About the book
Mark Watney is an astronaut on the Ares 3 mission to Mars, sometime in the near future. The mission is abandoned during a sudden storm. Watney is injured and left behind for dead. Only he’s not dead. The Martian is the story of Mark’s struggle to survive in the harsh environment on Mars.
So this is another glowing example of how self-published authors can actually succeed in a big, big way this day and age. It’s also a fabulous story, funny, action-filled and realistic.
The science is as realistic as it can get. Science faction, as Matt Damon calls it in this interview. During the course of writing this book, Andy Weir did an enormous amount of research, as well as getting feedback from the readers on his blog. It has resulted in what is probably a fairly accurate account of near-future Mars missions. At times the science does get a bit too precise. A few too many details, though it never gets boring. In fact, the action is relentless. If it wasn’t for the light-hearted moments, and Mark Watney’s ceaseless optimism, it might have been depressing. As it is, Andy Weir walks a precise balance between heavy and light, all the while keeping us at the edge of our seats, rooting for Mark Watney.
Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard that they made a movie out of this book, starring Matt Damon. You may even have seen it. If you haven’t I recommend watching the movie first, and then reading the book. That way you won’t be so bothered by the many things they left out. It’s still a good movie. Matt Damon is the perfect choice for Mark Watney, and in all honesty I think the ending is better in the movie than in the book. It’s less abrupt.
I give The Martian a solid . Even now, I’m still rooting for Mark Watney, and I’m curious to see what Andy Weir will come up with next.
About the author
Andy Weir was born in 1972 and raised in California, the only child of an accelerator physicist father and an electrical-engineer mother. Weir grew up reading classic science fiction such as the works of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. 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. The Martian is his first novel. He wrote the book to be as scientifically accurate as possible and his writing included extensive research into orbital mechanics, conditions on Mars, the history of manned spaceflight, and botany. Originally published as a free serial on his website, some readers requested he make it available on Kindle. First sold for 99 cents, the novel made it to the Kindle bestsellers list. Weir was then approached by a literary agent and sold the rights of the book to Crown Publishing Group. The print version (slightly edited from the original) of the novel debuted at #12 on The New York Times bestseller list. It was made into a film starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, which was released October 2, 2015.
Weir is working on his second novel, initially titled Zhek. He describes it as “a more traditional sci-fi novel. It has aliens, telepathy, faster-than-light travel, etc”.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Weir_(writer), http://www.andyweirauthor.com/