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Livermore Alumnus Andy Weir Coming to the Bankhead

Best-selling author of The Martian and Livermore native Andy Weir will discuss his journey from science geek and software engineer to celebrated science fiction writer in a Rae Dorough Speaker Series presentation entitled “The Martian: Science, Fiction and Life” at 7:30 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater, Thursday, November 15.

Weir’s book, first published on his Website in 2011, was adapted into a hit movie of the same title in 2015, a film starring Matt Damon. His most recent novel is Artemis, a story about life in a city on the moon. A software engineer by training, Weir attaches great importance to technical accuracy and scientific authenticity in his writing. The son of a physicist father and electrical engineer mother, Weir comes by his passion for science and technology honestly.

“My father has a great love of science, and he indoctrinated me into it early. I think I was 12 or so when we designed a moon base,” Weir once said. “I study orbital dynamics as a hobby. My idea of a good time is sitting down and drawing on that knowledge to imagine a space mission from beginning to end, getting as many details right as I can.”

Weir, a Livermore High School graduate, showed early promise in S&T landing his first computer programming job at Sandia National Laboratories at age 15. He studied Computer Science at UC San Diego and has worked at such software companies as AOL, Palm, MobileIron and the video game producer Blizzard, where he worked on the game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.

While fascinated by planetary travel, Weir has never aspired to explorer space himself other than in his imagination. “If someone offered me a free trip to the International Space Station, I would decline. I like Earth. I like the internet. I like Diet Coke. I have cats. I write about brave people - I'm not one of them,” Weir has said.

For additional information about the presentation, see the Rae Dorough Speaker Series Website.

Tickets are available online: LVPAC Andy Weir Tickets, or may be purchased at the Bankhead Theater box office, 2400 First Street, Livermore, Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., or by calling (925)-373-6800. Free or discounted tickets are available for students: please contact Philomena Rambo by November 12.

The Rae Dorough Speaker Series partners with the Livermore Valley Unified School District and Las Positas College to make presentations easily accessible to students, teachers and administrators.

The speaker series honors the late Rae Dorough, a respected Livermore resident and strong supporter of cultural events. Members of her family were the initiating sponsors in 2008.

The series is sponsored in part by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, Sandia National Laboratories, Tri-Valley Conservancy and ImageSetters. Special sponsors for Weir’s presentation are Lori Souza and Bryan Balazs.