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 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

Islamic gunmen kill ten mountain-climbers in Pakistan.

The religion of peace: Islamic gunmen kill ten mountain-climbers in Pakistan.

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.


  • JGL

    Q: Trying not to be too paranoid: Why do free people choose to travel to places where these potentials obviously exist? Aside from the challenge and beauty of the place, what sane person makes these decisions in the current world environment?

    In this case maybe because they saw themselves as not Americans (the Chinese American could just blend in) and that was their protection.
    I would have to put any part of Pakistan very high on the dangerous to visit list at this point in time.

  • lino

    A: These people have become so comfortable with the safety of the good ole USA that they fail to discern the difference when they travel worldwide. People who forget the dangers around the world when they travel for work or pleasure are playing with fire.

  • JGL

    I tend to agree with you about the fantasy world we live in in America but keep in mind that only one person was American, the rest were of other origin. Im sure I don’t have to go into the “Religion of peace” aspect of the story, I believe you have read my opinion on that many times before.

  • Garry

    Living overseas for several years taught me that not everyone thinks the same way we do. Unfortunately, our current president and many others seem to think that, deep down, everyone in the world is nice, and if we just take the time to let them get to know us, they’ll see that we are good people and will treat us with respect and dignity.

    One of the things that irritated me the most when living overseas was the readiness for many fellow Americans to try to win over the locals by putting down our country and culture at every opportunity. I was very careful to tread on the line separating this approach from the Ugly American mindset.

  • mpthompson

    Treat us with respect and dignity? They can’t even treat their own with respect and dignity. Death and maiming seems to be the prescribed punishment for even the slightest offense to Muslim sensitivities.

  • JGL

    “Mohammed’s system is rigid, positive, and emphatic. The rigidity, the special emphasis upon the compulsory performance of legal and religious duties, the demand for unquestioning obedience, can be explained largely as a reaction against the social and spiritual anarchy of Arabia. These Arabs, rebellious to all external control and devoid of self-discipline, must needs have [sic] the yoke fastened tightly upon their necks, or it would stand no chance of staying on at all. To ‘go Arab’, to sink back into the spiritual laxity of the tribesmen, was in Mohammed’s eyes backsliding into paganism, and he tried to keep his tribal converts as far as possible under his direct observation. There is a reality in the suggestion that the ceremonial bowings and prostrations in unison of the daily prayers were a means of physical as well as of spiritual discipline.” H.A.R. Gibb

    Lets all get on the same page in defining what we are talking about.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *