No, we’re not saying anthropomorphize your weapon. But here’s the thing, the best way to prove to your reader that your character knows what they’re doing isn’t what they do in the middle of a fight. It’s the behavior they exhibit outside of it,…
I’m making a masterpost of studyspo, study blogs and motivational stuff. Like/Reblog this post and I’ll add you to the list!
While I do have a few essays and resources that would allow me to write something up on the theories of metaphors, I don’t find them that useful for application. So, instead, I am just going to describe a few processes that I do when I wish to add in some metaphors into my…
Anonymous said: What kind of weaponry would be the most effective in a highly urban environment? It's a futuristic setting, but most weapons are improvements on existing ones, so many are still valid. Would it be SMG type things, or lighter pistols?
It wouldn’t be pistols. If you’re talking about actual military operations, handguns occupy a position somewhere between “badge of office” and, “that’s cute, it thinks it’s a gun.”
Before I get going, I’m going to be naming a lot of guns, feel free to Google Image Search these as you’re going, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. When it comes to the firearms themselves, my recommendations are about near future aesthetics.
If your characters are dealing with an area where there are a lot of civilians they don’t want to kill accidentally, you’re probably looking at SMGs and shotguns with an ammunition solution.
Rounds like the Glaser safety slugs are expensive as hell, but frangible ammo might be a good solution when dealing with combat where you do not want blowthroughs. Also, if you’re talking about DoD contracts, you could expect the price on those rounds to be a little more manageable.
Even if that’s the case, in fairly tight quarters combat shotguns are still a solution to both the blowthrough issue, and a good close combat weapon choice.
The Kel-Tec KSG might be a good one to look at. The UTAS UTS-15 might not be a bad shotgun to look at.
Now, actual urban combat presents a real problem for weapons. Full size rifles are very awkward for room clearing and moving through tight spaces, but SMGs don’t (usually) have the accuracy to replace a combat rifle in engagements at ranges over 100m.
One of the biggest solution has been bullpup weapons. These are weapons where the grip is located towards the front of the gun. The FN P90 is an excellent example of the design that’s all over the place in popular media.
In close quarters, a shorter weapon offers enemies less to grab in the event they try to get the gun away from the shooter. It also provides less to get caught on the environment, and, in general, allows more mobility. This is part of why SMGs and compact rifles are preferable in city fighting situations.
Normally, when you simply shorten the barrel, you end up with a firearm that’s harder to control and less accurate. Bullpup designs get around this by keeping the barrel length, and by using the stock as an integral part of the firearm instead of dead weight.
This results in compact, highly accurate, assault rifles that can be used indoors and in the streets.
You might want to look at the FAMAS, FN f2000, Enfield L85 and FN P90 for inspiration here. Also, if you want a more rugged looking bullpup, the Russian OTs-14 “Groza” (“Thunderstorm”) might be a good choice. As I recall, the OICW was also supposed to be a bullpup when finished, that project was abandoned about a decade ago.
The FAMAS is a bit bulky, but it already looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. The L85a2 is (reportedly) incredibly accurate in the right hands. The P90 is technically an SMG, (because the FN Five-Seven uses the same round) though, honestly it’s a weird little monster all it’s own; not a true assault rifle, but with some of the characteristics of one.
Beyond this, there are also a few very compact SMGs like the H&K MP7 and MP9. The KRISS Vector probably deserves a mention, this is a new .45 that has a fairly compact form, and an interesting recoil control mechanism, that redirects the force down, reducing climb. This technically isn’t a bullpup, but it’s worth looking at. Just keep in mind, all of these would be substandard solutions because your characters would have to switch weapons when heading outside.
It’s worth pointing out, that for law enforcement, SMGs are actually a better choice. Combat rarely occurs at long range, outside of dedicated police marksmen/snipers), so the short range of an SMG actually becomes an advantage.
If you’re wanting some high tech pistols to go along with them, the Berretta PX4 (this was Cobb’s pistol in Inception), the H&K USP and USP compact (the USPs actually have an internal counter-spring that does amazing things to reduce recoil), the Walther P99 (this has also been used in a few of the more recent Bond films, and I distinctly remember a sci-fi film trying to pass them off as distant future hardware), the SIG Sauer SigPro pistols (like the SP2022).
I know I’m missing some examples there, but that should give you a start on what you want to tinker with.
If you’re a gamer, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is a virtual buffet of near future hardware to play with, including a lot of non-weapons tech, interspersed with levels set in the 1980s. Crysis 2 has a nice mix of modern/near future weapons in an urban environment, though the focus there is the nanosuit… and alien invasion, rather than high tech guns. (I’ve also got a soft spot for Crysis’ take on the FN SCAR.) Come to think of it, Deus Ex: Human Revolution might be a bad choice, again the guns aren’t really the focus, but it might mesh with what you’re trying to do.
If you’re not a gamer, or at least not that kind of gamer, some of the old Shadowrun source books might be worth looking at as a reference. Just be prepared to filter out the fantasy elements you don’t want from the ones you do.
You might also want to use the “Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit” (TALOS), currently in development by the US military. It’s envisioned as a powered, full armor suit that would both protect the user and provide enhanced capabilities (strength, vision, communications, trauma medical treatment, etc.). Taken to its logical conclusion, if a few dozen highly trained operators had these and the opposing side did not, an urban battle might go much faster than originally envisioned.
On the lower tech side, you should look at the Syrian Civil War for what modern urban combat might look like: the more heavily armed side either demolishes whole city blocks or surrounds them and starves them out while the less heavily armed side uses suicide car bombs and ambushes. You could also expect the liberal use of rocket propelled grenades.
And while Starke doesn’t mention it, the US military seemed to do fairly well with the shorter barreled M4 during the Iraq war and specifically during the Battle of Fallijah.
Somehow I missed this, I could have sworn I had a paragraph on carbines in there somewhere, but I wasn’t thinking about the M4.
Carbines are basically just shortened rifles. Historically these were useful for cavalry and later vehicle crews where space was at a premium.
Modern carbines do a lot better in dense urban environments because, as with bullpup rifles, they’re more compact and better suited to operating in close quarters, while still retaining some rifle accuracy.
In addition to the M4, there’s also the G36C and the SIG 552. Both of those have found a home in para-military police operations.
I’m going to add TALOS to the long list of DARPA funded research I’m kinda aware of. I know a little bit about the powered armor research, but my suspicion is, once it actually hits, we’re more likely to see an acceleration of weapons to counter it. Be that improvements on HE rounds, a shift back to battle rifles, .50 AM Rifles with the smartscope technology that’s limping along, or something horrifically low tech, like paintball grenades.
That said, the biggest thing to take away isn’t specifically the powered armor. There’s a lot of really innovative military research going on these days. Some of it’s kind of goofy now, like the vacuum cleaner powered wall scaling equipment, but if you’re serious about setting your story even in the 2030s, you’re going to have to do a lot of work looking at what’s in development and making educated guesses. Because, even if the guns don’t change, the world they’re used in certainly will.
ANTIBIOTICS CHEAT SHEET :)
* Sulfonamides compete for albumin with:
- Bilirrubin: given in 2°,3°T, high risk or indirect hyperBb and kernicterus in premies
- Warfarin: increases toxicity: bleeding
* Beta-lactamase (penicinillase) Suceptible:
- Natural Penicillins (G, V, F, K)
- Aminopenicillins (Amoxicillin, Ampicillin)
- Antipseudomonal Penicillins (Ticarcillin, Piperacillin)
* Beta-lactamase (penicinillase) Resistant:
- Oxacillin, Nafcillin, Dicloxacillin
- 3°G, 4°G Cephalosporins
- Beta-lactamase inhibitors
* Penicillins enhanced with:
- Clavulanic acid & Sulbactam (both are suicide inhibitors, they inhibit beta-lactamase)
- Aminoglycosides (against enterococcus and psedomonas)
* Aminoglycosides enhanced with Aztreonam
* Penicillins: renal clearance EXCEPT Oxacillin & Nafcillin (bile)
* Cephalosporines: renal clearance EXCEPT Cefoperazone & Cefrtriaxone (bile)
* Both inhibited by Probenecid during tubular secretion.
* 2°G Cephalosporines: none cross BBB except Cefuroxime
* 3°G Cephalosporines: all cross BBB except Cefoperazone bc is highly highly lipid soluble, so is protein bound in plasma, therefore it doesn’t cross BBB.
* Cephalosporines are ”LAME" bc they do not cover this organisms
- L isteria monocytogenes
- A typicals (Mycoplasma, Chlamydia)
- M RSA (except Ceftaroline, 5°G)
- E nterococci
* Disulfiram-like effect: Cefotetan & Cefoperazone (mnemonic)
* Cefoperanzone: all the exceptions!!!
- All 3°G cephalosporins cross the BBB except Cefoperazone.
- All cephalosporins are renal cleared, except Cefoperazone.
- Disulfiram-like effect
* Against Pseudomonas:
- 3°G Cef taz idime (taz taz taz taz)
- 4°G Cefepime, Cefpirome (not available in the USA)
- Antipseudomonal penicillins
- Aminoglycosides (synergy with beta-lactams)
* Covers MRSA: Ceftaroline (rhymes w/ Caroline, Caroline the 5°G Ceph), Vancomycin, Daptomycin, Linezolid, Tigecycline.
* Covers VRSA: Linezolid, Danupristin/Quinupristin
* Aminoglycosides: decrease release of ACh in synapse and act as a Neuromuscular blocker, this is why it enhances effects of muscle relaxants.
* DEMECLOCYCLINE: tetracycline that’s not used as an AB, it is used as tx of SIADH to cause Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus (inhibits the V2 receptor in collecting ducts)
* Phototoxicity: Q ue S T ion?
- Q uinolones
- T etracyclines
* p450 inhibitors: Cloramphenicol, Macrolides (except Azithromycin), Sulfonamides
* Macrolides SE: Motilin stimulation, QT prolongation, reversible deafness, eosinophilia, cholestatic hepatitis
* Bactericidal: beta-lactams (penicillins, cephalosporins, monobactams, carbapenems), aminoglycosides, fluorquinolones, metronidazole.
* Baceriostatic: tetracyclins, streptogramins, chloramphenicol, lincosamides, oxazolidonones, macrolides, sulfonamides, DHFR inhibitors.
* Pseudomembranous colitis: Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, Lincomycin.
* QT prolongation: macrolides, sometimes fluoroquinolones
Sometimes crime writing research is difficult to gather, especially for those that are new to the genre. Or maybe there’s a certain aspect of the genre that you want to incorporate into your story, but just don’t know where to start or what to look for? This may not be a…
“Irony” is one of the most misunderstood terms in English.
Basically, “irony” is the contrast between expectation and outcome.
Unfortunately, numerous people think that “irony” is the same thing as “funny,” “coincidence,” or “bad timing.” This misunderstanding is due, in part, to the…
Anonymous said: What stereotypes/tropes of female characters would you like to see broken in the YA genre?
1) The extremely ordinary girl who is average, plain, and bland in appearance, personality, and general character development and who constantly talks about how boring she is and how there’s nothing special about her. This character is boring. This character is flat and static. The plot throws her around and everyone else figures things out for her. What she does do is make one or two very asinine decisions. Authors often use that as an opportunity to let a male love interest step in and fix everything for her. She then moves on from the mistake without having learned or without having changed from the experience.
Your characters, especially your protagonists and main characters, deserve so much more than that.
I should say that characters who genuinely believe there is nothing special about them do not fall into this. The characters who don’t genuinely believe it are the ones who mention it in a nonchalant way when they’re confused as to why someone would like them romantically and who then never mention it again. This belief is not shown in their dialogue, their emotions, or their behavior. They never express their concerns and no one else notices that they have low self esteem.
2) Female characters who are tokens. They’re introduced as the Strong Female Character, or what authors think a strong female character is, and do nothing but nag to show that women are always right and men are always wrong. They contribute nothing to the plot, are not well written, and rarely have relationships with other female characters.
3) The evil ex girlfriend needs to go or at least get an upgrade. She often shows up with the first character I described. She’s the ex girlfriend of the hot guy who is in love with the super average girl and she’s often the opposite of the protagonist. The protagonist is kind, gentle, innocent, and pure. The evil ex girlfriend is rude, dresses provocatively, hates the protagonist, and is an antagonist. This author gives all traits they consider immoral to this character and they’re used as a tool for preaching.
There are a lot of things wrong with this character, including sexism, blatant “white and black” morality, the “virgin vs whore” symbolism, and general craft failure. I think the only well written version of this character I’ve seen is Regina George (prior to Janis’s plans to mess with her).
Another version of this character is the “crazy ex” who stalks the male love interest and who is often referred to as being insane or mentally ill. These characters are less common in the YA age group though.
4) Female characters who are only love interests. These characters can be taken out of the story without losing anything important to the plot or characterization. This is craft failure.
5) We need to stop “fridging” female characters. This is when a female character is killed off by the bad guys for the purpose of angering the male protagonist. The death most often happens in the beginning of the story or shortly before the story begins. This trope is used way too often.
6) Female characters who are used to show that femininity or being attractive is inherently bad and that it makes other characters like that bad people. These characters often complain about other female characters and prefer to hang with the boys because they’re “not complicated” or something.
7) This next character isn’t one that we need to get rid of, but one that needs to allow others to take the role of the protagonist. I see so many times in fiction, particularly in speculative fiction, that female protagonists need some unique skill or ability to be the protagonist. Male characters get to be the unlikely hero who comes from humble beginnings just as much as they get to be someone with a unique ability. Female characters don’t get that chance too often.
Anonymous said: Hello, do you have any tips for writing sci-fi? (I know it's very vague sorry.)
Personal thoughts incoming!
While Star Trek is sci-fi, Star Wars is not. Star Wars is a fantasy story, and nothing else. Technology doesn’t impact anyone at all. Sure, you have AT&T Walkers (or whatever the fuck they’re called, jesus do I look like a star wars nerd to you?) and the Death Star, but they can easily be replaced with similar things in a fantasy setting. The AC-DC Walkers? War beasts — you can even use the same tactic to topple them! The Death Star? Maybe a flying fortress, who gives a shit?
The structure of Star Wars is a lot closer to fantasy than sci-fi (and you could argue that Watership Down also follows the same structure of a regular fantasy book — you have a wizard, a fighter, a scout etc etc. Sure, they’re hares but other than that it’s pretty spot on.); and this is why the one who posted something about Star Wars being sci-fi think it’s an opposite to Star Trek (because fantasy tend to be character-driven more than technology- (or magic-)driven.
Just because there are spaceships doesn’t mean it’s sci-fi. At its core, SW is fantasy: Evil Ruler and Youth With a Quest are two very common tropes; “the Force” (despite Lucas’s attempt at midichlorians) is a non-scientific, spiritual element of the Universe, that controls everything? Despite the aliens, Star Wars is basically a story about a boy who learns magic to defeat the Evil Ruler. Whoop-de-fucking-doo, it’s Robert Jordan all over again (but with less whining).
Note that I’m not saying Star Wars is bad, I’m saying it’s not sci-fi. Unless you’re willing to label Superman as sci-fi, because spaceships.
(I also disagree that characters are secondary to technology in Star Trek, and would argue that it’s the other way around. But whatever.)
For something to be sci-fi, technology needs to matter. It doesn’t in Star Wars, and it doesn’t in other “sci-fi” classics such as The Sphere , Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Dying Earth… Who cares, it doesn’t matter. (Except for SW: it’s not sci-fi.)
Anyway. The lines between fantasy and sci-fi are fuzzy and not worth getting too hanged up on. But I wouldn’t listen too closely to someone who thinks Star Wars is sci-fi, that’s for sure.
Now, an example of a sci-fi book?
Not only is it sci-fi, it’s the best kind: cyberpunk. The premise: in the future, every human gets a stack implanted in their neck. The stack records you, your memories, your skills, your id too, if you subscribe to that idea. If your body is destroyed but your stack isn’t, you can just slot the stack into a new body and it’s as if you never died.
How would society change from something like this? How would religion approach it, when death isn’t the last step before salvation? Is it murder if you kill a body but the person in it doesn’t die? How would the economy change? How would our exploration of the stars?
These are questions that arise when technology is the central theme in a sci-fi novel. What happens if we apply them to Star Trek?
The premise: in the future, mankind explores the stars. Faster-than-light propulsion is available, as is matter transportation, communication devices (remember, this show is old), artificial gravity and a whole host of other technologies.
How would society change from something like this?
I’m not the best Star Trek nerd to ask about this, because I’m not one at all, but society isn’t really examined really closely as far as I’ve gathered. Sure, there’s some backstory — world war 3, etc etc — but overall the “modern” society isn’t brought up very often; and no, I don’t count alien societies as a reflection of humanity’s future society.
You can infer a lot about humanity’s state in Star Trek, but that’s for some other day, and doesn’t really invalidate my point anyway.
How would religion approach it?
There isn’t really anything that challenges religion in Star Trek; a few encounters with fantastical beings with god-like powers is the closest, but those arcs have nothing to do with technology per se.
How does the economy change?
Who knows? I don’t think I’ve seen any episode where it’s actually brought up. Sure, alien societies have money, but they’re aliens.
I’m just going to quote me from the above link:
- Have limits on the technology and room for development to continue. It’s no fun if no wound can be fatal or if everyone can live forever.
- Know your world. You need to know how advanced it is, what politics it is and the culture of this world. It’s fundamental for your characters back-story.
- Decide whether your plot revolves around the sci-fi element or whether it is based around the characters but has sci-fi. For example Star Trek is all about the Sci-Fi whereas I would argue Star Wars is a lot more about the characters. The characters personal story in Star Wars in central, in Star Trek it is more like an afterthought.
- Keep an element of realism.
- Know the science.
Hope these links help!
How would our exploration of the stars change?
With Warp Drive 9 or whatever it is? A lot, apparently. I mean, they have exploration ships and all that jazz.
Technology isn’t really central in Star Trek; because the stories never really deal with how technology affects the people using it. In comparison, technology is the core of Altered Carbon.
There is obviously a protagonist and a framing narrative in Altered Carbon: some guy gets called in to do some sleuthing on an apparent suicide. The suicide victim argues that he can’t have committed suicide, because he’s not suicidal, and he wants to find out why he was killed, and by whom.
See, that’s the kind of shit you don’t get in Star Wars. :3
Christ I am bad at writing clear and concise things.
A really good breakdown of sci-fi or fantasy for Star Wars. I’d have to say that on a lot of points I agree. What do you guys think?