Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

One of the best books I have read in a long time. Weir’s “The Martian” is classic hard science fiction and that makes it that much better. Everything in the book is realistic and could be happening within a few years if NASA were given the resources. The best thing I can compare this book to are the early Allen Steele such as “Orbital Decay” and “Rude Astronauts

Essentially the book is the story of an astronaut whop gets stranded on Mars due to an accident when his initial mission gets aborted due to Martian weather.  It is that simple but the wealth of detail provided in the book about how the protagonist Mark Watney survives both the initial accident and then a year and a half on Mars alone makes up the bulk of the book.  It is hard to describe the story more without including spoilers, which I hate.  Suffice it to say that despite several near disasters Watney manages to get rescued.  The fact of his rescue is not in doubt, if he died the book would be pointless.  What makes the book great is the way in which it is written.  It is written such that what you read is a combination of Watney’s blog and descriptive fiction of what is happening off Mars.

The science in the story is impeccable.  Everything described is within man’s grasp now.  that is part of what makes this such a compelling story.  This could be tomorrow’s news.  That it is not i a question of public interest and government financing.  The story of how Watney goes about being rescued is both absorbing and fascinating.  The science behind what he does is simple amazing.  This is one of those books that is not only a great story but that teaches you something in the process. This is Weir’s first book and if he continues to produce books of this caliber we probably have of one of sci-fi’s next greats here.

This is an outstanding book and anybody who enjoys SF that is more science than fiction will love this book.  I loved it so much that I angered my wife and read it in two days. Great book and I look forward to more from Andy Weir.