Andy Weir’s Martian: Creation of a book
Andy Weir was fond of science fiction from his deep childhood and enjoyed reading Arthur Charles Clarke and Isaac Asimov. When he was fifteen years old, future author of «The Martian» book got his first job as a programmer. He then changed a few companies and have even participated in the creation of Warcraft 2 within Blizard. Andy Weir had his first writing experience back in 90-s with the publication of his first beginning on the own website. His first science-fiction work was called «The Egg», a short story, which now, after the success receives significant attention on the web and even on YouTube. Once Andy Weir initiated interest in Mars and began to describe variants of the missions due to his own vision. From the very beginning, the author had an extremely serious attitude to the topic and the Red planet itself, with a desire to create a fiction, but a science precise book. Future Andy Weir “The Martian” book would be focused on a man, who struggles for own life on the surface of Mars.
Andy Weir completely devoted himself reading, finding information on Astronomy, mechanisms of orbital launches, modeling, Botanic. He bought dozens of books on the history of different space missions and claims he still remembers all main dates and events. The initiator initiated publishing first chapters of his book within own blog and had first positive reviews and feedback from science fiction fellows. Despite the fact that The Martian was distributed free of charge on the web, the author edited the complete version for Amazon e-book service and then had a full printed edition of his work. The book has become a debutante on the 12th place of the New York Times bestseller book list and received a title of one of the most prominent science fiction books over the years from The Wall Street Journal. As a result of significant success, the rights for the movie adaptations were bought by 20 Century Fox already in 2013. On October 2015 The Martian movie by Ridley Scott confidently attacked cinemas all over the world.
Mark Watney — space Robinson
The Martian is more adventure story with its peculiarities than classic science fiction. Surviving extreme conditions within the Mars environment. Mark Watney and his story have more common features with Robinson Crusoe rather than with characters by Isaac Asimov and Stanislaw Lem. We conceive an incredible surviving story of astronaut Mark Watney by means of his space notebook, divided into days (sols – 24h and 39 minutes’ day on Mars). Such format creates a feeling of the pseudo-documentary story – everyday personal feelings rather than just a fiction. Mark Watney does not accept a thought and the fact that he will probably die on the Red Planet, so the protagonist can’t just lie and wait for the doom. To maximize own chances for survival, he must take into use all knowledge, supplies, and ideas to achieve the ultimate goal – to stay alive on Mars, with or without the help of NASA.
Mark Watney has an accommodation module, two Mars rovers, and multiple NASA astronaut stuff. Andy Weir’s main character starts his new space life with the calculation of all belongings and supplies he has because he obviously can’t count on any incomes, instead of red rocks. He emphasizes that serious failure of any of his life systems will cause his inevitable death. The main issue after accommodation and safety is food and water supplies. Mark Watney finds sweet sour chicken stores and vitamins, but he wants to grow plants, potato, to have carbs and a big chance for surviving. Some readers may consider such a story to be boring, but we can see every day hard-work of extremely motivated person. Martian’s motivation is to survive. Mark Watney just can’t sit and wait for external help relaxing. In addition, hard-ass work helps Mark Watney to maintain his mind clear and focused, while fighting with the upcoming circumstances.
The Martian movie
Ridley Scott has made us an excellent gift and reminded that he is a kind of visionary, who once has reinvented the science fiction genre (I mean, of course, “Alien” and “Blade Runner”). The Martian movie turned out to be partially a comedy. Matt Damon does not wear serious mimic as a born world hero. He tends to be closer to the audience, lures positively to his own character and the whole story. The movie gives us a prominent soundtrack which combines both modern technical score and rock classic as Jimmy Hendricks’s “All Along the Watchtower”, ABBA and “I will survive”. Despite constant desire to find some science inaccuracies within Mars topic, you find oneself thinking to satisfy the movie and trust in what is happening. 20 minutes of watching is quite enough to deep down into the story and participate it. The very difference is your comfort and safety in the seat. Ridley Scott’s The Martian is an important movie in a sense to motivate people to read Andy Weir book, to find other science fiction books, to explore a topic, to develop oneself. The movie, particularly entertaining, popularizes science more than any book and can lure a big audience.
Differences between book and movie
- In Andy Weir’s book evacuation from Mars was to happen on the 6th sol and it was the 18th within the movie. Burning news from the satellite photos appeared on the 54th day in a movie and on 49th in the novel.
- The book gives us just one extract with few lines, dealing with Mark Watney’s self-surgery, whereas, in contrast, the movie impresses with a 5-minute emotional scene
- The process of soil fertilization within the module was more detailed in The Martian novel, Mark Watney emphasizes that excrements of a crew were technically dead and he had a constant need to mix this stuff with his own “fresh” income on the regular basis. Andy Weir does not give his protagonist a second premise to grow plants, as it is depicted in Ridley Scott’s movie. He had to cover all unused floor and surfaces. 91 square meters of the floor and an additional 20 meters presented by two tables, five beds and floor of two balloon modules. These two white tents were noticed by NASA on the satellite shots.
- The process of getting water for the plants was simplified in the movie. The book shows us a more prolonged and sophisticated process. Author Andy Weir provides us with detailed science calculations, especially when Mark Watney decides to create a vacuum in own module.
- Vencat Capoor in the book had no previous connection with Maindy Park, an analyst who noticed that Mark Watney is still alive. While telling about her findings, the girl was crying, despite the confusion of Capoor. Two white balloon tents were the main differences between current and past shots of the surface.
- Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, NASA Executive, was the one who delivered the sensation news to the mass media in a movie, instead of Annie Montrose in a book. In additional, novel’s Sanders said the phrase that NASA will do their best to bring Mark Watney back and it had no additional sensation.
- Matt Damon tests his Mars rover by means of progressive expeditions, with more and more distance from the module every time. However, the logic in the book is even more obvious and safe. He makes circles near his station to be enough close to walk if something happens.
- Annie Montrose is far more emotional and rude than her movie variant, depicted by Kristen Wiig.
- Depressurization of life module in the movie was simplified. In the novel, Mark Watney had only one big premise and he was thrown out for 50 meters, being inside the airlock module. Then astronaut had to move it like a telephone box to reach the rover for some period of time while restoring the atmosphere.
- The first conversation between Mark Watney and his crew after they found out the truth was by means of text e-mail, not a video as shown in a movie.
- Mark Watney in a book makes a sophisticated process to store his potato. He throws it for some seconds out the module, to vaporize water and kill the bacteria’s.
- Andy Weir details the cause of the first supply shuttle failure. 300 kg of protein cubes turned out to be unstable during the launch and this weight dramatically changed the trajectory after smashing the aft closure.
- A comic scene when Rich Purnell describes his plan with stapler was added to the movie.
- Mark Watney in the book creates his Mars notebook in text form, and in a video in Ridley Scott’s movie.
- After the destruction of harvest, 200 kg of potato still remained in Watney’s storage, with much less visual stores in a movie adaptation.
- The movie omitted an interesting decision of Ares’ crew, as an addition to the desire to take Mark Watney back home. They agreed that in case of any failure with a new mission and Chinese supply delivery, they would kill each other with Beth Johanssen stays to survive.
- While his thorough preparation, book’s Mark Watney seriously injured his back and had to make himself a hot bath and provide relaxation to restore the ability to work. However, Matt Damon then states that he had not taken a bath for six eighteen months.
- Andy Weir gave his Martian one more serious problem – astronaut unintentionally breaks his communications by means of Pathfinder for a month before the expedition to Schiaparelli. So this extremely dangerous journey was accomplished without direct communication with NASA. The route itself was generally simplified and shortened in a movie, omitting giant sandstorm, which could spoil solar batteries. The scene when Matt Damon leaves a note in a rover was added to the movie.
- While The Martian movie ends in a college class, Mark Watney in a book completes his story in a park, even gave some aggression to a little boy, who asked if Watney wants to come back to Mars.