A self-described “lifelong spacecraft”, Veer grew up in the Bay Area, where his father worked as a particle physicist. After his parents’ divorce when he was 8, Veer and his mother, who worked as an electrical engineer, moved frequently, and they entertained themselves with computers. She studied computer science at the University of California at San Diego, but ran away with tuition money before completing her degree. In search of a steady income, he moved into programming, and worked at video game company Blizzard Entertainment and AOL.
When he got the idea for “The Martian” in 2009, Weir was living alone in Boston, working for a mobile game company. He began to wonder what would make a person completely alone, on a hostile planet, to survive. (This included a lot of biochemistry, duct tape, oaths and farming along with human waste.)
“One of the main reasons is that isolation is such a recurring theme in my books that I’ve spent a lot of my life alone and don’t want to be,” he said. “I was single, and so that’s a factor in my stories.”
Wear began posting free chapters of “The Martian” on his website. At the request of readers, he uploaded the full text to Amazon, charging 99 cents. In a few months, it had sold 35,000 copies.
Veer was skeptical when a literary agent offered to help him obtain a book deal, but he agreed to send the manuscript to the Crown’s editor. After a long time, he sold the rights to the book and film within a week.
After its release in 2014, “The Martian” sold some five million copies in North America. The film adaptation, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, grossed over $ 630 million worldwide and garnered seven Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Fearing flying, Weary combed his phobia to attend the film’s premiere in Toronto, a star-studded event featuring Hollywood celebrities as well as NASA’s lead scientists, Chris Hadfield and Jim Green.