Reading The MartianAuthor Andy Weir – Stg2bio.co

Note Alternate Cover Edition for this ASIN can be found hereSix days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars Now, he s sure he ll be the first person to die thereAfter a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he s alive and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive Chances are, though, he won t have time to starve to death The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old human error are much likely to kill him first But Mark isn t ready to give up yet Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him


10 thoughts on “The Martian

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    I m pretty much fucked Ok, show of hands How many of you have uttered these exact words or words to that effect Not everyone I see we have some liars out there How many have said them at least twice Three times Four Those with hands still up, you probably need to make some adjustments to your approach, find a safer line of work, hobbies that do not entail long drops, stop trying the weekly specials at McBlowfish, or seek out people to date who are into less extreme um sports These I m pretty much fucked Ok, show of hands How many of you have uttered these exact words or words to that effect Not everyone I see we have some liars out there How many have said them at least twice Three times Four Those with hands still up, you probably need to make some adjustments to your approach, find a safer line of work, hobbies that do not entail long drops, stop trying the weekly specials at McBlowfish, or seek out people to date who are into less extreme um sports These are the opening words of The Martian Astronaut Mark Watney is definitelyscrewed than most of us have ever been Dude missed his ride and there will not be another along for, oh, four years Supplies on hand were only meant to cover a few weeks, maybe months And that Martian atmosphere is definitely no fun, lacking stuff like, oh, breathable air, and a reasonable range of temperature It does, offer, however, extremely harsh good for scouring that burned on gunk from sauce pans and long lasting as in months dust storms And if that was not enough he faces an array of other challenges unfriendly locals No, Kibby the 12 year old kibitzer who infects my brain , no Mars Attacks brain beasts, or that other guy, even though I know he is your favorite Real challenges For example, the music he has for his stay consists of disco The viewing options include 70s TV Most of us might give serious consideration to minimizing the guaranteed pain, frustration, starvation and inevitable death by, maybe, taking a short hustle outside sans that special suit It would be a very, very short last dance Watney is either a cock eyed optimist or an idiot I m going with the former, as he is indeed made of the right stuff He is ard and well supplied with the sort of can do designer genes that might make the rest of us feel like the can t do sorts we are He is the poster boy for positive attitude It does not hurt that he is way smart, with expertise in a wide enough range of things scientific to matter It does not hurt that he is an engineer who gets off on taking apart, putting back together, figuring out, thinking through, testing, trying, and pushing envelopes But his crew is headed home, and what hope is there, really The Martian tells of Watney s attempt to survive in a literally alien environment, using only the tools on hand and his wits It is a gripping story with one of the most adorable heroes you are likely to encounter, on this planet or any other No, Kibby, not a kitten How could you not root for a guy who scrapes through Thanksgiving dinner for potato parts to plant for food Of course, one might think been there, done that, particularly as 1964 s Robin Crusoe on Mars offered a retelling of Daniel Defoe s classic tale in acontemporary notion of a remote locale A 1905 novel used a different classic traveler in the same sort of format Of course those tellings had a lotin common with the Barsoom of Edgar Rice Burroughs as seen by Frank Frazetta than they do with the vision we have of the Red Planet today, or, say, reality RealityOr is it One of these was a shot of you know where The other was taken at Death Valley, which was used, BTW, in the filming of Robinson Crusoe on MarsMost of the tale is spent on Watney s very compelling attempt to survive, going through all the challenges he faces trying to make air, preserve and maybe generate water, make his food last, get some sort of communication set up, deal with things like exploding air locks, biblical level dust storms, toppling ground transport vehicles, you know, stuff, most of it life threatening The other end of things is how the folks on the ground deal with this GInornous OOPS There are technical elements, of course butinteresting, for me, were the political considerations To tell the crew or not Imagine how bummed out, embarrassed, and guilty you might be on that ship the Hermes returning home, knowing you had left one behind Might it affect your ability to take care of necessary business for the next bunch of months Another question is whether to tell the public, and if so, when How about getting help from other space capable nations Are any international dealings simple There is also some in house NASA staff maneuvering that is wonderful to see.Andy WeirIn her fabulous book on writing, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes Having a likeable narrator is like having a great friend whose company you love, whose mind you love to pick, whose running commentary totally holds your attention, who makes you laugh out loud Probably the greatest strength of The Martian is the narration of Mark Watney He is engaging and funny, optimistic and capable I suppose there are some who might find him lacking in sharp edges, but I thought he worked great Matt Damon as Mark Watney, enjoying the view from the film The new earth based shooting location was Wadi Rum, Jordan I am sure they did plenty of color adjustments in post, but boy o boy does this place look like an alien landscape GripesYes, really, there is too much scientific detail It is not that it is beyond the comprehension of a lot of readers although it will skip by a fair number it is the share of time, the number of pages, the sheer volume of obstacles to be overcome, and the very detailed explanation of so many of them that tilts the book a bit too much towards the MacGyver demo Weir writes very well about the other elements of the story Repetition of DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, with the subsequent amazingly clever repair du jour, does get a bit old after a while I had to fight an urge to scan at times But that is really it Otherwise, The Martian is an absolute delight to read Watney is lovable as well as capable, and makes excellent use of his sense of humor to look on the bright side of life, in a very dark circumstance Whether he makes it out on time or not not gonna spoil that one you will cheer him on, hope for the best, and fly past those pages with considerable, if maybe not interplanetary, speed Is there life on Mars There will be while you read this book Review posted 1 16 15 Updated and trotted out there again on release of the film 10 2 15 This review has been cross posted on my site, Cootsreviews.comPublication date self pub in 2011 Bought, edited and published by Crown 10 28 2014PS Saw the film on 10 9 15 and it kicks ass Go see it if you haven t already It is very true to the book, with the improvement of not getting bogged down in details, has a great cast, looks amazing and does a fantastic job of promoting science EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal and FB pages 5 24 16 Weir wrote a short story prequel to The Martian, called Diary of an AssCan I posted a review this week It includes a link to the story, so you can read it for yourself.Andy Weir s second novel, Artemis, while, IMHO, not quite up to this one, is also pretty darned good.August, 2016 At the Hugo awards Weir wins the John W, Campbell award for best new writer, and the screenplay for the film wins for Best Dramatic Presentation, long form The Martian Chronicles on Gutenberg Gullivar of Mars by Edwin Lester Linden Arnold on GutenbergFor a real Martian experience check out NASA s Mars page For a realer Martian experience, and ideal for those trying to keep one step ahead of creditors and or the law, you might want to consider applying to be on a Mars mission, no joke There ison this project below but the above link is for the selection process, just in case you don t mind a strictly one way journey.A nifty article from the NY Times 10 5 15 about the woman at NASA responsible for seeing to it that we do not bring Earth germs you know where Mars Is Pretty Clean Her Job at NASA Is to Keep It That Way by Kenneth ChangI bet you thought I d forgotten these guys No chance I just ran out of time to figure out how to stuff them into the review So, sorry, I am stuffing them here That sounds so wrong.If you want to experience Mars while still on earth, it is indeed possibleA general National Geo article on MarsPlanetary.Org has an excellent list of all Mars missions to date, and some that are in processWhen you are checking your ancestry some of that unusual DNA might come from a place, far, far away Two scientists look at the unfortunately named notion of Panspermia, view spoiler the natural result of guys watching really good porn A bad review of ineffectual seed An unspeakable fried dish hide spoiler which addresses the possibility that the genesis of life on Earth had its opening act elsewhere.If you want to know Who goes to Mars for the waters, the answer is yesAnd speaking of Eau d Ares, a nifty article on the presence of H2OMG you know where, in the 9 28 15 article in the NY Times by Kenneth Chang Thanks to my pal, Henry B, for this refreshing item.8 31 16 Another recommendation from the intrepid Henry B Planning any long trips, HB How to Win Friends and Influence People on Fake Mars by Katie Rogers New York TimesDownhill streaks indicate water has flowed image from NY Times who got it from NASA who got it from JPLHere is a nifty article from The New Yorker, on work being done to cope with inter planetary cabin fever Moving to Mars Preparing for the longest, loneliest voyage ever by Tom Kizzia from the April 20, 2015 issue9 12 16 If, like Quint, you think we re gonna need a bigger boat, to get to Mars that is, Jeff Bezos s Blue Origin company may have just the thing Meet New Glenn, the Blue Origin Rocket That May Someday Take You to Space By Daniel Victor for the New York Times9 27 16 New York Times Elon Musk s Plan Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond by Kenneth Chang10 25 16 National Geographic is producing a documentary series about our favorite red tinted neighbor no, not the lady across the way who got too much sun Put those binoculars away NOW Coverage in the latest issue includes a whole passel of things Martian Enjoy Mars Inside the High Risk, High Stakes Race to the Red PlanetFrom the August 2017 National Geographic This Is What a Martian Looks Like According to Carl Sagan By Natasha DalyPainting by Douglas Chaffe from the above NatGeo article9 17 17 Washington Post re printing an AP story Mars Research Crew Emerges After 8 Months of Isolation Caleb Jones12 16 17 NY Times Sunday Review Tim Kreider offers his take on why we should go Red Earthlings, Unite Let s Go to Mars5 4 18 NatGeo Interesting piece on the latest Martian explorer, Insight Are Marsquakes Anything Like Earthquakes NASA Is About to Find Out by Nadia DrakeIllustration of Insight deployed Photo by Lockheed Martin, NASA, JPL CaltechAll right We re all done now You d better get going or Marvin will lose his cool Oh, sorry Marvin, just onething, lists.FILMSAbbott and Costello go to MarsThe Angry Red PlanetBad Girls From MarsThe Brave Little Toaster Goes to MarsCapricorn OneDevil Girl From MarsDoomEmpire of DangerEscape From MarsFlight to MarsGhosts of MarsInvaders from MarsThe Last days on MarsLost on MarsMars Needs MomsMars Needs WomenMission to MarsRace to MarsRed PlanetRed Planet MarsRobinson Crusoe on MarsRocket ManRoving MarsSanta Claus Conquers the MartiansStrandedThe Terror from Beyond SpaceTotal RecallTV Programs Is There Life on Mars PBSMy Favorite MartianLife On Mars BritishLife on Mars American Mars One Proposed check this one out Race to Mars Novels2312 Kim Stanley RobinsonThe Barsoom Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars on Gutenberg and my review The Gods of Mars The Warlord of Mars Thuvia, Maid of Mars The Chessmen of Mars The Master Mind of Mars A Fighting Man of Mars Swords of Mars Synthetic Men of Mars Llana of Gathol John Carter of MarsBlades of Mars Edward P BradburyC.O.D Mars E.C TubbThe Caves of Mars Emil PetajaChildren of Mars Paul G DayCity of the Beast Michael MoorcockThe Daughter of Mars Thomas KeneallyThe Empress of Mars Kage BakerFirst on Mars Rex GordonIcehenge Kim Stanley RobinsonLife on Mars Jennifer BrownLife on Mars a different one Jonathan StrahanThe Long Mars Terry PratchettMars Ben BovaMars is my Destination Frank Belknap LongMars Plus Frederick PohlThe Mars Trilogy Kim Stanley Robinson Blue Mars Green Mars Red MarsMarsquakes Kevin F OwensThe Martian Chronicles Ray BradburyMasters of the Pit Michael MoorcockMoving Mars Greg BearNo Man Friday Rex GordonOld Mars George R.R MartinPacking for Mars Mary Roach ok, not a novelPodkayne of Mars Robert HeinleinPrelude to Mars Arthur C ClarkePriests of Mars Graham McNeillThe Road to Mars Eric IdleThe Sands of Mars Arthur C ClarkeSebastian Of Mars Al SarrantinoShadow Over Mars Leigh BrackettSin in Space Cyrill Judd Cyril M Kornbluth and Judith Merril Stranger in a Strange Land Robert HeinleinUrania Camille FlammarionWhite Mars Brian Aldiss


  2. Davy-Gravy Davy-Gravy says:

    Unpopular opinion time I don t like how this book is written Watney s journals read like a nerdy blog rather than a dramatic survivor s diary It s hard to find something harrowing and traumatic when the protagonist is saying yay a lot and making incessant corny puns 3.6 pirate ninjas Yay oxygen Lol gay probe lol 1 Bad rover, no Scooby snack 111 LOL craaaaaaap 1 For me, those aren t funny, they re almost embarrassing.No matter what horrible thing is happening to Watne Unpopular opinion time I don t like how this book is written Watney s journals read like a nerdy blog rather than a dramatic survivor s diary It s hard to find something harrowing and traumatic when the protagonist is saying yay a lot and making incessant corny puns 3.6 pirate ninjas Yay oxygen Lol gay probe lol 1 Bad rover, no Scooby snack 111 LOL craaaaaaap 1 For me, those aren t funny, they re almost embarrassing.No matter what horrible thing is happening to Watney, he s sure to pull though, but not before laying a smug, cutesy zinger on us It sucks all the tension out of any situation, which is the complete opposite of what I want in a book that s supposed to be a thriller.Now, don t get me wrong, Andy Weir is a great technical writer When Watney isn t being a wacky douche, he s going on and on about some technical or mechanical or biological process that, with me not being a scientist, usually goes over my head And that s fine, I have no fault with a book that s factually complicated like that In fact, it s really admirable and cool that Weir is able to pool all of his expertise into a book about survival on Mars That being said, other aspects of the book suffer According to the author s bio on the back of the book, Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight If I can stereotype here, it shows My guess is that he doesn t really know how people behave or interact in the real world The dialog is stilted and awkward The characters are all one dimensional and flat They almost seem like an afterthought The emotional and psychological trauma rendered by all these near death experiences and complete and utter isolation What trauma There s no mention of that anywhere Watney is apparently that cool and awesome of a guy, as evidenced by all his canned laugh track one liners and grating sarcasm.But hey, maybe that doesn t bother some people obviously, considering that people actually watch The Big Bang Theory , and they re in for a technologically driven, funny space thriller Because I have to admit, it s a terrifyingly cool premise It just wasn t what I was expecting I was hoping for an emotionally taxing, horrifying, survival drama, but instead got a cutesily witty astrophysics manual Just because something is nerdy doesn t automatically mean that it s good


  3. Emily May Emily May says:

    First off, welcome to 2015 Let s kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survivethan anyone I ve ever known This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed, gaining hype, and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me so I had to check this out for myself I m glad I gave in.The Martian has so many good things going for it First and foremost, it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds In this book, Mark Wa First off, welcome to 2015 Let s kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survivethan anyone I ve ever known This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed, gaining hype, and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me so I had to check this out for myself I m glad I gave in.The Martian has so many good things going for it First and foremost, it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds In this book, Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars but after an accident causes him to be believed dead and abandoned by his crew, it looks like he will be the first person to die there Like Cast Away x a million, Mark must battle extremely foreign territory, the likelihood of starvation, and the possibility of technical failures.It s pretty hard to see an outcome where he isn t totally screwed.The best thing about this book is the juxtaposition between the very scientific nature of everything Mark must do to survive gave me a renewed level of respect for how damn smart astronauts have to be and his absolutely wonderful personality Mark maintains his sense of humour throughout every hardship he faces it s pretty much impossible to not be charmed by him.Here are some quotesThe screen went black before I was out of the airlock Turns out the L in LCD stands for Liquid I guess it either froze or boiled off Maybe I ll post a consumer review Brought product to surface of Mars It stopped working 0 10 As with most of life s problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation This book is part serious science fiction, part an hilariously dark comedy that imagines a horrifying situation infused with humour and the overwhelming human desire to stay alive It s hard to imagine that anyone who picks this up won t find themselves dragged into Mark s world, desperately needing to know what will happen to him.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr


  4. Althea Ann Althea Ann says:

    Crap My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars I m fucked I m going to die Oh wait I just thought of something highly logically unlikely and technically complicated, that I am sure to pull off without a hitch, because did I mention that I am Plucky and Ingenious It sure is a good thing that I am super talented Yay That worked I m not dead Next chapter But wait Disaster has struck Shit happens, when you re stuck alone on Mars Whatever shall I do OMG, I just had a Crap My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars I m fucked I m going to die Oh wait I just thought of something highly logically unlikely and technically complicated, that I am sure to pull off without a hitch, because did I mention that I am Plucky and Ingenious It sure is a good thing that I am super talented Yay That worked I m not dead Next chapter But wait Disaster has struck Shit happens, when you re stuck alone on Mars Whatever shall I do OMG, I just had a great idea It s a good thing I m so naturally optimistic, because it sure would make for a bummer book if I ever showed any signs of being depressed or having any kind of mental deterioration after spending nearly two years in total solitude Nah, I ve got the fightin spirit I can create a life support system out of duct tape What does Mars actually look like Is there anything interesting from a scientific perspective about it Who cares I m busy growing potatoes in shit and watching Three s Company Did I mention that disco sucks Repeat.For a while.I do not get the hype


  5. Rick Riordan Rick Riordan says:

    Adult science thriller.Love it, love it A meticulously researched, briskly paced and surprisingly funny story about an astronaut left behind on Mars, presumed dead, who must now figure out how to survive and let the folks back on Earth know he is alive and needs rescue This is hard science science fiction Parts of it read like really complicated but amusing word problems, juggling mass and time and weight, etc But all of that adds to the realism You can tell Andy Weir loves his space exp Adult science thriller.Love it, love it A meticulously researched, briskly paced and surprisingly funny story about an astronaut left behind on Mars, presumed dead, who must now figure out how to survive and let the folks back on Earth know he is alive and needs rescue This is hard science science fiction Parts of it read like really complicated but amusing word problems, juggling mass and time and weight, etc But all of that adds to the realism You can tell Andy Weir loves his space exploration and knows a ton about it He totally had me convinced, anyway The Martian is a fast read, and the main character s irrepressible sense of humor will have you cheering for him as he tries to survive against impossible odds I will also never eat another potato again Long story If you re looking for a fast paced, believable space adventure set in present day, this is your book


  6. Wil Wheaton Wil Wheaton says:

    I have never wanted so badly for the characters in a book to be real I want to meet them all the way I want to meet the president, or Taylor Swift.This story is perfectly told It is perfectly paced, it is brilliantly written, it is beautifully crafted.Andy Weir does this incredible thing where he make the reader feel the isolation that Mark Wagner feels, and he does it so subtly, we don t even realize that he s doing it until it s done.The Martian completely captivated me I couldn t wait to f I have never wanted so badly for the characters in a book to be real I want to meet them all the way I want to meet the president, or Taylor Swift.This story is perfectly told It is perfectly paced, it is brilliantly written, it is beautifully crafted.Andy Weir does this incredible thing where he make the reader feel the isolation that Mark Wagner feels, and he does it so subtly, we don t even realize that he s doing it until it s done.The Martian completely captivated me I couldn t wait to find out what happened next, and I never wanted it to end


  7. Sasha Alsberg Sasha Alsberg says:

    I go so emotional at the end, so good


  8. Jesse (JesseTheReader) Jesse (JesseTheReader) says:

    I m so happy that I randomly decided to pick this book up I did find that the story dragged a bit towards the end and some of things went over my head a little bit, but for the most part this was a fantastic read


  9. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here So that is the situation I m stranded on Mars I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth Everyone thinks I m dead I m in a Hab designed to last thirty one days If the oxygenator breaks down, I ll suffocate If the water reclaimer breaks down, I ll die of thirst If the Hab breaches, I ll just kind of explode If none of those things happen, I ll eventually run out of food and starve to death So yea I m fucked When I read the line kind of explode I couldn t help thinking of So that is the situation I m stranded on Mars I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth Everyone thinks I m dead I m in a Hab designed to last thirty one days If the oxygenator breaks down, I ll suffocate If the water reclaimer breaks down, I ll die of thirst If the Hab breaches, I ll just kind of explode If none of those things happen, I ll eventually run out of food and starve to death So yea I m fucked When I read the line kind of explode I couldn t help thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Total Recall, face contorted, eyes bulging as the oxygen deprived atmosphere of Mars was about to detonate his head I ll wait for the next mission to a blue planet thank you very much.Mark Watney, Mars astronaut, has a lot to worry about It is hard to say if he hasto worry about than Douglas Quaid Hauser Arnold s character in the movie At least he doesn t have people trying to kill him on Mars In fact, when his fellow astronauts left he effectively became EMPEROR OF MARSIt might be the shortest reign in historyMars keeps trying to kill me He amends that thought withMars and my stupidity keep trying to kill me Watney is far from stupid He scavenges like a futuristic version of Robinson Crusoe from the left over debris of the Hermes crew s hasty departure The incident that ended Watney s life had them in a panic Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated He finds a whole memory stick of seventies sitcoms to keep him occupied andimportantly stuff to keep him alive Watney becomes the first farmer on Mars He knows he doesn t have enough food to last until the next mission to Mars is scheduled so he has to improvise Luckily the crew was to be there over the Thanksgiving holiday and for morale purposes NASA sent along potatoes with those all important eyes intactMy morning piss goes in a resealable plastic box when I open it, the rover reeks like a truck stop men s room I could take it outside and let it boil off But I worked hard to make that water and the last thing I m going to do is waste it I ll feed it to the water reclaimer.Evenprecious is my manure It s critical to the potato farm, and I m the only source on Mars Fortunately, when you spend a lot of time in space, you learn how to shit in a bag And if you think things are bad after opening the piss box, imagine the smell after I drop anchor When he finds a way to communicate with Earth in one of hisspectacular MacGuyver moments they tell him that he is going to have to drive to another site where there is a rocket ship, already delivered, waiting for the next mission He will drive on terrain that looks like this The ship is in Giovanni Schiaparelli s crater Watney being Watney has a few juvenile observations about his arrival at the craterTomorrow night, I ll sink to an all new low Lemme rephrase that Tomorrow night, I ll be at rock bottom No, that doesn t sound good either.Tomorrow night, I ll be in Giovanni Schiaparelli s favorite hole Okay, I admit I m just playing around nowThe science is unbelievable and since Andy Weir was a fifteen year old prodigy and is obviously still extremely bright in middle age I have to believe him that he has this all figured out Watney injects humor as he explains his innovative scientific brilliance which at times had my eyes glazed over trying to keep up So even as you are getting overwhelmed by the science Weir will elicit an eye roll from thesophisticated reader He might even inspire an outright chortle if you are of the low brow variety of humor lovers I must beof the pan humor variety as he elicited a wide range of sniggers, snorts, and raised eyebrows from meI tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for The one thing that might save your life on Mars, Earth or any other planet you might want to visit is something that NASA didn t inventAlso, I have duct tape Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store Turns out even NASA can t improve on duct tapeWatney worships duct tape and given the hairbrained ideas he puts into practice he needs miles and miles of it It turns out duct tape has a variety of uses for providing additional support We are such an ingenious species Weir convinced me that Watney could live on Mars for over a year while awaiting rescue With mangled equipment, a harsh unforgiving terrain, and the ever present, onething going wrong, depression that Watney has to overcome everyday, this reader started feeling the pain of failure and the elation of success right along with him As the world learns he is alive humanity began rooting not for the American to live, but for the human species to triumph In the 1970s when I was old enough to watch what NASA was doing and marvelled at our ability to do the impossible It was a time when absolutely anything seemed achievable We d had leadership that insisted that we needed to go to the moon We still built things, now it feels like the monuments of our times are being built other places I do think we all miss having a common goal Something that we all feel we are a part of, something larger than ourselves With a space program gutted and the idea of a manned mission to Mars staggeringly expensive it makes me realize how lucky I was to grow up in a time when it really felt like the impossible was possible I m probably the last of the optimists who still believes that we have to go see it we have to put our footprint on it we have to scatter our debris around and say yes we were here We need a Mark Watney to be lost on Mars so we have something to cheer for that brings us together as a species Besides book reviews I also have started writing movie reviews These can be found at my blog


  10. karen karen says:

    i have finally seen the movie, so i added some notes at the bottom.this book is basically just a really long SAT question and i so hope the movie is just matt damon sitting at a table doing equations for two and a half hours oh but first, as promised, here are the photos of me being an astronaut this past weekend zooooom i am orbiting the eeeeeeaaaarttthh i did a really good job at astronauting and i didn t need to do math even once although i started experiencing cramped space i have finally seen the movie, so i added some notes at the bottom.this book is basically just a really long SAT question and i so hope the movie is just matt damon sitting at a table doing equations for two and a half hours oh but first, as promised, here are the photos of me being an astronaut this past weekend zooooom i am orbiting the eeeeeeaaaarttthh i did a really good job at astronauting and i didn t need to do math even once although i started experiencing cramped space madness after about 6 hours, so i doubt i m going to mars anytime soon so many people i know LOVED this book and so many people i know HATED this book and as is usually the case with rabidly divisive books, i find myself smack in the middle, perplexed but pleased by the passion on both sides it s a fine book a pretty good balance of things i enjoyed and things i enjoyed less.things i enjoyed less the reason i don t read a lot of sci fi is because my grasp on sci is pretty slippery and this book is one long celebration of math and chemistry and physics and etc and also airlocks i don t like airlocks which is a weird thing to not like, i suppose, but the same way Moby Dick or, The Whale bored me when melville fangirled over rope for a million pages, this one izza lotta descriptions of spacecraft bits and the mechanics of airlocks and stuff that s wicked important if you are being an astronaut but is boring to me reading about it and i totally glazed over whenever anything had to be secured onto an airlock and depressurized but what s really frustrating is that for all the attention to detail accuracy when it came to the math i assume i trust , the book s pretty flippant with the psychology watney is all relentless optimism and unflagging can do attitude and dick jokes, with very few signs of depression or fear that isn t phrased in the form of a joke weir tried to blanket over this lack of meltdown with that brief mention that watney is the class clown whose jokiness becomes heightened under stress, but seriously there aretears in any given episode of project runway than in this book about a man abandoned on mars and left completely alone for 2 years facing ever escalating dangers and setbacks and the writing is definitely problematic there is so much repetition, and so many times watney starts off a paragraph with remember as in remember when i mentioned this and that well, now it is coming back into play in this situation razzmatazz it s not great for narrative flow, and it s a little insulting to assume your readership can t remember things that happened during the course of the book and this tic is doubly perplexing when you remember remember that watney s entries are ostensibly directed at other astronauts scientists who wouldn t need science explained to them, and certainly wouldn t need the prod to remember it the ending is bad and too abrupt there s not much else to say about that.but there are also things i enjoyed i love survival books, so all the high stakes DIY macgyver lemme fix it with glue stuff was entertaining, when it didn t require me to recall stuff i learned failed to learn in high school i also love lateral thinking puzzles, so i appreciated watney s process of arriving at unconventional solutions to problems i will never face bonus points for when the fix was some unpretty punk rock janked up solution, especially when it freaked out the scientists on the ground and i like watney s blithe attitude to a point To them, equipment failure is terrifying To me, it s Tuesday i preferred it when he was being cowboy practical to when weir was forcing the humor which i know a lot of readers have a problem with the quality of the humor, but as someone who says that s what she said pretty often daily, the juvenile nature of the humor didn t bother me, and i did giggle at his consumer review of his laptop Brought product to surface of Mars It stopped working 0 10.but it just felt like wherever weir could stick a joke, he d stick a joke, and it became over bedazzled with humor although, considering this book treats watney s situation as reality t.v for those still on the ground, and reality t.v tends to amplify its participants with must be entertaining at all times fervor, this isn t entirely inappropriate after all.another frustration i had was how much i enjoyed all the stuff that was happening on the ground and in the Hermes it was muchinteresting than equation boy and his boob doodling, and it was better written the humor wassuccessfully integrated, the characters wereconvincingly human, and that s frustrating because it shows he can do it so that s a thing i enjoyed buried under a complaint, i guess but i did genuinely enjoy all the non mars scenes, and when it would cut back to watney, i would groan like it was a bran chapter in ASOIAF so that s me middle of the road karen who sees the book s flaws, but mostly enjoyed reading it.tl dr a fun book interrupted by math so, i saw the movie a couple of days ago, and i can finally weigh in on a comparison of the two i m definitely glad i read the book first, but at the end of the day, i m not sure if there s an answer about which is better book wins some of my favorite harrowing OH NO moments from the book did not make it into the movie like that sudden realization which sends him scurrying outside for a long time , and also some of my favorite solutions were absent hair and while there were way fewer perilous moments in the movie, there was a zillion timesemotional response to the problems that did occur which is points for realism, but watching people cry or otherwise emote on the big screen is as boring and time wasting as reading about math, so one negates the other but overall, the most interesting stuff got cut from the movie stuff on mars, stuff on hermes, stuff on ground, etc.movie wins having a montage to look at while math goes on and on in a voice over is wayinteresting than me kidding myself reading the math paragraphs several times like suddenly i m gonna get it also, matt damon delivers the jokey bits in a way that seems natural, and there are fewer jokes overall although in some cases, they cut the wrong ones aquaman and i guess that iron man scene that was pretty cool so it s kind of a tie the movie is basically the cliffs notes version of the book it gives you the basic gist of it, but you ll miss out on some really great scenes if you are like book too boring tl dr and if you just read the book you won t get to see the airlocks in all their glory i want to see this movie, but i know it ll kill my motivation to read the book, so it looks like this puppy is gonna have to be my airplane book this weekend as a bonus, with my window seat i can pretend that i am an astronaut myself, albeit a really incompetent one.i apologize to my seatmates in advance book checkastronaut ice cream pellets checkand off we go come to my blog