18 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 171 Extrapolating Military Technology, Ground Effect 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)
Ground effect vehicles are not the same as an air cushion vehicle. A ground effect vehicle flies in ground effect. The closer an aircraft (at least 1/2 wing span) gets to the ground the greater the lift on the vehicle. A ground effect vehicle is not designed to fly continuously higher than ground effect--1/2 its wing span. Usually, they fly about 5 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters) above the ground. The problems with ground effect vehicles is they need lots of flat ground without intermittent objects they might hit. If they can see obstructions (electronically or otherwise), they can maneuver or jump over them. The second problem with them is control. Humans can't keep a ground effect vehicle at 1 to 3 meters for extended periods of time--they require an automated control and detection system. With the proper automatic controls a ground effect vehicle is a marvelous means for flight over water and plains. It can also jump over areas of non-flat ground.
Ground effect vehicles have great legs especially over water and steppes/plains. They would be great for exploration of a large flat planet. They would not be good for mountainous or broken ground. They can carry a lot of material. They also produce a great wreak if their automatics fail. A proper extrapolation would develop a means of safely bringing a large ground effect vehicle to ground under emergency conditions. There is much more about ground effect vehicles especially in regard to low power anti-gravity 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: