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LA Speed Check

An evening pause: The story is being told by Major Brian Shul, USAF (retired), a former SR-71 Blackbird pilot.

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.


  • wayne

    Great story!

    The Major sorta has an Arlo Guthrie ‘thang going on, really enjoyed his delivery.
    – I would love to see this turned into a Folk Song, in that same style.

  • Joe

    Very cool video, big brass ones required to fly that bird!
    I never had a need to ask atc my speed across the ground, flying around in trainers and 172/182’s, you knew the winds and could figure out in your head what the speed should be, if you were to get a briefing from flight service.

  • pzatchok

    Actually got to refuel one of those once. Just once.

    It was a hot pit quick turn and she kept her far engine on.

    She was on the ground fueled and gone again inside of 15 minutes.

  • wayne

    very cool.
    How much fuel do these hold?

  • “We’re showing a little closer to 2000.”

    Game, set, match.

  • wayne

    Good one! -It “sings.”

    I’ll say it again– (in my head) this tale would transmogrify, into an excellent acoustic folk-song type presentation.
    Do we have any musicians out there?

  • wayne

    I’m really liking the Major, big time! (I was totally unaware of him. Highly appreciate this clip!)

    Brian Shul on piloting the SR-71
    November 2016
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    “In this talk at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Vietnam-era attack pilot and retired Air Force major Brian Shul, author of “Sled Driver: Flying the World’s Fastest Jet,” reveals fascinating details of piloting the SR-71.”

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