Who am I?

I woke up to discover that my first book had been reviewed in The Wall ST Journal in print and online!

I am a successful freelance science, technology, aviation and history journalist, author, presenter and now script writer based in Oxford, UK. 

I have a passion for aviation, history, innovation, and exploration. I have explored Britain’s Area 51, searched for lost World War Two airfields in the New Forest, found the last surviving Nazi helicopter, and flown drones inside a fusion reactor, a world first. I have been driven by an autonomous car, flown in Britain’s flying laboratory, gone underground at CERN, and dug up the skeletons of gladiators in a lost Roman city in Spain. For my first book, N-4 DOWN: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia, I travelled to frozen Svalbard and the Arctic Circle, found forgotten manuscripts in an overlooked archive in Tromsø, and tracked one of the last people still alive who knew Umberto Nobile, the protagonist, down to a Copenhagen.

My technology, aviation and history-focused feature writing and occasional opinion pieces can be found in publications like  BBC FutureThe Smithsonian’s Air and Space magazineNational GeographicThe Guardian, the i Paper/Independent, Wired, and The Economist, on business in Raconteur and previously in Warwick Business School’s Core Magazine, and on publishing, in New York-based and Frankfurt Book Fair owned, Publishing Perspectives and now The Bookseller. My first book review is due to be published in The Spectator shortly.  I am happy to write sponsored content and advertorials when asked. 

My first book, the critically acclaimed N-4 DOWN: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia, was published by Custom House now Mariner Books/HarperCollins in August 2021.  Actor Matt Jamie narrates the excellent audiobook. The Italian edition is due to be published by Corbaccio, an imprint of one of Italy’s largest publishers. The Russian rights have just been sold to Alpina Non-fiction, the leading Russian popular science publisher, and the Polish rights to Wydawnictwo Astra. My monthly N-4 DOWN newsletter full of exclusive subscriber-only content from the N-4 DOWN universe has been well received by fans of the book, shows high engagement and is growing in subscriber numbers.

I have also just written my first audio scripts. I have always been fascinated by ancient history and archaeology and even had a place to study archaeology at university. Sadly, I followed a different path but stayed interested in the area, even spending a week on an archaeological dig in Spain for The Guardian. So, it was great to be given the opportunity to write the two episodes on Attila the Hun for Noiser’s award-winning podcast series The Real Dictators which is narrated by the fantastic Paul McGann. The feedback was excellent.

Listen here to Attila the Hun Part 1 The Sword of Mars

Attila the Hun Part 2 The Scourge of God

Over the last year or so I have been a guest on over 20 podcasts and live radio shows in America, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom to discuss my book N-4 DOWN and promote my journalism. These include ABC Radio’s Nightlife, ABC Radio’s Future Tense, BBC Radio, CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor, Comfortable Spot Podcast, the award-winning Get Lost Podcast, Kansas Public Radio, The Hipstorians, and Xtended. 

I love speaking at and moderating events, and these include a lecture for Royal Museums Greenwich at the National Maritime Museum on Amdunsen’s Last Expedition, two virtual lectures for Adventure Club New York on N-4 DOWN and Britain’s Area 51 (both of which I have been asked to repeat), and a virtual lecture for The Explorer’s Club, New York, on N-4 DOWN to launch my book. I have also interviewed leading British edtech entrepreneur George Burgess live on stage at the Frankfurt Book Fair for Publishing Perspective, chaired a panel discussion for Byte the Book on New Writing: What Opportunities Are There For Authors On Today’s Platforms?, chaired a panel discussion also for Byte the Book on Machine Thinking: How is AI impacting the creative industries, and again for Byte the Book, discussed live on Zoom The Path to Publication with my then agent Erin Cox.

If you are interested in my speaking at your event, please do email me mpiesing at gmail.com and I can send you my speaker pitch document. 

I am currently working on feature articles for BBC Future, The Smithsonian’s Air and Space magazine and an opinion piece for The Bookseller. I waiting for my first book review to appear in The Spectator. I have just had my first piece published by National Geographic and my first scripts produced by Noiser. I am recording an episode of the excellent History Hack podcast this week, and I will shortly be giving virtual lectures on The Race to Fly to the North Pole for the University of San Fransico and reprising my talks on N-4 Down and Orford Ness for New York’s Adventure Club.

If you want to contact me, my email is mpiesing at gmail.com.

I am @MarkPiesing on Twitter. DM me.

You can also message me on LinkedIn.


  1. Dear Mark, I’ve just read your article “Inside the Classroom of the Future” on Publishing Perspectives. It was very interesting and I would like to invite you to write in our academic blog “Waiting for an echo” (from Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia Press) a short article about what you call “hybrid textbooks” to delve a bit more into it, if possible. We would appreciate it if you could send us your email address where we can send you the Guidelines to publish in our blog: http://esperandoeleco.ucc.edu.co/en/. Looking forward to your reply.

  2. Mark, Hi. I enjoyed your article ‘Fuel of the Future’ in Tuesday’s ‘i’ (20.12.2016) – about Biofuels as a possible, if controversial, replacement for aircraft fuels. Since then I read some of your other pieces with interest – while looking for your email address – this is as close as I could get. Good luck with your popular tech book – I was recently at Radical Technology Revisited – 40th anniversary of a book by the editors of Undercurrents magazine. In their review of 40 years they mentioned that they had failed to predict solar photovoltaics – and they had predicted the hydrogen economy but it had not yet materialised. Fair game – at the time a solar PV roof might have cost quarter of a million pounds, while I bought a 3 bedroom flat in London in 1976 for £14,000. And a hydrogen economy requires cheap solar energy. The convergence of these is best described in John Bockris’s visionary 1975 book ‘Energy, the Solar Hydrogen Alternative’. He foresees a time when low surplus cost solar electricity will be used to make cheap hydrogen, and that – inter alia – this will replace ‘natural gas’ (methane) for winter heat. And it becomes an aircraft fuel – the biggest thing is that hydrogen has three times the energy density of aircraft fuel – extending range and payloads while eliminating pollution. He proposes a slurry of liquid / solid hydrogen stored in the wings, and as it evaporates it can cool the wings, allowing faster speeds (including supersonic) with cheaper wings (aluminium vs. titanium). The development of composites and aerogels (super insulators) would make all this more feasible and likely. Biofuels for aircraft are a first step to sustainable air travel – but messy for all the reasons you give. Hydrogen requires new designs, by may be the answer in the long haul.

  3. Dan Akroyd did a film on the Arrow fighter. i thought it was fictional until I saw your article. The US aircraft industry has a hand in the cancellation. But why destroy the prototypes, the blue prints, etc? the destruction of knowledge may be one of the worst things we do.

  4. Nice article on the Avro Arrow. You must be a closet Canadian or serious aerospace buff. Hard to say if Dan Aykroyd’s portrayal of Crawford Gordon was accurate. He was portrayed as being very closely allied with the Liberal government of the day. My take is that if Gordon had done a bit of ass kissing & told Diefenbaker history would remember him as visionary & patriot, yada, yada, it might have gone the other way. Had we not given our resources away for the last 150 years, we might even have been able to afford it.

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