You are ready to write the next Hugo award nominated novel and you want to start things off with a bang by featuring a huge battle between bitter rival factions. Sweet. The question is will the scene feature a hero and anti-hero going toe to toe or something quite different? Jim Miller, author of the upcoming horror novel Terror on the Tundra, shares his thoughts on the subject. Miller, a pilot with decades of military experience, knows a thing or two about war. Here are his thoughts:

Okay, all you Sci Fi futurists, here’s a thought. Most Star-Wars-type plots involve old-fashioned fighting with upgraded traditional weapons: light sabers instead of swords, lasers instead of guns, Phazers instead of artillery, but that’s not the way things are headed. I try to keep up with the state of the future war game and it’s not looking at all like the standard rehash of medieval combat using upgraded weapons.

The battlefield of the future is not going to be man-to-man. It will far more likely be swarms of individual smart weapons that share information and operate under direction of an Artificial Intelligence platform. Instead of lone, valiant knight-like characters, the fight will be between swarms of bee-like weapons with deadly, armor-piercing stingers and a backup arsenal of heavier weaponry employed against statistically valuable targets.

Consider a swarm of mechanical bees confronting an opposing swarm of mechanical hornets. The winner will be the group with the best computer and the best arsenal. There could be surveillance bots, attack bots, information relay bots and even propaganda bots–but there will probably not be human soldiers, not even Terminator cyborgs.

No, in all probability politicians will direct the killer drones and AI computers will employ them. There will be no heroics and no heroes.

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