Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and 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.

Russian filmmakers describe their experience of filming a movie in space

Capitalism in space: The Russian actress Yulia Peresild and her director Klim Shipenko — who spent twelve days on ISS filming scenes for a science fiction movie — gave a press conference yesterday, describing their experience and what they accomplished.

They shot more than 30 hours worth of footage which will later be edited down to about 30 minutes. “We’ve shot everything we planned,” Shipenko said from the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow.

The 38-year-old US-educated film director said cinema was ready to conquer space. “Cinema is looking for new forms. The cosmos is also ready to welcome various experimentalists,” said Shipenko.

He said his stint on the ISS was full of professional discoveries and added that he would never have been able to shoot on Earth what he had shot in space.

Both regretted that their work scheduled on ISS was so busy that they did not have enough time to look at the views out the station’s windows.

When this movie is finished I wonder if it will get a distribution deal in the west. I certainly would like to see it, and I am certain many other Americans will feel the same.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

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.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


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


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • Gary

    Bob, it doesn’t have to get a distribution deal per se. There are so many outlets – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Youtube, etc. – that almost anything on film gets an audience. We’ll have a chance to see it for sure.

  • V-Man

    Science-fiction? Apart from the storyline (a doc flies to ISS to treat a sick cosmonaut), what is fiction here? They shot on location. :)

    (We’re going to have to re-think the whole SF labeling once we have spaceships and colonies on other planets…)

  • geoffc

    I found the Big Bang Theory’s Soyuz, and ISS models to be surprisingly well done. I am not good enough to find specific mistakes, but it seemed like their mockups were pretty good.

    Curious to see how reality compares.

  • Edward

    The article calls it the “world’s first movie in space,” but I would argue that the documentary Blue Planet fits that description better:

    Then there is Alan Shepard’s flight in Freedom 7, in which motion pictures of him were taken: (~17 minutes relevant)

    However, this movie, the Russian’s “Challenge,” is the first full length movie with a plot. Although I expected “Hollywood” to shoot footage in space, I did not expect this to happen this soon after commercial manned spacecraft became operational. Commercial manned space is expanding much faster than I expected, and I thought I was too optimistic.

    I suppose this depends upon how you define science fiction.

    Its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, scholars, and readers.

    I think that the movie “Marooned” was generally thought to be science fiction despite virtually everything existing at that time (the orbital lab was still a few years away).

    geoffc wrote: “I found the Big Bang Theory’s Soyuz, and ISS models to be surprisingly well done. I am not good enough to find specific mistakes, but it seemed like their mockups were pretty good.

    They had worked hard to make their Soyuz set realistic. Even their real-life astronaut was impressed. (5 minutes are relevant)

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *