7 March 2014, Writing Ideas – Writing Science Fiction, part 134 Extrapolating Military Technology, Countermeasures
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)
There is a countermeasure for anything. Any defense is a countermeasure, but I’ll get to those specifically. A countermeasure, in modern warfare is a defense that is active only in response to a stimulus. So an electronic countermeasure doesn’t generally happen until the electronic attack. This began with radar. When a radar is trying to detect you, if you throw out a bundle of chaff of the correct lengths, the radar will see a large blot where you dropped the chaff and be attenuated such that you can hide or move a little closer to the target. The chaff has to be metal strips the length of a wavelength or a multiple of the wavelength of the radar. In the old days, the wavelength of the radars were pretty specific and the chaff did a number on them. This is pure countermeasure. It doesn’t protect, but it prevents the enemy from seeing the vehicle (aircraft). It is therefore, not a defense (in the sense we will discuss latter).
Chaff does become a defense when I use it against a radar missile. If the enemy fires a radar missile at my aircraft, I can fire a chaff bundle (or multiple chaff bundles) to attract the missile. This is a defense, not a classic defense, but a countermeasure. This type of chaff works just like it did in the old days–it provides interfering metal strips the length or width of the wavelength of the radar.
There are many other ways to use countermeasures, I’ll discuss them and extrapolate them to help you understand this element of warfare.
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/.