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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 178 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Simulation

25 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 178 Extrapolating Military Technology, more 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

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 

The military is slow to move to pure simulations in training because, they reason very well that simulations don't fully capture the elements of the battlefield--most specifically, they mean the "fog of war."  The "fog of war" is the unexpected nature of warfare in the interaction of nature, the battlefield, human dynamics, and the enemy.  Von Clausewitz wrote about the "fog of war" in On War.  Modern simulations are improving, but they haven't captured enough elements, yet, to provide the degree of combat training the military needs.  With time and improvements--especially the addition of chaos theory elements in the programing--simulations will gradually improve to the point that the military can use them routinely for training.

There are other elements to take into consideration.  At this moment, we are seeing the incorporation of technologies in the gaming environment that can potentially lead to more accurate and realistic simulations, but computing power, interfaces, and programming must improve significantly.  The elements in the simulations must look and feel like those in the real world--partial is good enough for flight simulators, but not for "world simulators."  The difference is teaching procedures and teaching interaction in the world.  The world of a flight simulator only needs to be good enough to teach the procedures especially emergency procedures--in a world simulator, it isn't learning known procedures, it is developing procedures and actions based on the individual circumstances of the moment.  

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:

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