My Favorites

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 169 Extrapolating Military Technology, Tracked Vehicles

16 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 169 Extrapolating Military Technology, Tracked 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

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 

I'm not certain how much life tracked vehicles have left in them--I suspect it is a lot.  They are relatively inexpensive and yet provide a much better platform for very heavy vehicles.  Military vehicles will likely remain very heavy vehicles.  The cost vs. weight lifting efficiency has to beat anything else.  For tracks, this will be true for a while.  The power vs. speed and capability must also match.  I suspect, for multipurpose vehicles, we will see mech types (human and animal propulsion using hydrocarbon engines) fill the niche of individual vehicles (bikes and motorcycles) but with real armor and weapons.  As efficiencies and turbine engines scale downward and less expensive, that is when we will see mech types take the work from tracks.  Already track vehicles use kerosene turbine engines (jet engines), but they are large and relatively complex.  In the future we will see small and still complex but low cost turbines take the place of gasoline engines.  The future power of choice will likely be turbine engines powering an electric generator and using electromechanical and hydraulic muscles.  Turbine engines can produce great power and electromechanical or electric motors can produce high torque quickly.  The trick is to produce electricity efficiently.  The turbine can do this.

We are not far from mechs, but until we have low cost turbines and the proper electromechanical or hydraulic systems, we won't see them.  Likely mechs will be late to the party with tracks filling the need for heavy systems for a while.

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:

No comments:

Post a Comment