The Talking Room: Adam Savage Interviews Andy Weir

Adam Savage welcomes author Andy Weir to The Talking Room! Andy wrote ‘The Martian’, the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars–it’s a book we can’t recommend enough. Adam and Andy talk about the research that went into writing the book, the portrayal of astronauts in fiction, and the upcoming film adaptation!

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli

Comments (57)

57 thoughts on “The Talking Room: Adam Savage Interviews Andy Weir

  1. Amazing! also thanks for recommending the book in the first place. its one of the best books if the last years,

    maybe you could release the talking room talks also as podcast feed? i’m sure a lot of people would appreciate this.

  2. I loved everything about The Martian. Hearing Andy Weir talk about his process demonstrates the backbone of the book and the main character. He’s clearly someone who likes to think his way through problems and discover solutions. I’m looking forward to the movie; I think Mark Watney is a great new role model in Science Fiction.

  3. One thing. There is some atmosphere on Mars. The space suits could be less bulky and easier to work in.

  4. Oh probably non-existent-but-I-can’t-be-sure Judean deity, how I love and adore The Talking Room. Adam is maybe the best US talk show host today.

  5. Oh yeah!! So excited about this. So glad you managed to get him for The Talking Room. I am going to enjoy the heck out of this while eating my dinner 🙂

  6. Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott! Gemini 8 is my favorite not-so-widely-known NASA mission. It makes me really happy that My favorite scene in any movie, favorite mission, favorite astronaut (John Young) and favorite near-failure story totally matches my new-favorite-author! 😀

  7. I love the Talking Room videos! This by far has been my favorite episode! Great book by a great new author; loved every page of it!! I am really looking forward to seeing the movie.

  8. SPOILER, Check out the list held by Winston during the credits. If it’s who I think it is, I look forward to the next guest!

  9. Adam interviewed Astro Teller (Edward Teller’s grandson and head of Google’s X division) live onstage during the Tested stage show last October. It was a phenomenal interview and I do hope they post it as I’d like to see it again.

  10. Thank you Adam for great interview I enjoyed it a lot . There’s a great video game to try out for space simulation it is called Kerbal space program uble space program and design your own rockets to other planets to landline have fun.

  11. Just got a chance to finish the Talking Room at work. This is definitely my favorite one. Loved it.

    It makes me giddy that there is an actual set date for the ARES mission.

  12. Cool, that might be right, I thought I remembered hearing about Adam being in vegas and seeing penn and teller, which is who I assumed it to be. I wasn’t too sure about the show one coming out soon, because the audio ended up garbled on the other stuff, which was a massive shame. Possibly at the end, but who knows. I did notice that in the previous talking room it was just Des Jardin printed and no teller.

  13. At first, I immediately thought Teller of Penn and Teller as well but then I noticed the date on the card – the Tested stage show was October 25. I also remember looking at Winston thru the zoom lens of my camera (I was seated in the 3rd row) and seeing the entry for the Traci Des Jardin interview on Winston’s “score card”. Adam has hinted at interviewing Del Toro and Chris Hadfield in previous Facebook and Twitter postings so I am so very hopeful that those are in our future!

    Cool, that might be right, I thought I remembered hearing about Adam being in vegas and seeing penn and teller, which is who I assumed it to be. I wasn’t too sure about the show one coming out soon, because the audio ended up garbled on the other stuff, which was a massive shame. Possibly at the end, but who knows. I did notice that in the previous talking room it was just Des Jardin printed and no teller.

  14. I would have assumed he interviewed Del Toro at SDCC since Guillermo was at the Tested party. But that doesn’t seem to match up with the list, unless they made many lists just to mess with us :p

  15. Does this interview contain any spoilers? Just got the book and would rather wait to watch this if it gives anything away.

  16. Fantastic interview!! I read the book because of Adam Savage’s recommendation and loved it.

    There are no major spoilers but they do talk about a lot of events that would be better discovered while reading the book. I would say wait to watch the video, you will enjoy it much more!

  17. I really want someone to create a mid-90’s Geocities style “Bob’s Space Page” right now.

    Loved the book! Looking forward to the film (and to another season of The Talking Room)!

  18. Awesome – the book was a great recommendation, thanks Adam! Great interview too, nice to hear about the process and the meticulous detail. My favourite sort of sci-fi, where things actually make sense, and the references check out – surprising he didn’t have inside access. Had a similar experience with “The Swarm” by Frank Schaetzing – I went to a conference shortly after reading, and realised that a lot of the tech described in the book is actually very real 🙂

    PS: finally did it and signed up for premium, after intending to for a while 🙂 Tested has been in my “daily read” for a while now – keep doing what you’re doing!

  19. great interview & great editing Joey, only thing that gave away the cuts was the Lapel mic change positions on Andy

  20. This was honestly so great. Loved the book, I tell everyone about it. Can’t wait for the movie!

  21. Very similar to how Tom Clancy picked up bits and pieces here and there to come up with Hunt for Red October. I really enjoyed that out of all of the possibilities to solve each problem, they all fit within the character.

    I think that The martian would make a fantastic sierra style puzzle game, you could follow the plot, or try other ways to overcome some of the difficulties, but each of those choices would create another set of unintended and unforeseeable consequences.

    One of my favorite parts was the fact that even right up to the end not all of the problems are solved, the Hermes crew contingency plans that are just briefly touched on without really going into, kind of the way that might go, really gave it that lost at sea feeling. Then the concerns about the ship’s longevity, and the human toll, That same story could be three hundred years ago on a sailing vessel, the people are very human, even with being as amazing as they are as astronauts.

  22. The sheer enjoyment that Andy exudes about both the story within the book and the story of how it was written makes The Martian even better. Love it!

    Thanks Adam, Tested and of course Andy.

  23. Picked up the book after listening to your podcast. Awesome book. I think Watney is my new favorite character. Cant wait for the movie.

  24. Great interview! Great book! Great movie! (going out on a limb there.)

    I was surprised that Andy didn’t mention Buzz Aldrin, the
    original “Doctor Rendezvous.” Buzz was a
    key figure in developing the orbital mechanics for Apollo. He also developed the “Aldrin Mars Cycler”, a
    spacecraft trajectory that runs a recurring round trip from Earth to Mars. I’d think that Buzz would be at the top of Andy’s
    favorite astronaut list.

    Also, one detail about Gemini 8 is that
    when Neil undocked form the Agena target vehicle, the spin actually got worse
    not better because the stuck attitude control jet was on the Gemini capsule not
    the Agena. Neil had to turn off the orbital
    maneuvering system and then use up most of the re-entry control system fuel to
    stop the spin. Like Watney said, “Space doesn’t cooperate. At some point everything’s going to go south on you…”

  25. Cost of convenience is one aspect of people buying it on Kindle even though they could get it for free but don’t forget the power of people WANTING to pay. Especially when they don’t feel forced to do so. Him giving it away for free certainly makes me want to buy it. And his attitude about writing the book and writing in general and everything makes me really want to read this book even though I usually don’t read books. (I jokingly call them spoiler guides for the movie/series)

  26. I was half way through the book when I watched this and it actually made me enjoy the rest even more. Thanks for recommending it and for a great interview.

  27. Great interview! I’m glad I bought and read the book because of
    Thanks for sharing that moment with us.

  28. Just want to say, if you’ve ever felt like theory-crafting your own interplanetary mission, check out Kerbal Space Program, and add the Kerbal Engineer mod. You get to come up with your own mission, design and build a rocket, and then fly it. You have to take dV into account, as well as many other parameters Mr. Weir talked about. And when you’re ready to add complexity, the modding community is incredibly strong with this game and there are all sorts of things you can add, from realistic (like adding in life support) to silly. Additionally, they’ve teamed up with a company that takes games with educational potential and modifies them for the classroom with teacher tools and customized lessons. Plus, there are a ton of tutorials on YouTube. My favorite is Scott Manly (

    It’s a really great way to make physics and engineering fun and more intuitive!

  29. OK I was hesitant to read/listen to this book because of the adulation, I always feel let down afterward, you know over hyped blah blah blah. Well I listened to the first 9.5 hours yesterday then had to get to sleep for work, finished it tonight. I was NOT let down! So I do say thank you to you later Adam/Norm/Will et al. It was worth the sleep deprivation I went through today to listen to this book. Well DONE Mr. Weir, WELL DONE INDEED! Even knowing the switch between 1st/3rd person it still caught me off guard but really added depth to the story for me.

    PS: Now to try and figure the launch date hmmm

  30. I signed up just to thank you for putting this episode of The Talking Room on the Still Untitled Audio Podcast (I’ve already read the book on Adam’s recommendation and I can’t wait for the movie), but also to ask that you do this will all the Talking Room episodes. I don’t have the time to sit and watch Tested or any podcast for that matter. I love to listen to Still Untitled in the car or while getting household tasks done, however. I’d love to listen to more if you can make them available. Sorry if this is the wrong place for this comment but I could not find any other way to contact you.

  31. I just listened to the audio book again and it actually says something about the Hydrazine reaction being very exothermic so he is going to do it slowly. Was that an edit before the audio book was made?

  32. OK just got round to watching this, amazing as always. Was just wondering tho are they really in Adams library cos the back ground seems to be green screened. Maybe it’s just me. Keep on testing.

  33. I am so damn giddy for Andy to see all of this happen for him. The book is AMAZING and I am sure the movie is going to make us fall in love with Ridley Scott all over again since he has such great source material.

    Andy Weir – Rock On! You deserve every bit of this attention.

  34. I wonder if he’ll write a book for the eventual Andromeda journey. Most fudging of that I think would be in the speed of the craft.

  35. Awesome chat guys! Super excited about seeing this movie – have just downloaded the eBook.

    The part where Andy mentions the Russian disasters reminded me that I recently watched a BBC documentary called ‘Cosmonauts: How Russia won the Space Race’.

    Possible spoiler? There’s a bit where one of the Cosmonaut’s suits on EVA is inflating to the point where his hands and feet have slipped out. Solution? He takes the decision to let 50% of the air out of his suit, risking asphyxiation. He didn’t even tell anyone about it. I definitely recommend a viewing – it’s full of interesting bits like that.

    I’m hoping it’s on the BBC America site or something, it’s on the BBC iPlayer over here in the UK.

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