This book is hands down one of my all-time favorites! The Martian follows an American astronaut’s fight for survival on the planet Mars after an accident leads his crew to believe he is dead. They evacuate in a sandstorm, leaving their crewmate behind, and Mark Watney awakens to being the only living thing on the planet with no means of communication, no extensive food source, and no way of returning to Earth.Every twist and turn was another arrow emphasizing the lengths humanity will go for another living person. In short, it’s a story about the (potential) accomplishments of mankind.
Andy Weir has worked as a computer programmer for much of his life but his parents probably gave him the background for a story like The Martian. His father was a physicist and his mother an electrical engineer and he gives further inspirational credit to the stories of classic science fiction writers like Arthur C. Clarke and Issac Asimov. He didn’t have large support as a writer though; he struggled to get The Martian published and eventually decided to release for free download on his personal website. Following that, he made it available on Amazon Kindle for a measly 99¢! After it sold tens of thousands of copies, it was finally picked up by a publishing company and later adapted into an equally amazing film starring Matt Damon that you have probably already seen or at least heard about.
It’s a “hard science” novel. As Watney, logs his survival efforts, he guides the reader through his actions by sharing his reasoning and scientific knowledge. BUT IT’S NOT DRY! It was easy to get through and well structured. It was certainly inspiring and worth the time it took to read. (Hard science facts make some parts difficult to get through without stumbling over the jargon, etc. but still not too complicated to understand.) I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I seriously think it is a story that everyone should read!
Weir hasn’t penned a ton of novels but he did release one last year entitled Artemis that has already been picked up for film production. I’ve been told it is also hard science and also incredible so I’ll be trying to find that in paperback soon.
What other space novels have you ever heard about? Let me know in the comments below!
(photo retrieved from @naomiahg via Instagram)