Comments down – Fixed

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.

Comments are fixed. Thanks to Shane Rolin at Amixa for getting this done so quick!


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, 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
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • Andrew_W

    For a moment I was wondering if I’d pissed you off to such an extent that you’d blocked me!

  • wayne


    Good one.

    Interestingly, it seems as if the “environment” (especially “warming issues”) and certain space/engineering related Topics, garner the most comments & back-n-forth.
    (Just don’t bring up Trump… [“whoops,”] we’re about due for a Trump thread and most folks here have definite opinions.)
    Hang around & you’ll discover an extremely well educated & surprisingly polite bunch of folks who check in on a regular basis.

    On an infinitely lighter note….
    “You blabbed Andrew_W, you blabbed about Mars”

  • Andrew_W

    The commenter’s and host here are a similar lot to those at Rand Simberg’s Transterrestrial Musings, in fact the two sites share several commenters, Rand’s been busy doing up his house in Florida of late (want to buy a house in Boca Raton?) and not been posting much.

  • Andrew_W: Heh. I don’t get pissed off easily. So far I have only banned two people from this list, one for advocating white supremacy and the other for insisting that a valid argument was to insult people. Neither is tolerated. I also do not tolerate the outright spreading of disinformation for the purpose of slandering people.

    Every once in awhile I have warned a few other people. Except for the two mentioned, everyone else immediately recognized that they had crossed a line, apologized, and mended their ways. The result, as you can see, is a generally intelligent and thoughtful discussion. People here can be blunt and direct, and if you are a modern college snowflake who cannot tolerate opposing opinions and need a safe space, this ain’t the place you want to be. However, as long as people follow these basic rules of civilization, I permit all opinions, even ones I disagree with strongly.

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