8 March 2014, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 217 Extrapolating Military Technology, yet more 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. The logistic of food in warfare is the logistics of survival and success. Troops without proper nutrition, will not fight for you, and there is always the possibility they might lose intentionally to get food. Insurrection in an army is an ugly thing and is almost always brought on by lack of food and lack of discipline (morale if you like).
As we moved from the ancient era to the era of Western civilization (most areas of the world never transitioned from an absolute starvation culture with Pantheonic Paganism). The reason religion is a key concept in this is meat. Until you move to a religion, like Christianity, Judaism, or Islam that separates sacrifice from eating meat, you really can't progress out of starvation agriculture. The Legions marched on wheat, they could not fight against a logistically powerful army that was fueled by meat and grain. Meat gives energy, fat, purpose, and makes men willing to lay down their lives. Meat is also the building block of mental and physical power. An army feed on meat and grain is an army or great power. That is why the Christian and the Islamic cultures were so well matched in the crusades, but the Aztecs and Mayans were not. It is one of the reasons why Kublai Kan and Genis Kan were able to defeat the feudal starvation agricultural cultures of Europe in the middle ages.
Meat in armies also cause problems especially prior to the invention of the can. The reason is that although, you can bring the flocks and herds along with you, you have to feed them and then slaughter them--and it takes a lot of meat to feed an army of any size.
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: