As I close in on the second to last combat scene in the series, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to keep things fresh. Given the unique nature of the combatants in this scene, I was able to justify having some different weaponry rather than the standard general purpose lasers and missiles, etc.
I’ve tried very hard to keep the science in my science fiction “real” or at least real enough. When possible, I’ve done my best to back up the theoretical basis with believable science and numbers. Friends who worked at national laboratories helped a lot. Reading everything I could find about future weapons technology aided me too.
One of the most controversial weapons I used in the first book was the mass driver. The feedback on it was well-deserved as it wasn’t as thought out as it could have been. To be honest, it was my first novel and I was focusing on other things. At any rate, I left the rail guns and mass drivers out of the series after the first book not only because my science behind them was less than terribly accurate but also because it made sense at the time. I did have some Brevic escorts use kinetic defense turrets but I wisely stayed away from explaining them too precisely.
Well, I’ve wanted a second attempt at mass drivers and, after much research, discussion and deliberation, I’ve decided to pull the metaphorical trigger. The weapon type fits perfectly into the scene and the scene itself in nicely contained in the story.
Accompanying this re-introduction will be a slightly different type of laser. It’s nothing earth-shattering, in fact, it’s not even as powerful as the heavy lasers introduced in the second book of the series. However, it’s a nice change of pace and it’s interesting (at least I hope it is). It’s difficult to keep combats from devolving into the same format when you have several of them and diversifying the weapon types helps keep things fresh and new.
I’ve worked hard on making these weapons as “realistic” as possible but then again, this IS science fiction and, like in nearly all sci-fi books, there is some hand waving. However, there shouldn’t be too dramatic of hand waves.