Dragon Empire sounds like a cheesefest, as a book. In 2025, the first female leader of the free world takes command against China, which apparently has gotten feisty and started World War III with directed energy weapons. Can Sasha Wolfe save the world?
More importantly, will author and physicist Adam Weigold actually start World War III in real life with the massive wads of plasma he plans to throw around, using the book’s projected profits?
Weigold is one of the physicists behind the Lightning Gun, a directed energy weapon that, well, is designed to blast missiles and drones out of the sky with an electromagnetic pulse created by a laser. It also happens to generate a brief bolt of lightning. Here’s the basic concept:
A highly energetic laser pulse is focused in air to within a few meters of the target and
the resultant plasma ball emits an EM pulse that disables the nearby missile. The plasma ball acts as a miniature bolt of lightning and produces an intense optical flash and acoustic shock wave in addition to the EM pulse. Consequently this technology may have other applications in non-lethal security and industrial materials processing.
But this costs a lot of money, so they decided to enter the low-stakes, high-profit world of independent book publishing, as one of several ideas to raise money.
In other words, the novel is a very lengthy press release for a defense contract idea that may or may not actually work, something they admit on Kickstarter. That said, directed-energy weapons are in active development by several defense contractors and the government’s own mad science lab, DARPA, so it’s not that “out there” in its general outlines.
You know, beyond the whole “funding an experimental defense contract with a novel” idea, but hey, at least he’s not scamming Libyans for plutonium.