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My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
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December 4, 2017 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • wayne

    the evil captain Janeway…
    “The Warship Voyager”
    Season 4, Episode 23

  • Wayne: What a bad television series Voyager was. This clip only remained me of that.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.-
    Have an opinion on ST: Discovery?

    “In A Mirror Darkly” intro
    ST: Enterprise (evil captain Archer variant) [se4ep18 & 19]

  • Wayne: No opinion. Haven’t seen it, and actually have very little interest in seeing it.

  • Richard M

    VOYAGER really was a major disappointment.

    It was bad enough, as Ronald D. Moore (who bailed out after just a couple episodes and went on to helm BATTLESTAR GALACTICA instead) objected at the time that they took an intriguing premise and basically tossed it aside to fall back into a typical TREK template of monster-of-the-week with ship and crew intact and unchanged as if they’d just been back to spacedock for repair and R&R. But even that might have been worth watching if they’d bothered to write some appealing characters. Which they did not.

    Trek was successful above all because of its main characters – Kirk-Spock-McCoy in TOS, and to a somewhat lesser degree, Picard-Data in TNG. But the VOYAGER characters were pretty much unwatchable. At that point, TREK was dead to me.

    P.S. Great podcast as always, Bob. The Russians are in a world of hurt, and it is only going to get worse.

  • wayne

    Have an opinion on ST: Enterprise?

  • Wayne: I can tell you that I found Enterprise to refreshing and a joy to watch, once they decided to do what they called a 26 hour single episode. The first season was annoying and bad. The second season improved. And then the third and fourth seasons became great, telling a single overarching story with muscle and intelligence. It was a shame the series was cancelled after only four seasons, just as they were beginning to pick up steam.

    They still ended it nicely however. The final moment of the last episode was perfect.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.–
    If you are referring to the “temporal cold-war” story line, I would completely agree.

    -Captain Janeway would have agonized endlessly over every decision and gotten everyone killed and/or enslaved, across all of space & time. (Her lingerie would have been in a state of constant upheaval.)
    -I don’t like Scott Bacula as an actor, so it took me awhile to warm up to his character, but definitely, Enterprise over Voyager. Archer over Janeway.

    -There’s ‘like 500+ hours of Star Trek across the variants & movies, so there’s a bit of “blah-bah-blah” going on. As well, I’m biased toward the original series (which holds up incredibly well over time, but does have a lot of the Monster-of-the-Week going on) and while I don’t like Captain Sisko, I’m partial to DS-9 over Next Gen.

    The First Captain Janeway
    (Genevieve Bujold)

  • Wayne: While Kate Mulgrew is definitely not as good an actress as Genevieve Bujold, the problem here was not the actress, but the writing. Had the writing of Voyager been any good at all, Mulgrew could have risen to perform it. The writing however was not good.

    My wife and I last year completed watching, in order, Star Trek, Next Generation, Voyager, and Enterprise. We had previously seen Deep Space Nine. Without question, the original series stands out as having the best writing and ideas. The later stuff is saddled with political correctness and liberal politics, and thus often has trouble telling stories with muscle.

    I have no interest in seeing the newest stuff, a decision I made after watching Star Trek Into Darkness, one of the stupidest, most predictable, and boring films possibly ever made. It combined all the worst problems of the later Star Treks while adding all of the typical cliches of all modern actions films. Yuch. What a waste.

  • Edward

    It may be that the reason we liked the original series is because it was morality plays. It would ask a question of when is it acceptable to do something not so moral — questions that were topical then and often continue to apply now. The logical character and the emotional character would debate the issue, then the command character would make a decision, but it up to us to consider whether it was a good idea to break or follow The Prime Directive, or whatever rule or moral code.

    The other Star Trek versions devolved into mostly space ships and aliens, with the occasional good story line.

    This is why I so much like “The Measure Of A Man” in the Next Generation series. It asked a question that we are now beginning to ponder, when is an artificial intelligence its own person rather than property, like a toaster, and deserves Saudi Arabian citizenship ( ). The episode uses a combination of logical and emotional arguments to make its point.

    [!!! *** SPOILER ALERT *** !!!]

    The following clip gives away the ending of the episode: (7 minutes)

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