|Born||June 16, 1972|
Davis, California, U.S.
|Pen name||Jack Sharp|
|Education||University of California, San Diego (did not graduate)|
|Notable works||"The Egg"|
Project Hail Mary
|Notable awards||Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction|
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Andrew Taylor Weir (born June 16, 1972) is an American novelist and former computer programmer. His 2011 novel The Martian was adapted into the 2015 film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott. He received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016.
Weir was raised in Milpitas, California. His father was a physicist and his mother was an electrical engineer. He was an only child, and his parents divorced when he was eight. Weir grew up reading classic science fiction such as the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. At the age of 15, he began working as a computer programmer for Sandia National Laboratories.
After high school, Weir studied computer science at the University of California, San Diego, though he did not graduate. He worked as a programmer for several software companies, including AOL, Palm, MobileIron, and Blizzard, where he worked on the video game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.
Weir began writing science fiction in his twenties and published work on his website for years. He also authored a humor web comic called Casey and Andy[NB 1] featuring fictionalized "mad scientist" versions of himself and his friends (such as writer Jennifer Brozek) from 2001 to 2008; he also briefly worked on another comic called Cheshire Crossing bridging Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins. The attention these gained him has been attributed as later helping launch his writing career, following the failure to publish his first novel attempt called Theft of Pride. His first work to gain significant attention was "The Egg", a short story that has been adapted into a number of YouTube videos, a one-act play, and is the overarching concept of Everybody, the third album by American rapper Logic.
He wrote his first published novel, The Martian, to be as scientifically accurate as possible, doing extensive research into orbital mechanics, conditions on the planet Mars, the history of human spaceflight, and botany. Originally published as a free serial on his website, some readers requested he make it available on Amazon Kindle. First sold for 99 cents, the novel made it to the Kindle bestsellers list. Weir was then approached by a literary agent and sold the rights to Crown Publishing Group. The print version (slightly edited from the original) of the novel debuted at #12 on The New York Times bestseller list. The Wall Street Journal called it "the best pure sci-fi novel in years". It was adapted into a film starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, which was released in 2015.
In 2015 Weir announced he was working on his second novel, provisionally titled Zhek, which he described as "a more traditional sci-fi novel with aliens, telepathy, faster-than-light travel, etc." A fan-fiction story written by Weir, Lacero, was published in the 2016 edition of Ready Player One, making it canonical to the book's fictional universe. The work functions as a prequel to the main novel.[NB 2] Also in 2016, Weir released The Principles of Uncertainty collection of short stories on the website/app Tapas.
After announcing that the Zhek project had been "back-burnered", Weir moved on to another hard sci-fi novel titled Artemis, with a female protagonist, set on the Moon in the 2080s-2090s. The thriller, published in 2017, follows "Jazz", a twenty-six-year-old woman constrained by her small town (which is also the only city on the Moon). On September 26, 2017, it was announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been hired to develop and direct a science fiction film based on the novel.
In 2017 CBS picked up a pilot written by Weir titled Mission Control, following a group of young NASA astronauts and scientists. In May of the same year, Weir collaborated with webcomic artist Sarah Andersen to remake Cheshire Crossing for Tapas, before publishing it as a stand-alone graphic novel in July 2019. In November 2019, a film adaptation was announced from Amblin Partners and Walt Disney Pictures, to be produced by Michael De Luca and written by Erin Cressida Wilson.
In May 2021, Weir's third novel, Project Hail Mary, was released. The plot revolves around an astronaut, Ryland Grace, who wakes up from a coma on a strange spacecraft and is afflicted with amnesia. Ryan Gosling is slated to produce and star in a film adaption.
According to Weir, he grew up in Milpitas, CA where he attended Rancho Milpitas Junior High School and Milpitas High School.
In 2015, Weir lived in Mountain View, California, in a rented two-bedroom apartment. Since he has a fear of flying, he never visited the set of the film adaptation of The Martian in Budapest, where most of the scenes set on Mars were shot at Korda Studios. In 2015, with the help of therapy and medication, he was able to fly to Houston to visit the Johnson Space Center, and to San Diego to attend Comic-Con.
Weir is married to Ashley, whom he met while he was in Los Angeles to pitch a TV series. He has stated that he is agnostic, and has described his political views as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
Weir's original website lists his works, with free versions of many of his short stories.[NB 3]