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In Andy Weir's "The Martian" a big sub-plot is how much he does not enjoy the music/TV that the other astronauts brought to Mars.

Why doesn't he consume his own entertainment? Did I skip over the part where this is mentioned?

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    At the beginning of the book, Mark Watney mentions having lent his collection to another astronaut, which was probably using it when they had to leave in a hurry. I will try to find the exact reference this evening, once I have a copy of the book at hand. – Eureka Jan 12 '15 at 11:21
  • This is a good question. Looks like he didn't bring his own entertainment pack. – Lobo Feb 9 '15 at 14:59
54
+100

I asked Andy Weir the same thing, and this was his answer:

I get asked that question a lot and the answer is that I simply didn't think of it. It was an oversight. Ah well. :)

screenshot of email

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    Did you ask this on Twitter/FB/Tumblr/some other site or social media that you can link to for verification? – phantom42 Jun 9 '15 at 22:24
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    Hi phantom42 I wrote to him using the email address found on his websit. andyweirauthor.com/contact. Here is a printscreen of the mail sended and received i.imgur.com/Ocs8V0M.png – Bigben59 Jun 10 '15 at 16:42
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    It tickles me when we get these kinds of answers on this site. "Well the creator/author told me this is why..." BAM. Case closed. – thanby Nov 13 '15 at 19:54
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    @thanby You would be interested in: Have we had ANY professionals participate in SFF? – Möoz Jan 13 '16 at 2:24
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    This is legendary in my opinion. – apollo Feb 17 '16 at 16:20
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After checking the book, there are a lot of mentions about Mark Watney going through the other collection out of desperation ("Beggars cannot be chooser"), but I could not find any explicit mention of him no longer having his own "data-key".

Here is the first mention of the problem :

LOG ENTRY: SOL 22

All that work was great for my morale. It gave me something to do. But after things settled down a bit, and I had dinner while listening to Johanssen’s Beatles music collection, I got depressed again.

Then, the part when he compares himself to a beggar :

LOG ENTRY: SOL 26

I rifled through Commander Lewis’s stuff until I found her personal data-stick. Everyone got to bring whatever digital entertainment they wanted, and I was tired of listening to Johanssen’s Beatles albums for now. Time to see what Lewis had. Crappy TV shows. That’s what she had. Countless entire runs of TV shows from forever ago. Well. Beggars can’t be choosers. Three’s Company it is.

Judging from these extract, I am now leaning on the hypothesis he simply ran out of things to watch or listen to on his own data-key, since his stay on Mars was much longer than anticipated. This would match with the fact that he also has enough time to run thought several of the other crew member personal stashes :

LOG ENTRY: SOL 42

I’ll have a lot of dead time. Ten hours for each tank of CO2 to finish filling. It only takes twenty minutes to reduce the hydrazine and burn the hydrogen. I’ll spend the rest of the time watching TV.

Since the journey back to Earth was to take a lot of time too, this explanation is not completely satisfying : if anyone has any more textual evidence...

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    Let's not forget that one of the other crew members also doesn't bring any entertainment in their personal pack, so its not outside possibility that he didn't bring any. – Moo Jan 12 '15 at 19:23
  • Thanks but this reinforces my question, it doesn't answer it. With all his bitching aboutdisco you would expect him to re-watch/listen/read his own selection of media. – Motti Jan 12 '15 at 20:26
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    "Since the journey back to Earth was to take a lot of time too, this explanation is not completely satisfying : if anyone has any more textual evidence..." - its entirely possible he left his pack on the spacecraft rather than bring it down to the surface. I would assume that the work tempo would dramatically increase for the 30 days on Mars, as opposed to the several months transit time too and from Mars, hence he may have assumed he didn't need it. – Moo Feb 10 '15 at 12:14
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    I ask Andy Weir this was his answer : I get asked that question a lot and the answer is that I simply didn't think of it. It was an oversight. Ah well. :) – Bigben59 Mar 12 '15 at 19:12
  • @Bigben59, can you add this comment as an answer? – Motti Jun 9 '15 at 9:45

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