Me and my amazing wife watched the film adaptation of The Martian, staring Matt Damon, and loved it. Despite it being full on sci-fi there was plenty of humour. Last year I read Artemis also by Andy Weir (read the review here), so when the Free Little Library on the next street had a copy of The Martian I was quick to snaffle it.
Andy is unashamedly geeky, and isn’t afraid to write some quite technical science passages. Don’t let this put you off, because as well as being ‘nail-biting’, it’s also very funny.
The premise is quite simple. Mark Watney, the main character, is stranded on Mars. The rest of the crew make a quick and sudden escape from the planet, and believing that he is dead, they go without him. The book is therefore about his survival, and will he be able to survive until the next scheduled Mars mission in four years time. He has food rations for six people, which at a push will last for six months, not four years and with no way to contact Earth. Will he survive?
This was easily one of the best books that I’ve read this year, and in the next few minutes I will return it to the Free Little Library on the next street.
Rushing through the books at the moment and it was definitely a good idea to start with the books at the bottom of my stack of books (here).
I had listened to an interview with Andy Weir on Radio 2 with Simon Mayo, and thought that the book sounded good, but I forgot all about it. A few months later, me and my beautiful wife were looking for a film on Netflix and The Martian was listed as a new release. We watched it and loved it, with it’s mix of science and humour. The following week in Waterstones I remembered about the interview on the radio and bought Artemis. I then promptly left it languishing at the bottom of my stack of books.
I should have started this book the moment I bought it, as it had me hooked from page 1. With a couple of delayed train journeys I polished it off in less than a week. It’s set on the moon in the future, where there is a small city of 2,000 people permanently living there, including the star of the book, Jazz. She is clever, intelligent and a smuggler. Andy Weir has been unapologetic about the amount of geeky science in his books, and this sci-fi thriller definitely had to be set on the moon for the science bits to work. I particularly liked the passage where he describes why coffee tastes rubbish on the moon.
The book is a light-hearted sci-fi romp and I loved it. I will be purchasing The Martian, even though I’ve watched the film, and I’m sure that at some point in the future this will also be made into a film.