My book about the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, now not only has a cover, but a finalized table of contents as well.

Full title: The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs

Publisher: Smithsonian Books/HarperCollins

Publication date: October 20, 2009

Table of Contents:

How I came to write the book and why DARPA may just be the most important government agency most people have never heard of.

Chapter 1: An Arm and a Leg
DARPA’s quest to build a prosthetic arm as functional as a native one, and why cutting-edge military hardware development doesn’t have to break the national budget.

Chapter 2: A Special Projects Agency
DARPA’s origins in the Cold War as America’s first space agency.

Chapter 3: The Intergalactic Computer Network
How DARPA funding launched the Internet and interactive computing, and how its current experiments in information technology could change your life.

Chapter 4: The Robot Will See You Now
DARPA helped set the standard in today’s surgical robots. Now for the next step: autonomous surgical suites that bring the hospital to trauma patients, instead of the other way around.

Chapter 5: Back Seat Drivers
Ten days in the desert with the self-driving cars that will redefine the great American obsession.

Chapter 6: Crazy-Ass Things
DARPA’s longest-serving director and his quest to bring back the exuberance that marked the agency’s early days.

Chapter 7: The Final Frontier
How DARPA is getting back into the space access business after ceding its original mission to NASA.

Chapter 8: Power to the People
Super-efficient solar cells, jet fuel made from vegetable oil, and DARPA’s mission to remove energy as a source of world conflict.