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.

Americans rally to support persecuted Christians

In less than two days, an independent fund was set up and raised almost $850,000 for the owners of the Christian pizza parlor in Indiana that was forced to close because of death threats from the left wing community.

Friends of the Washington state florist whose entire life savings might be confiscated by the state for refusing to participate in a homosexual wedding have also now created another site to raise money to help her. They have already raised over $50,000.

Both funds are important for many reasons, the most important of which is each fund makes it clear that Christians of good conscience are not alone, that they can stand for their beliefs and not be abandoned and destroyed. There are thousands of people who will rally to help you.

Let me add, as a Jew, this thought on this first night of Passover. Each year on Passover, Jews gather for their Passover Seder to retell the story of their enslavement in Egypt and their escape to freedom. In doing so, you are supposed to imagine yourself as a slave who is freed. As the Haggadah, the book that outlines the Seder ceremony, states, “In every single generation, each individual is obligated to think of himself as one of those who came out of Egypt.”

The Jewish faith also emphasizes that we must thank God each time for bringing us to freedom. I say that God only helps those who help themselves. It appears that in America today, in the 21st century, we are obliged to do the same again.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over

I cannot thank enough the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.

Thank you again!

Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. 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.

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

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


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

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  • Al

    As nice as it is to see this, it will do little to stop the attack on Christians. The problem our side has is that we’re just too civilized. When the system rules against us, we quietly accept defeat and move on. The Left, on the other hand, nevers give in. If they lose, they ratchet it up and think nothing against using intimidation and violence to get their way. They also have done a great job of infiltrating the Government at all levels. A good example of this is the gay marriage fight. Most people don’t have a problem with gays doing what they want privately, but consider gay marriage an attack on the culture and don’t think that gay marriage should be allowed. When the activist pushed for this in the states and the politicians caved, our side brought the question to the ballot. In just about every state where it was voted on, gay marriage lost big time. So what happened? The activists took it into the courts that they now control which ignored the Constitution and the will of the people. Our side again being civilized just sat back and accepted it. With that win out of the way, the Left now moves on to force everyone to accept the gay lifestyle regardless of their religious views. As they win and continue to gain power and feel emboldened things will get worse; when mobs are involved they always do.

    I believe the model for winning can be found in the tactics of the NRA. They have fought Liberal incrementalism every step of the way, never giving an inch and never letting an attack go unchallenged. Because of this, most politicians have learned there is a strong price to be paid for supporting gun control so you rarely see them take on the cause.

    A side effect of the strength and winning record of the NRA is that people, by nature, want to associate with winners. The NRA is perceived as a winner and is rewarded through donations and support. In most of our other fights, we a perceived as losers and few want to associate with a loser.

  • PeterF

    Don’t think for a second that the left’s defeats in their attacks on Chic-fil-A and Hobby Lobby will deter them from coming at those organizations from another direction. Al explains the tactic perfectly in his reference to the “Gay” marraige fight. In the meantime, they will satisfy themselves with bankrupting private business owners. There is a whole lot less money available for their defense and they might be able to set some useful precedents. Do they even know the danger to themselves if they bend our Constitution to the point of breaking it? If the Constitution is broken it will no longer protect those whose position is defined by the constitution.

    The Jews have always been persecuted so any increase is difficult to discern. The increasing attacks on Christians is far more noticeable. Perhaps these are the end times when all people of faith must pledge their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred honor to defend their faith…

    I sometimes wonder should I resist here or should I go to Israel and volunteer for the IDF? Rosetta Stone has a Hebrew course…

  • Cotour

    Two things about this current situation:

    1. While its great to see that the people of America are paying attention to these situations and are willing to send their hard earned money to those who are being targeted, I think on the other side, amounts of money like this may tend to create an incentive to create more situations to be supported but more as a wind fall then a statement of freedom.


    2. I would like to see that money used to reopen that business with proper security and a well thought out statement regarding personal freedom, respect and responsibility in business both by the proprietors and the public and a renewed purpose after that clarification. Use these lemons to make lemonade in communicating how the public is being manipulated on both sides.

  • Edward

    This kind of support is very important. It is a tangible and quantifiable resistance to the persecution of those who defy the growing tyranny.

    The persecution of religious shopkeepers has been compared to Kristallnacht, and I think it is an appropriate comparison. The difference between the two is a matter of cultures.

    German culture was one of accepting the rule of government. Indeed, during WWI, the German military was so used to such obedience from the German population that they could not come to terms with the possibility that Belgian civilian snipers were acting without permission of their local governments, so the Germans executed the mayors of towns near where these civilian sniper attacks occurred.

    That the German people did not support the Jewish shopkeepers after Kristallnacht is not surprising, given that culture and fear of retribution by the government. In America, however, we do not easily give in to government tyranny. We defend the underdog, even and especially when it is a tyranny doing the persecution. We say the phrase “you can’t fight city hall,” but we fight the government all the time, anyway.

    It is vital that we support our religions, even the imperfect ones. It is equally vital that we support the religious, even the imperfect ones. Protecting our rights is the foundation of this country, and one of the things that makes our country unique in the world.

    We Americans start from the premise that we have rights that need to be protected from a government that will grow more tyrannical over time. Our Constitution states that all the rights not granted by the Constitution (a document of We the People) to the federal government belong to the states and the people, and that the government may not violate these rights. It is incumbent upon government to protect these rights.

    Many other countries, and even the United Nations, grant rights to their people. See the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights for an example of a list of rights that humans have, as though it is the UDHR that grants these rights. As stated in Article 29, part 3, these human rights are not guaranteed, and violation of these rights is not prohibited.

    Thus, for the sake of freedom, it is vitally important that we protect our rights, especially when our government refuses to do so.

  • Cotour

    ” It is incumbent upon government to protect these rights.”

    How does the government discriminate between who’s rights are being injured? And what is it that they are to do when it is determined that someones rights have been injured?

  • pzatchok

    I would like to see most of this cash sent to a right leaning ACLU type organization that can be called for free legal advice and possibly free representation.

    From what I understand this pizzeria acted stupid in their statement.
    They were not in the catering business to begin with and when asked if they would cater a gay wedding they said they would not do it because it was against their religion.
    It was a setup from the get go.
    They should have said that they did not do catering anyways and thus would not do any weddings. No matter whose it was. Gay or not. And then stuck to that statement.

    Stop handing them ammo.

  • Cotour

    You get it Pzat.

  • jburn

    Citizens rebel against Progressive tyrants.

  • Edward

    Please let me know if you are not an American citizen. Otherwise, your grammar school or citizenship civics classes explained this to you.

  • Edward

    Oh! Of course. We win disagreements by being silent.

    Guys, just disagree with me (and win the argument) by being silent and not replying.

    Wait. didn’t the other side get very vocal, incite hatred and even arson, and win by vocally chasing the entire family into hiding (or the other side at least gained victory points until a vocal gofundme campaign raised a lot of money)?

    Maybe silence is not the answer after all. But you two guys go ahead and prove your point by being silent.

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