It’s not every day that your first published novel becomes a New York Times bestseller, and then adapted into a Ridley Scott movie starring Matt Damon at the same time. But that’s what happened to Andy Weir, author of The Martian — a sci-fi epic following an astronaut stranded alone on Mars. Not too bad for someone who initially published the book for free on his website, and then sold it to Kindle for 99 cents!
If you were thinking how nice it would be to get some insider info about the book/movie from Weir himself before the movie drops on October 2nd, we’ve got good news. He recently participated in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session with reddir/r/books, and we found some of the best questions and answers below.
First, while Fox does have the rights to make a sequel to The Martian, there are no plans for that yet:
Weir also established his nerd cred early:
Weir’s novel came together rather unconventionally for a hard sci-fi story. Published in sections on his website, readers returned with input and corrections that eventually made the science sound. Weir didn’t rely on NASA scientists either:
According to Weir’s Wikipedia page, his ‘Google’ research included an extensive look at botany, orbital mechanics, conditions on Mars, and the history of manned spaceflight.
Sean Bean has a great performance in The Martian. Why didn’t he play every character?
Poor Sean Bean. That guy just can’t catch a break… but he really does die in a large percentage of his movies.
Despite how feasible Weir makes the exploration of Mars seem in his novel, he has no plans to ever try it himself:
In the novel, Venkat Kapoor is an Indian scientist who corresponds with Watney and relays survival information to him. But in the film, London-born actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was cast as the character. Weir explained the change:
As for Weir’s next book, it’s already in the making:
Sounds out-of-this-world (sorry not sorry).
Finally, though Matt Damon gave a great performance as Watney, Weir has a second choice:
We do too.
If you want to read the entire thread (including “a million and one” questions from a space-fanatic who honeymooned at the Kennedy Space Center), head over here (Weir answered almost every single question). Then if you’re interest is even more piqued, head over to Amazon to purchase the book. The paperback is only $9!
Follow Weir on Twitter @andyweirauthor, and reach out to him if you like his work. Authors love that.
What are your thoughts on The Martian? Hit us up below.
IMAGES: YouTube/20th Century Fox/Reddit