Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review: The Martian, by Andy Weir

So let's talk about The Martian, by Andy Weir.

I actually first came across this book in a local book store on the Staff Picks wall.  Having never heard of Andy Weir (who actually e-published this book a few years back), I simply looked at the cover and thought - you know what?  I don't read enough contemporary science fiction.  I'm pretty great at classic SF, but the recent stuff is all sort of hit and miss with me.

So I cracked open this book on Saturday morning and within about ten pages I was hooked - think (minor spoiler here) Castaway mixed with Apollo 13 and you can get a pretty good idea what to expect from the novel.

The novel itself focuses on a Botanist/Engineer accidentally left behind on a Mars mission (again, sorry for the mild, chapter 1 spoiler), and his attempts to survive on Mars until he can be rescued.

First of all, considering the book is pretty much the definition of hard SF (Science fiction focusing on scientific or technical detail) I was really blown away by just how readable the book was, it felt an awful lot like Scalzi's Old Man's War or Wilson's Robopocalypse for sheer page-turning enjoyment.

If you haven't picked up any SF in a while, it would really be a pretty great place to start, the story is fun, fast paced and definitely thrilling.  I will absolutely be keeping an eye out for what Mr. Weir comes out with next.

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