HOW DOES A THRILLER WRITER STAY UP TO DATE?
OY VEY! WITH DIFFICULTY
There is combat in all my thrillers, and I normally feature some unusual weapon or other. However, up to now I have been relatively restrained in relation to advanced technology—if only because the pace of change is so fast.
I do try to remain up to date with technology. I read widely, and have friends who are on the cutting edge. Even so, I continue to be surprised.
A good example is the drone illustrated in the above photo. It looks like a toy, and a fairly small toy at that. In fact, it is an operational drone currently deployed in Afghanistan.
But surely it is too small to be of any use, I hear you say. Apparently not.
It is called the Black Hornet Unmanned Air Vehicle, and measures just four inches by one inch and comes complete with a tiny camera. It was developed by Prox Dynamics AS of Norway. And yes, I did say Norway.
And the damn thing—let me repeat myself—is not just a research project. It is operational right now in Afghanistan, a real shooting war (and who knows where else). Achievable altitude, range and duration? Sadly, I don’t know them.
The Duke of Wellington—he of the Battle of Waterloo and the dry sense of humor—used to stress the importance of being able to know what was “on the other side of the hill.” Well, now the average soldier is in a position to find out very quickly by way of this ridiculously tiny device.
Oy Vey! Sometimes I wish I was a Jew and could express myself with such feeling. English is a marvelous language, but it has some frustrating limitations.