There are certain books and films that make me want to be smarter. These works of art are celebrations of intelligence and innovation and raise expectations of what is possible. Films like Good Will Hunting, The Theory of Everything, Hidden Figures, Limitless, all three Ironman movies, and The Imitation Game inspire me to think differently about solving problems. However, there is no better celebration of maths and science than Andy Weir’s books.
Weir wrote his first released full-length novel, The Martian, as a series of blog posts as an intellectual activity while working as a software engineer. He built up an audience of around 3000 hard-core science geeks by writing stories that included lots of maths and science. He researched using Google and got help and feedback for readers on the areas he was not so sure about, like chemistry and electrical engineering.
I have just finished Weir’s latest book, Project Hail Mary. I will not add spoilers, but if you loved the highly competent characters and pragmatic problem solving mixed in with a series of science lessons and sarcasm does not disappoint.