In keeping up-to-date with modern novel writing it is important to keep in step, to a degree, with technology.
It can't be more than a couple of years ago that my younger son speculated about 3D printing reaching the level that would permit the duplication of undetectable handguns. Since then they have been used to produce aids for disabled people and many other things. So what is next?
Well drones are a fairly obvious choice. There seems to be no limit as to size or capability. They have been used to deliver bombs, search for lost people and to watch the unsuspecting public. It is an aspect of the burgeoning 21st century that we need to consider when writing.
I feel that drones are quite scary from the point that there is little to limit their use.
There is a delicate trade-off between security and privacy, and many argue we must be cautious of creeping authoritarianism. This is not a new argument: CCTV, satellite maps and telephony have been subjected to the same scrutiny.
Apart from privacy, there are concerns that other human rights, such as the rights to dignity, liberty, life and peaceful protest could be violated by the use of robot vehicles. One drone maker has sold strike-busting drones, armed with pepper spray and plastic balls, to 25 companies.
So yes there are almost an infinite number of uses for flying, robotic technology and yes it brings into question security etc but it isn't a technology only available to big companies. Private individuals can buy them relatively easily. In fact I found the following on Amazon:-
This drone carries a 2 megapixel camera and costs £39.08 + p&p. There are a wealth of details about range and battery life on the website but any misguided neighbour may spy on others for a whole raft of dubious reasons. They then range up to over £1000 and dear knows what they are capable of but they are available for delivery this week!
The point is that if you write in the modern day particularly, political, crime or espionage novels, drones have limitless possibilities for the imaginative writer. Perhaps Steele needs to consider the use of this versatile technology.