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.

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge to open in ’21

A new tourist attraction, the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, is set to open in Portugal next year.

At this length, the new bridge will be considered the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, beating out the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland, which spans 1,621 feet and opened in 2017, according to The Sun. But it isn’t just long, it’s also situated 575 feet above the ground, connecting the Aguieiras Waterfall and Paiva Gorge.

I have embedded below the fold a video showing the bridge under construction. As the article notes, if you are afraid of heights this is not the tourist attraction for you.


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  • Kyle

    I hope that Florida company isn’t building it.

  • David

    I hope the bridge is better than that video. I had to mute the music, and couldn’t tolerate the short cuts and other video tricks for even a minute.

  • LocalFluff

    In Switzerland (Walensee, I think) I walked out to the edge of a vertical mountainside and looked straight down at a town and the lake side landscape there about 2000 meters below. It was a stunning experience. No engine noise, no movement but still as a view from heaven. When I walked back, there was a tourist restaurant there, people were alarmed! Because I had walked upon a hangover made out of snow that was about to collapse by itself anytime that Spring. I had missed to notice some discrete warning sign.

    But Switzerland’s got landscape, that’s for sure! It’s just that those unaccustomed to that nature should read signs, trespassers should read them again, and survivors should feel lucky.

  • LocalFluff

    I could add some embroidery to that experience, since it impressed me so, having grown up in a flatland. I stood there for ten minutes or so. Like God checking his created paradise garden to see if things are going according to plan. And so it seemed as cars went along the road, boats slowly moved on the lake, tiny people walked on the streets. Straight below me, that was especially special. Through crispy clear still silent air. Kind of an overview effect.

    I wonder how they handle those hundreds of tons of snow and ice suddenly crashing down towards that town. But I suppose it happens every year and they’ve gotten used to it.

  • wayne

    -know anything about this bridge??

    Hardanger Bridge in western Norway

  • LocalFluff

    No, I haven’t travelled so much in Norway. Unfortunately, because the landscape impresses me alot (although the weather is better in the Alps). It’s a land of tunnels and bridges, they have drilled for more than oil. Someone claimed that Norway is the largest country in Europe (except for Russia of course) if one counts the surface area of the mountains.

    Before ww2 Germans flew tourist zeppelins over Norway. That must’ve been a great experience, and a business idea for today. Why don’t we have large zeppelins anymore? The UK too built huge ones between the wars, here’s from the YT channel that I found thanks to Robert’s recent Titanic link:

  • Lee Stevenson

    On a similar vain… Many years ago I went on a trip to Austria, and paid a trip to Hitler’s hide away, The eagles nest…. At some 6000 feet above sea level officially the highest residency in Europe…
    If I recall correctly, you can see 5 different countries from there, The view is simply breathtaking!
    Anyway, it is a restaurant now, and as I’m sitting in the sunshine with a cold beer, I see a guy climb onto a wall and throw himself off. I and several others ran over to look down and saw him parachuting down the valley below!
    It’s nothing I would have the nerve to do, but must have been some kind of experience!
    If any of you ever take a trip to the area I cannot recommend a visit too highly, both for the history and the stunning views!

  • Doug Booker

    If you want a beautiful stroll stateside see Maybe not as high but a lot longer.

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