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

Life on the moon is no bed of roses. The coffee is weak (because water boils at a low temperature) and the food is rank (because it’s hard to grow much more than algae).

The first human colony on the moon, Artemis, is essentially a small, frontier mining town and tourist trap. It’s a place that attracts misfits who hope to strike it rich, including a young woman who grew up there named Jazz.

That’s the premise of Andy Weir’s second novel, Artemis. (The former software engineer struck it rich with his first novel, The Martian.) Weir says he modeled his moon colony after tourist towns in the Caribbean. “The money comes into the system through tourism mainly. … You have the really ritzy, nice, high-class 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 but considers herself to be a citizen of the moon

I’ve seen this a lot with friends who are first-generation Americans, where you see the parents have the, kind of, original social norms and belief systems of the kind of mother country, and then the kids grow up and they end up completely Americanized and part of our culture. Jazz is the same thing. She and her father moved to Artemis when she was just 6 years old, and so she’s grown up there and she considers herself an Artemisian. She is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, but she doesn’t have much connection to the kingdom.

On where he got the idea for Artemis

I wanted to write a story that took place in the first city that was not on Earth. And I thought about Mars, I thought about lower Earth orbit, but the Moon is the obvious place to build it. If you were on a football field and you were standing at one goal line, and if Mars were at the other goal line, the moon would be 4 inches…

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