View Full Version : Interview with Andy Weir about 'The Martian'

Dennis E. Taylor
07-12-2015, 07:20 PM
Interesting audio interview. The guy still sounds boggled by his success.


Something I find especially interesting-- partly because I think it applies to my current WIP-- is his comments about why he thinks The Martian did so well. His point is that hard/technical SF seems to be an under-represented sub-genre right now. I tend to agree, and I think it might have something to do with constant advice to "show don't tell" and "exposition bad." Not that I think those are bad guidelines (I don't want to start that kind of argument), but this is a case of know your audience. Books like The Martian probably appeal to people who go browse Staples and Radio Shack for enjoyment. :D (Of which I'm one, BTW)

07-12-2015, 07:54 PM
Thanks for posting that!

07-13-2015, 07:41 PM
I think it's success also comes from good writing, and while I don't want to start an argument either, I think it has excellent show don't tell. I don't know that hard/technical SF is an under represented sub-genre, though. It seems like at least half the SF books I find fall into this category. At least the publisher defines them as hard SF.

Dennis E. Taylor
07-13-2015, 08:10 PM
First, I loved the book, so I'm not really going to "disagree" with you. But a lot of the technical details that the MC goes into would, I think, get you a show-don't-tell or core-dump accusation in places like CC. That's not to say they're right, but you get slapped with that a few times, you might start to back off on the technobabble a bit. Which is unfortunate, because there's a core of technophile SF readers that just eat that stuff up.

As for the preponderance or non- of hard SF, I'm almost exclusively an SF reader, and I believe there's a lot less of it than there used to be. Or maybe there's just a lot more of the other kinds, so it's getting harder to find. Either or.