12 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 221 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Prepared Food 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)
10. Morale (discipline)
Tactical costs are food, fuel, ammo, and replacements. Today, the military has combat kitchens that transport, prepare, and serve food in the battlefield. What might these facilities look like in the future? Whatever they are, I suspect the mess sergeants will look and be the same. KP (Kitchen Patrol) duty has certainly changed. In the past, untrained soldiers would be placed on KP duty to help the combat or base kitchens. During a full scale world war or a full scale war buildup that might happen again, but today, the combat kitchens are seen as too important and the troops are seen as too specialized to share these roles.
In the future, in all areas, we should expect more specialization and not less. The combat kitchen will be one of these areas. How well can you make meals in the combat environment. What kinds of food and service can a military force provide. I suspect, meat and potatoes (so to speak) will always be the mainstay. The meals will be about 2000 calories and cultural favorites. In mixed forces, expect the kitchens to cater to the different cultures. The combat kitchens also provide MREs and other immediate combat meals.
A nation's support of food provisions for its forces in both peace time and war time are critical markers of morale and capability. I'll discuss food for special troops and combatants (such as aviators) next.
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: