Andy Weir – The Martian
Sometime a book just grabs you from the start – and as a writer it make me soooo jealous. Andy Weir’s The Martian is such a book. What would you do if trapped on a desert island: Robinson Crusoe, Cast Away, Lost? That story has been told a dozen times. What would you do if abandoned on a planet that is 70 million miles away from earth, has no air to breath, is colder on a summer day than the most frigid winter in Antarctica? Most likely we would all be dead after whimpering for a few months until the food runs out. Not Mark Watney – so sir, he—in the best MacGyver tradition—literally makes life on Mars bearable and survivable. This is a story of creative destruction, adaptation, politics (yes, there is an Earth component), loneliness, defeat, and great triumph. Heroes abound, there are no bad guys (other than the damn planet that is trying to kill him every second of every hour of every day). The Martian is a great read.
Mr. Weir does a spectacular job with the technical details, while I have no idea if his jury-rigged contraptions are real; I’ve not heard one word from the science community that what he presented wasn’t plausible and possible. You can believe this book; you do believe that this can or will happen someday in the near future.
I also admire Weir’s tenacity in getting this book published, first serialized on his own website, then to Amazon (where it made its mark) then to Crown for a tidy (though I think low) sum. Now it’s to be a Ridley Scott and Matt Damon movie out in October 2015. I listened to this book through Audible – one of the best reads I’ve heard- - it won an Audie Award in 2014. All I can say is great job and I recommend this to anyone – geek or not.