Andy Weir was a software engineer for over two decades, writing short stories and Sherlock Holmes fan fiction in his spare time. And then he wrote The Martian. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
The story was initially something he wrote and posted to his website, but Weir said it took him a while–longer even than the story itself takes. He self-published it on Amazon, and then it was published in hardcover last year by Crown Publishing, hitting the bestseller lists immediately. It was also optioned for film by Twentieth Century Fox, and the movie is due out this October, starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott.
In case you’re not familiar with the book already, you can read Jim Kelly’s review of it from last year. In short, though, astronaut (and botanist) Mark Watney gets left behind on Mars during a manned mission, presumed dead. Unfortunately, he survived–and now has to figure out how to survive long enough to get rescued.
Weir has since quit his software engineering job to write full-time. I interviewed him for the Bounded Enthusiasm podcast and we talked about the book, the upcoming movie, and board games (because I spotted a shelf of games in the background while we were on Skype). For what it’s worth, oh powers that be at Twentieth Century Fox, if you decide to publish a board game based on The Martian, you should get Weir’s input. Really.
You can download the MP3 of the episode, or listen to it in the embedded player below.
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The Martian will be in theaters on October 2, and the movie tie-in version and the mass market paperback of the novel will be in stores August 18.
Thanks to fellow GeekDad Gerry Tolbert for audio editing assistance!