Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Second Anniversary Bleg

Today, July 1, Behind the Black celebrates its second anniversary. Though I began posting a day or two before that, I consider July 1 to be the official premiere date. Since then I have published more than 6,200 posts, about 8.5 posts per day, focusing on issues relating to science, technology, politics, and space exploration. In between I’ve also added a sprinkle of popular culture and entertainment, for both my and your pleasure.

For those who have contributed to the website, either with intelligent comments or with financial donations, I thank you. I especially appreciate the quality of the comments, even from those who frequently disagree with me. We might disagree, but in general people have kept the discussion on a rational basis, with very few personal attacks. This is how it should be.

It is my hope to continue this blog for as long as I can, assuming I can afford to do it. Of course, the more donations I receive from my loyal readers, the more likely I will be able to keep it up. If you are a regular reader and would like to help keep this blog going, please consider giving a donation. The tip jar is located at the bottom of the column on the right.

And if you have already donated, thank you again. I can’t express how much it means to me as a writer, working alone in my office, to be recognized by others in this way. Not only does it help pay the bills, it helps juice the soul, making the daily grind easier to take.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

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