The B&N Podcast: Andy Weir Wants to Keep You Up at Night

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

Andy Weir’s debut novel The Martian was not merely an explosive arrival of an unheralded new voice on the literary scene.  It was also a testament to the power of storytelling to bring science and engineering to captivating life.  The result is that millions of readers and moviegoers know the story of astronaut Mark Watney, abandoned accidentally on the surface of Mars, and the incredibly gripping, mordantly funny story of his survival and rescue.  This summer Joel Cunningham of B&N’s Science Fiction and Fantasy blog spoke with Andy Weir about The Martian and his second novel, the moon-set Artemis. Weir shared his perspective on the books that influenced him, what it means to pursue an epic story — and then abandon it — and what he’s dreaming up next.


Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.

Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.

So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.

The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.

Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.

Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.

That’ll have to do.

Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.

Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.