Leaving Earth cover

In 2019 I obtained from my former publisher the last 30 copies of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. I sold about half of these, and with only a handful left in stock I have raised the price. To get your own autographed copy of this rare collector's item please send a $75 check (includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

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

I will likely raise the price again when only ten books are left, so buy them now at this price while you still can!

Also available as an inexpensive ebook!

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.


Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.

"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

History: CNBC, the tea party, and this week’s debate

Link here. The essay is a fascinating look back at the factors that generated the tea party movement in 2009, centered greatly on a single commentary that took place on CNBC at the time. The essay then notes how NBC then revamped CNBC’s lineup, making it far more liberal and Democratic, which is why we had what we had at the Republican Presidential debate this past week.

It is very much worth a read, as it gives some very important background to these events. It also makes this point, which I think is quite significant:

[I]t was Cruz’s defense of the entire field, and of all conservatives, that was like a game changing pick six in football. The debate was instantly different. That was the match and the gasoline to another conservative explosion. I contend nothing will be the same in debates any time soon, or in any liberal media interviews for that matter – and this is critical. [emphasis in original]

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.


  • danae

    I think Ted Cruz’s exasperated response was a galvanizing event for Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular.

    The administration and the liberal media refer to the Tea Party contingent of voters as if it were universally understood that it’s a bunch of kooks whose time has passed. This may be because the conspicuousness of their presence at large public rallies and outspokenness at town hall meetings has dropped off markedly. However, I think the movement has, if anything, held its own during Obama’s tenure in office. While relatively silent in public, I think Tea Party folks have been keeping abreast of legislative and supreme court developments and doing a slow burn, becoming more outraged and more determined than ever to actively back candidates they believe possess the principles and fortitude to wrest control of government from the the hands of our current crop of corrupticrats. Admittedly, my view of the situation may be overly optimistic; a year’s time will tell the tale.

  • Steve

    I hope you are right. I am dismayed at the lack of public outrage at the daily news, where are the demonstrations? The original protests were directed at TARP, since then that has been dwarfed by additional spending and waste….

    Not only has the outrage over spending and waste gone “underground” but where is the outrage over the lack of consequences for blatent criminal acts? Why has no one gone to jail? Has anyone even lost their job? The IRS scandal alone should have sent dozens to jail. Lois Lerner is still getting paid! If the IRS had pulled this on behalf of Republicans you can bet that the NYT and every other media outlet would be screaming for heads….

    I really do hope that the Tea Party or some other incarnation of it rises up again, but I fear we have become numb to constant scandal, kind of a universal version of Clinton fatigue, where the bad news is just waved off as “old news”.

  • danae

    I know how dispiriting it is to watch what’s been happening in the country for the last seven years. Your fear that the citizenry is jaded may be valid, but, with a decent, articulate candidate, I feel that more voters can be brought to the realization that life is better when government is less confiscatory and intrusive.

    The main benefit of the public emergence of the Tea Party may have been to demonstrate to right-thinking people that they were not alone, contrary to the media’s steady barrage of left-wing propaganda. What was accomplished by public displays before may still be possible to bring about with less fanfare if we roll up our sleeves individually and do the work. We shouldn’t give up. Lefties never, ever do.

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