184612_weir_andyBy Gillian King-Cargile, STEM Read Director, Northern Illinois University

To request a complimentary examination copy of The Martian or Artemis to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955.

Click here to listen to the podcast Gillian recorded with Andy Weir at the Argonne National Laboratory.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to be Andy Weir’s interviewer and native guide on a week-long, whirlwind tour of Chicago and northern Illinois. Andy was the keynote speaker at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE). He also entertained and enlightened listeners at STEM Read’s after-hours professional development party for teachers, a talk at Google’s Chicago headquarters, and a series of talks and tours at Argonne National Laboratory. (more…)

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aHR0cDovL2ltZy5tYmxyZC5jb20vaS81MDAtNTAwL3MvYUhSMGNEb3ZMMjF2WW1sc1pYSnZZV1JwWlM1amIyMHZabWxzWlhNdk1TOTFjR3h2WVdSekx6SXdMekl3TkdVNFlqWXlNbUprWldRM056azRPRFprTXpRek5USmxNMkl3TkRrdw,,We recently caught up with author Ernest Cline to learn more about his new book Armada (Crown, July 2015), the success that Ready Player One (Crown, August 2011) has had in common reading programs and among students, as well as his advice to young writers.

From where did you get the inspiration for your latest novel?

I think the main inspiration came from growing up as a child of Star Wars, ET, and Close Encounters, as well as growing up at the dawn of the videogame and home computer age. I was part of the first generation to have a starship simulator in my living room, in the form of an Atari 2600. I used to build an X-Wing cockpit out of couch pillows in front of the television, so I could pretend that I was Luke Skywalker on his way to blow up the Death Star. I spent a huge portion of my childhood wishing that my wicked videogame skills might someday have value in the real world, a fantasy that was made even more intense by all of the videogames-become-reality stories I devoured back in the 80s, like WarGames, Tron, Ender’s Game, or The Last Starfighter. (more…)