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.

Merry Christmas!

I have found myself being very lazy today. Rather than posting, I’ve been watching Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol and videos on how to wrap your cat for Christmas.

All silliness, but the music for that Magoo film remains top-notch and worth listening to.

Regardless, a Merry Christmas to my many readers. And a Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish readers. May we all have good will to all, even when we disagree.

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.


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  • Michael Fortner

    Merry Christmas. thanks for all your work and reminding me about Mr Magoo

  • wayne

    “It’s a Wonderful (Flat Earth) Life”
    Louder with Crowder
    December 2019

  • commodude

    Thank you for the site, the opportunity to voice our opinions in civil discourse, and your constant efforts to let the science shine through despite the constant politicization of what should be pure research.

    To all my compatriots here, agree or disagree, enjoy whatever celebration you partake in.

    Merry Christmas!

  • mkent

    Merry Christmas, Robert. And all of you too.

  • Lee S

    Thank you Bob.. and an enjoyable and peaceful festive season to you and everyone else here…

  • wayne

    …speaking of cats:
    it’s imperative to adequately anchor the Christmas Tree-

    Cat + Christmas Tree

  • Lee S

    Thanks Wayne… That just gave me a laugh!! Unfortunately my cat decided to stay with my ex wife when we devorced, so I only have a hamster here with me… Very cute, but no where near as funny …
    (An aside.. the cat is 14 1/2 years old… Roughly half a year older than my son… We got him as practise to see if we could keep another mammal alive in the apartment… Fortunately both the cat and the boy are alive and well…)
    I also shared the link to that video with both my kids…. They also laughed out loud… They will be joining me shortly for some English Christmas calorie filled food, present opening, and singing along to cheesy Christmas songs… A good Yule all around…

  • Jeff

    Merry Christmas to all the Behind The Black readers.
    Best wishes for the new year.

  • commodude


    We installed a new laminate floor in the living room this year prior to putting up the Christmas tree…If only we had videos of the cat’s numerous fails on the new floor.

    One of them resulted in the tree being held in place by a piece of 60 lb test monofliament.

  • I had no idea cat-wrapping was so widespread. Are they gifts for the host? More affordable pony alternatives? After the cat is unwrapped, is the paper used for a cat toy? Every one of the cats looks like it is plotting revenge, and if they start talking to spiders, we’re going to have some real problems.

    A very Merry Christmas to all!

  • Diane Wilson

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  • F16 Guy

    A Merry Christmas to all, and here’s to a wonderful New Years and another 4 years with Trump in office.
    Thanks Robert for all you do !

  • wayne

    “Dr. Trump: Official Music Video”
    -Louder with Crowder

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