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.

Timelapse photography of Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park

An evening pause: From the youtube webpage: “On a remote island hours away from Key West lies the largest masonry structure in the Americas: Fort Jefferson. Built with 16 million bricks, but never finished, the fort served as a prison during Civil War. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon visiting the island, named it a National Monument, and in 1992 it became part of Dry Tortugas National Park.”

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

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  • Ron

    That was really cool, we have some really good forts here in NC but that was awesome. I am a bit ashamed to say but I didn’t know anything about it. Thanks for sharing!

  • wayne

    You do have some really good forts, in NC.! (We have “Colonial Fort Michilimackinac” on Mackinaw Island, (Upper Peninsula, Michigan) but it’s not made out of brick.

    I’ve never been to Fort Jefferson, but it’s definitely on my List.
    Interesting Sheldon Cooper factoid; it’s called “dry” Tortuga, because they do not have any fresh water source on those keys.

  • Chris

    Bucket list update….

  • eddie willers

    I remember it as the prison they sent Dr. Mudd (of Lincoln assassination fame) to.

    He helped during a Yellow Fever outbreak there which helped him regain his freedom.

  • wayne

    Good stuff. Great historical factoid.

    I’m a relative newcomer to the Tortuga’s, I knew they existed & there was a Fort, but I as well am ashamed to admit, I did not appreciate the extent or the history attached.
    -I’m all-in for a day trip by ferry.

    Has anyone done the Route-66 Trip?

  • Edward

    wayne asked: “Has anyone done the Route-66 Trip?

    Yes. It is definitely touristy, but the tourist stops can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of guide books available so that you don’t miss any of the tourist stops that interest you.

    As engineers, my father and I found some non-tourist stops along the way, and we have relatives at both ends of the route as an added benefit. We didn’t get a tour of an active solar farm (old-style, not photo-voltaic) in the Mojave desert, but we got to talk to an engineer there, and we got to see the less effective older half of the farm come online (point to the sun) as the wispy clouds cleared.

    Come to think of it, we mostly only got to talk to engineers rather than get tours. I guess that counts as fun, too, for engineers.

  • wayne

    good deal on the Route-66 adventures! Been on portions in Illinois, but no further west or ‘back-in-time,’ as it were.
    Done my share of Interstate driving and although it’s nice, I much more prefer the “back route,” if at all possible. Have a nice sampling of pre-interstate, State road maps, (ca 1945-1957) It’s amazing to see the Country knitted together with highways. (tangentially, printed State road-maps are getting hard to acquire.)

    Top 10 Longest Interstate Highways in U.S.A

  • Dick Eagleson


    As an erstwhile Upe, I need to point out that Fort Michilimackinac is actually outside Mackinaw City on the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, not on the Upper Peninsula and not on Mackinaw Island either – which also isn’t part of the Upper Peninsula come to that. Mackinaw Island is off to the east of the Big Mac bridge that joins the Peninsulas between St. Ignace in the U.P. and Mackinaw City in the L.P.

    Also, unlike Fort Jefferson and, I presume, the referenced forts in NC, Fort Michilimackinac is entirely a re-creation based on historical records. No part of the original fort survives. It was a wooden stockade fort. Those tend not to be too durable and also quite vulnerable to fire.

    If you want real permanence, stone and/or brick are the only way to go. Just ask the Pharaoh Khufu if you don’t believe me.

  • wayne

    Thank you for the reality orientation! (I truly am losing my mind lately!) It’s Fort Mackinac, that is on the island.
    Tangentially– I’m dying to stay at the Grand Hotel for a few days, but I can’t get over the sticker-shock.

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