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.

Thank you to all my readers and supporters and a Happy New Year!

As a truly miserable 2021 comes to an end, I want to send a very big and hearty thank you to all my readers and the many people who support my work here. I could not do this daily if I did not know that others were interested in what I did.

I also wish that 2022 be a great year for everyone. May we all see joy and happiness in our personal lives, and a renewal of freedom and the pursuit of happiness for everyone else in the coming year. The two go together.


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.


  • Jeff Wright

    Happy New Year!

  • LocalFluff

    Happy new year to ya all!
    I think things are looking up, actually. That the military tension in Eastern Europe is for the good. As is the recent developments in US domestic politics. And inflation will reverse central banks’ policies. And above all, literally, JWST will make history next year.

    On a personal note, where I live the clouds are dense and go all the way to the ground as a thick fog. People are still using their fireworks to the effect of diffuse lights in the half transparent darkness. At least the noise is still there, and that’s what counts, right?

    I have a bottle of cognac and a deck of card after having eaten great food that my neighbor cooked. God created me to drink cognac!

  • Joe

    Happy New Year. May 2022 exceed all expectations.

  • May 2022 be the year that ordinary people stop selling themselves short, and take back decision-making authority over their lives … moving their nations away from social technocracy and towards rights-respecting/responsibility-expecting governance.

  • V-Man

    Happy New Year to the host and all readers, from up here in lockdown Quebec. Hard to see how 2020.2.0 will be better than 2020.1.0, but hope springs eternal…

  • Lee Stevenson

    A very happy new year to each and every reader here! ( And especially to our host! ) , I’m hardly confident that 2022 will improve on last year, but let’s all keep fingers crossed!!!

  • sippin_bourbon

    Have a safe and blessed New Year, one and all.

  • Col Beausabre

    Happy New Year, Bob! And to all my fellow members of this Blog

  • Ron Desmarais

    Happy New Year Bob, thank you for all that you do. Hopefully in 2022 caving will continue to be a hobby and not an address!😉

  • wayne

    Col Beausabre-
    I will second that thought.

  • Andi

    I’ll third it. Happy New Year everyone!

  • Happiest of New Years to everyone!

  • Joe Rosario

    Thank you for an informative and entertaining 2021 and here’s to an even better 2022! God bless you and your family, Bob!

  • James Street

    And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
    “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

    And he replied:
    “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
    That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

    – Minnie Louise Haskins

  • Gary H

    Happy New Year. This is the year that the people will remind the politicians.;

    “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

  • Phil Berardelli

    Happy New Year, Bob. Congratulations on all of your fine reporting in 2021, especially on COVID and First Amendment issues. Best wishes for 2022!

  • Mitch S.

    Hip hip, Happy New Year to y’all.

    May the Omicron sweep out the covid panic.
    May the JWST unfurl successfully.
    May the Starship/SH get to orbit (and back – I think the heatshield might be the biggest headache).
    May the SLS have a successful launch and then the program be retired to a museum.
    May The Woke go back to sleep (or better yet, really wake up).
    May Putin and Ji decide Biden is too demented to risk messing with!
    May Eric Adams develop a stiff enough backbone to follow up on his promises regarding crime in NYC

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 *