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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 165 Extrapolating Military Technology, Military Automation

12 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 165 Extrapolating Military Technology, Military 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

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)
9.  Costs 

The simplest automation to see in military extrapolation is in defensive systems.  Military automation has followed civilian automation in aircraft (autopilots) and eventually ground equipment (vehicles); however, like the past, the future will see more and more automation in electronic equipment.  That electronic equipment is mostly defensive response and offensive equipment.  So, the automation I am writing about is chaff and flare systems connected to missile detection and warning systems.  This is a kind of obvious automation.  Another automation is in jamming and encryption of communications.  This is more transparent to the user, but for your writing, can provide an undercurrent of authority and capability to your military plots and themes.  In my view, it isn't enough to just have communications, as a writer, you need to explain the hows and wherefores of the capability.  That is, if it fit your theme, you could have the military radios squawking as they made contact and explain it as the anti-jamming and encryption--or you could have lights that indicated the system was properly encrypting etc.  A plot turn might be caused when a character doesn't note the encryption light is on and spills some important information.

Other forms of automation in military equipment will obviously be those I wrote about for aircraft (autopilots already in use) and vehicle (autodrive).  The autodrive might take a while.  Autodrive coupled with bomb detection could lend great safety to convoys of vehicles.

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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