Ray Bradbury has died.

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.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury has died.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

Therefore, I hope you will 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 paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
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  • Joe

    A true shame.

    I never met him, but he seemed (from interviews) a very nice guy and he was certainly a very talented writer.

  • Jim

    One of my favorites. He wrote a book called “Zen and the Art of Writing,” which was just wonderful. His ability to see something in the world one day and turn it into a science fiction story was amazing.
    If you ever read “The Fog Horn,” that idea came to him while walking on the beach with his wife and hearing the horn from a nearby lighthouse. What an imagination…he will be missed.

  • I remember seeing a picture of him in the white house almost 3/4 years ago and thinking how bad he looked then. I don’t want anyone to suffer but the world is smaller for his loss.

  • Jim

    He once wrote a sarcastic poem about how each of us views ourselves as the center of the universe. Kind of timely…I am sure he is laughing. Maybe we all should not take ourselves so seriously. He did not.

    “So listen world, be warned, know honest dread.
    When I grow sick, that day your blood is dead.
    Behave yourself, I’ll stick and let you live.
    But misbehave, I’ll take what now I give.
    That is the end and all. Your flags are furled…
    If I am shot and dropped? So ends your world.”
    -Ray Bradbury

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