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.

Departure (or “Space Travel Agent”)

An evening pause: Sadly, I think this short film captures well the cold inhumanity of the coming future, even if it also shows us a technological society capable of routine tourist travel to the stars.

Hat tip Cotour.

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  • Robert Pratt

    Sounds like NPR’s sonorous style.

  • Alex Andrite

    Nicer than the Oakland Induction Center in ’67. Similar destinations though.

  • Edward

    I think this short film captures well the cold inhumanity of the coming future

    While watching, I got the impression that our cold inhuman hostess was intended to be an android. The opening of the second episode confirmed it with an advertisement for the same android, so Robert got that right.

    This video looked much like many of my visits to doctors or optometrists. We may have some cold inhumanity already. I now am worried that this may be what we consider as good “bedside manner.”

    We are very willing, even now, to listen to music and watch video that is recorded or broadcast rather than live performances in a theatre, so we may already be in the future of cold inhumanity. Telephone calls rather than in-person visits, too. Type-written letters were once thought as less personal than hand written letters. Is the letter colder and less human than in-person visits? We may have been moving in this direction for a very long time.

  • Lee S

    We already have a “fast track” lane in most airports in Europe which use facial recognition tech and a biometric chip in passports….
    I personally don’t see the problem…. We already have a “big bother” culture… You guys over the pond have a credit score system, (as much as I’m aware), here in Sweden everyone has a personal number which is used for everything from obtaining prescription medication to obtaining a mortgage for buying property… if you default then you can’t get credit, and after a certain time the state takes the money directly from your salery until the debt is paid. You get blacklisted for 3 years after the debt is paid…. It works.
    In the UK you are followed by surveillance cameras pretty much everywhere unless you head out to the rapidly shrinking countryside.
    The cat is out of the bag… this is the future we have created.
    All that said, I will take it, if it means I can travel in space!
    On this blog you cannot post without revealing a certain amount of personal information…. The thin end of the wedge.
    ( No offence Bob… It is absolutely necessary..)
    The future is draconic…
    It is a good job we have democracy to make sure the higher powers use these systems for good rather then evil… As long as we use our vote.

  • wayne

    Lee S–
    I didn’t create this Future, but we are all living in it, and as has been said, “the future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” (words to that effect)
    I personally do have an “enhanced drivers-license,” which allows me to travel to Canada without any additional ID. (I’m in Michigan, we border Canada.)
    We do have social-security numbers, which under law, are not to be used for identification purposes.
    We do have ‘credit-scores,’ but my score at the big-3 reporting agencies for example, is zero, because I don’t borrow money. (Not everyone in America has a credit-score.)
    Personally, I don’t go near airports anymore. The last time I was on a plane, I could smoke in the terminal and on the plane.

    Revelations 13:
    “16: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

  • Cotour

    “You get blacklisted for 3 years after the debt is paid…. It works.”

    Oh, it works, and I do believe that Sweden is an all electronic transaction country now (?).

    Think about the implications, “Black listing” as a form of population control. One touch of a computer key and you essentially can disappear, are frozen in place, a non entity, a non person, just a number no longer recognized, DELETED. (And this seems comforting to Lee S.)

    The government now has ultimate control of the people whether you realize it or not. It may be nice at the moment, everything is working nice and smooth. But what happens if and when things get dicey? Or the government changes in a significant manner and you are required to do something at their command? And who knows what that might be?

    Heres one for you: Every citizen who has less than 4 persons in their house hold is required to take in a homeless person, or immigrant, or stray cat or dog. You get my point, don’t you? All it will take is some extreme or not so extreme change in the form or style of governance in Sweden to get the attention of the people. And then what? The people are powerless.

    And where does real power reside? What did Mao say? Anyone? I will wait for the answer.

    All it takes is a Hitler or “Beto” type persona / character to take control of a system such as this, and then what? Think it can not happen? Europe and every other place on the planet and throughout history is rife with examples of people or groups attempting to fashion such a system in order to control the people “as they need to be controlled”. And here it is being designed and implemented right in front of everyones eyes in real time, and they support it! “IT WORKS!” Damn right it works.

    A cashless system combined with these in place systems is a very tenuous position to be for the general public of any country to be in. It may sound good now but the potentials for control and compulsion to do who knows what are unlimited.

    Lee S., I am concerned for you and us all as an extension as these systems are rolled out and embraced. “Progress” certainly is a double edged sword, and it has the potential to cut deeply depending on who gets to control it and who says what gets cut or not.

    And my initial posting of this video for An Evening Pause was based in the theme of space travel and the creativity of the young lady who as an amature produced an excellent piece that included a very high production value and content.

    I have experienced several of these instances lately where something that I wrote or did influenced or set something off that I had not a clue would come from it. Very interesting.

  • Chris

    If it can be abused, it will be abused. It is just a matter of time or opportunity.

  • Cotour

    To my point:

    Where do these people get their thinking that they have the authority to do what it is that they see themselves doing? Like confiscating guns, or forcing everyone into some Socialist model of governance, or the confiscation of private wealth or what have you.

    Where do they get their authority?

    How do you seriously allow yourself to think in such a manner in of all places America?! Answer: These are not serious people, they are human cartoons.

    My question is: Who will be the next president after Trump finishes his next term? I am still liking Allen West for 2024.

  • Cotour: If you study the history of Germany in the 1930s, you would be astonished at the number of people who considered Nazis to be “not serious people”, who considered them “human cartoons.”

    They still took power, and did all the things they said they were going to do.

    We are on very dangerous ground now in the U.S. While many are horrified by these Democrats, too many think their policy ideas to be the right thing to do. Witness the 2018 mid-term election as evidence of this.

  • Cotour

    My question is more a rhetorical question, I am well aware of the Hiltarian mystique and how it came to power.

    The question is: How different, if at all, is today from then? IMO its somewhat different because of technology and the speed of communications but the human brain is exactly the same and just as manipulatable. But the rational expectation would be that people would be somewhat more or better educated on the subject and would understand the history, or some of the history. But some absolutely do not and so they are but toys in the hands of the master manipulators that command the internet, media and politics.

    And I beleive that there are different human brain types, but it never fails to mystify me when some people share with me what it is that they beleive is going on. Half truths or no truths dominate the conclusions that they come to.

  • Cotour

    Here is a good example:

    The wall is being built and replaced where needed and Trump has secured $5 billion to finish it.

    So anyone who says “Trump is lying there is no new wall being built” is either uninformed or ignorant of actual facts. 60 miles completed in Arizona, 14 miles of old wall replaced by new wall in San Diego, and a projected 450 miles done by 2020.

    Is Trump lying? I would say absolutely not based on eyeball evidence and actual “wall”. But there are those who could convince themselves that he is. And they beleive it to the core. Are you going to beleive your own lying eyes or the likes of Rachel Maddow?

    There are clear lines drawn, one brain type is on one side and the other is on the other side. The Left V The Right.

  • wayne

    Mr. Pratt–
    something like this?

    “NPR’s Delicious Dish”
    Saturday Night Live circa 2000

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