Sunday, 27 February 2011

Nukes

American scientists examine a mockup of a W48 ...Image via WikipediaI'm just finishing a massive rewrite/edit of Beirut that addresses a number of structural issues that get in the way of the story. So you're going to have to put up with a post about writing.

Looking back over the research I've done for the book, I'm amazed I haven't been nicked or in some other way inconvenienced by having a long talk with someone 'in security'. My Google life alone has been remarkable, including searches for all sorts of military hardware. The Soviets' Oka tactical nuclear warhead, for instance, a cold war weapon which actually remains to be decommissioned in many installations.

I've researched deadly  poisons, guns, security services and military procedures, insignias, installations and personnel, as well as how to shoot up heroin, something I have never actually done myself (an omission in an otherwise compendious experience of abusable substances) although I have lost friends to the drug. I have contemplated pretty much every security breach you’d want to imagine, trawled through sites and forums ranging from military enthusiasts to complete right wing wackos and sought out pictures, histories and specifications of all sorts of unpleasant whizzbangs. I have, in short, exhibited an unusual fascination for things deadly.

I've had to trawl around picking up information on how to do stuff as diverse as berth a 50 metre yacht in Valetta (I've spent quite a lot of time playing about with large yachts, which has been pleasant) to how best to get yourself a beer inside the UK's intelligence headquarters. I am now quite sound on the topics of blowing yourself up, shooting people and anti-psychotic drugs. I have also researched a wide number of deadly toxins using search phrases which, looking back on it, wouldn't play out too well if something happened to Sarah.

I've had a few worrying correspondences by email, too, with various subject experts. And I've had conversations on the phone about how to legally stop an aeroplane taking off (interestingly, you can't!), autorotating helicopters (interestingly, you can!) and how you'd stow nuclear warheads in a luxury yacht.
It’s none of it triggered any alarm bells anywhere as far as I can tell.

I wonder what you would have to do online to actually get someone's attention? Or have I triggered hours of clandestine investigation only for them to find it's just some wee dork who thinks he can write a book? That would be quite fun...
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6 comments:

Mita said...

"A wee dork" that writes quite interesting books with a lot of humour!

alexander... said...

That's very kind ma'am but, believe me, there are very few belly laughs in Beirut. A lot of negative life continuation outcomes but few belly laughs...

Abudhabilist said...

To call attention to yourself?

Long term googling of Nude Singles Poker tournements.

That'll get them interested... Although I just googled it myself and nothing happe..

dubai-ified said...

And I thought you were straight... happy to be better advised

Simon said...

You're mistaken, we are watching you. Oh yes we are. Closely.

Phillipa said...

love doing the research for books almost as much as writing the damn things