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Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir is a science fiction must read, that is currently taking the bestseller list by storm. 


Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. 
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. 
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

So, you're part of a mission to Mars, and you end up being injured, stranded, and without communications. And that's just Chapter One. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to find out what happens next!

The Martian is written mostly as a series of log entries, making it even more compelling, as I feel like Mark is speaking directly to me. I was mesmerized from the beginning by the suspense and by the remarkable ingenuity of this character. Using science and engineering to solve problems in a realistic way, Mark must continuously find ways to survive and overcome the stacking odds against him. The author does a marvelous job of explaining details so that non-sciency readers can understand what is happening, yet there's enough tech to make any sci fi fan happy.

Overall, this is one of the best books I've read over the past year. I haven't enjoyed a science fiction book as much as this since reading Ender's Game. The Martian is currently making it's rounds in my house as my family devours it--and we are looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.


ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.
The publisher provided a review copy of The Martian.