Andy Weir is a software engineer that was aspiring to write science fiction.
For years he has published blog with small stories, that eventually become a self published book on Amazon, and i a very short time become a best seller and a movie.
The science in the book is real, validated by a community of Andy's readers.
Suggested next step: a science textbook based on this book.
Andy Weir: The Red Planet for Real - The Long Now
"Andy Weir's self-published novel The Martian has become a New York Timesbestseller and the #1 movie in America. But it began with a series of blog posts that reflected Andy's lifelong love of space science and detailed research about traveling to and surviving on the fourth planet in our Solar System... (in this interview) Andy skip the fiction and talk about the details of how a real world mission to reach and colonize Mars would work."
GGG#169: Andy Weir | Geek's Guide to the Galaxy - Science Fiction Writer Interviews, Movie Reviews, Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi Books and Writing
a detailed commentary about science and technology of the book and the movie:
The Martian Geek Out @ .NET Rocks! vNext
How Andy Weir’s The Martian became so successful - Business Insider