7 February 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 188 Extrapolating Military Technology, 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 am looking at the high end extrapolation of a military uniform. I call this uniform a Combat Environment Suit (CES). I mentioned that the CES provides protection from chemicals, radiation, the environment, ballistic attacks, etc. I was going over the hows of the protection and capabilities.
The CES is skin tight and provides protection from a vacuum for a limited period of time through constriction. In a vacuum suit the air pressure in the suit is kept at a constant pressure that is safe for a human being--usually something close to 18,000 feet. The human body can comfortably exist at this pressure--in fact the human body can handle pressures up to 50,000 feet--above 50,000 feet blood boils, so it isn't very healthy for the body. In a constrictor vacuum suit, air pressure isn't what is holding the pressure for the person, the suit is. The suit provides pressure against the skin everywhere except where there are orifices. At those points, air pressure has to be kept at least 30,000 feet for safety. This isn't as hard as it sounds. You just have to keep the head and the crotch areas pressurized. The head needs to be at about 20,000 with supplemental oxygen or at 10,000 without. The crotch should technically be at the same pressure as the head to prevent blow-through, but you can have pressure differential, it just isn't comfortable. The whole thing isn't very comfortable, but that's why it is temporary and for emergencies. The point is that I can send a person in a CES into a potential decompression environment and know they will be safe through a decompression or the loss of oxygen pressure.
I also know the soldier (person) will be safe during chemical operations etc. In my Ghost Ship novels, I have the characters using CES and constrictor vacuum suits for emergency operations. The constrictor suits are very interesting because they cause bruising all over the body. The CES will likewise and under more than vacuum conditions.
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: