately disposable.  A piece of clothing, not so much.  A piece of china is not as disposable as a paper plate.  A science fiction author in extrapolating the technology and shaping the culture will put these ideas in play.  Just what would a future society consider disposable?   

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:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 57 more Science and Technology

26 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 57 more Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Here is a great extrapolation of science into technology.  Let's look at computers and musical instruments.  Almost immediately with the analogue computer, the synthesizer was born.  The progression to synthesizer is obvious and easy.  It starts with rudimentary string instruments which led eventually to plucked and pounded string instruments.  That led to the clavichord, harpsichord, and finally the piano-forte.  Keyboard instruments led to the organ and the organ to the electronic organ.  The mixture with the computer, gave us the synthesizer, but that isn't the end.

The keyboard based synthesizer led to other synthesizers like for guitars, violins, flutes, woodwinds.  The wise extrapolator should imagine every type of instrument with its synthesizer, but there is more.  There are experiments in human based instruments and synthesizers.  The science is obvious, the results and ends not as obvious.  We are talking about wearable musical instruments.  Instruments that respond to the human body through movements, breath, fingering, etc. and not just fingering and/or blowing.  What can you extrapolate from wearable instruments.  We are well beyond a "one-man-band."  What does it mean to integrate musical instruments with dance or with any other human endeavour.

Jack Vance wrote about a society where people sang their language.  He was ahead of the curve in blending culture in a futuristic way.  The cusp of musical science is moving in a radical direction--will some science fiction author extrapolate these ideas into the future?  I remember an author who poorly extrapolated dance into space--the author missed the point entirely.  Science fiction isn't about taking what we know and putting it into the future--it is about taking what we can imagine and placing it in a future framework.  It isn't enough to put what we know today into an obvious future, but to take a less than obvious result that is a real potential future.  

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:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 56 Science and Technology

25 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 56 Science and Technology

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

In spite of the advance of technology brought about by computers, the ultimate and even the immediate is not fully imagined.  I hope some science fiction author can get parts right.  Today, there just aren't that many scientists or technicians writing science fiction.  If you remember, I noted that most of the hard and the great science fiction writers from the near past were either scientists or they were technicians (technical experts in one field or another).  The extrapolation of science is impossible if you don't understand science.  That is a basic and incontrovertible rule in writing science fiction.

Let's say you understand science, and you are able to extrapolate technology and science.  It is actually easier to extrapolate technology because technology is applied science.  You can usually look at the knowledge level of science right now and predict where technology will be in 10 to 20 years.  This is because the science of today takes at least that long to become technology--applied science.  Therefore, the science for optical drives was in use in the laboratory easily 10 to 20 years before it was applied to CDs and CD-ROMs.  Before that, the laser was invented and had absolutely no use in applied science.  It was an experimenter's tool for more than 30 years before anyone thought there might be a use for it.  The uses of lasers is incredible and in many ways unpredictable until the advent of computers.  Computers gave lasers a method and means of use.  There are many parts of science like this.  Perhaps we should take some and use them as examples.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 55 yet even more Technology and Themes

24 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 55 yet even more Technology and Themes

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

There are not many hard science fiction authors who do technological extrapolation well.  Part of the problem has to do with imagination and reality.  What you can imagine, you can design--that's the ultimate problem with trying to extrapolate technology.  Certain technologies are obvious: fusion, space travel, hypersonic travel, military weapons, medical advances, etc.  On the other hand, what you can't imagine, you can't write about.  Who could imagine the iPhone or the iPad.  Both have revolutionized communication and media.  I imagined and proposed the first electronic book in 1984.  It wasn't a reality until much later.  It is becoming the standard. 

In 1984, no one could imagine the possibility of a magazine sized device that displayed magazines, books, and newspapers.  The possibility didn't exist.  With this technology comes other technologies.  In my Ghost Ship Chronicles, I proposed screensheets.  Screensheets are paper thin devices that allow students to write, draw, and present their own artwork.  These play the role of paper and computers in a school today.  I think we will have screensheets in less than 10 years.  Who knows.  I also have another type of more permanent display that is similar.  I know, that in less than 20 years we will have "screensheets" that are calling cards.  You won't use paper, you will write on something similar electronically.  You will draw pictures on this type of device.  The world is changing--can you predict it.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 54 yet more Technology and Themes

23 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 54 yet more Technology and Themes

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 opposite of cultural shaping is cultural assumptions.  For example, Clark, Heinlein, Asimov, among others assumed we would still be using sliderules during the era of space flight.  They were great science fiction authors, but their extrapolation of science and technology wasn't that great.  However, many times it is better to assume the technology you have--not!  It is always better as a science fiction author to see what is happening in science and try to extrapolate technology from it.  For example, if these great science fiction authors had the rudiments of knowledge about computer systems, they might have extrapolated correctly that these systems could eventually fit in your pocket.  This is how you put the future science and technology into science fiction. 

One author who has been able to significantly extrapolate science and technology is John Brunner.  Brunner predicted computer viruses.  He predicted government run lotteries.  He predicted many technologies and uses for technologies well beyond his time.  This is the key to great hard science fiction. I'll discuss 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 53 more Technology and Themes

22 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 53 more Technology and Themes

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

How do authors like Jack Vance and Andre Norton use cultural shaping to extrapolate technology?  Let's look at some examples.  In Andre Norton's time travel book, the characters go back in time and discover an alien ship.  The ship is an interplanetary vehicle with some means of going at great speeds through space.  The means is unknown and unexplained.  The time travelers couldn't know--they didn't invent the technology.  The routes for the ship are programmed into the autopilot.  This was in the time of autopilots, but not modern computers.  There is no discussion of the computers or any idea about computers, the system simply is advanced and gives the ship autopilot control to other worlds.  There is an assumption of a space port on a planetary surface.  This is a great assumption based on modern knowledge.  Is it extrapolated science?  No one knows what the future space port will be like.  For example, it is easy to extrapolate the future of transportation--everyone will have a flying vehicle.  That means no more airports and possibly few or no sea ports.  If you have matter transmission (likely an impossibility, but an extrapolation, nonetheless) there is no need for airports, seaports, bus depots, train depots, etc.  The idea of a space port is an example of cultural shaping.  It makes sense--right.  I'll discuss 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 52 Technology and Themes

21 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 52 Technology and Themes

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 skill of authors like Jack Vance and Andre Norton comes from their ability to culturally place a science fiction theme that is not dependent on the technology.  The theme of their novels is dependent on the future and not the technology.  So, for example, when Jack Vance sets his novel in the future on another planet, the assumption is some type of space travel.  The mechanism isn't important.  In fact, Jack Vance is a genius at giving great names to the technology--the intersplit drive, for example.  Didn't someone once say that if you could give a name to something, you made it real.  The name "intersplit drive" sounds so official and so descriptive.  This is not really hard science fiction, but it has the feel of hard science fiction. 

Andre Norton, the mother of modern science fiction, takes a different tact.  Her novels are focused on the characters and their interaction.  Her themes are likewise dependent on the future and future concepts and ideas, but again, not on the technology.  She doesn't create semantic devices to name and invent technology--in her worlds, the technology is just there.  She and Jack Vance use cultural shaping within the confines of modern known culture.  I'll discuss this 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 51 Cultural Shaping and Hard/Soft Science Fiction

20 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 51 Cultural Shaping and Hard/Soft Science Fiction

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Jack Vance and Andre Norton are great science fiction authors.  Jack Vance is my favorite.  From observing their styles of science fiction writing, I'd conclude that you should never let technology get in the way of a great science fiction theme.  The major problem with much "dated" science fiction is that the theme was based on the technology.  Think of novels about going to the moon or novels about computer surveillance or drone surveillance.  These novels are dead because they are real life today.  Then imagine a novel like 1984.  The date is dated, the novel is not.  We are seeing the technology of 1984 in our world--the question is this, will we then see the culture of 1984 in our world.  Perhaps we are there.  1984 is timeless because the theme of the novel isn't surveillance technology, the theme is the surveillance of humans by whatever means--technology just happened to be a means.  1984 is soft science fiction because it doesn't explain the how of the technology, jut the is of the technology. 

This is how I group science fiction into hard and soft.  Hard science fiction tries to explain how technology works and soft science fiction doesn't.  If you read my books, you will see theme and culture based and shaped science fiction that explains how some of the science works--therefore, hard science fiction.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 50 and Cultural Shaping and Relevance

19 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 50 and Cultural Shaping and Relevance

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 problem with science fiction that is not culturally shaped is that there is always a great chance that the future will turn it into "dated."  Much of our classical science fiction from the 1950s and 1960s is "dated."  Some of this science fiction is dead.  That means it is so dated it has no credibility.  That's when it becomes a classic and no one reads it. 

I mentioned two science fiction novelist whom I admire yesterday: Jack Vance for culture and Brunner for technology. I'll mention a couple of more great science fiction authors who have classic status without being "dated."  Andre Norton and Frank Herbert are also science fiction novelists whose writing is classic without being dated.  Notice I don't mention many of the "greats" of science fiction, because honestly much of their writing is dated. 

The key characteristic of these writers whose works are not "dated" is their ability to culturally or technologically shape their writing.  In the case of Andre Norton and Jack Vance, the cultures they developed were enveloped by the technology.  Technology was secondary to the culture and the writing.  The theme required the future, but they build cultures and populated the cultures with properly extrapolated technology.  In general, fully culturally shaped technology results in what the market calls space opera or less hard science fiction.  I'll discuss this 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 49 and more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

18 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 49 and more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

I used all the examples I mentioned yesterday in The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox not just for the purpose of cultural shaping, but because the culture of the novels was required by the theme.  In the case of these science fiction novels, the culture required by the theme also helped reduce the required technology through cultural shaping.

Most science fiction authors use cultural shaping to one degree or another to either unintentionally or intentionally reduce the required technological extrapolation.  Examples of the use of cultural shaping can be found through most science fiction.  Many times the authors don't intentionally shape the cultures of their novels to fit the extrapolation of the technology.  In many cases, the authors don't change the culture at all from that of their modern world.  They assumed very wrongly that the culture (and to a degree, the technology) would be the same.

The classic science fiction writers of the late and middle twentieth century are authors who generally didn't change their culture and sometime technology to match.  These are the novels that have sliderules in space.  These novels still have telephones and video phones.  The computers fill rooms.  To be honest, these writers didn't see the effect of change in the modern world.  The world changed at both a much greater and lesser pace than they expected.

Two authors that stand out as very culturally and technologically aware are Jack Vance and John Brunner.  Jack Vance really understands culture.  John Brunner really understands technology.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 48 even more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

17 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 48 even more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

When you start with a culture that is more simple, less complex, or more ancient than our modern culture, your readers will expect the universe you create to have anachronisms that don't necessarily need extrapolation--they may need interpolation.  For example, if you have a tradition in your culture that requires the characters to carry a sword, you have developed an anachronism in the culture.  If you further have a code duello in that culture, you have a greater anachronism.  If you introduce plasma swords as a weapon that can be selected in the code duello, you have extrapolated a technology and limited within a culture. 

There are many means to limit your culture and the extrapolation you require.  Another example is communications.  We know that there will be some type of communication device more advanced than we have today. In 10,000 years, the most likely device will be an implant in the brain.  This might be too much for many readers to handle.  You might use that extrapolation, but in the proper culture, they would still have hand held devices.  In another more private culture, they might have no devices at all.  This is the power of cultural shaping.  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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Monday, September 16, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 47 more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

16 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 47 more Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

As I mentioned, even in the modern world, technology varies greatly from place to place.  Therefore, in The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox: The Fox's Honor we have Devon Rathenberg wearing leather clothing and a uniform from a plant in the sticks.  I don't tell you the modern fabrics, I make a comparison through the culture and technology displayed by Devon Rathenberg to contrast with the culture and technology of the time.  Likewise, the culture of the Human Galactic Empire is based in an Anglo-Saxon culture.  There is a degree of expectation in my readers that the culture and the times are different from today, but that they should expect something very different technologically and culturally.  With this setup, I have both expanded the universe of The Chronicles beyond the expectations of my readers and I have bounded that same universe within certain expectations. 

In the universe of The Chronicles you have faster than light space travel.  You have space ports and shuttles.  You have all the trappings of the future you would expect 10,000 years from now, but at the same time, because the culture is Anglo-Saxon based, you expect a universe that is somewhat backward.  This is a delicious tension I intentionally place in many of my science fiction novels.  The expectation is ancient, but the reality is extra-modern. 

When I wrote these novels back in the 1980s, there was even less expectation of the future technology.  Unfortunately, when the novels were published in the 2000's, the technology had caught up with the times and there was a little less wow factor.  This is how science fiction authors sometimes get it and sometimes don't.

All the technology was extrapolated from the basis of the modern era, but with some simple deviations.  I'll explain those 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 46 Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

15 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 46 Cultural Shaping Reduces Extrapolation

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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.

Here is the trick.  The way science fiction writers use cultural shaping to reduce the amount of technological extrapolation they have to do, is this.  They take direct elements from our modern culture, the shaped culture, and extrapolated technology and put those elements specifically into their science fiction.  For example, no one really predicted the form of computer technology we would have today--those who had an inkling could not imagine iPads, iPhones, laptops, GPS, cell phones, or the interfaces we use today.  The best they could do is to imagine some kind of communication device.  The worst extrapolators (some of the best science fiction authors) didn't imagine a world with anything better than slide rules, but what they did was take the slide rule into space.  The extrapolated future was space and space travel.  They weren't even looking 100 years into the future, but they didn't get close.  What they did was to focus on the major parts of technology they could extrapolate and use current technology for the rest.  I'd like you to set a higher bar, but even if you don't, if you use the current technology, cultural shaping, and extrapolation, you will write awesome science fiction.  I'll give you examples of each tomorrow.

All the technology was extrapolated from the basis of the modern era, but with some simple deviations.  I'll explain those 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 45 yet more Cultural Shaping

14 September 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 45 yet more Cultural Shaping

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.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

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 use of an ancient historical culture makes the extrapolation of technology and science easier, more predictable, and exotic to the reader.  For example, you really can't imagine a science fiction universe with plasma swords unless you are taking your culture from B movies.  I wanted plasma swords, and I wanted a real duel.  One reasonable way you can have plasma swords in science fiction is to have a future society developed around honor.  The Anglo-Saxon culture is one such culture.  I wanted a royal hierarchy with palace intrigue.  I wanted ornamented and deeply steeped customs like ransomed brides and honor weddings.  I wanted a culture that was very complex, but one that my readers could immediately grasp.  I also wanted to develop a culture where men and women were equal but absolutely different.  All of these are extrapolated and direct characteristics of an Anglo-Saxon culture.  Now, there are still ornaments and new ideas within the culture I developed, but it is a culture based firmly on honor--thus the titles of the novels.

All the technology was extrapolated from the basis of the modern era, but with some simple deviations.  I'll explain those 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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com