Of course living on Mars will be like being on a reality show—that’s the main reason I’m going. Here are the ten people I’m most excited to hang out with.
10. Liz. Not just because People officially declared her the hottest person on Mars. I’m also interested in talking about her nonprofit aimed at funding Mars education in Earth schools. I 110% agree that kids should know all about a planet they’ll never get to go to.
9. Jim T. The only colonist who’s publicly requested a ride back to Earth if and when such transportation becomes available. I understand his reasons, but what I want to know is whether homesickness is really the most important reason—or whether this is really about his break-up with Ashley.
8. Ashley. Now that she’s single….
7. Imani. Everyone talks about Imani’s expertise in fighting infectious diseases, but what I want to talk about is the fact that she’s the officially designated delivery doctor. What’s she going to do when the first Mars pregnancy occurs, and who is she betting it’ll be?
6. Isaac. The oldest man on Mars! Just six years from being the first-ever sexagenarian on the Red Planet! God willing this decision is still decades away, but…burn or bury, aren’t you curious?
5. Wei. Mars’s only officially certified rocket scientist. Has Jim asked him to build a ship that he can escape on? What does one bribe with on Mars, if not sexual favors?
4. Alice. The “crazy one,” according to Five Years. I think that’s a little harsh—just because she tried to plant a tree on Mars and made a one-woman show about it that she sold tickets to live-stream. That must have made her the richest person on Mars…now who’s crazy?
3. Stella. The only (formerly) professional writer on Mars, before our ship of fools arrives. Of course she says she’s retired, but it must be tempting to succumb to the demand for a sequel to her pseudonymous bodice-ripper. Sex in space: it’s the first, second, and third thing anyone ever asks about when they’re talking to a colonist. Stella could write the novel—ideally a thinly-veiled memoir—that could answer everyone’s questions and put the matter (so to speak) to rest.
2. Jacob. The sexy hydroponic farmer, runner-up to Liz in the hotness contest. How does he get that definition in his obliques? I was never much of a gym monkey before, but now that it’s doctor’s orders to work out at least two hours a day—an easy goal to meet, given that there’s nothing else to do up here—suddenly I’m following workout streams and flexing in the mirror. How can I stop being a weightless (75 pounds on Mars) weakling? Mars has plenty of sand for people to kick in my face, so I’m understandably nervous.
1. Charli. Who are you, Charli? In a Five Years poll, 67% of people say you don’t really exist, or that you died en routeand everyone is just covering for you. If I could get a Charli tell-all interview, my literary fame would be assured—or, at least, I could write something that would get 20 times as many readers as my novel did.