22 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 203 Extrapolating Military Technology, even more Replacement Tactical Costs
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)
Tactical costs are food, fuel, ammo, and replacements. So, for every vehicle class you have in your future battlefield, you will need a recovery vehicle. You will need a resupply vehicle. You will need transport vehicles. Usually, you will need strategic and tactical resupply and transport vehicles. This increases the complexity and depth of your military development.
Imagine, in a Mecha world, the type of vehicle you will need to recover mechs. I suspect they would be a very high power, heavy mech, but with limited firepower. Talk about a plot device. In general, tactical and strategic costs mean most of the vehicles and troops around the battlefield are not armed as well as the front line troops. Those in the front line may not be supplied as well as those who are committing the attacks. In other words, the tactical commander has a great deal to say about who gets the peak of supply. Those who don't, don't usually have the firepower (through supply) to commit to an offensive attack of any kind--they don't have enough fuel or ammo. They may not have enough of the other stuff too.
In a battlefield, the commander says which units get priority for replacement parts and repair. It usually is the crack front line groups. The ones the commander can depend on for battle wins. This doesn't mean the commander ignores the other units, but that the best trained, best led, and best equipped are his ace in the hole. They are the ones that usually get the full support of supply.
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: