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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 160 Extrapolating Military Technology, Airborne Robots

7 January 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 160 Extrapolating Military Technology, Airborne 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 

Today's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are simply stand-ins for human manned aircraft.  They are robots, but not really useful robots.  They don't increase the commander's ability to employ forces, they limit the commander's capability to employ forces.  The kill chain is longer, the potential for collateral damage is greater, the legality under the laws of war are tenuous.  There are a lot of problems with current UAVs, but this is what we have.

The next generation of aircraft-like UAVs will become like the true robots Boston Dynamics is designing for the Army.  The next generation will be true combat UAVs that can operate with aircraft in a synergy that will improve the commander's force employment.  For example, Uninhabited Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) that work in formation with a human inhabited fighter, bomber, or command and control aircraft.  A formation of a UCAV and a fighter would be able to carry more weapons, employ those weapons, and the UCAV could take on risks so the fighter wouldn't have to.  The UCAV could provide support if the fighter was shot down or had mechanical issues.  In this case, the UCAV would be a true multiplier and not just a human stand-in.

I wish I had a reason to write a novel based on this type of UCAV to human collaboration.  I think it would be a fun novel and a great concept to explore.  Whatever, the future is based in this type of robot to human interaction on the battlefield.  That's just the beginning.

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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