28 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 237 even more Extrapolating Nations
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.
If you want technology and freedom, you need exploration. A nation that focuses on exploration is not spending money to support a worthless or dying civilization. Exploration is powered by government because the costs are usually too great for private groups to accomplish. This isn't always true however. In the case of the British East India Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, the return from exploration was high enough for private businesses to handle the costs. This could be true in the future as long as the government makes military surplus and technology available to the public. This can't work if the government does not encourage and deregulate the business of exploration.
Freedom is the other part of this equation. No private person is willing to risk their lives in exploration without some high degree of return. This high degree of reward for risk is called capitalism. Capitalism is the only means to get people to be willing to put their money and their lives at risk in exploration. I know you can appeal to patriotism and you can reward people and you can make space programs, but look what that has achieved in the case of the USA. In the USA, the space program is a joke--it once had the Saturn Five and moon capable ships--not anymore. It once had Space Shuttles--not anymore. It once had a space station--not anymore. All the US has is a part in the International Space Station and no way to put astronauts there or bring them home. It is a joke. This is no way to encourage or build exploration in space.
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: