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Diary of an AssCan

(The Martian 0.5)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,419 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Original Fiction, Short Story, Science Fiction

Andy Weir’s prequel to The Martian

This short story gives us a glimpse into Mark Watney’s world just before taking off on his mission for Mars. Read on for more from this exceptional character.

Please note: This story includes language that some might find offensive.
ebook, 4 pages
Published September 30th 2015 by
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,419 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do."

Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it

last year, amy(other amy) tipped me off to this cool thing she was doing: the short story advent calendar, where you sign up to this thingie here and you get a free story each day.

i dropped the ball and by the time i came to my senses, it had already sold out, so for december project, i'm going rogue and just reading a free online story a day of my choosing. this foolhardy endeavor is going to screw up my already-deep-in-the-weeds review backlog, so i don't think i will be reviewing eac
Will Byrnes
Holy crap!

Just in case you have not already had your fill of The Martian, there is a short prequel out there, Diary of an AssCan: A Mark Watney Short Story, by Andy Weir of course. In this one, Watney learns that he has been selected, applies some very PG profanity, then goes on to some of the prep. It is adorable, and somewhat interesting. The sheer brevity keeps it from achieving escape velocity, but it will lift you off the pad a safe distance, definitely worth a few minutes of your time if you enjoyed its larger s
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Me, ten minutes ago: A short story prequel to The Martian?? Yes!!! Where is it? *ditches work and immediately starts reading*

Me, now: So. What was the point of this story, exactly?

This is mildly interesting if you liked The Martian and are interested in the astronaut prep process, and what might go through an astronaut's head during that time. Mark Watney kind of blathers on; there's some technical discussion of orbital science and some psychological testing of the crew, and a few thoughts that are
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do.


Available online.

*Read this for our May Short Story Month Marathon, a personal challenge during which Sandra and I will be going through our short story collection.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally got around to reading this super-duper short prequel to THE MARTIAN....a super-duper 5 Star read for me.

Wish there would have been more text, but a nice setup....and what the was free!

Love Andy Weir....Loved THE MARTIAN!

Mar 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Other than being in Mark's head again, this was just okay... not anything new

This was my favorite bit:
(view spoiler) ...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Read this in about ten minutes just now. Didn't even know it existed til eleven minutes ago. Glad to hear more from Watney, because I love his voice. Wasn't a big fan of all the Matt Damon plastered everywhere as I scrolled (because apparently that's the only book cover that matters now that the film is out) AND I LIKE MATT DAMON. But enough is enough, yeesh. Not sure what the point of this was, therefore 3 stars, but it was short and sweet and cool to see his prep and pre-launch excitement :) ...more
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fun little dity from Watney in the pre launch days. You learn NOTHING new but it's still fun to hear his thoughts.

For fans a ok.
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
A good reminder of Andy's Weir style. Too short too be anything special.
Wayne Barrett
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-story, 2016

Wow! This really is short. Took me all of five minutes to read.

Well, I loved the book so when I recently started seeing this short story circulating I added it to my list. If I had known how short it was I would have read it right then and there. Especially since there is a link connected to the story synopsis...and it's free!

When I first started reading I thought his opening comments were a little plain, a little corny even, but within a minute of reading I realized I wa
Karen’s Library
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
It's Watney! This is a short story prequel to The Martian. I've missed Mark Watney!!
This is a short story of only about seven pages, set before The Martian. It can be found for free here:

The story is written in the form of three entries from Mark Watney’s diary. The first entry was written after he found out he was selected to go to Mars. The second entry tells about one of the training scenarios he and his team had to endure. The third entry was written the night before the launch.

I haven’t yet read The Martian, but that’s next up on my list. There wasn’t much meat to th
Vicky N.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super fun short story that serves as a prequel to The Martian. It is a sweet little story for any Andy Weir's fans looking for a little extra Watney.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: free, 2018, short-story
Eh, it's a short prequel, took like 10 minutes to read. What do you expect? It was entertaining. Thankfully The Martian was a much better story than this prequel. If you haven't read The Martian, I highly recommend, but please don't read this short first; it might turn you off.
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }
A short prequel to The Martian.

Read this short story here.


Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would!
Would I read this author again? Yes, I would and I have:
The Martian

Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of The Martain desperate for more
Shelves: short-story, sci-fi
Free at

This is essentially a fragment of Mark's pre-Mars journal that relies more than a little on the reader previously reading The Martian. Without that context, it was not developed well. Weir could have done a lot more with the characters by elaborating the build-up to leaving, either Mark's or the rest of the team. Yes, Weir, we get irony: "It’ll take months to get there, and we’ll only be spending 31 sols (Martian days) on the surface... It’ll be a tight schedule of experiments a
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I absolutely loved The Martian when I read it so as soon as I saw there was a free online prequel (read it here: I had to dive straight in.

This is a very short diary extract showing some of Mark's experiences after he finds he's been selected for the Ares 3 mission and when he's in training for the mission. It was great to be back in his head again and I enjoyed every minute of it, my only complaint is I wanted it to be longer :o)
فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Please note: This review includes language that some might find offensive.

Holy crap. I mean seriously. Holy crap.

what I just read? a piece of nothing!!!
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

In case you aren’t aware, Andy Weir knows words. He has the best words. He also wrote a really quality book (no matter what my one friend who shall remain nameless since she’s been trolled enough about it already has to say) and made sure NO ONE would miss opening weekend for the film by releasing this “short story” on his blog. He has since dropped about eleventy hundred other few pagers on the interwebs for free in order to assure he acquire more than 15 minutes of fame. And
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Link to the free online version of this short story:

"Hopefully, I’ll be able to really learn how plant growth works on the Red Planet."

"I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface.

Nive, very, very short climpse into Matt Watney before launch. Makes me want to re-read the book...
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Everything is ready. So I better be ready, too.

I will read anything with Mark Watney! This was a super short glimpse into a few diary entries leading up to the events in the novel. I wish it was longer!
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Nice to be in Mark Watneys mind before his Mars trip. 7 pages of smiles for me.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
"I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do."

I get the feeling Mark Watney came to regret that thought.

This is a very short story that gives some insight into Watney's thoughts in the days leading up to the launch.
There really isn't much to it, but if you are a fan of The Martian and you have a few minutes, its an amusing read.
Leena Hale
Jul 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.75

This was a pretty cool idea. The short story takes place a few months before the Martian and it gives the reader insight into the lives of the characters before the mission.

There wasn't much information here, other than the different team building exercises and a bit of background on some characters.

If you're worried that you're gonna miss out on a lot of information if you don't read this then stop worrying! This is just a fun little story that is just there for insigh
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do.

Careful what you wish. Just saying XD
Mark is the best, I had forgotten how much I like him.
Free short story people!!
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do.

Bwahahahaha. I guess it's the typical case of BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! :D
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Upon finding this Mark Watney short story, I was crazy excited. A prequel to The Martian – I was all over that. With how much I adored The Martian, my brain threatened to explode with the promise of more.

Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed by this one. I do not feel as though this story added anything to the story, it was nothing more than a fun flashback. There was a slight smile to be had, it gave us a tiny bit of background, but it wasn’t anything major.

If you’
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Just saw the movie The Martian on dvd after reading it last year. Entertaining. I ran into this short story prequel, reads away easily and gives you a preview and feel of The Martial, the story, the tone of voice. Too short really to be of any real impact. 2.5-3 stars.

You can find it here:

Holy crap. I mean seriously. Holy crap.

I can’t… I can’t believe it. There it is. My name on the board. They picked me over thousands of other astronaut candidates. After c/>
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

Couple of diary entries pre-launch from our favorite Martian, Mark Watney. The humor is there, even in so little words! Especially this gem, "I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do." 😂😂 #jinxed

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Goodreads Librari...: Combine 4 15 May 10, 2018 05:49PM  

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ANDY WEIR built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, THE MARTIAN, allowed him to live out his dream of writing fulltime. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California. Andy’s next book, ARTEMIS, is ...more

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“I wish there were a way to spend more time on the surface. But oh well. 31 sols will have to do.” 2 likes
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