Best known for his debut, self-published science fiction novel, The Martian, which rose to #12 on the New York Times' bestseller list and was also lauded by The Wall Street Journal. The work was subsequently adapted into a 2015, Ridley Scott-directed film starring Matt Damon.
After briefly studying computer science at the University of California-Davis, he published his early literary work on his personal website and attracted a large fan base after posting his short story "The Egg."
He worked in the software industry and helped develop the video game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.
The son of an engineer mother and a physicist father, he spent his youth in Davis, California, and later lived and worked in Mountain View, California.
As a child, he was greatly influenced by the work of Isaac Asimov.