/Film is reporting that Drew Goddard (writer of Cloverfield and director of The Cabin in the Woods) is in talks to do a film adaptation of Andy Weir’s new book The Martian. Goddard will write the screenplay about a man who is stranded on Mars, left for dead by the other people on his crew, who subsequently tries to find a way to get back home.

This is till in the early stages here, so not much more is known, but here’s the book description to help you fill in some of the blanks:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

[Thanks, Richard Derus!]


Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama, of The Bookman Histories trilogy and many other works. He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God, and a BSFA Award for his non-fiction. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently resides in London. His 2013 novels are the just-released Martian Sands and forthcoming The Violent Century.

Five Weird Trips to Mars

by Lavie Tidhar

My new novel, Martian Sands, is out now from PS Publishing in the UK. It builds on my fascination with the novels of Philip K. Dick, which had such an impact on me when I was reading them as a teenager – the only American novels, it felt to me, to describe a future in which I had a place. Dick wrote about kibbutzim on Mars, and I grew up on a kibbutz (a sort of Socialist commune in Israel). He also wrote about time travel and the Holocaust, obsessing in the way I too obsess over that enormous psychic wound. My mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany after the war: the majority of my family died at Auschwitz.

Pulp fiction, it seemed to me when writing my World Fantasy Award winning novel, Osama, and seems to me still, allows us a way to look at truly unbelievable, implausible things, things that look like, that feel as though they should belong in the pages of cheap, disposable literature.

In many of my recent short stories I have been exploring a vast future history, one in which humanity has populated the solar system. Martian Sands takes place roughly in that same universe, or at least adjacent to it. It is a novel about pulp – the Martian pulps of Philip K. Dick as well as Edgar Rice Burroughs – and it is a novel about time travel, which is impossible, and the Holocaust, which should have been impossible.

Think of it as Total Recall meets Schindler’s List

It is a very strange book.

Here, I wanted to explore five other weird journeys to Mars. The usual suspects may be missing, but each of these, in their own way, has contributed to Martian Sands.
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George R.R. Martin has posted the table of contents for the upcoming all-original retro-SF anthology he co-edited with Gardner Dozois, Old Mars, coming in October:
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Diane Turnshek is an astronomer whose short fiction has been published in Analog Magazine and elsewhere. She teaches astronomy and experimental physics lab at Carnegie Mellon University and at the University of Pittsburgh “The Physics of Science Fiction” as well as astronomy. She’s a contributing author of Many Genres/One Craft, a 2011 award-winning book on writing. She has taught college writing classes, helped organize science fiction conferences, founded Alpha, the genre workshop for young writers, and ran the 2007 SFWA Nebula Awards in NYC. Diane has four stellar sons and an out-of-this-world boyfriend.

I am on Mars, at least that’s what it looks like here in the high desert of Utah. Six of us are living in the Mars Desert Research Station, a two-story cylindrical habitat 30 feet across with steep ladder stairs between floors. Our bunks are 4 by 11 feet and we share one bathroom. Why am I here for Christmas instead of home with my four children? For science.

We are pioneers, studying how humans could live on another planet. We’re in full sim. We eat rehydrated/dehydrated food, suffer a 20-minute lag time with communications, travel outside the Hab in spacesuits and ride ATVs in the red desert. We each pay for our travel and a flat fee for food and lodging, but what we get back is invaluable. We have forwarded the progress of science, taking humanity one small step closer to striding onto the surface of Mars.

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Mars in Science Fiction (Part 3)

Today at Kikrus, I conclude my survey of Mars in science fiction. (Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.)

Part 3 focuses on young Martian colonies, humor, and good old-fashioned adventure. Stop by and check out Part 3 of Mars in Science Fiction.

Mars in Science Fiction (Part 2)

Today at Kikrus, I continue with my survey of Mars in science fiction. (Part 1 is here.)

Part 2 focuses on young adult books, realistic sf, religion and short fiction. Stop by and check out Part 2 of Mars in Science Fiction.

In episode 117 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks a panel of SF Signal Contributors: Is Mars cursed?

This week’s panel:

© 2012 SFSignal.com
Featuring original music by John Anealio
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SF Tidbits for 9/15/09

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