19 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 172 Extrapolating Military Technology, more 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)
I mentioned yesterday that the problem with ground effect vehicles is automation and safety. They need systems that prevent collisions with the earth or things sticking out of the earth. Once these two issues are solved, they will be very effective as military vehicles. There is a question of their combat utility if they are vulnerable. This is a question for the author to determine. For example, helicopters are likely the most vulnerable vehicles on any battlefield, yet they are used extensively by the US government. Many governments have given up helicopters because of their cost and vulnerability.
Ground effect vehicles will likely be the same. Once the problems with ground effect vehicles are worked out, we ill likely see them in roles from attack fighters to cargo freighters. I do mean freighters--ground effect vehicles have the potential to be built in sizes as large as tankers and cargo ships. They can fly at transonic speeds (0.7 Mach, about 400 miles per hour). They can replace large ships and helicopters. Once the bugs are worked out, they will likely be used on the seas and on land.
By the way, if ground effect vehicles replace helicopters and some ships, this puts the Army and the Navy at odds. The Army will likely want the GEVs as helicopter replacements and they will want large GEVs to deliver tanks etc. The Navy will want to control the large GEVs especially those used over water. I point this out because the tension of this type of situation should be a great part of any novel.
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: