16 April 2014, Writing Ideas – Writing Science Fiction, part 174 Extrapolating Military Technology, Advanced Vehicles
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 on 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–start with http://ldalford.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/daemon-installment-1-the-incantation/.
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. At this moment, I’m showing you the creative process I used to put together the novel.
Here are my four rules (plus one) of 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)
In my Ghost Ship novels (unpublished), the culture has a form of anti-gravity, but I suppose, the cost and energy use of the anti-gravity is too great for vehicles without fusion or other nuclear reactors. I do not extrapolate tiny reactors or even small ones. There is potential for this, but the science is lacking.
In the world of the Ghost Ship novels, shuttles use hydrogen scavenger drives in the atmosphere and hydrogen/oxygen plus anti-gravity drives outside of it. The shuttles can use their scavenger drives for vertical landings, but at a high cost in fuel. For cost savings, they use long shuttle landing strips. This is a basic extrapolation from the airports and shuttles we have today.
Now, for military vehicles, expect them to follow some degree of civilian vehicles, but with less efforts toward efficiency. In industry and business, the cost of a mission is critical to the industry. In the military, the cost is nothing compared to the effectivity of the mission. Mission accomplishment is key and not efficiency while accomplishing the mission.
This is the chief difference between military vehicles and civilian vehicles. You will see this model play out in all potential extrapolations. A military shuttle might use vertical lift all the time (as long as fuel is not an issue)–a civilian shuttle would use vertical lift only when necessary. You can also expect a future where much training is accomplished in simulators.
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.
A note from one of my readers: Speaking of which, I am awaiting for you to write a detailed installment on identifying, and targeting your audience, or audiences…ie, multi-layered story, for various audiences…like CS Lewis did. Just a thought.
I’ll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.