Saturday, May 5, 2012

Being an author and working for ****

I've been writing and publishing books since the publication of my popular science book Living Off the Land in Space in 2007.  My latest book is mostly science fiction; a collaboration with Jack McDevitt that will be released by Baen Books May 29th.

As a NASA employee for over 20 years, specializing in advanced concepts and advanced propulsion technologies, I’ve worked on some pretty cool projects that I’d like to tell the whole world about.  But I am afraid to do so.

The reason?  I work for NASA and, as a federal government employee, I have to get permission to have outside employment as an author each and every time I write a new book.  I’m almost is the same position with blogging.  When I consider a blog post, I have to ask myself, “Is this related to my current job at NASA?”  If so, then I have to consider it part of my day job and get it reviewed prior to posting.  If not, then I can probably post it – but I still have this lingering doubt that I’m not inadvertently violating some rule regarding conflict of interest.  (Having my duties as an employee of the federal government conflict with my “outside activity” as an author and general space development advocate.  In other words, I cannot use my public job for private gain.)

So, I don’t know how often I will be able to update this blog.  Nor do I know what I will be able to say within it when I do.  But I will try my best to make it work.

Stay tuned…