Book Review – The Martian

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Book Review

The Martian

by Andy Weir

The best novel I read in 2015.

I should probably just stop there. Or maybe I’ve said too much. Personally, I suffer from post-hype depression. When a book, novel, movie, or game is over sold, I feel let down when it isn’t a good as the hype. So allow me not to hype, simply allow me to explain a couple of the things that I think made The Martian successful.

Science. There’s something refreshing about a science fiction book that’s based on science. I’m not a scientist, nor do I play one on the Internet. So when I say that the science was believable, I can only speak from that perspective. Having watched enough Star Trek to choke a cow, I do know technobabble when I hear it. And The Martian had no distortions in the temporal plasma conduits that might clog up the necleonic quantum capacitors. Everyone knows that would cause a misalignment in the linear tetryon patterns, resulting in a malfunction of your astrophysical phase array. (I just want to say that writing that sentence was a whole lot of fun). The Martian had none of that.

What it did have was a couple of great ideas based on stuff you know NASA is actually already doing, or thinking about doing. Like, how can you grow food on Mars, how much land do you need, what do you need for the soil to get stuff to grow, how would you make water on Mars, how do you make oxygen. Nothing got past my disbelief monitors.

Character. The character really made the story. Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, is sharp and funny. And this even makes realistic sense. If you have to spend years locked up in a bottle with 5 other people in the hostile environment of space, well you had better have some good social skills. The novel is fun, funny, fact-based, and well written.

The best novel I read in 2015.

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