Tag Archives | Andy Weir

The Varieties of Scientific Experience

Some years ago, a posthumous collection of Carl Sagan essays were published under the title The Varieties of Scientific Experience. The title was a play on William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience. Despite his popularity among today’s atheists, Sagan was more of a pantheist, equating God with the universe, and his essays were an […]

Comments { 0 }

“The Martian” and the Earthlings

There’s one question everyone I know is asking about the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian: Did they mess it up? The book became a surprise self-published bestseller by drawing on a detailed and realistic understanding of the actual science and technology of space transportation—an outstanding example of “hard sci-fi“—to propel a suspenseful […]

Comments { 0 }

The Contest Between Homer and Hesiod, in Space

There is not much about Andy Weir’s The Martian that ought to work. And yet it works. The novel is like a twisted literary experiment: can you write a story that is about 5% dialogue, 10% action, and 85% exposition? And can the exposition be about scientific problem solving and the technical details of NASA […]

Comments { 0 }