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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 158 Extrapolating Military Technology, Beginning Robots

5 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 158 Extrapolating Military Technology, Beginning Robots

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 

Robots and robot-like vehicles will be the future of warfare.  The human element will likely dominate for a long time, but the use of robots is already becoming an issue and an advantage. 

Robot use can be seen in the UAVs (uninhabited areal vehicles) used by all the militaries for surveillance and military operations.  How well these work today is difficult to determine.  They do not decrease the length of the kill chain, and they do not reduce potential for collateral damage.  They do reduce the risk to a nation's human soldiers.  They are more expensive (at present), and they don't improve combat efficiency. 

That's the real point in this extrapolation--robots currently are used simply to prevent human casualties.  Their real value is as a combat multiplier.  The concept of risk aversion will easily give away to real capability in robots when that exists. 

The robots that have great combat multiplier potential are those being currently developed for small units and as adjunct and support for combat aircraft.  These will be the true first wave of useful combat robots.

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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