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Monday, January 6, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 159 Extrapolating Military Technology, Initial Robots

6 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 159 Extrapolating Military Technology, Initial 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 

A useful robot is a robot that doesn't replace a human soldier, but rather augments a human soldier.  There really haven't been many uses of true robots in warfare.  A type of robot is a bomb--especially a guided bomb.  A pilot uses an aircraft system to deliver the bomb based on certain parameters.  A guided bomb is released from the aircraft and delivers itself based on guidance or criteria provided by the aircraft or an external source.  These are kind of robots because they are autonomous, and they do augment the pilot's capability to attack a target. 

Modern UAVs are really not useful robots.  They are autonomous, but they simply degrade the human soldier's capability to act.  Boston Dynamics is designing robots that are truly useful to the soldier and future UAVs will aid the pilot and not degrade the ability to observe and attack targets.

Boston Dynamics is building and designing robots that aid the basic soldier.  The Big Dog and the Atlas are currently pack animals that can carry more than one man's equipment.  The first steps of these robots is to carry supplies.  Instead of riding on a vehicle and having to dismount to fight, the soldier of the future will carry his supplies on a robot.  The robot can go wherever the soldier can go, but there is much much more to this initial synergy.

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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