24 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 177 Extrapolating Military Technology, Simulation
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)
To extrapolate future simulations and training look to simulations and training today. The future shouldn't be much different--just better. Today, aircraft are the only vehicles whose training significantly includes simulation. We are seeing the beginnings of simulation in other vehicle training, but that will only increase in the future. Vehicles will become simpler, but training and the costs of operating the vehicles will become more. Additionally, the cost and the difficulty of actual offensive and defensive operations will be significant. That is, for firing weapons and in war games, simulation will become necessary.
Already there is some movement toward simulators in military training--not as much as you might think. Most military training in aircraft has to do with procedures and aircraft operations, especially emergency procedures, not military training or military operations. The reason for this is easy to understand. Most aircraft are lost in training and emergencies not combat. With more and better simulators, we will see aircraft training move more and more to simulation--that includes military operations. In the civil community, we have already seen most training move to simulation. The military isn't far behind.
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: