I have two tentative offers (that is to say, not final). One of them is working with cooler hardware (US Census), and the other is working right off the metro (NOAA). The good news about NOAA is I get to put on the ol' resume that I have worked with satellite communications devices, which is super important right now. The rates are close. However, if you figure that for the Census position, I'd have to pay another $400 a month for a car, vs $100 a month for the metro (and no insurance), the choice is clear. NOAA is also the higher rate. Anyways. So I probably start work on the 21st, as soon as we can get a formal offer to me. Fedex is the usual method.
I haven't really been writing too much, except that in the last couple days I've started a short story and the "darker" book. I fully intend with Limits to kill thousands of people. No question. But they will seem to have died for a reason. I don't have a name for the darker book, but I am leaning towards Sharks. People will die, again, and again, and again, and again, in Sharks, and people will lose their sanity, piece by piece. Almost like, hmm, Resident Evil. Once the infection starts, the carnage begins, and just. doesn't. end. Add in a healthy dose of paranoia, and you have a book that is wholly unpleasant to read. And yet, I think it is a book that many will not be able to put down.
So I find myself with a short story, which will probably get published first, as it is benign (if suspenseful), an ethical question on defense contracting (and the defense industry) which is probably publishable, and then a second book that may or may not get published because of the "ew" factor.
I haven't been doing much writing because I've been doing so much interviewing. I also haven't been too involved in the wikipedia. Some guy asked me about the [[Leet]] article, and I was particularly nasty. On the other hand, I think it was justified.
I've been talking to Rick Robinson about Rick's First Law of Space Combat: any mass travelling around 3km/s will impact with energy equivalent to its weight in TNT (4.5 megajoules). Since I think I've accurately calculated escape velocity to 8km/s, even with slowdown on re-entry, we can probably hit the ground doing 3km/s. That means we can put beans in orbit of arbitrary weight, and tell them to orbit until they're over their target, and then just deorbit. Said beans would probably retain 3km/s, and they'd be TNT beans by the time they hit the ground. Multiply this by your firing rate, and you have a disaster on the receiving end.
I've also been reading _The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction_. I picked this up on a whim because it contained Alastair Reynolds and some other authors I'm familiar with. I expected it to be a lot better, but parts of it have been absolutely riveting. Ian McDonald's _The Days of Solomon Gursky_ was absolutely riveting. Like, wow. Most of the rest of the 600pp book is basura but that story is worth the purchase price.
The next book to start with is (drumroll please) Baxter's Xeelee Cycle starting with _Coalescent_. Since I now have a 33-minute metro ride in each direction, I look forward to getting pretty far into it before (ho hum) finding a goddamn new job.
Hopefully since the job at NOAA is on contract to CSC, I can find me what I really want: a job in the green zone in Iraq. I got the damn skills, people. Send me over there. I dug burning man, I love me the desert, and artillery doesn't scare me. Send me over.