23 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 232 Extrapolating Military Technology, more example Extrapolated Morale
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)
The ultimate question of extrapolated morale is what is a person willing to die for. Generally, national exceptionalism comes directly from the concepts of divine providence, work superiority, moral superiority, fairness, equality of purpose, equality of position, equality under the law, equality of opportunity. The Klingons don't have what it takes either.
The Klingons were obviously extrapolated as an analogy to the USSR during the original Cold War Star Trek series. The problem for morale with the Klingons is they have the same problems as the Soviets. The Klingons are supposed to be a warlike, honor-based culture. The only problem with that is that almost every honor based society is strongly religious and in fact strongly Christian. You do find some honor-based cultures that are not Christian but they all tend to be strongly religious. For some reason, in the mind of the Star Trek writers, religion and science fiction don't fit. Let's realize that societies in space will have all the characteristics of societies on the earth--an then some. It is utterly illogical to not include religion into science fiction. I don't mean religious science fiction, I mean science fiction that includes religious characters, concepts, and ideas.
One example of a science fiction novel that did just that is Dune. Dune may be one of the best science fiction novels written. If you notice, it has extrapolated religion very well and placed it properly in a place of prominence in that universe. Dune is an example of a very well done extrapolation of science, culture, politics, and technology.
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: