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.

Putin dumps Rogozin

In a reshuffle of cabinet positions, Putin has replaced Dmitri Rogozin, putting a new man in charge of the Russian defense and space industry.

The new guy, Yuri Borisov, appears to have the title of Vice Prime Minister. I suspect Putin had grown tired of the continuing corruption and loss of market share under Rogozin’s watch during the past decade. I also suspect that Borisov will have little ability to change things. The problem isn’t the person in charge. The problem is Russia’s centralized top-down method of operations. It discourages competition and cost control, while providing no incentives for innovation and quality control.

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  • Dick Eagleson

    With every passing day, Russia dies a little more. Sometime in the next century there will be no more Russia. Few will miss it once it’s gone.

  • Localfluff

    @Dick Eagleson
    “Few will miss it once it’s gone.”
    Well, we who know Russia would miss it! Russia was a major contributor to Western culture and science during the 18th and 19th centuries, which were really very important times for discoveries of all kinds of things. Euler chose to go there, just to name one of the most prominent scientists who enjoyed the world leading Russian academies. St. Petersburg was for centuries up there among London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna when it came to attracting scientists and entrepreneurs and artists. Come on, yankees, you won the cold war. Have you still not heard that news? It’s over. And Russia isn’t Soviet. It is not your enemy. Russians are essential to our civilization. How else would for example Americans go to space today?

  • Edward

    Localfluff asked: “How else would for example Americans go to space today?

    We wouldn’t have cancelled the Space Shuttle program until later, which is why it lasted long enough to finish building ISS, and we would have been more serious about its replacements, Constellation and Commercial Crew.

  • Phill O

    Bob, you wrote: “I suspect Putin had grown tired of the continuing corruption and loss of market share under Rogozin’s watch during the past decade.”

    That is one perspective. There is another which is related to Putin’s own corruption. Any big deal in Russia does not happen without big money going to Putin’s account. Hence the collusion between him and the Clintons.

  • Dick Eagleson


    You make my point for me. Russia’s best days are well behind it. It’s current population is well below half what that of the Soviet Union was. And, once the troublemakers among the few million ethnic Russians still living in the “near abroad” are expelled back to their Motherland, Russia’s population will resume its post-Soviet norm of declining by roughly a million per annum.

    Unfortunately, Russia is our enemy. This wasn’t true during the Yeltsin years, but, under Putin, Russia has restored its long-standing sociopathic political culture and returned to its historic pattern of aggression. Russians are not essential to anyone’s civilization.

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