Artemis is driven by tourism, including excursions around the Apollo 11 landing site.Copyright of Andy Weir, "Artemis"/Crown Publishing

BI: Hence a resort town on the moon and all of its support systems and smuggling and all of that.

AW: Well, what happens is once you have the tourism industry there, then people live there. And then once you have people living somewhere, then that itself becomes the economy, right?

If there's 2,000 people living on the moon, well I'm gonna move there to sell them shoes — and now there's 2,001 people living on the moon. That's how human settlement and expansion works, but there has to be some sort of seed.

If you look in any city anywhere in the world, there is an economic reason why it exists. Maybe it was at a convenient place on the river, it was in a nice valley that's easy to pass through, going from one trade hub to another, or its near some resources that people needed — something.

BI: Would you go to Artemis if it existed today, and would you want to just be a tourist or actually live there?

AW: I don't think I'd like to live in Artemis. First off, I would not like the trip out there. Secondly, I have a lot of friends and family on Earth that I would miss too much.

It takes a certain special kind of lifestyle and personality to live in a frontier town, and I don't have that. I like the comforts of civilization.