Andy Weir discusses his science-fiction debut novel, The Martian. Get the list of all the Andy Weir books and learn how The Egg brought him internet fame.
Andy Weir, a now widely acclaimed author, became a household name because of his remarkable science fiction debut, The Martian.
Did you know that this novel was initially self-published in 2011 but only gained widespread recognition after its rerelease in 2014?
Weir’s exceptional talent also earned him the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards!
Now a New York Times bestselling author, this mission to Mars is just the start of his career. It also was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Matt Damon in the lead role.
In this suspenseful and thrilling story, astronaut Mark Watney becomes one of the first to set foot on Mars.
Little does he know that he’ll face the daunting possibility of being the first person to die on the red planet.
After a devastating dust storm nearly claimed his life, Mark finds himself stranded and utterly alone on Mars.
With no means of communication with Earth and limited supplies, he must battle against the harshest environment to survive.
But Mark refuses to surrender to fate.
Armed with his ingenuity and engineering skills, he tenaciously confronts each seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Will his resourcefulness be enough to bring him home?
Readers have loved his ingenious ideas for survival that enthralled the science geek in all of us.
The novel also has lots of unexpected humor, making Mark a character you can’t help but cheer for.
Andy Weir Exclusive Interview On The Martian
Having hit the front page of Reddit with your short story, The Egg you shared feeling sad that this debut novel wasn’t receiving as much attention.
Now that The Martian is finally gaining the recognition it deserves, is the project proving more rewarding?
Oh definitely. That was before The Martian really took off.
Since then, it’s become more well-known than The Egg. It’s been a very exciting ride.
Some of my favorite scenes in your book are when Watney discovers what fills his crewmates USB drives.
I love that they brought disco music and fabulous shows like Three’s Company. What would you put on your USB drive to take with you to Mars?
Probably a bunch of 1980’s music. And I’d bring the entire archive of Doctor Who. You may not have noticed, but I’m a nerd.
Any thoughts on commercial space flight? Any plans to purchase a ticket?
It feels like it’s just around the corner. The trick is getting the price down.
Most people can’t pay $200,000 for a trip to space.
But if that were brought down to $10,000 it would probably have millions of customers.
As for myself, I’m afraid to fly in ordinary planes; I certainly wouldn’t be able to go to space.
Do you see us putting a man on Mars in your lifetime?
That’s a tough one to predict. With our modern technology, we can make extremely effective rovers.
It makes people ask why we should risk human life.
There are many solid reasons to send people instead of robots, but that fundamental concern, and the tremendous cost increases associated with manned spaceflight, will always be a factor.
Considering we haven’t returned to the moon yet, I’m honestly not sure if we’ll see anyone on Mars soon.
Which do you think is harder- the first time we put a man on the moon or when we put a man on Mars?
Putting a man on Mars is definitely the larger challenge.
Even when you account for the technology level of the Apollo era compared to now.
The Moon is just so much closer and easier to work with.
Do you have other great book suggestions for readers just jumping into the science fiction genre?
Yes, I recommend Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
It’s my favorite book of the decade so far, and it has excellent crossover appeal.
You don’t have to be a “sci-fi person” to enjoy it.
Do you think you would survive if you were stranded on Mars?
I doubt it. It would require great bravery and fortitude and exceptional strength of character.
I’m just a normal guy.
Who would you invite to dinner if you could dine with one astronaut, living or dead?
John Young. He’s the consummate astronaut.
He was on numerous spaceflights, including Apollo 16, when he walked on the Moon.
Fun fact: Apollo astronauts wore bio-monitoring equipment, so their heart rate was recorded throughout their missions.
As you can imagine, during the launch, their heart rates tended to spike, usually to around 140 or 150 beats per minute.
John Young’s heart rate never got above 70 during the Apollo 16 launch.
Nerves of steel.
I understand that you started your computer programming career at 15. What came first, your love of computers or your passion for space?
Definitely my love of space.
I grew up with it. I can’t remember any time when I wasn’t interested in space travel.
I am building a passion for science in my children. Do you have any suggestions for fostering that passion in them?
First, find their passion.
Whatever it is.
Art? Music? Fast Cars?
Then show them how science makes those things possible.
Because in the modern era, everything is a science.
If they like art, show them the science of computer modeling.
If they like Music, show them how musical instruments are made with modern machinery and precision.
If they like cars, well you get the idea.
If you could tell anyone to read one book (other than your own), what would that book be?
“I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest sci-fi books of all time.
New to Andy Weir? Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions!
Where can I Watch The Martian movie?
You can stream the movie on Prime Video or wherever you rent your films for purchase.
Director Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels made this book a fan favorite.
Below we have also included important Andy Weir movie updates, including the Project Hail Mary movie information.
Is it necessary to read Andy Weir’s books in a specific order?
Each of his books can be enjoyed as a standalone story except the books in The Martian series.
Diary of An AssCan is considered The Martian #0.5 prequel.
What are the Andy Weir books in order published?
- The Egg (short story), 2009
- The Martian, 2011
- Diary of an AssCan, 2015 (The Martian #0.5)
- Artemis, 2017
- Cheshire Crossing, 2019
- Randomize, 2019
- Project Hail Mary, 2021
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