10 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 191 Extrapolating Military Technology, Camo and Combat Environment Suits
Announcement: There is action on my new novels. The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name. I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions. They are also working on a single theme for the covers. 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 http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
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:
8. Environments (personal equipment)
I developed the Combat Environment Suit (CES) as an extrapolation of uniform technology for my Ghost Ship novels. One of the major capabilities of the CES is camouflage (camo). In my technological explanations, the CES has an electronically sensitive exterior that allows it to project electromagnetic signals. This means a CES can project the illusion of the terrain behind the wearer in every electromagnetic region, which would render the wearer invisible. Of course, that means there are ways to detect a CES by exclusion (a dead spot or repetition) in the environment. That also means there would be a method of jamming a CES so the camo wouldn't work. These are very complex devices. The first, a CES detector, might be included in the helmets of a modern CES. A jammer might be extra equipment.
The camo from a CES would not render a person invisible, but it would give them some protection from human and automatic electromagnetic scanning. The camo would be best if the wearer is still and not moving. There would always be some delay in the CES ability to detect and reflect or show the scene behind. There would also be possible discontinuities between the camo in the CES and the environment. A good science fiction author would do well to use these capabilities in the writing to further the plot and storyline. The CES also provides protection from the environment, but not all environments.
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 http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: