Mark Iliff

Mark Iliff

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Advice for aspiring writers

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to … full post →

7 December in One way

7 December 20xx: MSF1-1 is due to land on Mars today. Definitely a chewy moment! full post →

26 November 20xx in One way

208 days in & Mars is a disc, not a blob, now. First freighter lands in 11 days. Starting to feel real full post →

The English language

“English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new… full post →

Reviews of One way

A rather pleasing crop of reviews has built up. Thank you for reviewing, if you have. If you haven’t, I’d love it if you would. full post →

One way: half way to Mars!

Tue 4 September 20xx: Week 27 and MSM 1 is now half way to Mars. The August broadcast – they are down to monthly now as a result of fading interest back on Earth – has been delayed until tomorrow … full post →

12 June in One way

Tue 12 June 20xx: Following a long chat on Saturday, Beau & Meena have slunk off to the berth deck … One way chapter 7 full post →

6 June in One way

Wed 6 June 20xx: It’s only Day 35 and Earth is starting to lose interest One way chapter 7 full post →

A day to look out for Mars

Today Mars is at its closest to Earth for 11 years: 75 million km or 47 million miles. More full post →

28 May in One way

Mon 28 May 20xx: Work starts on Wikimars One way chapter 7 full post →

24 May in One way

Thu 24 May 20xx: Radiation alarm! Scurry to the berth deck, pull the hatch shut and sit tight One way chapter 7 full post →

22 May in One way

Tue 22 May 20xx: Things start to get saucy between Lol & Meena. One way chapter 7 full post →

12 May in One way

Second Saturday in space – 12 May 20xx: Anyone for tennis? One way chapter 7 full post →

9 May in One way

Wednesday 9 May 20xx: time for the first weekly broadcast, in the barely capable hands of Frothy Man & Serious Woman. One way chapter 6 full post →

5 May in One way

Saturday 5 May 20xx: After entering the record books in the early hours, the crew deals with a tsunami of emails & social media posts. And takes time out to watch some films … and the universe. … full post →

3 May in One way

Thursday 3 May 20xx: What a view! What a place to have a party! Though one crew member doesn’t make it to the ISS … One way chapter 6 full post →

1 May in One way

Tuesday 1 May 20xx: launch day! Serious jitters for Lol and his crewmates, amid hours of waiting … and one act of disobedience. The day doesn’t turn out as expected … One way chapter 6 full post →

30 April in One way

Monday 30 April 20xx is the crew’s last day on Earth. The never-alone rule is suspended: they can do what they like, how they like. What would you do? One way chapter 6 full post →

Week of 21 April in One way

Free time for farewells to family and friends, whom they will never see again. One way chapter 5 full post →

Week of 16 April in One way

The whole week is reserved for final assessments. This is it! All four must pass or they won’t be flying. One way chapter 4 full post →

TED talk – Stephen Petranek: Your kids might live on Mars. Here’s how they’ll survive

Blimey! I thought my book was a bit fantastical, but Stephen Petranek is pretty convinced that it – or something like it – will happen within 10 years. Though, to be fair, the comments suggest he … full post →

10 April in One way

10 April 20xx: MSF1-2, the second supply ship, launches. The rest of the week is spent debriefing the training process and the mission arrangements with the MSM Inc team, with Igor paying close atten… full post →

Ha’porth of tar

“TAR. Don’t lose a sheep for a halfpennyworth of tar: tar is used to mark sheep.” … from The 1811 Dictionary in the vulgar tongue, Francis Grose So how did sheep become ship? full post →

7-8 April in One way

Saturday 7 April 20xx: Lol & Meena return to Playalinda beach, this time to catch a sunrise. Kimi & Beau continue exploring the contrived delights of Orlando. Sunday: the crew flies to an und… full post →

Bothered

“BOTHERED or BOTH-EARED. Talked to at both ears by different persons at the same time, confounded, confused” … from The 1811 Dictionary in the vulgar tongue, Francis Grose #wellinever full post →

05 April 20xx in One way

At MSM headquarters, it’s Meet the astronauts day, open to all members of staff and contractors. One way chapter 4 full post →

I do not care a dam

“DAM. A small Indian coin, mentioned in the Gentoo code of laws: hence etymologists may, if they please, derive the common expression, I do not care a dam, i.e. I do not care half a farthing for it.… full post →

This week in One way

It’s a busy week: 30 March 20xx: final spacesuit fitting 31 Mar-1 Apr: yachting weekend 2 April: MSF1-1, the first supply ship, launches … followed by a press conference that does not go well … full post →

w/c 26 March 20xx in One way

It’s week 3 of training. Camera issues come to a head. The crew get their first spacesuit fitting. One way chapter 4 full post →

25 March 20xx in One way

The four crew members visit Playalinda naturist beach and watch a space launch. One way chapter 4 full post →

MSM 1 mission patch

The MSM 1 mission patch is described towards the end of Chapter 4 of One way. Could you do better? Submit your attempt in the comments below. There is no upload facility on this blog – please uplo… full post →

17 March 20xx in One way

Kimi & Beau go to Disney World. Lol & Meena have a quiet day on Cocoa beach. One way chapter 4 full post →

Leaving Earth: Why one-way to Mars makes sense

Leaving Earth: Why one-way to Mars makes sense by Andrew Rader sets out the logic of a one-way trip to Mars. In particular, it explains why a return trip would be way more than twice the cost and diff… full post →

One way is go!

So, here we are. The book that’s been rattling round in my head for a few years, and on my PC for 21 months, now looks like a book. (In fact it’s done that for 7 of those 21 months.) Now I’ve pl… full post →

By date

05/04/2017: Advice for aspiring writers

07/12/2016: 7 December in One way

26/11/2016: 26 November 20xx in One way

13/09/2016: The English language

09/09/2016: Reviews of One way

04/09/2016: One way: half way to Mars!

12/06/2016: 12 June in One way

06/06/2016: 6 June in One way

30/05/2016: A day to look out for Mars

28/05/2016: 28 May in One way

24/05/2016: 24 May in One way

22/05/2016: 22 May in One way

12/05/2016: 12 May in One way

09/05/2016: 9 May in One way

05/05/2016: 5 May in One way

03/05/2016: 3 May in One way

01/05/2016: 1 May in One way

30/04/2016: 30 April in One way

21/04/2016: Week of 21 April in One way

16/04/2016: Week of 16 April in One way

16/04/2016: TED talk – Stephen Petranek: Your kids might live on Mars. Here’s how they’ll survive

10/04/2016: 10 April in One way

08/04/2016: Ha’porth of tar

07/04/2016: 7-8 April in One way

06/04/2016: Bothered

05/04/2016: 05 April 20xx in One way

04/04/2016: I do not care a dam

03/04/2016: This week in One way

27/03/2016: w/c 26 March 20xx in One way

25/03/2016: 25 March 20xx in One way

22/03/2016: MSM 1 mission patch

17/03/2016: 17 March 20xx in One way

15/03/2016: Leaving Earth: Why one-way to Mars makes sense

08/03/2016: One way is go!