4 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 213 Extrapolating Military Technology, Space Ammo Handling Operations 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, let's extrapolate ammo handling into the future. Since I don't expect land or sea based operations to change much at all, let's look at space operations. In space, ordinance handling will be more difficult. The difficulty with handling ordinance in space is the problem of containment, fusing, operations, and weightlessness.
When a bomb goes off in space, their is no air friction, ground, or gravity to contain the blast or the blast particles. So, even though you can't hear the explosion, the particles (fragmentation), will continue to travel at the speed they started until they hit something. Now, space is big, but massive warfare in orbit could cause significant problems for ships in that area for a long time--until the fragments leave the solar system. This is a significant problem for operations in space. An uncontained explosion will be horrific in space. Therefore, you can expect all space operations to use directed explosion weapons with as little fragmentation as possible. You really can't have uncontained fragments of any size hanging around. The weapons will need to actually strike their targets. In modern warfare, you don't need or really want the weapons to hit their targets--you only need to get close enough to blast fragmentation into a target. In space, you want to hit the target and then pour energy into it. This means tracking and attack systems must be able to handle high velocities and closure rates.
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: