14 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 167 Extrapolating Military Technology, Vehicles
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 looked at robots becoming or as vehicles. That is an easy extrapolation when you put transportation, war machines, and automation together, but there is much more to vehicles. We haven't seen the eclipse of wheeled or tracked vehicles, but there are other options. What will the extrapolation of wheeled vehicles look like? First, we should note what will cause the end of wheeled vehicles. As projected in good (and not so good science fiction), some means of support beyond wheels on the ground will end wheeled transport. The speeder on Star Wars is an example. When gravity or the earth's magnetic field or some other means is found to place vehicles above the earth, then there won't be a need for wheels. The direct analogue of this is your flying car. Wheeled vehicles will be around for a while because even with a flying car or an anti-gravity vehicle, the cost of moving heavy stuff will make wheeled vehicles valuable. On the other hand, an anti-gravity vehicle will also make movement of very heavy loads possible over bad terrain. The flying vehicle will have limitations similar to aircraft (for a while).
We can extrapolate wheeled vehicles to become more and more automated. An auto-drive system and automatic programming will become ubiquitous. Imagine your iPhone and your car interacting. Your car will have a high end application for road navigation. You put in the location and the car will automatically drive you there. This is becoming possible right now. When cars are being sold that park automatically, you can be sure that auto-drive isn't far away.
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: