You won’t want to miss this one: Andy Weir, author of science fiction survival novel The Martian, delivered a talk at Google HQ as part of their “Authors at Google” series.
Check it out!
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he may be the first man to die there.
Andy Weir’s brilliant debut novel The Martian ( is a gripping story of survival against all odds…set in space. Wise cracking astronaut Watney is a member of Ares 3, the third manned mission to Mars, scheduled for a two month assignment. After an epic dust storm threatens the crew’s ascent they are forced to abort the mission. Watney, separated from the rest of the team, is unintentionally abandoned, with the rest of the crew believing him to be dead. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his MacGyver-esque ingenuity, mechanical engineering skills, and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit, he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Weir, first hired as a programmer for a national lab at age fifteen, has been working as a software engineer ever since. In The Martian, all of the obstacles his hero confronts, and the solutions he engineers (from generating water to calculating calories needed for survival), are entirely believable and science-based thanks in large part to Weir’s relentless research and fascination with space travel, NASA, orbital dynamics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight. If we started planning a manned mission to Mars tomorrow, it would look a lot like what’s depicted in these pages. The Martian is that perfect blend of science and suspense. As astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield notes, The Martian is the “…very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy.”