The popularity of the recent Ridley Scott movie, "The Martian", starring Matt Damon, has once again stimulated interest in the book that inspired the movie--The Martian, by Andy Weir. The novel began in 2009 as a self-published story published serially on Weir’s personal blog. In 2012, at the request of fans, Weir repackaged the story and put it up for sale on Amazon as a 99 cent e-book, the required minimum price. The book got popular—very popular. The novel eventually got the attention of an agent and was subsequently published in 2014 by a major publishing house. The film rights were optioned at almost the same time. Weir was working as a computer programmer and viewed his writing as a hobby. Weir no longer works as a programmer and has now become a full-time writer.
If you enjoyed The Martin or the excellent audiobook read by R.C. Bray, and would like to read more books about Mars or adventures in space, below are a few suggestions.
Gravity by Tess Gerritsen (1999)
A space station crew has been infected by a deadly organism and hope of a rescue is abandoned for fear of the contagion infecting earth's population.
Rescue Mode by Ben Bova (2014)
When the first human mission to Mars is devastated by a meteoroid strike, the spacecraft's survivors struggle against impossible odds while decision-makers on Earth confront bureaucratic political forces.
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (1993)
In the year 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to attempt to conquer the barren, desolate landscape of Mars. (first book in a trilogy)
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (2015)
A catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity in outer space. But the complexities and the unpredictability of human nature, coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach (2010) [nonfiction]
Roach explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity. Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up?