Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

Science Fiction

What Goodreads says:

"Apollo 13 meets Castaway in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller-set on the surface of Mars.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him-and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive-and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

I could not put The Martian down.  It had everything.  It had science.  It had fiction.  It is the kind of Science Fiction I grew up reading.  It is also the kind more people should be writing.

It starts out with Mark Watney after he is stranded on Mars.  That is where a lot of the science comes in.  Mark is using a lot of science to stay alive and all of it is explained.  
Usually I just skim those parts but in The Martian the science is both interesting and easy to understand.  It is also key to the story.  Of course being stranded on Mars is the fiction part.

As I started The Martian I was pretty sure I knew the destination (Mark getting off of Mars).  The journey was what made such a good read and Mark had quite a journey.  Every time it looked like things were going well something happened that put him in more danger.  Every time Mark came up with a solution. But the journey does not just involve Mark.  When the people on Earth and on the ship that left him realize he is alive they become a big part of the story.  The Martian blends what is happening on Earth, on the ship and to Mark into a memorable journey for all.

The Martian was originally self-published.  Crown picked the book up and with some editing and re-writing is releasing the book in the new format in February of 2014.

I received an ARC of The Martian from Netgalley.

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