5 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 186 Extrapolating Military Technology, Uniforms
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)
Those other pieces of the uniform are body armor, the gun belt and harness, the boots, and the helmet. These are both individual uniform items and pieces that can and will be incorporated into uniforms in the future. Each part has a specific purpose.
A further addition or part of the uniform is chemical protection. Today, this is usually added on top of the normal uniform. The other parts go either under or over this special protection. Future environments will cause their own problems because they will each require more and different protection as well as improved defensive means. Let's look at some.
The first and most obvious extrapolation is the incorporation of chemical protection and ballistic protection into the basic uniform. The basic uniform also must provide camo capability, so it makes sense to add in these other technologies. The holdback currently is simply weight and capability, so this extrapolation may be as far as 1,000 years rather than 100 years. Body armor needs to get lighter and simpler. Chemical defense needs to get lighter and simpler. This is a question of materials and technology. Current chemical protection works by absorbing (using carbon) the chemicals to keep them away from the body. A future material needs to be developed that keeps very small molecules away from the body. Future fabrics might even actively reject certain molecules while allowing certain ones in--for example, allowing water in and out and oxygen and nitrogen in and out while not allowing any larger molecules in. Also, it might be possible to allow molecules to get out but not in. For example, to allow any molecule out, but only very small molecules in. This type of fabric is very possible and likely within 100 years. I like the idea of active systems--that is one where the composition and capability of the fabric changes through the control of the operator.
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: