In New Novel, ‘Martian’ Author Andy Weir Builds A Colony On The Moon

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Life on the moon is not any mattress of roses. The espresso is weak (as a result of water boils at a low temperature) and the meals is rank (as a result of it is arduous to develop rather more than algae).

The first human colony on the moon, Artemis, is basically a small, frontier mining city and vacationer entice. It’s a spot that pulls misfits who hope to strike it wealthy, together with a younger girl who grew up there named Jazz.

That’s the premise of Andy Weir’s second novel, Artemis. (The former software program engineer struck it wealthy along with his first novel, The Martian.) Weir says he modeled his moon colony after vacationer cities within the Caribbean. “The money comes into the system through tourism mainly. … You have the really ritzy, nice, high-clbad hotels in one part of town, and then the more, shall we say, austere living conditions of the people who live and work there.”


Interview Highlights

On Jazz, who was born in Saudi Arabia however considers herself to be a citizen of the moon

I’ve seen this so much with buddies who’re first-generation Americans, the place you see the mother and father have the, type of, authentic social norms and perception techniques of the type of mom nation, after which the children develop up they usually find yourself utterly Americanized and a part of our tradition. Jazz is identical factor. She and her father moved to Artemis when she was simply 6 years outdated, and so she’s grown up there and he or she considers herself an Artemisian. She is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, however she does not have a lot connection to the dominion.

On the place he obtained the concept for Artemis

I needed to put in writing a narrative that happened within the first metropolis that was not on Earth. And I thought of Mars, I thought of decrease Earth orbit, however the Moon is the plain place to construct it. If you had been on a soccer discipline and also you had been standing at one purpose line, and if Mars had been on the different purpose line, the moon can be four inches in entrance of you. So that’s the distance scale between them. So, yeah, colonizing Mars earlier than you colonize the moon can be like if the traditional Britons colonized North America earlier than they colonized Wales.

On the world constructing course of for Artemis

I did make a map. But actually, cities are at all times fashioned through economics, and so I began with that. And I stated: Alright, so I need to construct a metropolis on the moon. There is sufficient demand for tourism on the moon that it will be viable. So let’s begin with how do I construct a metropolis in any respect on the moon? Well, I do not need to transport every little thing there; I need to make it out of native supplies. So if I am gonna try this, properly, what supplies do I need to make it out of? Some badysis reveals that there is a mineral on the moon known as anorthite, which is extraordinarily plentiful and you’ll simply decide it up off the floor — you do not even must dig for it. So I am like, OK, the very first thing it’s good to do is have a refinery, a smelting facility to show ore into steel and oxygen. And you then construct the town out of that steel. But smelting minerals takes an unlimited quantity of energy, far more than you would ever hope to get with photo voltaic. So I am like, alright, then we’re gonna want some reactors. OK, so put some reactors on the moon.

And I labored ahead from there. And yeah, I had plenty of enjoyable doing the world constructing. That half’s at all times enjoyable on a e-book. The arduous half is these pesky characters and plot and narration and stuff.

On the primary e-book he wrote proper after The Martian

So [publisher] Crown was like, “Alright, what do you want for your next book?” And I had already been a bit of bit right into a e-book known as Zhek. And I stated, “Well, this! This is what I’m working on.” They’re like, “Good! Deal. Here, sign this contract. There, have it done in a year. Bye.”

So I obtained about 70,000 phrases in and I simply realized it wasn’t good. It wasn’t any good. And so, it was a really tough resolution, however I requested the writer, I used to be like, “Hey, I don’t think this is working. I want to write a completely different book. I want to start over with a completely different book. Is that OK?” And they’re like, “Um, OK. But we’re gonna want to hear about the next book first.” And so I pitched them Artemis, and I am so glad that I made that call. It was actually painful on the time, however I am so glad I made the choice. Artemis is so a lot better than Zhek may have been.

Eric McDaniel, Sophia Schmidt and Ed McNulty produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Nicole Cohen tailored it for the Web.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see extra, go to https://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Life on the moon is not any mattress of roses. The espresso’s weak as a result of water boils at low temperature. The meals is rank as a result of it is arduous and costly to develop rather more than algae on the lunar floor. Artemis, the primary human colony on the moon, is basically a small frontier mining city and vacationer entice and a spot that pulls misfits who hope to strike it wealthy, together with a younger girl who grew up there named Jazz. “Artemis” is the second novel by Andy Weir, the previous software program engineer who struck it wealthy himself along with his first novel, “The Martian.” He joins us now from Palo Alto, Calif. Thanks a lot for being with us.

ANDY WEIR: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: And inform us about this place that’s without delay otherworldly and gritty, Artemis.

WEIR: Well, it is a vacationer city. The cash comes into the system by way of tourism, primarily. And so I might modeled it – type of the social buildings and the best way issues work – after vacationer cities within the Caribbean, stuff like that the place you might have the actually ritzy, good, high-clbad accommodations in a single a part of city after which the extra, shall we embrace, austere residing situations of the individuals who dwell and work there.

SIMON: And inform us about Jazz – Jasmine, your protagonist. She’s a porter however actually a smuggler, Saudi by beginning however actually the primary technology of people that think about themselves to be residents of the moon.

WEIR: Yeah, precisely. She’s very comparable – I imply, I’ve seen this so much with buddies who’re first-generation Americans, the place you see the mother and father have the type of authentic social norms and perception techniques of the type of mom nation. And then the children develop up, they usually find yourself utterly Americanized and a part of our tradition. Jazz is identical factor. She and her father moved to Artemis when she was simply 6 years outdated. And so she’s grown up there, and he or she considers herself an Artemisian. She is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, however she does not have a lot connection to the dominion.

SIMON: What got here first in your thoughts, Mr. Weir, the story, the character or this place, Artemis?

WEIR: The place. Basically, I needed to put in writing a narrative that happened within the first metropolis that was not on Earth. And I thought of Mars. I thought of low Earth orbit. But the moon is the plain place to construct it. If you had been on a soccer discipline, and also you had been standing at one purpose line, and if Mars had been on the different purpose line, the moon can be 4 inches in entrance of you.

SIMON: Oh. Oh.

WEIR: That is the space scale between them. So, yeah, colonizing Mars earlier than you colonize the moon can be like if the traditional Britons colonized North America earlier than they colonized Wales.

SIMON: “The Martian” was such an unlimited and fabled success – I imply, an early instance of what quantities to how profitable self-publishing might be. And then, after all, Crown purchased the rights to it and republished it. Publishers should have been after you for nearly any thought. How did you – for a second e-book, how did you decide on this?

WEIR: Well, really, I did not initially decide on this. So Crown was like, all proper. What would you like for the following e-book? And I had already been a bit of bit right into a e-book known as “Zhek” – Z-H-E-Okay. And I stated, like, properly, this – that is what I am engaged on. They’re like, good. Deal. Here. Sign this contract there. Have it accomplished in a yr. Bye. So I obtained about 70,000 phrases in. And I simply realized it wasn’t good. It wasn’t any good. And so it was a really tough resolution, however I requested a writer – I used to be like, hey, I do not badume that is working. I need to begin over with a totally totally different e-book. Is that OK? (Laughter) They’re like, um, OK? But we will need to hear concerning the subsequent e-book first (laughter). And so I pitched them “Artemis.” And I am so glad that I made that call. It was actually painful on the time, however I am so glad I made the choice. Artemis is so a lot better than “Zhek” may’ve been.

SIMON: Yeah. Well, do you – I imply, do you sit down with a big sheet of drawing paper and draw what the moon colony appears like in your creativeness? How did you create this?

WEIR: Well, I did make a map. But, actually, I – cities are at all times fashioned through economics. And so I began with that. And I stated, all proper. So I need to construct a metropolis on the moon. There is sufficient demand for tourism on the moon that it will be viable. So let’s begin with, how do I construct a metropolis in any respect on the moon? Well, I do not need to transport every little thing there. I need to make it out of native supplies. So if I am going to do this, properly, what supplies do I need to make it out of? Some badysis reveals that there’s a mineral on the moon known as anorthite, which is extraordinarily plentiful. And you may simply decide it up off the floor, you do not even must dig for it.

So I am like, OK, the very first thing it’s good to do is have a refinery, a smelting facility to show ore into steel and oxygen. And you then construct the town out of that steel. But smelting minerals takes an unlimited quantity of energy, far more than you would ever hope to get with photo voltaic. So I am like, all proper. Then we will want some reactors. OK. So put some reactors on the moon. And I labored ahead from there. And, yeah, no, I had plenty of enjoyable doing the worldbuilding. That half’s at all times enjoyable on a e-book. The arduous half is these pesky characters and plot and narration and stuff.

SIMON: (Laughter).

WEIR: But if I may simply – if I may receives a commission simply to put in writing Wikipedia articles about “Artemis,” I might be set for all times (laughter).

SIMON: Andy Weir – his novel “Artemis.” Thanks a lot for being with us.

WEIR: Thanks for having me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LINDSEY STIRLING’S “FIRST LIGHT”) Transcript offered by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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