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.

Nicaragua and China break ground on new canal

In a largely symbolic act, Nicaragua broke ground on Monday on the Chinese-backed construction of a new canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The project is being pushed by Nicaraguan President (and former Marxist guerrilla leader) Daniel Ortega and financed by Wang Jing, “a little-known Chinese telecom mogul well connected to China’s political elite.” And as much as normally support any ambitious effort to create business opportunities for people in poor countries, this quote from the article raised some red flags about the project I hadn’t thought of previously:

The proposed canal is set to intersect Lake Nicaragua, known locally as Lake Cocibolca, sending cargo ships and tankers straight through the largest source of freshwater in Central America. Further, the canal is expected to displace tens of thousands of mostly rural and indigenous landholders and would likely devastate over 400,000 acres of rainforests and wetlands, which scientists say are critical to local and regional biodiversity conservation efforts.

I am usually very skeptical of environmental protests since their motives are almost always to promote socialism or communism and not to protect the environment. Here however the protests are against a project being promoted by a Marxist ruler and the communist Chinese. Moreover, it does seem a reasonable question to worry about the possible introduction of ocean saltwater into “the largest source of freshwater in Central America.”

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2 comments

  • D.K. Williams

    And the Red Chinese aren’t exactly known for their ecological sensitivity.

  • Christopher Landrum

    The Lake is well above sealevel, Just like Lake Gatun that feeds the Panamá Canal, fresh water will flow down to the sea. Ships in transit are prohibited from pumping out ballast water to prevent introduction of exotic life forms into the Lake. The poverty and associated crime is out of control in Nicarauga…the Panamanian economy and culture is thriving because of the canal we built and gave to them…hopefully this will level the playing field.

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