A team of astronauts visits Mars, the third to explore the cold, dry fourth planet in our solar system. After a hefty dust storm threatens the mission, he's wounded and stranded on the planet when the rest of the team can't find him and has to leave. His new mission is to survive until the next team arrives - in four years. Using science - real science - the astronaut faces one devastating tragedy after another, relying on his wits and his diminishing resources to stay alive. Written in the voice of the astronaut, it's a personal journey written with great humor and amazing insight into the psychology of someone undergoing isolation and great danger.
This is the well written story of The Martian by Andy Weir, a journey so intriguing I had to keep reading it even when I should be writing or doing chores or sleeping. I finished it in three days, I was so engrossed in the story.
To be fair, my wife's response was, "Meh..." But we often like different kinds of science fiction. I love hard-core science fiction. She more enjoys fantasy scifi.
Andy Weir did a huge amount of research to write this compelling novel, but he is also trained in much of the science. As a result, it's extremely well crafted and its accuracy is spot on.
When Weir wrote The Martian, he first posted it by chapter online. Then fans suggested he post it as an ebook. Others asked that he print it as a paper book. All which he did for free. It became so popular he put it on Amazon, where it's now a best seller. He tried to publish it for free on Amazon but Amazon requires at least some price, so it's no longer free. But in my mind, it's well worth the low price (only $5.99 for the Kindle version).
If you're a scifi reader, and in particular if you're a fan of hard-core scifi (scifi primarily based on actual science), then this is a book for you. I hope you enjoy nearly as much as I did.
Ridley Scott, who brought us the movie Aliens, is making a movie out of The Martian, coming to theaters in October 2015. The trailer (below) looks great. It's how I first learned about the book, and doing more research I found his website and the book on Amazon and read the excerpt there, where I instantly became excited about the novel.
I've since also watched an interview of author Andy Weir by Adam Savage (MythBusters), who read The Martian in one sitting. The interview is below. I hope you'll take Savage's enthusiasm along with mine as motivation to read this great novel.
OK, enough background - now go find a copy, even if it's in your local library.
(c) 2015. Alan Eggleston. All Rights Reserved.