Author James Rollins: My Novels Just Ahead of Real Military Tech

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 08:43 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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James Rollins, author of the New York Times-bestselling "Sigma Force" series, told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that the fictional world of his high-tech military thrillers is never far removed from the real-life evolution of war gear and spyware.

"[O]ne of the joys of writing these stories is I get to look beyond the horizon, take my readers and show them really where we're heading as a military force," Rollins told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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Rollins said his latest book in the series, "The 6th Extinction," is no exception. He added that staying on top of new military technology is a challenge even for someone as fascinated with the subject as he is.

"Things change so rapidly that I actually have a hard time keeping abreast," said Rollins.

Rollins said that while he is researching a book that deals with drone warfare, military drones in real life are rapidly advancing, and that today's remote-piloted aerial vehicles are very close to being succeeded by autonomous, artificially intelligent aircraft that fly themselves.

"This isn't sci-fi; this is just around the bend," he said. "We're going to be seeing that being deployed very, very soon."

Rollins said he gets his information from a combination of sources, including friends in the military and occasional contacts with the Pentagon's forward-thinking Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

He also said he's often asked whether the members of Sigma Force — the series lead characters whom Rollins described as "scientists with guns" — are based on real people.

His answer is that it's not impossible.

"Sigma Force is a group of Special Forces soldiers that have been drummed out of the service for various reasons," he said. "DARPA recruits them and retrains them in very scientific disciplines to be basically field operatives.

"I don't doubt that maybe DARPA has field operatives out there that are in some type of capacity functioning."

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