Andy Weir, author of the sci-fi bestseller “The Martian,” is afraid of flying.
Actually, more like terrified.
Which is a problem when your book suddenly surges in popularity, gets a movie deal, and everyone starts inviting you to attend conferences and do interviews all across the country and overseas.
It’s also a little ironic for two reasons: One, Weir’s novel is about astronaut Mark Watney, who takes an eight-month flight to Mars only to find himself stranded on the alien world; and two, Weir created Watney as a vision of himself.
Weir is working on conquering his fear. After NASA invited him out to the Houston-based Johnson Space Center, he made a lot of progress. Weir has said in several interviews that he wanted to go really, really badly, so he knew he had to suck it up and get on a plane.
He made that flight earlier this year — and it seems he had a great time:
It doesn’t sound like Weir is ready for any international flights yet, though.
When the crew started filming the movie adaptation of “The Martian” in Budapest, they invited Weir out to the set. That “was too much,” Weir told Eric Berger in an interview. Maybe he can build his way up to international travel.
As far as actual spaceflight is concerned though, Weir had an uncompromising answer for Berger:
Hell no. I would not go into space. I very, very much want the private spaceflight industry to succeed, and grow and flourish and to become a whole industry. (He laughs). But I don’t want to be its customer. I don’t think I would ever be able to handle something like that.
Weir isn’t just working on conquering his fear of flight. He revealed that he’s already working on a new book, and we can’t wait.
“It’s softer science fiction,” Weir said. ” It’s got aliens, faster-than-light travel, it’s good, old-fashioned sci-fi.”
The movie version of “The Martian” comes out October 2.
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