11 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 164 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Automation
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)
We are moving toward automation in everything--robots are simply a part of this automation. The FAA has specified 10 levels of automation for aircraft systems. They intend this to be for Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) but automation is a very important part of human fight operations. For example, autopilots are automation of the flight controls. Electronic flight planning and execution is automation of navigation systems and controls. Automation both large and small has touched aircraft cockpits from the beginning. In the digital age, this automation is increasing in large strides.
More slowly, and yet more quickly (in some ways), automation has come into ground systems. Digital moving maps were first in cars, then in aircraft. Today, they are in every cellphone. Cars park themselves, they condition themselves, they monitor themselves, soon they will drive themselves. We shouldn't be too surprised. Jack Vance predicted a car that drove itself. In less than 100 years, all cars will likely drive themselves. You might have your flying car too. That will certainly drive (pilot) itself. All that automation will come to military systems.
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: