4 May 2014, Writing Ideas – Writing Science Fiction, part 189 Extrapolating Military Technology, more Combat Environment Suits
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 https://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)
The trick with the Combat Environment Suit (CES) and a vacuum or chemical attack… is the helmet. There is much more we could write about the actual suit, but let’s talk about the helmet. Since the helmet is a part of the CES, it should have the capability to integrate with the personal and heavy weapons systems the soldier will use. In my Ghost Ship novels, these are the functions that have been disabled as part of demilitarization, but that my main character hacks into and enables. He also enables the special functions of the helmet. For example, you might expect the helmet to have the capability of pressurization and positive pressure for chemical attacks. You also would expect night vision capability, but you wouldn’t expect the chemical detectors or the other frequency detection. All these give unique capabilities to the soldier that are force multipliers for that kind of work. For the savvy civilian, these capabilities can be very helpful–this is especially true for the characters of my books who want to engage in special operations under cover.
Other capabilities of the helmet are location identification (GPS perhaps), ballistic protection, communications in all frequencies, encryption, jamming and anti-jamming, weapons aiming, enemy detection, friendly detection–there are all kinds of capabilities you can imagine in this kind of device.
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/.