Monday, August 3, 2015

Three Whiskey Sours

The casual conversation with the neighbors over glasses of wine turned to books. He travels, has a lot of plane time on his hands, and reads a lot. He was kind enough to ask when my next work is due (soon) and then started talking about the last book he finished. It is called The Martian, written by Andy Weir. We'd seen a preview for the movie version soon to be released. I decided to give it a try.

Holy crap.

Mr. Weir is a relatively new author, in the sense that his notable works are... Well, The Martian. It began as a story on his web site, released one chapter at a time. Apparently, agents and publishers didn't want his other stuff, so he didn't bother them with this one. Friends asked Weir if there was a way to get it in a version compatible with a Kindle. Weir had it published on Amazon, cost $.99. It sold 35,000 copies in three months. Naturally, this caught someone's attention. It is now twelfth on the NYT best seller list for fiction, and, as I said, will soon be released as a major motion picture. He writes with a sense of humor, a flair for detail a la Clancy (the guy is a computer programmer in real...I guess now his former life), and he knows how to tell a story. His main character is in dire straits, and is worried. Scared shitless, I think he wrote. The guys asks himself what an Apollo astronaut would do.

"He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launch pad, then fly to the Moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool."

Envious? Hell, no. This is the kind of thing that sends all of us back to our laptops, cranking stuff out against the day it happens to us. It is a feel good tale, a little guy who does it on his own and rings the frickin bell.

You, sir, are a steely-eyed missile man.

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