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.

September 23, 2020 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

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

One comment

  • Richard M

    There’s no question that anti-Trump animus is a major part of the opposition on display here. The 2024 date is viewed by Democrats as a Trump vanity project. But that said, this was a Senate hearing – the GOP controls the Senate – and even Moran was playing skeptic, drilling into ways the cost could be pared down. That is consistent with earlier Senate action this year, which was willing to provide some modest funding for landing systems, but nowhere near what the administration had asked for. I think tha even with Republican control of the House, NASA would still only get a fraction of what it is asking for (thought it would be more than it is likely to receive now, I presume).

    Whereas, as Eric Berger observed on Twitter this morning, virtually all questions Bridenstine got were parochial in nature. Translated: “How about this NASA thing in my state?” Some things, it seems never change, alas.

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 *