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Friday, January 3, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 156 Extrapolating Military Technology, Advanced Space Communications

3 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 156 Extrapolating Military Technology, Advanced Space Communications

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 speed of light is a problem for both interstellar transportation and communications.  The fact that the speed of light is the current limit for the speed of radio (and light, they are the same, electromagnetic) frequency communications, makes communication across interstellar distances problematic.  If it takes 5 years to get a message to Alpha Centari (the closest star to earth), then there is a significant problem of scale and need.  Who needs a message five years old, and what good does it do you.  The solutions are kind of obvious.

In the Chronicles of the Dragon and Fox novels, I posited a system of courier spaceships that carried communications for people, the government, and the military.  With the speed of light (as long as there is a means of transportation faster than light (FTL)), this is a viable means of communications.  Additionally, I also had a means of sending an automatic/uninhabited communications ship (like a satellite) to move the communications.  In the science fiction world I created, I couldn't extrapolate a means of faster than light communications beyond that of transportation. 

I also used this as part of the cultural shaping of the universe.  I didn't want instantaneous communications--I wanted to have delays so many groups were out of the loop on information.  This was part of the theme and plot development in the novels.  This made for many of the plot elements in the novel.  Some groups were surprised to learn what had gone on in the universe based on the actions of the main character.  This allowed me to build excitement for the reader and in the plot.

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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