The Martian by Andy Weir
“Tears. I’m not going to say whether they are tears of joy or sadness, but just know. Tears.”
I said that to my husband about five minutes ago, when I finished this fucking fantastic novel. I loved it. I started it last night around 7:30. I finished it five minutes ago. During that time I slept, worked a nine-hour day, and read this book.
I don’t really read science fiction. And I don’t even know if that’s how I’d categorize this book. Yes, it is fiction, and yes, it is all about the science. And it is set some days in the future, enough days that we can already be sending a third mission to mars. But it’s not, I guess, how I pictured science fiction could be.
The Martian is the tale of Mark Watney. He was left behind when the other five members of his crew had to make an emergency evacuation from Mars. They thought he was dead. But he’s not. The story is mostly told from his entries into a computer log. The first lines of the book, in fact, are: “I’m pretty much fucked.” And indeed he is. Six days into a 31-day mission. So he’s got, what enough food for that long, for six people? That’s about it. He doesn’t have any way to communicate with Earth, or the crew that left him back.
What would you do?
Mark is amazing at keeping his sense of humor. He’s a guy I’d want to know. And his will to figure out a way to first, survive and then to get off the planet is amazing. It’s a nearly 400-page book, so you can imagine that shit happens. Not every second, but often enough to keep the book believable but totally engaging. And the science! Oh the science. It’s just a joy to read. So fun. So captivating. I’m sad it’s over.
However … apparently it is being turned into a movie. DO NOT look at IMDB until you’ve read the book, but I can say that I think the casting is perfection.